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Mozambique’s main opposition leader Afonso Dhlakama dies

MAPUTO Mozambique (Xinhua) -- Afonso Dhlakama, leader of the main opposition party Renamo in Mozambique has died at the age of 65, when he was aboard a helicopter that was transporting him to medical treatment after a severe diabetic crisis, according to sources close to the Renamo’s leadership.

Afonso Dhlakama had been hiding in the bush of Gorongosa since late 2014, when the ceasefire agreement was broken between him and the government headed by Armando Guebuza, the country’s former president.

The current President, Filipe Nyusi, went to Gorongosa to meet Afonso Dhlakama for three times and has been promoting the dialogue with him to discuss decentralized resolutions and military matters, specifically the disarmament and integration of Renamo’s men into the Defense and Security Forces of Mozambique.

This is an unprecedented event in the history of the Renamo, since Dhlakama has led the party for almost 40 years.

Dhlakama lost the presidential election five times, claiming several losses in all the electoral years, the biggest odds was in 2014, which the party claims to have won in six districts in northern Mozambique.

Dhlakama promised to get out of the woods as soon as parliament approved the document revising the constitution, submitted by President Filipe Nyusi to parliament, on consensus reached between the two party leaders.

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Mozambique makes significant progress in wildlife conservation: CITES official

MAPUTO Mozambique (Xinhua) -- The member of CITES Secretariat, Ben Van Rensburg, said Wednesday in Maputo that Mozambique has made significant progress in wildlife conservation, by combating organized crimes and making more communities engaged.

Van Rensburg made the comment on the annual meeting attended by representatives from 25 member countries of CITES, namely the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, to discuss the implementation of national action plans and cooperation to combat the illegal ivory trade.

Van Rensburg said achieving levels where the community is engaged in combating wildlife crimes, such as in Gorongosa National Park in central Mozambique, is vital and encouraging.

He said those efforts among other aspects are the reason why elephant’s population has been recovering in Gorongosa National Park in recent years.

The UK High Commissioner in Maputo Joana Kuenssberg said it is necessary to change incentives of those who drive up the wildlife crimes.

“We want to have long-term sustainable coalitions for the future and encourage practitioners of animal trade to stop the activity,” said the commissioner, adding that it is a global commitment to eradicate poaching in vulnerable countries such as Mozambique.

The Minister of Land, Environment and Rural Development of Mozambique, Celso Correia, said in the opening speech that for an organized crime, an integrated and concerted action is needed.

“We have strengthened control of the main border points, and very soon we will introduce trained canine units for the detection of wildlife products,” he said.

Mozambique has been the signatory of CITES since 1981. The aim of the intergovernmental agreement is to ensure that international trade in wildlife resources does not threaten the survival of the animals and plants involved.

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Shipwreck kills five in northern Mozambique

MAPUTO Mozambique  (Xinhua) -- A boat with more than 50 passengers on board operating from the Quirimbas to the village of Quissanga in northern Cabo Delgado province sunk, five passengers were killed on Sunday, according to the announcement of provincial authorities.

Authorities say that preliminary information indicates that excessive goods and passengers beyond the boat’s carrying capacity including bad weather are among the reasons behind the incident.

“Information that we were able to gather indicates that the boat has capacity to load 21 passengers but they had more than 50 people on board and it also had excessive goods added to the passengers,” said Provincial Permanent Secretary, Antonio Mapure.

Local media quoted the authorities as saying that a committee has been set up by the provincial government to investigate the causes behind the shipwreck and also provide support to the victims of the incident.

Government authorities appealed boat operators to be cautious when transporting people and goods, observing the limits established by the legal framework for these operations.

“To every transporters, they must respect the rules when transporting people and goods, the people behind the operations must be approved to operate the boats and also observe the weather forecast, because it is important in this area of transport,” added Mapure.

             

 

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