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Mozambique’s parliament on Wednesday ratified an extradition agreement with Rwanda, with the governing Frelimo party voting in favour and the opposition Renamo and MDM voting against, with their members stating that they feared that Rwandans in the country could now be persecuted. Source: Lusa

In a heated plenary meeting, the Proposal for a Resolution Ratifying the Extradition Agreement between Mozambique and Rwanda passed with 160 votes from the Front for the Liberation of Mozambique (Frelimo), while the Mozambican National Resistance (Renamo), the main opposition party, and the Mozambique Democratic Movement (MDM), rejected the document with a total of 51 votes.

“We understand the importance of establishing the necessary steps to consolidate the general cooperation agreement with Rwanda,” said Muanarera Abdala, who read Frelimo’s declaration of vote.

“The Defence and Security Forces count on the collaboration of the Rwandan forces in the fight against the enemies of the people in the fight against armed groups carrying out attacks in the province of Cabo Delgado, in the north of the country,” Abdala said.

The Minister of Justice, Constitutional and Religious Affairs, Helena Kida, who defended the agreement on behalf of the executive, said that the understanding was not aimed at “political persecution”, but only at preventing “the country from being a refuge for dishonest people involved in the practice of crimes in another country”.

Kida said that the extradition agreement was part of the commitment to combating organized and transnational crime within the framework of the treaties to which the two countries are signatories.

Regarding the murders of members of the Rwandan community in Mozambique attributed by the Mozambican opposition and civil society organizations to the Kigali security forces, Helena Kida admitted the occurrence of these cases, but considered the attribution of blame to the Rwandan authorities to be speculation.

Since 2021, Rwandan forces have played a fundamental role in combating rebels in Cabo Delgado, having helped to retake locations seized by the insurgents.

Cabo Delgado province has been facing an armed insurgency for six years, with some attacks claimed by the extremist Islamic State group.

The insurgency has led to a military response since July 2021, with the support of Rwanda and the Southern African Development Community (SADC), liberating districts near natural gas projects, but renewed attacks have taken place in the south of the region.

The conflict has already displaced one million people, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and killed around 4,000, according to the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED).

Author: MANZI


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