The government and opposition in Mozambique have asked Switzerland to lead peace talks aimed at ending the conflict between the two parties. Both sides have been antagonistic to each other ever since the opposition challenged the results of the elections in 2014.
Members of the Frelimo party-led government and the opposition party Renamo had fought on opposite sides during the bitter civil war that ravaged the country between 1976 and 1992 and claimed around a million lives. Afonso Dhlakama, leader of Renamo had rejected the results of 2014 election which saw Filipe Jacinto Nyusi of the Frelimo party become president. Since then, both sides have been involved in violent clashes with sporadic ceasefire agreements.
On February 28, President Nyusi announced that Switzerland will lead a selection of countries that will serve as a contact group and help the two political forces engage in dialogue. Other members of the contact group include Botswana, China, the United States, Norway, United Kingdom and the European Union. The group will be chaired by the Swiss and American ambassadors to Mozambique. In addition, the Swiss foreign ministry will provide two specialists to help mediate the peace dialogue.
Examples of Switzerland's mediation successes are the Évian Accords, marking the end of the Algerian civil war and ensuring the country's independence, ceasefire negotiations on the conflict in southern Sudan's Nuba Mountains in 2002, mediation between Turkey and Armenia in 2009, between Georgia and Russia between 2010 and 2011, and Switzerland's role in the Ukraine conflict as part of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).