Reuters International

MAPUTO (Reuters) - The Mozambique government and opposition party Renamo have resumed talks despite the Oct. 9 killing of a senior Renamo official by unidentified gunmen, the state news agency AIM said on Wednesday.

The death of Jeremias Pondeca, a member of the Joint Commission set up to find ways to overcome a standoff between the government and Renamo over a range of issues, cast a cloud over the negotiations.

AIM said the talks, which were originally supposed to have resumed on Monday, did so on Tuesday after a minute's silence for Pondeca.

The commission has so far reached no definitive agreement on any of the matters on its agenda, including Renamo's demands for six provincial governors and the inclusion of its militia in the army and police.

The commission was also set up to prepare the ground for a face-to-face meeting between President Filipe Nyusi and Renamo leader Afonso Dhlakama.

There has been no progress towards such a meeting yet, with Dhlakama saying he had no interest in seeing Nyusi before signing a final agreement, AIM reported.

Renamo and the government were on opposing sides in a civil war from the late 1970s until the early 1990s before a peace accord ended the fighting. But Renamo retains its own militia.

In the run-up to elections in October 2014, Renamo partisans clashed sporadically with troops and police. Renamo contended that the election outcome was rigged.

(Writing by Ed Stoddard; editing by Mark Heinrich)


 Reuters International