Mozambique’s government on Monday resumed peace talks with the main opposition party Renamo in Maputo.
Renamo, which waged a 16-year civil war that ended in 1992, has refused to accept the results of the 2014 elections which was won by the ruling party, in power since independence 40 years ago.
Both parties agreed to appoint international mediators to lead talks with the leaders set to meet only once all issues are settled.
This new round of negotiations started even as violence spreads in the north with hundreds of Mozambicans fleeing the country as a result.
SOT: Ellias Chingowe: “We fled Mozambique because of the war waged by the rebels the day we left, they came in our township and opened fire Police fled So we decided… to come to Zimbabwe to find refuge. “
A group of about 500 people are currently living in the open, without food or water, in eastern Zimbabwe near the border with Mozambique.
Another group of 200 families who arrived in June living at a different location are being supported by the UNHCR.
Mozambican media report of Renamo gunmen allegedly attacking a northern village, burning down official buildings and destroying a health centre even as negotiators laid the groundwork for peace on Monday.
Clashes have intensified in recent months following Renamo’s leader’s declaration in December that he would take power in six of the country’s 11 provinces which he claims he won in the 2014 elections.