In February, an agreement was reached between the government and the strongest opposition party on decentralisation, and in May the constitution was amended to enable a fairer distribution of power at provincial level.
A further success was achieved in mid-July when the conflicting parties signed an agreement on military affairs, which is a prerequisite for negotiating a comprehensive peace treaty. The agreement marks the start of a process to disarm, demobilise and reintegrate former fighters. President Berset praised the progress that has been made in the peace process, while President Nyusi thanked Switzerland for its ongoing support.
Switzerland offered Mozambique its good offices in 2016. It chairs a contact group which is helping the two parties to the conflict to reach a lasting peace agreement. Furthermore, as part of its development cooperation activities, Switzerland has been helping the country in terms of decentralisation, as well as in other areas, and continues to do so in order to help sustain the positive development.
Relations between Switzerland and Mozambique have deep roots. Missionaries from the French-speaking part of Switzerland arrived in the former Portuguese colony in the 19th century, and Switzerland has had a diplomatic representation in Mozambique since 1922; this was upgraded to an embassy in 1977 following the country's independence in 1975. Mozambique has great economic potential and is rich in gold, coal and natural gas reserves. A Swiss-Mozambican chamber of commerce was set up in 2017 to help harness the potential for trade and
investment between the two countries.
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Peter Lauener, FDHA Information Service
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