Demobilization: General Peace Agreement for Mozambique

Protocol IV.VI. Economic and social reintegration of demobilised soldiers:

(i) Demobilisation

1. Demobilisation of the FAM and the forces of RENAMO means the process whereby, at the decision of the respective Parties, soldiers who on E-Day were members of those forces revert for all purposes to the status of civilians.

2. Cease-fire Commission

(a) On E-Day, the cease-fire Commission (CCF) shall be established and begin its functions under the direct supervision of CSC;

(b) CCF shall be composed of representatives of the Government, RENAMO, the invited countries and the United Nations. CCF shall be presided over by the United Nations;

(c) CCF shall be based in Maputo and shall be structured as follows:

- Regional offices (North, Centre and South);

- Offices at the assembly and billeting locations of the two Parties.

(d) CCF shall have, inter alia, the function of implementing the demobilisation process, with the following tasks:

- Planning and organization;

- Regulation of procedures;

- Direction and supervision;

- Registration of troops to be demobilised and issue of the respective identity cards;

- Collection, registration and custody of weapons, ammunition, explosives, equipment, uniforms and documentation; destroying or deciding on the other disposition of weapons, ammunition, explosives, equipment, uniforms and documentation as agreed by the Parties;

- Medical examinations;

- Issue of demobilisation certificates.

(e) The United Nations shall assist in the implementation, verification and monitoring of the entire demobilisation process.

3. Timetable

E-Day: Installation of CCF and commencement of its functions

E-Day + 30: Definition by both Parties of the troops to be demobilised; activation of demobilisation structures and initiation of the process

E-Day + 60: Demobilisation of at least 20 per cent of the total troops to be demobilised

E-Day + 90: Demobilisation of at least a further 20 per cent of the total troops to be demobilised

E-Day + 120: Demobilisation of at least a further 20 per cent of the total troops to be demobilised

E-Day + 150: Demobilisation of at least a further 20 per cent of the total troops to be demobilised

E-Day + 180: End of demobilisation of the troops to be demobilised.

Implementation History


No Implementation

Under the General Peace Agreement (GPA), the demobilization and reintegration of the 75,000-strong government army and the 20,000 rebels was to take place. A new army of 30,000 men was to be created in their place, with fighters drawn equally from each side. 

Under the plan, both armies -- that of the Mozambique Liberation Front (FRELIMO) government and of Mr. Dhlakama's Mozambique National Resistance Movement (RENAMO) -- had undertaken to finish their demobilization within six months. A general election was to follow six months after that. All troops were supposed to gather at assembly points by November 15th. So far, there had not been much evidence of movement. But Mr. Ajello, UN's special envoy, promised that, if demobilization was delayed, the election would have to wait as well. "We would not vote with arms," he declared.1

To not repeat the mistake made in Angola, the UN outlined proposals that would deploy troops to ensure the demobilization of RENAMO rebels and government forces, and stated there would be no election before this is done. Unlike in Angola, in Mozambique the UN would supervise the organizing of elections, closing the door to ballot-rigging charges. “Less than half UNITA's troops reported to demobilisation camps and most were never disarmed."2

  • 1. “What Mozambique Can Learn,” The Economist, November 7, 1992, 74.
  • 2. “Angola Teaches Lesson to UN,” The Guardian (London), December 11, 1992.

No Implementation

By January 1993, the UN mission in Mozambique identified 49 assembly points where soldiers from both sides would be confined, 29 for government troops and 20 for RENAMO. Joint reconnaissance of the first 12 points began on January 15, 1993. The process started in the Province of Maputo in southern Mozambique. According to Mr. Ajello, RENAMO's president (Afonso Dhlakama) had agreed on four stages for the whole process of confinement to be completed.3

The demobilization process began in the city of Maputo and the town of Boane on April 17, 1993. The United Nations Operation in Mozambique (ONUMOZ) stated that the 16,000 troops that had demobilized during the talks and prior to the signing of the General Peace Accord could still receive demobilization subsidies.4

About 1,000 government soldiers were demobilized in Gaza Province, southern Mozambique, between the 15th and 21st of June, 1993.5

According to UN Special Representative Aldo Ajello, of the 13,991 government soldiers registered for demobilization, 12,337 had already been moved to troop confinement areas.6

The Mozambique National Resistance [RENAMO] had decided to send 50 soldiers to Zimbabwe's Nyanga military training center on August 2nd so they could be trained as instructors in Mozambique's future unified army.7

The MNR delayed in the demobilization of its armed forces and continued to make demands. The MNR leader, Afonso Dhlakama, demanded that at least half of the provincial governor posts belong to the MNR. Only after the question of the administration was resolved would he begin to discuss the confinement of his troops.8

Starting August 25, 1993, five days of talks between Mozambican President Joaquim Chissano and former rebel leader Gen. Afonso Dhlakama took place, which raised hopes of reviving the ailing United Nations-monitored peace process, leading to Mozambique's first democratic ballot in October of the next year.

The first face-to-face talks between the two leaders on Mozambican soil had, in principle, secured agreement to unite the country under a single administration in preparation for the following year's elections. In the meeting, General Dhlakama, leader of the Mozambican Resistance Movement (RENAMO), had dropped his insistence on the appointment of five RENAMO governors. He would settle instead for written assurances that the governors of all 10 provinces would ensure equal treatment of people living in RENAMO-controlled areas.9

On August 14, 1993, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution on the Mozambican peace process which urged the Mozambique National Resistance [RENAMO] and other opposition parties to reduce disputes concerning the Draft Electoral Law, notably with regard to the composition of the National Elections Commission, so as to allow elections to take place the following year. The UN Security Council resolution also called on RENAMO and the government to go ahead with the troop confinement and demobilization processes.

On Sept. 17, 1993, Dhlakama, the leader of RENAMO, demanded disbandment of private armed groups as a condition for the demobilization of RENAMO armed forces.10

On 25 September 1993, RENAMO made a decision that it would participate in the October 1993 elections, without full demobilization of the two armed forces.11 President Joaquim Chissano rejected the RENAMO decision as it was unacceptable to hold elections while the Mozambique National Resistance [MNR, RENAMO] forces remained in bases and barracks.12

The World Health Organization (WHO) was studying ways to secure an additional 3.5 million dollars to finance the second stage of its operation in Mozambique within the framework of demobilizing government and Mozambique National Resistance [MNR - RENAMO] troops. The second stage of that operation was aimed at ensuring that rural health units were run correctly, a determining factor in the process for demobilized soldiers to reintegrate into society and to return to their normal lives. The third stage of the WHO operation in Mozambique was said to include the reconstruction of more than 600 health units destroyed by the war.13

On 20 October 1993, RENAMO and FRELIMO leaders reached an agreement on an election timetable leading to the elections in October 1994. After the definitive election timetable, RENAMO leader Dhlakama, in a news conference, said that the most important issues - namely, the immediate approval of the electoral law, the confinement and demobilization of the troops, and the formation of a single army - were no longer a problem.14 On October 22, 1993, the Supervision and Control Commission [CSC] of the General Peace Accord approved a new timetable for the country's peace process, thereby giving it a new impetus. According to the approved timetable, the first free multiparty elections in Mozambique would take place in October 1994. The demobilization of troops would take place from January to May and the formation of a new army would be concluded in August. The army was to be operational in September 1994.15

During the debate on the draft electoral law, RENAMO demanded the presence of UN observers at 11 provincial and 158 district commissions. The Mozambican government accepted the demand.16

On November 11, 1993, the Mozambican government and the Mozambique National Resistance [MNR - RENAMO] signed a document on troop demobilization at a Cease-Fire Commission meeting in Maputo.17

Reports from Maputo said that the first 550 instructors of the new Mozambican army were to complete their training at the Zimbabwean military base at Nyanga within two weeks. The instructors comprised an equal number of RENAMO and government soldiers, and would be in charge of integrating Mozambican government soldiers and RENAMO fighters into a united national army. The reports said that government and RENAMO officers would leave Maputo for the United States the next day to attend seminars on the demobilization of military personnel and their integration into civilian life.18

As of 15 December 1993, 5,063 government soldiers had presented themselves in assembly points (all over) the country, with the exception of Manica Province. According to the UNOMOZ Technical Demobilization Unit, as of 12 December 1993, 3,318 government soldiers had been registered at troop confinement points and 671 RENAMO soldiers had presented themselves at three assembly points in Nampula, Zambezia and Niassa Provinces; 570 of which had been registered. No RENAMO soldiers had presented themselves at assembly points in central and southern Mozambique.19

On 15 December 1993, a group of government soldiers abandoned the Namialo troop confinement center in Nampula Province and occupied a Mozambique Railroad station, thereby preventing train traffic between the cities of Nampula and Nacala. These soldiers demanded the payment of the demobilization subsidy.20

Only about 15% of troops from the government and the Mozambique National Resistance [RENAMO] had been confined when less than one week remained for the conclusion of the troops' confinement process, according to the peace accord timetable. A report issued by the UN Operations Technical Demobilization Unit revealed that of the 90,000 men to be confined by the end of this month, only about 12,000 had already presented themselves at confinement centers. Of this number, more than 8,000 belonged to the government and about 4,000 belonged to RENAMO. This means that the government had so far confined 13% of its troops, while RENAMO had confined about 19%.21

On 28 December 1993, government, RENAMO, and UN officials discussed assembly points and training for the new army, including the reintegration of demobilized soldiers. On reintegration, the Mozambican Minister said, “the reintegration of demobilized soldiers was a problem that would be resolved with the assistance of the international community. We had had many meetings, including an important one within the context of the World Bank's Consultative Group that had met in Paris to see how those soldiers could receive financial assistance greater than that stipulated in the General Peace Accord. This is an important step being taken by the international community and the UN Office for Humanitarian Assistance Coordination.” The Minister suggested providing, with the backing of the international community, more financial assistance as well as more aid to integrate demobilized soldiers into Mozambique's productive life and civilian life.22

On 29 December 1993, RENAMO withdrew its troops from the Savane region in the Sofala Province that it had occupied shortly after the signing of the Rome peace accord in October 1992. RENAMO announced the planned withdrawal from the Savane region and a withdrawal from Dunda and Salamanga at a meeting of the joint peace agreement supervisory commission in Maputo on October 28, 1993.23 The occupation of the territory was in violation of the peace agreement.

  • 3. “Mozambique: UN Representative Says Process to Confine Troops Has Started,” BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, January 16, 1993.
  • 4. “Mozambique: Demobilisation to Begin in Maputo,” BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, April 17, 1993.
  • 5. “Mozambique: 1,000 Government Troops Demobilised in Gaza Province,” BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, June 25, 1993.
  • 6. “Mozambique: UN Representative Ajello on Progress in Peace Process,” BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, July 19, 1993.
  • 7. “Mozambique: Fifty MNR Soldiers to be Trained as Instructors in Unified Army,” BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, July 31, 1993.
  • 8. “Mozambique: MNR Demands Half of Provincial Governorships Before Troop Confinement,” BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, August 5, 1993.
  • 9. “Talks in Mozambique Solidify Peace Accord,” Christian Science Monitor (Boston, MA), August 31, 1993.
  • 10. “Dhlakama Calls for Disbandment of Private Armed Groups,” BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, September 17, 1993.
  • 11. “MNR Is Ready To Take Part in Elections Without Demobilization of the Two Armies,” BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, September 27, 1993.
  • 12. “Chissano Reportedly Says that the MNR is Following Example Set by UNITA,” BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, September 28, 1993.
  • 13. “WHO to Finance Second Stage of Troop Demobilization,” BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, October 15, 1993.
  • 14. “Butrus Ghali Meets Chissano and Dhlakama; Agreement on Election Timetable,” BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, October 22, 1993.
  • 15. “Supervision and Control Commission Approves New Timetable for Elections,” BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, October 25, 1993.
  • 16. “Government Agrees to MNR Demands on UN Observers at Electoral Commissions,” BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, November 6, 1993.
  • 17. “Government and RENAMO Sign Demobilization Agreement,” BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, November 15, 1993.
  • 18. “Principles for Future Army Approved; Training of Instructors Near Completion,” BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, November 27, 1993.
  • 19. “UNOMOZ Reports 5,063 Government and 671 RENAMO Soldiers in Assembly Points,” BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, December 15, 1993.
  • 20. “Government Soldiers Leave Assembly Point Demanding Demobilization Subsidy,” BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, December 17, 1993.
  • 21. “Only 15% of Target Number of Troops Confined Days Before Deadline,” BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, December 30, 1993.
  • 22. “Government, RENAMO, UN Officials Discuss Assembly Points, Training for New Army,” BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, December 30, 1993.
  • 23. “RENAMO Announces Withdrawal from Savane Area, Dunda and Salamanga,” BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, December 31, 1993.

Full Implementation

On 7 January 1994, RENAMO set the demobilization of militias and other irregular forces as a condition for the transportation of 50% of the weapons collected at confinement centers to regional depots.24

According to the decision at a meeting of the Supervision and Control Commission [CSC] of the General Peace Accord on 12 February 1994, the demobilization of troops from the government and RENAMO was set to begin on 1 March 1994. It was decided that a total of 5% of troops from both sides would be demobilized in the first phase.25

The demobilization of government and MNR [RENAMO] troops would no longer begin on March 1st as planned. This was because the Finance Ministry had not yet received from both sides the lists of soldiers to be demobilized. The Finance Ministry had the money to begin to pay the six-month subsidy provided by the government and the 18-month subsidy provided by the international community.26 It turned out that demobilization did not take place because RENAMO had not yet delivered to ONUMOZ its lists with the names of men to be demobilized and to join the future national army.

On March 3, 1994, the government was to begin demobilizing its forces from assembly areas at once without waiting from the list from the RENAMO. The government's decision was designed to speed up the peace process and enable soldiers to leave assembly areas.27 The decision was welcomed by the ONUMOZ chief.

On March 5, 1994, RENAMO president Dhlakama had expressed his readiness to begin demobilizing RENAMO troops, starting the following week.28

On March 9, 1994, ONUMOZ chief said that the RENAMO demobilization would begin March 18th and the demobilization of government troops would begin on March 10th.29

RENAMO began demobilizing its troops stationed at the Neves assembly point, Inhambane Province on March 18, 1994.30

On March 21, 1994, the government selected another 45 soldiers to join the Mozambique Defence Armed Forces (FADM). A total of 1,739 soldiers had joined the unified army by the 21st of March: 1,010 from the government army and 729 from RENAMO. A total of 3,420 soldiers had been demobilized by the 21st of March: 3,320 from the government and 100 from RENAMO.31

On April 12, 1994, ONUMOZ said that the Mozambican government had demobilized 10,615 soldiers as of April 8. RENAMO had only demobilized 365 men since the troop demobilization process began on the 10th of March.32

According to ONUMOZ, slightly more than 333 government soldiers were confined to their assembly areas over the weekend; RENAMO sent 89 soldiers to its assembly areas over the same period. ONUMOZ also reported that RENAMO demobilized 38 soldiers at Neves troop confinement center in Inhambane Province on April 15.33

On April 22, 1994, ONUMOZ chief Dr. Aldo Ajello, at his normal Friday news conference, drew attention to the fact that 55% of government soldiers and 81% of RENAMO soldiers had now been confined in assembly areas. He revealed that 14,306 government soldiers and 561 from RENAMO had been demobilized. The UN Observer Mission to Mozambique Technical Unit for Demobilization had a list of 18,859 government and 1,112 RENAMO troops that were to be demobilized. Aldo Ajello said the process of demobilizing troops was very slow on both sides. RENAMO had to demobilize 4,000 soldiers and the government 60,000.34

On May 5, 1994, the President of the Republic, Joaquim Chissano, announced that the government had decided to temporarily suspend its troop demobilization process. To justify this decision, the Mozambican Head of State said that the RENAMO troop demobilization process had not been balanced. He also noted the need for making technical corrections to the figures and lists that RENAMO had been supplying to the ONUMOZ Technical Unit.35 On May 11, 1994, the government lifted the suspension on demobilization. According to the ONUMOZ Technical Unit, 14,240 government and 1,585 RENAMO troops were demobilized.36

On 18 May 1994, the ONUMOZ chief announced that the government and RENAMO had different dates for a complete troop confinement. The government troops would complete their confinement by July 1 and demobilization would be completed by August 15. In the meantime, the RENAMO troops were expected to be confined and demobilized one month earlier; that is, within the deadline proposed in a UN Security Council resolution.37

By May 30, 1994, the government and RENAMO had demobilized 17,445 and 2,170 troops, respectively. By the same date, both sides had sent 4,696 soldiers to join the new nonpartisan armed forces.38

On June 22, 1994, just over 1,000 commandos near Maputo demanded immediate demobilization and that their salaries, which had been in arrears for 24 months, be paid immediately.39

On 14 June 1994, National Defence Minister Alberto Chipande said in Maputo that the troop demobilization process would be over by August 15.40

On July 27, 1994, the government army looted the local market in protest against non-payment of wages and delays in the demobilization process.41

UN Special Representative Dr. Aldo Ajello said in the Mozambican capital on September 2, 1994 that 70,335 government and Mozambique National Resistance [RENAMO] soldiers had been demobilized so far. The government had demobilized 52,108 men, while RENAMO had demobilized 18,227 soldiers. A total of 4,296 government men and 3,478 RENAMO troops had been drafted into the new army so far. A total of 470 soldiers from both sides had not been allowed to join the new Mozambique Defence Armed Forces (FADM) because of physical problems or because they wore stripes that did not correspond to their actual ranks. Ajello also predicted the new army would have some 12,000 men by October.42

Presidential and legislative elections took place from the 27th to the 29th of October, 1994. Twelve candidates participated in the presidential election and 14 political parties and coalitions in the legislative election. On the eve of the elections, the Resistência Nacional Moçambicana (RENAMO) announced its withdrawal from the poll. Following the intervention of the international community, including a message from the President of the Security Council, the active involvement of the Secretary-General in international efforts, as well as guarantees by ONUMOZ and the international members of the CSC that the electoral process would be closely monitored, RENAMO decided to participate.

On 19 November 1994, the Chairman of the National Elections Commission (NEC) announced the results of the elections. Mr. Chissano, received 2,633,740 votes, amounting to 53.3 per cent of those cast in the presidential election. The leader of RENAMO, Mr. Afonso Macacho Marceta Dhlakama, received 1,666,965 votes, or 33.7 per cent. In the legislative election, FRELIMO received the largest share of the votes with 2,115,793 (44.3 per cent), followed by RENAMO with 1,803,506 votes (37.8 per cent) and the União Democrática (UD) with 245,793 votes (5.2 per cent). Those three parties would have the following share of the new Parliament’s 250 seats: FRELIMO - 129, RENAMO – 109, and UD – 12.43

“A total of 91,691 (67,042 government and 24,649 RENAMO) soldiers had been registered by ONUMOZ. Some 78,078 soldiers (57,540 government and 20,538 RENAMO) were demobilized, while some of the remainder joined the new army.”44

  • 24. “RENAMO Calls for Demobilization of Militias and Irregular Forces,” BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, January 10, 1994.
  • 25. “Demobilization of Government and RENAMO Troops to Begin on 1st March,” BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, February 14, 1994.
  • 26. “Troop Demobilization Will Not Begin on 1st March as Planned,” BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, February 25, 1994.
  • 27. “Minister Announces Immediate Unilateral Demobilization of Government Troops,” BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, March 4, 1994.
  • 28. “Maputo Radio Cites Dhlakama on Demobilization of RENAMO Troops,” BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, March 8, 1994.
  • 29. “UN Official Aldo Ajello Gives Details of Demobilization Timetable,” BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, March 11, 1994.
  • 30. “Dhlakama Officiates at Troop Demobilization Ceremony,” BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, March 21, 1994.
  • 31. “Figures for Troop Demobilization, Formation of New Army,” BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, March 25, 1994.
  • 32. “ONUMOZ Gives Government and RENAMO Demobilization Figures,” BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, April 13, 1994.
  • 33. “ONUMOZ Reports Progress in Demobilization Programme,” BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, April 21, 1994.
  • 34. “UN's Ajello to Propose Deadline for Demobilization; Says RENAMO Slower,” BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, April 25, 1994.
  • 35. “Chissano Announces Temporary Suspension of Troop Demobilization Process,” BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, May 7, 1994.
  • 36. “Government Lifts Its Suspension of Troop Demobilization,” BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, May 14, 1994.
  • 37. “Government and RENAMO Confirm Dates for Complete Demobilization,” BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, May 20, 1994.
  • 38. “Maputo Radio Cites UN Report of Government, RENAMO Demobilization Statistics,” BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, June 2, 1994.
  • 39. “Commandos Mutiny Over Pay and Demobilization Near Maputo,” BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, June 24, 1994.
  • 40. “Defence Minister Says Troop Demobilization to End by 15th August,” BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, July 18, 1994.
  • 41. “Mozambican Troops Loot Market in Mutiny Over Demobilization,” Deutsche Presse-Agentur, July 27, 1994.
  • 42. “UN Envoy Discusses Troop Demobilization, Formation of New Army,” BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, September 2, 1994.
  • 43. “Final Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Operation in Mozambique (ONUMOZ),” U.N. Security Council (S/1994/1449). December 23, 1994.
  • 44. Ibid.

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.


Full Implementation

No further developments observed.


Full Implementation

No further developments observed.


Full Implementation

No further developments observed.


Full Implementation

No further developments observed.


Full Implementation

No further developments observed.


Full Implementation

No further developments observed.