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Maputo - Mozambique's President Armando Guebuza on Thursday said peace in the country was under threat after two days of tit-for-tat violence between government forces and former members of the rebel Renamo group.
“Mozambique is currently living through moments in which peace is under threat,” the president said at a community meeting in central Sofala province.
Renewed hostilities broke out after the army seized a Renamo base during a raid on Monday, prompting the former rebel group to declare that a two-decade long peace deal that ended the country's civil war in 1992 was over.
The subsequent violence reportedly saw Renamo fighters attack a police station in the region.
“This moment is a test, an examination of our conviction as to whether we really want peace,” said Guebuza.
“We have to show that we want peace, we don't want upheavals, and we want to continue to develop”.
The president added that any solution “lies in dialogue”.
The Frelimo-government's relations with Renamo, now the official opposition, have been tense since peace was signed.
Renamo leader Afonso Dhlakama last November returned to his bush camp near the central Gorongosa mountains, accusing Frelimo of seizing the country's wealth.
Over the last six months its militants have clashed sporadically with government forces.
The unrest has been confined to the central region, but sparked fears of renewed war between the foes, prompting worried reactions from the UN, the US and neighbours South Africa.
Renamo is demanding a bigger role in electoral bodies, as well as a cut of revenues from coal and gas resources.