Subject: LUSA: Chissano Praises Armed Forces as Example for East Timor

Mozambique: Chissano Praises Armed Forces as Example for East Timor 27 Mar-19:58

Mozambican President Joaquim Chissano praised his country's armed forces Tuesday as an example to follow for East Timor, where a great deal of "reconciliation and tolerance" is still needed.

"Everyone looks at Mozambique as an example of the pacification process", Chissano said. He stressed that the peace process following the end of Mozambique's 16-year civil war in 1992 had been due to the people's "internal will", adding that this in no way diminished the role of the international community.

Chissano was speaking at the Maputo ceremony marking the departure of a Mozambican military advisor and other armed forces personnel who will take part in UN peace missions in East Timor (with a second 10-man police contingent) and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The UN's success in Mozambique was due above all to the behavior of the former belligerents, the government and the Renamo rebel movement, who were able to reconcile, put an end to the armed conflict and constitute a unified armed forces in the 1990s, he said.

The departure of Mozambican soldiers on UN peace missions is an "emotional" occasion, so soon after the end of their own country's civil war, whose end was also marked by the presence of UN forces, Chissano stated.

The situation in East Timor is complex, he said, adding that Mozambique was also honored by the presence of two of its citizens, the jurists Ana Pessoa and Gita Honwana, in that territory's transition government.

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