Siege of Dhlakama's Beira Compound is Over

MAPUTO - The siege of opposition leader Afonso Dhlakama's residence in the Mozambican city of Beira has ended without bloodshed.

The Renamo leader agreed to hand over his bodyguards' weapons but declined the government's offer to take charge of his personal security.

Dhlakama survived three assassination attempts in as many weeks. Two of these attacks were directly linked to the Frelimo government's security forces. The attempts failed due to the actions of his personal bodyguards, who have now been disarmed.

Following several hours of negotiations the Renamo leader emerged smiling, claiming that he had averted a return to civil war by agreeing to the government's conditions. He said it was his duty "as a Christian" to do so.

Renamo refuses to accept the results of last year's elections claiming that they were rigged.

The Renamo leader did not make reference to any retaliatory action opting to affirm that "this was the beginning of the re-integration of Renamo forces into the country's Armed Forces".