May 3, 2018 / 6:13 PM / 3 months ago

Mozambique guerrilla-turned-opposition leader Dhlakama dies - state TV

MAPUTO (Reuters) - Former Mozambican guerrilla leader Afonso Dhlakama, who was due to run for the presidency next year, has died aged 65, state broadcaster TVM said on Thursday.

The leader of the former rebel Mozambique National Resistance (Renamo) movement was found dead in the central town of Gorongosa, a party stronghold.

There was no immediate confirmation of the TVM report, which gave no details of how Dhlakama died.

Dhlakama, members of whose party have fought with government forces since he lost a disputed election four years ago, was set to run again against President Filipe Nyusi in 2019.

Nyusi heads the ruling Front for the Liberation of Mozambique (Frelimo) party.

Dhlakama’s forces and Frelimo fought a long bush war in which around one million people are believed to have died.

It was ended in 1992 under a peace accord that gave combatants a blanket amnesty and allowed Renamo to regroup as an opposition party, paving the way for landmark elections two years later.

Dhlakama lost every major election he contested against Frelimo, though he topped the vote count in several central and two northern provinces in 2014.

Writing by Tanisha Heiberg; editing by John Stonestreet

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