UK offer on Maputo army

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MAPUTO (Reuter) - Britain has offered to train a unified Mozambican army after the government and Renamo rebels sign a peace agreement, the Minister for Overseas Development, Baroness Chalker, said yesterday. Lady Chalker said in Maputo that the offer had been made both to President Joaquim Chissano and to the Renamo leader, Afonso Dhlakama.

Since 1986, Britain has been training Mozambican government soldiers at a camp in Zimbabwe. Lady Chalker said she was delighted that Mr Chissano and Mr Dhlakama had agreed on the size of the unified armed forces at a meeting in Botswana on Friday. The two leaders agreed to an army of 30,000. They also reaffirmed that they intended to sign a peace accord by 1 October, ending their 16-year conflict.