Thousands of Mozambican mourners have gathered in the port city of Beira to pay their respects to the fallen veteran politician Afonso Dhlakama.
The Mozambican government has decided to give the former rebel commander a state funeral service. This is in recognition of his leadership of the main opposition party, Renamo and his role in leading the peace negotiations with the government.
Draped with the national flag, the casket bearing the remains of Dhlakama, a towering figure in the country’s political history, was carried into the square by military pallbearers wearing camouflage fatigues and white gloves.
Meanwhile, the Mozambique’s president, Filipe Nyusi, says he is ready to resume peace talks with Renamo’s interim leader, who was named on Saturday.
Several hundred fighters remain in the bush after the party took up arms against the government 5 years ago.
Mozambique is still recovering from 16 years of civil war that ended in 1992.
Earlier on, there were fears that the death of Mr Dhlakama last Thursday would further destabilise the country.
The initiative of the peace negotiations were aimed at securing a lasting peace accord to end a civil war that restarted in 2013 after initially being fought during 1977-92.
Dhlakama died of a suspected heart attack last Thursday at his hideout in the Gorongosa mountains in the centre of the country. The memorial service is being held about in Beira, capital of Dhlakama’s home province of Sofala.