Mozambique rivals sign ceasefire

The leader of Mozambique's armed opposition party Renamo Afonso Dhlakama arrives at Maputo airport 04 September 2014.Afonso Dhlakama has lost every election since 1994

Mozambique President Arnando Guebuza has signed a ceasefire with ex-rebel leader Afonso Dhlakama, who has returned to the capital for the first time in two years.

Mr Dhlakama flew into Maputo on Thursday after a deal to end two years of conflict was agreed last month.

The Renamo leader, who also fought a 1975-1992 civil war, was accompanied by diplomats for his own protection.

He said he would contest next month’s elections.

After winning independence Mozambique's Frelimo fighters became the governing party but were soon pitched into a civil war against rebels backed by neighbouring South Africa.Frelimo and Renamo fought a bitter 15-year civil war

People crossing a tea plantation in Gurue province.  Mozambique agriculture remains underdeveloped. Despite recent progress, many Mozambicans remains stuck in poverty

Mr Dhlakama has contested every poll since the civil war ended but has always lost.

In October 2012, he went into hiding after accusing the government of breaking the terms of the 1992 peace deal.

The low-level insurgency threatened the economic progress Mozambique had made in recent years.

Thousands of Renamo supporters greeted Mr Dhlakama at the airport, reports the AFP news agency.

“On October 15, I want this same crowd,” he told them.

“I want you all to vote Afonso Dhlakama, number one and number two Renamo!” he said in reference to the presidential and parliamentary elections.

Mr Guebuza is stepping down after serving two terms and former Defence Minister Felipe Nyusi will be the candidate of the governing Frelimo party.