March 20, 2008 / 9:06 PM / 11 years ago

Mozambique leader Guebuza sacks defence chiefs

MAPUTO, March 20 (Reuters) - Mozambican President Armando Guebuza sacked defence chief Lieutenant-General Lagos Lidimo and his deputy Mateus Ngonhamo on Thursday.

An official statement did not give reasons for the dismissals, but said Guebuza had appointed Paulino Macaringue as new head of the defence forces and Olimpio Cambona as his deputy.

"The President of the Republic (has) dismissed ... Lagos Henriques Lidimo from the post of the defence chief of Mozambique’s armed forces and Mateus Ngonhamo from the post of the vice defence chief," the statement said.

Lidimo, from the ruling Frelimo governing party and Ngonhamo of the former rebel movement Renamo, were appointed as joint heads of the armed forces as part of a 1992 Rome peace deal which ended a crippling 16-year civil war.

Last week, Guebuza fired Foreign Affairs Minister Alcinda Abreu in a cabinet reshuffle and replaced her with businessman Oldemiro Baloi, a former trade and industry minister under his predecessor Joaquim Chissano.

He also sacked the transport, justice and environmental co-ordination ministers. (Reporting by Charles Mangwiro)

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