Frelimo Government and Renamo need Greater Dialogue in Mozambique
Noriko Watanabe and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
Mozambique is beset with internal issues related to corruption, political discord, poverty and other important factors. The conflict pitting Frelimo and Renamo led to vast numbers being killed and maimed. On top of this, many citizens fled the military onslaught because they were brutally caught up in the conflict. Thankfully, the war ended in 1992 after a tentative peace deal was finalized. However, despite this reality, tensions remain between the ruling Frelimo government and opposition forces within Renamo.
Given this reality, the news that opposition headquarters have been raided will bode negatively throughout opposition forces. Indeed, Renamo stresses that the raid is nothing more than an “invasion.” Not surprisingly, Frelimo will think differently and the same applies to police units in Mozambique.
The BBC reports “Police in Mozambique say they have seized 47 weapons from the headquarters of the main opposition party, and the home of its leader, Afonso Dhlakama.”
Tensions since the 2014 election remain because Renamo disputes the outcome. This reality means that military clashes have broken out from time to time. Therefore, with tensions simmering many fear a serious clash that will spiral out of control.
Of course, unlike the civil war that erupted during the Cold War period in Mozambique, then major outside players don’t have the same agenda. This notably applies to the reality of modern day South Africa that involved itself deeply in the past. Despite this, even a minor skirmish limited in scale would cause havoc and hinder the economy.
The International Business Times says “In an escalation of a simmering conflict between old civil war foes, army operations began in Tete Province in October 2015, and thousands have fled to bordering Malawi fearing violence and harassment from government soldiers, and the situation is still evolving in Mozambique – one of Africa’s fastest-growing economies, which is looking to escape years of poverty and conflict by tapping into its huge energy resources.”
Ironically, the findings of major energy resources and exploiting this may unleash internal tensions if the government is deemed to be manipulating this new found wealth. Similarly, while the Cold War period is dead, it is clear that several nations throughout Africa have involved themselves in other conflicts. Therefore, external intrigues could exacerbate the political crisis based on self-interests This reality means that it is essential that Frelimo and Renamo both take a step backward, in order to reduce tensions.
Modern Tokyo News is part of the Modern Tokyo Times group
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