Mozambique and the need for Frelimo and Renamo to solve the growing crisis
Joachim de Villiers and Jay Doggett
Modern Tokyo Times
Mozambique is once more facing difficult times because the Frelimo government and Renamo opposition are at loggerheads. Prior to the signed peace accord in 1992 the nation of Mozambique was in tatters because vast numbers of people had been killed during the brutal civil war. Therefore, political elites in Frelimo and Renamo need to take a step back in order to solve the current crisis before it gets out of control.
Not surprisingly, both parties are accusing the other side for the latest breakdown between Frelimo and Renamo. This obviously isn’t going to solve the crisis because level heads are needed in order to find a political solution. The people of Mozambique are extremely concerned because issues related to political corruption, poverty, developing the infrastructure and other important areas need to be addressed openly. Therefore, the prospect of military confrontation is both traumatic given the recent past and not appropriate based on the needs of the people of Mozambique. However, will Frelimo and Renamo address real issues rather than causing more bloodshed?
Of course, unlike the civil war which erupted during the Cold War period in Mozambique then major outside players don’t have the same agenda. In this sense, it is difficult to envisage a full scale military conflict given the changing sands. Yet even a minor insurgency would cause havoc and hinder the economy. Also, with so many problems in Africa whereby the central state is weak and chaos abounds; then it is essential that Mozambique doesn’t join the club.
Fernando Mazanga, a spokesperson for Renamo stated that “Peace is over in the country… The responsibility lies with the Frelimo government because they didn’t want to listen to Renamo’s grievances.”
Mazanga also states about the recent attack by government forces that “…the Frelimo government used troops and heavy artillery to attack the residence of the Renamo president, Afonso Dhlakama, to kill him in cold blood.”
“This irresponsible attitude of the commander-in-chief of the country’s security forces [President Armando Guebuza] signals the end of the Rome Peace Accords.”
The Frelimo government naturally points the finger at Renamo because in April members of this movement were blamed for killing five people during an attack against a police post. Also, other skirmishes have been reported which have been blamed on Renamo. However, attacking the residence of Afonso Dhlakama appears to be upping the ante to a very dangerous level because now the intension of Frelimo is abundantly clear.
Portugal, the former colonial power, is clearly watching events and the Foreign Ministry of this nation stated that “The Portuguese government is following with concern the situation reported in Gorongosa.” In other words, Portugal is deeply concerned about the attack against the base of the leader of Renamo in Gorongosa.
Lee Jay Walker at Modern Tokyo Times states that “It could well be that Frelimo believes that Renamo is in such a weakened state militarily and politically, with regards to a powerful backer, that now is the right time to crush the limited military angle to Renamo. The ideological war no longer applies in Mozambique because former Marxists/Communist inspired groups/nations like Angola, China, and Vietnam, now follow “absolute capitalism” whereby rich elites preserve power and get even richer. Yet if a vacuum emerges in Mozambique then recent events in the Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Libya, and Mali – and in other nations – show that outside nations and powerful entities can enter in order to destabilize based on various vested interests.”
The actions of the Frelimo government would imply that they believe that they are in full control of events but only time will tell if this is true.
Lee Jay Walker gave guidance to both writers
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