by Daniel Kaiser and Janne Rantala
At a recent press conference with the Mozambican president Filipe Jacinto Nyusi, German chancellor Angela Merkel demanded immediate action and a political solution for the resurgent armed conflict between state security forces and Renamo rebels. As a return to civil war seems not out of the question and profound information is scarce, we would like to shed some light on what is actually happening in Mozambique.
Though the country will celebrate the 24th anniversary of the General Peace Agreement in October, there is unlikely to be much festive spirit due to what is euphemistically called a ”political-military situation” by television news. In fact, it might be more adequate to call it a low-intensity armed conflict that is steadily escalating since last October.
While people are afraid to drive on the country’s main highways and more than 10000 refugees have fled to neighboring Malawi, the ruling party, Frelimo, and the main opposition party, Renamo, continuously accuse one another of armed attacks, perpetrating kidnappings, torture and murder. Fighting has been particularly intense in remote areas such as Sofala, Tete and Zambézia provinces in central Mozambique. However, attempted and de facto assassinations, probably linked to the conflict, have occurred in the cities of Maputo, Matola and Beira.