News / Africa

    Analysts Predict Peaceful Mozambique Vote Despite Violence

    Thousands of Mozambicans take part in a nationwide march for peace on October 31, 2013 in Maputo, amid violent clashes between government troops and rebels who have taken up arms two decades after civil war.Thousands of Mozambicans take part in a nationwide march for peace on October 31, 2013 in Maputo, amid violent clashes between government troops and rebels who have taken up arms two decades after civil war.
    x
    Thousands of Mozambicans take part in a nationwide march for peace on October 31, 2013 in Maputo, amid violent clashes between government troops and rebels who have taken up arms two decades after civil war.
    Thousands of Mozambicans take part in a nationwide march for peace on October 31, 2013 in Maputo, amid violent clashes between government troops and rebels who have taken up arms two decades after civil war.
    Anita Powell
    Mozambique was, until recently, considered a rising star in Africa, and was on an upward trajectory after the discovery of natural gas. But recent spurts of violence between government forces and former rebels have shaken that course. Can Mozambique get back on track as local elections approach later this month? 
     
    Mozambique is preparing to hold municipal elections on November 20, an event that has been overshadowed by a recent but limited outbreak of violence.
     
    Mozambique has been piecing itself together since the end of a brutal 15-year civil war in 1992. Since then, it has written a constitution and held several elections. The popular tourist country has gotten another economic boost recently with the discovery of massive repositories of liquefied natural gas.
     
    It is a promising future, says researcher Paulo Wache, that all Mozambicans want to see -- and one that he thinks they will.
     
    Wache, a lecturer at the Center of Strategic and International Studies in Mozambique’s capital, says he believes the recent episodes of violence in the central part of the country are not likely to affect the entire nation.  
     
    “I think the conflict in Mozambique up to now is confined, and I don’t think that it will cover all the country due to the logistics for Renamo, but also because the government is sending the soldiers and police to contain this," said Wache. "And also because strategically Renamo may not be ready and willing to cover the entire country, even to attack the strategic points. That’s why they only attacked the road and some local [points] where there are soldiers or population, but they don’t attack the strategic places.”  
     
    Fighting erupted in October between government forces and members of Renamo, a former rebel group. Renamo had announced days before that it was withdrawing from a 1992 peace deal with the ruling Frelimo party.
     
    Renamo has long expressed frustration at being an opposition party. The former anti-communist rebel group has claimed that Frelimo has rigged elections and has marginalized the opposition.
     
    Wache says he believes that that disagreement will not overshadow the November 20 vote, which is going to be conducted in a few dozen municipalities, and not directly in the conflict area.
     
    However, he says, if the fighting continues, it will pose a challenge for national elections in 2014.  
     
    “I think that elections won’t take place if the conflict continues," said Wache. "But I do believe that after these elections in November, the municipal elections, both sides will fight to find solutions and then to make it possible for the next election in 2014.”
     
    Other analysts agree that a return to war is not likely due to how much has changed in the country in 21 years.  They note the campaigning for local elections has been without incident.
     
    Wache expects even tourism will not be affected as the country approaches the traditional summer holiday season.

    You May Like

    Video For Many US Veterans, the Vietnam War Continues

    More than 40 years after it ended, war in Vietnam and America’s role in it continue to provoke bitter debate, especially among those who fought in it

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    100 immigrants graduated Friday as US citizens in New York, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in cities across country

    Family's Fight Pays Off With Arlington Cemetery Burial Rights for WASPs

    Policy that allowed the Women Airforce Service Pilots veterans to receive burial rites at Arlington had been revoked in 2015

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora