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

Multimedia US Nurse ‘Cured of Ebola,’ NIH Says

Nina Pham, Texas nurse who treated first Ebola patient in US, received no experimental drugs; WHO expects vaccine surge in 2015 More

Video Islamic State Militants Encroach on Baghdad

Iraqi capital not under ‘imminent threat,’ US military says, amid worries about foothold More

Video Hong Kong Protesters Focus on Holding Volatile Mong Kok

Activists say holding Mong Kok is key to their movement's success, despite confrontations with angry residents and police More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid