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

Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life?

Dynamic and debonair opposition leader had supported liberal economic reforms, criticized Russian president's aggression in Ukraine More

Oil Smuggling Highlights Challenges in Shutting Down IS Finances

Pentagon spokesman says Islamic State 'certainly continues to get revenue from the oil industry black market' but that airstrikes have made a dent More

India Focuses on Infrastructure, Investment to Propel Economy

Government expects economy to grow at 8 to 8.5 percent in next fiscal year More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More