News / Africa

Mozambicans Vote Amid Clashes Between Frelimo, Renamo

Voters queue to cast their ballots in municipal elections at a voting station near Gorongosa in central Mozambique, Nov. 20, 2013.
Voters queue to cast their ballots in municipal elections at a voting station near Gorongosa in central Mozambique, Nov. 20, 2013.
Voters thronged polling stations across Mozambique for municipal elections that have been overshadowed by renewed clashes between the two armed groups that put the country through a long civil war.
 
  • A man casts his ballot at a voting station near Gorongosa in central Mozambique, Nov. 20, 2013.
  • Voters line up to cast their ballots in municipal elections at a voting station near Gorongosa in central Mozambique, Nov. 20, 2013.
  • A man works on building a makeshift voting station near Gorongosa, central Mozambique, Nov. 19, 2013.
  • Electoral posters are pictured as vendors sell their wares at the central market in Gorongosa, central Mozambique, Nov. 19, 2013.

Voting began smoothly early Wednesday near Mozambique's capital, but the poll was not without drama.
 
Renamo, a rebel group turned political party, said its members would not disrupt the poll, but the party boycotted the vote.  

For Pedro Estevao, in the southern town of Matola, his was a vote for peace. He  said, "We are here because we want peace. We came to vote for the person we believe will lead the town of Matola, in order to have big changes.”

Renamo has long expressed frustration at being an opposition party. The former anti-communist rebel group has claimed the ruling party, Frelimo, rigged elections and has marginalized the opposition.
 
Fighting erupted in October between government forces and members of Renamo.  Renamo announced it was abandoning a 1992 peace deal with Frelimo that brought an end to a brutal 16-year civil war.
 
Mozambican President Armando Guebuza says he is confident his party, Frelimo, will prevail in the polls.
 
He said, "During the registration process, people said registration would not happen, and, spectacularly 85 percent of Mozambicans went to register. This is an achievement … From my perspective, at this exact moment we also continue to have the people's confidence in us, and that manifests itself in their participation in the vote."
 
Analyst Egidio Vaz Raposo of Mozambique’s Center for Media Studies says this municipal vote is actually very important for Mr. Guebuza and Frelimo.  
 
“These elections are very crucial for Frelimo, and also for the president of the republic," he said. "Because the results will also dictate how he will be perceived, and will also dictate his influence into the next duration of the leadership, the transition itself.”
 
Mr. Guebuza also said the rebels do not have the capability to disrupt the vote nationwide.
 
He said he is not talking about the whole center of the country, but about areas that are well defined, which the press has talked about a great deal. He said he believes, "the central zone will also give its contribution by participating in these local elections."
 
Provisional results of Wednesday’s vote are expected Thursday but final results will only be released fifteen days later.
 
This vote, participants and observers agree, is merely an opening act. The main event will happen next year, when Mozambique holds national elections.

Mozambique has been piecing itself together since the end of its civil war 21 years ago.  Since then, it has held several elections and adopted a constitution. The economy received a boost recently with the discovery of massive repositories of liquefied natural gas.

You May Like

Lion Cecil's Killing Sparks 'Canned Hunting' Debate in S. Africa

Conservationists believe incident, which triggered worldwide outrage, will reshape debate about practice in which hunters are allowed to target animals bred for hunting More

Taliban's New Leader Says Jihad Will Continue

Top US Afghan diplomat also meets with Pakistani, Afghan officials following news of Mullah Omar's death More

Environmentalists Issue Warning on Mekong Biodiversity

Scientists say decades of economic development, hydropower-dam construction, lax law enforcement and trafficking have taken their toll More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missionsi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
July 30, 2015 8:59 PM
Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.

VOA Blogs