News / Africa

Mozambique Leaders Set to Ratify Peace Deal

FILE - Afonso Dhlakama gives a press conference, Gorongosa mountains, Mozambique, April 10, 2013.
FILE - Afonso Dhlakama gives a press conference, Gorongosa mountains, Mozambique, April 10, 2013.
Anita Powell

After two years in hiding, Mozambique opposition leader Afonso Dhlakama arrived in Maputo on Thursday to "ratify a pact between his Renamo party and the government ending hostilities ahead of an Oct. 15 election," according to reports by Reuters.

If ratified, the peace deal between the government of President Armando Guebuza and its longtime opposition Renamo party, also known as the Mozambique National Resistance Army, could finally clear a major political obstacle in the southern African nation.

Guebuza and Dhlakama are set to meet on Friday in to cement the arrangement that would allow Renamo followers to come out of hiding and participate in politics.

Although Guebuza's longtime ruling Frelimo party, Front for the Liberation of Mozambique, is predicted to maintain the presidency, University of South Africa analyst Shadrack Gutto says the prospective deal has major implications. 

“It is important that they are meeting now for the first time after those two years ... because Mozambique does not need another war or conflict," said Gutto, referring to a 17-year civil war between Frelimo and Renamo forces that ended with a 1992 peace agreement, which fell apart after government forces attacked a Renamo base in October 2013, forcing Dhlakama into hiding.

"They need to really focus on participating in elections and let the people decide.”

Renamo has long expressed frustration at being considered an opposition party in the coastal African nation, which discovered massive deposits of natural gas in the last 10 years. The country has "plans to open a liquefied natural gas terminal in 2018 that will be the second-largest export site in the world after Ras Laffan in Qatar," according to Bloomberg News.

Once the deal is ratified, upcoming elections could give Renamo a much-needed chance to win parliamentary seats, giving it more say over the country’s economic future. The former anti-communist rebel group has claimed Frelimo rigged elections and marginalized the opposition.

Dhlakama has run on the Renamo ticket unsuccessfully in every presidential poll since 1994. President Guebuza is constitutionally barred from running again after serving two terms.

Analyst Dimpho Motsamai of the Pretoria-based Institute of Security Studies says the timing of the agreement is key.

“The point is really to create a conducive environment for peaceful elections by giving Renamo some kind of assurance that [its] demands, which are longstanding, are going to be respected," she said. "It is a strategy to prevent them from disturbing the elections as well. It is also a strategy to try to establish some kind of fraternity in the political environment of the country, which is hardly the case, because you never knew when Renamo would come out of the bush and disrupt political balances or everyday life."

Since its brutal civil war concluded in 1992, Mozambique wrote a constitution and held several elections, becoming a well-known tourist haven that is now poised to reap the economic gains of massive natural gas repositories.

But Motsamai warns a peace deal alone does no guarantee long-term stability.

“Politicians can blame the agreement for their election loss, and on that basis cause post-electoral violence, but that is not the scenario that they would like to see," she said. "Or they could just accept the outcome of elections and they have a reduced majority, and they can use the agreement as the bargaining tool to get more positions and a slice of the economic pie from government.”

You May Like

Brutality Eroding IS Financial Support

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper says IS's penchant for publicizing beheadings, other brutal forms of punishment hurts group’s bottom line More

Studies: Climate Change a Factor in Disasters in Syria, California

Studies point to possibility of clear and present dangers from a threat often considered to be far in the future More

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials and human rights organizations assert that Pakistani authorities are using deadly attack at school in Peshawar as pretext to push out Afghan refugees More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Imagei
X
Marthe van der Wolf
March 03, 2015 9:03 PM
Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.
Video

Video Land Disputes Arise Amid Uganda Oil Boom

Ugandan police say there has been a sharp increase in land disputes, with 10 new cases being reported each day. The claims come amid an oil boom as investors appear to be cashing in by selling parcels of land to multiple buyers. Meanwhile, the people who have been living on the land for decades are chased away, sometimes with a heavy hand. VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
Video

Video In Russia, Many Doubt Opposition Leader's Killer Will Be Found

The funeral has been held in Moscow for Boris Nemtsov, the opposition leader who was assassinated late Friday just meters from the Kremlin. Nemtsov joins a growing list of outspoken critics of Russia under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin who are believed to have been murdered for their work. VOA’s Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Simulated Astronauts Get Taste of Mars, in Hawaii

For generations, people have dreamed of traveling to Mars to explore Earth's closest planetary neighbor. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports that while space agencies like NASA are planning manned missions to the planet, some volunteers in Hawaii are learning how humans will cope with months in isolation on a Mars base.
Video

Video Destruction of Iraq Artifacts Shocks Archaeologists

The city of Mosul was once one of the most culturally rich and religiously diverse cities in Iraq. That tradition is under attack by members of the Islamic State who have made Mosul their capital city. The Mosul Museum is the latest target of the group’s campaign of terror and destruction, and is of grave concern to archaeologists around the world. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Prepare to Defend Mariupol

Despite the ongoing ceasefire in Ukraine, soldiers in the city of Mariupol fear that pro-Russian separatists may be getting ready to attack. The separatists must take or encircle the city if they wish to gain land access to Crimea, which was annexed by Russia early last year. But Ukrainian forces, many of them volunteers, say they are determined to defend it. Patrick Wells reports from Mariupol.
Video

Video Moscow Restaurants Suffer in Bad Economy, Look for Opportunity

As low oil prices and Western sanctions force Russia's economy into recession, thousands of Moscow restaurants are expected to close their doors. Restaurant owners face rents tied to foreign currency, while rising food prices mean Russians are spending less when they dine out. One entrepreneur in Moscow has started a dinner kit delivery service for those who want to cook at home to save money but not skimp on quality. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Presidential Hopefuls Battle for Conservative Hearts and Minds

One after another, presumptive Republican presidential contenders auditioned for conservative support this week at the Conservative Political Action Conference held outside Washington. The rhetoric was tough as a large field of potential candidates tried to woo conservative support with red-meat attacks on President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress. VOA Political Columnist Jim Malone takes a look.
Video

Video Southern US Cities Preserve Civil Rights Heritage to Boost Tourism

There has been a surge of interest in the American civil rights movement of the 1950s and '60s, thanks in part to the Hollywood motion picture "Selma." Five decades later, communities in the South are embracing the dark chapters of their past with hopes of luring tourism dollars. VOA's Chris Simkins reports.
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.

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