Mozambique: tension growing between Frelimo and Renamo

Afonso Dhlakama, the leader of RENAMO (the opposition party in Mozambique) has criticised the President of the country, Joaquim Chissano, (FRELIMO) over the nimination of governors where RENAMO had a majority of votes in the December 1999 elections. Dhlakama also demands that 50% of the police force, army officers and security agents be nominated by RENAMO, while President Chissano states that the armed forces and police should not be under party political orientation. Mozambique slid into civil war between these two factions after one and a half decades of war against the colonial power, Portugal. Poeace agreements and democratic elections in the 1990s saw the country move off the bottom of the poverty table and take the first steps towards consolidating the economy. Successive years of severe flooding have not facilitated the country’s stability but at least with the spectre of civil war forgotten, confidence (so important for economic success) returned. Dhlakama states that he will call for demonstrations if the government does not dialogue with him. With this climate, it would surprise nobody if Mozambique becomes yet another of Africa’s hot spots.


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