RENAMO ends 1992 peace accord
The Mozambican National Resistance (RENAMO) has announced that it is ending the Rome General Peace Accords with the Mozambique Liberation Front (FRELIMO) led government of President Armando Guebuza which was signed on 4th October 1992. Around one million people died in the civil war which lasted from 1975 until 1992.
Renamo was originally founded in 1975 as an anti-communist movement and fought a bitter civil war with the then Marxist-Leninist Frelimo until the peace accord was drawn up in 1992. Since then the peace has held although Frelimo has won every general election since then and Renamo with its 51 of 250 seats in the Assembly of the Republic claims that it has been increasingly ignored.
Perhaps the most irksome problem for Renamo is that in the past few years Mozambique’s economy has grown at around 8% fuelled largely by the discovery of large mineral reserves including coal and offshore gas reserves. Despite this boom in the country’s economy Renamo has continued to be side-lined and its leader, Afonso Dhlakama, abandoned the capital Maputo last year to return to the north where he could be closer to the small group of his armed force which remained in the jungle.
The final straw for Renamo came when government forces attacked and captured their Sathunjira base in central Mozambique yesterday. Mr Dhlakama was present and was forced to flee.
It is hard to apportion blame for today’s decision. The government has not made any great attempt in the past few years to accommodate an increasingly frustrated leadership of Renamo. Equally Renamo established a training camp for an armed force in October last year. In April this year Renamo attacked a police station in the town of Muxengue killing four policemen and a civilian.
A withdrawal of the ceasefire agreement will undoubtedly deter further inward investment, but may also be part of a bargaining plan by Renamo to get the international community to force the government to open up negotiations.