Mozambique: Renamo’s Leader Returns to Bush

BY Andrew Mambondiyani, Think Africa Press

30 October 2012

Opposition leader Afonso Dhlakama and 800 former guerrillas have decamped to their old military base. Is this a tactic of negotiation or a retreat from it? Chimoio – At the end of October, former Mozambican rebel leader Afonso Dhlakama, along with 800 of his former guerrillas, decamped to his former base near the Gorongosa Game Park. Dhlakama is the leader of the National Resistance of Mozambique (RENAMO), the country’s second largest political party and the main opposition party. The group had a key role in the civil war (1977-92), during which it – backed by the Ian Smith regime in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and the apartheid regime in South Africa – attempted to oust the ruling socialist Liberation Front of Mozambique (FRELIMO) party. It has now been 20 years since the signing of the Rome General Peace Accord, which brought an end to the 15-year conflict, yet the violence of war remains fresh in the minds of many. Both sides were accused of war crimes, more than one million people were killed and more than five million were displaced. While presented as a negotiating tactic, Dhlakama’s move has nevertheless created anxiety amongst some Mozambicans, worried that the country could see a return of violence. (read more)


For earlier articles about Mozambique see the archives page

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