Civil war fears for Mozambique: The Church of England Newspaper, April 28, 2013, p 6. May 2, 2013Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Southern Africa, Church of England Newspaper.
Tags: FRELIMO, Mark van Koevering, Mozambique, RENAMO
Political violence could see a return to civil war in Mozambique, the Bishop of Niassa has warned following clashes between police and members of the ex-guerrilla group RENAMO.
Last week Bishop Mark van Koevering wrote: “We are all saddened by the deaths of innocent people during the recent violence that took place in Muxungue,” adding that: “We call on all to follow in the way of peace, creating space and opportunity for all voices to be heard in a transparent process that renounces violence and serves the common good.”
Over 1 million people died and 5 million were driven from their homes in the 16 year long civil war between the FRELIMO-party government communist and RENAMO guerrillas which ended in 1992. In the worst outbreak of political violence in a decade one woman and four police officers were killed in a police raid on RENAMO meeting, prompting suspected RENAMO gunmen to attack a police post killing five policemen.
Political violence, church leaders note, could destabilize the massive gains made in the past few years in promoting democracy and civil rights. Unrest could also derail the country’s natural resources-based economic boom. Western mining companies, Vale and Rio Tinto, have invested nearly $10 billion in mines in Tete province, home to some of the world’s largest untapped coal deposits — and a RENAMO stronghold.