Mozambique on the edge: violence threatens to reverse progress
In 2012, Mozambique appeared on the list of the 50 most peaceful countries in the world in a report published by UK organisation Global Peace Index.
One year later and it is on the verge of a new civil war that could slow down progress in a country already considered by the UNDP to be the third poorest in the world.
In 1975 Mozambique gained independence from Portugal and the following year witnessed a civil war between government forces led by Frelimo and a rebel movement Renamo that lasted for 16 years. The internationally-brokered 1992 Rome Peace Accords signalled the end of civil war and since then, peace has prevailed for 21 years.
But the peace that Mozambicans tried to preserve, and have so prided themselves on over the years, is at risk of collapsing due to armed conflict between Renamo’s ex-fighters and government troops in the Sofala province. Although Renamo does not take responsibility for the violent attacks, dozens have been killed, including many civilians, and hundreds of families have been forced to leave their homes to take shelter in the bush.
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