Soon after independence in 1975, the country of Mozambique was plunged into a protracted civil war pitting the ruling FRELIMO party against the RENAMO rebels.
RENAMO fighters will always be remembered as some of the most brutal fighters Africa has ever seen. In the later 1980s a woman refugee crossed into Mulanje district. Her story was particularly distressing.
The former rebel movement has renounced the peace deal it signed to end the war in 1992 and has issued a raft of demands to the government, raising fears of resumption of the war. But RENAMO’s problem is its failure to transofrm from a rebel group to a regular political party. FRELIMO is also to blame
Mozambique has just undergone its fourth municipal elections. With the Resistência Nacional de Moçambique (RENAMO) reiterating its strategy of not participating and its leader Alfonso Dhlakama retreating to the bush, the 20 November election preliminary results have so far given enormous advantage to the ruling party – Frente de Libertação de Moçambique (FRELIMO) – and shown a notable expansion of the Movimento Democrático de Moçambique (MDM) influence. Out of the 52 local municipalities in the election FRELIMO is leading in 49. Apart from Beira under its control since 2008,