Mozambique. During the year, the contradictions were sharpened between the country’s socialist government party FRELIMO and the largest opposition party RENAMO, which refers to itself as center-right. RENAMO was accused of being behind several attacks aimed primarily at the country’s government soldiers and police forces.
In June, RENAMO carried out several attacks against people traveling on the country’s traffic routes in order to paralyze car and train traffic on some of the most important transport routes. At one time, two civilians were killed, leading to demonstrations around the country.
According to Countryaah, the conflict between the rival parties has been going on for a long time. Already during the 1977–92 civil war, the guerrilla movement RENAMO, or the MNR as the party was then called, fought FRELIMO, which has been in power in Mozambique ever since the independence from Portugal in 1975. In October 2013, RENAMO announced that they were canceling the peace agreement from 1992. The decision came after government forces has taken RENAMO’s headquarters in the Gorongosa Mountains in central Mozambique. According to RENAMO, the government was looking to kill party leader Afonso Dhlakama, who however managed to escape from the area. RENAMO has repeatedly sought to renegotiate the agreement with a view to gaining more political influence, but also to gain part of the increased income from, among other things. gas and oil.
During the fall local elections were held, which FRELIMO won in most parts of the country, while the relatively newly formed opposition party Mozambique’s Democratic Movement (MDM) advanced strongly, largely because RENAMO boycotted the election. MDM consists mainly of defunct RENAMO supporters. During the summer, a large number of farmers and their families protested against the Brazilian mining company Vale do Rio Doce, which since 2011 produces coal in Moatize in the Tete province of western Mozambique. The peasants felt that they had not been sufficiently compensated for the land they lost when the company established itself in the area, and in conjunction with this, large sections of the population were forced to relocate from their homes, often to places with meager land that is poorly suited for business. Agriculture.
Since one of the world’s largest unexploded coal fields was discovered in the Tete province, many have hoped that mining will lead to more jobs and, above all, increased export revenue for the Mozambican state. The government has been driving the coal mining project in Tete, but many analysts believe that this type of business will not contribute to reducing poverty in Mozambique, which, despite record growth in recent years, is still one of the world’s poorest countries. Since most of the mines in the country are owned by foreign companies, a large part of the revenues go abroad, and only one-third of the employees in the Moatizi mine are said to come from Tete.
According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), land grabbing or ground robbery, which means that foreign companies take over large land areas in poorer countries by means of questionable methods, has increased in several sub-Saharan African countries. In countries like Mozambique, where the majority of the population rely on small-scale farming, land grabbing often has severe consequences.