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Putting An End to War

2 minute read

NO ONE EVER SAID PEACE AND DEMOCRACY WOULD come easily. Sixteen bloody years after they were granted abrupt and unprepared independence from Portuguese rule, the southern African states of Mozambique and Angola finally have peace in sight. In Angola, two weeks after the country’s first democratic election, the contenders seemed at last prepared to accept the outcome of the vote. In Mozambique President Joaquim Chissano and Afonso Dhlakama, leader of the guerrilla resistance movement Renamo, finally signed a peace pact last week.

But these reconciliations remained elusive right to the end, if indeed there is a peaceful end. Piqued at losing the vote to the governing Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), erstwhile rebel Jonas Savimbi, leader of the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), claimed that the MPLA rigged the result and only reluctantly withdrew his threat to take his troops out of the newly unified Angolan army, a move that would have put the country back on the brink of civil war. In Mozambique the immediate problem is to get the message of peace out to Renamo bands in the bush. Three days after the peace signing, rebels ambushed three trucks on the road from Swaziland, killing two of the drivers.

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