AFRICA/MOZAMBIQUE - After 20 years since the peace agreement, the Bishops ask to strengthen democracy

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Maputo (Agenzia Fides) - Mozambique celebrates today, October 4th, the 20th anniversary of the peace agreement that put an end to nearly two decades of civil war that erupted after the independence from Portugal.
The local Bishops, in a pastoral note sent to Fides Agency, entitled "Building democracy to preserve peace," recall the contribution of the Church to keep the hope of the people alive, even in the darkest moments of the war, and efforts to reach agreement.
After emphasizing the progress made by Mozambique in the past 20 years of peace, the Bishops express their concerns about the state of democracy in the Country. It should be noted that the agreement signed in Rome 20 years ago states that local political parties have an internal democratic and transparent structure. "However, we are faced with the paradox of parties that claim to be the defenders of democracy, but in practice, in their internal and ordinary conduct, are authoritarian," said the note, which also observes how the persistence of the "tendency to absolutize political parties and the cult of its leaders personality, is not necessary to ensure peace in Mozambique."
The Bishops also claim that the so-called "Megaprojects" (economic development programs) should take into account the various environmental, social, economic, cultural and political problematics. "Mozambique is not, and cannot be transformed, in a supermarket" is stated in the note, which concludes with an appeal to overcome poverty, not only economic but also spiritual. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 04/10/2012)