AFRICA/MOZAMBIQUE – The Mozambican crisis worries neighboring countries; Zimbabwe threatens to intervene

Friday, 8 November 2013

Maputo (Agenzia Fides) - Mozambique is facing a problematic security crisis after the former rebels of RENAMO denounced the agreements of Rome in 1992 and have taken up arms (see Fides 22/10/2013). Although so far the military actions have remained confined in the central province of Sofala, the return to the arms of RENAMO has aroused the concern of neighboring States, particularly Zimbabwe, which depends for its maritime trade on the Mozambican port of Beira.
Zimbabwe has threatened to send troops to support the regular army of Maputo, stating that its national security is at risk due to the rebellion of RENAMO.
A unilateral military intervention in Harare in Mozambique, however, is seen with skepticism by local commentators, both because of the not so excellent conditions of zimbabweane armed forces, and for political difficulties. As Mozambique, Zimbabwe in fact is part of the SADC (Southern African Development Community). In 2003, the States joined to the Community signed a mutual defense pact that provides for the intervention of a joint force in case one of the member countries faces a threat to its political and democratic stability. A unilateral intervention in Zimbabwe outside of the SADC, would be seen as a serious precedent of interference in the political affairs of another Member State.
What has been aggravating the security situation in the country two weeks before the elections of November 20, is the wave of kidnappings for ransom, which in recent times has also involved some foreign nationals. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 08/11/2013)