The emergence of a new agreement to end civil conflict in Mozambique is an important development. This paper examines how this deal was achieved and highlights some of the potential risks in the run-up to the October 2019 elections and beyond.
A newly agreed deal could end 42 years of armed contest between the Mozambique Liberation Front-led government (FRELIMO) and the armed opposition party Mozambican National Resistance (RENAMO). The agreement, due to be signed in August, is the third attempt and if it is to last, it will require political good will, compromise and an acceptance of more inclusive national politics by both parties.
The forthcoming 15 October 2019 elections and their conduct could make or break this new elite bargain. International monitoring of these elections and support for national oversight efforts are critical to this process.
A lasting agreement is in the national interest. It would mean that a new Mozambican government formed after the national elections can focus on gas industry development, improving services, poverty reduction and combating new security challenges, such as growing violent Islamic radicalism in Cabo Delgado.
The new elite bargain requires continued international and domestic engagement. It attempts to encourage alternative peaceful livelihood opportunities through training of RENAMO's past and current armed militia. This should help RENAMO to gradually disarm its militant wing if post-election con dence grows.
The newly created post of Personal Envoy for Mozambique by the UN Secretary-General is an important development to provide support, coordination and leadership for international peace partnerships.
Dr Alex Vines OBE, is Research Director, Risk, Ethics and Resilience and Head, Africa Programme