Mozambicans Demand Dialogue & 'Democracy Dividend' to Build Peace

Idyllically beautiful Mozambique, the world's seventh poorest nation in some rankings, has what may be the seventh largest deposits of hydrocarbon reserves, especially natural gas. That combination of extreme poverty and extreme potential wealth has been called "the curse of oil", and African countries such as Angola and Nigeria are examples of destabilizing rich-poor gaps. In both Nigeria on the continent's west coast, and Mozambique on the east, growing violence is widely attributed to Islamic supremacists, with authorities often blaming outside insurgents. But scholars and researchers are becoming more assertive in cautioning against simple explanations and military responses - using research and data to argue that diplomacy, dialogue and more equitable access to jobs, health care and education are the only effective strategies.

Eduardo Mondlane University's Yussuf Adam has worked for years in the most troubled area of northern Mozambique and is pressing for faculty and students from institutions of higher education to apply their knowledge through engaging with communities.

As Mozambique reeled from the consequences of one tropical storm, the powerful Cyclone Kenneth slammed Cabo Delgado province last April, affecting at least 200 thousand people, many already displaced by conflict.

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