Social cohesion and ex-combatants in Mozambique

Mid-April provided an opportunity for ASC Steering Committee members Jacinta Jorge and Richard Smith to meet in Maputo, Mozambique to discuss the potential and opportunities that a social cohesion focused programme might bring to Mozambique.

Despite the faltering discussions between RENAMO and the Government of Mozambique as violence continues in the Gorongoza hills and Sofala province, newly elected President Felipe Nyusi is up beat and optimistic about the future in his public statements.

The newly adopted government 5 year plan for Mozambique talks strongly to the importance of peace and unity as “the starting point for the construction and consolidation of the ideals of promoting and defending our Mozambican identity, and for cultivating, maintaining and uplifting the values of self-esteem, the patriotic spirit, friendship, solidarity, inclusion, mutual respect, tolerance and peaceful co- existence, and of continually valuing cultural and ideological diversity as the basis for building an ever stronger and more cohesive Mozambican nation”.

On the side of an assignment aimed at providing support to UNDP in Mozambique the ASC and Propaz were able to revisit the work Propaz has been doing with former combatants from all sides of the conflict in Mozambique. This work goes largely unnoticed and is seriously undervalued, despite the enormous importance of reconciling former enemies in the communities from which they came. 

The ASC will continue to work closely with Propaz in the months ahead as we seek to mobilise resources from UNDP in support of a social cohesion and dialogue programme in Mozambique.