detail - South Africa Office
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Ever since Mozambique obtained its independence in 1975, the country has been beset by a political conflict between the ruling party Frelimo and Renamo. A civil war between 1975 and 1992 left around 1 million people dead and a devastated country and economy. Fighting began again between 2013 and 2016, finally ending with the signing of a peace pact. The Maputo Peace and Reconciliation Agreement in August 2019 between these two political forces has the potential to mark a watershed moment in Mozambican politics. As part of this agreement, free and fair elections were to be conducted.
Elections were held on 15th October 2019 yet were plagued by reports of irregularities. Renamo has called for a rerun of the elections, threatening the fragile peace. International observers commented on the lack of a level playing field as well as many reports of irregularities including attempts to stuff ballot boxes with Frelimo ballots. There were also reports of political assassinations and a climate of fear. The failure to conduct credible elections undermines efforts to establish a stable peace and rebuild the economy of Mozambique.
Against this backdrop, the South African Institute for Advanced Constitutional, Public, Human Rights & International Law (SAIFAC), a Centre of the University of Johannesburg, will hold a panel discussion to examine the prospects for democracy and peace in Mozambique. The seminar is organized with the support of the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung. It will consider the following questions:
- Was the timing right to organize elections in Mozambique?
- Are the election results credible?
- What flaws were evident in the conduct of the elections which raise questions regarding whether they were free, fair and peaceful? How can these be addressed?
- Who are those benefitting from the political instability in Mozambique?
- What political and legal reforms are necessary for Mozambique to be placed on an irrevocable course of commitment to peace, democracy and the rule of law?
Refreshments will be served before the seminar.
Please RSVP to Naomi Hove at firstname.lastname@example.org for catering purposes.