Amnesty law, political struggles for legitimacy and violence in Mozambique

Igreja, Victor (2015) Amnesty law, political struggles for legitimacy and violence in Mozambique. International Journal of Transitional Justice, 9 2: 239-258. doi:10.1093/ijtj/ijv004

Author Igreja, Victor
Title Amnesty law, political struggles for legitimacy and violence in Mozambique
Journal name International Journal of Transitional Justice   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1752-7716
Publication date 2015-07-01
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1093/ijtj/ijv004
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 9
Issue 2
Start page 239
End page 258
Total pages 20
Place of publication Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Oxford University Press
Language eng
Abstract Two decades after the negotiated peace accord and amnesty law that ended the civil war (1976–1992) between the Frelimo government and the rebel group Renamo, an armed conflict (2013–2014) broke out between Frelimo and Renamo military forces. While in the 1990s the pacification process was locally and internationally celebrated as a successful transition from a socialist, repressive regime and civil war to peace and democratization, the transition process produced different dynamics at the state and societal levels. This article focuses on state and elite politics by analysing debates among Frelimo elites at critical junctures of the peace negotiations with Renamo, the enactment of the amnesty law and subsequent political relations between Frelimo and Renamo. The analysis reveals complex realities that defy mainstream praise for the amnesty law and the allegedly successful peacebuilding in Mozambique. It suggests that Frelimo alone passed the amnesty law to avoid accountability and to imply a public commitment to reconciliation in tandem with their attempt to recover losses incurred in the peace negotiation context. These goals fostered the marked open-endedness of the transition, whereby contested war memories were used as weapons and fierce struggles for political legitimacy involving flashes of political violence occurred well beyond the accord. The article suggests the need for some measure of accountability and a nationwide debate about the composition and role of the security and defence forces in Mozambique.
Keyword Mozambique
Elite politics
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2016 Collection
School of Political Science and International Studies Publications
School of Social Science Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 3 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Fri, 26 Jun 2015, 18:51:46 EST by Victor Igreja on behalf of School of Social Science