Ballots in place of bullets? Negotiating Mozambique's future

In 1990 the Mozambique government initiated direct talks with the rebel movement Renamo, and restructured the country’s constitution. Representatives from the government and Renamo met in Rome on 10 July and issued a statement that committed both sides to search for an end to the war and to create conditions allowing peace. At the second round of talks, from 11 to 14 August, the Renamo delegation reverted to delaying tactics and refused to discuss substantive issues. The security situation in the country impacted negatively on the negotiation process. In mid-September Renamo announced their refusal to return to peace talks, due to the involvement of the Mozambican armed forces in a military offensive against them, but in mid-October Renamo gave in to international pressure and returned to the third round of talks. On 1 December, the warring sides signed a partial ceasefire agreement, which centres on Zimbabwean troops withdrawing to the rail corridors linking Zimbabwe to Beira and Maputo, and Renamo promised to stop attacking these corridors. However, a political settlement is not a sufficient condition for peace, which depends on the authorities’ ability to address social problems, the state of the economy, and the absence of democracy.