Africa

Germany Will Support Peace Process in Mozambique

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said

May 19th, 2016
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Chancellor Merkel said she considered it “very important” that the Mozambican president proved himself ready for dialogue, and said that the Berlin and Maputo governments would stay in close touch and liaise with the European Union.

Mozambique is currently experiencing a period of political and military instability, marked by Renamo’s demand to rule in the provinces where it claims victory in the 2014 elections, which it considers fraudulent. Recent months have been marked by a worsening of the crisis, with clashes between Renamo and defense and security forces, mutual allegations of abductions, assassinations and intimidation, and ambushes on the main roads of the center of the country attributed by the authorities to the armed wing of the opposition. The Renamo leader Afonso Dhlakama is thought to be somewhere in the mountains of Gorongosa, a party stronghold, and has made the resumption of talks conditional on mediation by the European Union, South Africa and the Catholic church intermediaries.

After meeting the German Chancellor yesterday in Berlin, the Mozambican president reaffirmed his readiness for dialogue with Renamo, stressing the relationship between stability and investment in Mozambique. “Investors are demanding, and one of the first things they demand is peace, tranquility and security, so that their investments are sustainable and lasting,” Nyusi said. “With peace, everything is possible.” Listing agriculture, tourism, infrastructure and energy as priority sectors, Nyusi said that he does not intend to allow “one centimeter of disorder and insecurity to impede the flow of investment.”

Nyusi declared that “Mozambique is a country that has a lot of potential”, and also highlighted the potential of relations with Germany, which “has a lot of knowledge, a lot of technology and science”. Angela Merkel highlighted the agricultural sector as an area where Germany can increase cooperation, particularly in the private sector. “German companies are interested in long-term projects in Mozambique and in the exploitation of natural resources, always based on good criteria for exploitation of these materials,” the chancellor said.

In addition to its political and military crisis, the Mozambican economy is being shaken by a strong devaluation of the metical, rising inflation and falling exports, accompanied by a reduction in foreign aid and foreign investment. Despite being one of the key international partners in cooperation with Mozambique in 2015, the number of German investment projects approved in Mozambique was not very significant. Last year, Germany left the group of Mozambican state budget donor countries, opting instead to channel its estimated annual US$60 million of support to other sectors bilaterally. In November 2015, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier visited Maputo and complained that although Africa was a priority for Germany, there was little concrete action, and promised he would work to improve the image of the continent as an equal partner.

References and Links

News from Berlin
Maurycy Barański, Berlin Global