A Broken Peace in MozambiquePeace is fragile in many developing countries. Mozambique suffered through hundreds of years of harsh colonial rule followed by a bloody civil war. After enjoying 21 years of peace, they are facing the threat of violence once again and need our prayers.
Mozambique won its independence from Portugal in 1975 after nearly 500 years of colonial rule. Unfortunately a million people then lost their lives in a civil war that ended 16 years later in 1992 with the signing of a peace agreement in Rome. Although still one of the poorest countries in the world, Mozambique has been making steady economic and development progress since then.
The country’s peace is again at risk. On Monday, October 21st, 2013, the major opposition party, Resistência Nacional Moçambicana (Renamo), announced that the 1992 peace deal signed with the governing Frente de Libertação de Moçambique (Frelimo) party has ended. Renamo is the former rebel group that opposed Frelimo during the protracted civil war. Their statement came after the national army attacked and occupied Renamo’s base in the province of Sofala. This action was spurred by the accusation that Renamo had killed seven soldiers the week before.
Tension has been escalating for several months, which in fact was the reason why a Women of Vision trip last August was canceled. The situation is expected to remain tense through the November 2013 municipal elections and through the October 2014 national elections unless Renamo and Frelimo reconcile their odds.
World Vision began working in Mozambique in 1983, providing assistance to people displaced by war. Eventually transitioning to development programming, World Vision created its first Area Development Program (ADP) with child sponsorship in 1997. Currently, there are 110,000 children registered in 31 ADPs. World Vision programs serve 3.5 million people in Gaza, Tete, Zambezia, and Nampula provinces.
WASH programs (water, sanitation, and hygiene) continue as a top priority for World Vision in Mozambique. Only 59.6 percent of the population have access to safe water and 41.9 percent have access to sanitation facilities. In rural areas, less than 30 percent have access to clean water and only 4 percent have improved sanitation facilities. Water and sanitation together are essential in reducing children´s vulnerability to waterborne diseases such as diarrhea and cholera, especially during rainy seasons.
World Vision is changing this grim picture. By 2016 our aim is for 64 percent of households in World Vision ADPs to have access to clean water and sanitation facilities. This will mean 400,000 more children will have these life-saving interventions. The work is already well underway. Thank you, Columbia-Willamette Women of Vision, for supporting this work with your giving.
Immediate prayer needed:
- – Pray that Renamo will once again embrace the peace accord.
- – Pray that Renamo will not escalate the conflict and create a climate of fear and uncertainty that could harm development and economic progress.
- – Pray for fair elections, endorsed and confirmed by both parties.
- – Pray that World Vision’s WASH work and other interventions will continue without interruption