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    5 May, 2010
Reconciliation in Mozambique was among the people - Chissano
Maputo, 5 May (AIM) - Former Mozambican President Joaquim Chissano said in Maputo on Tuesday that the reconciliation in Mozambique, following the war of destabilization that ended in October 1992, was not between the government and the rebel movement Renamo, but among people themselves.
'It is wrong to think that reconciliation in Mozambique was between the government and Renamo. Governments will pass, myself I am no longer there, for instance. But the fact is that the main reconciliation was among the people, who were killing each other, not between myself and Dhlakama', said Chissano, speaking during the inauguration of the Higher Peace and Conflict Studies Institute, a result of a partnership between the 'A Politecnica' University and the Joaquim Chissano Foundation.

In his speech, titled 'A Model of Peace and reconciliation', Chissano reiterated that the 16 year war in Mozambique had a political, a military and an economic dimension, aiming mainly at the government, but the major victim was the Mozambican people.

According to him, the war had another two dimensions, one external, moved by minority racist regimens in former Rhodesia and the apartheid in South Africa, and an internal dimension, that included some Portuguese citizens who would not conform with the independence of Mozambique.

He said that these minority movements would use Mozambicans as instruments for destabilization.

'In this internal dimension, parties in conflict were the national Mozambican Resistance (RENAMO) and the Mozambican government, but the people would still be the major victims. As a proof of that, cases of attacks and massacres against people and destruction of their property bring a high degree of suffering were widely reported', said Chissano.

Meanwhile, with the end of the war, reconciliation was a process clearly of people, sometimes involving the use of traditional purifying mechanisms and reinsertion into families and communities.
'At a more institutional level, former fighters from both sides accepted each other and lived peacefully in the demobilization and disarmament process', he said.

This reality was built during the negotiation process, based on dialogue and on the building of trust and proactive action for the change of the warring attitude to a posture of cooperation and harmony.

Chissano explained that the model of peace and reconciliation in Mozambique is based on the ownership and leading of the process by the Mozambican themselves and with a strong participation of the people, guided by their political, traditional, and religious leaders in the context of the national culture and history.

According to Chissano, these and other issues related to peace and reconciliation are to be the tasks of the new institute that is one of the organic units of the 'A Politecnica'.
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