African Journal of
Political Science and International Relations

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Pol. Sci. Int. Relat.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0832
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJPSIR
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 383


Old habits die hard: Resistensia Nacional Mozambicana (RENAMO) propensity for military confrontation against its professed embracement of peaceful conflict resolution, 1976 to 2017

James Hlongwana
  • James Hlongwana
  • Department of History and Development Studies, Faculty of Arts, Great Zimbabwe University, Zimbabwe.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 29 January 2018
  •  Accepted: 06 April 2018
  •  Published: 31 July 2018


This article reviews Tavuyanago’s publication entitled Resistensia Nacional Mozambicana (RENAMO): from military confrontation to peaceful engagement, 1976 to 2009’. In this article, Tavuyanago gave much credit to Renamo for the creation of democratic space in Mozambique’s post-civil war political landscape. RENAMO had waged a brutal guerrilla war against Front for the Liberation of Mozambique (FRELIMO) in the period from 1976 to 1992 when a peace accord was signed between the belligerents. Subsequently, RENAMO participated in the 1994 general elections in Mozambique and accepted the outcome of the poll. In this context, Tavuyanago concluded that RENAMO would never go back to the bush to fight against the government; a prediction which was proved wrong by historical events when RENAMO withdrew from the government and declared war on FRELIMO. Indeed, this proved that old habits die hard as RENAMO resorted to war as a tool to gain political concessions from the ruling FRELIMO government. In the final analysis, the paper argues that Tavuyanago was too judgmental to argue that RENAMO would not return to war.


Key words: Conflict, democracy, election, Frelimo, Renamo, Mozambique, war.