Mozambique needs reconciliation to unleash its huge potential

Mozambique needs reconciliation to unleash its huge potential

I write on my way from Maputo to Johannesburg after two days in Mozambique, where I could experience the many faces of a country full of resources, including economic ones. A country which risks to go back to a past it has never completely dealt with. This is what I discussed with President Filipe Nyusi, with Foreign Minister Oldemiro Baloi, with the leaders of opposition parties Renamo and MDM, with some European investors, with representatives of the country’s civil society and with European NGOs working in Maputo, as I visited an EU-financed project and a centre run by the Sant’Egidio Community.

Mozambique is perceived – in Africa and in Europe – as an example of national reconciliation, built through a difficult peace process bringing a decades-long civil war to an end. Still, “war” is a word I have heard too many times over these days’ meetings: it scares not just the local population, worn out by drought and floods, but all those who would like to invest in a country with great resources and with a huge potential for its future. This will only be possible if the political and security situation allows for it.

It is indispensable to recreate a reconciliation dynamic, to make the process inclusive, to make it deliver for the population: this has been my message to all my interlocutors. Our European Union is ready to support such process. We are not pretending to teach them how to do it: that is up to the representatives of political parties in Mozambique, only they can find and define solutions towards peace. But we are well aware of the danger these wonderful people might face, if the risk of an undeclared civil war is not thwarted.