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: 403

Full Length Research Paper

RENAMO: from military confrontation to peaceful democratic engagement, 1976-2009

  Baxter Tavuyanago
Department of History and Development Studies, Great Zimbabwe University, P. O. Box 1235, Masvingo, Zimbabwe. 
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 16 December 2010
  •  Published: 31 January 2011



This article examines RENAMO (Resistensia Nacional Mozambicana) in the context of Mozambican politics. The study seeks to illustrate that although the movement was widely cast as a band of armed bandits (bandidos armandos), it was founded on firm political principles of democracy. It will be argued that any link by the movement to forces of imperialism and retrogression was merely a matter of expediency rather than being puppetish. Again the study will show that RENAMO’s resort to armed confrontation was part of its strategy to push for the democratic agenda. The study will also reflect on RENAMO’s change of tactics from armed confrontation to peaceful engagement and argue that the change formed the core of the movement’s quest for peace and democracy. It will be revealed that ever since its participation in the democratic process, RENAMO has not returned to war in spite of the contested results in the country’s elections and the various threats made by the movement.


Key words:  Belligerents, ceasefire, civil war, front for the liberation of Mozambique (FRELIMO), general peace agreement (GPA), re-education programme, Resistensia Nacional Mozambicana (RENAMO).