The 1992 peace accords ending a 16-year civil war, followed by the 1994 democratic elections, promised a brighter political and economic future for Mozambique. Despite the adoption of multiparty politics and robust economic growth since the 1990s, however, Mozambique today faces seemingly intractable challenges. Amid increasing allegations of electoral fraud, Frelimo continues to be the country’s ruling party, a position it assumed after independence in 1975. Political insiders control most of the country’s considerable economic assets, including vast natural gas deposits in the north. A violent jihadi insurgency, which began in the northern province of Cabo Delgado in 2017 and tapped into local grievances, has so far resisted the combined efforts of the national military, regional security forces, and a contingent of troops from Rwanda to eliminate it. With spaces for peaceful civic participation and action shrinking, the glimmer of hope for democracy, security, and well-being in Mozambique is fading.

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