By: André Thomashausen
Of the 60 Million Euro allocated by the European Union to the Peace Process in Mozambique, thus far nothing has been spent to secure and facilitate the demobilisation and re-integration of over 5000 former Renamo Combatants. The secrecy and absence of any form of transparency is making a mockery of the values that the EU tries to portrait in Africa.
In a DW interview on 2 December 2019, EU Ambassador Gaspar explained that “as a first, EUR 10 million will be invested in social and reconciliation projects in the areas affected by the rebel attacks. The other resources should be invested gradually throughout 2020 for the demobilisation of RENAMO men.” Gaspar explained that the EUR 60 million fund would have to be channelled into different programmes to be run by “different entities and several partners”, totalling 25 million in 2020 and "another 25 million to be applied by the end of 2020". For the initial 10 million, “we are talking about various activities directly linked to a common fund that is now being operationalised by the United Nations.” He explained further that "for the rest, we are talking about direct support through NGOs that are working with people and other partners to support people and communities affected by the conflict.”
It is well documented that the average total spending for each of the nearly 1000 thus far demobilised is approximately 1000 Euro in total, without prospects for future grants or retirement support. Meaning 1 Million Euro have been spent. If all combatants were to be demobilised over the next 5 years (at a rate of 1000 per year), a total of 5 Million Euro would be spent on the actual demobilisation, including the humiliating give away kits consisting of 8 metal sheets, poles, a hammer, a shovel and a pickaxe, 2 trousers and 2 underpants and two round neck shirts, plus a few other useless items, but no nails or piece of rope to tie it all together.
Ignoring even the most basic rules and procedures for social re-integration of marginalized people, nobody bothered to consult with towns and village administration to establish where the demobilised might be welcome to settle, and how to achieve that.
Apparently the demobilised are expected to put together tiny shacks in the middle of nowhere and sit in the sun under the rusting metal sheets without disturbing anybody in the future. The fact that they fought for and brought democracy to Mozambique, has not earned them the same status that was granted to the veterans of the anti-colonial liberation war.
Those who haven't yet returned to re-join the World of War of the dissident Junta Militar da Renamo are wondering what they must do with the shovel they were given. The common saying now is that the UN peace makers gave them shovels to they could dig their own graves before giving up and wait for death to come.
2020 is coming to an end and according to the interview given by Ambassador Gaspar, 25 Million Euro were spent on "programmes" and now, at the end of 2020 a further 25 Million will be handed out to "NGOs that are working with people and other partners to support people and communities affected by the conflict.”
Which programmes? Which Partners?
Which NGO’s? Have they got new Land cruisers yet?
Which Communities got funding?
Where are the accounts?