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Vol 57 No 23

Published 18th November 2016


The burden of war and debt

We examine the unique conjunction of war, debt, corruption and impunity which characterise Mozambique today. This presentation answers criticisms that have been made of Africa Confidential's coverage of the issue and sets the record straight with a comprehensive survey of the crisis

Mozambique's two main political parties remain locked in a sinister war of attrition as the economy nears total collapse. The Frente de Libertação de Moçambique, which has held power since independence from Portugal in 1975, is fighting to maintain its grip on the country – whatever the cost to the population. Economic and political strife has worsened in the wake of a debt scandal of mind-boggling proportions, in which the government secretly guaranteed loans of US$2.2 billion for dubious projects during the second term of former President Armando Guebuza. In response, donors froze budget support, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank suspended their financial aid to the country, and all are now awaiting the results of an independent audit of three companies that received the bulk of the money, just over $2 bn. in total. This will be carried out by the corporate investigations and risk advisory company Kroll.

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