A Search for Peace in Mozambique

I commend the Monitor's coverage of Africa, but I disagree with two points made in the article ''In Wake of Mozambique War: Learning Forgiveness,'' Nov. 30.

I was an election observer with the Christian Council of Mozambique during the second half of October. I agree that there is sentiment for peace in Mozambique today, but the author is quite inaccurate to say that Renamo (the rebel forces) ''revolted'' against the government in 1975. Renamo was a creation of the Rhodesian intelligence services and right-wing Portuguese settlers. Its main purposes were to destabilize the newly independent Mozambique and show the world that Africans could not rule themselv es.

The article also states that Mozambique is ''an economy wasted by drought, war, and inefficient socialist experiments.'' Mozambique has been implementing an International Monetary Fund (IMF)/World Bank austerity program for seven years. This structural adjustment program has brought about increased food prices, less spending on health and education, and unemployment.

The author is right to focus on reconciliation and reconstruction, for these will help Mozambique heal. But lasting peace will require less debt, local control over economic decisions, and international understanding. Without these, elections may mean little to a population looking for a decent life.

Erich D. Mathias, New York

Joint Ministry in Africa

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