|The Reintegration of War-Affected Youth: The Experience of Mozambique (International Labour Organization, 1997, 52 p.)|
|3. Reintegrating war-affected youth into society in Mozambique through vocational skills training programmes|
The General Peace Accord of October 1992, which officially brought an end to 16 years of civil war in Mozambique, provided for the establishment of the United Nations Office in Mozambique (UNOMOZ) and for the United Nations Humanitarian Assistance Coordination (UNOHAC), which included the Commission for Reintegration (CORE). Assembly Areas for demobilization were opened in late 1993 and the first soldiers arrived in early 1994. The demobilization process took anything from six weeks to four months, during which time there was some unrest by soldiers frustrated by the long period of encampment in often overcrowded conditions.2
2 C.A. Bryant, Reintegrating demobilized combatants into social and economic life in Mozambique: A case study of NGO experiences, report, Dec. 1994, p. 8.
Demobilized soldiers received six months severance pay from the Government and, following concern about the potential threat to peace and law and order posed by the demobilized soldiers,1 18 months' financial assistance was paid by the international community through the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) as part of a Reintegration Support Scheme.2 Forty-nine Mozambican monitors were trained and sent to the Assembly Areas to conduct education programmes, including basic literacy classes.3 In addition, each demobilized soldier received clothing, food rations and a tool kit with seeds. This was in line with a survey that suggested that most soldiers wanted to return to agriculture.4
1 Fears continue to be expressed about the dangers of disgruntled former soldiers turning to violence in order to survive, especially in view of the easy availability of cheap semi-automatic weaponry in Mozambique. This issue is discussed further below.
2 See E. Berman, Managing arms in peace processes: Mozambique, UNIDIR, Geneva, forthcoming, p. 52. Owing to the continuing devaluation of the Mozambican currency, the metical, against the US dollar, funds remained after the 18-month period of payments had ended. After discussion between the donors and the Mozambican Government it was decided to distribute an additional sum to the demobilized. Many people feel that this was a mistake (although perhaps understandable in view of the potential consequences of returning the money to the donors). A number even believe that the 18 months of international financial support to the demobilized was inappropriate. Indeed, in a survey of 150 demobilized soldiers in Manica province it was found that even the soldiers themselves could not agree on the reason for their receiving the money. Some felt it was to be used to eat and drink with their families, others thought it was compensation for time spent in the army, and a third group did not know the reason and simply spent the money on beer. In spite of this, Victor Igreja, the researcher for the Refugee Studies Programme in Oxford, United Kingdom, who conducted the survey, contrasted the situation of men coming back from six months' work at the mines in South Africa laden with money and gifts for the whole household, and that of the demobilized who returned with pay that was insufficient to be shared round the family.
3 Bryant, op. cit.
4 Berman, op. cit.
No one knows exactly how many men, women and children fought on all sides during the civil war in Mozambique, and equally no one is able to tell with precision how many were spontaneously or even officially demobilized at the war's end. This applies a fortiori for the number of children and youth in the armed forces, since children under 15 years of age were excluded from the official demobilization process largely as a result of political sensitivities. Estimates of the total numbers of soldiers who left the armies at the end of the conflict range from around 90,000 to 150,000.5
5 Discussion with Julio Joaquim Nimuire, President, AMODEG, 4 Dec. 1996. AMODEG, the Associa Mobicana dos Desmobilizados de Guerra (the Mozambican war veterans association), is a national NGO established in 1991 to represent the interests of the demobilized. It claims a membership of 75,000 former FRELIMO and RENAMO soldiers.
According to one report in February 1996,6 CORE provided 12,000 ex-combatants with vocational kits, employment promotion and vocational training activities, through programmes implemented by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), UNDP, ILO and the German cooperation organization, Gesellschaft fhnische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ).7 The ILO, for instance, has implemented with the Ministry of Labour the Desenvolvimento de Habilidades Ocupacionais8 (DHO) Project to assist the reintegration of demobilized soldiers. According to its monthly report for October 1996, the cumulative results of the project were as follows:
- 9,239 current or past beneficiaries of vocational or business management training, of whom 5,250 have successfully completed their training and 589 did not take or failed the graduation test;
- 5,462 kits have been distributed;
- 70 per cent of the trainees have found paid jobs or have established self-employment or micro-enterprises;
- 320 trainers have been trained in vocational training, as well as 120 employment specialists;
- 614 micro-enterprises have been created generating 2,069 employment posts;
- contributions have been made to the rehabilitation of training centres and employment promotion centres in Beira (Sofala) and Inhambane.
6 Notas, 17 Feb. 1996, quoted by J. Hanlon, Peace without profit, London, Irish Mozambique Solidarity and The International African Institute, 1996, p. 126.
7 Creative Associates International, Inc., The Information and Referral Service and Provincial Fund (IRS/PF) for the Reintegration of Demobilized Soldiers in Mozambique: Transition of the Reintegration Program, final report prepared for the International Organization for Migration, Washington, DC, June 1996, p. 2.
8 In English, vocational skills development.
As a result of its reintegration projects, GTZ claimed to have already created 6,200 jobs on paper for demobilized soldiers in four provinces,1 of which 5,000 former soldiers were actually employed. The head of the GTZ reintegration programme in Mozambique believed that a substantial percentage of the jobs would be sustainable.
1 Discussion with Rudolf Mutschler, GTZ, 6 Dec. 1996.
Non-governmental organizations were also involved in the reintegration programmes as implementing partners of vocational training courses. For example, an Italian NGO, Coordina Organiza Servicio Voluntario (COSV), provided the funds for vocational skills training for several hundred disabled ex-combatants in agriculture, carpentry, brick-making, car mechanics, electronics/radio repair, tailoring, shoe-making, small-scale trading and secretarial training. In completion of the training programme, the trainees were given tools or kits to start themselves in self-employment. At the end of the first course, however, roughly half of the 70 disabled ex-combatants had sold the kit distributed at graduation, since on return to the community they were unable to find or initiate employment and were under pressure from the household to make a financial contribution.2
2 ibid., p. 28.
ISCOS, the Instituto Sindical Italiano de Copera Ao Desenvolvimento, is a trade union-based non-governmental organization which began working in Mozambique in the early 1980s in the field of vocational training. Technical courses for 2,000 demobilized were supported at a number of different training centres in Maputo, Beira and Chimoio. For those wishing to engage in self-employment, a 15-day course in basic management was included, although it was found to be inadequate when compared with the needs. On completion of the course, graduates were given the option of a six-month work placement or the heavily subsidized purchase of a professional kit and support in self-employment. Some 1,500 demobilized soldiers received kits the average value of which was $300. A six-month monitoring period followed involving four to five home visits for each trainee. In a work placement scheme, the project paid the salary of the graduate in a company and other necessary expenses incurred for a period of six months.3 According to an ISCOS representative, 30 per cent of those trained and placed in the formal sector are still in work.4
3 Bryant, op. cit., p. 20.
4 Discussion with ISCOS, 11 Dec. 1996.
Box 1 below describes one of the centres in which ISCOS implemented its vocational training programmes for the demobilized soldiers.
Vocational training for demobilized soldiers at the Centro de Forma Profissional Metalo-Mecca, Maputo
The Centro de Forma Profissional Metalo-Mecca (CFPM) is a vocational training centre for electricians, locksmiths, machine toolists and technical drawers that is now run by the largest trade union in Mozambique, the Organizaciondos Tralhadores de Mozambique (OTM). Until 1991 it was supported by the Instituto Sindical Italiano de Copera Ao Desenvolvimento (ISCOS), which gave the centre equipment and materials and also subsidized training costs.
In 1994, the Centre organized a three-month training course for 200 demobilized in a project supported by ISCOS. The course sought to train 120 demobilized as locksmiths and 80 as electricians and included lessons in mathematics and Portuguese and a very simple management course with basic book-keeping skills, explanation of terms such as profit and instruction on how to write a cheque. The staff at the centre were convinced that the training period was too short but felt that they had no choice but to accept. The trainers were pleasantly surprised by the quality and dedication of the demobilized trainees. The head of the training course ascribed this to good military discipline. He said that the former soldiers had difficulties in dealing with the theoretical parts of the course, but were strong on the practical aspects.
At the end of the course, all but six of the soldiers were successful and received a certificate recognized by the Ministry of Labour. Of the six who did not pass, two failed the final test and the other four did not finish the course. The trainer claimed that this was due to psychological trauma as a result of war experiences. Upon leaving, successful graduates were given the opportunity to purchase heavily subsidized tool kits but the trainer regretted the lack of resources to conduct proper follow-up with the graduates.
Nowadays, the centre advertises its programmes in the press. As a result of the worsening economic situation, in 1995 CFPM ceased to offer long-term training courses (of one to two years' duration) because they were too expensive for the students. Now the maximum duration of the training courses is six months' half-time study. All courses include general knowledge, Portuguese and mathematics in the curriculum.
The centre has to survive on a shoestring budget. The centre's equipment is getting old and money is not available for repairs or replacements. Theory and practice are taught in equal amounts because of the lack of serviceable equipment. Raw materials are in short supply: the centre does not even have enough iron for the trainee locksmiths to use. It recently had all its computers stolen.
Private companies no longer tend to send their employees to the centre as most are reducing staff numbers and prefer to hire employees that already have the technical knowledge required. As a consequence, most of those attending the training courses are private individuals and not company employees. The centre tries to get companies to accept the successful trainees as apprentices. Since it is difficult in the current market to charge the full cost of training, CFPM hires out its training rooms for meetings and has begun to offer English classes to try to pay its way. To survive in the future, the centre hopes to change its statute so that it can become a training centre for industrial associations.
In its last assessment of the reintegration of demobilized soldiers, conducted for the International Organization for Migration, Creative Associates International, Inc., a US-based consultancy company that was itself involved in the reintegration programme, found that most former soldiers seemed to be reintegrating well into society and that in most areas it was difficult to distinguish between the demobilized soldiers and the other members of the community.1 The report states that reunification with family is a vital factor in the social reintegration of demobilized soldiers and that the soldiers themselves cited reunification with family as one of the major reasons for perceiving themselves to be reintegrated. Another important factor was the possibility to obtain their own house.2 Surprisingly, although training was listed as a reintegration goal and desired reintegration outcome, those interviewed did not generally stress training as a need or indicator for successful economic reintegration.3
1 Creative Associates International, Inc., Study of demobilized soldiers facing difficulties in the reintegration process, final report prepared for the International Organization for Migration, Maputo, Sep. 1996, p. i. The Information and Referral Service (IRS), set up to provide information on benefits and opportunities to demobilized soldiers, determined that the objective of reintegration was to cancel the differences between [demobilized soldiers] and the rest of the population. See Creative Associates International, Inc. (June 1996), op. cit., p. 6. Not everyone agrees that this has been achieved. A study by Victor Igreja of the Refugee Studies Programme in Manica province, for example, found that the former soldiers often compared themselves with the returning refugees, many of whom had studied and learnt English. Overall, he felt that the distinction between former soldier and civilian still existed and that problems continued within families because of the acts committed by soldiers during the war. Despite attempts to reintegrate, he claimed that the demobilized continue to see themselves as a separate group, and that an informal network existed between former soldiers, in addition to the formal networks existing by virtue of organizations such as AMODEG and ADEMIMO.
2 Creative Associates International, Inc., Study of demobilized soldiers facing difficulties in the reintegration process, final report prepared for the International Organization for Migration, Maputo, Sep. 1996, p. 5.
3 ibid., p. 24. According to Victor Igreja, however, when asked whether they had learnt anything in the army, most former soldiers said that they had not. In the words of one demobilized soldier, If you give me a gun, I'll be your teacher!
Although positive about the reintegration process, the assessment did find that reintegration programming was perceived by the recipients as insufficient. Transparency regarding project selection, a much enhanced outreach program, and follow-up for those activities funded were mentioned as needed programming improvements.1 When asked to list factors which must still be addressed in order to ensure sustained reintegration, the former soldiers rated assistance with self-employment, machamba production and formal employment as the most important needs.2
1 ibid., p. ii.
2 ibid., p. 7.
Other studies have also pointed to strengths and weaknesses in the reintegration programmes. One survey based on interviews with 500 demobilized soldiers in Maputo City and province found no structural distinction between households with demobilized soldiers and those without, but recorded strong reservations from demobilized soldiers about the training programmes and subsequent follow-up.3 A number of experts, for instance, felt that the assistance should have been targeted wider. Since only one in six demobilized soldiers received vocational training, five in six did not.4 It would be useful to compare the situation of those who received formal training with those who did not so as to assess the value added by the vocational training programmes.
3 Discussion with Dr JoPaolo Borges Coelho, Lecturer, Eduardo Mondlane University, Maputo, 17 Dec. 1996.
4 AMODEG, for example, asserted that the vast majority of demobilized soldiers did not benefit from any reintegration support projects, while some soldiers received support from multiple sources, due to poor coordination between implementing agencies. This situation inevitably resulted in widespread and considerable frustration and discontent on the pan of those excluded.
Thus, in a strategy paper for the demobilization and reintegration of former soldiers in Angola, it is interesting to note that the authors recommend not to set up specialized training for the demobilized but only to set quotas for the demobilized to ensure their access to vocational training. The paper further states that on the basis of ILO studies on demobilization in other countries, it is believed that only 5-15 per cent of the demobilized forces should have access to vocational training as only this number will be absorbed into the formal, informal and service economies.5
5 Austral Consultoria e Projectos, Lda., A strategy paper for the development of a demobilization and reintegration programme in Angola: Considerations for after the Lusaka Accord, final report, UNDP/UCAH Angola, May 1994, p. 25.
As far as demobilized youth are concerned, AMODEG felt that far too little was being done to assist them even though they had been the backbone of the two armies and had foregone the chance of attending school in order to fight. Vocational training programmes were not specifically targeted at the young even though the belief is widely held that the nature of vocational training is more conducive to younger people. Moreover, many young former soldiers were ineligible for pension allowances. Under Decree No. 3/88 of July 1988, FRELIMO soldiers of the armed liberation struggle and soldiers of the Mozambican Government army were entitled to veterans severance pension (Reforma).1 This was, however, limited to demobilized soldiers from the government side who were drafted at the age of 18 or older and who had completed at least ten years of military service, thereby excluding all RENAMO soldiers and those FRELIMO soldiers recruited below the age of 18. This injustice continues to cause resentment.2
1 Chapter II, section II, article 13.
2 Creative Associates International, Inc., op. cit., pp. 16-17.
According to AMODEG, although the vast majority of combatants in the Mozambican civil war were men, a number of women served in both the Government and opposition armed forces. According to the Head of the Women's Department of AMODEG, women ex-combatants continue to suffer discrimination, and various forms of assistance, such as financing for housing, are only available to men.3 She claimed that, initially at least, demobilized women were excluded from vocational training courses. Since September 1995, however, under pressure from AMODEG, a number of sewing classes have been organized, but unless cre facilities are provided, women may be prevented from attending.
3 Centro de Estudios Internacionales, Demobilized soldiers speak: Reintegration and reconciliation in Nicaragua, El Salvador and Mozambique, CEI, Managua, 1996, p. 66.
ADEMIMO, an organization working on behalf of the estimated 10,000 disabled former soldiers4 felt that although the Mozambican Government was unable to fulfil its promises, many demobilized soldiers were being unrealistic in their expectations of the Government. ADEMIMO believed that most demobilized soldiers were actually doing little or nothing even if they had been trained, since the training did not provide a sufficiently high level of skill to enable the trainees to compete upon returning to their communities. Of the 600 disabled who received vocational training, ADEMIMO claimed that less than 5 per cent were successfully reintegrated into their communities. They complained that government companies did not really want to employ the disabled.
4 ADEMIMO strives: to confirm and organize disabled former soldiers in areas of residence; to help them to obtain due allowances; to join the disabled with NGOs able to help them or provide them with work; to find out the true number of disabled former soldiers; and to assess legislation relevant to the disabled. ADEMIMO hopes to set up regional businesses to employ its members, for example in small farms, and not merely to provide them with training. According to ADEMIMO's Vice-President, Daniel Bomba, the idea for the organization started under some trees only a few years ago and yet the organization had expanded rapidly to the extent that it already had offices in every province. He complained that IOM had promised to help the organization but had done nothing.
Some expressed disappointment as to the lack of information provided to the demobilized. The Information and Referral Service set up by IOM enjoyed limited success since materials were prepared in Portuguese for a largely illiterate group of demobilized combatants. The result was uncertainty on the part of the demobilized about their rights and duties resulting in demands for money.5
5 Teresinha da Suva, Researcher at the Centre for African Studies, Maputo, discussion with the author, 17 Dec. 1996.
IOM's International and Referral Service/Provincial Fund
(IRS/PF) project for the demobilized soldiers ended in January 1997. It seems
unlikely that programmes aimed specifically at the demobilized soldiers will
continue.6 Indeed, a report prepared for IOM recommended that
demobilized soldiers no longer be treated as a separate group as of
1997.1 The issue of targeted assistance to the demobilized has been
controversial from the outset. Many NGOs, for example, were reluctant to
implement reintegration programmes aimed specifically at demobilized soldiers
(a) a belief that programmes should be directed at the population as a whole;
(b) a fear that targeting the demobilized will reinforce their perception that they are a special group with special rights;
(c) a view that the demobilized are not the most vulnerable or deserving group.2
6 See for example Creative Associates International, Inc., op. cit., p. 3.
1 Creative Associates International, Inc., The Information and Referral Service and Provincial Fund (IRS/PF) for the Reintegration of Demobilized Soldiers in Mozambique: Transition of the Reintegration Program, final report prepared for the International Organization for Migration, Washington DC, June 1996, p. iii.
2 See Bryant, op. cit., p. 15.
On the other hand, a number of experts felt that it was necessary, at least initially, to recognize the demobilized as a special group, since having been trained as soldiers they had the potential to be an especially volatile and violent segment of the population.
Overall, AMODEG felt that the reintegration assistance provided by IOM, GTZ and ILO was positive, although insufficient and inadequate to the immediate needs of the beneficiaries. According to AMODEG, one of the main reasons for this was the failure to base programmes on preliminary needs assessments. This view was repeated by a number of commentators. According to ILO in Mozambique, IOM was supposed to undertake a labour market survey of local areas for reintegration prospects, but this was apparently never done.3 In addition, and perhaps partly as a result, programmes were often poorly tailored to the areas to which the soldiers were returning. For example, some demobilized soldiers were trained to be electricians but were returning to areas without electricity; others were trained to be car mechanics and returned to areas where there were few if any cars.4 The head of GTZ's Mozambique programme claimed that this was due to the mistake of listening to what demobilized soldiers wanted.5 Others, however, felt that insufficient attention was paid to what soldiers really wanted and what the society expected.
3 Discussion with Josa Pinotes, Project Director, ILO Mozambique.
4 Discussion with Dr. JoPaolo Borges Coelho, Lecturer, Eduardo Mondlane University, Maputo, 17 Dec. 1996.
5 Discussion with Rudolf Mutschler, GTZ, 6 Dec. 1996.
One expert referred to the need of many of the demobilized for a proper job (defined as salaried employment since men do not tend to consider activities in the informal sector as constituting work) in order to reintegrate.6 According to socio-anthropological realities, if Mozambican men have a regular salary coming in, they are prepared to earn less than their wives who are working in the informal sector. As in any society, status in Mozambique is an important factor. Moreover, in order successfully to reintegrate, if a Mozambican goes away for a long time the family expects him to return with something. The demobilized soldiers, however, tended to come back with almost empty hands. Far from improving the family's situation they often made it worse since the family they had to do extra work for the former soldiers because they wanted to be helped.7
6 Discussion with Dr. JoPaolo Borges Coelho, Lecturer, Eduardo Mondlane University, Maputo, 17 Dec. 1996.
7 Discussion with Daniel Bomba, Vice-President, ADEMIMO, 5 Dec. 1996.
In addition to, and linked with, the concerns about the planning of vocational training programmes, a number of problems arose from their implementation. AMODEG, for instance, claimed that demobilized soldiers were trained in unmarketable skills, and were sometimes given poor quality kits which they later had to sell. A number of experts thought that a careful selection process for trainees should have been instigated. A representative of ISCOS, however, claimed that any selection process would have been difficult because of a perception among the demobilized that they had a right to training simply by virtue of their being demobilized.
The length of the training courses was also subject to scrutiny. Both AMODEG and ISCOS felt that three months was too short to learn properly a new skill. Josa Pinotes of ILO claimed that the more important figure than the overall duration of the course was the actual number of hours spent training. He felt that 900 hours of instruction over a six-month period were needed for most courses. A representative of US/AID, however, said that excessive hand-holding was not desirable1 and the head of the GTZ's programme in Mozambique felt that the length of training was not the major problem with the reintegration programme.2
1 Discussion with Sidney Bliss, US/AID, 5 Dec. 1996.
2 Discussion with Rudolf Mutschler, GTZ, 6 Dec. 1996.
Of possibly greater concern was the failure to link the training with jobs or to promote appropriate employment. As one expert pointed out, successful self-employment in Mozambique is very rare.3 A number of commentators regretted that little effort had been made to identify potential employers.4 At least one NGO even felt that the aim of the training packages was to keep the demobilized quiet; and therefore job creation was very much a secondary aim.5 Rudolf Mutschler thought that in the case of Mozambique formalized training had been more of a burden than a benefit to the society as thousands of the demobilized had been thrown into a labour market where there were no vacancies. As has been pointed out: the demobilized are more likely to feel frustrated and even betrayed if their training does not lead to employment. The referral service should endeavour to find a placement before the trainee enters the course.6
3 Discussion with Dr. JoPaolo Borges Coelho, Lecturer, Eduardo Mondlane University, Maputo, 17 Dec. 1996.
4 JoPaolo Borges Coelho wondered, for instance, why road building companies such as in Zambezi province had not been approached, since construction projects were planned and the companies could have been encouraged to take on demobilized soldiers.
5 Discussion with ISCOS, 11 Dec. 1996.
6 Creative Associates International, Inc., The Information and Referral Service and Provincial Fund (IRS/PF) for the Reintegration of Demobilized Soldiers in Mozambique: Transition of the Reintegration Program, final report prepared for the International Organization for Migration, Washington, DC, June 1996, p. 26.
The primary focus on the reintegration of demobilized soldiers into agriculture was also not without its critics. JoPaolo Borges Coelho claimed that the assumption that agriculture would attract demobilized soldiers was a strategic mistake. He felt that Mozambique had little history of genuine family agriculture involving men because of the tradition of migrant labour.7 Furthermore, in rural areas no real commercial market operated since prices were too low, roads and transport were vastly inadequate, and the threat posed by land mines was serious in many places. Small-scale credit was not even available for agriculture. In his words: Everything was against it.8
7 Discussion with Dr. JoPaolo Borges Coelho, Lecturer, Eduardo Mondlane University, Maputo, 17 Dec. 1996.
8 A similar view of the problems, albeit with a slightly less pessimistic outlook, was given by Professor SimSevene, President of the Associa dos Jovens Agricultores de Mobique (AJAM) in discussion with the author on 18 Dec. 1996.
A representative of US/AID, on the other hand, thought that the vast majority of demobilized soldiers felt themselves to be farmers whereas many were trained as carpenters. AMODEG agreed that there was good potential in the agricultural sector but stressed the need for a high level of technical expertise in order to succeed. They also felt that in general reintegration programmes focused too strongly on urban to the detriment of rural areas.
As far as the inclusion of specific reintegration skills in the vocational training courses for demobilized soldiers is concerned, a number of commentators referred to the lack of provision for identifying those with acute psychological problems as a result of their experiences. Teresinha da Silva, for example, complained that the demobilization programme covered only material and not psychological issues. No formal opportunities were provided for demobilized soldiers to discuss their experiences in the conflict and there was a corresponding lack of organized dialogue in the communities upon their return, especially in the case of those who had fought for RENAMO. Reconciliation either occurred spontaneously or, for example, with the support of the church.
One expatriate thought that trauma wasn't an issue and that it was best to try to convince people that the war had never taken place. This view is strongly rejected by researchers with experience in the field. Victor Igreja, researcher for the Refugee Studies Programme in Oxford, for instance, thought it was quite unrealistic to expect soldiers merely to forget the past. He pointed out that in a survey of 150 demobilized soldiers, many stated that they continued to suffer nightmares and became extremely aggressive if provoked.
Follow-up support for both trainees and micro-project beneficiaries was also perceived to have been inadequate. It was alleged, for instance, that very few of those trained had obtained jobs connected with their training. Trainees claimed that they could not start self-employment because they had no raw materials and no raw equipment. They complained in particular that banks required large deposits in order to secure loans, which effectively excluded the demobilized.1
1 Discussion with Julio Joaquim Nimuire, President, AMODEG, 4 Dec. 1996.
A final issue of importance when assessing the success of the reintegration of the demobilized soldiers relates to whether they can be linked to the rising crime wave that is sweeping through Mozambique, especially in the towns and cities. A Study of demobilized soldiers facing difficulties in the reintegration process prepared for the International Organization of Migration in September 1996 found that:
In no cases did [demobilized soldiers] show disposition towards violence or social disruption. The importance of military structures has clearly waned and community structures (family, traditional authority, community organizations) seem to have replaced military structures in assisting with conflict resolution, problem solving, and social support. Community leaders drew no links between [demobilized soldiers] and crime or conflict. In some cases, community leaders stated that they even depend on certain [demobilized soldiers] to assist them in resolving community problems to avoid conflict.2
2 Creative Associates International, Inc., Study of demobilized soldiers facing difficulties in the reintegration process, final report prepared for the International Organization for Migration, Maputo, Sep. 1996, p. ii. The report was based on interviews in four provincial capitals, ten district capitals and 19 villages with a total of 176 demobilized soldiers. The report further concludes that while unrest and potential conflict may still result from non-payment of pensions, these isolated incidents could not be generalized to the overall [demobilized soldier] population. In addition, although some incidents of crime may involve [demobilized soldiers], it cannot be said that [they] are specifically disposed to crime any more than any other citizen facing social or economic difficulties. (p. iii).
This conclusion is contested by many Mozambicans. Even if it is not necessarily demobilized soldiers pulling the trigger, they have skill in handling a gun (which can be passed on), access to or knowledge of the location of weapons, relatives to pull the trigger for them and, when together in groups, they have a propensity for violence.3 In addition, there were reports of riots by demobilized soldiers in Zambezia in the first half of 1996, mistakenly claiming that they were entitled to a lump-sum payment of 3 million meticals (about US$270). In one town, several hundred demobilized soldiers looted shops and houses and ransacked the house of the district administrator.1 Finally, ADEMIMO pointed out that during and in spite of the brutality of the war, there was no criminality in the city.
3 For instance, discussion with Dr. JoPaolo Borges Coelho, Lecturer, Eduardo Mondlane University, Maputo, 17 Dec. 1996.
1 UNICEF, Mozambique situation update, February-April 1996, Maputo, undated.