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The Power to Hurt in Civil War: The Strategic Aim of Renamo Violence
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Peace and Conflict Research.
2009 (English)In: Journal of Southern African Studies, ISSN 0305-7070, E-ISSN 1465-3893, Vol. 35, no 4, 821-834 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article develops a theoretical explanation for the seemingly indiscriminate violence used by Renamo during the civil war in Mozambique, a phenomenon which dominant theories on civil war violence cannot account for fully. The analysis builds on interviews with the Renamo leadership and Mozambican academics as well as secondary sources on the patterns of violence. It concludes that Renamo used mass violence to weaken the support for the government and create war fatigue. The main strategy was to cause enough damage to pressure the government into entering negotiations. The use of most violence against civilians in those areas where the population was believed to support the government, in combination with a clear objective to destabilise the government and a disciplined military organisation, support the argument that mass violence was employed to demonstrate ‘the power to hurt’.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 35, no 4, 821-834 p.
Keyword [en]
violence against civilians, civil war, Mozambique, Renamo
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Research subject
Peace and Conflict Research
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-120646DOI: 10.1080/03057070903313194ISI: 000272999700004OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-120646DiVA: diva2:303763
Available from: 2010-03-15 Created: 2010-03-15 Last updated: 2010-12-16Bibliographically approved

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