Pope Francis in Mozambique: a peacemaker or involuntary choice of helpers?


Pope Francis visited a country in turmoil: In the Mozambique is choosing the fight, the recently signed peace agreement between the government and the Opposition is on the Brink. The expectations of the Pope are great.

President Nyusi and his wife with Pope Francis

“The Pope is coming at a worse time,” says Sande Carmona in the DW-interview. The country was in turmoil and in addition, choice was fight: “We stand in front of the presidential and parliamentary elections on may 15. October. It is definitely not the ideal time for a Pope’s visit,” said Carmona, spokesman for the second largest opposition party MDM in the DW-Interview.

Election propaganda for the ruling party?

20 million Meticais (the equivalent of almost 300,000 euros), the highly indebted state of the Pope’s visit cost. The particularly elaborate security measures are not included in this amount again, notes Carmona. “A portion of these funds will likely be redirected, and for election propaganda of the state-party FRELIMO used. Under the guise of the Pope’s visit you from time to loot the state funds and direct the money directly into the party Fund to get rid of it in the election campaign.”

José Manteigas, spokesman for the largest opposition party, RENAMO, has similar concerns: “I am a Catholic and I hope that the visit of the Holy father is not need for the Propaganda of FRELIMO, miss,” he says of the DW. The ruling party always try again in the election campaign good Publicity in the us. Therefore, you will not shy away in front of it, for the Pope to clamp: “I hope the Pope is to turn a religious occasion into a political spectacle,” says Manteigas.

President Nyusi welcomed the Pope on his arrival in Maputo

The criticism of the Opposition seems to be on the President’s mind, Bouncing Filipe Nyusi, Pope Francis welcomed on Wednesday evening upon his arrival in the capital, Maputo. A brilliant reception with military Pomp, singing performances and of Mozambican hospitality. Nyusi hopes to be in the elections in October confirmed in office.

Officially, the election campaign for the duration of the Pope’s visit was interrupted. Nyusi is meanwhile extensively with the Pope, scan. For example, in the first official event is this Thursday, a Meeting of the Pope with government representatives and young people. On Friday, the Pope, street children, AIDS will hit the sick and the victims of the cyclone “Idai” that had devastated parts of the country in March. The completion is planned on the same day, a mass in the stadium near the capital city of Maputo.

“President Nyusi these days is omnipresent, he is presented as a great statesman”, criticized RENAMO spokesman José Manteigas. After all, it was expected that Pope Francis also speaks to the rampant corruption and the precarious human rights situation.

Supporters of the Pope in the hope that the visit will strengthen the peace in the country

Caifadine Manasseh, spokesman for the government party FRELIMO is contrary to the opposition politicians: “The Pope has his own agenda, regardless of the date of the election in Mozambique.” It was not the time for polemics, so Manasseh in the DW-interview: “We should receive the message of the Holy father and included in our peace process, in which we find us now.”

Church rejects criticism

The Bishop of Maputo, and the speaker of the Mozambican conference of bishops, Dom António Juliasse hits the same notch: “The Pope is of course our leading politicians, including Opposition representatives, will be present at some Meeting, but the Pope’s visit is of course for the whole company.” The Pope will give the Mosambikanern power, so that they stayed more on the path of peace.

To the first speech of Pope Francis, which he held on this Thursday morning at the presidential Palace in front of politicians and diplomats at the presidential Palace, was also invited opposition leader Ossufo Momade of the RENAMO.

Only a few weeks ago, FRELIMO and RENAMO signed a peace Treaty

Supporters of the visit hope that the trip of the Pope can alleviate the tensions in the country. For years, it comes to violent clashes between the ruling party FRELIMO and the RENAMO Opposition. Five weeks ago, under President Filipe Nyusi and RENAMO chief Ossufo Momade signed a peace Treaty. Around 5,200 police officers should make the weapons. However, the armed wing of the RENAMO refuses to lay down arms.

Mariano Nhongo, the self-proclaimed leader of a so-called “military junta of the RENAMO” reported shortly after the signing of the peace Treaty, and claimed he was the rightful leader of the RENAMO. Ossufo Momade was not entitled, on behalf of RENAMO have any agreement to sign, so Nhongo. In an Interview with DW, he threatened, moreover, that the election on June 15. To prevent October with violence.

It was a blessing that the Pope just come in this Situation to Mozambique, says Maiba Wache, Pastor of the Evangelical religious community “Mission of Apostolic Faith”. The last visit of a Pope in Mozambique, the visit of John Paul II in 1988 was a happy coincidence, so watch. “Only with the help of the Pope, the bloody civil could war between the RENAMO and the FRELIMO, which lasted 20 years and over a Million Dead had demanded, to the end.” Indeed, the two war parties in Rome in 1992, under the mediation of the Catholic Church, the first peace signed agreement and the way for the introduction of a multi-party system in Mozambique paved had.

Mozambique is in the middle of the election campaign

“The Pope is, of course, the Muslims are very welcome. He will teach his message of peace to all Mozambicans, not only to the Catholics,” says Abdul Rashid, the Chairman of one of the biggest Islamic associations in Mozambique.

Almost all the leading Islamic representative of the country would have shortly before the arrival of Pope Francis on Wednesday evening, called for Unity and peace, as Rashid to the DW. Her appeal follows, after a Letter had appeared in the Islamists, the head of the Church, apparently, had as the “enemy” referred to. They should also have the Muslims in the country prompted the Pope’s mass stay on Friday, as the Online newspaper “Carta de Mocambique” reported. In the case of the alleged senders, it should be according to the newspaper, to a group that committed two years ago in the North of Mozambique regularly attacks. The authenticity of the letter, however, is controversial.

Sensitive ecclesiastical Terrain

Up to 20 percent of Mozambicans are Muslims, especially in the North and the coastal regions. The Catholics make to the Vatican information with 28.1 per cent, the largest population group overall, but there are more Protestant Christians. Also in the Church respect Pope Francis meets a sensitive Situation.

Mozambique is the first target of the Pope on his week-long trip to three countries in Southeast Africa. Other stations Madagascar, and Mauritius.

Employees: Amós Zacarias