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The Origins of War in Mozambique

A History of Unity and Division

by Sayaka Funada-Classen

The independence of Mozambique in 1975 and its decolonisation process attracted worldwide attention as a successful example of “national unity”. Yet, the armed conflict that broke out between the government and the guerrilla force in 1977 lasted for sixteen years and resulted in over a million deaths and several million refugees, placing this concept of “national unity” into doubt.

For nearly twenty years, Sayaka Funada-Classen interviewed people in rural communities in Mozambique. By examining their testimonies, historical documents, previous studies, international and regional politics, and the changes that various interventions under colonialism brought to the traditional social structure, this book demonstrates that the seeds of “division” had already been planted while the liberation movement was seeking “unity” in the struggle years.

Presenting a comprehensive history of contemporary Mozambique, this book is indispensable for Mozambican scholars. It promises to serve as a landmark study not only for historians and the scholars of African studies but also for those who give serious consideration to the problems of conflict and peace in the world.

ISBN 9781920489977 | 442 pages | 229 x 152 mm | 2013 | African Minds Publishers, South Africa | Paperback



“The Origins of War in Mozambique vividly describes the past one hundred-year history of Mozambique, through the painstaking examination of archives and meticulous field research. It has opened up a new direction in the study of African history, freely adopting methods of different disciplines such as international relations, African history, social anthropology and area studies.”

From a review of the Japanese edition of The Origins of War in Mozambique in African Study 78



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