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Cablegate: Archbishop Compares Political Situation To

VZCZCXRO3371
RR RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHTO #0049 0160940
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 160940Z JAN 08
FM AMEMBASSY MAPUTO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8446
INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 0107

UNCLAS MAPUTO 000049

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL ECON PGOV MZ ZI
SUBJECT: ARCHBISHOP COMPARES POLITICAL SITUATION TO
ZIMBABWE'S

REF: 07 MAPUTO 1344

1. (U) In a recent interview with the journal 'Magazine
Independente,' Jaime Pedro Goncalves, Archbishop of Beira
(Mozambique's second largest city), expressed concern at what
he views as political discrimination against pro-Renamo
regions of the country. Perceived as a Renamo supporter, he
indicated these areas receive less commercial investment from
the Frelimo-controlled central government and suffer higher
levels of unemployment than the national average. He also
suggested that authorities in these
regions routinely detain Renamo supporters without charge.
The Archbishop said that if this discrimination on the basis
of political affiliation persisted, there would be the
potential danger of Mozambique plunging into an atmosphere of
violence, albeit not necessarily outright armed conflict,
arguing that "in Zimbabwe there is no armed conflict, but
also there is no peace."

2. (SBU) COMMENT: Goncalves is considered to be one of the
most influential bishops in the Catholic Conference of
Mozambique, of which he once served as secretary-general, and
in the Catholic Church hierarchy in Southern Africa. The
Archbishop played a prominent role in the negotiations that
led to the signing of the Rome Peace Accords in 1992. He
also belongs to the same tribe as Renamo leader Afonso
Dhlakama. Goncalves is normally outspoken, but that he would
make comments so openly critical of the ruling Frelimo party
while drawing parallels to the situation in Zimbabwe is
unusually forward-leaning. This may portend additional
criticism of the Frelimo party by opposition parties in
upcoming elections in 2008 and 2009. END COMMENT.
Chapman

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