Western relief organizations are once again finding their attention and efforts drawn toward violence-ridden Mozambique. While a recent lack of rainfall in Southern Africa has not helped, most observers say guerrilla warfare, not drought, is primarily responsible for the current wave of human suffering.

An anti-Communist group known as Renamo has been battling the Marxist government of Mozambique for more than a decade. Government troops have been unable to prevent the rebels from pillaging villages and bombing highways, virtually destroying any semblance of stability.

Although the government receives military aid from the Soviet Union, its relations with Western nations have warmed in recent years. The private organization CARE established a presence in Mozambique in 1983. Since then, Mozambique’s government officials “have begun to see that the U.S. is sincere, that it cares more about people than politics,” said Tom Brennan of the U.S. Committee for Refugees.

Warming To The West

A few years ago, Brennan said, the song “We Are the World” was “playing everywhere in Mozambique. The people knew the song and they knew what it was about. It helped change their perception of the American people.”

These modified perceptions have been accompanied by political changes favorable to the West. Mozambican officials now admit that such Marxist policies as collectivization of agriculture and nationalization of housing were failures. The country is now taking steps toward private enterprise.

Greater openness toward the West has made it easier for Christian organizations, including World Vision, MAP International, and Mission Aviation Fellowship, to serve in Mozambique. Nazarenes, Mennonites, and United ...

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