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The Power to Hurt in Civil War: The Strategic Aim of RENAMO Violence
Swedish National Defence College, Department of Security, Strategy and Leadership (ISSL), Strategy Section.
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 that 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
Routledge, 2009. Vol. 35, no 4, 821-834 p.
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Statsvetenskap med inriktning mot strategi och säkerhetspolitik
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-391DOI: 10.1080/03057070903313194ISI: 000272999700004OAI: oai:DiVA.org:fhs-391DiVA: diva2:300460
Available from: 2010-02-26 Created: 2010-02-26 Last updated: 2013-06-13Bibliographically approved

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