The "logic" of Renamo civil war violence: Trans-border communities and Renamo incursions in Eastern Zimbabwe, 1980s-1992
Keywords:Renamo, Borderland, Honde Valley, Violence, Cross-border trade, Zimbabwe
This study investigates the dynamics of civil war violence by Renamo forces among trans-border communities in Honde Valley from the early 1980s to 1992 when the Mozambican Civil War ended. In its venture to understand reasons given by ordinary people in Honde Valley for forging relationships with Renamo, this article does not seek to dismiss but to make sense of the violence. The article analyses the targets of violence to determine whether there was a switch
from indiscriminate to selective violence or vice versa. Through adding another stratum of analysis to this discussion of wartime relationships, this study discusses violence in the context of Renamo’s relations with foreign civilians and Mozambican refugees living in a country whose official international policy was anti-Renamo. It concludes that the relationship between the Honde Valley people and Renamo forces was complicated and sometimes qualified as “being with” Renamo, at times “being with” the Zimbabwe security forces and at yet other times as non-aligned. By examining this dimension of the relationship, this article does not seek to sanitise the acts of banditry, looting and killing by the Renamo units, but to expose currently silenced micro-narratives of the incursions in the Honde Valley.
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