Democratic Governance and Security Sector Reform: Realities from Post-War Mozambique

Democratic governance has been increasingly acknowledged as one of the prerequisites of long-term peace, stability and development in Africa. However, the idealism inherent in this equation is impeded by the reality of a continent characterized by both progress and reversal of ongoing democratization processes, which when coupled with post-conflict emerging environments often lays the ground for security sector reform. In light of this background, this article examines the security sector reforms that were undertaken in Mozambique following the end of the civil war. In order to accomplish this, the polity component is assessed through the analysis of legislation and its correspondence in practice. Policy elements such as strategic planning, policy-making, decision-making and respective implementation are also reviewed focusing on the reforms carried-out in the areas of Defence and Police. In addition, the politics of oversight is discussed against the background of the desirable progress to be achieved through democratic governance. Finally, a summary of the status of governance in the Mozambican security sector is presented, highlighting achievements and underlying challenges.

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