Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Rebels Threaten Mozambique; West Watches

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Rebels Threaten Mozambique; West Watches

Article excerpt

Having just returned from development work along the Zimbabwean-Mozambican border, I must add an even more dour note to your recent assessment of the repatriation process in the article "UN, Mozambique Begin Massive Repatriation," Aug. 11.

The security situation in Mozambique remains tenuous, largely because of the refusal of the the Mozambique National Resistance Movement (Renamo) to abide by the terms of the peace negotiations. The withdrawal of Zimbabwean troops has enabled rebel groups to reclaim control of many areas, and now they are demanding "taxes" from returning residents. An estimated 2 million land mines also threaten local villagers - not just along roads and footpaths, but also hidden near springs, fruit trees, and gardens.

A brisk border trade certainly does exist between Zimbabwe and Mozambique. Unfortunately, much of this activity is fueled by corruption and organized crime. It is disturbingly easy to purchase stolen food aid, poached elephant ivory, or AK-47 assault rifles, thanks to enterprising capitalists. Mozambique's long nightmare is not over yet, and the West's continued complacency towards a bloody conflict it foolishly created hardly helps. John E. Peck, Madison, Wis. N. America - not a mirror to EC

The Opinion page article "Opposition to NAFTA - Nothing But Old Status Quo," Sept. 2, misrepresents reasons for opposition to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The author says that the opposition "is terrified of change and of the unkown" and "the issues are poorly understood." On the contrary, the opposition understands all too well what NAFTA will mean to the US and wants a fair trade agreement instead.

Supporters of NAFTA point to the European Community (EC) as a bloc that has successfully removed trade barriers, but they fail to discuss how this was accomplished. To join the EC, a nation must be a working democracy, have per capita income close to the EC average, and have decent working conditions and environmental standards. …

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