Traitors: Suspicion, Intimacy, and the Ethics of State-Building

By Tobias Kelly; Sharika Thiranagama | Go to book overview

Notes

Introduction: Specters of Treason

We are indebted to Thomas Blom Hansen and the two anonymous reviewers for University of Pennsylvania Press for their insightful comments that helped us clarify our arguments considerably.

1. We thank one of the anonymous reviewers particularly for helping clarify our argument here.


Chapter 1. Xiconhoca: Mozambique’s Ubiquitous Post-Independence Traitor

I would like to thank all participants at the Traitors workshop at the University of Edinburgh and the Popular Governance or Criminalization seminar at the University of Oxford who shared their generous comments. I am also grateful to Kate Meagher, Dennis Rodgers, Morten Nielsen, Obede Baloi, Alison Stent, Tobias Kelly, and Sharika Thiranagama for commenting so helpfully on the chapter in draft form. The usual disclaimers apply.

1. All names are pseudonyms except for those of historical figures.

2. Operation Production refers to the 1983 post-independence government operation aimed at “solving” the problem of urban unemployment (informality, delinquency, etc.) by forcibly removing from the main urban centers all those described as “unproductive.” Thousands of people were arrested, uprooted from their homes, and flown to Niassa and other centers of real or imagined food production where they would help produce food for the country. The action accounts for some of the worst violations of human rights in the country, but there are no published figures for the operation. Many of the victims of Operation Production eventually escaped and made their own way back home. Others died in the attempt or joined or were press-ganged by the Renamo rebels.

3. The then governor of the Province of Niassa, David Simango, had announced as early as February 2003 that the government planned to evacuate to their “original” home areas about one thousand people who were deported from other parts of the country to Niassa during 1983 (Mozambique News Agency, AIM Reports 248, 19 February 2003).

4. I have elsewhere analyzed the continuation of the political ethos of monism and suggested that, despite the switch to a liberal democracy, the ideological and symbolic terrain is still haunted by the politics of difference between “friends” and “enemies” emanating from the internal war between Renamo and Frelimo (see Buur 2007a, b; Kyed and Buur 2006).

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