Mozambique returned to peace after a brutal civil war, despite imperfect disarmament. Many accounts make some appeal to the ‘political will’ of the warring factions to shun war and seek peace - such an explanation is not false, but incomplete. Insurgencies’ ‘will’ to fight can be better understood by looking at the organizational structure through which they mobilize violence. In particular, Mozambique’s Renamo insurgency was a primarily military organization, making it less resilient to certain kinds of interference. The UN mission failed to disarm Renamo, but did disrupt it by dispersing its combatants geographically. Possibilities for disrupting spoiler organizations, especially through political rather than military tactics, bear further exploration.
Author(s): Davin O'Regan