Cablegate: Mozambique: Supporting Human Rights and Democracy

Published: Thu 5 Feb 2004 11:02 AM
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
E.O. 12958: N/A
SUBJECT: Mozambique: Supporting Human Rights and Democracy
REF: State 333935
1. Mozambique's constitutional government, headed by
President Joaquim Chissano, held its second general
multiparty elections in 1999. President Chissano was
elected in generally free and fair elections. Chissano and
the leadership of FRELIMO, which have ruled the country
since independence in 1975, dominate policymaking and
implementation. Mozambique's second municipal elections,
held on November 19 2003,, were generally free and fair and
occurred without violence. FRELIMO dominated the November
elections, winning 28 out of the country's 33
municipalities. Presidential elections will be held in 2004.
The Government's human rights record remained poor; although
there were some improvements in several areas, serious
problems remained. Police continued to commit numerous
abuses, including unlawful killings, beatings in custody,
and arbitrary arrests and detentions. Prison conditions
remained extremely harsh and life threatening. Despite
efforts to clear long-standing case backlogs, prison
overcrowding was widespread and lengthy pretrial detention
was common. The courts were dominated by the executive
branch, lacked adequate resources, were chronically
understaffed, and largely ineffectual. Corruption continued
to be a problem in the public and private sectors. Domestic
violence against women, as well as widespread discrimination
against women in employment and property rights, remained
significant problems. There were confirmed reports that
women and children were trafficked to South Africa.
2. US efforts to support human rights and democracy in
Mozambique have focused on strengthening key institutions,
enhancing civil society, and addressing corruption at all
levels. The Embassy has been actively engaged in increasing
the professionalism of the police and reforming the
judiciary. US officials have routinely engaged religious and
business leaders, domestic civil society groups and
government officials on human rights concerns, including
trafficking in persons, HIV/AIDS, and corruption.
3. To foster a more professional police force and reduce
human rights abuses among the police, the Embassy used INL
funding for an intermittent long-term International Criminal
Investigative Training Program (ICITAP) advisor to assist
Mozambique's Police Sciences Academy (ACIPOL) in management
and curriculum development and to coordinate specialized
training courses. INL funds are also paying for improved
facilities. As a result of US and other international
assistance, ACIPOL will graduate its first group of students
in 2004. INL funded key police officials and officials from
the Attorney General's office to participate in courses at
the International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) in Roswell,
New Mexico and the regional ILEA academy in Botswana. PA
utilized Speaker Program participants to hold a series of
lectures on police ethics.
4. Recognizing that corruption is a principal impediment to
Mozambique's economic development and democratic
consolidation, USAID used DA and ESF funds to improve the
country's judicial system and more effectively address
corruption. USAID has actively supported the Anti-Corruption
Unit (UAC), including paying rental of UAC's office space
and provision of equipment, computers and vehicles. INL
funded three trips of Department of Justice/Overseas
Prosecutorial Development, Assistance and Training(OPDAT)
short-term advisors to assist the UAC in developing skills
and tracking cases. Training was also conducted in Maputo
involving experts from OPDAT, FBI, and Treasury. An indirect
result of US assistance and attention to corruption was the
passage by the National Assembly of the long-awaited Anti-
Corruption Law, which aims to fight corruption in government
offices, hospitals, schools, and the police. USAID also
continued use to DA funds to raise public awareness about
corruption and citizens rights through assistance to a local
NGO on a planned media campaign. This NGO is also working
with the UAC to open reporting centers in all ten provincial
capitals with toll-free hotlines for reporting corruption.
5. The Embassy, through an inter-agency agreement with the
Department of Labor, is working to improve industrial
relations in Mozambique. Activities have included training
programs that have been furnished by the US Federal
Mediation & Conciliation Service (FMCS), covering mediation
techniques as well as techniques for collaborative labor
relations. In September, a 4-Day Train-the-Trainer Course
was held with several trainers and 30 student participants
from unions, management and government.
The Department of Labor is also funding a US NGO to raise
awareness of HIV/AIDS in the workplace and reduce
6. Especially relevant due to the 2003 municipal elections
and 2004 national elections, US government efforts in
promoting democracy continued to be quite strong. USAID has
used DA and ESF funds to support both international and
local NGOs. With the assistance of US funding, an
international organization provided observers, carried out a
parallel vote tabulation in partnership with Mozambican non-
governmental organizations, and monitored the post-election
process. The group found that Mozambique's second municipal
elections were well conducted and peaceful, with no major
problems likely to affect the results. The Embassy used both
Democracy and Human Rights Funds (DHRF) and USAID funds to
support seminars for civil society on civic education.
Embassy officials actively participated with the UNDP and
other diplomatic missions in the coordination of
international observers for the November 19 municipal
elections and Embassy staff served as observers in key
municipalities during the elections. The Embassy has also
actively engaged officials from smaller political parties.
7. Mozambique is a country of origin for trafficked women
and children and there is growing attention among government
and civil society to the problem. US officials are working
with NGOs and government officials to develop more effective
mechanisms to address trafficking and better coordinate
existing efforts. This year, several DHRF grants were
awarded for activities that focus specifically on
trafficking and women's issues, including training seminars
for police and immigration officials.
8. The Mission also sent various community members and
Mozambique government officials on International Visitor
Programs in 2003, including in the areas of democracy, civic
education, and HIV/AIDS awareness.
9. Addendum. For 2003, funding for democracy and human
rights projects of over $100,000 included:
1. INL - $250,000 for Police Sciences Academy (ACIPOL).
2. INL - $275,000 for Anti-Corruption Unit (UAC).
3. USAID (ESF) - $500,000 for elections activities.
4. USAID (DA) - $550,000 for anti-corruption activities.
5. DOL - $300,000 to improve labor relations.
6. DOL - $900,000 (multi-year) for various projects to
address HIV/AIDS in the workplace.
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