Hunger revolts and citizen strikes: popular protests in Mozambique, 2008-2012

In February 2008 and September 2010, the cities of Maputo and Matola were the scene of violent protests against the rise in the cost of living, undertaken by groups of ordinary citizens. Immediately afterwards, these protests were replicated in some other Mozambican cities, but on a much smaller scale, and they were quickly brought under control by the police. In November 2012, a new protest was set in motion, but immediate repressive action by the police (which in recent years has been greatly strengthened in men and material) in the key places where people were gathering prevented the violence from spreading, although it did not prevent the near total paralysis of activity in greater Maputo for a day and a half. In this report seek to show that, while these revolts are part of a broader movement which has shaken many countries since 2008 as a result of the increase and great volatility of food prices on the world market, they are above all a reflection of local economic dynamics and result from the social and political exclusion which the poorest urban strata in Mozambique face.