Mozambique celebrated its 21 years of peace on 4th October, the day of St. Francis. The peace agreement was signed in Rome in 1992, through the mediation of Sant'Egidio, which also hosted the negotiations for 27 months. Peace marches and events,organised by the local Communities of Sant'Egidio with the institutions of the cities and the representatives of the religions, involving thousands of people, were held in every town and village in the country. This year, the demonstrations were particularly important for a country that is living a period of strong political tensions and growing violence.
The Community of Sant'Egidio has reminded us of this in its message, without hiding the concern, especially for the growing episodes of violence in many parts of the country.Many countries of the world, victims of war and widespread violence, were also remembered and prayers for them were asked, as Pope Francis had already done.However, the Community has not expressed only concern, but also hope for the future: "We need - the message reads - a civil society that defends all the rights, including the right to life, a society able to build a culture of Peace that makes violence and war something unacceptable! Today we have a dream !
A dream that we want to achieve and in which we want to engage. Today we have a dream of peace, a dream that a people does not raise any more the hand against another, that a man does not raise his hand against another man. We are not afraid of hope- the message continues, referring to the International Meeting of Prayer for Peace'The Courage of Hope', which has just concluded in Rome- a future of peace".
The celebrations of 4th October were prepared in the previous months, like the many conferences and meetings in the schools, in the neighbourhoods and universities, to remind, especially young people, of the history of the process that led to peace in Mozambique and to emphasise the 'importance of a gift that has been received and that can not be dissipated. The legacy of peace is a blessing for the country but it also commits allto safeguard it and not to fall into the spiral of violence of which one easily becomes a victim.
Throughout this period,there have been many interviews to local representatives of the Community on the peace, non-violence and the negotiations of Rome. The Community of Sant'Egidio has always been the name of Peace, and it continues to be a point of reference and an authoritative voice in the Country.