Mozambique has been experiencing a profound political crisis since April 2013, with armed confrontations between the government armed forces and Renamo in the central part of the country. Is the country at war? The subject is hotly debated in the country. Negotiations have been taking place for three years, but have dragged on. The lack of resolution of the tensions at the origin of the violence has not only prolonged the crisis, but also fed the idea that the country is heading towards a full war. War and peace, negotiations and armed conflict: what is happening in Mozambique? The article aims to identify the origins and nature of the conflict and to decipher the fundamental dynamics of the current crisis in order to outline scenarios for the future. The text argues that the conflict is a “proto-war”, geographically and militarily limited, which opposes Frelimo and Renamo in an “armed negotiation” between themselves as well as together against other actors. Indeed just like “complementary enemies”, the two protagonists also fight together to retain their dominance, keep control over the emergence of new generations of politicians within their respective parties, and limit the rapid growth of a new party of opposition on the national political scene.