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Nairobi, Kenya
I an ex member of both 7 and 8 Squadron's of the Rhodesian war spending most of my operational time on Seven Squadron as a K Car gunner. I was credited for shooting down a fixed wing aircraft from a K Car on the 9 August 1979. This blog is from articles for research on a book which I HAVE HANDED THIS MANUSCRIPT OVER TO MIMI CAWOOD WHO WILL BE HANDLING THE PUBLICATION OF THE BOOK OF WHICH THERE WILL BE VERY LIMITED COPIES AVAILABLE Contact her on yebomimi@gmail.com The latest news is that the Editing is now done and we can expect to start sales and deliveries by the end of April 2011

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Friday, September 5, 2008


An interesting backgraund to Willem Ratte one of South Africa's elite special forces commanders

Soldier in Rhodesia

Unlike in South Africa, which was still relatively peaceful and prosperous at this time, a bloody war to the bitter end was raging in Rhodesia, its north-eastern neighbour. Willem did not tell his family of his plans. He told them he was going to settle in Johannesburg, but instead he travelled to Salisbury, the Rhodesian capital, and joined the Rhodesian army as a volunteer. Only after his application had been accepted did he phone his parents in Windhoek to inform them of his latest career plans. In the following years, Willem Ratte attended the NCO training course of the Rhodesian Light Infantry (RLI) with great success, which resulted in his being transferred to the elite unit Special Air Service (SAS). In this new capacity, he carried out special assignments as a paratrooper. War in Africa, especially the Rhodesian war, can in no way be compared to military confrontations in
Europe. Whereas European military actions are characterised primarily by military units occupying opposing positions and by large-scale confrontations over vast areas, in an African bush war it is the soldier personally that matters. Of such a nature were the assignments given to special soldier Ratte. Acting in small units, usually comprising only a few men, their objective was to spy out enemy bases, destroy them and eliminate the enemy. That was the task for which he had been trained and which had been drilled into him. However, there were also enemies that could not be
fought with knives or an R1: extremely arduous terrain, the virtually impenetrable bush with its obstinate thorn trees, thirst, unspeakable heat even at night, malaria and bilharzia - not to mention a veritable army of venomous snakes, scorpions, lice and the 'big five': rhinoceroses, elephants, buffaloes, lions and leopards. And on top of all that, a pack of at least 40 kilos on your back at all times. Nor was it only in actual conflicts that one might have to spill one's blood. The despicable
lengths to which the terrorist went are illustrated by a 'civil' act - one of an endless list of such cases - which almost cost NCO Ratte his life. Together with Ben van der Merwe, Willem wanted to visit a friend in Samabula. The two men met on a farm and got into their armoured Jeep. The vehicle had hardly moved off when it tripped a land-mine, which completely ripped apart the front third of the Jeep. It was an absolute miracle that the two friends escaped unscathed. As the terrorists kept invading Rhodesia from Mozambique to plant mines and attack farms, special
cross-border raids were frequently undertaken. In these years, Willem acted under the pseudonym Willum Butler. In the commemorative book on the Rhodesian SAS we read the following about "Operation Inhibit", which took place on 17 December 1978: "They were now desperately short of water. They had been unable to find any on their long march, and what little remained in their water bottles was very precious indeed. They knew that they would have a real problem if they didn't find water soon. Lieutenant Rich Stannard, his 2 IC, Sergeant Billy Gardner, and the main body of men were to form the killer/ambush group, with Sergeant Dale O'Mulligan and his partner in one early morning group ... and Sergeant Willum Butler and his partner in the other. The early warnings took up their positions either side of the main ambush group, and Sergeant O'Mulligan had no sooner dropped his pack and settled down to await ZANLA vehicles than his partner whispered that there were civilians approaching. As he looked up, he could see a group of kitted-up ZANLA men sauntering into sight along the rail line. He quickly passed the news to the mission commander, then counted forty terrorists strung out along the rail track. The SAS callsign, caught completely
unawares by the walking ZANLA men, watched in the bushes in amazement - and let them walk by. The new SAS lieutenant knew he had blown it. Rich Stannard cursed himself but knew it would be no use explaining he simply had not been expecting ZANLA pedestrians. He knew his mistake would neither be forgiven nor forgotten. How could he have let such an opportunity pass?" But most of the time Willum, like a good 'butler', served. As a member of the special task force, he served the terrorists what they deserved. In recognition of his outstanding actions, Willum later
received the Rhodesian decoration for bravery and continuous performance, the "Wings on Chest". In 1976 the elite soldier was seriously wounded during an attack on a terrorist camp in Mozambique. One bullet hit him in the right thigh and the other in the left shin, so that he had to be evacuated to the field hospital in Salisbury. During his convalescence, his friendship with a young
woman by the name of Aletta de Clerq - who had been one of his and his friend Johan Joubert's acquaintances for some time - grew further. She is an Afrikaans-speaking Rhodesian, of Huguenot lineage, who was employed by a Salisbury bank at the time and often served in the police reserve as a "Woman Field Reservist" in her free time. Some years later, she was to become his wife, and would bear him two sons and two daughters. To this day, their friends still call Aletta Zaanzie.
Willem recovered completely; scars are all that remains from his wounds. As soon as he had regained his health, he rejoined his unit. His career as a soldier was his life - he was the genuine born soldier. The Rhodesian war was lost, for reasons that need not be discussed here. Suffice to say that one essential aspect of the defeat was a factor he was to be confronted with again and again during his life: treason. What was important at this stage was that although the war was lost, NCO Ratte's
military career was by no means over. On the contrary; the past six years had equipped Willem Ratte with an almost unsurpassable military training honed to perfection by intensive experience. He now wished to make this knowledge and expertise available to his home country, where things
were by no means as peaceful as they had been.

32 Battalion

In 1979, shortly before Rhodesia's so-called 'independence', Willem Ratte left the SAS, returned to South Africa and promptly joined the South African Defence Force. It is not surprising that the South African army was aware of Willem Ratte's abilities as a soldier. He was promoted to
lieutenant and immediately assigned to the elite South African unit, 32 Battalion. This combat unit, led by Colonel Deon Ferreira - with whom Willem Ratte got along excellently - was the South African defence force unit that was used the most, and with the greatest success by far, during the entire battle for South West Africa and in Angola. The battalion consisted entirely of Angolans who had been driven out of their country and were fighting against the communist government's troops.
In this military unit, Lieutenant Ratte advanced to officer in command of the select reconnaissance group. In accordance with the aims of this unit, the primary task of Lieutenant Ratte and his men was to find and destroy SWAPO bases. And this -seen from the perspective of the communist terrorists - he succeeded in doing frightfully well. Under Willem Ratte's leadership, this unit within 32 Battalion became not only one of the best known, but also one of the most feared South African combat forces - at least amongst the enemy. In 1984, Lieutenant Ratte was promoted to captain and acting commander of 1 South West African Salvage regiment. Unfortunately he could not get along with his superior officer, Commandant Willie Snyman, who was given to excessive use of alcohol. After only six months, therefore, Captain Ratte left this unit and had himself transferred to Nepara in the Kavango, where he designed the Spiderweb plan and put it into effect. At this stage, the land-mine war was causing
untold suffering in the border area between South Africa and Angola. Willem Ratte was given charge of a special project in the northern province of Kavango which was as clear as it was laudable: clean up and give humanitarian assistance. Within a very brief span of time he succeeded in establishing settlements for the sorely tried natives and putting these under his protection, thus ensuring their peace. None of his protegees were killed while they were in his charge. Once again, there was food, and during this period the children in particular were able to forget the horrors of
war. In 1985, Captain Ratte was promoted to major. In 1987 Major Ratte was transferred to the Quando River in the Caprivi, where he now trained UNITA soldiers. For a while he served here under Colonel Jan Breytenbach, who was to publicly
slander him as "naive and dubious" almost ten years later. However, with Colonel Breytenbach's successor, Colonel Bert Sachser, Major Ratte got along very well indeed, with the result that a large number of Angolans were enabled to cross the border and to go and fight for Angola armed with thorough knowledge. Major Ratte was filled with a sense of mission in that he wanted to give as many blacks as possible an excellent military training. He therefore worked day and night in the
firm conviction that he had to train a strong force against the constantly expanding communism and terrorism. He never spared himself, and as a result he once made an error with serious consequences during a training session on land-mines. Major Ratte was giving a demonstration lecture on anti-personnel mines and was explaining the construction, operation and effect of mines. In order to show his class how to deal with this dangerous device, he began to dismantle it. When he had screwed out the detonator, the over-exhausted front-line officer's concentration lapsed for a
fraction of a second, and a careless manipulation caused the detonator to explode in his hand - blowing off the front part of his right thumb and one finger.
Two years later he was transferred to the 5 Salvage Unit of the South African Defence Force. In March 1989, about the time when the UNTAG politics in South West Africa began which forced the South African Defence Force to withdraw and hand over the power to Swapo, Major Ratte set up the Ombili Foundation. His friend from the days of 32 Battalion, Dawid van der Merwe, gave him his untiring assistance. This unique humanitarian project, a caring foundation to protect the rights of the Bushmen, came
into being north of Tsumeb, on the farm 'Hedwigslust' belonging to Klaus Mais and his wife Beate. It must be remembered that the Bushmen are a people in their own right, who have had the misfortune to be exploited as slaves by more powerful tribes time and again. Moreover, their living space is increasingly being threatened and destroyed by industrialisation, urbanisation and tourism. The fact that these last remaining original inhabitants of southern Africa are able to maintain their
unique way of life and can survive to this day is due not in the last instance to Willem Ratte's efforts. Furthermore, especially after the withdrawal of the South African forces, South West African idealists came forward and declared themselves willing to support and expand the project. After the death of Klaus Mais, one of the founders, his wife continued the work. Besides horticulture, agriculture and stock farming, the Bushmen's time is occupied mainly by small jobs, craft work and needlework. Most of the completed products are sold abroad, and the Bushmen use
the proceeds to buy mainly sugar, soap, tallow, tea, coffee and tobacco. "The hand-made articles", says a pamphlet published by the Ombili Foundation, "take much more time and effort than is generally realised. In the case of baskets, for instance, the palm leaves must first be gathered and worked. As they have a different conception of time than we do and do not live such a hurried life, the Bushmen need days and weeks for preparation and manufacture." This foundation was made
possible by, amongst others, generous financial assistance from Germany, including donations by private German individuals and organisations, such as the Förderungsgesellschaft Afrika, the Verein Hilfe zur Selbsthilfe, the Dutsch-Namibische Entwicklungsgesellschaft and the entrepreneur
Gerd Brülle, die Ressle couple in Bavaria and the Schwarz family in Heilbronn, to mention but a few. The Ombili Foundation is one of the few internationally recognised African human rights institutions that really safeguard the life and existence of threatened people and has not allowed itself to be taken over and misused by political interest groups. In 1990, Willem Ratte was promoted to commandant. The political tide was turning. The South African troops had to withdraw from South West Africa. For the next year and a half he was stationed first at Phalaborwa, then in Queenstown, his last garrison.


An interesting article on Small Wars Council, note that in the interview the RLI troopie mentions that SAAF helicopters were not fitted with Strela shrouds, this is not true. The Rhodesian Air Force noted and used the SAAF strela shrouds on their helicopters and further modified them to an extent that they looked completely different from the original SAAF mK 1 Anti Strela shroud.
G and K Cars were constantly being shot at with a huge array of weapons and were shot down by small-arms fire, during the war only one K Car was hit by shrapnel from an RPG 7 Rocket which exploded close by. A G Car was hit by an RPG on landing and one soldier on board was killed (SAAF crew Ray Wernich engineer).On external operations we faced 12.7, 14.5 and 23 mm AAA guns,During a Raid into Zambia Mark Dawson was shot down by AAA fire while running into a target, the AAA round had struck his tail rotor gearbox causing the gauze filter to drop into the gearbox siezing it up in flight. The helicopter crashed on its side and two K Cars landed nearby and rescued the downed airmen in the heat of battle. This story is in Choppertech. The reason why more helicopters were not shot down was simple -Nap of the earth flying and good reconniasance by fixed wing aircraft on external operations. We did however lose a G Car with Francois Du Toidt and Kevin Nelson when they accidentally overflew a huge ZANLA Camp in Mozambique.They were downed by small arms fire. Always be careful of the man with the SKS a round in the right place will bring down the most sophisticated and armoured helicopter in existance as the Americans found out in Iraq with a humble farmer bringing down an Apache helicopter.Another killer for helicopter crews were telephone and electricity wires which brought down many helicopters and killed some of Rhodesias top military officers. Low level-HIGH RISK.
There is mention in this article about radio batteries-ALL military batteries were locally produced in Rhodesia due to sanctions and were unreliable to say the least-K Car ALWAYS carried a spare radio and batteries and it was not uncommon to see the K Car drop into a contact area to drop off a spare radio or batteries to a stick on the ground.
With regard to the wearing of shorts in battle, this was an accepted thing even with aircrews who would fly in the G and K Cars wearing a T shirt, boxer shorts and vellies without socks. This was practice was stopped after Rob Nelson jumped out of a burning Alouette and his pilot Roger Watt received severe burns to his arms and back after a .762 AK tracer round ignited their fuel tank-the Alouette was completely burned out when it touched ground in a mealie field.
The Army made it compulsory for FF troops to wear longs due to the amount of troopies being killed in FF actions it was thought that the terrorists could spot their white skin from a distance, even with liberal lashings of black is beautiful camo cream, which made the troopers hot and was difficult to wash off.

Interview With an RLI Vet" by Major Jon Custis, USMC (Posted at Small Wars Council)

J Custis:

As a "troopie", you definitely operated at the level I am interested in. I understand the flushing fire used in Drake shoots, and I've never been able to find any good references to how you guys did it. I mean, geometry of fires is an important thing to consider in any offensive action, and the current military tactic is to use a 90 degree offset as much as possible between the covering force and maneuvering force. You gentlemen had stop groups all over the place, blocking likely avenues of escape once the terrs went to ground. I can only imagine that deconflicting the location of the stops and sweep line must have been difficult.

Did most of the deconfliction come from amongst the NCOs leading the sticks, from the FF commander in the K-car, or a combination of both? I imagine each contact was different and you were sometimes undermanned, but with even three stops on the ground and a sweep line, I'm thinking crossfire!

How much did the NCO's appreciation of the terrain come into play, and did stop groups attempt to find cover behind a decent piece of terrain? Or did you often find yourselves simply going prone and waiting to see what appeared?

As for your stick radios, what sort of range did you get with them, and did you ever find it lacking on a FF op? I'm assuming that with the K-car aloft, or a ParaDak overhead as a radio relay, the various elements could communicate, even it took some time.

A final question for now...What did you think of the anti-aircraft threat against the Alouettes when you were inbound to the contact zone? Were RPGs, SAMs, and ground fire just a routine part of the fight, or not often encountered? I ask because I am a firm believer that we are not employing our helicopter assests in Iraq to the fullest extent, because we fear the threat is too high. In a way, I feel it is almost shameful, because we are fighting the insurgents on their terms. the Rhodesian air force certainly had fewer airframes and precious spares, but had the helos on top of the bad guys all the time.

RLI Veteran:

I joined the RLI at the beginning of 1980, and so I am no expert on Fire Force. However to answer your questions I can add the following, with an apology for making statements that you have already covered, and repeating the obvious:

Other than Fire Force ops, RLI also carried out the usual patrol, ambush, O.P. operations expected of infantry units. Our use of fire and movement, snap and drake shooting etc, was basically the same regardless of the operation type, the difference being the immediate helicopter assistance available in Fire Force. As far as 90 degree offsets for covering sweep lines are concerned, we generally didn`t use them, although they were certainly part of anti-vehicular ambush drills, and L-shaped ambushes etc.

Obviously, when sweeping, everyone moved forward (reasonably slowly), keeping the line as straight as feasible (a wry smile as I write this). When contact is made the action would depend largely on the distance of the terrs from the troops, immediate action drills dictating the response - together with the nature of the terrain and bush (I don`t actually think you can ever train enough to cover all the possibilities) A very close contact would result in an immediate run through (the thickness of the bush could prevent that), while longer distances would result in drake shooting - emptying 2 magazines each as quickly as accuracy makes possible into likely cover, together with K-car shells etc etc. We would not waste time trying to identify the exact position of the individual terrs (ie looking for muzzle flash etc), although obvious targets would be dispatched immediately. Observation of the target was generally carried out while drake shooting. At some appropriate point
the sweep became a skirmish line, ie splitting the sweep into two, the left section (called a flank) goes forward say 20 feet, while the right flank covers. When the left flank goes down, the right flank then moves forward while the left now covers, each troopie Drake shooting when he is part of the covering flank, or firing from the shoulder on the run if he is part of the flank moving forward. At some point both flanks combine to finally run through the terrs position firing from the shoulder. The other skirmish option was called a Pepper-pot, where individuals moved forward in random, each troopie on the
ground covering those going forward - NCO`s or junior officers decided the skirmish method, while coordinating with the FFC for the timing of the assault. Pepper-pot (or something that resembled it) was the usual for 4 man sticks.

The overall point of the exercise was for the sweep line to locate the position of hidden terrs, at which point the K-car or Lynx gave them their attention. If an air strike was called for, then our job was to keep their heads down until the strike craft ordered us to stop firing just at the end of his run in (so we didn`t hit him!) The stops, or Stop Groups, were set in place to ambush points of escape, usually dry river beds, obvious paths through thick bush, the saddles in small hills etc, but their overall position was dictated by the FFC, while how the stops ambush was laid out, by their NCO. Stops would not be placed in the immediate front of any sweep line (!) and could often be quite far from the center of attention - A man can run a kilometer in a few minutes when he is frightened. At some point, decided by the FF commander, the stop groups could then be picked up and set elsewhere, or be required to sweep down said saddle, dry river bed etc etc to locate stragglers. When terrs were sited by either sweep or stops groups, or the shooting simply started, a call to the K-car would bring him over, or one or more of the G-cars. When a definite sighting in close proximity was made by troops, we would snap-shoot the target (double tap, or single tap, or a controlled 2-3 round squeeze on fully auto), and then drake shoot as normal. To again state the obvious, the idea was for the sweeps never to walk into each other, or into the stop groups, and all overall movement on the ground is dictated to by the Fire Force Commander. To move around unbidden in the overall combat zone was a definite no no, and would invite unwelcome attention from above - I am aware of at least one occasion when a stick from 1 Commando was attacked by a K-car. Unfortunately I never listened in on the chit chat between FFC and NCO, so cant comment further.

The A76 radios were ok at line of site communication, but they really went [] in hilly terrain. For example while I had no problem speaking with a helicopter some kilometers away (5-7 km in this instance), the chopper couldn`t raise the other half of my callsign at the foot of the hill I was on - I was a few hundred feet up the side. The Allouette I was talking in onto their location was flying down a river valley at roughly the same altitude as my stick.

The A76 ate batteries, and they had no means of indicating the power level left in the battery, other than a terse "change your battery you are breaking up," or something ruder, you were never sure if it was fully ok other than a radio check with friends etc. They were also large by todays standards, for what they did - but we are talking about seventies technology.

They worked just fine with overhead callsigns, although sometimes they received "flutter" from the helicopters as they turned. I should add that A76`s came with an attachment to plug into the aerial socket called a Sputnik (it looked like one).

This basically consisted of a coax cable connected to a small hub with 3 or 4 inverted and flexible aerial blades screwed into it. The idea was to fix the sputnik up a tree, and this increased our comms range by quite a bit. I remember sending sitreps to a relay stick sat on top a large hill about 15 KM`s from my position, where the terrain between us was very hilly
and broken up. The relay was placed there to allow a number of sticks to communicate with our base camp some 30 km`s away.

For much longer distance comms we had another beast of a machine that would fill a back pack by our usual light weight standards. I think this was called a B52, if memory serves me correct, and I don`t think any pun on the bomber was intended.

I can only remember our stick carrying one of these on one occasion, and that after the war while our Commando was exercising in the Inyanga Mountains by doing the SAS selection course for a laugh (!) The B52 had an elaborate aerial arrangement that had to be laid out in a certain pattern, and were really meant for a base site, rather than a patrol. They were great at
picking up Radio 5 in South Africa though, a popular music channel (strictly forbidden of course, just mentioned in passing Rhodesian Allouettes were all modified to try combat Strelas (SAM7). Basically the airforce engineers designed a shroud that directed the hot air leaving the turbine up into the blades of the chopper, instead of straight out the back as was standard.

If you look at pics of Rhodesian Allouettes you will see the mod. For reasons unknown the South Africans didn`t take the design up and it was absent on their Allouettes. Thankfully troopies were generally unaware of the strela threat, but of course we were aware of the danger from RPG7 rockets (etc). Our training had us out of the choppers pretty smartly after the wheels contacted the earth - bump and go. G-cars hugged the tree tops especially on run in, and they used ground features to good effect. I was frequently surprised by Allouettes suddenly appearing as they rose from over behind a small hill very near to our position, and their overall "quietness" when watched on approach was frankly astonishing. The Bells on the other hand
could be heard many miles away when inbound, and of course they deafened [] out of us by the time we got out of them. While they carried 8 troops instead of 4, the noise would have made them awful in the "surprise" department. Dont underestimate the effect of the comparative quietness of the Allouettes on approach, this will have played a huge part in Fire Force`s success.

Why didn`t more K-Cars, Daks, or Lynxs get shot down by Strelas given their relatively higher flying altitude? I have absolutely no idea. It seems to me the terrs could have caused mayhem with our FF if they had applied a few clever traps with those things. They certainly knocked a few Trojans down, and a Canberra went down in Mozambique apparently shot down, and of course we lost two civilian airliners, but to my knowledge we never lost a chopper to a strela. Strange, perhaps they kept the fact quiet? We certainly had choppers shot down by ground fire, a few of which crash landed and were recovered, and we had a South African Puma helicopter and a Dak take RPG7 hits in Mozambique, the former causing the greatest single loss of RLI troops.

As an aside, I always found pictures of the troops on FF ops interesting. Certainly by the end of 1979/1980, the use of short trousers was no longer, and we all wore normal camo long trousers, or one piece camo jumpsuits. This was because a number of troops had taken hits in the legs, so a dress change was instituted, but I don`t know what year this occurred - sounds all
rather casual I know, but the use of shorts and light running shoes was originally designed to help increase speed and mobility. People are sometimes surprised by our dress in the bush, however while spit and polish and identical kit was expected in the barracks, out in the bush we were free to make our own choice in webbing, light weight boots or running shoes, etc etc. We wore face veils as bandanas to keep the sweat out of our eyes (who [] is Rambo anyway?), and no helmets (unless jumping from a Dak) because of their weight (I`m sure you know this anyway). I used to wear a pair of shoes called Veld Skoens, a popular, soft, tan coloured leather shoe sported by officers, but not allowed as normal dress when in barracks for the other ranks (boots only for us). I modified my "Vellies" (pronounced Fellies, or Felt Skoons, an Afrikaans word) by having our cobbler replace the sole with car tyre tread, as car tyres were used by the locals out in the villages to make
sandles. It made the shoe a bit heavier, but the tread spoor blended in well when in a TTL. And those vellies gave me 30 000 miles . . .





Extracted from ORAFS Website in the interests of ALL ex-Rhodesians.(Thanks Eddie)

Distributed to ORAFs and Friends at the request of Peter Petter-Bowyer.
Direct all correspondence to Vic Walker on vw006c0697@blueyonder.co.uk

"Arising from a recommendation given by Rev. Terry Mesley-Spong in 2006, Brig. David Heppenstall very recently brought about the establishment of a committee to investigate the desirability and interest for a medal to be known as The Rhodesian Independence Commemorative Medal (RICM).
Clearly the introduction of an RICM is very late in coming but there is a need to accept that ‘late is better than never’.
The purpose of the RICM is to give to those who gave services in support of their cherished country the opportunity to declare and expose their pride in having done so. Such service came not from the military alone, but from every walk of life and from Rhodesians of all colour. Each knows where his or her heart and efforts lay through the troubled years in which Rhodesia ’s affairs were a focal point between antagonists either side of the Iron Curtain.
The RICM is not an official, government-approved and gazetted item. It is one being developed by a Rhodesian joint forces committee in UK with associates in Australia , New Zealand and RSA. Once available, interested individual Rhodesians will be able to order and pay for his/her own medal. The cost of the RICM and postage is not yet established but it is hoped to keep this as low as possible, without producing a cheap and inferior quality medal.
There is no limit to who can own and wear an RICM, providing he/she expended efforts to the benefit of Rhodesia ’s well being. Consider the farmers and their wives facing perils whilst continuing to uphold the agricultural sector upon which we were all dependent. railway operators, firemen, Red Cross and field caterering volunteers, doctors, nurses, hospital workers, civil servants, postmen, electrical maintenance men and water engineers are just a very small cross-section of a society that provided vital inputs to keep our independent country running efficiently for 15 years during which the world at large sought to destroy it.
Whereas our servicemen gained medals in service and proudly wear them on appropriate occasions, there is nothing for other deserving Rhodesians to show on those same occasions. Consider the wife who upheld her serving husband through the troubled times. Was she awarded for her vital but silent service? No! But maybe she would like to stand next to her be-medalled man when next he wears his gongs and proudly display her own.
The Committee will keep the various Rhodesian Associations around the world up to date on progress and hope to be in a position to circulate a drawing of the proposed medal, showing both obverse and reverse in the very near future."

Vic Walker

Thursday, September 4, 2008


Extract from SOF Magazine 1970's


Interesting stuff on Vorster and his dealings with Ian Smith here.
Hermann Giliome
03 September 2008

Hermann Giliomee on the Prime Minister who dominated white politics as Mbeki once did the ANC

At his peak John Vorster was the most powerful man South Africa has ever known. Had he wished to he could have led the country into directions which are not open to his successor, who lacks his stature as volksleier. Yet finally, like General Smuts before him, he ended up leading the country nowhere in particular at all. Why not? Hermann Giliomee looks at the man and at the legacy he left us.

Mr John Vorster's death [1983] has a special element of poignancy. In the mid-1970s he assumed a degree of control over white politics that was unrivalled in our recent political history. But the great potential of his power was never fulfilled and he died a tragic figure.

Like Louis Botha, his last years as Prime Minister were characterised by political impasse and disquiet. Brought down by political scandal, he went, like Hertzog, into retirement an embittered man, feeling himself betrayed by his closest political allies. Like Smuts, he died with much he sought to build (detente with Africa, regional stability and Afrikaner unity) either greatly impaired or in rulns.

In his nearly20 years of high visibility in public life, Mr Vorster left no one cold - to use the words of Jimmy Kruger, his worst political appointment. In the single interview I had with him conducted after his fall, he made a stronger impression upon me than any other South African politician. Even if one disagreed with his views there was no way of escaping the force of his personality.

Nor could one fail to note his masterly way of building an argument and probing for weaknesses in that of his opponent. He had a unique personal approach to politics. Piet Cillie once correctly noted: "His priority was to win over people - not people as an abstract mass but YOU". When I argued the case for drawing the Coloured, Indian and African middle class closer to the whites he stopped me short in my tracks by gruffly remarking, "That's what the English tried to do: they wanted to take the Cloetes and Van der Byls but they did not want to take the Vorsters, the Giliomees".

Unlike Verwoerd, he was not in an aloof and cerebral way concerned with proving the validity of a political dogma. Vorster's point of departure was emotional.

He considered a warm-blooded loyalty to one's people, one's friends and one's colleagues as the highest political value. Apartheid, he believed, was built upon this and was thus the only recipe for stability in South Africa. He had a disdain for those on the left whom he believed had turned their backs on their people and for liberals who in his view only wanted to "skim off" the cream of other peoples. He could be as contemptuous, too, towards those who opportunistically tried to promote and exploit Afrikaner chauvinism. It was he who coined the scornful phrase Super Afrikaners for elements in the Broederbond who attacked him from the political right.

What struck me most about Vorster was that he was at the same time both a very charming and a very chilling man. The charm, of course, worked in the first place for the Afrikaners. By the mid-1970s he was among Afrikaners by far the most popular leader of this century. Down-to-earth but yet unmistakably a leader, serious but a masterly deadpan joker, someone with the approach ability of a favourite uncle but never one to allow any liberties. He could draw on all these qualities to impose complete control over an audience, whether it be Parliament, the National Party caucus or a student meeting.

But the charm also worked for English-speaking whites, even for some liberals.

It was never more apparent than when Donald Woods visited Yale University in 1977 just after he had fled South Africa. Three hundred students packed the hall to hear about the brutal South African regime and the death of Steve Biko. Woods, it is true, delivered a powerful indictment but towards the end of his speech began to recall almost fondly his encounters with Vorster and told some favourite Vorster jokes, superbly mimicking Vorster's voice. I can still see the puzzled student faces - it was hardly the way a recent exile from Russia or Iran would talk about Brezhnev or Khomeini.

The chill came through when he started to talk about the white-black power struggle. If there was any compassion for his black opponents or any sense that they were fellow South Africans I failed to detect it. Alan Paton once wrote, "It is one of the deep mysteries of Afrikaner Nationalist psychology that a Nationalist can observe the highest standards of behaviour towards his own kind, but can observe an entirely different standard towards others, and more especially if they are not white."

It would be a mistake to assume that Vorster shared the explicit racism of Strijdom or the implied racism of Verwoerd. He was in fact the first Nationalist Prime Minister who unambiguously said that there were no inferior South Africans, who allowed black diplomats and sportsmen into South Africa and who permitted (rather reluctantly) the first integrated South African sports team.

However, to Vorster, blacks were different. And they were not South Africans. If they challenged the status quo Vorster would counter with ruthless methods.

He knew what solitary confinement meant. As a leader of the paramilitary Ossewa-Brandwag movement he was kept for two months in small police cells. During the early 1960s Vorster and General Van der Bergh perfected solitary confinement as an instrument to fight subversion by Communists, liberals and black nationalists alike. Vorster tended to believe in "it's them or us" and that the Afrikaner nationalists would not get any better treatment from their black nationalist opponents if they were to seize power.

In my interview with him I argued that he would be condemned by history for his failure to take stronger action over Steve Biko's death. Was it not his duty to sack Jimmy Kruger? No, one does not "drop" a colleague in a crisis like that; loyalty comes first. Did he not feel remorse about the circumstances of Biko's death? Yes, he was sorry he had to die in such circumstances but at the same time Biko was an "agitator" of the kind he got to know in the early sixties who would have no mercy at all for the Afrikaners.

I challenged him on the 1976 Soweto uprising. Surely that showed that the Afrikaners could not hope to continue imposing their will upon blacks. Vorster was unimpressed. Soweto 1976 was simply a "security failure" - the police had failed to recognise that schoolchildren could be a security threat. But the police force had learnt its lesson: next time it would be ready.

We had our interview in a house just next to De Waal Drive in Cape Town.

"Just think", said Vorster, "what would happen if I get a klomp klonkies together, arm them with nice big stones and tell them to let fly at the passing motor cars. Just imagine the damage we shall cause. But of course, there won't be a next time - the police will come for us."

In one breath: Soweto 1976 and klonkies pelting cars in De Waal Drive.


The same quality was present when Vorster went on to tell of his negotiations with black leaders about homelands independence. Verwoerd came up with the idea that blacks would enjoy political rights only in the homelands.

It was Vorster's idea to take away their South African citizenship. Like a chess player, he was prepared to wait patiently till his opponent gave the game away.

Here's how he recounted the negotiations about Bophuthatswana independence: "Mangope and I agreed about everything as far as independence was concerned. Then Mangope came up with the idea that he wanted to take only those people who were within Bophuthatswana territory. I then said to him the policy of my party is not to make territories independent but to make nations independent. I said to him that if he expected to take only some Tswanas and expect me to take the rest and give them South African citizenship then I was not prepared to come to an independence agreement with him. On the eve of independence Mangope again came with a proposal: he was prepared to take all the Tswanas but they should be allowed to exercise a choice whether they wanted to accept his citizenship. I then said to him I was not prepared to give to blacks South African citizenship. And that was that."

So politics for Vorster was a naked struggle to safeguard and maintain the power of a people and in particular that of one's own people. He personified the tough, uncompromising side of Afrikaner power. He not only fought the black nationalists but also Albert Hertzog's verkramptes who undermined his policies and threatened Afrikaner unity, the source of Afrikaner power. During the seventies he assumed almost complete control of the Afrikaner nationalist movement. Sadly, the more he succeeded, the less he was prepared to use that power in grappling with the rising crisis of apartheid. Afrikaner unity had become an end in itself. Separate development was the final answer. "Ons het klaar gepraat", he said during the Soweto riots of 1976.

Yet John Vorster always knew that a small embattled Afrikaner people clinging to a universally condemned apartheid policy could not survive alone over the long run. For that reason he sought to attract English support, abolished the most blatant forms of racial discrimination which became known as petty apartheid, launched his detente policy towards Africa and tried to persuade the West to reduce world pressure upon South Africa.

It was his "opening to Africa" which aroused the greatest interest and gave him the most satisfaction in his career. The collapse of the Portuguese empire in 1974 had created a dangerous power vacuum in South Africa. Could South Africa fill the breach by becoming a vigorous regional superpower, prepared to give generous development aid and in turn being accepted by the black African states as a stabilizing force?

Vorster thought so and was prepared to take considerable risks to achieve it.

He believed that the conservative African states would accept South Africa provided he could deliver three things: an acceptable settlement both in Rhodesia and Namibia and a modification of apartheid. "Give us six months and see where South Africa would stand," he said by the end of 1974 and sparked off a frenzy of speculation.

As Robert Jaster, reputed to be African head of the CIA, noted in a fascinating study of South Africa's narrowing security options, Rhodesia was the major test for detente. To force the intransigent Mr Smith's arm and convince a sceptical Africa of South Africa's bona fides as an honest broker, Mr Vorster in 1975 withdrew the South African forces from Rhodesia, slowed down through traffic to Rhodesia and had the nationalist leader, the Reverend Sithole, released from jail. Given Rhodesia's and Smith's popularity in South Africa, Vorster was quite courageous in these initiatives.

According to Jaster, detente began to falter in late August 1975, in the railway carriage on the Victoria Falls bridge when Vorster and his ally, President Kaunda, had finally brought together Ian Smith with Rhodesia's top black nationalist leaders, Nkomo, Sithole, Muzorewa and Mugabe. As Jaster puts it:

"Serious dissension among the African nationalists (particularly between Nkomo and Mugabe) enabled Smith to hold out against making any concessions. Nor could South Africa apply heavy pressure on him, since the nationalists offered no credible grounds for assuming that they could provide a stable and orderly alternative to the Smith regime." Shortly afterwards President Nyerere persuaded the other Front Line presidents that peaceful change in Rhodesia was no longer attainable and that the strategy of intensified guerrilla war should be pursued.

If detente was already dead in the spring of 1975, South Africa's invasion of Angola during the summer buried it. The full story of Vorster's leadership in that affair still has to be told. Some highly-placed sources suggest that he succumbed to military pressure in approving the invasion while his closest adviser, Van den Bergh, was overseas. However, it was Vorster who decided to withdraw after the South African forces ran into stiff Cuban opposition. The decision was prompted by important military, as well as political, considerations - the Soviets were introducing into the battle sophisticated weaponry which South Africa could not match. Here Vorster showed courage and wisdom in curtailing an operation in which South Africa had become over-extended.

After Angola, South Africa simply had to come up with some real concessions with respect to Namibia. The West (and particularly an initially hostile Carter Administration) gave warning that it was unable to block sanctions against South Africa any longer. By early 1978 it looked as if Vorster had finally decided to go ahead with an internationally accepted settlement in Namibia.

In my view he was the last white leader who enjoyed broad enough support to pull it off and justify it to his constituency. Perhaps he really would have settled had he not been overtaken by events in the course of 1978.

In internal policy Vorster was considerably less impressive. He moved far too slowly on the issue of Coloured citizenship and could not come to terms with the existence of a large permanent black population in the cities.

Why did Vorster not do more? By 1977 he was enjoying the support of more than 80 percent of both Afrikaners and English-speaking whites. It was Vorster whom Afrikaners had in mind when approximately 60 percent of a sample said that they would support their leaders even if they acted in ways they did not understand or approve.

Three answers suggest themselves. Firstly there was in his time not any consensus among Afrikaners about major changes in the apartheid policies, Vorster was not prepared to risk a party split to force the pace of change. He himself was a conservative who did not have any great enthusiasm for starting the process of integration by, for instance, building in an integrated system of industrial relations (it is fair to assume that if in power Mr Vorster would not have been enthusiastic about the Wiehahn recommendations and would have toned them down) and a constitutional dispensation which would include Coloureds and Indians on a basis that smacked of power-sharing.

Secondly Vorster had an exaggerated sense of what the power and force of the state could achieve. Certainly he believed that the state was strong enough to crush any resistance. In this field he believed that the ends justified the means and he allowed the Security Police almost a free hand.

The use or condonation of questionable means ultimately led to Mr Vorster's downfall in the Information Scandal. Quite simply, Mr Vorster was persuaded by some slick operators that, by buying local and overseas newspapers and using other questionable methods, South Africa could gain a favourable reputation abroad - without having introduced major reforms. (The Erasmus Commission delivered its verdict but the jury of history is still out - was John Vorster perhaps compelled to take an unfair proportion of the rap and was that the real cause of his anger and bitterness in retirement?)

Lastly Mr Vorster did not move because he believed that playing for time was the best strategem. He told me a story which vividly demonstrated this aspect of his political temperament. In 1974, Mr Vorster said, he went to Mr Smith with a deal he had concluded with Pres. Kaunda and some other States (Britain?). He said to Mr Smith: "Sanctions will be lifted, the bridge will be opened and you will get a white government for another fifteen years. My advice to you is to take it."

"No," replied Mr Smith, "I want a white government: for another 30 years."

And so Mr Vorster, in trying to persuade Mr Smith, told him the fable of the Sultan's horse: A sultan had sentenced two men to death. Just as they were being dragged away, he remarked, he will commute the sentence of the man that could make my horse talk." The next day one of the men was being dragged to the executioner to be beheaded. He saw the other man standing there free! He frantically shouted: "What did you tell the sultan? I said it was impossible to make a horse talk!"

"No," said the other man, "I said to the Sultan I can teach a horse to talk. But I need a year. And he then let me go. You know," the free man continued with a glint in his eye, "a lot can happen in a year - the damn horse can die or the Sultan can die."

Mr Smith was not persuaded. Did John Vorster perhaps believe that playing for time could make a dreadful, intractable problem go away? A pity, for he was a consummate politician and leader who had the power and ability to steer South Africa to safer waters.

This article first appeared in the South African magazine Frontline in November 1983. The best of Frontline is now available online at http://www.coldtype.net/frontline.html

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


Pictures from Soldier of Fortune Magazine in the 1970's and my brothers Colin and Glenn were TFs in the Regiment, some of their photos included.


Wandering about the village the soldiers found a woman named Zostina who
was pregnant. They asked her the sex of the child inside her. "I don't know," she
replied. "You soon will," they said. Immediately they opened her stomach with
knives . . "Look, now you know." Afterwards the woman and child were
consumed in the flames."
"In spite of the difficulties which have arisen in making a complete list of the
names of the victims of the massacre in the village of Wiriyamu (Mozam
bique), the sources of the detailed information we have collected give us the
right to maintain the affirmation that there were more than 400 victims...
Report of the Burgos Missionaries,
quoted by Father Adrian Hastings,
London Times, 10 July, 1973
"The atrocities committed by the Portuguese army, despite their horror and
barbarism, express the true nature of the Portuguese facist colonial regime,
just as the gas chambers of the Nazi concentration camps, the massacre at
Lidice in Czechoslovakia... expressed the true nature of Hitler and Nazism;
just as Sharpeville expressed the true nature of the regime in South Africa;
just as Sajiet Sidi Youssef expressed the true nature of French colonialism
in Algeria; ... just as Guernica in Spain showed the nature of Franco
facism; just as My Lai expressed the true nature of American imperialism in
Viet-Nam. Each colonial war, each racist war, each Nazi war, each imperial
ist war includes a Mueda, a Sharpeville, a Pidgiguiti, an Icolo Bengo, a My
Therefore, let us try to understand these facts, this reality, in that
Marcelino Don Santos, Vice President
Frelimo, testifying before the Committee
of 24 of the United Nations, 20 July, 1973
The report by Father Adrian Hastings of the massacre of more than 400
African villagers in Wiriyamu, Mozambique, has focused world attention
on the brutality of Portugal's colonial wars in Africa.
In fact, Portugal's five centuries of "rule" in Africa have been always
both tenuous and brutal. In the face of African military resistance all
of Angola was only brought under effective colonial control in 1930. The
military pacification of Mozambique continued late into the 1920's and
there was armed conflict in Guine Bissau until 1936. Less than 30 years
later the Portuguese were again facing full-scale armed popular uprisings
in all three of their African colonies, and the events of the past two
years, particularly in the Tete region of Mozambique and throughout Guine
Bissau indicate that despite an annual expenditure of more than 50% of the
annual budget on their colonial wars and the use of an army of over 160,000
men, the Portuguese are rapidly losing their hold on their African Empire.
By 1972 General Kaulza de Arriaga, Commander of the Mozambique operation,
site of the most recent massacres, admitted that his front alone was absorb
ing 30% of Portugal's annual total budget.
Until the end of the 19th century, Portugal's economic system in Africa
was based on slave labor; slavery was replaced by a callous aystem of
forced labour, which has for instance, conscripted a half million people
annually out of Angola's four million Black population! As late as 1961,
a British investigative team vhich included a Member of Parliament reported
that men were still being conscripted for periods of up to 18 months, women
were forced to mend roads and children from 8 years up were frequently forced
to work in the mines and on the coffee plantations. The Portuguese have al
ways described their role in Africa as a "civilizing mission" but by the
late 1950's less than 1% of the African school-age population in the colon
ies was attending school.
Determined to maintain their rule, the Portuguese met any opposition
with extreme violence, banning all political groups, imprisoning leaders
and shooting down demonstrators.
In 1960, in Mozambique, before the beginning of the national liberation
war, at Mueda in the Province of Cabo Delgado, almost 600 people were killed
by the Portuguese army with grenades and machine guns while they were demon
strating peacefully, in support of their demands for land and the" ight to
independence. At Pidgiguiti, in Guine Bissau, 50 African dock workers were
shot down in 1959 during a strike for higher wages. In Angola, the Portu
guese unleashed what American missionaries on the scene described as a
P. 2
'reign of terror" in response to the beginning of an armed uprising
in 1961. Villages miles from the scene of any conflict were fire
bombed and machine-gunned. A former Portuguese Air Force Staff
officer, Major Jose Ervedosa, revealed recently at a press Conference
in London (Star July 28, 1973) that statistics compiled at thi
time by the Portuguese military authorities in Angola estimated
that between 50,000 and 80,000 Angolans were killed by Portuguese
forces between March 16 and June 30, 1961. The major said that high
command orders at the time had been to kill any Angolan seen in any
areas of revolt.
Voices, including those of some Protestant missionaries on
the scene at the time, that tried to alert the world to the mass
atrocities being perpetrated by the Portuguese in Angola in 1961
were largely ignored. Many of the missionaries were driven out by
the colonial authorities. For the next 12 years the Portuguese
waged their wars against the people of the three colonies behind a
screen of isolatinn, which has shielded their most brutal actions
from outside scrutiny.
The liberation movements, in Angola, Mozambique and Guink Bissau,
actively engaged in the daily struggle, have reported again and again
the barbarity of Portuguese actions against the people. They have
described the techniques used -- such as the forced resettlement of
the people in strategic hamlets (aldeamentos) in an effort to isolate
the guerrillas from the people and 'sanitize' the masses, cutting
them off from contact with their political leadership. In Mozambique
alone the Portuguese have already uprooted over one million people
and have announced plans to uproot 3 million of the total 8 million
black populatinn by 1975, to settle them in easily defended strategic
The liberation movements have repeatedly called on the United
States, France, West Germany and other countries of the West to stop
supplying Portugal witL the herbicides and airplanes used to destroy
the African pecple -- but with -no effect. Thus it is an open secret
that the U.S. light planes Ihave beel used in defoliant attacks.
Continued United States, French ano British Government support has
created an atmosphere in which few people in the West believe or even
listen to the Liberation movements, despite their recognition by the
United Nations as the "authentic representatives of the true aspirations"
of the people. Western press and media, mirroring official attitudes,
have continued to present the Movements as 'terrorists' while they
describe with some sympathy the attempts made by the Portuguese to
'pacify' and'develop' their colonies.
As the struggle has intensified in all three countries and
the Portuguese suffer increasingly serious defeats, their response
has been an escalation of the use of terror tactics. There are now
large areas of liberated territory in each of the colonies, where the
movements have begun the construction of schools and hospitals, and
where democratically elected village committees have replaced the
arbitrary rule of the colonialists. The Portuguese Government, now
spending 50% of its budget on the wars and confronted by a growing
4th Front - the militant opposition to its facist regime inside
Portugal itself- tried half-heartedly to "win the hearts and minds of
the people" by building a few schools, water pumps and clinics behind
the barbed wire of the resettlement villages and manipulating the con
stitution to provide a token vote for some Africans to organs of impo
tent local authority. When these attempts failed, and the people con
tinued to increase their open support for the liberation movements,
the Portuguese reverted to their old tactics - rule by terror.
By 1971 increasingly frequent allegations were being made about
the brutal conduct of the Portuguese troops against the people of
Mozambique, particularly in remote areas, by various observers including
a number of Catholic missionaries from different orders working in the
Tete region. Despite the seriousness of these allegations, little
notice was taken of these horrors by the world press until the publi
cation by the Times of London on July 10th of a report by Father Adrian
Hastings based on information supplied by niissionaries of the Spanish
Burgos Mission alleging a massacre of 400 people at a village called
Wiriyamu on the 16th of December, 1972. The Times is a particularly
cautious establishment newspaper. Its decision to publish Father Hasting's
statement, at a time which would inevitably embarass the British
government, which was about to receive an official visit from Portugal's
Prime Minister Caetano, indicates the indisputable strength of the
accusations. The Portuguese initially denied the massacres, eventually
admitted that what they termed "isolated retaliatory actions" had
occurred. There is in fact overwhelming evidence that such massacres
have been perpetuated, not just as isolated episodes, but as a part
of a systematic attempt to terrorize the people, destroy their support
for the freedom struggle and isolate the liberation movements. Even
a broad review of some of the known events of the past two years
indicates that such atrocities have been widespread. They indicate too
that those facts have been well documented for some time and raise
serious questions about the prolonged silence of the influential
Western press.
May 1971 The White Fathers, a Roman Catholic Missionary order leave Mozambique,
after working in the colony for 25 years, in protest against the manner
in which the Church was used by the state for purposes that have
nothing to do with the Gospel.
Aug. 1971 A group of the White Fathers releases a document describing a number of
horrifying massacres which took place in April and May, 1971,
in the Mukumbura region of Tete province, apparently in reprisal
for the death of three Rhodesian soldiers who had entered Mozambique
to help the Portuguese and were killed by a FRELIMO landmine. The report
Jan. 1972
August 1972
provided a detailed account of 26 brutal murders, involving people
in several villages,(Standard, Tanzania, September 30, 1971.).
Jeune Afrique re-publishes the contents of a letter written by a
Portuguese missionary, Father Enrique Fernandez to Premier Caetano
setting out in detail a number of atrocities committed in the district
of Mukumbura. First published in the Spanish journal Vida Nueva the
letter refers to an incident in May 1971 in which 26 people died; to
an episode in September in which 15 people were killed by Rhodesian
troops collaborating with a Portuguese officer. It details the massacre
of 19 people in the village of Dak on the 10th of October and an operation
carried on in November 1971 by 40 members of the special forces section
of the army in which many people, including 13 children were burned
to death. (Jeune Afrique, Jan.22,1972)
Two Spanish priests, Fathers Martin Hernandez Robles and Alfonso
Valverde Leon are secretly arrested in Rhodesia and returned to the
Portuguese autho::ities . They had gone to Rhodesia to denounce the
massacres, which they said had begun in the Mukumbura region in May
1971. These two men have been held incommunicado by the Portuguese
in Machava ' prison near Lourenco Marques since their arrest and
have still not been brought to trial, although they have testified in
public about the massacres at the trial of two other Priests in
Mozambique.(First report of the arrests in the Observer,Lond. April 30,1972.)
Two Beira priests, Fathers Joaquim Sampaio and Fernando Mendes were
arrested for making anti-Portuguese statements alleging troop atrocities.
They come to trial a year later.(Star,January 15,1972.)
Father Luis Alfonso da Costa, a missionary of the Verona Fathers
smuggles a report out of Mozambique and publishes it in Rome. The
report which deals only with "about one tenth of the province of Tete",
gives the dates, and in most cases the names of 92 people killed by
Portuguese troops between May 1971 and March 20, 1972. His report
describes in ugly detail the forms of torture used by his fellow
Portuguese, and indicates that apart from prolonged physical torture
during interrogation, castration and mutilation are common in the
prisons.(Guardian,U.K. Aug. 5, 1972.) Father da Costa emphasizes two
points; the terror actions are perpetrated against the civilian popu
lation and are designed to keep the local population from supporting
the partisans. The executions, torture and systematic destruction of
entire villages is the job not of the ordinary troops but of the anti
guerilla commandos, paratroopers (G.E. paracaidistas) sometimes called
the "fuzileiros navais" who are organized and trained after the pattern
of the U.S. marines. These special units have only become operational
in the last two years, soon after the commencement of coustruction
work at the Cabora Bassa site. (Spiegel, West Germany, Aug.21,1972).
Jan. 1973 Fathers Sampaio and Mendes are finally brought to trial in Loureic
Marques in Jani.1973, before a special military tribunal. Giving
evidence for the defence, Bishop Felix Ribeira,(Bishop of Tete at the
time the two priests were arrested) confirms the allegations of mass
attrocities and claims he had proof that the DGS (the Portuguese
Security police) habitually beat Africans in the northern area of
Mozambique to try and obtain information about the movement of FRELIMO
groups. Father Leon, brought to the court room from jail also testifies
that he has personally witnessed a massacre at Muculala on Nov. 4, 1971,
where Portuguese commandos had killed four women and eleven children with
hand grenades because 'terrorists' from their area had been responsible
for the death of a pro-government Maconde chief.(Rand Daily Mail,Jan.13
and 19th, 1973)
Evidence against the Portuguese has thus been mounting for several years. Yet
it has, until very recently been almost totally ignored by most people in the
Western world, and the United States press continues to give the atrocities
and their implications almost no attention.
U.S. and Portugal: Allies in Empire
The reason for this benign attitude can be found in the close and supportive
relationship that exists between the United States, most of the Western
European members of NATO and Portugal. Portugal is in fact regarded as an
important buffer against potentially threatening racial and political forces
in Africa. Hence the increasing support that has gone to Portugal both
directly, and through NATO agreements, as her military position worsens. The
Nixon administration has made available loans worth over $400. million under
the Azores Agreement, U.S. experts continue to train Portuguese officers;
the U.S. allows the sale of Boeing aircraft for troop transports to the
Portuguese government, and the sale of so-called civilian aircraft (light
aircraft ideal for counter-guerilla warfare) under the guise that these are
being sold to private companies in Mozambique.
U.S.A. Corporations have increased their activities in Portuguese Africa
in the last few years; not only is Gulf oil now drawing off 150,000 barrels
per day of oil from Cabinda in Angola, but corporations such as Bethlehem
Steel are developing new concessions right inside the most hotly contested
areas in Mozambique. In September 1972 Bethlehem Steel, in a consortium
with two Portuguese companies was granted an exclusive concession of several
1,000 square miles in Tete province itself. U.S. corporations in Angola
and Mozambique arenow dependent on the victory of Portuguese colonialism
for their continued security and profits.
Put an End to the Massacres:
There have been several international proposals for the establishment of a
prestigious international commission of enquiry to visit the scenes of the
massacres and determine the truth of the allegations.
Any action that will serve to focus world attention on the brutalities of
continued Portuguese colonial rule is important and should be supported.
It is important to recall however the woils of the Vice-President of FRELIMO
"Every act of the Portuguese facist colonial regime is a crime. As long
as that regime exists, crime will exist."
Father Hastings concluded his statement to the United Nations with the foll
owing words:
"The Portuguese Government is not alone in the world and I appeal
to the world, particularly tD those countries which regard Portugal
as an ally, which share arms and military training with it, which
protect its interests in the United Nations, whose conmmercial
companies pour money into the Cabora Bassa project only a very
few miles from Wiriyamu - I appeal to those countries...to realise
that by continuing to do this, by closing their eyes to the
genocidal policy of the Portuguese government.. .they have taken
on to their own hands the blood of the women and children of
The task tihatis'being tndertakc- by the liberation movements is the total
destruction of the system of colonial rule which inevitably leads to the
crimes of Wiriyamu.
The task for Americans who support the struggle for freedom and self deter
mination of the people of Angola, Mozambique and Guinea-Bissau is to ensure
that their own government ceases to prop up this vicious colonial regime.
U.S. policy will not be changed by one dramatic protest. But it is important
that each issue is seen as part of a longterm campaign that will ultimately
succeed in ending U.S. support for racism and colonialism in Africa.
Being informed about southern African issues, raising them wherever you work
with other people, in your church, trade union or student association, is
a first step. Contact local radio stations and newspapers and urge them
to carry regular news about Southern Africa, about the liberation struggle
and U.S. policy. Join with others to work on some of the issues that will
be highlighted in campaigns in the coming months.
Support the "Chemical Warfare Act of 1973": On June 11, 1973, Gongressman
Charles Rangle and 16 co-sponsord introduced the "Chemical Warfare Prevention
Act of 1973", H.R. 8574, to ban exportation of all herbicides to Portugal
and South Africa. In introducing the bill, Congressman Rangel said, "The
excessive amounts of chemical herbicides that the United States government
and private business sell to Portugal and South Africa is being used to con
tinue and intensify the colonial warfare in the Portugues colonies of Angola
and Mozambique." He cited figures compiled by the Department of Commerce
that show that United States sales of herbicides to Portugal and South Africa
have increased significantly since 1969.
H.R. 8574 is pending before that Subcommittee on International Trade of the
House Committee on Banking and Currency. It is important to press for hear
ings on this bill because it focusses directly on United States support for
Portugal in its colonial wars. Write to Congressman Wright Patman, the chair
man of the Subcommittee, urging that they hold hearings on H.R. 8574 this
session. Urge your Congressman to support this Bill. Communicate with groups
you know to bring as much attention to this Bill as possible.
P. 7
Support the Gulf Oil Boycott Campaign: Gulf Oil is the largest single U.S.
investor in "Portuguese" Africa, and its annual tax and royalty payment to
the Portug .ese Government, now over $60 million, is equivalent to 60% of
Angola' s provincial military expenses.
The United Nations and the M.P.L.A. (Angolan liberation movement) have called on
foreign investors such as Gulf to withdraw from Angola. Gulf's refusal to do
this has led to the development of a widely supported Gulf Boycott Campaign
in the U.S. Actions have included the return of Gulf credit cards, the sale
of Gulf stock, endi> g local institutional and governmental contracts for pro
ducts and boycotts of Gulf stations.
The Gulf Boycott campaign is an important effort aimed at ending U.S. ties to
Portuguese colonial rule in Africa and supporting the movements for liberation
in southern Africa. The American Committee on Africa has further background
information on Gulf and other U.S. corporations operating in southern Africa,
on other aspects of U.S. links to Portugal, and on the liberation movements
in southern Africa. Frite to ACOA for more information.
Support the African Liberation Movements: In addition to ending U.S. backing
of Portugal, support for the African liberation movements is vital. The U.N.
last year recognized the movements in Angola, Mozambique, and Guinea-Bissau
as the authentic representatives of the aspirations of the people of their
countries and called in Portugal to open negotiations to grant independence.
While the struggle continues the liberation movements need direct material
aid from concerned Americans - aid which can take many forms - medicines,
radios, school books and trucks.
In particular Guinea-Bissau has now been almost completely freed by the forces
of the PAICC and the new National Assembly is to proclaim independence from
Portugal this year. Americans can make an important contribution towards
helping a people enslaved under colonialism achieve recognition as an indepen
dent nation by building support for the recognition of the new state.
American Committee on Africa
164 Madison Avenue
New York, N. Y. 10016
August, 1973


HANSARD 1803–2005 → 1970s → 1973 → July 1973 → 10 July 1973 → Commons Sitting

PORTUGUESE PRIME MINISTER (VISIT)1258§ Mr. Maclennan I beg to ask leave to move the Adjournment of the House, under Standing Order No. 9, for the purpose of discussing a specific and important matter that should have urgent consideration: namely, the reported massacre at the village of Wiriyamu in Mozambique and the intended visit to this country of the Portuguese Prime Minister, Dr. Caetano". 1259 The facts are specific and as reported in The Times today—that on 16th December last at the village of Wiriyamu in West Central Mozambique there was an armed attack by the Portuguese Armed Forces upon the village, following which the troops systematically and with bestial ferocity massacred 86 named Africans—men, women and children—who were alleged sympathisers of the Frelimo fighters.

That the matter is important scarcely requires demonstration. That it is urgent and that the House should debate this question flows from the fact that Her Majesty's Government have issued an invitation to the Portuguese Prime Minister, Dr. Caetano, which is to be taken up next week.

It is, in my submission, suitable for urgent debate in the light of the imminent arrival of the Portuguese Head of Government, and this House should have the opportunity of expressing the utter abhorrence of the British people of the consequences of Portuguese policies in Africa and of making it clear that the alternative for the Portuguese people is to join the civilisation of Europe and abandon these policies forthwith.

I conclude by expressing the view that this is pre-eminently a matter of Government responsibility, as they have issued the invitation, and this House will wish to have the opportunity of expressing the view that it should be withdrawn.

§ Mr. SpeakerThe hon. Member for Caithness and Sutherland (Mr. Maclennan) gave notice of his intention to make this application under Standing Order No. 9.

My decision is simply whether I think this matter should be debated in the House today or tomorrow under Standing Order No. 9. I rule against the hon. Member's application.

§ Mr. Harold Wilson On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. While of course I am not questioning your ruling—and I do not question it—I give notice, following the statement that we have issued this afternoon, that my right hon. Friends and I will table a motion in the House in support of the line taken by my hon. Friend the Member for Caithness and Sutherland (Mr. Maclennan).

HC Deb 10 July 1973 vol 859 cc1258-60


Adrian Hastings

Last Updated: 1:10PM GMT 22 Nov 2001

ADRIAN HASTINGS, the radical Roman Catholic priest and theologian who has died aged 71, rose to prominence as the scourge of Portuguese rule in Mozambique.

After spending the early years of his priesthood in Africa, Hastings created a storm in 1973 with an article in The Times about the so-called "Wiriyamu massacre" in Mozambique, alleging that the Portuguese Army had massacred 400 villagers at the village of Wiriyamu, near Tete, in December 1972. His report was printed a week before the Portuguese prime minister, Marcello Caetano, was due to visit Britain to celebrate the 600th anniversary of the Anglo-Portuguese alliance.

Doubts were soon raised about the sources and the accuracy of Hastings's information - the Archbishop of Loureno Marques called the allegations "pure invention" by "Christian Marxists", while journalists struggled in vain to find Wiriyamu on any map. Nonetheless, when Caetano arrived in Britain, Labour MPs tried to boycott festivities.

Soon after, Hastings spoke at the United Nations and excoriated what he saw as the church's role in countenancing colonial oppression. He explained that he had got his information about Wiriyamu from Spanish and Dutch missionaries who had been working in the vicinity; he further referred to "a whole series of massacres in the Mucumbura area between May and November, 1971, for ghastliness each rivalling that of My Lai".

Portugal's growing isolation following Hastings's claims has often been cited as a factor that helped to bring about the "carnation revolution" which deposed the Caetano regime in 1974. Adrian Christopher Hastings was born on June 23 1929 at Kuala Lumpur, where his father practised as a lawyer. The family moved to Great Malvern in Worcestershire when Adrian was two. After deciding upon a career in the priesthood at eight, he was educated at Douai Abbey School and at Worcester College, Oxford, where he read History.

In his third year at Oxford, Hastings joined the White Fathers, a Catholic missionary society in Africa, but then resolved to go there not as a missionary but as a priest working under an African bishop. The only black African Catholic bishop at the time was Joseph Kiwanuka of Masaka, Uganda, and it was to him that Hastings duly applied.

Hastings completed his training for the priesthood at the College of Propaganda Fide in Rome, where he steeped himself in radical Catholic theology and was ordained in 1955. Three years later, after finishing his doctorate, he travelled to Uganda. There he worked as a curate for a year and taught for six years in a seminary, although he found his radical thinking somewhat out of step with the conservative outlook of the local clergy.

After the Second Vatican Council (1962-65), Hastings was asked to teach East African clergy about it. He moved to Tanzania in 1966, and two years later to Zambia. In 1970, a combination of worsening malaria and his qualms about the role of a white theologian in newly independent Africa persuaded him to return home.

Back in Britain, he seemed drawn to controversy and in 1972 he angered the Vatican by his opposition to the ban on artificial contraception. He was then offered a tutorship at the Anglican College of the Ascension at Selly Oak, Birmingham, to write about Christian marriage in Africa.

In 1978 he published a memoir, In Filial Disobedience, in which he questioned the imposition of celibacy upon priests. His views on the matter found fuller expression the following year when he married a fellow academic, Ann Spence, in the college chapel at Selly Oak. "I have spent many hours in prayer and thought before I came to the decision to marry without asking the Church's permission," he said. "I am not against celibacy as a vocation, but I cannot agree with it as a law." He was automatically barred from any priestly duties, although he was not at the time engaged in any pastoral work or saying Mass in public.

After further teaching posts at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London and at Aberdeen University, Hastings returned to Africa in 1982 as Professor of Religious Studies in the newly independent Zimbabwe, where he wrote A History of English Christianity. In 1985 he came back to Britain as Professor of Theology at Leeds University in succession to David Jenkins, who had become Bishop of Durham. He remained there until his retirement in 1994, and continued to involve himself with political causes.

He was also a prolific writer; his publications included The History of the Church in Africa: 1450-1950 (1994) and A World History of Christianity (1998). Reviewers praised his lively and lucid style and his erudition. He was editor of the Journal of Religion in Africa from 1985 to 1999 and last year he co-edited The Oxford Companion to Christian Thought, to which he contributed numerous articles.

Adrian Hastings is survived by his wife.


Mozambique-Insurgency Against Portugal, 1963-1975
CSC 1984
Author: Westfall, William C., Jr., Major, United States
Marine Corps
Title: Mozambique - Insurgency Against Portugal, 1963-1975
Publisher: Marine Corps Command and Staff College
Date: 1 April 1984
The object of this study is to review the insurgent movement
in Mozambique from the perspective of why it occured, how it was
conducted, and what caused the results. The study is divided
into areas of historical background, colonial issues relevant to
the insurgency, organization of the insurgent movement, conduct
of the insurgency, and Portuguese counterinsurgent efforts.
Mozambique is a strategically located, resource rich, African
nation which remains embroiled in turmoil despite almost a decade
of self-rule since achieving independence from Portugal. The
global importance of the Horn of Africa and the continuing
struggle between East and West to establish influence in that
critical area necessitates a sound understanding of regional
issues and their international ramifications. The entire
situation is an open invitation for involvement of United States
forces and is almost as predictable, in that regard, as was the
Pacific prior to World War II. Mozambique is of particular
significance to the Marine officer because it offers over twelve
hundred miles of coastline to an amphibious force and retains
several of the finest port facilities and natural harbors on the
East African littoral.
The conclusions drawn in the final section of this study
attempt to define the reasons for the success of the insurgency
and the failure of the counterinsurgency. If United States
forces are committed to action in Mozambique sometime in the
future, then the lessons learned from this conflict will be very
applicable. The enemy will probably be the same that defeated
the Portuguese; and it would serve us well to understand their
thought process and mode of operation.
Mozambique - Insurgency Against Portugal
Major William C. Westfall, Jr., USMC
2 April 1984
Marine Corps Command and Staff College
Marine Corps Development and Education Command
Quantico, Virginia 22134
Table of Contents
Explanation 1
Mozambique - A Background 4
Mozambique - The Colonial Era 13
Development of the Insurgency 26
Frelimo - Purpose, Strategy, External Support
and Unity 38
Frelimo - Conduct of the Insurgency 67
Portugal - Conduct of the Counterinsurgency 77
Conclusions 87
Bibliography 92
On June 25, 1975, Mozambique became an independent African
nation under the rule of the Frente de Libertacao de Mozambique
(Frelimo). This marked an end to over five centuries of
Portuguese colonialization and, simultaneously, the end of an
insurgency which had endured for greater than ten years.
Strategically located and resource rich, Mozambique remains
embroiled in turmoil despite almost a decade of self-rule since
achieving independence from Portugal. That golden coast just
west of Madagascar, so inviting to the Portuguese, so luring to
sea traders of ages past, now beckons to the military strategist
and geopolitician. A painful abscess in the foreign policy of
the United States, Mozambique has become a creaking door for
penetration by Soviet pawns prying into the treasures of Southern
Africa. The entire situation is an open invitation for the
involvement of United States forces. In that regard, a sound
understanding of the insurgency which culminated in Mozambican
independence is imperative. The intent of this study is not to
recount the chronological chain of events which transpired, but
to analyze the insurgency in a broad framework suitable for
comparison with other insurgencies which have taken place since
the end of World War II. The tool which provides this framework
is Insurgency in the Modern World1, a publication utilized at the
National War College in a subcourse analyzing insurgencies. The
1Bard E. Oneil, William R. Heaton, Donald J. Alberts,
Insurgency in the Modern World, (A Westview Special Study:
Westview Press, 1980), p. 1-42.
questions which were pursued in researching the insurgency in
Mozambique are provided at this juncture to orient the reader to
the sections that follow.2
1. What type of insurgency occurred? Was it
revolutionary, reformist, secessionist,
reactionary, conservative, restorationist
or a combination of several?
2. What strategy did the insurgents follow - Leninist,
Maoist, Cuban, or Urban Terrorist?
3. How much popular support did the insurgents have? What
was the role of the educated classes in the population?
Which techniques did the insurgents rely on to gain
support? Was popular support at tected by societal
divisions or geography?
4. What was the nature of the insurgent organization?
5. Were the insurgents united? What were the effects of
unity or disunity?
6. Was the physical environment conducive to terrorism
and/or guerrilla warfare? How did the human environment
affect the insurgency?
7. What kind of external support did the insurgents receive
and from whom? How important was it?
8. How effective was the government response? Did the
government have a coherent program for countering the
2See Unit V, U. S. Defense Policy, Military Strategy and
Force Planning, Part 4, Insurgency, Syllabus and Readings, The
National War College, Academic Year 1982-83, p. 1-7.
insurgency? Was the government administrative apparatus
competent and did it control affairs in all sectors of
the country? Was the government military response
carefully tailored to different kinds of threats or was
it indiscriminate and what were the consequences?
These are the questions which formed the common threads in
this analysis of the insurgency in Mozambique. The answers to
these questions form a foundation for a comparison with any other
insurgency that has taken place in modern times or any that may
take place in the future. The prospect is to learn lessons from
events that have transpired and apply them to events of the
future to prevent repeating mistakes of the past. To that
extent, this study has illuminated broad themes of insurgency in
an area where vital interests of the United States are
increasingly accumulating - that part of Africa called by
Brezhnev "the West's Treasure Box."
Mozambique - A Background
Portuguese involvement in Mozambique began in the late
fifteenth century as a result of the search for a sea route to
India avoiding the dangerous overland route through what is
today's Middle East. In 1498, Vasco de Gama's small fleet, en
route to India, touched at Inhambane, just north of Delagoa Bay
(See figure 1.), and stopped at Quelimana, Mocambique Island,
Click here to view image
Kilwa Island, Mombasa and Malindi before proceeding east across
the ocean. De Gama encountered a sophisticated trading society.
Ports were filled with ships, often as large as his own,
navigational charts and instruments were more refined than those
he possessed, and the settlements were impressive with stone,
multi-storied structures commonplace. From as early as the ninth
century Mozambique had been a center of economic exploitation for
Arab and Arab-influenced African traders. Mozambican ivory and
gold were highly sought trade items throughout the Arabic and
Oriental world; and the Arabs had developed a sophisticated
trading network which extended as far south along the African
coast as the Limpopo River by the time of de Gama's arrival.
Though Arab development was limited to the coastal regions almost
exclusively, they had penetrated the interior along the Zambezi
River and inland from Sofala to regions of present day Zimbabwe
establishing trade fairs where great quantities of gold and ivory
were brought to single locations for purchase by the Arab
traders. The result of de Gama's visit was a determination by
the Portuguese to win control of the Indian Ocean by establishing
coastal strongpoints along the African littoral, the entrances to
the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea, and the coast of India.
Control of the Indian Ocean in the Portuguese scheme included
complete seizure of seaborne trade from the Arabs; and they
accomplished this endeavor with astounding swiftness. Motivated
by religious ardor as well as commercial profit, the Portguese
expanded their influence in the Indian Ocean to the point of
becoming virtual masters of commerce by 1509 and remained
unthreatened throughout the region until the arrival of the Dutch
in the East Indies nearly a century later.
Before narrowing to the specifics of the Portuguese
involvement in Mozambique it is important to consider a global
perspective at this point in history. It relates directly to the
methods of Portuguese colonialization, the rationale for
Portuguese treatment of Muslim peoples and natives who had been
converted to the Islamic faith, and resurfaces in the late
nineteenth and early twentieth centuries as justification for
Portuguese claims to Mozambique and other African territories.
The period from the early fifteenth century to the early
sixteenth century is venerated in Portuguese literature and
history as "The Marvelous Century."3 Portugal had secured
independence from Spain in 1139 through the efforts and
permission of Pope Alexander III4 as a reward to Afronso
Henrique, the first King of Portugal, for driving the Moors from
the Iberian Peninsula. The expansionist policies of Spain and
Portugal received papal encouragement throughout the period of
time thus far discussed as a method of extending the crusades,
3Thomas H. Henriksen, Mozambique: A History, (The Camelot
Press, Southampton, England, 1978), p. 23.
4Edgar Prestage, Portugal: A Pioneer of Christianity,
(Watford: Voss and Michael, Ltd., 1945), p. 5-6.
freeing the world for Christianity, and destroying the Islamic
faith. Indeed, the Papal Line of Demarkation, drawn in 1494,
divided the earth in half for subsequent conquest and subjugation
by Spain and Portugal. The theory evolving in this discussion is
that Portuguese expansion was driven as much by religious
principle as it was by the search for increased prosperity, and
more so than any of the other European colonial powers that
followed. This question has long been debated by historians
with no satisfactory advantage to either argument in the
judgement of this author.5 Suffice it to say, that by the end of
"The Marvelous Century" Portugal had linked the continents of the
world by sea, monopolized the Asian trade routes, introduced
Western civilization into Africa and the East, and conquered a
global seaborne empire. If religious fervor had provided the
motivation for Portugal's bold strategy, then certainly
commercial profit was a beneficial offshoot. The problem that
began arising in the late nineteenth and early twentieth
centuries in Portugal's African colonies was that commercial
profit had quickly evolved into commercial exploitation and the
benefits of spreading Christianity to the indigenous populations
were hardly sufficient to overcome five centuries of grievances.
The exasperation of this feeling is summed up in an African
saying which was popular throughout the Portuguese colonies in
Africa in the mid-twentieth century. It is quoted from a book
5For an excellent summary see Luis B. Serapiao and Mohamed
A. El-Khawas, Mozambique in the Twentieth Century: From
Colonialism to Independence, (Washington, D.C.: University Press
of America, Inc., 1979), p. 1-32.
written by Eduardo Mondlane, the first president of Frelimo.6
"When the whites came to our country we had
the land, and they had the bible; now we have
the bible and they have the land."
Portuguese claims to the territory of Mozambique date from de
Gama's voyage in the late fifteenth century, although they were
not able to achieve true control of the interior of the country
until the late nineteenth century. They fought their way into a
position of control along the coastal region, taking advantage of
rivalries which existed among the sheiks of the city states of
Pate, Malindi, Kilwa, Zanzibar, Mozambique and Sofala; and
succeeded in monopolizing the rich trade in ivory, gold and
precious stones, as mentioned earlier. They enslaved or killed
the Muslim merchants under orders of King Manuel in the early
sixteenth century, "because they are enemies of our Holy Catholic
Faith and we have a continual war with them7"; and took advantage
of the native princes," since they are like animals, and
satisfied with gaining a handful of maize; nor can they harm us,
and can be used for any kind of work and treated like slaves8".
6Eduardo Mondlane, The Struggle for Mozambique, (Middlesex:
Penguin Books, Ltd., 1969), p. 23.
7James Duffy, Portugal in Africa, (Middlesex: Penguin Books,
Ltd., 1962), p. 75.
8Ibid; quoted in a letter from Duarte de Lemos to the crown.
In all essence this was the extent of Portuguese control for over
three hundred years. Though they exploited the situation to gain
tremendous commercial profit, they were never able to gain
lasting political control, except on a very thin coastal strip
from Cabo Delgado to Sofala.
For the purpose of this study, it is not necessary to recount
the events of the ensuing three centuries. It is sufficient to
note that the time period encompassed a complex struggle in which
five main contenders took part at various times - the Mwene
Mutapa Kingdom, the Changamire Kingdom, Portugal, Muslim
merchants, and the Malawi Kingdom. Three hundred years of
warfare, revolts, ambushes, massacres, seiges and isolated
murders produced no clear victor and changed the political
control picture very little. There are, however, two issues
which surface during this period that are key elements to
understanding the background to rising African nationalism in the
late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries the "prazo"
system was introduced in Mozambique. It emerged from the chaotic
environment surrounding the breakup of the Mwene Mutapa empire.
"Prazeiros" were Portuguese settlers, often felons, ex-soldiers
and destitute officials, who seized the opportunity to establish
vast estates and surround themselves with natives in search of
security and sustenance.9 The fate of these Africans was worse
9For extensive readings on the prazos see Thomas H.
Henriksen, Mozambique: A History, (The Camelot Press,
Southampton, England, 1978), p. 55-74.
than that of slaves. The prazeiros often controlled entire
districts as personal properties and recognized no law but their
own, only occasionally paying vassalage to the King of Portugal.
They relied on the natives for defense, trade, food, women, labor
and ultimately as a commodity for the slave market. Jesuit and
Dominican missionaries of the time also came to own vast tracts
of land, administering them like any prazeiro and dealing in
slaves when slavery became more profitable. The prazo system has
been used as an example of Lusotropicalism", a term developed by
Gilberto Freyre, a Brazilian sociologist, to describe a new
civilization created in the Portuguese colonies through
miscegenation and Christian conversion.10 This does not appear
to be the case in Mozambique since the prazeiros were small in
number and if anything assimilated intp the native culture, using
their Portuguese affiliation when it was convenient and their
African background if advantageous to the situation. In any
case, corruption in the prazo system was so rampant that by the
mid-nineteenth century the Portuguese government felt compelled
to outlaw it. Its disregard for persons and property was
notorious and the slaving manor lords drove an excessive number
of Africans away from the area altogether.
Slavery is the second issue which deserves discussion as
background information during this time period, for the slave
10Thomas H. Henriksen, Mozambique: A History, (The Camelot
Press, Southampton, England, 1978), p. 59.
trade reached its peak during the mid-nineteenth century. Under
pressure from the British and French to cease the flow of slaves
to the New World at the turn of the nineteenth century, Portugal
had prohibited slave commerce north of the equator in 1815, and
banned it entirely in 1836. By then, however, the slave market
provided such tremendous profits and Portugal exercised so little
control over activites in the interior of Mozambique that their
attempts to control the slave trade were virtually ineffective.
Quelimane and Ibo Island ranked among leading African slave ports
with an estimated 15,000 Africans per year being carried away
from Mozambique during the 1820's and 1830's.11 Portuguese
officials in Mozambique were bought off by the slave traders, to
include, at times, even the Governor-General; and in 1839,
Mozambican slave interests plotted an unsuccessful independence
from Portugal to get out from under their crimping rule.12
Portugal took no effective measures to cease the slave trade
until it appeared imminent that it would lead to territorial
losses in Mozambique to other European powers.
The background provided to this point begins to establish a
clear history of commercial exploitation. For nearly four
hundred years the Portuguese profited from Mozambican resources
with little attempt at effectively occupying the territory or
controlling it politically. It is also clear that although the
11Ibid; p. 65.
12P. R. Warhurst, "The Scramble and African Politics in
Gazaland", The Zambesian Past: Studies in Central African
History, (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1966), p.61.
idea of spreading Christianity was a lofty goal of Portuguese
expansion, it took second place to commerce when push came to
shove in the slavery issue. The treatment of the Africans during
this period is a theme that arises strongly in later movements of
Mozambican nationalism and is used by rebels and insurgents
throughout the twentieth century to unite the African
population. It is a theme for which this author can find no
rebuttal and is important for the reader to understand.
Mozambique - The Colonial Era
It is from the proverbial "scramble for Africa" in the late
nineteenth century, that the true Portuguese conquest of
Mozambique must be dated. Faced with the rising ambitions of
other European nations and the decline of its own power and
influence throughout the world, Portugal was roused from a
centuries-long slumber in Africa by what has come to be known in
Portuguese history as the "generation of 1895.13" The Berlin
Conference of 1884-1885 partitioned Africa for development by the
European powers, specifically France, Germany, Belgium, Britain
and Portugal. Though losing rights to almost all of the
territory north of the Congo River due to the conference's
governing principle of "effective control", Portuguese claims in
Mozambique were recognized by all participants with the exception
of Great Britain. Compelled to capture and control the
Mozambican territories assigned to her or lose them to the
British, a wave of ultra-nationalism reflective of "The Marvelous
Century" swept through Portugal forging an emotional link to
African lands that had been non-existant before. Capitulating,
initially, to British territorial ultimatums due to international
weakness, the Portuguese monarchy was beseiged by a population
demanding a hard line toward the British. Demonstrations
throughout Portugal charged the government with cowardice and
13James Duffey, Portuguese Africa, (Cambridge: Harvard
University Press, 1959), p. 232.
betrayal, and mobs stoned British consulates in several
Portuguese cities. Public reaction reached such a fervor that it
was classified by one British observer as "driving the Portuguese
national character to a level of heroic madness, away from sound
judgement and prudence.14" A national fund was established to
send a cruiser and soldiers to Mozambique, and Portugal's focus
was riveted on occupation campaigns and colonial activities for
the next twenty years. This public focus proved determinelta to
the monarchy which toppled in 1911, but beneficial to colonial
Mozambique whose territorial boundaries were finalized and remain
as such today.
The "generation of 1895" produced many heroes who were to
dominate Portuguese political life for the next fifty years and
determine the policies that would govern the African colonies.
The occupational campaigns used any possible technique to
subjugate and pacify the native population, from outright
military conquest where possible, to establishing diplomatic
relations with important traditional rulers, exploring the
internal strengths and weaknesses of the native government, then
attacking, claiming protection of white settlers and
missionaries. The latter was the case in the war with the Gaza
Kingdom, the last traditional Mozambican empire, which ended with
the death of Maguiguana, the leading Gazan general and the
capture of Gungunyane, the tribal emperor. Gungunyane was
humiliated in front of his followers, transported to Lisbon as a
14F.C.C. Egerton, Angola in Perspective, (London: Routledge
and Kegan Paul, 1957), p. 27-28.
prisoner and "paraded through the streets in Roman fashion.15"
Both names resurfaced in the early 1960's in insurgent military
communiques and were used to rally the population to the
Mozambican nationalist cause.
From the end of conquest and pacification until the beginning
of World War II, Portuguese leaders enshrined their mystical
nationalism, dedication to the colonial empire and a belief in
Portugal's imperial destiny to shape a colonial mentality. They
worked for a new order dominated by concerns for an effective
colonial administration, the profitable exploitation of
Mozambique's resources and the formation of a comprehensive
native policy. Chief among their goals was a multi-continental
lusitanian community of "one state, one race, one faith, and one
civilization.16" As a conclusion to the background for the
insurgency it is necessary to view the administrative, commercial
and native policies as they evolved through the twentieth
The keystone to the administrative structure was the
Governor-General who ruled first from the capital in the city ot
Mozambique and later from Lourenco Marques as the capital was
moved south. Under him were various provincial governors and
below these were the district administrators. Each district was
subdivided into numerous posts, with a "chefo de posto" having
15Thomas H. Henriksen, Mozambique: A History, (The Camelot
Press, Southampton, England, 1978), p. 89.
16Antonio Leite de Magalhaes, O Mundo Portuguese (Lisbon,
1937), p. 363.
direct control over the daily lives of thousands of indigenous
natives. Acting as a white chief, the chefo de posto supervised
the collection of taxes, presided over disputes, dispensed
punishment and oversaw village agriculture. Underpaid and poorly
trained, most abused their power to attain as much personal
wealth as possible to take with them upon return to Portugal. To
assist the chefo de posto, the Portuguese government
re-established a limited traditional authority for some of the
African chieftains, but made certain they could never acquire any
significant power by splitting the various chiefdoms into small
territories, each with only a few thousand people. All African
chiefs were made directly responsible to the chefo de posto with
the end result that the chief was no longer the leader of his
community but the representative within his community of a
hierarchical colonial authority. The old political ties between
the various African communities were finally severed and its
place taken by Portuguese power. The corrupt, often cruel, and
normally incompetent chefo de posto was, as a result, the only
direct link with the native population and served as a poor
representative of Portuguese rule, no matter how honorable the
intentions. Later colonial authorities recognized the damage
done by this system and tried to increase the requisite skills
for the position with changes enacted in 1965. By then, however,
no amount of change could satisfy the growing nationalism.
The local administrative apparatus was different for
Europeans and "civilized" Africans in urban environments.
"Concelhos" or townships modeled on Portuguese municipalities
were authorized with limited self-government. Whenever possible,
the Portuguese created Iberian townships with outdoor cafes and
red-tiled roofs resulting in a city core that was strictly urban
Portuguese, ringed with shanty towns where the African workers
and servants lived. The entire system magnified the demarkation
between Portuguese and African; and although the social system,
to be discussed later, encouraged the idea of one race and one
nation, the administrative apparatus worked against it.
Throughout the twentieth century and until the outbreak of open
warfare in the 1960's, the administrative system remained
essentially unchanged. Portuguese governments came and went, and
official policies changed from time to time, but the
administration at the African level changed very little.
As far as developing colonial commerce, the Portuguese had
little capacity to organize a profitable system and chose,
instead, to enter into contractual agreements with private
companies which would share a portion of their revenue with the
government in Lisbon. Three principle companies came to dominate
nearly two-third's of the colony to their own benefit and the
benefit of Portugal, but once again to the detriment of the
Mozambicans. The Mozambique Company was granted a fifty year
charter to the lands within the Manica and Sofala regions (See
figure 2) with extensive governing powers and a twenty-five
Click here to view image
year tax holiday in return for a percent of profits and shares
sold. They had exclusive control over mining, fishing, public
works, African taxation and communication services. Their only
tasks were to settle one thousand Portuguese families, establish
schools and maintain public order. The British financed Niassa
Company was given a similar charter in the regions of Cabo
Delgado and Niassa (See figure 2) for a thirty-five year period.
The Zambezi Company, the largest and most successful of the
three, was granted rights in the Tete and Zambezia districts (See
figure 2). Without recounting the commercial endeavors of the
three companies, it is clear from research that revenues were
paid to Portugal and profits were made by the companies, but the
intended development of Mozambican commerce and a more structured
society were sacrificed17. The companies abused their privileges
at the expense of the indigenous population with little
interference by the Portuguese government. Slave labor continued
under the new name of "forced labor" and was actually encouraged
by Lisbon. The 1899 Labor Code embodied a new regulation which
"All natives of Portuguese overseas provinces are
subject to the obligation, moral and legal, of
attempting to gain through work the means that they
lack to subsist and to better their social condition.
They have full liberty to choose the method of
fulfilling this obligation, but if they do not
fulfill it, public authority may force a
17For an excellent summary of the effects of the chartered
companies see Thomas H. Henriksen, Mozambique: A History, (The
Camelot Press, Southampton, England, 1978), p. 103-122.
18Ibid, p. 116.
Poetic license was taken with the labor code in Mozambique where
various district administrators increased head taxes, increased
fines for vagrancy, reduced work exemption for farmers and made
work compulsory for women. For the most part, the only means of
paying taxes for the African was labor and their payment was not
in money but quantified in "months of labor". The continually
increasing taxes and resulting "forced labor" drove a mass exodus
of the native population from Mozambique. This was compounded by
an exodus of migrant labor to the gold mines of South Africa,
where, although conditions were almost as deplorable, the
Africans could at least earn a small wage. It has been estimated
that the flood of laborers reached 250,00019 per year by 1960,
however, colonial authorities managed to capitalize on this
aspect also. Entering into an agreement with the South Africans
in 1928, Portugal was guaranteed 47.5 percent of all seabound
rail traffic from Johannesburg, Pretoria and Kurgersdorp in
return for recruiting privileges in Mozambique. They also
received payment for each worker recruited, customs duties on
goods of returning workers, and deferred wages at the mines given
to the Portuguese in gold - the laborer, once back in Mozambique,
was paid his wages in provincial "escudos."20. Again, although,
intentions may have been good initially, and even that is highly
questionable, Portuguese commercial endeavors during the colonial
19Ibid, p. 120.
20Ibid, p. 120.
era drew harsh lines between Africans and Portuguese. Efforts to
undo the damage were undertaken in the late 1950's, but once
again they were far too late and far too feeble.
The final aspect of colonial Mozambique that is necessary to
establish a background for the insurgency is the social system
that developed in the colony. As alluded to in earlier
discussion, many historians have cited the spread of Christianity
as one of the principle motivations for Portuguese expansion.
Portuguese authorities used this rationale to defend treatment of
the Africans throughout the twentieth century, citing the fact
that all inhabitants of the colonies were brothers under
Catholicism and racial disharmony was non-existant. Unlike other
Portuguese colonies, there was never a widespread immigration of
Portuguese settlers to Mozambique. The cultural and racial
synthesis that has been claimed in other colonies never reached
the same magnitude in Mozambique, in fact if anything, the
distance from Portugal, isolation from the Atlantic triangle of
Brazil, Angola and Portugal, and nearness to South Africa and
Rhodesia had an opposite effect. The "mestico" population in
Mozambique, those of mixed Portuguese and African heritage, was
listed as 31,465 in the 1960 census. In a total population
estimated between eight and ten million, that is a far cry from
complete mixing of the races. Racial awareness was more sharply
defined in Mozambique because of the small number of Portuguese
immigrants, and though policy on several occasions approached
encouragement of inter-racial relationships, social conditions
discouraged it. What did exist, more often than not, was
Portuguese men taking advantage of African women, then not
acknowledging the offspring. White men co-habiting with African
women were regarded more or less as social outcasts. To the
African male this was another form of exploitation. Officially,
until 1961, the Africans were relegated to two social classes -
the "indigena" and the "assimilados". Indigena were native
Africans officially defined as "individuals of the black race, or
their descendants, who having been born and usually living in the
colonies, did not yet possess the education and the individual
and social habits assumed for the integral application of the
public and private law of Portuguese citizens.21" These were the
ones that fell victim to head taxes, forced labor and vagrancy
laws. Assimilado was a status that the indigena could apply for
upon meeting the conditions stated below.22
1. They must read, write and speak fluent Portuguese.
2. They must have sufficient means to support their family.
3. They must be of good conduct.
4. They must have the necessary education and individual and
social habits to make it possible to apply the public and
private law of Portugal to them.
21Ibid. p. 127.
22Eduardo Mondlane, The Struggle for Mozambique, (Middlesex:
Penguin Books, Ltd., 1969), p. 48.
5. They must make a request to the administrative authority
of the area, who will pass it on to the governor of the
district for approval.
Considering that in 1960, Portugal's rate of illiteracy was forty
percent23, the Africans had to make themselves notably more
qualified to be considered for citizenship in their own country
than the Portuguese ever had to attain. Compounding this
situation was the lack of opportunity for any African to pursue a
meaningful education. Even those who could, and did, found the
administrative process to attain assimilado status almost
impossible to overcome. The assimilado population of Mozambique
never reached more than one percent of the total population.
Those who became assimilados still found themselves one rung down
the ladder from equality with the Portuguese citizenry. This
again, was an ingredient for the spreading Mozambican nationalist
movement that grew stronger throughout the 1950's. As with the
commercial and administrative systems, the Portuguese government
took steps in the early 1960's to correct the social injustices.
Faced with a serious rebellion in Angola, Portuguese authorities
made provisions for greater participation in the local government
by the Africans and abolished the class distinctions between the
indigena, assimilados, and Portuguese in an attempt to halt the
rising nationalism in Mozambique. Again they were too little and
too late. Organizations were already at work within the national
23Area Handbook for Portugal - 1977, American University, p.
boundaries of Mozambique and in neighboring countries which were
actively campaigning for the overthrow of Portuguese rule. These
organizations would come together in June of 1962 to form Frelimo
and will be discussed in detail in the following sections.
This concludes the background for the insurgency in
Mozambique. Though it is far more detailed than when originally
conceived, it is done so for a purpose. Too often, Americans
react to any insurgency as something contentious and in
contradiction to the interests of the United States. We tend to
forget that the foundations for our country were established by a
revolutionary "insurgency" throwing off the "oppressive rule" of
a colonial power. While not trying to make a parallel between
Mozambique and the colonial United States or Frelimo and the
Continental Congress, it is important to set a stage for
analyzing the insurgency in Mozambique where the reader enters
with the appropriate background knowledge and no erroneous
preconceptions. Too often the United States government is forced
to choose sides in an insurgent movement and too often the choice
is made on the basis of a poor understanding of the struggles
which are taking place within an affected nation. Examples of
this occur successively throughout the twentieth century and can
be typified by viewing Nicaragua in the first half of this
century, Viet Nam in the 1950's, 60's, and 70's, Nicaragua and
Central America in this decade, as well as Lebanon and the Middle
East today. In trying to preserve and defend the paramount
position enjoyed by America within the present world system, we
have often found ourselves on the short end of popular support
and on the receiving end of insurgent propaganda. While not
directly involved in the insurgency in Mozambique we indirectly
became a target of propaganda and may have contributed to
Frelimo's hard turn to the ideological "left" in the late
1960's. After reviewing the development of the insurgency, such
conclusions may be derived from de facto capitulation of U.S.
decision-makers too distracted by competing international
pressures to play a bolder part in the Mozambican crisis.
Development of the Insurgency
Rising nationalist sentiments began to become more strident
in the late 1940's and early 1950's with pressure coming from
several sources. As Africans were pushed to assimilate
Portuguese culture and social standards the reaction provoked a
search for genuine African-ness among black Mozambicans.
Particularly affected were those who had achieved a higher level
of education. Not surprisingly, Mozambican artists and writers
living in urban areas were in the best position to observe the
stark contrast between Portuguese claims for equality and
assimilation of races, and the gulfs of inequality and lack of
opportunity that actually existed for black Mozambicans. In
poems, short stories and paintings these intellectuals cried out
against colonialism and the suffering of their people. Though
few in number, their endeavors stirred African pride. They were
watched suspiciously by Portuguese authorities and as the turmoil
in neighboring Angola heightened during the late 1950's, were
actively suppressed. Portuguese censorship had increased
throughout the period from World War II to the emergence of the
Angolan and Mozambican insurgencies because of increased tensions
in all of colonial Africa. As one European power after another
was forced to divest itself of African possessions, Portugal
became increasingly determined to maintain control of her
colonies. Writers and artists were arrested or deported.
Censorship rose to the point where only Portuguese publications
or broadcasting stations were permitted within Mozambique.24 As
with any such attempt to control the intellectual aspect of a
society, these attempts only served to increase the cries of
oppression and further stimulate nationalism. Those who were
deported continued to write from exile and made contact with
other Mozambicans who had left the country for other reasons.
Though the "artistic" revolution in Mozambique never reached the
same level as Angola's, it was important because it awoke
aspirations in certain areas of Mozambican society. It
influenced the young intellectuals who carried their opposition
into political movements.
Another form of protest involved labor turmoil on the docks
of the capital city, Lourenco Marques (now Maputo). Long known
by sailors for the gruelling working conditions imposed on the
black stevedores, labor unrest broke out on the docks and spread
to the surrounding agricultural communities just outside of the
city in 1947.25 Again in 1948, violent disturbances were
reported with several deaths and up to two hundred arrests. In
1956, another riot errupted in Lourenco Marques which reportedly
claimed the lives of forty-nine dock workers. 1963 saw
widespread rioting in the ports of Beira and Nacala as well as
24Thomas H. Henriksen, Mozambique: A History, (The Camelot
Press, Southampton, England, 1978), p. 163.
25A. T. Steele, "On the Edge of Africa's Racial Troubles",
New York Herald Tribune, November 26, 1952.
the capital city. Though all of these events cannot be recounted
specifically because Portuguese censorship precluded any
widespread reporting or investigation, they indicated a growing
dissatisfaction with Portuguese rule and fed popular support to
the expanding nationalist movement.
Both the agitation of intellectuals and the strikes of the
urban labor force had an impact on the nationalist movement, but
both were the results of small isolated groups of individuals in
an urban environment and had little effect on the vast population
in the countryside. Events in the northern provinces among the
Maconde people would have a more profound impact, however. The
Maconde were among the last ethnic group to be "pacified" in
Mozambique. They suffered the exploitation of the Niassa
Company, but upon its demise endured less administrative and
social repression from the Portuguese than southern provinces and
peoples because of a "remoteness" from Portuguese rule. Located
in the northern corner of Mozambique (See figure 3) and more or
less isolated due to terrain and road networks, the Maconde were
able to maintain more of a degree of tribal unity than other
ethnic clusters. Spanning the Mozambican-Tanzanian border, the
Maconde had shown growing signs of restiveness under Portuguese
rule, especially as Tanzanian independence came closer to
reality. During 1959 and early 1960, a number of local African
leaders had been working for liberalization of Portuguese rule
and higher pay for laborers. The Portuguese had arrested several
of the spokesman and the local Portuguese administrator
Click here to view image
had invited nearby villagers to air their grievances at Mueda in
the Cabo Delgado district. An account of the ensuing meeting at
Mueda is provided in the following paragraphs.26
26Eduardo Mondlane, The Struggle for Mozambique, (Middlesex:
Penguin Books, Ltd., 1969) p. 117.
"Certain leaders worked amongst us. Some of them
were taken by the Portuguese - Tiago Muller,
Faustino Vanomba, Kibiriti Diwane - in the
massacre at Mueda on 16 June 1960. How did that
happen? Well, some of these men had made contact
with the authorities and asked for more liberty
and more pay .... After a while, when people were
giving support to these leaders, the Portuguese
sent police through the villages inviting people
to a meeting at Mueda. Several thousand people
came to hear what the Portuguese would say. As it
turned out, the administrator had asked the governor
of Delgado Province to come from Porto Amelia and to
bring a company of troops. But these troops were
hidden when they got to Mueda. We didn't see them
at first.
Then the governor invited our leaders into the
administrator's office. I was waiting outside.
They were in there for four hours. When they came
out on the verandah, the governor asked the crowd
who wanted to speak. Many wanted to speak, and
the governor told them all to stand on one side.
Then without another word he ordered the police to
bind the hands of those who had stood on one side,
and the police began beating them. I was close by.
I saw it all. When the people saw what was
happening, they began to demonstrate against the
Portuguese, and the Portuguese simply ordered the
police trucks to come and collect these arrested
persons. So there were more demonstrations against
this. At that moment the troops were still hidden,
and the people went up close to the police to stop
the arrested persons from being taken away. So the
governor called the troops, and when they appeared
he told them to open fire. They killed about 600
people. Now the Portuguese say they have punished
that governor, but of course they have only sent
him somewhere else. I myself escaped because I was
close to a graveyard where I could take cover, and
then I ran away."
This account of the "Massacre of Mueda" comes from Alburto-
Joaquim Chipande, then 22, and later a leader in Frelimo. Though
the accuracy of it has to be questioned because of his later
involvement with Frelimo, other reports by other African sources
put the death toll between four hundred and five hundred people.
Portuguese accounts hold that the troops, untrained in crowd
control, panicked and fired into the crowd, killing between sixty
and eighty people.27 The exact numbers will never be known
27Thomas H. Henriksen, Revolution and Counterrevolution,
(London: Greenwood Press, 1983), p. 19.
because there were no outside observers. The fact that the
incident took place is not disputed, however, and it had a wide
ranging impact on the burgeoning nationalist movement in
Mozambique. Many, who up to that point had not considered the
use of violence, now denounced peaceful resistance as futile.
The ruthlessness of the Portuguese response to African
aspirations was underlined and nationalist leaders concluded that
the only resort was to form parties in neighboring countries and
use armed rebellion to gain independence. Maconde leaders went
on to establish the Mozambican African National Union (MANU) at
Mombasa, Kenya, in 1961; and the Maconde regions of Mozambique
would prove to be prime havens for guerilla forces in the future
conflict. Mueda did not, in itself, cause instant rebellion; but
it hardened the nationalist movement to a new form of resistance.
MANU, mentioned in the last paragraph, bore obvious
resemblence to the Tanzanian African National Union (TANU) and
the Kenyan African National Union (KANU). Formed by an alliance
of several smaller groups that were already in existence,
including the Mozambique Maconde Union, and led by Mozambicans
who had fled to Tanzania (then Tanganyika) and Kenya to escape
the Portuguese, MANU was one of the three major organizations
which later merged to become Frelimo. Many of MANU'S leaders had
been active in the independence movements of Tanzania and Kenya,
including the President, Matthew Mmole (sometimes seen as Mwole),
and the Secretary-General, Lawrence M. Millinga.
The other organizations which were to eventually come
together with MANU to form Frelimo were the National Democratic
Union of Mozambique (Uniad Democratica Nacional de Mocambique -
UDENAMO) and the National African Union of Independent Mozambique
(Unian Nacional Africans de Mocambique Independente - UNAMI).
UDENAMO was an organization created by mostly migrant workers and
disgruntled students who had fled the central and southern
regions of Mozambique and gathered together in southern
Rhodesia. UNAMI, the smallest of the three groups, was formed by
Mozambicans who had fled the Tete district to neighboring
Malawi. In 1961, the Portuguese intensified efforts to control
the nationalist tendencies in Mozambique due to the outbreak of
open revolution in Angola, causing an increase in the number of
refugees into neighboring countries. The new exiles from
Mozambique, many of whom had no affiliation with any existing
organization, strongly urged the formation of a single united
organization. External conditions also favored unity. The
Conference of the Nationalist Organizations of the Portuguese
Territories (CONCP) held in Casablanca in 1961, and attended by
representatives of UDENAMO, made a strong call for the unity of
nationalist movements against Portuguese colonialism. Marcelino
dos Santos, one of the poets who had led the literary movement in
Mozambique discussed earlier, was the Secretary-General of CONCP
and would soon be a key figure in the hierarchy of Frelimo.
Tanzanian independence in December 1961, influenced all three
organizations to move their headquarters to Dar es Salaam
(Tanzania) and by the end of June 1962, Frelimo had emerged as
the single Mozambican nationalist movement. It was an alignment
of MANU, UDENAMO, and UNAMI with former leaders of those
organizations occupying key positions, and was recognized by the
Organization of African Unity (OAU) as the sole recipient for aid
to Mozambican groups. The man chosen as president of Frelimo was
Eduardo Chivambo Mondlane.
Mondlane had no affiliation with any of the groups which
merged to form Frelimo. Born in the Gaza district of southern
Mozambique in 1920, he was a member of the Thonga tribe and spent
his early years, as most African children, herding livestock and
absorbing the traditions of his tribe.28 It should be noted that
"Gazaland" had only been pacified twenty-five years prior to
Mondlane's birth and the stories of the death of Maguiguana and
the humiliation of Gungunyane, detailed in prior sections, left
bitter memories in the region. To make a rough analogy, those
events probably had at least the impact that is felt today in
looking back on the assassination of an American president
twenty-one years ago. Pushed by his mother, Mondlane finished
primary schooling and, when frustrated in efforts to attend
secondary school in Mozambique, went to South Africa where he
continued studying to the college level on scholarships.
Dismissed from Witwatersrand University in Johannesburg for being
a "foreign native"29, he returned to Lourenco Marques where he
28Eduardo Mondlane, The Struggle for Mozambique, (Middlesex:
Penguin Books, Ltd., 1969), p. 120.
29Thomas H. Henriksen, Mozambique: A History, (Southampton:
Thee Camelot Press, 1978), p. 172.
was instrumental in founding the Nucleo dos Estudantes Africanos
Secundarios de Mocambique (NESAM). NESAM was one of the student
nationalist organizations discussed in an earlier section and
Mondlane quickly ran afoul of Portuguese authorities. Either
because NESAM was not viewed as much of a threat in the late
1940's or because Mondlane was viewed redeemable under the
assimilado process, he was sent to Lisbon to continue his
studies. While there he met Agostinho Neto, later the president
of the Movimento Popular de Libertacao de Angola (MPLA) and
Amilcar Cabral, later assassinated while Secretary-General of the
Partido Africando da Independencia da Guine e Cabo Verde
(PAIGC). PAIGC was the movement which succeeded in gaining
independence for Guinea-Bissau. Mondlane left Lisbon to study in
the United States, citing constant police harassment in
Portugal.30 He graduated from Oberlin College in 1953 with a
B.A., and later Northwestern University with a Ph.D. After
spending a year in research at Harvard, he took a position as a
research officer with the United Nations where he remained until
1961. In September, 1961, he accepted an assistant professorship
at Syracuse University to detach himself from the United Nations
and allow more time to write articles and speak out against
Portuguese policies in Mozambique. Throughout all this time, he
had remained in contact with the various nationalist movements in
Mozambique and had toured the country on several occasions as a
representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations to
30Eduardo Mondlane, The Struggle for Mozambique, (Middlesex:
Penguin Books, Ltd., 1969), p. 120.
report on existing conditions. Mondlane was highly regarded by
African leaders outside of Mozambique and respected by the
leaders of MANU, UDENAMO and UNAMI. He seemed the perfect choice
to head Frelimo and references have been made to his having been
"hand-picked" by Tanzanian President Nyerere "for the tightrope
walking job as head of a faction-formed movement."31 In all
probability, he was the best qualified to lead Frelimo, for
although there existed many ideological differences within the
organization, there was never the open split that developed in
other revolutionary movements, notably the MPLA in Angola. The
importance of understanding Mondlane's background, however, lies
in comprehending what he was not. Eduardo Mondlane was not the
typical third-world, Communist trained, guerrilla leader that
Americans are used to seeing in any insurgency that arises. He
had strong ties to the United States, having been educated in
American universities, employed by the United Nations in New York
City, a professor at Syracuse University and married to a
caucasion American woman. He was certainly exposed to the
Communist philosophy, particularly through his associates while
studying in Lisbon, and the Portuguese Communist Party which was
very active in Lisbon in the early 1950's. There is nothing in
his background, however, to indicate any preference for ties to
the ideological East or West. What did exist in Eduardo Mondlane
in the early 1960's, in the opinion of this author, was a
31Richard Gibson, African Liberation Movements: Contemporary
Struggles Against White Minority Rule, (New York: Oxford
University Press, 1972), p. 277.
dedicated desire to see Mozambique released from Portuguese
authority and free to pursue self-determination. He had also
decided that the only way this would come about was by
Though Frelimo took on more of the appearances of the
"typical" front for a Soviet, Cuban or Chinese inspired
insurgency through the mid and late 1960's, particularly after
Mondlane's assassination in February, 1969; circumstances might
have been different. Frelimo needed support to succeed against
the Portuguese and sought it wherever possible. Committed to
a NATO alliance with Portugal and requiring rights to the Azores,
particularly with the escalation of involvement in Southeast
Asia ,the United States offered very little. The "other side"
could offer much more - and did. Though it may seem a poor
comparison to once again refer to our own revolution, it might be
noted that a fledgling government in the American colonies sought
aid and recognition from any source in a rebellion against Great
Britain and received it, not from Britain's allies but from her
greatest rival - France. History notes that French assistance
was readily accepted.
Frelimo - Purpose, Strategy, External Support and Unity
The point has now been reached in this discussion of
Mozambique's insurgency where one may begin to address the
questions posed at the outset. The first and by far the simplest
to deal with is the type of insurgency. "Revolutionary
insurgents seek to impose a new regime based on egalitarian
values and centrally controlled structures designed to mobilize
the people and radically transform the social structure within an
existing political community.32" Based on this definition, the
insurgency in Mozambique was clearly revolutionary. There was no
attempt to form a separate, autonomous political community as in
a secessionist insurgency. Nor was there any desire to
reconstitute a former system of government as in a reformist or
reactionary insurgency. Portuguese colonial rule was the only
government Mozambicans, collectively, had ever known.
Conservative and reformist insurgencies both seek to alter
policies within a particular political regime without necessarily
replacing those in power; and differ only in the type of policies
they seek to change. Frelimo's goals were clearly to replace
Portuguese rule by whatever means were required and to
restructure their society to end "the exploitation of man by
32Bard E. Oneil, William R. Heaton, Donald J. Alberts,
Insurgency in the Modern World, (A Westview Special Study:
Westview Press, 1980), p. 3.
man."33 The first Congress of Frelimo in September 1962, set
forth the following goals:34
1. To develop and consolidate the organizational structure
of Frelimo;
2. To further the unity of Mozambicans;
3. To achieve maximum utilization of the energies and
capacities of each and every member of Frelimo;
4. To promote and accelerate training of cadres;
5. To employ directly every effort to promote the rapid
access of Mozambique to independence;
6. To promote by every method the social and cultural
development of the Mozambican woman;
7. To promote at once the literacy of the Mozambican people,
creating schools wherever possible;
8. To take the necessary measures towards supplying the
needs of the organs of different levels of Frelimo;
9. To encourage and support the formation and consolidation
of trade union, student, youth and women's organizations;
10. To cooperate with the nationalist organizations of the
other Portuguese colonies;
11. To cooperate with African nationalist organizations;
33Thomas H. Henriksen, Mozambique: A History, (Southampton:
The Camelot Press, 1978), p. 174.
34Eduardo Mondlane, The Struggle for Mozambique, (Middlesex:
Penguin Books, Ltd., 1969), p. 122-123.
12. To cooperate with the nationalist movements of all
13. To obtain funds from organizations which sympathize with
the cause of the people of Mozambique, making public
14. To procure all requirements for self defense and
resistance of the Mozambican people;
15. To organize permanent propaganda by all methods in order
to mobilize world public opinion in favour of the cause
of the Mozambican people;
16. To send delegations to all countries in order to
undertake campaigns and public demonstrations of protest
against the atrocities committed by the Portuguese
colonial administration, as well as to press for the
immediate liberation of all nationalists who are inside
the Portuguese colonialist prisons;
17. To procure diplomatic, moral and material help for the
cause of the Mozambican people from the African states
and from all peace and freedom loving people.
They also realized the difficulties they would encounter in
militarily defeating the Portuguese forces on the battlefield and
for this reason Frelimo's strategy took on an aspect that was
relatively unique. With no real working class or Mozambican
military to isolate from the Portuguese regime and ultimately
from which to gain support as in the case of a typical Marxist-
Leninist strategy, Frelimo leaders adopted a Maoist strategy with
one major change. The Maoist insurgency is typically three-
staged. The first or organizational stage is to create networks
of guerrilla political/progaganda groups to win popular support
and to train terrorist teams to intimidate sections of the
population which may be hesitant to support the insurgency or
which support the targeted government outright. The intent is to
neutralize any area of the population which will not support the
insurgency at the outset and to organize the areas of the
population which will provide support. The second stage, or open
guerrilla warfare, begins with armed resistance by small bands of
guerrillas operating in rural areas where terrain is rugged and
government control is weak. Initially, this stage is
characterized by low level hit and run tactics designed to
highlight the strength and organization of the insurgent movement
and expose the weaknesses of the government. As more of the
population is won over to the insurgency the magnitude of the
armed resistance and guerrilla warfare is increased to include
greater segments of the countryside and more lucrative targets.
The rate of increase in the guerrilla effort is dictated solely
by the response of the government. If the government responds in
a forceful, well-organized fashion, the insurgency may remain in
an early stage two mode of operation for a prolonged period of
time or may even revert to stage one. The intent of stage two,
however, is to continue to gather popular support and gain
control of the countryside, isolating government forces in small
areas, mainly urban, and making them pay a heavy price when they
venture into guerrilla controlled areas. The third stage of a
Maoist insurgency is an evolution into open civil war, where the
guerrilla forces take on the appearance of a regular army and
conventional warfare is more predominant. The intent here is to
openly defeat and displace the existing government authority if
it has not already come apart from within. This was the strategy
Frelimo adopted from the outset with a notable exception.
Frelimo never intended to move to the third stage of the Maoist
strategy. Their strategy from the outset was attrition35 and
they intended to drive the Portuguese to the conference table,
not by controlling the countryside but by embroiling it in
insurgency and stretching the limited resources of the Portuguese
government to the point where it would be less expensive for them
to acquiesce and grant independence to Mozambique than it would
be to remain engaged in a protracted guerrilla war in Southern
Africa. This strategy was adopted because of the relative
weakness of the Portuguese economy to support prolonged warfare
in Southern Africa and the fact that they were already involved
in guerrilla wars in Angola and Guinea-Bissau which were proving
unpopular back home. It also meant that Frelimo would not have
to rely on the massive external support characteristic of open
civil war and could keep their losses at a minimum while
35Thomas H. Henriksen, Revolution and Counterrevolution,
(London: Greenwood Press, 1983), p. 31.
continually chipping away at the Portuguese will through ambushes
and terrorist activity. The morale of the guerrilla movement
would be easier kept at a high level and the resolve of the
Portuguese would continually deteriorate. This, in fact, is
exactly what transpired. Frelimo set no timetable for their
eventual independence and Portugal ultimately came apart from
within, with the overthrow of the government in Lisbon in 1974,
by a military regime tired of being bled year-in and year-out by
a war that apparently could not be won.
From September 1962, until September 1964, when armed
guerrilla resistance began, Frelimo concentrated on establishing
a network of insurgent teams in the rural sections of Mozambique
which could be easily infiltrated. As is evident in Figure 4,
the geography of Mozambique created some natural divisions that
became advantageous for the insurgents and resultingly
disadvantageous to the Portuguese. The Zambezi Valley divides
the country into northern and southern regions with vast
differences in geography. North of the Zambezi River and east of
the Malawi border a very narrow coastal area gives way gradually
to hills and low plateaus to the west, eventually rising to the
Great Rhodesian Highlands, as does all of western Mozambique.
The highest and most rugged features of the country are found in
the Livingstone-Nyasa Highland of Niassa province, the Namuli
Highlands of the western Zambezia province, and the Angonian
Highlands of northeastern Tete province. Climatic conditions in
all of the northern areas are essentially tropical with
Click here to view image
characteristic monsoon seasonal conditions. Development of road,
rail, and other lines of communication in the northern areas has
been inhibited by all of these conditions; and Portuguese
domination was resultingly less than in other regions of
Mozambique. Population density in the northern provinces is
particularly low, especially the first one hundred to one hundred
fifty miles below the Tanzanian border with a density of fewer
than two people per square kilometer.36 It might also be
recalled that this was the area of the Maconde people and the
"Mueda Massacre"; therefore, in addition to having suitable
geographical conditions for conducting insurgent operations,
Frelimo already had the support of most of the population. The
border with Tanzania stretches for almost five hundred miles
across the region and allowed ideal access for Frelimo insurgents
whose base of power originated from Dar es Salaam (Tanzania).
The northern provinces were the areas from which Frelimo launched
the insurgent effort and the Portuguese were never to seriously
challenge their control. They operated freely from sanctuaries
in Tanzania and could come and go at will.
The first cadres of Frelimo insurgents were trained in
Algeria. Having recently won independence from France, the
Algerian government was already conducting guerrilla training for
African nationalist movements in other Portuguese colonies.
During 1963, approximately two hundred Frelimo guerrillas were
trained and returned to Mozambique to begin building a network of
popular support37. Arms and ammunition were stockpiled in
36Area Handbook for Mozambique - 1977, American University,
p. 72.
37Eduardo Mondlane, The Struggle for Mozambique, (Middlesex:
Penguin Books Ltd., 1969), p. 128.
Tanzania and distributed to small guerrilla bands in northern
Mozambique. On September 25, 1964, Frelimo entered the second
phase of their insurgency with attacks on several Portuguese
outposts in northern Mozambique. Though Frelimo tactical
endeavors remained at a rather low level of intensity throughout
the insurgency, with the exception of operations against the
Cabora Bassa Dam project which will be addressed later in the
analysis, their methods, in terms of brutality, treatment of the
population, propaganda, and even stated objectives took on a
noticeable swing to the ideological "left" during the late
1960's. A reference to thin has been made in previous sections
and it is felt that an explanation is pertinent at this
juncture. It became clear during the research for this analysis
that what little has been written about the insurgency in
Mozambique is presented from either a pro-Portuguese or
pro-Frelimo perspective. The Portuguese contended from the
outset that Mozambique was an integral part of Portugal much like
California is an integral part of the United States and that
Frelimo was just one more Communist-inspired revolution designed
to undermine the western world. In fact, the Portuguese claimed
that after the American withdrawal from Viet Nam, they alone were
the only Western power actively engaged against the spread of
world Communism.38 Early pro-Frelimo writers contend, on the
38F. X. Maier, Revolution and Terrorism in Mozambique, (New
York: American Affairs Association, Inc., 1974), p. 43.
other hand, that the insurgency in Mozambique was strictly a
liberation from colonial domination. It is only during the late
1960's that pro-Frelimo publications and propaganda take on the
obvious appendages of a strict Communist-backed insurgency.
Newspaper and magazine articles on events in Mozambique during
the insurgency do not assist in clarification because of the
strict censorship Portugal applied to any reports coming out of
its colonies. Those that were written are vague, by nature, and
for the most part recount propaganda bulletins released by either
side with the admission of no first hand information. While
Henriksen's publications, noted on numerous occasions throughout
this analysis, give an objective treatment of Mozambique and the
revolution, they stop short of addressing the specifics of
Frelimo's pro-left swing in the late 1960's. In short, it is
only through a synthesis of all the research leading to this
analysis that one is left with the "nagging feeling" that
Frelimo's swing to the left in the late 1960's was not a planned
evolution but was caused by external events. A discussion of
unity within Frelimo and the external support provided to the
revolution provides the basis for the causative hypothesis.
Unity within Frelimo and external support for the objectives
of the nationalist movement appear to be inextricably related.
To understand this statement one must look from three separate
1. The position of United States foreign policy in regard to
Portugual, a NATO ally, and the movement toward
independence of all Portuguese African colonies.
2. The Soviet, Chinese, and Cuban involvement in Portuguese
Africa, specifically Mozambique.
3. The events which transpired within Frelimo which went
hand-in-glove with the amount of support, tangible or
intangible, received from either of the above.
Prior to 1960, American foreign policy in regard to Portuguese
Africa was non-descript. Essentially, we recognized the African
colonies as being an integral part of Portugal and conducted any
economic or political business through Lisbon. The introduction
of the Kennedy administration, however, brought with it a change
in policy regarding the Portuguese colonies. With civil rights
an issue at home, and other European powers in the process of
removing themselves, willingly or unwillingly from Africa, the
new administration did not support Portugal's contention that the
African colonies were part of a "greater Portugal" and would
remain so. The Kennedy administration voiced a more liberal
point of view that "the people should be given the right to
choose between alternatives - to continue present ties with
Portugal, to join a Portuguese commonwealth, or to strike out
completely independently.39" The new United States
administration urged Portugal, formally and informally, to "set
up a reasonable timetable for moving the territories toward self-
39For an excellent summary see Luis B. Serapiao and Mohamed
A. El-Khawas, Mozambique in the Twentieth Century: From
Colonialism to Independence, (Washington, D.C.: University Press
of America Inc., 1979), p. 174.
determination.40" The United States voted for several United
Nations resolutions favorable to African liberation movements in
1961, including a resolution condemning Portugal's repressive
measures in the African territories. President Kennedy imposed
an arms embargo on all weapons that could be used in Africa by
parties involved in the conflict and required that Lisbon give
formal assurance that American weapons would only be used in the
area defined by NATO, which by most interpretations did not
include Africa. Portugal signed the agreements, but had a
slightly different interpretation of the NATO area. Once again
defining the African colonies as part of a "greater Portugal",
Lisbon's contentions were that NATO arms would be used within the
territorial boundaries of Portugal, which included the African
territories, complying with all NATO requirements. The Portugese
were openly critical of the Kennedy administration and furious
with the anti-colonial stance taken within NATO and the United
Nations, to the extreme of threatening a withdrawal from NATO.
Prime Minister Salazar could not understand a policy that would
"inevitably wrest away its (Portugal) overseas territories and
leave it economically bankrupt."41 Portugal took subsequent
actions to blunt the American policy including the hiring of an
American public relations firm to play up the image of a
Communist invasion of southern Africa and lobbying Congressional
40George W. Ball, The Discipline of Power: Essential of a
Modern World Structure, (Boston: Little Brown & Co., 1968), p.
41Ibid., p. 245-252; An excellent discussion of this
situation is presented.
foreign affairs committees. These measures worked to a degree,
creating a split between the administration and Congress over
African policy42, but the biggest bargaining chip turned out to
be an American leased naval base. With the lease of naval
facilities in the Azores expiring in December 1962, the Kennedy
administration was forced into a softer stand on Portuguese
colonialism. Theodore Sorenson summarized very appropriately
when he stated that "Lisbon tried every form of diplomatic
blackmail to alter our (U.S.) position on Angola, using as a
wedge our country's expiring lease on a key military base on the
Portuguese Azores. The President finally felt that, if
necessary, he was prepared to forego the base entirely rather
than permit Portugual to dictate his African policy.43" It might
be noted at this point that Angola was the front page issue in
Portuguese Africa at the time and Mozambique was secondary, as it
would remain throughout the 1960's and early 1970's. This was
unfortunate in regard to American policy toward Frelimo, for all
Portuguese colonies were lumped into the same policy, even though
there were differences in the liberation movements themselves.
Frelimo was decidedly more non-aligned in the early 1960's than
the MPLA in Angola, and Eduardo Mondlane had met and won the
42For an excellent summary see Luis B. Serapiao and Mohamed
A. El-Khawas, Mozambique in the Twentieth Century: From
Colonialism to Independence, (Washington, D.C.: University Press
of America Inc., 1979), p. 176-177.
43Theodore C. Sorenson, Kennedy, (New York: Harper & Row,
1965), p. 538.
support of Robert Kennedy early in the Kennedy administration.44
With continued pressure by Portugal and the increased strategic
importance of the Azores, particularly, after the Cuban missile
crisis in October 1962, the administration position became more
neutral. Though still supporting the eventual liberation of the
African colonies, public rhetoric was softened and the arms
control restrictions became less of a focal point. A new lease
of the Azores was negotiated, however, Portugal attached some
strings this time - American use of the Azores could be
terminated at any time with only six months notice.45
Initially, the Johnson administration brought an extension of
the policy which had developed during the last year of the
Kennedy presidency. Though uncommitted to either side of the
African liberation situation, criticism of Portugal's policies in
Africa subsided and a sympathy toward Portuguese problems began
to develop. This became even more pronounced as American
involvement in Southeast Asia heightened. The Azores became an
increasingly strategic location for the United States, the NATO
alliance took on added importance, and the plight of the African
liberation movements was relegated to the back burner. By the
end of the Johnson administration, American policy in Africa had
taken on a decidedly pro-Portuguese tilt. The administration
continued the sale of arms to Portugal, continued to train
44Arthur M. Schlesinger, Robert Kennedy and His Times,
(Boston, Houghton Mifflin Co., 1978), p. 562.
45Luis B. Serapiao and Mohamed A. El-Khawas, Mozambique in
the Twentieth Century, (Washington: University of American Press,
1979), p. 179.
Portuguese military personnel and paid little attention to the
claims of Portuguese use of NATO arms and material in Mozambique
and other colonies.
With the coming of the Nixon administration in 1969, American
foreign policy again moved to more of a pro-Portuguese position.
Under the guidance of Henry Kissinger, the National Security
Study Memorandum 39 (NSSM 39) was prepared, laying out the
options for American policy in Africa as follows:
Option One: Closer association with the white regimes
to protect and enhance our economic, strategic and
scientific interests.
Option Two: Broader association with both black
and white states in an effort to encourage
moderation in the white states, to enlist cooperation
of the black states in reducing tensions and the
likelihood of increasing cross-border violence, and
to encourage improved relations among states in the
Option Three: Limited association with the white
states and continuing association with blacks in an
effort to retain some economic, scientific, and
strategic interest in the white states while maintain-
ing a posture on the racial issue which the blacks
will accept, though opposing violent solutions to
the problems of the region.
Option Four: Dissociation from the white regimes
with closer relations with the black states in an
effort to enhance our standing on the racial issue
in Africa and internationally.
Option Five: Dissociation from both black and white
states in an effort to limit our involvement in the
problems of the area.46
The administration settled on option two under the beliefs
that the "rebels cannot oust the Portuguese and the Portuguese
can contain but not eliminate the rebels," that there "is no hope
for blacks to gain the political rights they seek through
violence, which will only lead to chaos and increased
opportunities for the Communists," and that "substantial change
is only likely to come from decisions made in Portugal.47" Thus,
this option was adopted under the total awareness that the stated
policy of Portugal's new prime minister, Caetano, was "limited to
achieving some degree of administrative autonomy in territories
which are to remain a part of Portugal.48" This policy was
pursued throughout the Nixon administration, with United States
support for Portugal becoming more evident in the United Nations,
more evident in arms transfers, and more evident as the Azores
reached new heights of strategic significance in the early
46Ibid., p. 182-183.
47Ibid, p. 183, noted from NSSM 39, 1969, p. 56.
48Ibid, p. 184, noted from NSSM 39, 1969, p. 56.
Over the course of a decade, the policy of the United States
changed from open support of African liberation movements and
open pressure applied to the Portuguese government for self-
determination in the African colonies to almost the reverse.
Though the "words" still supported self-determination, the
"actions" did not. The changing policy was felt by the
leadership of Frelimo and caused changes in the policies which
they pursued. Mondlane stated in May of 1963 that "the U.S.
should be among the strongest supporters of freedom and
independence in the world and that it would be tragic for the
U.S. to sacrifice its long range African interest by continuing
to allow its short-sighted need for the Azores to form the basis
of African policy.49" By the end of 1967, he commented that
"when John F. Kennedy was President, the U.S. went through a
period of equivocation and seemed to be moving toward support for
us. After the death of President Kennedy, the policy became one
of equivocation without direction. More recently, U.S. policy
has become one of support for the status quo.50" By the middle of
1969, Mondlane was dead, the victim of a letter bomb, and Frelimo
was in the hands of a Communist supported insurgency.
49Ibid, p. 171.
50Helen Kitchen, "Conversation with Eduardo Mondlane",
African Report, 12:8, 1967, p. 51.
If a graph of Frelimo's support from western nations would
depict a downward sloping curve during the 1960's and 1970's, as
indicated in the previous discussion, then a similar graph
depicting support from the Soviet Union and China would show the
opposite. Frelimo's early support, both financially and in terms
of recognition came from other African nations and nationalist
movements. As western support eroded in the face of Portuguese
pressure, reliance on the OAU and bordering countries became
critical. Algeria and Egypt provided the early training bases
for Mozambican nationalists and Tanzania the safe shelter from
Portuguese forces. As the insurgency progressed, however, it
became apparent that more international support would be required
to sustain operations. Tanzania provided the link for that
support. The Chinese were heavily backing President Nyerere's
Tanzanian government both militarily and economically; and the
construction of the Tan-Zam railway afforded a convenient cover
for a heavy concentration of Chinese in Tanzania. Nyerere's own
philosophy bore the imprint of the Communist Chinese with their
emphasis on self-reliance. These events were not lost on the
leadership of Frelimo. The relationship of a host country and
its revolutionary guests has been described as one where the host
projects its own political personality into the attitude and
habits of the guest.51 This became the case with Frelimo as the
"protege became more thoroughly revolutionized than the Tanzanian
51John A. Marcum, "Three Revolutions", Africa Report 12, No.
8 (November 1967), p. 21.
mentor52", eventually. Requiring assistance in its struggle
against Portugal, Frelimo leaders had initially maintained a
policy of non-alignment with East and West, preferring to obtain
the aid and recognition of both in the struggle for
independence. With the assistance from the West drying up under
Portuguese pressure, the turn toward the East was inevitable.
Chinese support was readily available and more acceptable to
Frelimo than Soviet support, for it came with no strings
attached. The Soviets, though offering any support necessary,
generally required a strict alignment with Soviet practices. As
ties with the Chinese became closer, however, the rivalry between
the two Communist powers forced the Soviets into a more tolerant
position toward Frelimo, and by the end of the 1960's Soviet and
Chinese military aid sustained the insurgency. As important as
the military assistance, however, was the moral courage provided
to Frelimo by association with the world Marxist crusade. While
Western powers moved closer to an alignment with the Portuguese
throughout the 1960's, the Communist ideology, which came free
with the weapons, gave justification to Frelimo's struggle for
freedom. The comforting feeling of being part of a world
struggle which could be explained historically and of having a
recipe for success provided by the Communist party, had to have
an impact on the leadership of Frelimo, particularly with
dwindling support from the West. Indeed it did, as can be
evidenced by the turmoil within Frelimo during the late 1960's
52Roger Mann, "A Troubled Celebration in Zanzibar",
Washington Post, Feb. 6, 1977.
and the rhetoric which characterized their propaganda. The goals
of the first Congress of Frelimo in September 1962, recounted
earlier, are clear, direct, and bear no striking resemblance to
the typical rhetoric which accompanies a Communist inspired
insurgency. The goals of the Second Congress of Frelimo in June
1968, however, are not the same.53 Though too numerous to
recount in detail, an examination of a selected few should
provide the general flavor:
1. "The Portuguese government is a colonialist, fascist
government that still maintains the myth that Mozambique
is a Portuguese Province, and consequently, part and
parcel of Portugal".
2. "Our struggle is a people's struggle. It requires the
total participation of all the masses of the people".
3. "Many comrades are engaged in the struggle because..."
4. "The Mozambican people are engaged in an armed struggle
against Portuguese colonialism and imperialism for their
national independence and for the establishment of a
social, democratic order in Mozambique.
This struggle is part of the world's movement for the
emancipation of the peoples, which aims at the total
liquidation of colonialism and imperialism, and at the
construction of a new society free from exploitation
of man by man."
53Eduardo Mondlane, The Struggle for Mozambique, (Middlesex:
Penguin Books, Ltd., 1969), p. 189-195.
The ring of Marxist doctrine is evident in these statements.
After Mondlane's assassination in 1969, there was little doubt
that Frelimo had made the full transition to a Communist inspired
insurgency. Weapons, money and training to back the insurgency
were clearly provided by the Soviets and the Chinese. Cuba,
though providing minimal assistance during the actual insurgency,
stepped in with massive assistance once independence was
achieved. Mozambique, upon independence, became just one more
Communist bloc nation. Events may have turned out the same in
any circumstance, but it is interesting to wonder "what might
have happened" had United States policy been consistent.
The remainder of this section requires only a recounting of
the events which took place within the leadership of Frelimo
during the late 1960's and early 1970's. Armed with the
background of the United States, Soviet Union, and Chinese policy
toward the insurgency in Mozambique, the significance of these
events is more clearly understood. Factionalism existed within
Frelimo, as with nearly every organization, though it never
reached such large scale splits and open warfare that were
characteristic of other African nationalist movements. The
fragile nature of Frelimo following the first Congress created a
natural tendency toward the formation of competing groups. The
lack of experience of most of the members, combined with the fact
that all came from different parts of Mozambique with differing
intellectual and political views, added to a basic distrust of
one another when crises arose. The first signs of a rift were
instigated by Leo Clinton Aldridge, alias "Leo Milas", who had
been introduced into the organization by Adelino Gwambe, a former
leader of UDENAMO. Milas, reportedly in the employment of a
foreign intelligence agency54, had graduated from the University
of Southern California, passed himself off as a Mozambican, and
was in charge of military training in 1962 and 1963. While
Mondlane was in the United States completing obligations to
Syracuse University and attempting to raise support for Frelimo,
Milas was instrumental in provoking the expulsion of David
Mabunda, the first Secretary-General of Frelimo, and many of his
associates. This caused a split within Frelimo, with many
members calling for the expulsion of Milas. Mondlane was re-
luctant to take action and permitted further widening of the rift
citing that "a movement cannot afford to become too paranoiac, or
it will alienate potential support and fail to reconcile those
real differences that somehow must be reconciled if its broad
basis is to survive and develop. On the other hand, it must
guard against the more dangerous type of infiltration organized
by its enemies, inevitably expending time and energy in the
process.55" It was not until 1964 when Mondlane received irrefu-
table information which proved Milas an imposter that he had him
expelled from Frelimo. This brought charges that Mondlane
54John A. Marcum, "Three Revolutions", Africa Report 12,
No. 8 (November 1967), p. 18-19.
55Eduardo Mondlane, The Struggle for Mozambique, (Middlesex:
Penguin Books, Ltd., 1969), p. 133.
was too pro-American from rivals within Frelimo and as the years
went by and American support deteriorated this accusation would
resurface. Mabunda and Paulo Gumane, an associate expelled by
Milas, went on to reform UDENAMO. Other desertions and
expulsions from Frelimo in the early years, due more to personal
rivalries than ideological differences, resulted in the formation
of several splinter groups, however few had any real impact on
Frelimo other than a deterioration of the international
perception of unity which Mondlane was attempting to foster. The
only group which would have any longevity was the Comite
Revolucionario de Mocambique (COREMO). COREMO was an
amalgamation of the new UDENAMO and several of the other splinter
groups which finally came together in 1965, basing out of Lusaka,
Zambia. Discontented with Mondlane and the slowness of Frelimo's
actions, COREMO initiated their own guerrilla war against the
Portuguese and remained in existance until Mozambican
independence, hoping to have a say in the future government.
They were never afforded recognition or support by any
substantial external agencies, including the OAU who recognized
Frelimo as the only Mozambican nationalist movement, and by war's
end had ceased to be serious contender for power.
As the decade of the 1960's progressed, factions within
Frelimo crystalized into three separate internal power struggles
with distinct perceptions of how the revolution should be
conducted and how Mozambique should be run after independence -
Mondlane and his followers; those who felt that Mondlane's
approach was becoming too radical; and those who felt he was not
radical enough. During the mid 1960's, the political ideas of
Mondlane had radicalized. He began identifying the efforts of
Frelimo with those of similar liberation movements around the
world. This carried over into his conception of society in an
independent Mozambique after the revolution. He became intent on
restructuring society to insure political and economic equality,
using the solidarity of the revolutionary struggle to create a
state free from foreign exploitation. The radicalization of his
ideas may have been assisted by the deaths of some of his more
moderate supporters and the ensuing rise of younger, more
aggressive members of the organization. Jaime Sigauke, Secretary
of the Department of Interior Organization, was assassinated by a
Portuguese "friend" on July 14, 1966. In October 1966, Filipe
Magaia, head of the Department of Defense and Security was killed
in action56. His subsequent replacement was Samora Machel, later
President of Frelimo after Mondlane's death and decidedly
pro-Chinese. While Mondlane's ideas of the revolution were
undergoing a radicalization, his basic premise that the struggle
would be waged by the people and built on their continued support
was unchanged. His emphasis remained on mobilizing the
population at the expense of military or terrorist action to win
ultimate victory for the people - no matter how long the
duration. For this reason, he accepted more support from the
56Brendan F. Jundanian, The Mozambique Liberation Front,
(Library of Congress: Institut Universitaire De Hautes Etupes
Internacionales, 1970), p. 62; sites an unpublished paper which
charges Magaia was killed by a member of Frelimo.
Communists as the war continued, but would not grasp their ideas
in totality. This middle of the road position made Mondlane the
target of any discontent within the organization and it emanated
from both factions previously mentioned.
The insurgency in the Cabo Delgado district had been easily
prosecuted in 1964 and 1965. Portuguese control was marginal and
guerrilla successes were numerous. Lazaro Kavandame, the Frelimo
leader in Cabo Delgado, urged Mondlane to concentrate all efforts
to expel the Portuguese completely. This did not fit into the
overall strategy of the Frelimo heirarchy, which was to create
popular support in all the northern regions, eventually expanding
the network southward. Kavandame argued that too much effort and
funding were being wasted on the population and that the effort
should be redirected to a military victory over the Portuguese
where it was possible. Though future events would prove the
overall strategy was certainly the best path to eventual success,
Kavandame was adamant that Mondlane was not aggressive enough in
pursuing the revolution and openly defied directions from Frelimo
headquarters. The split between Kavandame and Mondlane continued
to widen through the Second Congress of Frelimo in 1968, where
debate centered on the prosecution of the war as proposed by both
factions. Kavandame's arguments had been further magnified by
events at the Mozambique Institute in Dar es Salaam earlier in
the year. Students, disgruntled with the slow moving guerrilla
efforts, led riots against Mrs. Mondlane, the Director of the
Institute, and denounced the leadership of Frelimo. The school
had to be closed in March, 1968, due to the volatility of the
situation. On May 9, 1968, Frelimo headquarters in Dar es Salaam
was attacked by a group of Mozambicans, led by Kavandame's son
and Mateus Gwenjere, a Mozambican priest who had led the riots at
the Institute of Mozambique. Mateus Muthemba, a member of
Frelimo's Central Committee and a Mondlane supporter, was
murdered.58 Kavandame refused to attend the Second Congress of
Frelimo but the debate over revolutionary strategy took place
with others arguing his philosophy. The ideological split was
not resolved; however, Mondlane's strategy was endorsed by the
Second Congress and prosecution of the war was to continue under
the plans that he had set out. Kavandame continued to be an
antagonist and his supporters assassinated Paulo Kankhomba, a
supporter of Mondlane when he visited Cabo Delgado operations in
December, 1968.59 Kavandame was suspended from Frelimo on
January 3, 1969, pending a final decision by Frelimo leaders;
however, his fate was overtaken by events. Eduardo Mondlane was
assassinated on February 3, 1969.
Kavandame represented the faction that thought Mondlane too
conservative. They had accused Mondlane and his wife at one time
or another of working for the CIA and being too pro-American, or
of being too soft on the Portuguese. Kavandame, himself,
58Brendan F. Jundanian, The Mozamblique Liberation Front,
(Library of Congress: Institut Universitaire De Hautes Etupes
Internacionales, 1970), p. 87.
59Ibid., p. 88.
surrendered to the Portuguese in April 1969, and was used by
Portuguese propagandists to advertise the collapse of Frelimo.
Other factions felt that Mondlane was too radical. COREMO
leaders charged throughout the war that Frelimo killed more
Africans than Portuguese and voiced specific resentment against
Mondlane. A splinter group formed in 1968, the Uniao Nacional
Africana de Rumberia (UNAR) referred to Frelimo as the "lynching"
front and urged a secession of Northern Mozambique, the area
between the Rovuma and Zambezia Rivers, with possible annexation
into Malawi. Maconde leaders felt that their tribe bore the
brunt of Frelimo guerrilla efforts throughout Mozambique and were
dissatisfied with the radical ideas of Frelimo's leadership,
desiring to concentrate their efforts in the northern regions.60
Assailed from within Frelimo as being too radical and too
conservative, Mondlane continued to hold to the original long
range strategy and pressed for more party unity. He was
undoubtably more successful than any other potential president
could have been, managing to keep Frelimo on a steady course
despite the internal conflict and managing to present a
relatively united front to the rest of the world. There is
little doubt that the Portuguese Secret Police (PIDE) played an
important part in aggravating the internal disputes, with paid
agents, informers, and assassins (Jaime Sigauke's death was
60Brendan F. Jundanian, The Mozambique Liberation Front,
(Library of Congress: Institut Universitaire De Hautes Etupes
Internacionales, 1970), - an excellent summary of all of these
events is presented from pages 60-94.
attributed to PIDE); and there is much speculation that the
Soviets and Chinese played an active role in stirring resentment
against Mondlane within Frelimo because of his neutral stance on
the East/West issue. However, all things considered, Frelimo
managed unrivaled advances and growth in comparison with other
movements in the Portuguese territories or Southern Africa during
the period. The political mobilization of the population within
guerrilla dominated zones and Frelimo's growing sympathy
throughout the country and the world appears to have gone on
unimpaired by discord at the top.
The events surrounding the assassination of Eduardo Mondlane
on February 3, 1969, will probably never be known for sure. He
was killed by a letter-bomb delivered to the Dar es Salaam home
of an American friend where he was working. Frelimo accused
Kavandame, who later defected to the Portuguese, and Silverio
Nungo, who was subsequently executed. The Tanzanian police
investigation pointed the finger at Kavandame with the assistance
of PIDE. The letter-bomb, itself, was postmarked in Moscow. No
matter the culprit, the results had an important impact on
Frelimo. After a brief power struggle, the pro-Communist Samora
Machel assumed the Presidency. The former Vice-President, Uria
Simango, was expelled and the former Secretary of External
Relations, Miguel Murupa, deserted the party. Murupa, a personal
appointee of Mondlane, later claimed that Frelimo had fallen
under a Communist takeover.61
61Thomas H. Henriksen, Mozambique: A History, (The Camelot
Press, Southampton, England, 1978), p. 181.
Machel moved the party to the ideological left, consolidating
power and increasing ties with the Chinese and Soviets. After
numerous expulsions and defections internal dissent within
Frelimo subsided for the remainder of the insurgency. Machel
advocated the military approach to more of a degree than Mondlane
and stepped up the guerrilla war and urban terrorism. Though the
unity of Frelimo would no longer be in question, the organization
had made a definite mid-course correction. Communist support, in
terms of military and financial assistance, increased
substantially after Machel took over. Propaganda was decidedly
that of the typical Communist supported insurgency. There was
not too much doubt that Mondlane's neutrality had fallen by the
Frelimo - Conduct of the Insurgency
As indicated in earlier sections, actual combat remained at a
low level of intensity throughout the insurgency. Frelimo's
focus from the beginning was on mobilizing the population and
demoralizing the Portuguese through protracted conflict. They
had chosen not to follow the Cuban theory of emphasizing military
forces and military confrontation as practiced in Angola, and
were decidedly unimpressed with the visit of "Che" Guevara in
1965. This probably led to the coolness of relations with Cuba
through the 1960's and very early 1970's.62 From the
commencement of operations against the Portuguese on September
25, 1964, through 1966, operations were characterized by ten to
fifteen man hit and run groups operating against minor
installations and administrative posts in the Tete, Zambezia,
Niassa and Cabo Delgado districts. The latter two districts were
much stronger positions for the guerrillas and mobilization of
the population was attained much more easily. The guerrillas
were armed at this point with rifles, light machineguns, and
automatic pistols, conducting most of their attacks at night and
taking advantage of the rainy season (November through March) to
conceal their movements effectively. Their objectives in the
early years were to disperse the Portuguese forces by conducting
operations in widely separated areas and to prevent counter-
62Thomas H. Henriksen, Revolution and Counterrevolution,
(London: Greenwood Press, 1983), p. 187.
attacks. In both regards they were successful. Guerrilla lines
of communication from havens in Tanzania and Malawi were
primarily created by the use of dugout canoes across the Rovuma
River, Lake Malawi, and down the extreme northern coastal region
in Cabo Delgado.
By late 1965, new recruits were expanding the size of
guerrilla units, particuarly in the extreme northern regions, and
attacks on Portuguese forces were extended to the southern areas
of Niassa and Cabo Delgado as Frelimo control of the northern
regions became apparent. Utilization of land mines by the
guerrilla units entered into insurgent tactics and it became
commonplace to find indiscriminate planting of these devices near
any Portuguese outpost. The use of land mines by guerrilla
forces would increase extensively through the rest of the
insurgency and had tremendous impact on the morale of the
Portuguese. In the early years, the mines were used strictly to
harass Portuguese forces and rarely were covered by fire. As the
insurgency progressed, however, use of the devices became much
more calculated. Frelimo also continued to place heavy emphasis
on winning the support of the population. Agencies were
established to provide support to Mozambicans who had fled to
Tanzania and Malawi to avoid the conflict, and to encourage them
to return to Mozambique to take part in the revolution.
Education, medical, and social systems were created in the areas
controlled by Frelimo, and though rudimentary, they were an
improvement over conditions under the Portuguese and helped build
faith in the nationalist organization.63
By 1966, Portuguese forces in the northern regions were
confined to several small outposts and rarely ventured into the
countryside. Frelimo units continued to expand with occasional
company size attacks (65-150 men) during the closing months of
year; and a reorganization of the military structure was
undertaken to facilitate centralized control of guerrilla
operations. Prior to 1966, there existed no centralized command
structure within the Frelimo military; regional commanders
conducted operations as they saw fit. In late 1966, a mobile
central command was created just north of the Tanzanian border to
coordinate all guerrilla operations. This proved to be very
advantageous for Frelimo, allowing them to strike the Portuguese
at key locations, evaporate into the jungle as Portuguese forces
pursued, and strike again in a coordinated effort at another
critical location. It also proved extremely frustrating to the
Portuguese, who still contended that Frelimo was an unorganized
group of bandits. 1966 also saw the introduction of women
detachments into Frelimo's guerrilla units. These detachments
were concentrated in the defense of liberated areas, freeing the
men for offensive actions in other zones.
63Brendan F. Jundanian, The Mozambique Liberation Front,
(Library of Congress: Institut Universitaire De Hautes Etupes
Internacionales, 1970), p. 76-80.
By 1967 Frelimo had gained control of approximately one fifth
of Mozambique and one seventh of the population.64 Tactics had
remained the same, small-scale hit and run operations. The
guerrilla force had grown to approximately eight thousand
personnel, however, allowing the frequency of operations to
increase substantially. This was a year of decision for the
leadership of Frelimo. Occupying a large portion of the northern
provinces was expensive in terms of funds to establish the social
programs necessary for continued popular support; and as the
strength of the military forces increased, the cost of food,
clothing and equipment rose proportionately. Monetary support
from the OAU could not cover the costs of expanded operations and
support from the West had all but dried up. It might also be
recalled that the years from 1966 through 1968 were full of
dissent within the leadership of Frelimo. Mondlane wanted to
retain the same scale of guerrilla operations but urged
projection of forces to other areas of Mozambique in a widening
arc of insurgent actions. To accomplish this he sought more
external support. Thus, 1967 and particularly 1968, saw the
beginning of big-power involvement in Frelimo policies -
specifically the Soviet Union and Chinese.65 Weapons were
upgraded to a standard armament of AK-47 and AK-50 rifles. The
Soviet RPD light machine gun as well as the Goryunov M1943 7.62
64Brendan F. Jundanian, The Mozambique Liberation Front,
(Library of Congress: Institut Universitaire De Hautes Etupes
Internacionales, 1970), p. 70.
65F. X. Maier, Revolution and Terrorism in Mozambique, (New
York: American Affairs Association, Inc., 1974), p. 11.
calibre heavy machine gun began appearing in guerrilla attacks.
By late 1969 and early 1970 Soviet anti-aircraft weapons,
mortars, and Chinese 75mm recoiless rifles and 122mm rockets also
began appearing.66 1968 was a good year for Frelimo in terms of
propaganda, additionally. Action in the Tete district which had
met with early success in the beginning of the insurgency, but
which had been dormant for several years, was reopened and the
Cabora Bassa Dam project was the main target. One of the
projects undertaken by the Portuguese in the late 1950's as a
belated attempt to improve economic conditions in Mozambique was
the building of the Cabora Bassa Dam on the Zambezi River. After
the outbreak of hostilities, work was stepped up in an effort to
complete the project as quickly as possible for both economic and
military reasons. Economically, the project would open eight
million acres of land to agriculture and provide four million
kilowatts of electrical power to southern Africa. As the fifth
largest hydro-electric project in the world and the largest on
the African continent, its construction was beneficial to
Portugal in convincing the rest of the world of Portuguese good
intentions in Mozambique. Militarily, it would create the
largest man-made lake in the world and simultaneously isolate a
large portion of the frontier from guerrilla penetration.
Frelimo was opposed to the construction of the dam for obvious
military reasons and also because of the political victory
Portugal would achieve in world opinion upon its completion.
66F. X. Maier, Revolution and Terrorism in Mozambique, (New
York: American Affairs Association, Inc., 1974), p. 12.
1968 marked the beginning of guerrilla operations against the
project which would increase in intensity until 1974, when it
became apparent that Mozambican independence would be forthcoming
and the Cabora Bassa Dam would be an economic asset for the new
government. The Portuguese committed three thousand troops and
three concentric, defensive circles of over one million land
mines to the defense of the Cabora Bassa project.67 Frelimo was
seldom successful in direct attacks upon the dam, but was highly
successful in interdicting convoys en route to the project site
and intimidating workers. Their propaganda victory lay in the
fact that the Portuguese forces could not stop the guerrillas
from interrupting work on the project which eventually led to a
withdrawal of most foreign financial support. Additionally,
Frelimo forced a United Nations Resolution condemning the project
in 1972.
The other major propaganda victory in 1968 was the convention
of the Second Congress of Frelimo on guerrilla held territory
within Mozambique. Even with unchallenged air superiority,
Portuguese forces could not locate the site of the convention
until late on the last evening. Their bombing missions,
conducted the next morning, were futile. It was an open
demonstration of territorial control and Frelimo made the most of
it. Propaganda was a strength of Frelimo throughout the
insurgency. Frelimo leaders were able to maneuver the consortium
67F. X. Maier, Revolution and Terrorism in Mozambique, (New
York: American Affairs Association, Inc., 1974), p. 41.
of third world countries in the United Nations to condemn
Portugal at almost every turn; particularly after Mondlane's
death and Machel's swing to the "left". The identification with
other world liberation movements and association with the
Communist powers afforded increased sympathy for the cause in
every international forum.
For Frelimo, the years 1970 through 1974 contained no unique
and signficant operations, but were characterized by an
intensification of all guerrilla activities, a widening of the
conflict into the Manica and Sofala districts, a tremendous
increase in urban terrorism, and a marked increase in the
brutality and psychological warfare directed at the Portuguese
forces. The indiscriminate use of land mines by guerrilla forces
probably had more impact on the Portuguese than any other single
point of the conflict. A passage from Henriksen's Revolution and
Counterrevoltion68 summarizes perfectly:
"According to Frelimo, it used mines against the
Forces Armadas for military, political, economic and
psychological goals. The mine is a weapon of the
semi-skilled and as such fitted into Frelimo's
reliance on village youth to conduct its campaign.
Its effectiveness was great, however. Two out of
every three troops, or 70 percent, struck down by the
guerrillas were mine victims. Yet the highest
68Thomas H. Henriksen, Revolution and Counterrevolution,
(London: Greenwood Press, 1983), p. 44.
casualty was Portuguese morale. Understandably,
troops feared treading on an anti-personnel device.
This led to a mine psychosis and contributed to a
static defense mentality in some colonial units.
Riders in ambushed convoys in many instances
stayed frozen in their vehicles or on the roadside
to avoid stepping on anti-personnel mines which
were often sown near the anti-vehicular variety of
mines. Mined vehicles twisted like licorice and mine
craters along roadways conjured up grim reflections of
previous tragedies. Sometimes, the colonial forces towed
away the derelicts, not for spare parts but to remove
telltale reminders. But many a convoy was spared heavy
damage, aside from the stricken vehicle and its crew,
by the all-too-quick getaway of the guerrillas who
fired and ran. Generally, Frelimo abstained from
prolonged assault on well-escorted convoys.
Still another Frelimo objective was attained by
mine wounds. When two or three soldiers left the
combat zone to carry a mined comrade, their leave-
taking, however brief, diminished the size of the
patrol. Helicopters, when used for evacuation, also
reduced the forces flying combat missions which could
have inflicted losses on the guerrilla army.
Transportation and other facilities were more tied up
for a wounded man than a dead one. Thus, the in-
surgents' goal took more into account than raising the
casualty list when burying the lethal canisters in the
Mining with the intention of inflicting Portuguese
casualities was only one aspect of the grisly campaign. By 1973,
guerrilla forces were laying mines near civilian population
centers just as indiscriminately. The number of civilian
casualties was tremendous and is one of the saddest aspects of
the conflict; but it contributed to the psychological war against
the Portuguese. The anger of the civilian population was
directed at the Portuguese soldiers because they could not
protect the innocent. Not only were the Portuguese engaged with
a guerrilla force which they could not defeat, but they became
the target of increasing abuse by even the friendly part of the
native population as the conflict wore on. Frelimo used this
tactic to turn European against European as well. When Mondlane
had been President of Frelimo, he had advocated a non-violent
attitude toward Portuguese settlers and other Europeans in
Mozambique and concentrated efforts against the Portuguese
government and military. Machel reversed this policy in 1973,
and white settlers again became targets of guerrilla attacks.
"Panic, demoralization, adandonment, and a sense of futility -
all were reactions among whites in Mozambique".69 The settlers
demonstrated against the Portuguese in Vila de Manica and Vila
69Thomas H. Henriksen, Revolution and Counterrevolution,
(London: Greenwood Press, 1983), p. 37.
Pery, and stoned military installations and soldiers in Beira.
The morale of the army again was undermined and a sense of utter
hopelessness became pervasive.
A tense stage was well set in both Mozambique and Portugal.
Frelimo's hit and run strategy continued in the early months of
1974, wresting away every initiative. Portuguese forces could
not effectively respond. Soldiers, tired of serving repeated
cycles of two years in Africa, one year at home, questioned their
own long term prospects, lives and careers. On April 25, 1974, a
military coup took control of the government in Lisbon. Though
no announcement of Mozambique's liberation was immediately
forthcoming, Frelimo's strategy had finally prevailed.
Portugal - Conduct of the Counterinsurgency
The Portuguese had taken political and social steps in the
late 1950's and early 1960's to defuse the rising nationalism in
Mozambique, as discussed in earlier sections. In 1961 the
"Indigena Laws" were repealed, making all native born Mozambicans
citizens of Portugal. In 1962, the labor laws were overhauled to
create minimum wages, establish maximum working hours and improve
working conditions. The 1963 "Overseas Organic Law" was designed
to give some autonomy to the Mozambican colony. Although none
were successful in heading off the outbreak of open conflict,
Portuguese authorities felt that if they could contain the
guerrilla forces long enough without alienating the total
population, then the social and political reforms would work to
undercut the goals of the guerrilla movement with the insurgency
dying a natural death. As a result, the initial Portuguese
response to guerrilla attacks by Frelimo was limited and the
initial strategy played into the hands of Frelimo. Lisbon's
counterinsurgent strategy, in the early years, was to contain the
guerrillas in remote, underpopulated and economically expendable
lands; but at the same time keep Portuguese expenditures at a
minimum until the guerrillas quit in frustration or dissolved
into rival factions in the face of improved social and economic
conditions.70 If Frelimo's strategy had been to seek a quick
victory this may have been effective, but since Frelimo was
70Thomas H. Henriksen, Revolution and Counterrevolution,
(London: Greenwood Press, 1983), p. 39.
preparing for a protracted conflict, the Portuguese strategy
actually assisted.
The Portuguese actions in response to the outbreak of
hostilities in September 1964, kept in line with their strategy.
Having already been at war in Angola for nearly four years and
Guinea for two years they had made some preparations in the
northern provinces to contain the insurgency. Communications
were improved and several airfields were constructed to assist in
containing the guerrillas. Military forces were increased and
surveillance by military intelligence units and PIDE (the
Portuguese Secret Police) was stepped up. By 1965, the
Portuguese had broken the structure of the underground movement
in Lourenco Marques and had arrested the leaders. PIDE had
successfully infiltrated Frelimo and would prove instrumental in
causing turmoil within the insurgent organization. Basically,
everything was going as planned, however, the guerrillas were not
cooperating. The Portuguese found themselves falling into a
situation which would haunt them for the rest of the conflict.
The guerrilla forces had stolen the initiative and would dictate
the location and tempo of operations to the Portuguese.
Portuguese forces would almost always be reacting to the
guerrilla strategy. This was roughly the same situation in which
United States forces found themselves later in South Viet Nam.
By trying to simply contain the guerrillas, the Portuguese were
giving them time to expand, train, and organize. As guerrilla
operations increased in intensity, the Portuguese found they no
longer had enough forces to successfully cover the expanded area
to successfully cover the expanded area of operations. A
build-up of troops and equipment began and would continue until
the last months of the conflict; always, it seemed, one step
behind the guerrillas.
1968 and 1969 saw Portuguese force levels grow to sixty
thousand with an additional forty thousand native soldiers active
in the southern provinces away from the general conflict. The
Portuguese military budget for Mozambique had increased thirty
percent per year and total defense spending had reached
fourty-four percent of the overall Portuguese budget. The draft
age had been lowered to eighteen with obligatory service extended
to three or four years depending on the draft category.71 These
policies, collectively, combined with minimal good news from any
of the three African colonies were beginning to have an impact in
Portugal. Far from one of the richest nations in Europe, any
increased defense spending came at the expense of an already low
standard of living for the Portuguese. It was becoming apparent
that the colonial wars would have to be won, not just waited out;
and the victory would have to come quickly.
The Portuguese had purchased several B-26's from the United
States and forty Fiat G-91 fighter bombers from West Germany to
step up the air war against the guerrillas.72 Though no
71Facts presented in this paragraph come from Jundanian's
analysis, pgs. 50-60.
72Brendan F. Jundanian, The Mozambique Liberation Front,
(Library of Congress; Institut Universitaire de Hautes Etupes
Internacionales, 1970), p. 66. The number of B-26's was between
seven and twenty, purchased through the CIA.
accurate figures are available as to the quantity of these
aircraft which arrived in Mozambique, many did, because part of
the increased counterinsurgent operations included napalm strikes
against suspected Frelimo villages. The G-91 could operate from
very short runways carrying a good ordnance load, and as a result
was an excellent aircraft for counterinsurgency operations. It
is interesting to note that West Germany sold the aircraft to
Portugal under the stipulation that they be used only in NATO
areas. A Portuguese Foreign Ministry official clarified this:
"The transaction was agreed within the spirit of the North
Atlantic Pact ... the planes would be used only for defensive
purposes within Portuguese territory, which extends to Africa -
Angola, Mozambique, and Portuguese Guinea."73 Another part of
the increased counterinsurgent operations was the creation of
strategic hamlets in the northern provinces. The Portuguese
forces resettled over two hundred and fifty thousand natives in
the provinces along the southern border of Tanzania hoping that
the larger hamlets could refuse to aid Frelimo guerrillas where
isolated Africans could not. The rest of the region south of the
Tanzanian border, exclusive of the strategic hamlets, fell victim
to a "scorched earth policy." The Portuguese attempted to clear
the entire border region, napalming villages and using herbicides
on the jungle.74
73Basil Davidson, "Arms and Nationalists", Africa Report,
Vol. 15, No. 5, May 1970, p. 10.
74Brendan F. Jundanian, The Mozambique Liberation Front,
(Library of Congress: Institut Universitaire de Hautes Etudes
Internacionales, 1970), p. 73.
In addition to the stepped up military operations, Portuguese
forces increased civil action efforts and propaganda campaigns;
unfortunately one tended to off set the other. Special medical
and social benefits were made available to natives who would
support the Portuguese administration. Efforts were made to
intensify old tribal enmities and to play up the Maconde
dissatisfaction with Frelimo in an attempt to divide the
population and reduce the potential support for Frelimo. These
actions, however, much like the resettlement campaign, were often
carried out with a vengeance, and did not inspire long term
loyalty. Old animosities against the Portuguese were difficult
to overcome and often one unfortunate act would negate any
potential benefits from a particular program. As the level of
frustration built with the seemingly enless war, the "unfortunate
acts" became all too commonplace. One incident, similar to the
experience at, My Lai, South View Nam, will be covered in a later
In March 1970, a new commander for Portuguese forces in
Mozambique was appointed. Brigadier General Kaulza de Arriaga
had studied the Mozambican theater from a position on the staff
of the Institute of Higher Military Studies in Lisbon and had
served as commander of ground forces in Mozambique for eight
months prior to assignment as overall commander. He possessed
definite ideas on the conduct of the war in Mozambique which were
reinforced by a visit to the United States for consultations with
General William Westmoreland concerning American tactics in
Viet Nam.75 Arriaga insisted on the deployment of aircraft to
support ground operations, particularly helicopter gunships; and
initiated large scale "search-and-destroy" missions. He also
requested a further increase of troops and material.
Bolstered with three thousand additional Portuguese soldiers,
Arriaga launched the largest offensive campaign of the war -
Operation "Gordion Knot". The objectives of the campaign were to
seal off the infiltration routes across the Tanzanian border and
to destroy permanent guerrilla bases. "Gordion Knot" was a seven
month campaign employing, ultimately thirty-five thousand men,
and was almost successful. The brunt of the effort was in the
Cabo Delgado district. Tactics consisted of lightning quick
airborne assaults on small camps. Continual artillery and
aviation bombardment rained down on larger sites while bulldozer
guided, motorized armies converged. These tactics were effective
and Arriaga pursued the guerrillas relentlessly; however, the
exertions of "Gordion Knot" could not be continued indefinitely.
As the number of guerrilla killed and captured increased, so did
the number of Portuguese casualties. The politicians in Lisbon,
though dissatisfied with the success of the counterinsurgency
until Arriaga's assumption of command, had been content with the
relatively low casualty figures. As casualty rates continued to
climb during "Gordion Knot" their early pleasure with the
improving tactical operations diminished. Political meddling
in the conduct of the war appeared with increasing frequency.
75Thomas H. Henriksen, Revolution and Counterrevolution,
(London: Greenwood Press, 1983), p. 49.
Though "Gordion Knot" had been the most successful campaign
of the counterinsurgency it had not delivered the ultimate
victory desired by Arriaga - for several reasons. The first,
noted above, was political "queasiness" with the increased
casualty rates and subsequent meddling in the operation itself.
The second was the onset of the rainy season in November which
proved to be longer than usual and subsequently gave the
guerrillas more than enough time to recover. The third was the
simple fact that Arriaga had to mass all of the Portuguese forces
in Mozambique to pursue the campaign in the extreme northern
provinces in hopes of a relatively quick but decisive victory.
Frelimo realized this and as any good guerrilla force,
continually dispersed into the jungle, prolonging the campaign
and consuming Portuguese resources. Simultaneously, they
increased operations in other provinces, sparsely guarded by
Portuguese troops. A Portuguese communique issued in late
January, 1971, acknowledged that in spite of the massive
operation, not all military objectives had been realized.
Arriaga, whether disillusioned by "Gordion Knot" or
restrained by Lisbon, shifted from extended conventional sweeps
to small unit actions deploying black and white shock troops. By
1972, the situation had deteriorated again with Portuguese forces
operating out of traditional secluded strongholds in guerrilla
dominated territory. 1972 could probably be described as "the
beginning of the end" of the insurgency, for the frustrations of
the Portuguese soldiers were becoming evident. The violence and
brutality of campaign actions against the population were
increasing on both sides. The Portuguese stepped up violent
tactics, trying to make the natives afraid to support Frelimo.
Forced resettlements and reprisals became more frequent and on a
larger scale after mid-1972. Frustration and suspicion mounted,
and in this atmosphere elements of the Portuguese army massacred
the inhabitants of the village of Wiriyamu. The incident,
itself, was not brought to the attention of the rest of the world
until nearly a year later, in July 1973, by a Dominican priest.
It was at first denied, then contested, then rationalized as a
response in-kind by Portuguese authorities. Though details of
the entire episode will never be known, best estimates are that
four hundred to five hundred natives were slaughtered by
Portuguese soldiers, black and white, in a spontaneous outburst
of frustration during a small scale search and destroy mission.76
The exposure of Wiriyamu brought with it the exposure of
numerous other incidents on a smaller scale and increased
world-wide (particularly third-world) condemnation of Portugal.
During 1973 and early 1974, the situation continued to worsen
for the Portuguese. Frelimo forces began advancing southward.
Portuguese forces were apparently unable to halt them. The
civilian authorities in Lisbon, embarrassed by the atrocities
exposed in July, 1973, had lost a great amount of confidence in
military solutions and were encouraging the expansion of
76Adrian Hastings, Wiriyamu, (London: Search Press, 1974),
Recounts the incident at Wiriyamu as described by the Dominican
operations by PIDE. PIDE's paramilitary endeavors were viewed as
excessively brutal and counterproductive by the leaders of the
military, and disagreement on the proper role of the secret
police in combating the insurgency widened the rift between the
central government and the military leadership. A veteran
Portuguese journalist described the deteriorating situation quite
accurately: "In Mozambique we say there are three wars: the war
against Frelimo, the war between the army and the secret police,
and the war between the army and the secret police, and the
central government."77 When the Movimento de Forcas Armadas
(MFA) seized control of the government in Lisbon on April 25,
1974, the Portuguese position in Mozambique all but collapsed.
General Antonio de Spinola, head of the new government and former
commander of counterrevolutionary forces in Guinea-Bissau,
maneuvered to maintain some control over the destiny of
Mozambique by calling for a cease-fire and Portuguese sponsored
elections; but Frelimo, sensing victory, would not comply.
Frelimo announced the opening of a new front in Zambezia and
poured guerrillas into the middle regions of the country "like
fleas through a rug", as described by one Portuguese officer.78
The Spinola government countered by ordering northern outposts
abandoned and the concentration of troops in the southern
regions, by handing out arms to rural settlers, and by ordering
77F. X. Maier, Revolution and Terrorism in Mozambique, (New
York: American Affairs Association Inc., 1974), p. 24.
78Thomas H. Henriksen, Revolution and Counterrevolution,
(London: Greenwood Press, 1983), p. 57.
an increase in bombing attacks on guerrilla controlled
territories. These measures were intended to support the
Portuguese position at the negotiating table, but proved futile.
The troops fighting in Mozambique realized that the coup in
Lisbon and the opening of negotiations with Frelimo were a
prelude to withdrawal. Instead of engaging the guerrillas, many
refused to continue risking their lives in a war that could not
be won. By mid-summer an undeclared truce prevailed since the
bulk of the Portuguese army would not leave their barracks; and
on September 8, 1974, an accord was signed formalizing the
cease-fire. The agreement called for a transitional government
with full independence for Mozambique to be granted on June 25,
1975 - the thirteenth anniversary of Frelimo. The war had ended.
As noted at the beginning of this study, Mozambique remains a
tinderbox in Southern Africa despite almost a decade of self-rule
since achieving independence. The government of Samora Machel,
which came to power after the final withdrawal of Portuguese
forces in 1975, aligned solidly with the Communist world and
severed most relations with the West. Machel's goal of achieving
greater prosperity in Mozambique and raising the general standard
of living by using the Communist system has been largely a
failure. Despite tremendous assistance from Cuba, the Soviet
Union, and China, Mozambique remains steeped in poverty and ripe
for internal conflict. The situation has been further aggravated
by actions of the government of South Africa. Fearful of the
Communist penetration into Southern Africa through Angola and
Mozambique and very aware of the tenuous position their own
government would occupy if Western support became critical, the
South Africans have actively promoted guerrilla activity in both
of the aforementioned countries. Mozambique has been hard hit,
particularly economically. Recently, the Machel government has
made overtures to the South Africans indicating a desire to
normalize relations and enter into reciprocal agreements aimed at
easing the fears of South Africans and gaining a respite for the
Mozambican economy. At the same time, Machel has indicated
"somewhat" of a desire for better relations with the United
States. Once again, Mozambique appears to be moving toward
center ground in a potential East-West confrontation. The
Communist powers have invested considerable time and money in
gaining a toehold in Southern Africa and cannot be expected to
remain idle as Machel warms up to the West. For this reason, if
no other, the lessons learned from analyzing the insurgency
against Portugal are critical. Mozambique, in all probability,
has not seen the last of guerrilla warfare.
The basic strength of Frelimo, particularly in the early
stages of the insurgency, was the fact that it came into
existence following five hundred years of inflexible, colonial
domination. This strength fed on the mirrored acts of European
powers hastily divesting themselves of costly African colonies.
Portugal's stubborn reluctance to follow suit created the amalgam
for insurgency. The strategy of Frelimo, in accepting a
protracted conflict with all of the inherent pitfalls of a long
term insurgency, almost guaranteed eventual success -
particularly against Portugal, undoubtedly the poorest of
European colonial powers and the only one to see long term profit
in maintaining African colonies. Frelimo's tactics were supurb
throughout the insurgency. Conducting classic guerrilla hit and
run operations, they rarely engaged Portuguese forces head-on and
then, only with clearly superior strength. From the outset, the
guerrillas dictated the tempo and location of operations, forcing
the Portuguese to react and never allowing them the initiative.
Much like the weary fighter, who finds punches raining down from
every direction and is too busy ducking to land a well-aimed blow
of his own, so too, do the Portuguese eventually succumb.
Frelimo's knockout punch came in the form of terrorism,
specifically the indiscriminate use of landmines in the final
years of the insurgency. Portuguese morale was devastated beyond
their capacity to recover.
The basic failure of the Portuguese was an underestimation of
their enemy. This characteristic is inherent to almost every
unsuccessful counterinsurgency. Because of their initial
estimation of Frelimo's capabilities, the Portuguese never
settled on a strategy which would eventually end the conflict.
Their strategy, from the beginning, was containment and was
designed around the idea of employing minimum forces and minimum
assets to hold Frelimo in check. At some time in the near
future, it was hoped, Frelimo would cease to exist as an
organization due to internal conflict. As was discussed in
previous sections, this allowed Frelimo the time to gather
strength and committed Portugal to a spiraling force buildup
which they could not afford. The most unfortunate aspect of this
point is that Portuguese forces had sufficient strength to easily
overpower the guerrillas in the early years of the insurgency had
they employed a better strategy. Even as late as 1970, General
Arriaga's "Gordion Knot" came within easy distance of complete
victory but was cut short by vacillating policy within the
Portuguese government. Inability to agree on any particular
strategy and follow through to success or failure highlighted the
disunity of policy-makers and underlined the lack of a plan to
eventually end the conflict. The result was a generation of
Portuguese soldiers who felt they were being sacrificed aimlessly
in the African colonies with no hope for extrication. This is a
critical point, but one that should be easily understood by any
United States Marine. The situation in which we found ourselves
during the recent Lebanon crisis, if extended over a few more
years, could very easily have caused similar misgivings.
If Mozambique should become the scene of confrontation in the
future, there are critical elements in the make-up of the country
which bear understanding before committment of forces. The
people have lived, unhappily for the most part, under the rule of
white men for nearly five hundred years, and should not be
expected to arise in support of an external power intervening to
free them from Communism. Civil affairs programs, therefore,
should be well planned and genuine or their impact will be
negligible. Tribal loyalties and animosities are extremely
significant, particularly in rural areas, and can prove
advantageous if properly understood. Mozambique offers extreme
variations in terrain, with areas that are ideal for the conduct
of guerrilla operations. Infiltration routes from the north and
west are almost unlimited with nearly two thousand miles of
contiguity to nations which would provide haven for guerrilla
units in all probability. Tremendous rivers cross Mozambique,
entering virtually all regions of the country, and can be
formidable obstacles, avenues of approach or lines of
communication depending upon the structure of the force.
Politically, guerrillas in Mozambique have already displayed a
propensity for terrorism. This is probably the greatest single
problem confronting any force introduced into the area. The
widespread, indiscriminate use of landmines was relatively unique
to the insurgency in Mozambique, and had frightful impact on both
the opposing force and the native population. Any force being
committed to action or presence in Mozambique should have a well
defined answer to this problem in advance.
The insurgency in Mozambique is extremely important for one
final reason. Like it or not, the United States stands as
a strong reservoir of optimism in the face of a powerful
challenge pledged to our destruction. Part of that pledge was
paid by Portugal in Mozambique. A NATO ally was "bled" in a
collapsing colonial situation which we could not shepherd. Our
confrontations will be in the "third world" for at least the
remainder of the twentieth century. The lessons learned in
Mozambique apply across the board.
Primary Sources
Hastings, Adrian. Wiriyamu, London: Search Press, 1974.
Written by the Dominican priest who first exposed the
massacre, this volume accurately establishes the atmosphere
of frustration which led to the events at Wiriyamu and
portrays his struggle to convince the world of the atrocities
taking place in Mozambique.
Machel, Samora. The Tasks Ahead, New York: A.S.I., 1975. The
author presents his views on the condition of Mozambique
following the conclusion of the insurgency and the tasks that
lie ahead in developing the nation. Provides excellent
insight into the leader of Frelimo.
Machel, Samora. Mozambique, Sowing the Seeds of Revolution,
London: Committee for Freedom in Mozambique, 1975. Provides
transcripts of important speeches made by Machel since
becoming President of Frelimo. Again, it provides insight
into Machel's reasoning and priorities.
Mondlane, Eduardo. The Struggle for Mozambique, Middlesex:
Penguin Books, Ltd., 1969. Excellent volume for insight into
Mondlane, the first President of Frelimo, and his views of
the revolution and conduct of the insurgency. The best
source for an understanding of Frelimo's goals in the early
Santos, Manuel Pimentel Pereira dos. Mozambique is Not Only
Cabora Bassa, Lisbon, 1973. An interview with the Portuguese
governor of Mozambique. It reflects Portuguese views of
Mozambique prior to the military takeover in 1974. Gives
Portuguese justification to the idea that Mozambique is an
actual "part" of Portugal, not just a colony.
Secondary Sources
Duffy, James. Portuguese Africa, Cambridge: Harvard University
Press, 1959. Excellent background information on Portuguese
involvement in Africa prior to the outbreak of insurgency in
the colonies.
Gibson, Richard. African Liberation Movements: Contemporary
Struggles Against White Minority Rule, New York: Oxford
Univesity Press, 1972. Good account of all the liberation
movements in Africa. Gives an excellent summary of the
Portuguese dilemma in all of her colonies.
Henriksen, Thomas H. Mozambique: A History, Southampton: The
Camelot Press, 1978. The most thorough volume found covering
the history of Mozambique. Written by the foremost expert on
the area, this publication is an absolute necessity for a
sound understanding of the situation in Mozambique.
Henriksen, Thomas H. Revolution and Counterrevolution, London:
Greenwood Press, 1983. Continues the excellent analysis of
the Mozambican struggle started in his first volume. The
author attempts to provide an impartial view of the events
which transpired during the insurgency. The only publication
found that appears to present the facts without a biased
Jundanian, Brendan F. The Mozambique Liberation Front, Library
of Congress: Institut Universitaire de Hautes Etupes
Internacionales, 1970. An excellent summary of Frelimo as it
changed throughout the insurgency. Describes the
organization as it grows through four distinct phases of the
conflict and the perceived reason for the changes.
Maier, F. X. Revolution and Terrorism in Mozambique. New York:
American African Affairs Association, Inc., 1974. Provides
good information on areas of the insurgency not covered in
detail in other publications, particularly the Cabora Bassa
Dam project. Also provides additional information on
utilization of landmines during the insurgency. An excellent
reference, but somewhat pro-Portuguese.
Serapiao, Luis B. and El-Khawas, Mohamed A. Mozambique in the
Twentieth Century: From Colonialism to Independence.
Washington: University Press of America, Inc., 1979.
Presents another view of the events which led to the
insurgency and the direction in which Mozambique is moving.
Though obviously pro-Frelimo, it balances other publications
and provides the reader with many thoughts to ponder.
Kitchen, Helen. Africa Report, 12:8, 1967, "Conversation with
Eduardo Mondlane."
Marcum, John A. Africa Report, 12:8, 1967, "Three Revolutions."
Davidson, Basil. Africa Report, 15:5, 1970, "Arms and
Mann, Roger. Washington Post Magazine, February 6, 1977, "A
Troubled Celebration in Zanzibar."
Times (New York), 23 January 1969, P. C2, "Mozambique Rebel Says
Forces Aim to Block Dam"
Times (New York), 15 March 1971, P. C3, "Lisbon General Reports
Gains in Mozambique War"
The Christian Science Monitor, 5 July 1973, P. 2, "Showdown Nears
in Mozambique"
Times (New York), 12 July 1973, P. C2, "Priests Comments on
Slaying Report"
Times (New York), 14 July 1973, P. C4, "New Charges of Mass
Executions in Mozambique"
Post (Washington), 4 September 1973, P. A-17, "Guerrillas Step Up
Raids in Mozambique"
The Christian Science Monitor, 11 January 1974, P. 3C, "Guerrilla
Upsurge Shakes Mozambique"
Post (Washington), 30 May 1974, P. A-11, "Mozambique: A Study in
Post (Washington), 18 August 1974, P. A-16, "Guerrillas Winning
Control of Mozambique"
Post (Washington), 12 September 1974, P. A-30, "Rioting Kills at
least 47 in Mozambique"
Times (New York), 25 June 1975, P. C3, "Mozambique Gains
Independence After 470 Years"
Post (Washington), 26 June 1975, P. A-13, "Independent
Mozambique seen as Marxist, Cautious"