Friday, October 16, 2009


Aerial view, extreme long shot, 2000
Limpopo River winds its way through Southern Mozambique
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Satellite image of Mozambique
generated from raster graphics data
supplied by The Map Library
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Morrumbala, Mozambique, 2009
Civil war hit this area hard

A bridge that was damaged during the civil war

The Mozambican War of Independence was an armed conflict between the guerrilla forces of the Mozambique Liberation Front or FRELIMO (Frente de Libertação de Moçambique), and Portugal. The war officially started on September 25, 1964, and ended with a cease fire on September 8, 1974, resulting in a negotiated independence in 1975.

25 September 1964
Daniel Maquinasse at

A Portuguese soldier waves to children from a train
soldiers passing through a villiage in 1973
War of Independence in Mozambique
Photographer David Hume Kennerly
© copyright 1999-2009 Getty Images

In Mozambique, the Portuguese were not typical settlers. While most European colonies in Africa were "settled" and colonized by whites in the early 1900s, some white families and colonial institutions in those Portuguese-ruled territories had been there for generations. However, the fear of reprisals and the pro-communist ideologies by the FRELIMO government resulted in the exodus of thousands of Portuguese citizens of European, African and mixed ethnicity from the newly-independent territory to Portugal and other places. In Mozambique, most ethnic Portuguese considered themselves Mozambicans.
About 300,000 white ethnic Portuguese citizens from Mozambique left the territory overnight as refugees (in Portugal they were known as retornados). Cities, towns and villages which were founded by the Portuguese and prospered under Portuguese rule, saw their Portuguese names changed after independence - Lourenço Marques to Maputo, Vila Pery to Chimoio, Vila Cabral to Lichinga, or Vila Junqueiro to Gurúè, are just a few examples. The statues to Portuguese heroes were removed from their sites in all urban centres. With the exodus of trained Portuguese personnel, the newly-independent country had no skilled professionals to maintain its infrastructure, and so the economy plummeted. Privileged commercial links were established with several communist countries by the FRELIMO government on the expense of Portugal which lost influence in the region.
The struggle is far from over. Prime Minister Joaquin Chissano revealed the party's deep concern about the current "phase of desperate struggle between the revolutionary and reactionary forces."
(APF Newsletters of Robin Wright)

Joaquin Chissano
APF Newsletters of Robin Wright

"It is a phase when the enemy already uses more subtle tactics to continue the exploitation of man by man and the oppression of the Mozambique people. This activity is quite clear through the maneuvering of certain groups doing everything to create confusion, insecurity and panic."
"It is not only through armed attack that the enemy operates," he continued. "Today, we have speculation in foodstuffs and other essential products, pillaging of natural resources, various forms of economic sabotage, and even acts of scorched earth."
At least one-half the white population has already chosen to find new homes elsewhere, mainly in Portugal, South Africa and Brazil. According to the Portuguese High Commission, at least 103,000 have fled from Mozambique since January, 1973, leaving anywhere from 70,000 to 100,000 in this southeast African country of nine million. Illegal emigration and "vacationing" whites have made exact figures impossible to obtain.
Of the 103,000, about 30,000 left in 1973 as the ten-year war between Frelimo guerrillas and Portuguese troops spread further south. Between January, 1974 and the military takeover in Lisbon on April 25 another 20,000 left.
The main exodus came after September, 1974 when two white-initiated incidents frightened the remaining white community. In September, white extremists seized a Lourenco Marques radio station in an abortive bid to prevent Frelimo from coming to power. White mobs roamed the town and many Africans were killed.
(APF Newsletters of Robin Wright)
In October 1974, Portuguese soldiers picked a fight with Frelimo guerrillas in the main district of the capital city, sparking a gun battle that led to the deaths of an estimated 47 whites. Fearing a backlash, at least 52,000 have since left.
Portuguese presence dates back almost 500 years, to Vasco da Gama's ‘discoVery’ of the area in 1498. Lourenco Marques brought the first whites to the southeast African country in 1544. Most white Mozambicans are at least fourth generation; many go back farther than current residents can trace. They often have no formal or familial ties with Portugal beyond the language.
Upon independence on June 25, 1975, Mozambique's population was 80 percent illiterate. But a radical program to educate the nine million population of this southeast African country is already making a dent in this figure, and at the same time rallying support for the new government.
(APF Newsletters of Robin Wright)

Frelimo set up alphabetization classes since 1960
APF Newsletters of Robin Wright

The overthrow in 1974 of dictator Antonio de Oliveira Salazar ended Portugal's centuries of colonial presence in Africa. Mozambique's Frelimo nationalist opposition declared independence as a Marxist-Leninist state in 1975. Portuguese colonists fled with virtually all the skills needed to rebuild a country devastated by decades of fighting. The pro-Soviet orientation, together with Frelimo's domination by Maconde groups in the north and its long-standing hostility toward the colonists and the white-minority-ruled Rhodesia and South Africa, underlay several sources of opposition to Frelimo.
(Human Development Report - UNDP – 2007/2008, 2005 data at Agence Française de Développement)

APF Newsletters of Robin Wright

by Günter Mosler at Panoramio

Samora Rachel
APF Newsletters of Robin Wright

Samora Moisés Machel, 3 March 1983
1st President of Mozambique
Source Deutsches Bundesarchiv
Author Link, Hubert, German Federal Archive
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Samora Machel became Mozambique's first president. The Reverend Uria Simango, his wife, and other FRELIMO dissidents were arrested in 1975 and liquidated without trial at some unknown date. Within about two years, war restarted with the Mozambican Civil War against the rebel insurgency of RENAMO. Mozambique faced severe problems after independence. Economic and social recession, Marxist totalitarianism, corruption, poverty, inequality and failed central planning eroded the initial revolutionary fervour.

The Mozambique Flag

A Frelimo tank burned by Renamo forces
Renamo base camp at Ngungwe
Magude's southern boundary with Moamba District
Source Heidi Gengenbach

Refugees returning to Mazambique on chartered plane
© 2009 Sergio Vieira de Mello Foundation

Frelimo's hostility to neighboring white minority governments was manifested in support for ZANLA (the Zimbabwean nationalist guerrillas in Rhodesia) and the ANC (African National Congress in S. Africa). Rhodesia arranged to consolidate opposition to the Frelimo by the Renamo (Mozambique national resistance) movement which conducted raids within Mozambique. Frelimo forces attacked Renamo strongholds within and outside Mozambique territory.
The conflict escalated to full-scale guerrilla war. After Zimbabwean nationalists took control in 1980, Renamo relied primarily on South African support to wage a very successful campaign , so successful that on March 16 1984 Presidents Samora Machel (Frelimo) and P.W. Botha (South Africa) signed the Nkomati agreement halting support to the ANC on the one hand, and Renamo on the other. South Africa evidently continued to support Renamo. The level of hostility remained high with an estimated 100,000 killed from 1984-88 and 300,000 dead from starvation.
The war's intensity war lessened. Frelimo's Marxist orientation with its Soviet support had waned, along with South African and US support for Renamo. Frelimo's draft constitution in July 1989 paved the way for a multiparty sytem. Direct negotiations between the leaders in July 1990, mediated by the Italian government achieved partial agreement on cease-fire in December, but covert support for Renamo continued from South African special forces, Kenya, Malawi, and right-wing interests in South Africa, Europe and the US. A peace agreement was finally signed on October 4 1992, and a cease-fire on October 16. A UN peacekeeping force of 7,500 arrived in mid-December to supervise demobilization, followed by 2400 international observers to supervise elections on October 27-28, 1994. The multi-party election results were certified as "free and fair" on November 19, 1994 a new assembly was installed on December 8 and President Joaquim Alberto Chissano (Frelimo) took office the following day.
(Copyright 1999 Lincoln P. Bloomfield and Allen Moulton)

Renamo-fighters, 1991
Photo:Peter Strandberg

Renamo guerrilla leader Afonso Dhlakama
Gorongosa/Mozambique, 1991
Photo:Peter Strandberg


After over fifteen years of civil war, Mozambique went in 1992 through a remarkable catching-up process with average annual growth at 8% (one of the best performances in Sub-Saharan Africa), sizeable foreign investment, generous external aid and highly alleviated debt. In 2004 President Chissano withdrew from power and was replaced by Armando Guebuza, candidate for the FRELIMO Party which has been in power since 1992.
Mozambique is one of the poorest countries in the world: it ranks 172nd out of the 177 listed countries (GDP per capita stands at $US335).* However, the country already reduced its poverty rate from 69% in 1997 to 54% in 2003. The national AIDS prevalence rate stands at around 16%. The fight against poverty is therefore a priority.
(Human Development Report - UNDP – 2007/2008, 2005 data at Agence Française de Développement)

President Armando Emilio GUEBUZA
3rd and current President of Mozambique

A long civil war in the eastern African nation of Mozambique finally ended in 1992, but minefields left over from the conflict plague the country to this day. Almost two decades after the end of the war, live minefields can still be found even a short distance from the capital city of Maputo, causing injury and death, and contributing to ongoing poverty.
A Mozambique deminer's job is demanding and dangerous. Deminers literally risk their lives to locate unexploded bombs and mines, and detonate them in the ground, which is safer than attempting to defuse them. At least 450 minefields remain to be cleared and returned to productive use, and without more resources, it will take many years to finish the monumental job.
Demining is conducted by the HALO Trust, a not-for-profit organization that is the world's largest demining agency. With close to 8,000 staff working in nine war-ravaged countries around the world, the HALO Trust has destroyed 11 million landmines and unexploded ordnance in its 21 year history. In Mozambique, 200 local mineclearance staff are currently deployed, supported by two full-time international experts. Training local staff to conduct clearance gives the Mozambican people ownership of their country's reconstruction, and it also supports the local economy.
(© 2000-2009 GreaterGood Network stores)

A one year old orphan sitting on his brothers knee
a small village outside Quelimane, Mozambique
Photograph: Graeme Robertson
© Guardian News and Media Limited 2009

Since Mozambique's 15-year civil war ended in 1992, the country has made a strong recovery. However, it suffered setbacks with severe floods in 2000 and 2001, followed by two years of drought in 2002 and 2003. These emergencies had a huge impact and led to widespread food shortages, an increase in outbreaks of infectious diseases, including cholera, measles and meningitis. Families in rural areas in particular suffer from poverty and a lack of basic services.
This image (above) shows a one year old orphan sitting on his brother's knee in a small village outside Quelimane. The HIV/AIDS pandemic was having a devastating effect on families, with tens of thousands of children orphaned, many of them also HIV-positive or already ill with AIDS. This was a hard photo to take. The two boys had just lost their father from aids hours before and looked lost. I could not do anything but photograph them but it was AIDS day and I felt that their story should be told.
(© Guardian News and Media Limited 2009)

The civil war affected Mozambicans severely, 1997

Train Station in Maputo

Throne of Weapons,2001
By Cristóvão Canhavato, Maputo, Mozambique
Made from decommissioned weapons
REBELLION design theraphy

Market in Mozambique, 2002

Behind the Baobab tree, 2002

Locals in Mozambique Transfrontier Park, 2002
(taken from the rocking truck)

The Train to Cuamba, 2008

Students outside school in Nampula, Mozambique, 2008
Source The pupils of the school of Namachilo
Uploaded by mangostar
Author Erik Cleves Kristensen
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Women wash clothes in the river, 2009
Camacho Village outside of Morrumbala, Mozambique

Woman in Camacho Village in Morrumbala, 2009
Sweeping after she has sifted millet

MAPUTO, 2009

The leader of Mozambique's main and oldest opposition party Resistencia Nacional de Mocambique (Renamo), Afonso Dhlakama, will head the party for another five years.
This comes after he was elected at the party's congress in the northern Nampula province.
A report on the state controlled Radio Mozambique said Dhlakama emerged a winner after he beat Rogerio Francisco Joao, a former guerrilla in the 16-year war which pitted ruling Frelimo against Renamo. Dhlakama had led the then rebel movement since 1979 and stayed on as leader when it became a political party in 1992.
The opposition party divided after most of its members defected to a new party led by Daviz Simango, a former Renamo member and mayor of Beira, the second capital. Simango was fired from Renamo after he disobeyed party instructions to step down as a candidate for Beira. He instead opted to run as an independent. Dhlakama will be his party's candidate for the October 28 presidential election.
(, posted SAPA 22 July 2009)

No comments: