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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.
                            WAR SINCE 1945 SEMINAR
                   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,
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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
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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
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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
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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"

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