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Mozambique - Military Personnel

On September 25, 1980 Armed Forces Day a resolution of the FRELIMO Political Committee announced that a formal system of ranks had been introduced into the FPLM. Before this time, the FPLM did not have a rank hierarchy comparable to that found in other armies but had an informal system of commanders. Later, three classes of officers were recognized (high, middle, and low), but still without indentification by insignia. It was explained that the decision to adopt a conventional rank structure denoted the fact that the FPLM had been transformed into a "powerful, modern, disciplined, and regular army," which had been cleansed of "class infiltration."

The failure to create an officer corps earlier was said to reflect lack of political reliability and professionalism among former guerrilla commanders, many of whom had taken advantage of their new power by engaging in corrupt activities. It was only later that FRELIMO felt sufficiently confident of its political control to introduce a system of ranks. The highest rank was marshal (marechal), a grade that was con- ferred on Machel by the Political Committee. FRELIMO also assigned military ranks of major general or colonel to top party civilians, some of whom had never fought in the liberation struggle.

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