The Conflict with Renamo
July-September 1980

Dossier MZ-0020

The FPLM Capture the Base at Sitatonga 2

The important operation in which the FPLM, on the offensive, captured the MNR’s base in the Sitatonga mountains was the subject of sustained publicity throughout July, with a series of reports in Notícias under the series title Virar as Armas para Dentro (Turn the Guns Inwards), and lengthy articles in Tempo as well. Among materiel recovered during the operation was weaponry and ammunition which carried labelling in both English and Afrikaans. Mozambique accused South Africa of supporting the rebel movement.

The África Livre broadcasting station started up again, and in mid-August carried an item which described the MNR’s objectives and policies. This made some play with remarks by Sebastião Mabote in Chimoio, to the effect that the MNR was made up of the ‘sons, grandchildren and husbands of the Mozambican people’. The speaker also accused Samora Machel of being the leader of a ‘tribalist minority’ and at the same time a communist.

Decoration

7 July 1980
Mozambique dissidents’ war communiqué. Summary of World Broadcasts [London], no.ME/6464, 7 July 1980, p.B/3-4. Click here to view or download a PDF, size 20 kb. The text, in English translation, of a poorly received broadcast of MNR defence department War Communique No. 87, issued July 1980. From the Voice of Free Africa in Portuguese at 04h00 GMT on 5 July 1980.

FPLM Crossing a River

Above: Poor quality photograph of an FPLM unit crossing a river in an amphibious vehicle during the operation to capture Sitatonga II. The photograph was published in Notícias on 10 July, with the comment that the success of the operation was a demonstration of the mastery of military engineering by government forces.

10 July 1980
FPLM desbaratam grupos reaccionários: ocupado o acampamento principal de Sitatonga II. Notícias, 10 July 1980, page 1. Click here to view or download a PDF, size 123 kb. Part of the series "Virar as Armas para Dentro".

Landing strip at Sitatonga

Above: A landing strip at Sitatonga, clearly visible from the air (Notícias 10 July). The white T-shaped patch was made up of pieces of parachute where helicopters landed bringing medicine, armaments and ammunition to the MNR forces.

10 July 1980
FPLM atacam e ocupam acampamento principal dos grupos reaccionários. Notícias, 10 July 1980. Click here to view or download a PDF, size 400 kb. Part of the series "Virar as Armas para Dentro".

Kidnapped rural women

Above: Women and children who had been kidnapped by the MNR and were then abandoned during the FPLM operations to captured the Sitatonga II base (publihsed in Notícias on 10 July).

11 July 1980
Capture of dissidents' base and accusation against South Africa. Summary of World Broadcasts [London], no.ME/6468, 11 July 1980, p.B/2. Click here to view or download a PDF, size 320 kb. Translation of an AIM report on the capture of the Sitatonga base, broadcast by Maputo radio on 9 July.

11 July 1980
Frelimo destroys rebel HQ in blitz. Rand Daily Mail [Johannesburg], 11 July 1980. Report about an FPLM attack on the MNR's Sitatonga base. Click here to view or download a PDF, size 80 kb.

11 July 1980
Machel forces kill 272 rebels. Cape Times [Cape Town], 11 July 1980. Click here to view or download a PDF, size 44 kb.

Xiconhoca

Above: A Xiconhoca cartoon (re)published in Notícias on 12 July. The captions read: Xiconhoca is an enemy agent. He guides the invaders, he collaborates with aggression and with the massacres of the people. The additional editorial comment reads: This Xiconhoca, published in the newspaper a while ago, shows the actions of traitors who don't hesitate to serve as guides for the enemy forces that attack us.

11 July 1980
Mozambique's accusation against South Africa. Summary of World Broadcasts [London], no.ME/6468, 11 July 1980. Click here to view or download a PDF, size 257 kb. An SADF spokesperson denies that South Africa supported the MNR.

Captured materiel

Above: Poor quality photograph published in Notícias on 12 July, showing wooden crates of arms and ammunition and other supplies captured by the FPLM at the Sitatonga base.

11 July 1980
Mozambique claims heavy rebel toll. Washington Post, 11 July 1980. Click here to view or download a PDF, size 113 kb.

12 July 1980
Como nasceram os grupos contra-revolucionários. Notícias 12 July 1980. Click here to view or download a PDF, size 246 kb. Front-page "taster" for the longer article. Part of the series "Virar as Armas para Dentro".

12 July 1980
Como nasceram os bandos contra-revolucionários. Notícias 12 July 1980. Click here to view or download a PDF, size 220 kb. Part of the series "Virar as Armas para Dentro".

Captured materiel

Above: Photograph of the interior of the base, showing the entrance to an underground bunker or tunnel, published in Notícias on 12 July.

12 July 1980
Mozambique dissidents’ military communiqué. Summary of World Broadcasts [London], no.ME/6471, 15 July 1980, p.B/1. Click here to view or download a PDF, size 262 kb. The text, in English translation, of a poorly received broadcast of an MNR defence department War Communiqué. From the Voice of Free Africa in Portuguese at 04h00 GMT on 12 July 1980.

12 July 1980
A resposta rodesiana ao internacionalismo da RPM. Notícias 13 July 1980, page 1. Click here to view or download a PDF, size 268 kb. Front-page "taster" for the longer article. Part of the series "Virar as Armas para Dentro".

12 July 1980
A resposta rodesiana ao internacionalismo da RPM [full article]. Notícias 13 July 1980. Click here to view or download a PDF, size 375 kb. The longer article. Part of the series "Virar as Armas para Dentro".

15 July 1980
South Africa stepping up activities against Mozambique. Summary of World Broadcasts [London], no.SU/6474, 18 July 1980, p.A5/1. Click here to view or download a PDF, size 259 kb. Soviet "Radio Peace and Progress" in English for Africa, at 1630 GMT on 15 July 1980.

16 July 1980
Depois da "independência" ganharão 30 contos. Notícias 16 July 1980, page 3. Click here to view or download a PDF, size 477 kb. Part of the series "Virar as Armas para Dentro".

18 July 1980
Controladas as actividades da "Resistência Moçambicana". O Jornal [Lisbon], 16 July 1980, page 29. Click here to view or download a PDF, size 110 kb.

20 July 1980
Arlindo Lopes. Sitatonga: destruído refúgio de grupos reaccionários. Importante vitória das FPLM no quadro da ofensiva política e organizacional. Tempo [Maputo], no.510. 20 July 1980, pages 6-15. Click here to view or download a PDF, size 4.4 Mb.

21 July 1980
Mozambique: l'assainissement. Afrique-Asie [Paris], no.218. 21 July 1980, pages 56. Click here to view or download a PDF, size 80 kb.

23 July 1980
Machel on Mozambique's internal enemy. Summary of World Broadcasts [London], no.ME/6478, 23 July 1980, p.ii. Click here to view or download a PDF, size 257 kb. Points from Samora Machel's opening address to the sixth session of the People's Assembly on 21st July.

23 July 1980
Mozambique Information Agency [AIM]. Mozambique battles mercenaries. Guardian [New York], 23 July 1980, pages 8. Click here to view or download a PDF, size 102 kb.

20 July 1980
Arlindo Lopes. Reaccionários têm apoio na África do Sul, confirma ex-agente do Special Branch rodesiano. Tempo [Maputo], no.511. 27 July 1980, pages 21-23. Click here to view or download a PDF, size 719 kb. Interview with Luís Sabe Galo

6 August 1980
Mozambique Resistance Movement’s communiqué. Summary of World Broadcasts [London], 6 August 1980. Click here to view or download a PDF, size 21 kb.

19 August 1980
Mozambique Resistance Movement’s strength and policy. Summary of World Broadcasts [London], 19 August 1980. Click here to view or download a PDF, size 19 kb.

September 1980
Mozambique: rebels in limbo. Africa [London], no.109, September 1980, p.25-26. The FPLM attack on the MNR base known as Sitatonga 2. Click here to view or download a PDF, size 222 kb.

22 September 1980
Mozambique resistance’s major military operations. Summary of World Broadcasts [London], no.ME/6529, 22 September 1980, p.ii. Click here to view or download a PDF, size 20 kb.

Decoration