The Conflict with Renamo
April-June 1981

Dossier MZ-0020

Concern Grows at the MNR’s Resurgence

Reports and feature stories emphasised the Mozambique government’s concern with the MNR’s continuing activity in the rural areas, especially along the border with Zimbabwe, and with their ongoing attacks on undefended villages. One magazine stated that incidents of this kind had dramatically increased in recent months. Reports also surfaced of attacks on the power line from the Cahora Bassa dam. Repairing the line was a major government expense.

One cited official analysis was that the lingering presence was to be expected – the Cuban experience was cited as encouraging – and was fundamentally a problem of the lack of economic development in the countryside. However, this perspective ignored the overwhelming evidence of South African support for the MNR after Zimbabwean independence.


1977 1978 September 1981

4 April 1981
140 flee Mozambique fighting. Rand Daily Mail [Johannesburg], 4 April 1981. Click here to view or download a PDF, size 31 kb.

13 April 1981
Anthony Rider. The thorn in Machel’s side: rebels without a cause. Rand Daily Mail [Johannesburg], 13 April 1981, p.11. The newspaper’s Central Africa correspondent examines the genesis and effectiveness of the MNR in a feature article. Click here to view or download a PDF, size 215 kb.

June 1981
Machel concerned at new SA-backed terror campaign as innocent people are maimed. New African [London], June 1981, p.34. Click here to view or download a PDF, size 171 kb.

June 1981
Marcelino Komba. Mozambique’s return to arms. Africa [London], no.118, June 1981, p.52-54. Click here to view or download a PDF, size 376 kb.