The Conflict with Renamo, 1976-1992
«May 1983»

Dossier MZ-0020


1977 1978 September 1981


39. Bomba is New MNR Secretary-General;
South African Air Raid Hits Factory

MNR  group armed with mortars

Above : A small group of MNR fighters without proper uniforms, but equipped with two different calibre of mortars. Photograph: Paulo Oliveira.

In a series of loosely-related developments, Mozambique's security forces arrested a South African military intelligence officer who claimed to have been sent on a mission to assassinate President Machel during the IV Congress of the Frelimo Party in April; the South African air force carried out a bombing raid on Matola, killing some workers in the SOMOPAL factory as well as women and children; and it was reported that the former Mozambican air force pilot Adriano Bomba, who deserted to South Africa in July 1981, had become the Renamo secretary-general in place of the murdered Orlando Cristina. The Mozambican government submitted a letter to the UN complaining about the South African aggression.

A report by a French journalist commented on the ups and downs of Mozambican media policy – sometimes the press reports multiple skirmishes, sometimes there is little mention of the conflict. The same article acknowledged the recent role of Sebastião Mabote in pushing the MNR back, but criticised both the military training and the equipment that Mozambique was receiving from the Soviet Union as unsuitable for guerrilla warfare in the bush.


Consolidated Downloadable Zipped Files

Click on the yellow folder image below to download an unsorted zipped archive of documents and press clippings in PDF format concerning the armed conflict between Renamo/MNR and the Mozambican government in May 1983.

Zipped file image