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

Dossier MZ-0020


1977 1978 September 1981


40. Conflict Spreads Northwards
to Zambézia and Nampula

MNR column leaving camp

Above : A column of MNR combatants leaving an acampamento, possibly in order to mount attacks against economic and social targets. Not all of them are armed; some are clearly porters, and some are barefoot.

After two more or less unsuccessful rebel offensives launched from Malawi, one in November 1982 and the other in April 1983 (unreported in local media), a few hundred MNR men did manage to advance into Mozambique's two most densely-populated northern provinces, Zambézia and Nampula. Their presence had a dramatic effect, with kidnappings and murders of foreigners, and ambushes mounted against road traffic causing widespread fear and a near collapse of commercial activity. Although there was – on the one hand – apparently little popular support for the group at the time, measures such as moving peasants into villages against their will made the government unpopular too.

Marcelino dos Santos took up his appointment as governor of Sofala province and was introduced to a crowd of (reportedly) 90,000 people by Samora Machel at a comício in Beira. In his speech the President urged that the province should be a "model" in the struggle against banditry/gangsterism and hunger.

In a speech to officer cadets mid-month, Samora Machel again raised the possibility of a direct South African military invasion of the southern part of the country, the so-called "Beirut Option", warning that such an attack could come "by land, by sea or by air".


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 June 1983.

Zipped file image