The Conflict with Renamo, 1976-1992
«January 1984»

Dossier MZ-0020


1977 1978 September 1981


47. South African Submarines Supply the MNR
and Transport Newly-Trained Fighters

A South African submarine

Above: A South African Navy submarine in False Bay, near the Simonstown naval base, in 2009. Submarines, light aircraft, and even fishing boats were used by the apartheid regime to supply the rebels during the Mozambican government's lengthy conflict with Renamo; Mozambique's 2,500 km. coastline was impossible to protect.

A former Renamo member testified that South African submarines had been used to supply the MNR/Renamo and to bring newly trained recruits to the Tomé base in Vilanculos district, northern Inhambane. The white crew members spoke in English, went swimming, and took snapshots of each other. At the time the South African navy was the only African force equipped with such vessels.

In a New Year message broadcast on the clandestine Voz da Resistência radio station, Renamo/MNR claimed to be operating in the northern provinces as far south as Zambézia, and to have reached the Limpopo in the southern region. The FPLM had sustained "hundreds and thousands of casualties" and Operação Produção had resulted in "hundreds of thousands" of people taken at gunpoint and "incarcerated" in communal villages (aldeias comunais). In addition, the radio claimed that it was government soldiers (described as "the Frelimo army") that was to blame for kidnappings, rapes, the looting of villages, and other atrocities. The government's narrative, by contrast, claimed that 3,000 armed bandits had been killed in 1983, and "numerous bases and camps" of the enemy had been destroyed.

At month's end an MNR attack on a Romos bus on the route from Inhambane to Maputo resulted in 27 deaths, including members of the Grupo de Makwayela dos TPU, popular local musical performers. The attackers shot out the tyres of the bus, which rolled over, and then raked the vehicle with gunfire as the passengers struggled to escape through the windows.


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 January 1984.

Zipped file image