The Conflict with Renamo, 1976-1992
«December 1985»

Dossier MZ-0020


1977 1978 September 1981


70. Portugal Still Upset About Our Nationalisations, Claims Machel; Mozambican-Zimbabwean Joint Operations Continue

Old man with spear

Above: A photograph published in Notícias on 25 December, of a 67-year-old peasant from Angónia, in Tete province, who stabbed one of a group of Renamo attackers to death with a spear before fleeing into the bush with his wife and grandchild. The settlement where this happened was called Calinheche.

In a speech in Quelimane on 24 December (the day before the Dia da Família, Mozambique's secular Christmas), President Samora Machel identified Portugal as the only Western country that still allowed Renamo to be active on its soil, and claimed that the reason was resentment over the nationalisations carried out by the Frelimo government shortly after independence, especially of apartment buildings, thus dispossessing the retornados or espoliados of what they regarded as their rightful property.

Towards the end of the month, a further joint Mozambican-Zimbabwean military operation resulted in the capture of another important Renamo camp, Kachadea, in the centre of the country.

The army reported that eight other camps had been destroyed, 122 fighters killed and 9 captured, with 55 "collaborators" killed and 34 captured - all in Nampula over the last three months. In another report, the FPLM said that they had killed 63 "bandits" in Niassa and Tete over the previous months. Renamo counter-claimed the occupation of three garrison towns, killing 124 government soldiers, as well as blowing up 150 electricity pylons on the power line out of Cahora Bassa. A bridge on the Maputo-Ressano Garcia railway line was also dynamited.


Click on the yellow folder image below to download an unsorted zipped archive of documents and press clippings in PDF format concerning the conflict between the Mozambican government and the MNR/Renamo in December 1985.

Zipped file image