The Conflict with Renamo, 1976-1992
«September 1986»

Dossier MZ-0020


1977 1978 September 1981


79. Machel Warns Malawi: "We Will Put Missiles on the Border"

Samora Machel

Above: President Samora Machel in an uncharacteristic pose, frowning. There is some evidence that in towards the end of his life his morale suffered under the strain of the apparently endless war with Renamo, which was a major – but not the only – factor in preventing Frelimo's ambitious modernisation plans from bearing fruit.

Speaking to journalists after returning from a Frontline States visit to Malawi to put pressure on President Hastings Banda to stop allowing Renamo to use Malawi's territory for its attacks on Mozambique, President Samora Machel stated that the talks had been open, and that he had issued the warning quoted above. Machel pointed out that during the colonial period, Malawi's exports had been routed through Mozambican ports, but after Mozambican independence, the country switched to using less convenient South African ports.

During an interview on the BBC's "Panorama" television programme, Iain Smith, the former leader of Rhodesia, commented on the origins of the MNR/Renamo as follows

"l don't want to pretend that I knew all of the details and that I was really involved in what was going on in that field. I did know, of course, that something like this was happening. When FRELlMO took over in Mozambique, they were supporting our enemies, and I was told that there were many Mozambicans who were opposed to the new Government, who believed that they did not represent the people of Mozambique, and they were on our side and wanted to help us, and I said, well, anybody who wants to help me against my enemies is welcome. We even helped train some of them, sure."


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 September 1986.

Zipped file image