The Conflict with Renamo, 1976-1992
«August 1987»

Dossier MZ-0020


1977 1978 September 1981


90. Massacre in Manjacaze, 91 People Killed; Rumours of Cannibalism Circulate

Railway bridge over the Zambezi

Above: The extremely risky crossing over the Zambezi on the sabotaged railway bridge involved clambering from girder to girder. This picture shows one of the easier stretches of the crossing.

In a second major atrocity in as many months, after the attack on Homoine, a group of MNR rebels attacked Manjacaze, in Gaza province, in the early hours of 10 August, killing 72 people and wounding another 25. The death toll later rose to over 90. An official of the US embassy in Maputo said that his government condemned the attack.

The railway bridge over the Zambezi between Sena and Mutarara – at the time, at five kilometres the longest bridge in Africa – had been sabotaged in 1984, and was attacked again in November 1986, when the MNR had temporary control of both towns on each side of the river. In a report published in Notícias, it was made clear that the bridge had not, as initially thought, been damaged by FPLM artillery fire, but had been blown up with carefully placed explosive charges. It was, however, still possible for people on foot to clamber across the girders and make their way across the Zambezi (with its waiting crocodiles).

Several unconfirmed reports of MNR fighters eating human flesh circulated and were reported in Zimbabwean newspapers.


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 August 1987.

Zipped file image