The Conflict with Renamo, 1976-1992
«February 1988»

Dossier MZ-0020


1977 1978 September 1981


96. Sliding into the Vortex: the War Continues to Spread to Zambia and Zimbabwe

Mugabe speaking with Chissano listening

Above: The alliance between Mozambique and Zimbabwe remained firm throughout The Conflict with Renamo, 1976-1992, although there was some evidence that Robert Mugabe was not especially sympathetic to Frelimo, or to Samora Machel. In the picture, from 1988, Mugabe addresses a rally while Chissano listens.

The conflict in Mozambique showed signs of spreading across the borders of both Zambia and Zimbabwe, as the news magazine South pointed out in a report headlined "Sucked into the Vortex". Apart from Renamo attacks in the two countries mentioned, in another incident in November 1987 a Malawian aircraft was shot down in Mozambican airspace.

The FPLM captured another rebel base, in wooded terrain about 160 km. from the South African border; a senior commander, Nama Magoro, was also taken prisoner.

In a communiqué issued in Lisbon, Renamo claimed to have "destroyed" three battalions of an FPLM brigade in fighting near Muambe in Maputo province. A battalion would normally number approximately 500 to 800 men.

Afonso Dhlakama, the leader of Renamo, claimed in an interview that the rebels had 22,000 fighters under arms, and controlled four-fifths of Mozambican territory.


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 February 1988.

Zipped file image