The Conflict with Renamo, 1976-1992
«March 1989»

Dossier MZ-0020


1977 1978 September 1981


109. Minter Report Published

FPLM column near Nhanala

Above: A column of government soldiers on the march near Nhanala, the former Renamo base in Gaza province that was captured by the FPLM in December 1987.

The Mozambican Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Pascoal Mocumbi, said that the humanitarian problems presented by the conflict with RENAMO were so serious that they exceeded the capacity of Geneva Conventions to resolve them. He was speaking at a seminar in Maputo organised by the International Red Cross and NORAD.

An important report on RENAMO by William Minter based on interviews with former participants was published, with support from the Ford Foundation and the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA). His informants were ex-RENAMO fighters who had surrendered under a government amnesty, as well as some who had been captured. Inter alia, Minter concluded that South African denials of ongoing support for the rebel group were not credible (p.14).

In an attack on a mission at Mocuba, RENAMO reportedly killed two Italian priests, Giacondo Pajari and Horace Saltore, and kidnapped others. However, the RENAMO spokesperson in Lisbon, Manuel Frank, denied that the movement targeted “unarmed persons”.

The number of deaths attributable to the war was reported by UNICEF to be in the region of 600,000 people, of whom 494,000 were children.

A RENAMO deserter testified that internal dissension with the rebel group had led to the execution by firing squad of some officers. The disputes were caused by disagreements over the policy of destruction of infrastructure, and the killing of civilians.


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 March 1989.

Zipped file image