The Conflict with Renamo, 1976-1992
«April 1990»

Dossier MZ-0020


1977 1978 September 1981


122. Squabbling over Who Runs the Army

Alberto Chipande

Above: Alberto Joaquim Chipande, the man popularly credited with having fired the first shots of Mozambique's liberation war, found his entrenched position as Minister of Defence under threat in the first half of 1990, as President Joaquim Chissano attempted to place the ministry under "civilian" – or political – control.

The British newsletter Africa Confidential published a lengthy exposé describing an internal political struggle for control of the army, necessary in the event of a peace deal that would require the integration of government and Renamo forces. President Joaquim Chissano also faced opposition to the introduction of multi-party politics and competitive presidential and legislative elections.

Renamo was poaching rhinoceros and elephant in the frontier Gonarezhou park, most of which was in Zimbabwean territory, and selling the ivory and horn to raise funds for their activities. In April, Renamo fighters (termed "MNR bandits" in the Zimbabwean press and "bandidos armados" in Mozambican reports) killed nine people in an attack in Rushinga in Zimbabwe; they planted a landmine on the line of rail to South Africa, killing 17 people and derailing 16 carriages; and they ambushed some cars near Namialo, near Nampula, killing 13 passengers and injuring another 14.


Consolidated Downloadable Zipped Files

Click on the yellow folder image below to download an unsorted zipped archive of documents and press clippings in PDF format concerning the armed conflict between Renamo/MNR and the Mozambican government in April 1990.

Zipped file image