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Mozambican National Resistance

Resistência Nacional Moçambicana
Leader Ossufo Momade
Chairman Manuel Zeca Bissopo
Founded1975 (1975)
HeadquartersAvenida Ahmed Sekou Touré Nº 657, Maputo
Youth wing RENAMO Youth League
Ideology Nationalism
Economic liberalism
Right-wing populism
Political position Right-wing [1]
International affiliation Centrist Democrat International (observer) [2]
Assembly of the Republic
89 / 250
Party flag
Flag of RENAMO (3rd version).png

The Mozambican National Resistance (RENAMO; Portuguese : Resistência Nacional Moçambicana) is a militant organization and political movement in Mozambique. Sponsored by the Rhodesian Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO), it was founded in 1975 as part of an anti-communist backlash against the country's ruling FRELIMO party.

Portuguese language Romance language that originated in Portugal

Portuguese is a Western Romance language originating in the Iberian Peninsula. It is the sole official language of Portugal, Brazil, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Angola, and São Tomé and Príncipe. It also has co-official language status in East Timor, Equatorial Guinea and Macau in China. As the result of expansion during colonial times, a cultural presence of Portuguese and Portuguese creole speakers are also found in Goa, Daman and Diu in India; in Batticaloa on the east coast of Sri Lanka; in the Indonesian island of Flores; in the Malacca state of Malaysia; and the ABC islands in the Caribbean where Papiamento is spoken, while Cape Verdean Creole is the most widely spoken Portuguese-based Creole. Reintegrationists maintain that Galician is not a separate language, but a dialect of Portuguese. A Portuguese-speaking person or nation is referred to as "Lusophone" (Lusófono).

Mozambique country in Africa

Mozambique, officially the Republic of Mozambique, is a country located in Southeast Africa bordered by the Indian Ocean to the east, Tanzania to the north, Malawi and Zambia to the northwest, Zimbabwe to the west, and Eswatini (Swaziland) and South Africa to the southwest. The sovereign state is separated from the Comoros, Mayotte and Madagascar by the Mozambique Channel to the east. The capital of Mozambique is Maputo while Matola is the largest city, being a suburb of Maputo.

Rhodesia former country in Africa

Rhodesia was a country in southern Africa from 1965 to 1979, equivalent in territory to modern Zimbabwe. Rhodesia was the de facto successor state to the British colony of Southern Rhodesia, which had been self-governing since achieving responsible government in 1923. A landlocked nation, Rhodesia was bordered by South Africa to the south, Bechuanaland to the southwest, Zambia to the northwest, and Mozambique to the east.


Initially led by André Matsangaissa, a former senior official in FRELIMO's armed wing, the movement had its roots in a menagerie of anti-FRELIMO dissident groups which mushroomed immediately prior and shortly following Mozambican independence, as well as South African and Rhodesian attempts to encourage these competing interests. [3] [4] It is clear that RENAMO's ranks were bolstered by Mozambican political exiles who genuinely opposed FRELIMO in principle, and a number of others who were conscripted by force. [5] On 4 October 1992, FRELIMO and RENAMO signed the Rome General Peace Accords, ending the Mozambican Civil War.

André Matsangaissa was a Mozambican anti-communist rebel and the first leader of the Rhodesian-backed Mozambican National Resistance (RENAMO).

South Africa Republic in the southernmost part of Africa

South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. It is bounded to the south by 2,798 kilometres (1,739 mi) of coastline of Southern Africa stretching along the South Atlantic and Indian Oceans; to the north by the neighbouring countries of Namibia, Botswana, and Zimbabwe; and to the east and northeast by Mozambique and Eswatini (Swaziland); and it surrounds the enclaved country of Lesotho. South Africa is the largest country in Southern Africa and the 25th-largest country in the world by land area and, with over 57 million people, is the world's 24th-most populous nation. It is the southernmost country on the mainland of the Old World or the Eastern Hemisphere. About 80 percent of South Africans are of Sub-Saharan African ancestry, divided among a variety of ethnic groups speaking different African languages, nine of which have official status. The remaining population consists of Africa's largest communities of European (White), Asian (Indian), and multiracial (Coloured) ancestry.

The Rome General Peace Accords (Português): Acordo Geral de Paz ) between the Mozambican Civil War parties, the FRELIMO (government) and the RENAMO (rebels), put an end to the Mozambique Civil War. It was signed on October 4, 1992. Negotiations preceding in began in July 1990. They were brokered by a team of four mediators, two members of the Community of Sant'Egidio, Andrea Riccardi and Matteo Zuppi, as well as Bishop Jaime Gonçalves and Italian government representative Mario Raffaelli. The delegation of the Frelimo was headed by Armando Guebuza, the delegation of the Renamo was headed by Raul Domingos. The accords were then signed by the then president of Mozambique, Frelimo leader Joaquim Chissano and by the leader of the Renamo, Afonso Dhlakama.

Critics of RENAMO frequently decried the movement as a "proxy army" of Rhodesia and later, of South Africa's apartheid government. [6] It has been theorised that RENAMO was formed for the sole purpose of combating Mozambican support for Rhodesian insurgents. [7] On the other hand, RENAMO was also reflective of FRELIMO's own splintering support base and dwindling popularity in the post-independence era. [4] Following the war it has been responsible for promoting constitutional reform as well as a strong domestic private sector. [8]

Apartheid system of racial segregation enforced through legislation in South Africa

Apartheid was a system of institutionalised racial segregation that existed in South Africa from 1948 until the early 1990s. Apartheid was characterised by an authoritarian political culture based on baasskap, which encouraged state repression of Black African, Coloured, and Asian South Africans for the benefit of the nation's minority white population. The economic legacy and social effects of apartheid continue to the present day.

Matsangaissa, who died in 1979, was succeeded by Afonso Dhlakama, who lead the organization until his death in 2018. [9] [10]

Afonso Dhlakama Mozambican politician

Afonso Marceta Macacho Dhlakama was a Mozambican politician and the leader of RENAMO, an anti-communist guerrilla movement that fought the FRELIMO government in the Mozambican Civil War before signing a peace agreement and becoming an opposition political party in the early 1990s. Dhlakama was born in Mangunde, Sofala Province.

Mozambican Civil War

In 1984 the South African and Mozambican governments signed the Nkomati Accord, [11] in which South Africa agreed to stop sponsoring RENAMO if the Mozambican government expelled exiled members of the African National Congress (ANC) residing there. This was consistent with the Total National Strategy then in existence whereby the carrot of infrastructural development projects would be offered as an inducement for co-operation, supported by the stick of military reprisal if guerillas of the ANC were still given succour. [12] However, the Mozambican government did not expel the exiled members of the ANC and consequently the South African government continued funnelling financial and military resources until a permanent peace accord was reached in 1992 and was supervised by the United Nations Operation in Mozambique (UNOMOZ) until 1994. To nudge this process in the right direction a special operation was launched by the National Intelligence Service called Operation Bush Talk, which was designed to permanently end the civil war in Mozambique to stem the flow of military materiel across the porous borders into South Africa. [13] One manifestation of this was the militia of the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) that was being trained and armed by the SADF Special Forces as part of Operation Marion [14] which were being armed by weapons coming from Mozambique.

The Nkomati Accord was a non-aggression pact signed on 16 March 1984 between the People's Republic of Mozambique and the Republic of South Africa. The event took place at the South African town of Komatipoort with the signatories being President of Mozambique Samora Machel and Prime Minister of South Africa P.W. Botha. The treaty's stated focus was on preventing Mozambique from supporting the African National Congress to undertake violent actions in South Africa, and for South Africa to stop supplying the RENAMO movement in Mozambique.

African National Congress political party in South Africa

The African National Congress (ANC) is the Republic of South Africa's governing political party. It has been the ruling party of post-apartheid South Africa on the national level, beginning with the election of Nelson Mandela in the 1994 election. Today, the ANC remains the dominant political party in South Africa, winning every election since 1994. Cyril Ramaphosa, the incumbent President of South Africa, has served as leader of the ANC since 18 December 2017.

Inkatha Freedom Party political party in South Africa

The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) is a political party in South Africa. Since its founding, it has been led by Mangosuthu Buthelezi. It is currently the fourth largest party in the National Assembly of South Africa, having lost almost half its seats and votes in the 2014 general election and yielding third place to the newly formed Economic Freedom Fighters.

The peace accord led to the disarmament of RENAMO, to the integration of some of its fighters into the Mozambican army and to its transformation into a regular political party. It is now the main opposition party in Mozambique. At the legislative elections on 1 and 2 December 2004, the party was the main part of the Renamo-UE electoral alliance, that won 29.7% of the popular vote and 90 out of 250 seats. The presidential candidate of this alliance, Afonso Dhlakama, won 31.7% of the popular vote.

Elections in Mozambique

Elections in Mozambique gives information on election and election results in Mozambique.

The RENAMO-Electoral Union is an alliance of political parties in Mozambique, led by the Mozambican National Resistance of Afonso Dhlakama.

Raul Domingos, negotiator at the Rome General Peace Accords and RENAMO's leader in parliament from 1994–1999, was expelled from the party in 2000, and in 2003, founded the Party for Peace, Democracy, and Development.

Activities in Zimbabwe

RENAMO forces attacked an army base in Zimbabwe near Mukosa on 17 June 1987, killing seven soldiers and wounding 19. RENAMO attacked the Katiyo Tea Estate, destroying valuable property, in July and killed three men in Rushinga in August. [15] On 30 November, RENAMO militants burned down 13 houses. [16]

Between December 1987 and 21 January 1988 RENAMO performed 101 attacks near the Mozambique-Zimbabwe border. [16]

Following the end of the Mozambican Civil War, RENAMO remained linked to a Zimbabwean militant group, Chimwenje. [17]

Renewed clashes

In October 2012, RENAMO's headquarters were relocated near Casa Banana (also named Sathunjira, RENAMO's former guerrilla base in the 1980s) in Gorongosa, where a training camp was set up for around 800 partially armed followers. Previously, the headquarters had been moved from Maputo to Nampula in 2009. [18] RENAMO leader Afonso Dhlakama threatened to "destroy the country" if his political demands were not met. [19]

On 4 April 2013, one woman and four police officers were killed, with ten policemen more injured in a RENAMO attack on a police station in the town of Muxengue. The leader of the attackers was also killed. [20] RENAMO's security chief stated that the action was a response to previous police raids on RENAMO gatherings. Around 300 RENAMO members had remained armed since the 1992 peace deal, despite efforts to integrate them into the army or police. [21]

On 6 April 2013, two or three civilians were killed and two women were injured when alleged RENAMO militiamen attacked a truck and a bus in Chibabava District. [22] RENAMO denied being involved in the attack. [23]

On 21 June, suspected RENAMO guerrillas attacked a bus in Machanga, Sofala Province, injuring an elderly woman. The incident happened two days after RENAMO threatened to paralyse key roads and the only coal export train to force the FRELIMO government to renegotiate peace terms. [24]

On 17 October, suspected RENAMO guerrillas ambushed a military patrol near Gorongosa, RENAMO's stronghold, killing seven soldiers, according to local media. [25] On 18 October, another clash between Mozambican Armed Forces (FADM) and RENAMO militiamen took place in Mucodza, seven kilometres away from Gorongosa. National director of defence policy in the Ministry of Defence, Colonel Cristovao Chume, claimed that the soldiers suffered no losses and that a RENAMO fighter was injured and captured by their forces. RENAMO leader Dhlakama claimed that no RENAMO fighters were killed on the attack, which, according to him, was started by the Army, and that the casualties had been suffered by the FADM. However, reporters confirmed that the bodies of two RENAMO fighters were in the local morgue of Gorongosa. [26]

On 21 October, FADM forces captured Sathunjira base after several days of combat. RENAMO spokesman Fernando Mazanga claimed that the government forces had shelled the base with heavy weapons (artillery), and that Afonso Dhlakama had fled the base. A RENAMO statement said that the capture of the base puts an end to the 1992 peace deal. [27] RENAMO announced that MP Armindo Milaco was killed in the government raid. On 22 October, gunmen attacked a police station in Maringué District in apparent retaliation, with no casualties reported. [28]

On 26 October, alleged RENAMO fighters attacked civilian vehicles in the main north-south highway near Beira, killing one and injuring 10 people. RENAMO denied its implication in the attack. [29]

2014 peace process

On 5 September 2014 Dhlakama and president Guebuza signed a peace deal in an effort to end the two-year period of instability. The deal included integration of RENAMO forces into the army and a reform of the election oversight commission. [30] [31] However, after RENAMO's refusal to accept the 2014 presidential elections, problems in the implementation of the peace deal and after continued efforts by government forces to disarm RENAMO met resistance, Dhlakama broke off the peace process in August 2015. Since then there have been renewed clashes between government and RENAMO forces. Dhlakama claims there have been two attempts by the government to assassinate him. [32] [33]

2017 truce

In May 2017, RENAMO agreed to extend their truce indefinitely. [34]

Death of Dhlakama and its impact

On 3 May 2018, Afonso Dhlakama, who led RENAMO since 1979, passed away in Gorongosa after suffering a heart attack. [35] An unnamed official in RENAMO acknowledged this and also stated that Dhlakma had been ill prior to his death. [35] Regarding the future of RENAMO following Dhlakma's death, Ed Hobey Hamsher, an analyst with Maplecroft, stated that "no potential successor has Dhlakama's stature" and that anybody who succeeds him "will struggle to unify Renamo's factions." [36] At the time of Dhlakma's death, the RENAMO Congress was unable to fix a date to vote on a successor. [36] The next month on 14 June 2018, Ossufo Momade, who was picked to serve as the interim leader of RENAMO until the organization's Congress could vote on a permanent successor to Dhlakma, [36] went into hiding. [37]

Electoral history

Presidential elections

Election dateParty candidateNumber of votesPercentage of votesResult
1994 Afonso Dhlakama 1,666,96533.73%Lost
1999 Afonso Dhlakama 2,133,65547.71%Lost
2004 Afonso Dhlakama 998,05931.74%Lost
2009 Afonso Dhlakama 650,67916.41%Lost
2014 Afonso Dhlakama 1,783,38236.61%Lost

Parliamentary elections

Election dateNumber of


Percentage of votesNumber of seats won
1994 1,803,50637.78%
112 / 250
1999 1,603,81138.81%
117 / 250
2004 905,28929.73%
90 / 250
2009 688,78217.69%
51 / 250
2014 1,495,13732.46%
89 / 250

Former RENAMO flags

See also

Related Research Articles

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Events in the year 2018 in Mozambique.


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