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Old 10-21-2013   #1
davidbfpo
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Default Mozambique: a small war returns?

Tension has been mounting in Mozambique, although only last week did I spot a Reuters report on an attack on government soldiers and now the elected government (FRELIMO) has responded an attack on the opposition's (RENAMO) mountain refuge:
Quote:
Mozambique's opposition Renamo movement has ended a 1992 peace accord after government forces attacked the jungle base of its leader, Afonso Dhlakama......A force of about 300 Renamo men has remained armed since the peace accord, despite efforts to integrate them into the army or police force.
Link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-24615549

The ex-Portuguese colony gained independence in 1974, FRELIMO taking power and then faced an externally supported insurgency by RENAMO till an internal peace settlement in 1992 (support came from Rhodesia till 1979 and then South Africa). Mr Dhlakama took 16.5% of the vote in an election in 2009, the fourth time he had lost, and an election is due next year.

In a 2007 post Rex Brynen commented:
Quote:
How has Mozambique sustained democracy since 1992, despite having experienced bitter anti-colonial (1962-75) and civil (1975-92) war that left left almost a million people dead through its direct and indirect consequences? Six years later this question has become pertinent sadly
Suspected Renamo guerrillas killed seven Mozambican soldiers in an ambush on Thursday near the former rebel group's remote mountain hideout, local media said, the latest flare-up in a simmering insurgency..Analysts say this year's attacks are a reaction to it being pushed into political and economic obscurity by Frelimo, which is expected to dominate municipal elections due next month and nationwide elections in just over a year.

Link:http://mobile.reuters.com/article/id...31017?irpc=932
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Old 10-22-2013   #2
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Default

Theoretically, the Mozambiquan military should be ready.

They have spent quite a lot in recent years, have trained a lot, and even resurrected their air force. After years of virtual non-existence, this is now flying four ex-Portuguese Cessna FB.337s...
http://www.emfa.pt/www/po/coopmo/galeria-018.001

...one An-26B...
http://s18.postimg.org/6z5pc1321/0000081124_large.jpg

...and had two MiG-21UMs overhauled in Romania (and then returned to Maputo on board of this Il-76, on 14 September):
http://www.photoavia.net/photo/view?...=1622&o=-added

**********

BTW, should there be a serious war, then it's more likely to become quite a large one, perhaps as massive as the war back in the 1980s. For a very good source of reference in this regards, see:
http://www.30degreessouth.co.za/batt...ozambique.html

Last edited by CrowBat; 10-22-2013 at 10:37 PM.
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Old 10-23-2013   #3
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Default

An Africa watcher noted:
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Oil in Mozambique was a forerunner to trouble. I wonder where RENAMO got their new uniforms and arms?
Crowbat's observations are more recent than the IISS Military Balance, which shows the army is 9-10k, with less than 10% of equipment working and one wonders how two attack helicopters will make a difference.

I too recall the FRELIMO-RENAMO conflict many years ago, although I do not have the cited book. Earlier books, from the Rhodesian era refer to the skill of FRELIMO at times in countering incursions. At one point in the period the UK sponsored an infantry battalion to protect the railway IIRC to Malawi.

It will be interesting to see if those RENAMO fighters who did integrate into the national security forces remain loyal - at least Mozambique has better economic prospects, so may be able to retain loyalty by buying it.
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Old 10-23-2013   #4
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Default Why now RENAMO?

A blogger's commentary, which IMO provides more than found to date and one key passage:
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Why is that after 20 years of peace in the country, Renamo decided to threat the recommencement of hostilities? Mozambique has been through a decade of positive economic growth (around 4% a year). Nonetheless, such growth has failed to be translated into economic development. In fact, the majority of Mozambique’s population lives in poverty and is mostly agrarian. Therefore, there is here an element of grievance from the population towards the Frelimo-led government; but, is lack of economic development and social well-being sufficient for people, or an armed faction, to take up arms? .....It is of my opinion that it has to do with the recent natural gas discoveries, which if successfully explored will put Mozambique in the world’s top league of natural-gas exporters. Such an industry will bring massive flows of investment and revenue into the country. Bearing in consideration that in sub-Saharan Africa the rule is ‘access to power means full access to resources’, political office becomes even more attractive.
Link:http://eastandsouth.wordpress.com/20...-on-the-brink/
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Old 11-03-2013   #5
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Here we go:
Mozambique army raids more Renamo hideouts

BTW, should this become a serious campaign, expect the Zimbabweans to get involved too. The Beira corridor - the corridor connecting the port of Beira with Zimbabwean border, where there is also a major railway line - is of vital importance for that land-locked country, and there is no way they'll ignore any kind of threats for it.

Back in the mid-1980s, Zimbabweans were crucial in fighting RENAMO (and, thanks to their traditions from Rhodesian times, and additional training by Pakistanis, also far more successful than the government forces). Nowadays they are usually either completely ignored, or much underestimated in the West. However, they have one of most professional and best trained militaries in Sub-Saharan Africa, a well developed COIN doctrine, and - most importantly - plenty of relevant and recent experience (from Congo, 1998-2003; namely, Zims tend to serve with the military for very long, because it's one of last 'decent' jobs in that country).
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Old 11-12-2013   #6
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Default From the jungle to the beach

It appears that RENAMO activities have spread from the interior, possibly alongside criminal kidnappers:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/tr...e-tourism.html

The (UK) Foreign Office warns that:
Quote:
the situation in Sofala Province remains tense and on October 22 there were reports of armed attacks in the region, including against a vehicle travelling on the EN1 road. Further attacks can’t be ruled out. There have also been reports of violent clashes between government forces and Renamo in Manica and Nampula provinces, and an armed attack on a civilian vehicle travelling along the E8 road between Nampula and Malema. Take extra care when travelling by road outside urban areas in the affected provinces.
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Old 01-02-2017   #7
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Default An unknown 'Small War' may end

Note the last post was in November 2013. Just caught an update via Twitter:
Quote:
A sense of calm has descended on Mozambique after long-standing civil war foes the Mozambique National Resistance Movement (Renamo) guerrillas and the Mozambique Liberation Front (Frelimo) government agreed to a new year ceasefire.
Link:http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/relative-calm-descends-mozambique-optimism-grows-long-lasting-truce-1598541?

The article implies there has been an insurgency since mid-2015, which I had not spotted - hence the title.

I note the apparent map of AFRICOM's SOF activity does not include Mozambique:https://theintercept.com/2016/12/31/...s-shadow-wars/
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Old 01-27-2017   #8
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Default What could go wrong: bankers and spooks borrow $2billion

Sad tale how Mozambique's security agency negotiated a US$2billion loan, on the expectation of wealth from natural gas offshore and failed to tell anyone. The result:
Quote:
... has caused a fiscal crisis that means interest on loans, civil service new year bonuses and other government bills was not paid this month.
Link:https://www.theguardian.com/global-d...es-debt-crisis

Might this factor in trying to get peace with Renamo?
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