Mozambican National Resistance
Resistência Nacional Moçambicana
Leader Afonso Dhlakama
President Ossufo Momade
Founded 1975
Headquarters Avenida Ahmed Sekou Touré Nº 657, Maputo
Youth wing RENAMO Youth League
Ideology Conservatism,
(formerly Anti-Communism)
Political position Centre-right
Politics of Mozambique
Political parties

The Mozambican National Resistance (RENAMO; Portuguese: Resistência Nacional Moçambicana) is a conservative political party in Mozambique led by Afonso Dhlakama. It fought against the FRELIMO in the Mozambican Civil War and against the ZANU movement led by Robert Mugabe from 1975 to 1992.

RENAMO was founded in 1975 following Mozambique's independence as an anti-Communist political organization, sponsored by the Central Intelligence Organisation of Rhodesia. André Matsangaissa, an ex-FRELIMO army commander, was its first leader. The Ian Smith administration in Rhodesia sought to prevent the FRELIMO government from providing a safe haven for Zimbabwe African National Union militants seeking to overthrow the Rhodesian government. Matsangaissa was killed by government soldiers on 17 October 1979 in Sofala Province. Following a violent succession struggle, Afonso Dhlakama became the new RENAMO leader. During the Mozambican Civil War of the 1980s, RENAMO also received support from South Africa.[1] In the United States, the CIA and conservative lobbying for support to RENAMO, which was strongly resisted by the State Department which would "not recognize or negotiate with RENAMO", convinced President Ronald Reagan and the Congress to support FRELIMO.[2][3][4] The British government under Margaret Thatcher did not view the civil war in Mozambique as a part of the Cold War in the extent that could have been thought and when FRELIMO closed the border to Rhodesia it was in fit well with British interests against the rebel colony while the Rhodesian government supported RENAMO.

FRELIMO also forced Mugabe to accept the Lancaster House Agreement for the end to the war in Rhodesia.[5]



RENAMO forces attacked an army base in Zimbabwe near Dukosa on June 17, 1987, killing seven soldiers and wounding 19. RENAMO attacked the Katigo Tea Estate, destroying valuable property, in July and killed three men in Rushinga in August.[6]

On November 30, RENAMO militants burned down 13 houses.[7]

Between December 1987 and January 21, 1988 RENAMO performed 101 attacks near the Mozambique-Zimbabwe border.[7]

South Africa

In 1984 the South African and Mozambican governments signed the Nkomati Accord,[8] in which South Africa agreed to stop sponsoring RENAMO if the Mozambican government expelled exiled members of the African National Congress 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 cooperation, supported by the stick of military reprisal if guerillas of the ANC were still given succour.[9] However, the Mozambican government did not expel the exiled members of the ANC and consequently the South African government continued funneling financial and military resources until a permanent peace accord was reached in 1992 and was supervised by the United Nations Operation in Mozambique (ONUMOZ) until 1994. In order 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 in order to stem the flow of military materiel across the porous borders into South Africa.[10] 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[11] which were being armed by weapons coming from Mozambique.

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 last legislative elections, 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.

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.

See also

  • Heads of the National Resistance Government of Mozambique


  1. ^ Binding Memories: Chronology
  2. ^ Deciding to Intervene, p. 204.
  3. ^ Deciding to Intervene, p. 207.
  4. ^ Africa: The Challenge of Transformation
  5. ^
  6. ^ Audrey Kalley, Jacqueline. Southern African Political History: a chronological of key political events from independence to Mid-1997, 1999. Page 739.
  7. ^ a b Audrey Kalley, Jacqueline. Southern African Political History: a chronological of key political events from independence to Mid-1997, 1999. Page 742.
  8. ^ Ashton, P.J., Earle, A., Malzbender, D., Moloi, M.B.H., Patrick, M.J. & Turton, A.R. 2005. A Compilation of all the international freshwater agreements entered into by South Africa with other States. Pretoria: Water Research Commission; and Turton, A.R. 2003. The political aspects of institutional development in the water sector: South Africa and its International River Basions. D.Phil. Thesis. Pretoria: Pretoria University; and Turton, A.R. 2007. The Hydropolitics of Cooperation: South Africa during the Cold War. In Grover, V.E. (ed). Water: A source of conflict or cooperation? Enfield: Science Publishers.
  9. ^ Geldenhuys, D. 1984. The Diplomacy of Isolation: South African Foreign Policy Making. Johannesburg: MacMillan.
  10. ^ Turton. A.R. 2010. Shaking Hands with Billy. Durban: Just Done Publications.
  11. ^ Stiff, P. 1999. The Silent War: South African Recce Operations 1969 - 1994. Alberton: Galago.

External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

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