Mozambiquan War of Independence 1962-1975

[ 1962 - 1975 ]

Frelimo in full FRENTE DE LIBERTAÇÃO DE MOÇAMBIQUE, English Mozambique Liberation Front, political and military movement that initiated Mozambican independence from Portugal and then formed the governing party of newly independent Mozambique in 1975.

Frelimo was formed in neighboring Tanzania in 1962 by exiled Africans from Mozambique who were seeking to overthrow Portuguese colonial rule in their country. The movement's original leader was Eduardo Mondlane; he held the nascent organization together, obtained support from both communist and western European countries, and built a force of several thousand guerrillas who became active in northern Mozambique. Mondlane was assassinated in 1969 and was succeeded by Samora Machel, a pragmatic military commander who extended Frelimo's activities to central Mozambique. By the mid-1960s the Portuguese colonial authorities had 70,000 troops in Mozambique to put down the insurgency, but to no avail. Following the left-wing military coup in Portugal in 1974, Mozambique attained independence in 1975 under a Frelimo government headed by Machel. Frelimo subsequently restructured itself as a Marxist-Leninist party and tried to revive the country's shattered economy, but its efforts were hampered by its commitment to collective agriculture and by the destructive activities of the dissident Mozambican group known as Renamo. Frelimo and Renamo signed a peace accord in 1992, and Frelimo won multiparty elections held in Mozambique in 1994.


In l962 Mozambican representatives from exiled political groups met in Tanganyika and forged the Mozambique Liberation Front, or Frelimo (Frente de Libertação de Moçambique), with Eduardo Mondlane as its president.

Frelimo's strategy was not immediately clear, but, after serious internal dissent, the ascendant leadership committed itself to an armed challenge. In September l964, Frelimo's guerrilla forces, which had been trained and armed by African and Eastern-bloc supporters, attacked targets in northern Mozambique, and the war for independence was launched. Portugal, faced with similar challenges in all its African territories, responded by fielding an enormous military effort. The Portuguese and Frelimo each experienced important victories and setbacks during the ensuing decade of struggle. Despite some important damage to Frelimo forces, the Portuguese remained frustrated and offensively ineffective against Frelimo's small-scale guerrilla engagements. By l974 Frelimo forces could move about fairly freely in most of the north and had infiltrated into central Mozambique. The cities, most of the south, and the coastal areas as far north as Nacala remained in Portuguese hands.

On April 25, l974, the Armed Forces Movement in Portugal staged a coup d'état, which was welcomed by Portuguese discontented with the New State regime, its African wars, and its backward-looking ideology. Frelimo took advantage of its military position to insist on a cease-fire, which confirmed its right to assume power in an independent Mozambique. A quickly aborted counter-coup attempt in the capital in September and some rioting in October were the only overt challenges to Frelimo's authority. Within a year of the Portuguese coup, most of the settler population left Mozambique. On June 25, l975, Mozambique became independent under Frelimo's single-party rule.

<table class='table table-bordered col-lg-12 col-md-12 col-sm-12 col-xs-12 margin20 row-30' border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" width="100%" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><tbody><tr><td width="16%"><font face="Arial" size="2">State</font></td><td width="16%"><font face="Arial" size="2">Entry</font></td><td width="17%"><font face="Arial" size="2">Exit</font></td><td width="17%"><font face="Arial" size="2">Combat Forces</font></td><td width="17%"><font face="Arial" size="2">Population</font></td><td width="17%"><font face="Arial" size="2">Losses</font></td></tr><tr><td width="16%"><font face="Arial" size="2">Mozambique</font></td><td width="16%"><font face="Arial" size="2">1962</font></td><td width="17%"><font face="Arial" size="2">1974</font></td><td width="17%"><font face="Arial" size="2">15000</font></td><td width="17%"><font face="Arial" size="2">11000000</font></td><td width="17%"><font face="Arial" size="2">25000</font></td></tr><tr><td width="16%"><font face="Arial" size="2">Portugal</font></td><td width="16%"><font face="Arial" size="2">1962</font></td><td width="17%"><font face="Arial" size="2">1974</font></td><td width="17%"><font face="Arial" size="2">73000</font></td><td width="17%"><font face="Arial" size="2">9000000</font></td><td width="17%"><font face="Arial" size="2">10000</font></td></tr></tbody></table>

Total Casualties 35000 Killed and Wounded
Casualties Killed / Wounded
Military Casualties Killed 35000 /Wounded
Civilian Casualties Killed / Wounded
Belligerents Initiation Date Termination Date
FRELIMO and Portugal 1962 1974 View

Related Conflicts

No Releted Conflicts