Renamo Insurgency in Mozambique 1976-1992

[ 1976 - 1992 ]

Renamo... byname of MOZAMBICAN NATIONAL RESISTANCE, Portuguese RESISTÊNCIA NACIONAL MOÇAMBICANA, guerrilla organization that sought to overthrow the government of Mozambique beginning in the late 1970s. Renamo was formed in 1976 by white Rhodesian officers who were seeking a way to keep newly independent Mozambique from supporting black guerrillas who were trying to overthrow the white Rhodesian government. These officers recruited disaffected guerrillas who had belonged to Mozambique's successful independence movement, Frelimo. The sponsorship of Renamo was soon taken over by the South African armed forces. Renamo opposed the Marxist-leaning Mozambican central government, and Renamo's guerrillas sought to disrupt the nation's economy and infrastructure by cutting railway and power lines, destroying roads and bridges, and sabotaging oil-storage depots. In their raids on towns and villages, the guerrillas sometimes engaged in wholesale massacres of civilians. By the late 1980s, Renamo's insurgency had caused the deaths of at least 100,000 people and the creation of more than 1,000,000 refugees. Mozambique's economy was brought to a standstill, and the government was unable to keep the country's railroad network functioning without the help of Zimbabwean, Zambian, and Tanzanian troops.


Frelimo's solidarity with other guerrilla groups fighting for political rights in the region strongly shaped events in the independence era. Its decisions to close the border with colonial Rhodesia, to implement international sanctions, and to allow Patriotic Front forces to develop bases in Mozambique were widely supported but also were costly. Mozambique suffered an important loss of revenues, destruction of key infrastructure, and loss of lives. Frelimo's support for the African National Congress (ANC) brought similar economic and military retribution from South Africa...

Extensive government investment in education, health care, and services for the majority population got off to a promising start but within a decade had been totally undermined by the action of the forces of the Mozambican National Resistance, or Renamo (Resistência Nacional Moçambicana). Renamo--an insurgency group trained, supplied, and supported originally by the Rhodesians and subsequently by the South African military, former Portuguese settlers, and a variety of Mozambicans opposed to Frelimo--has waged a campaign of rural terror and economic sabotage since shortly after independence. By 1984 the economic and social devastation wrought by the conflict convinced Frelimo to end support and refuge for ANC forces in exchange for South Africa's commitment to cut off logistic and military support for Renamo. The agreement, called the Nkomati Accord, did little to curb Renamo's activity. Renamo's depredations, exacerbated by cycles of drought and flood and by Frelimo's unsuccessful economic policies, led to massive social dislocation and economic collapse. The government's continuing inability to secure much of the countryside frustrated international efforts to supply the population with basic necessities and to help rebuild essential infrastructure. In an effort to end the conflict through negotiation, Frelimo's leadership agreed to change the constitution and open the political process to competing parties. On Oct. 4, 1992, the leaders of Frelimo and Renamo signed a peace accord. The future development of the nation hinges on a sustained peace to guarantee rural security and allow millions of refugees and displaced persons to return to socially and economically productive lives.

<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">Cuba</font></td><td width="16%"><font face="Arial" size="2">1975</font></td><td width="17%"><font face="Arial" size="2">1987</font></td><td width="17%"><font face="Arial" size="2">150000</font></td><td width="17%"><font face="Arial" size="2">8700000</font></td><td width="17%"><font face="Arial" size="2">3000</font></td></tr><tr><td width="16%"><font face="Arial" size="2">Mozambique</font></td><td width="16%"><font face="Arial" size="2">1975</font></td><td width="17%"><font face="Arial" size="2">1987</font></td><td width="17%"><font face="Arial" size="2">15800</font></td><td width="17%"><font face="Arial" size="2">12300000</font></td><td width="17%"><font face="Arial" size="2">5000</font></td></tr><tr><td width="16%"><font face="Arial" size="2">Rebels</font></td><td width="16%"><font face="Arial" size="2">1975</font></td><td width="17%"><font face="Arial" size="2">1987</font></td><td width="17%"><font face="Arial" size="2">10000</font></td><td width="17%"><font face="Arial" size="2">1000000</font></td><td width="17%"><font face="Arial" size="2">4000</font></td></tr></tbody></table>

Total Casualties 12000 Killed and Wounded
Casualties Killed / Wounded
Military Casualties Killed 12000 /Wounded
Civilian Casualties Killed / Wounded
Belligerents Initiation Date Termination Date
RENAMO and FRELIMO 1976 1992 View
RENAMO and Zimbabwe (Rhodesia) 1976 1992 View
RENAMO and Tanzania 1976 1992 View

Related Conflicts

No Releted Conflicts