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Mozambican National Resistance
Resistência Nacional Moçambicana
Founded 1975

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 from 1975 to 1992 and against the Zimbabwean government of Robert Mugabe.

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 Central Intelligence Agency and conservative lobbying was strongly resisted by the State Department, which would "not recognize or negotiate with RENAMO" and convinced President Ronald Reagan and the Congress to support FRELIMO.[2][3][4]



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.[5]

On November 30, RENAMO militants burned down 13 houses.[6]

Between December 1987 and January 21, 1988 RENAMO performed 101 attacks near the Mozambique-Zimbabwe border.[6]

South Africa

In 1984 the South African and Mozambican governments signed the Nkomati Accord, in which South Africa agreed to stop sponsoring RENAMO if the Mozambican government expelled exiled members of the African National Congress residing there. 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.

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


  1. ^ Binding Memories: Chronology
  2. ^ Deciding to Intervene, p. 204.
  3. ^ Deciding to Intervene, p. 207.
  4. ^ Africa: The Challenge of Transformation
  5. ^ Audrey Kalley, Jacqueline. Southern African Political History: a chronological of key political events from independence to Mid-1997, 1999. Page 739.
  6. ^ a b Audrey Kalley, Jacqueline. Southern African Political History: a chronological of key political events from independence to Mid-1997, 1999. Page 742.

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