FACTORS FOR THE SUCCESS OF THE MOZAMBICAN WAR OF INDEPENDENCE (1962-1975)

FACTORS FOR THE SUCCESS OF THE MOZAMBICAN WAR OF INDEPENDENCE (1962-1975)

The dynamic, charismatic and competent leadership of Mondlane who organized the exiled parties in Algeria into FRELIMO, his successor Samora Machel also had exceptional abilities.




He for example abandoned his job in the UNO and joined FRELIMO. Even after the death of Mondlane in 1969, FRELIMO did not collapse but continued to fight for the independence of Mozambique.

The involvement of the masses made the war a success , it became a people’s war as the organization (FRELIMO) cut across all classes of people therefore with the numerical strength independence was attained

The use of hit and run tactic which disorganized the Portuguese forces. The guerillas operated in North, East, South and West of Mozambique, such made the Portuguese troops exhausted and by the 1960s it was very clear that they were willing to grant independence.




Topography of Mozambique characterized by steep slopes and forests and the presence of river Ruvuma acted as natural barriers that forced the Portuguese to disperse their troops all over Mozambique. This weakened their combatant action against the guerillas. This then prolonged the struggle and weakened Portugal financially leaving the success for FRELIMO revolutionalists

Support from the communists’ countries was another factor for the success. Countries like China, USSR and Czchechoslavakia provided help in form of military equipment and training. This support was effectively used to dismantle Portuguese colonialism and even counteracted the support Portugal got from NATO countries like USA, Britain and France.

The ability to diffuse ethnicity leading to good co-operation and unity among the guerillas. This explains why even after the death of Mondlane in 1969, Samora Machel was in position to mobilize the masses and fight on until independence was attained.




The use of women was also very paramount in the Mozambican war of independence. These acted as spies and helped to provide food and comfort to guerillas. Such vital roles made the war of independence a success.

FRELIMO’s socialist mode of organizing liberated areas for example it initiated grass root democracy from village committees to central committees. Such politicized the masses and swore their allegiance to FRELIMO. By 1970s three quarters of Mozambique had been liberated.

The role of colonial education. A number of Mozambicans by 1950 had gone abroad for further studies. These became unemployed and they then started questioning the rationale of the continued Portuguese colonialism prompting people like Rev.Uria simango, Lazaro Kavandame and Edwardo Kivambo Mondlane to fight tooth and nail such that by 1975 Portuguese colonialism was no more.

The role of the world council of churches which provided 7000 pound sterling to the FRELIMO fighters. This gave impetus to the guerillas hence attaining the independence of Mozambique.




The 1974 Lisbon coup which brought Spinola to power. He was willing to accept change, later in the same year the Mozambicans held peace talks with the Portuguese in Lusaka-Zambia such reformist approach of Spinola led to the success of Mozambican independence.

The uncoordinated military strategy of the Portuguese worked to weaken them. The Portuguese were fighting the war on two fronts for example divided its army to protect her interests like economic installation and the scattered properties in the whole country, at the same time they had to fight FRELIMO guerillas, such weakness was exploited by FRELIMO fighters who effectively succeeded in their struggle for independence.

The support got from OAU, it provided platform to nationalists condemning colonialialism. It went ahead to give moral and financial support to Mondlane and Samora Machel which gave them the Zeal, courage and determination to dismantle the colonial bondage.




The role of UNO cannot be underestimated, through its decolonization committee, the UNO called on the portugues to grant independence, this gave impetus to the Africans to fight on till independence was attained.

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