Mozambique's International
Relations with the United Kingdom

Dossier MZ-0005


Including Military Assistance,
and Right-wing MNR Support Groups

Samora Machel with Princess Anne

Above: President Samora Machel (right) and Princess Anne of the British royal family during the latter’s visit to Mozambique in late November 1985.

Mozambique’s role in helping to bring the Lancaster House negotiations over Zimbabwean independence to a conclusion in 1979 is widely believed to have been at the root of the perhaps surprisingly cooperative relations between the Conservative government of Margaret Thatcher and, first Samora Machel and later Joaquim Chissano. In 1985 Princess Anne paid a high-profile symbolic visit to Maputo, still seen in Conservative circles in the UK as suspiciously “Marxist”.

Sheffield class British destroyer at Maputo

Above: A British destroyer of the Sheffield class at Maputo, 13-15 November 1986 during a courtesy visit. The ship was under the command of Capt. J. R. Hance, RN. Photo: Tempo no.841, 23 November 1986.

Relations were sufficiently close for the British to provide military training for some Mozambican officers at Nyanga in Zimbabwe under the BMATT programme. In addition, on at least one occasion a British warship visited Maputo and spent a couple of days on a courtesy visit that included hosting a diplomatic reception.

Capt. Milverton of 14/20 Hussars

Above: Capt. N. T. Milverton of the British 14th/20th King’s Hussars regiment (on the right) analysing the rifle performance of an FPLM officer (centre). On the left are Sgt.-Maj. David Jakarta of the Zimbabwean 1st Paratroop Regiment (wearing a beret), and an unnamed Mozambican officer-trainee. Photo: Herald 30 April 1987.

After the death of Samora Machel in the disaster at Mbuzini, President Joaquim Chissano paid a visit to London as part of a European tour in mid-1987, and succeeded in establishing cordial relations with Prime Minister Thatcher, leading to increased financial and other aid.

Joaquim Chissano, Margaret Thatcher

Above: Joaquim Chissano’s first visit to Britain as president in May 1987 was considered successful. British financial aid for the Frelimo Party government was stepped up, and military training also continued.

MHN Resources

Consolidated Downloadable Zipped Files

Click on the yellow folder image below to download a zipped file of a main dossier on UK-Mozambique relations, with 180 items, and two sub-dossiers on (1) military assistance to Mozambique by the UK (37 items) and (2) right-wing support for RENAMO in the UK (9 items).. New items will be added from time to time. This version of the dossier is dated 15 March 2021.

Zipped file image