Mozambique's International
Relations with Zimbabwe

Dossier MZ-0146, part 3


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3. The Long Path to Peace, 1986-1994

Mugabe speaking with Chissano listening

Above: The alliance between Mozambique and Zimbabwe remained firm throughout the Conflict with Renamo, 1976-1992. In the picture, from 1988, Mugabe addresses a rally while Chissano listens.

After the death of Samora Machel and the accession to the presidency of Joaquim Chissano, the Mozambican government continued to maintain close relations with Zimbabwe, a critically important ally in the struggle against the MNR/RENAMO. In November, shortly after becoming president, Chissano commented in an interview with a Zimbabwean magazine that an eventual federation of the two countries was a realistic possibility. However, Machel’s death exposed persisting sharp differences between whites and Africans in Zimbabwe, with some whites showing undisguised satisfaction that the Mozambican leader was dead. In March 1987, Chissano paid a state visit to Zimbabwe, speaking at a rally in Rufaro Stadium in front of an enthusiastic crowd of 30,000 people, and visiting the ruins at Great Zimbabwe. A joint communiqué emphasised unity in the struggle against the “bandidos armados” and unconditional support for SWAPO in Namibia and the ANC in South Africa.

In June 1987, the two countries signed an expansive military cooperation agreement. In the meantime, trade and transport cooperation expanded, and regular commercial flights began between Harare and Beira. In August 1988 President Robert Mugabe spent three days in Mozambique on an official visit, spending time in both Maputo and Beira, which was Zimbabwe’s natural access point to the sea.

The British BMATT training programme for Mozambican troops operated at Nyanga in Zimbabwe, and Zimbabwean soldiers continued to play an important role in the conflict with RENAMO, protecting the Beira Corridor until their departure in April 1993, as the lengthy peace process began to deliver concrete outcomes.


MHN Resources

Consolidated Downloadable Zipped Files

Click on the yellow folder image below to download the third part of the dossier of documents and press clippings in PDF format concerning relations between the Mozambican government and Zimbabwe. For material on Zimbabwean political and military participation in the struggle against the RENAMO rebellion, see also the series of pages "Conflict with Renamo".This edition of the third part of the dossier contains 145 documents and is dated 27 March 2021. New material may be added from time to time.

Zipped file image