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Samora Moises Machel (1933—1986)

Kwame Nkrumah (1909—1972) president of Ghana

Joaquim Chissano (b. 1939)


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A resistance movement established in 1962 to fight against Portuguese colonialism in Mozambique. It emerged as a union of various independence movements which had been encouraged by Nkrumah and Eduardo Chivambo Mondlane, a professor at Syracuse University (US). The latter was chosen to become its leader, and on 25 September 1964 it launched its guerrilla campaign against the Portuguese. Armed by the USSR, China, and other Eastern Bloc countries, it controlled more than one‐fifth of the country by 1974 and inflicted increasingly heavy losses upon the colonial troops. Independence came suddenly in 1974, and caught the movement almost completely unawares. Led by Machel since 1968, it became the country's single party, so that the leader of FRELIMO was President as well as head of the armed forces. Efforts to end the civil war led to the country's democratization and the holding of free elections on 27– 9 October 1994, in which the former guerrilla movement, RENAMO, was allowed to participate. FRELIMO won the elections, gaining 129 out of 250 seats. Its leader (since 1986), Chissano, was confirmed President with 53.3 per cent of the popular vote. FRELIMO presided over remarkable economic growth, which reached up to 10 per cent per year, and its parliamentary majority was confirmed in the elections of 1999 and 2004.

Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).

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