The fight for Portugal's African colony of Mozambique has been won and the agreements signed.?
The fight for Portugal's African colony of Mozambique has been won and the agreements signed. Mozambique's next government will be formed by largely the men who led the Frelimo liberation movement against Portuguese rule and were finally triumphant.
Their leader and probably next President of independent Mozambique is 41-years-old Samora Machel, the man who has led the Frelimo government in exile since 1970.
Machel joined the movement soon after it was first formed in 1962 and rose to command by leading guerrilla troops in the campaign of hit-and-run tactics which characterised the ten-year armed rebellion against Portuguese rule in Mozambique.
On the death of the Frelimo leader Eduardo Mondlane -- assassinated in February, 1969 - Machel became President of the movement, with Marcelino Dos Santos as his Vice-President. It is expected they will have the same position in newly-independent Mozambique. Another leader, Jaquin Chissano, is likely to become the new nation's first Prime Minister.
The war which brought them to power - a bitter and bloody fight which kept thousands of Portuguese troops constantly in action - began ten years ago, when Frelimo, which had been formed two years earlier, went onto the offensive.
Mobilised and trained in Tanzania, where Frelimo government was established in exile, the guerrillas combined modern weapons with mobile tactics against the powerful Portuguese. They were the tactics of Che Guevara, Mao Tse-tung and Ho Chi Min, thoroughly learned nd executed by men like Samora Machel.
In 1971, Machel and other members of his government visited Peking and were welcomed by Chou En-lai. But, although arms and equipment found their way from The People's Republic of China to the Frelimo fighters in the field, Machel has always denied that Frelimo is Communist organisation. He prefers to call it purely Mozambique movement.
Today, Machel and Frelimo stand on the brink of assuming leadership of the vast territory of Mozambique. Their battle to win the fight against Portuguese rule was own through a combination of guerrilla tactics and an increasing distaste within Portugal itself for a war which could never be contained.
It had been won by Frelimo even before the Portuguese government was toppled earlier this year. The change of administration in Lisbon merely confirmed what had long been obvious - that Mozambique could no longer survive as a white man's colony.
SYNOPSIS: Dar es Salaam, Tanzania....headquarters of the freedom movement, Frelimo....nw to form the government of newly-independent Mozambique
Bearded, 41-year-old Samora Machel, leader of Frelimo since 1970, will be the new nation's President. Vice-President will be his deputy, Marcelino Dos Santos. Both men have spent a decade fighting a brilliant guerrilla war against Portuguese occupation of Mozambique - a war they won for a nation they now inherit.
It was in 1962 that Frelimo came into being. Exiled in Tanzania, it found many willing recruits for the battle to dislodge Portugal from a large and rich part of Africa.
By 1964, armed rebellion became part of life in Mozambique as Frelimo's troops began to go over toot eh offensive. Their aim was to make Portugal's possession of Mozambique too costly and too bloody for the colony to survive.
Against them the Portuguese deployed all the sophisticated weapons of modern warfare, but in the end, it was not enough. Frelimo used the tactics of hit-and-run.... the guerrilla tactics of Che Guevara, Mao Tse-turn and Ho Chi Minh, learned and executed by Frelimo leaders like Samora Machel.
Such tactics combined with good equipment tied down thousands of Portuguese troops in a decade of bush warfare.
Slipping away into the undergrowth, the Frelimo guerrillas left behind too many problems for the hard-pressed Portuguese to handle.
Part of Frelimo's tactic was also to cut the link between Mozambique's seaports and the isolated regime in Rhodesia..... it was something they could do with great effect.
In the middle of the war, Samora Machel visited Peking and was welcomed by Chinese Premier Chou En-lai. China provided the weapons but Machel has always denied that it supplied the doctrine. Frelimo, he has always claimed, is a purely Mozambique movement.
This year, the battle was won. Long before the coup in Lisbon replace Portugual's government, Frelimo was the clear winner and men like Jaquin Chissano, Mozambique's likely future Prime Minister, began to turn from warfare to the problems of government.
Mozambique's white population is now faced with the inevitable, despite occasional outbursts of protest. But their war has been lost - Mozambique no longer belongs to them.