• Short Summary

    The bitter eight-year-old guerrilla war in the Portuguese territory of Mozambique entered a new phase this month with a Government offensive in the Western Province of Tete -- the area around the planned Cabora-Bassa dam project.

  • Description

    The bitter eight-year-old guerrilla war in the Portuguese territory of Mozambique entered a new phase this month with a Government offensive in the Western Province of Tete -- the area around the planned Cabora-Bassa dam project.

    Last week 200 Portuguese commandos were flown to an airstrip in the area to begin a helicopter action against insurgent bases. In this action 7 guerrillas were reported killed and five captured. For the forces of Frelimo -- the Mozambique Liberation Front freedom fighters, and the Portuguese authorities, the attacks represent a crucial development in the struggle to control the rural areas of Mozambique.

    The war in Mozambique is fought on the Portuguese side with the technology of modern warfare - helicopters, armoured vehicles and jet strike aircraft. Ranged against them. in the now familiar confrontation of guerrilla warfare, are the Frelimo forces, equipped only with automatic infantry weapons, and moving quickly from base to base in the sparsely populated and densely forested Zambezi valley area.

    For Portugal, itself one of the poorest countries in Europe, the dam project represents a bid to make Mozambique an economically viable colony. The dam is planned to be twice the size of the Kariba dam and 70 percent bigger than Egypt's Aswan project.

    Frelimo leaders have stated that the halting of the dam project remained the liberation movement's prime military target. They claim to have 10,000 men under arms.

    There are 60,000 Portuguese troops in Mozambique. Their aim is to crush the insurgents and they claim considerable success - but the helicopters carrying out wounded Portuguese soldiers are testimony to the cost in human terms.

    A mine laid by guerrillas in one action wounded six Portuguese in Tete Province last week. Total Portuguese casualties - killed and wounded this year, is believed to run into several hundreds.

    While the Portuguese fight to suppress the guerrillas in the Western and Northern provinces, African leaders are attempting to discourage foreign investors from taking part in the Cabora-Bassa project. Already they claim a Swedish firm has withdrawn from the project but the Portuguese are confident the massive dan bridging the Zambezi will go ahead with European and South African money. The continuing conflict in Mozambique raises the spectre of a possible new Biafran or Algerian scale conflict.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA6ZSEECXB1HNP9HITUPJTFDLEN
    Media URN:
    VLVA6ZSEECXB1HNP9HITUPJTFDLEN
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    28/10/1970
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Colour
    Duration:
    00:04:04:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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