The Portuguese authorities are establishing "fortress villages" in Mozambique. These are villages fortified with gun?
The Portuguese authorities are establishing "fortress villages" in Mozambique. These are villages fortified with gun emplacements. The military presence is to prevent guerrillas gaining control of such villages.
Bulldozers are used to clear the surrounding land for the planting of essential crops. These, and an ample water supply, ensure that the villages are self-supporting. As well as homes, the villages include stores and schools where soldiers instruct children.
The authorities say the lessons will be in skills such as carpentry, welding and ironwork.
This film was shot at the invitation of the Portuguese authorities.
SYNOPSIS: Watchful troops man a gun at a fortress called Nangade. But Nangade, in Mozambique, is no military installation. The troops are there to establish a civilian community, a place where people can live under the constant protection of the army. Fortress villages like this are a recent innovation by the Portuguese authorities in Mozambique.
The protected communities are intended to be self-sufficient, so army bulldozers clear ground for the planting of essential crops.
The hope is that life will go on as normally as in a conventional village. The only spectators are troops, but the village football match has a carefree atmosphere.
But the troops must regard everywhere as a potential battlefield.
For the villagers, however, the heavily guarded settlements are intended to be a new home. Eventually they will include stores and schools. The teachers will be troops, and authorities say the lessons will be in practical subjects such as woodwork and welding. The authorities are determined to prevent guerrillas influencing the people.