INTRODUCTION: A Rhodesian government spokesman said on Tuesday (31 May) that strikes against black nationalist guerrilla bases inside neighbouring Mozambique would continue if they were "in Rhodesia's interests".
INTRODUCTION: A Rhodesian government spokesman said on Tuesday (31 May) that strikes against black nationalist guerrilla bases inside neighbouring Mozambique would continue if they were "in Rhodesia's interests". The spokesman was commenting on last Sunday's (29 May) raids in which about 41 guerrillas were said to have been killed. The raids came on the day that some of Rhodesia's older men were reporting for medical checks for the security forces.
Mozambique claims that the Rhodesian raids included attacks on a number of villages. The Defence Ministry said on Monday (30 May) that the Rhodesians used napalm against Chioco village in the northern Mozambique province of Tete.
SYNOPSIS: The men having check-ups in Salisbury on Sunday were in the 38 to 49 age group. The call-up was only extended to older men earlier this month as the needs of the Rhodesian security forces increased. Rhodesia's Minister of Manpower and Social Affairs, Rowan Cronje, said that 84 percent of the men at the first medical had proved fit for duty. After their check-up, the men go on an eleven-day training course before being posted to local police reserve units.
Morale among the young reservists is very low at the moment. Many of them now spend up to four months a year fighting in the bush. Morale has fallen among younger men because of renewed hopes for an end to the conflict and a move towards black majority rule in Rhodesia. Many feel they are fighting for a lost cause. Some admit in private that they are even considering leaving the country rather than risk what they regard as a futile death.
Rhodesian forces are already stretched and desertion on a large scale by young reservists could not be matched by the increased call-up of older men.