• Short Summary

    Planeloads of young soldiers from metropolitan Portugal are still arriving in Mozambique to risk their lives against the land mines and bullets of Frelimo in the 10-year war to hold onto the first white colony in Africa and one of the last to remain under white domination.

  • Description

    Planeloads of young soldiers from metropolitan Portugal are still arriving in Mozambique to risk their lives against the land mines and bullets of Frelimo in the 10-year war to hold onto the first white colony in Africa and one of the last to remain under white domination.

    While the old war goes on, destructive in bodies, material and economic prospects, a new "war" has broken out in Portugal itself with the coup on Thursday (25 April) motivated at least in part by the ideas of General Antonio De Spinola, whose best selling book argued that the war against the nationalist guerrillas in African cannot be won and that a form of self-determination wa the only answer.

    The coup, by troops calling themselves the "Movement of the Armed Forces" came after weeks of political turmoil over the African colonies.

    On Tuesday (23 April), the Gaurdian newspaper of London published allegations by Portuguese officers who support General De Spinola that Rhodesian paratroops have mounted anti-guerrilla actions deep into Mozambique with the knowledge and co-operation of the Portuguese authorities -- and that they had orders to take neither civilian nor military prisoners but to kill everyone they found.

    The report also says that the 6th Company of Commandoes was sent to the zone of Wiriyamu and Chavola 30 kilometers (19 miles) south of Tete with express orders to "mop up the land and kill any living soul for the area was 100 per cent terrorist."
    The officer's report says no one has been punished for the massacres there and that some officers responsible for previous atrocities in Mucumbura had been "punished" with an extension of duty in Mozambique for a further year.

    On the ground in Mozambigue the fighting has been intensifying in the northern region of Cabo Delegado where a large area is under control of Frelimo. Daily patrols go out into the bush searching for landmines, with the driver of the leading lorry getting danger money. There has even been an attack on the Portuguese naval base at Porto Amelia.

    But as the movement of the Armed Forces claim the overthrow of the Government of Portuguese Prime Minister Marchelloe Caetano it seems that Mozambiqu's future will depend more on events and decisions in Lisbon than on the scattered battlefields in the bush.

    SYNOPSIS: In Portugaual the army is in revolt. But here, in northern Mozambique, the troops seem loyal to the ten year anti-guerrilla war.

    Whether the positions of these soldiers will be undermined by the momentous events in Portugal and the controversy over future colonial policy is difficult to say.

    And an increasing number of Portuguese officers are saying it is a war that cannot be won.

    Yet the young soldiers keep arriving here at Meuda in the region of Cabo Delgado where the fighting has been intensifying. They have been picked up in Lisbon and copped into the middle of a vicious war.

    Attacks are frequent.

    Large areas are under the control of Frelimo -- the National Front for the Liberation of Mozambique.

    The new soldiers are soon out on patrol looking for landmines.

    The driver of the leading lorry gets danger money.

    A report published by a group of officers in Portugal alleges that Portuguese "commandoes" have indeed been guilty of massacres at Wiriyamu and Chovola, and that no-one was punished.

    The report also claims Rhodesian troops have been operating deep inside Mozambique with the knowledge of Portuguese authorities, and with orders to take neither civilian nor military prisoners -- but to kill everyone they find. This has been strongly denied by the Portuguese authorities -- but admitted by Rhodesian soldiers themselves.

    As the struggle for political power in Portugal goes on General Antonio De Spinola is tipped as the man who will lead the country if the coup succeeds. He was recently sacked as Deputy Chief of Staff for advocating a form of self determination for the African colonies.

    Meanwhile the wounded are brought in to Mueda.

    The war in Mozanbique is also a naval war. Fast patrol boats control the coast from here -- to try and deny Frelimo supplies from Tanzania by sea.

    About two hundred marines are based here -- all volunteers.

    These members of Portugal's small Navy are going to be landed further up the coast on a five-day mission.

    But with the apparent end of the Government of Prime Minister Caetano, it seems that Mozambique's future will depend more on events and decisions in Lisbon rather than on scattered skirmishes along the coast or deep in the bush.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVADI5UTQWU146KG785WU5K5BTX2
    Media URN:
    VLVADI5UTQWU146KG785WU5K5BTX2
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    25/04/1974
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Colour
    Duration:
    00:02:58:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

Comments (0)

We always welcome comments and more information about our films.
All posts are reactively checked. Libellous and abusive comments are forbidden.

Add your comment