Rhodesia confirmed November 28 that its troops had mounted two major raids into Mozambique, killing about 1,200 black nationalist guerrillas. The government said the raids were begun November 23 and lasted until November 27. The raids were the fourth major Rhodesian military operation in Mozambique in 15 months. [See 1977 Southern Africa: RhodesiaDefends Mozambique Raid; Other Developments]
Rhodesian troops attacked guerrilla bases in Chimoio, 54 miles east of the Rhodesian-Mozambique border and east of the Rhodesian city of Umtali. Another attack was launched on a guerrilla camp in the northern Mozambique province of Tete near Tembue, 132 miles from the border. According to Rhodesian intelligence sources, the Chimoio camp had served as operational headquarters of the Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army (ZANLA), the military wing of the Zimbabwe African National Union, the faction led by Robert Mugabe.
Rhodesian troops reported no contact with regular Mozambique army troops. They said Rhodesian casualties were one killed and eight wounded. They reported that a large amount of equipment, weapons and documents had been destroyed in the raids and estimated that ZANLA had lost one-fifth of its guerrilla fighters as a result.
The Mozambique government accused the Rhodesian troops of having killed more than 100 civilians including many young children. Rhodesia replied that the civilian deaths were "regrettable" but that the camps were "terrorist military bases...and civilians, particularly women and children, should not be in such camps."
The U.S. and Great Britain November 29 condemned the raids. In separate statements, both countries warned that the attacks would harm prospects for a peaceful Rhodesian settlement. Bishop Abel Muzorewa, a leading moderate Rhodesian nationalist, that day declared a period of mourning for "the people massacred in Mozambique." He added that he would nevertheless participate in talks with the Rhodesian government on Prime Minister Ian Smith's latest proposals for a majority-rule settlement.
In other news of the guerrilla war:
Mozambique November 14 said its troops had shot down two Rhodesian jet fighters and a helicopter 50 miles within Mozambique territory.
Rhodesian government figures released November 1 showed that 1,479 whites had left Rhodesia during September and 455 had arrived. The net loss of 1,024 whites increased the total loss of whites since January to 8,737, compared with a total loss of 8,710 for the record year 1964. [See 1977 Southern Africa: Rhodesian Emigration Continues]
A Rhodesian military communique October 12 put the total of war deaths since 1972 at 3,476 guerrillas and 430 security-force troops. By the end of October, according to military communiques, more than 70 additional guerrillas had been killed.
Modern Language Association (MLA)
Citation: "Southern Africa: Rhodesian Troops Raid Mozambique, Kill 1,200; Other Developments." Facts On File World News Digest 3 Dec. 1977. Facts On File World News Digest. Facts On File News Services. 27 June2008 .
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Citation: The title of the article or cartoon. (1977, December 3). Facts On File World News Digest. Retrieved June 27, 2008, from Facts On File World News Digest.
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