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Mozambique: a cold war conflict?

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  1. Introduction.
  2. The Mozambican war: A conflict lead by the cold war.
    1. The importance of the communist ideology in the opposition's ideal.
    2. The efficient role of the superpowers.
  3. The war is actually more a local war for African interests.
    1. African socialism.
    2. The superpowers in the distance.
  4. Conclusion.
  5. Bibliography.

The colonization of Mozambique by Portugal began in the 15th century. The first settling was made in 1498, near the mouth of Zambezi River by Vasco de Gama himself. A few years later, the Portuguese founded a city in Lourenço Marques bay, nowadays known as Maputo. Thanks to the trade of slaves Maputo, quickly became an important and a rich city. The colonization increased quickly at the end of the 18th century, when the authorities decided to give properties (prazo in Portuguese) to people who came from the home country to live in the colony. In 1875, important colonial powers such as England and France, acknowledged Portugal's sovereignty in Mozambique. During the 20th century, the Portuguese administration was clearly autocratic, especially during Antonio Salazar's dictatorship (between1932 and 1968). In 1951, it was no more considered a colony but seen as an overseas territory. Before the death of Salazar, a first war broke out for the independence of the country, and lead to a wave of violence between 1964 and 1974. Eventually, the dictatorship regime was destroyed thanks to the Carnation Revolution, and the first war ended at about the same time.

[...] Therefore, in the context of decolonization, it was obvious that the superpower would help Frelimo to win the war for independence, especially in the context of the cold war breaking out between the USSR and the other superpower. Even if not directly involved in the war for independence, nor in the civil war, the USSR was of course behind Frelimo in its fight against its enemies. The USA was still concerned by the civil conflict which took place between the 1980's and 1992. [...]


[...] The implication of the USSR, as a friend of Frelimo, and of the USA, as an ally of South Africa and South Rhodesia, are to be pointed out as a sign of a cold war conflict. Nevertheless, it seems that the wars within Mozambique were more African wars, over African interests, than a field of opposition between the two superpowers. First, the ideology is, as was showed earlier, an African ideology more than a communist one, in the way the USSR imagined it. [...]

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