ARMED STRUGGLE IN PORTUGUESE COLONIES Top10 Richest African Countries In 2021 ~ Based on Gross Domestic Product (GDP)


The early political movements in Angola developed mainly along ethnic lines. The initial political parties expressed cultural activities like praising African culture.

In December 1956, the movement for peoples liberation of Angola (MPLA) advocated for equal rights of the all the colonized people irrespective of their color, creed or tribe.

In 1962, the Front for National liberation of Angola (FNLA) was formed. By this time, there were two major liberation movements i.e. the MPLA and FNLA.

Later the FNLA split thus creating another liberation movement called union for Total independence of Angola (UNITA), under the leadership pf Jonas Savimbi. UNITA declared that it would stand for full independence of Angola.

A positive element in the struggle for independence occurred in 1974 at a meeting in Zaire, now the Democratic Republic of Congo where the MPLA and the FNLA adopted a common front in their struggle for independence.

The three major movements, MPLA, FNLA and UNITA met in January 1974 at a meeting in Mombasa, Kenya under the leadership of Present Jomo Kenyatta. At this meeting the three major movements agreed to end all types of constitutes and propaganda which hampered unity and cooperation.

The MPLA, the largest and the strongest movement took the reins of the state in spite of the civil wars. The situation worsened when Fascist South Africa invaded Angola in support of UNITA and FNLA.

However, of June 1976 the MPLA’s forces and the MP assumed full control of Angola.

MOZAMBIQUE In Mozambique the nationalist movements championing the grievances of both the workers and peasants emerged in the 1960. Due to the suppression of nationalist movements within Mozambique, nationalist movements were organized from outside by Mozambicans in exile.

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These movements included the following.

1. National Democratic union of Mozambique formed in Southern Rhodesia in 1960.

2. Mozambique African National Union formed in Kenya in 1961.

3. African union of independent Mozambique formed in Nyasaland in 1961.

By the end of 1961, all the three nationalist movements had shifted their headquarters to Dar es Salaam. In 1962 they merged or joined to form front for the Liberation of Mozambique (FRELIMO).

FRELIMO concentrated on training cadres, party organization and mobilization of world support. Actual armed struggle began in Mozambique in 1964 and the final victory of FRELIMO and the people of Mozambique came in 1975 and Samora Machel became the President.

Reasons for armed struggle in Angola and Mozambique:-

(A) Banning of nationalist movements.

Portugal banned all nationalist movements in these colonies because she was not ready to grant independence. The nationalist movements in Mozambique were operating from outside, this complicated the struggle for independence thus the Africans had to resort to the use of armed struggle.

(B) The perception of portages.

Portugal like France always argued that she had no colonies in Africa, but overseas provinces that were part of Portugal. Portugal claimed that these territories had no rights for independence. This position forced the Africans to use armed struggle to acquire independence.

(C) Portugal was poor.

Portugal was a very poor therefore she depended heavily on her colonies for wealth, due to this predicament Portugal could not grant independence to Angola and Mozambique , forcing the Africans to use armed struggle.

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(D) Richness of the colonies.

A colony such as Angola was so rich in terms of raw material particularly all thus the Portuguese were not ready to grant it independence, hence the only solution left was to use armed struggle.

(E) Portugal was a fascist state

Portugal was a fascist state i.e. was a country that did not believed in democracy to make matters worse, she believed in the everlasting civilizing mission in Africa hence she could not grant independence to Angola and Mozambique when the civilizing mission was incomplete. This altitude compelled the Africans to use armed struggle to regain their independence.

(F) Many Portuguese were illiterate.

Many Portuguese were illiterate thus ignorant about the outside world especially of the new form of imperialism. Portugal believed that granting independence to her colonies meant the end of exploitation; hence it became reluctant to grant independence to its colonies.

Nonetheless, Angola and Mozambique were able to acquire independence after a prolonged armed struggle.


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