Fighting the Cold War in southern Africa? East German military support to FRELIMO | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 9, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 1476-413X
  • E-ISSN: 1758-9509


This article focuses on the military assistance provided by the German Democratic Republic (GDR) to the Mozambique Liberation Front (FRELIMO Frente de Libertao de Moambique), first during their struggle against the Portuguese colonial power and later during the war against the Mozambican National Resistance Movement (Resistncia Nacional Moambicana) rebels. To date, the GDR's military commitment in southern Africa has been the topic of often unfounded speculation. The systemic secrecy of the GDR military made it easy for rumours to spread. This article seeks to contribute to an academic reappraisal of this secret part of the GDR's history. It provides well-founded academic information based on original GDR documents that have been analysed for the first time. For 20 years the GDR's military provided solidarity assistance. East Berlin supplied weapons and military equipment and also medical relief goods and food. Instead of sending troops or instructors to Mozambique, the GDR's army-trained Mozambican military personnel at schools in the GDR.


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  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): colonialism; FRELIMO; German Democratic Republic; Mozambique; resistance
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