Breaking News

Russia double-crossed ZIPRA with ZANLA?

by John Frame
28 April 2019 | 6346 Views
Regarding a joint Zimbabwe-Rhodesian and South African military strike in Mozambique against ZANLA / FRELIMO in September 1979 (Operation URIC - ZRSF / Operation Bootlace - SADF), queries have been asked about the 'Russian Front' - the south east border between Zimbabwe-Rhodesia and Mozambique.

The genesis and relationships that evolved between the Soviets and Zimbabwe Nationalists from the 1950's are complicated - set out in The Rhodesian Civil War history book.

To explain it in a post would take many pages so in summary:

As part of its 'Cold War' strategy, the USSR supported Nationalist groups in Africa to exert influence over those countries being granted or seeking independence from Colonial Powers.


In particular, Mozambique, Angola Rhodesia and South West Africa were important to create 'the Bridge' across Africa ahead of the final assault against the main prize, South Africa.


The USSR and it's satellite allies traditionally supported ZAPU / ZIPRA with logistic and munition supplies coordinated by the Soviet Ambassador to Zambia in Lusaka. The USSR did this because it perceived ZAPU and Nkomo having the legitimate claim to be the premier Zimbabwe Nationalist movement, as did the OAU Liberation Committee who directed funds to ZAPU and not to ZANU.


The Cubans were deployed by the USSR in Angola in a proxy role to fight the Soviet cause and at Boma they trained ZIPRA for its assault against the Rhodesian Government and SWAPO in their war against South Africa.





The USSR actively supported FRELIMO against Portugal supplying them with logistic support and military hardware. While Michel of FRELIMO preferred ZAPU, he finally allied with ZANU / ZANLA when it was recognised that ZIPRA and ZANLA were firmly divided along tribal lines and that the tribes along the north eastern, eastern and south eastern regions of Rhodesia were not supportive of the Matabele ZIPRA. ZIPRA elected to operate out of Zambia and Botswana which bordered its tribal heartland of Matabeleland.

ZANU / ZANLA was supported by Communist China and its allies, principally North Korea. But as a consequence ZANLA was not as well equipped as ZIPRA and in 1978 Mugabe made an effort to redress this by approaching Fidel Castro.


By 1978 the USSR decided to hedge its bets given the in-roads ZANLA was making against the Zimbabwe-Rhodesian Security Forces. Greater Soviet military equipment began to flow to ZANLA through FRELIMO - reported in RSA news articles when more Soviet Navel traffic was observed in Maputo, Mauritius and Dar es Salaam. In particular, more sophisticated anti-aircraft weapons were being delivered to counter the Zimbabwe-Rhodesian dominance in the air. Soviet Military instructors where deployed with FRELIMO and they aided ZANLA especially in the GAZA province of Mozambique which is located at the south eastern border of Zimbabwe-Rhodesia - hence it became known as the 'Russian Front' and the most contested border region of the war.


Concerned that the Western World Governments would recognise the black Zimbabwe - Rhodesian Government, the Soviet Bloc applied considerable pressure at the UN, OAU and elsewhere to stop that from occurring. Raul Valdez Vivo, a senior member of Castro's Cuban Communist Party, with Soviet support, together with President Machel of Mozambique, who was concerned at the ongoing disunity between ZAPU and ZANU and especially as the military union between ZIPRA and ZANLA that the frontline Presidents had forced, called ZIPA, had collapsed, formulated 'Dar es Salaam Agreement on the Unity of the Patriotic Front of Zimbabwe'. Vivo tabled a plan to send Nkomo and Mugabe into a 'controlled area' held by ZANLA, near Chiredzi before Muzorewa was proclaimed Prime Minister, to declare a government of Independent Zimbabwe with Nkomo as President and Mugabe as Vice-President and Minister of Defence. The Soviet Bloc would recognise the newly proclaimed State and FRELIMO / ZANLA would move then in force as would ZIPRA from Zambia actively supported by the Cubans. Mugabe had no intention for himself to be second staying 'Fortunately for us Joshua turned it down ....' (page 435 The Rhodesian Civil War History Book).


Flower who was head of CIO and who was asked to remain after Zimbabwe Independence in that role wrote that Mugabe chose to be non-aligned, like his mentor Tito of Yugoslavia, 'believing that adherence to communism did not mean subservience to Russia'.




Russia ZANA ZIPRA


Disclaimer:
All articles and letters published on Bulawayo24 have been independently written by members of Bulawayo24's community. The views of users published on Bulawayo24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Bulawayo24. Bulawayo24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

Source: Online

Comments

Latest News

Nakamba wants to promote Zimbabwe

by BBC | 23 September 2019 | 1 Views

Temba Mliswa blocked from entering Mugabe's house

by Mandla Ndlovu | 23 September 2019 | 6 Views

PHOTO: Julius Malema arrives in Zimbabwe

by Mandla Ndlovu | 23 September 2019 | 10 Views

Energy Mutodi's star rising

by Nicholas Ncube | 23 September 2019 | 3 Views

Welshman Ncube appointed MDC acting President

by Mandla Ndlovu | 23 September 2019 | 6 Views

UZ tells graduands to create jobs - PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa cappe...

by Staff reporter | 23 September 2019 | 4 Views

Mtukudzi's last words to daughter Selmor - THE late music icon and nat...

by Staff reporter | 23 September 2019 | 9 Views

Harare petitions govt over interbank rates - HARARE City Council has c...

by Staff reporter | 23 September 2019 | 5 Views

Zanu-PF youths, 'MaShurugwi' clash - ZANU-PF youths in Mashonaland Cen...

by Staff reporter | 23 September 2019 | 4 Views

Zanu-PF sets conference date - ZANU-PF has set December 7 as the date ...

by Staff reporter | 23 September 2019 | 3 Views

3 riot cops in court for beating up imbibers - THREE support unit offi...

by Staff reporter | 23 September 2019 | 3 Views

Striking doctors call for new negotiating forum - Doctors who are cont...

by Staff reporter | 23 September 2019 | 3 Views

Apostolic sect leader arrested for rape - The leader of the Johane Mas...

by Staff reporter | 23 September 2019 | 4 Views

EU diplomat crossed the line, says Ziyambi - JUSTICE minister Ziyambi ...

by Staff reporter | 23 September 2019 | 3 Views

Pay fees, MP urges parents - MAZOWE West legislator Kazembe Kazembe (Z...

by Staff reporter | 23 September 2019 | 5 Views

Armed robbers denied bail - A BID for freedom by two suspected armed r...

by Staff reporter | 23 September 2019 | 2 Views

Ministries break public finance regulations - LINE ministries are said...

by Staff reporter | 23 September 2019 | 3 Views

Zanu-PF youth acquitted of extortion - A ZANU-PF youth on Friday heave...

by Staff reporter | 23 September 2019 | 2 Views

Elderly woman in court for stealing house seller's property - AN elder...

by Staff reporter | 23 September 2019 | 2 Views

Beitbridge residents fundraise for lab, underprivileged - BEITBRIDGE r...

by Staff reporter | 23 September 2019 | 2 Views

It's the currency crisis, not Ecocash!

by Respect Gwenzi | 23 September 2019 | 3 Views

The new dispensation is following footsteps of the previous regime - I...

by Tapiwa Gomo | 23 September 2019 | 7 Views

Zanu-PF MP accused of conning villagers - A Zanu PF legislator has be...

by Staff reporter | 23 September 2019 | 6 Views

Declare Mnangagwa a terrorist

by Staff reporter | 23 September 2019 | 10 Views

Gwanda University takes shape - Parliamentarians have applauded progre...

by Staff reporter | 23 September 2019 | 5 Views

Mnangagwa told to smash crooked dealers - Concerned advisors of Presid...

by Staff reporter | 23 September 2019 | 10 Views

Killer Zivhu divides Zanu-PF

by Staff reporter | 23 September 2019 | 5 Views

Zimbabwe govt panicky reaction to Dr Magombeyi abduction raises more questions

by Tendai Ruben Mbofana | 23 September 2019 | 10 Views

Doctors defy Mnangagwa call to return to work - Zimbabwe Hospital Doct...

by Staff reporter | 23 September 2019 | 5 Views

Entertainment

'Majaivana is not my real father!'

by Staff Reporter | 22 September 2019 | 4363 Views

Janet Manyowa arrives ahead of Friends in Christ gospel extravaganza

by Tidi Kwidini | 19 September 2019 | 843 Views

Hip-hop top 10 spansers

by Staff Writer | 12 September 2019 | 996 Views

Victoria Falls cancels Babes Wodumo gig over xenophobia

by Mandla Ndlovu | 12 September 2019 | 1635 Views

Harare Wellness Festival a huge success

by Mandla Ndlovu | 09 September 2019 | 667 Views

BREAKING: Dr Malinga cancels Skyz Metro FM gig over xenophobia

by Mandla Ndlovu | 05 September 2019 | 1887 Views

Mlindo the Vocalist fears xenophobic attacks in Zimbabwe

by Mandla Ndlovu | 04 September 2019 | 7943 Views

Green dupes Bindura fans - AFRO FUSION musician Carlos Green aka "vaku...

by Simbarashe Sithole | 01 September 2019 | 831 Views
iBlog

Mobile Spy Software Maker Mspy Hacked

mspy, the makers of a software-as-a-service product that claims to help more than two million people spy on the mobile devices of their kids and partners, to have been massively hacked. a public relations pitch from mspy to krebsonsecurity in march ... Read More
SecNews 17 May 2015 ago

Five Reliable Outlook Pst File Repair Tools

Outlook pst files can become corrupted -- and when that happens, work grinds to a halt. if your organization relies on outlook, one of these tools could save the day. outlook is the industry standard groupware tool. let's take a look at five that can... Read More
ITnews 04 May 2015 ago