" Hunger as a Weapon," Africa Research Bulletin (Economic Series) V. 24, N. 2, March 31, 1987.

The Main Point

The article briefly describes the effects of the Mozambique National Resistance's (MNR's) efforts to prevent the exchange of goods and supplies within Zambezia and other areas of Mozambique threatened by the rebels.


The MNR added to the emergency situation in Mozambique by burning grain stocks, ambushing relief efforts and trying to prevent the country from receiving assistance from organizations such as the Red Cross and Agricom, an agricultural marketing board that helps organize trade between the farmers and the towns and markets where their goods are sold.


Zambezia is a province in Mozambique that was home to 850,000 of the estimated 3.5 million at risk in the country.  Even if the resources were available to provide aid to these 850,000 starving and homeless people the MNR kept more than half of them out of reach of humanitarian aid. In December 1986 an estimated 391,000 people could be reached and this number was rising due to the progress made by the Mozambican army.

A Desperate Situation

The people Zambezia and Mozambique needed more than to be provided with food. Millions of people were homeless and destitute because they had everything taken away from them or they chose to leave everything behind in an effort to escape the MNR. Unfortunately the rebels were more than successful at promoting and prolonging the desperate situation of the Mozambicans.


Summary by Mary Johnson