The Mozambique Liberation Front, (popularly known as Frelimo) and and formed in 1962. Frelimo waged a successful guerilla war against the Portuguese colonisers from 1964 to-1974. Frelimo received support from the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) Algeria, Egypt, Zaire ( Democratic Republic of Congo) and Israel.
The Portuguese Armed Forces staged a bloodless coup in Portugal in 1974, which ended the dictatorship in Portugal and instituted democracy in that country. General Antonio Spinola became Portugal's first president after democracy. The coup also meant freedom for overseas colonies.
With an Indian Ocean shoreline stretching more than 2000 km, from South Africa to Tanzania, Mozambique is not easy to miss on a map. But due to its troubles in the past, it was mostly overlooked in the greater scheme of African safaris. The voyage of Vasco da Gama in 1498 marked the arrival of the Portuguese, which resulted in their settlement by 1505. After over four centuries of Portuguese control and civil war, Mozambique gained independence in 1975, becoming the- 'People's Republic of Mozambique'. After only two years of independence, the country descended into an intense and protracted civil war lasting from 1977 to 1992.
In 1994, Mozambique held its first multiparty elections, and has since remained a relatively stable presidential republic.
Mozambique is a scenic country, endowed with rich and extensive natural resources. The country's economy is based largely on agriculture, but industry is growing, mainly food and beverages, chemical manufacturing, aluminium and petroleum production. The tourism sector is also expanding. South Africa is Mozambique's main trading partner and source of foreign direct investment, while Belgium, Brazil, Portugal and Spain are also among the country's most important economic partners, since 2001.
Between the 1st and 5th centuries AD, waves of Bantu-speaking people migrated from the west and north through the Zambezi River valley and then gradually into the plateau and coastal areas. They established agricultural communities or societies based on herding cattle. They brought with them; the technology for smelting iron. Mozambique traded with merchants from both the African interior and the broader, Indian Ocean world. Particularly important were the gold and ivory caravan routes. Inland states like the Kingdom of Zimbabwe and the Kingdom of Mutapa provided the coveted gold and ivory. These were then exchanged up the coast to larger port cities like Kilwa and Mombasa.
Portuguese is the only official language of Mozambique, which is spoken mostly as a second language by about half the population. Common native languages include Makhuwa, Sena, and Swahili. The country's population is composed overwhelmingly of Bantu people. The largest religion in Mozambique is Christianity, with significant minorities following Islam and African traditional religions. Human beings were bought and sold by African tribal chiefs, first to Arab Muslim traders and then sent to Middle East and various other Asian cities and plantations. Later they were also sold to Portuguese and other European traders. Many Mozambican slaves were supplied by tribal chiefs and sold their captives to; Portuguese land owners.
The country was named Mozambique by the Portuguese, after the Island of Mozambique. Mozambique's capital and largest city of is Maputo (formerly known as "Lourenço Marques"- from 1876 to 1976). The central regions of Mozambique, the provinces of Zambezia and Nampula, are the most populace, with almost 50% of the population. The southern regions, with the capital Maputo, are also fairly heavily populated. The far north of the country' is the least populated due to its remoteness and vast area.
Portugal Coup 1974, World of the wars website [online, accessed 17 June, 2009]