MAPUTO: Mozambique’s prominent rebel leader, Afonso Dhlakama, known for mixing guerilla warfare with opposition politics, has died aged 65, according to party Renamo sources.


Dhlakama reportedly passed away after an unconfirmed heart attack and local media has also been reporting his death.

For 39 years, Dhlakama led Renamo, the rebel group which fought a 16-year war against the ruling Frelimo party in a civil war which ravaged Mozambique.

Dhlakama was believed to have gone in hiding in the remote Gorongosa mountains since 2013.

Renamo was formed in Harare-Salisbury with the support of Ian Smith’s Rhodesian government in order to destabilise the Frelimo government, which supported Zimbabwe liberation fighters.

Following Zimbabwe’s independence in 1980, Renamo rebels and bandits formed alliances with South Africa’s apartheid regime, which supplied it with arms.