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Armed Forces for the Defence of Mozambique - FADM
Forças Armadas de Defesa de Moçambique
Mozambique army personnel.jpg
Members of the Mozambique armed forces
Current form mid August 1994
Service branches Army, Naval Command, Air and Air Defence Forces, Militia
Headquarters Ministry of National Defence, Avenida Martires de Mueda, Maputo[1]
President Armando Emilio Guebuza
National Defence Minister Filipe Nyussi
Chief of Armed Forces for the Defence of Mozambique - FADM General Graca Chongo[1]
Military age 18
Active personnel 11,200[2]
Budget $117 million (2008 est.)
Percent of GDP 2.5% (2008 est.)
Related articles
History Mozambican War of Independence
Mozambican Civil War
Angolan Civil War

The Armed Forces for the Defence of Mozambique (Portuguese: Forças Armadas de Defesa de Moçambique)or FADM were formed in mid August 1994 from the previous warring factions of the Mozambique Civil War, which ended in 1992. The new armed forces were formed through a commission, the Comissão Conjunta para a Formação das Forças Armadas de Defesa e Segurança de Moçambique (CCFADM), chaired by the Organization of the United Nations to Mozambique ONUMOZ.[3] The new armed forces were formed by integrating those soldiers of the former Popular Forces for the Liberation of Mozambique (FPLM) and the rebels Mozambican National Resistance RENAMO who wished to stay in uniform.[citation needed] Two Generals were point to lead the new forces one from FRELIMO Lieutenant General Lagos Lidimo who was named Chief of the Defence Force and Major General Mateus Ngonhamo from RENAMO as Vice-Chief of the Defence Force. The former Chief of the Army (FPLM) Lieutenant General Antonio Hama Thai was retired.[citation needed]

On 20 March 2008, Reuters reported that President Guebuza had dismissed the Chief and Vice Chief of the Defence Force, Lieutenant General Lagos Lidimo (FRELIMO) and Lieutenant General Mateus Ngonhamo (RENAMO), replacing them with Brigadier General Paulino Macaringue as Chief of Defence Force and Major-general Olímpio Cambora as Vice-Chief of Defence Force.[4]

The first three infantry battalions were stationed at Chokwe, Cuamba, and Quelimane.[5]

In April 2010 it was announced that "the People's Republic of China donated to the FADM material for agriculture worth 4 million euros, including trucks, tractors, agricultural implements, mowers and motorbikes in the framework of bilateral cooperation in the military. Under a protocol of cooperation in the military field, the Government of China will also provide support to the Ministry of Defence of Mozambique with about 1 million euros for the areas of training and logistics. The protocol for granting aid to the Armed Forces for the Defence of Mozambique (FADM) was signed by Defense Minister of Mozambique, Filipe Nyusi, and the charge d'affaires of the Chinese embassy in Maputo, Lee Tongli."[6]

Mozambique has also been involved in many peacekeeping operations in Burundi (232 personnel),[7] Comoros, The Democratic Republic of Congo, East Timor and Sudan. They have also actively participated in joint military operations such Blue Hungwe in Zimbabwe in 1997 and Blue Crane in South Africa in 1999. All which are at attempt to build security and trust in the Southern African region.[citation needed]

Land Forces

The 2004 General Peace Agreement stipulated that the size of the army would be 24,000 (equally drawn from FAM and RENAMO), but due to lack of interest (pay and prospective terms of service were poor) that figure was never reached.

Information on the Mozambique Army's structure is scarce. The IISS estimates that it consists of a total force of 9-10,000, with 7 infantry battalions, 3 Special Forces battalions, 2-3 batteries of artillery, 2 battalions of engineers, and one logistics battalion.[2]

A Mozambique army officer during Exercise SHARED ACCORD 2010 with the United States

These equipment estimates are from the IISS Military Balance 2007. The serviceability of Mozambique's army equipment, is on a level of 10% or less.[8] As of November 2011, the IISS estimated that Mozambique's army personnel numbered 9,000-10,000.[9]

Air Force

The Mozambique Air Force (Forca Aérea De Moçambique - FAM) was part of the national army initially, and from 1985 to 1990 was known as the People's Liberation Air Force.

The FPLM roundel is based on the Flag of Mozambique.

Due to Mozambique's history, the air force has a history of using former Portuguese aircraft, ever since its setting-up after independence in 1975, supported by Cuba and the USSR. As such there was an inflow of Soviet-built aircraft to support the government in the civil war up to 1992. Following the ceasefire in that year the change in government policies towards Western-style economics meant that Cuban support for the Air Force dwindled and most of the aircraft have fallen into disrepair at the three main bases of Beira, Nacala and Nampula. The FAM is now effectively a token force, and the defence budget has been cut down to 1.5 of Mozambique's Gross National Product. The aircraft inventory is thus:[10]

The number of personnel in the Air Force are estimated at 4000.

Aircraft Type Versions In service Notes
Antonov An-12 light transport 2
Antonov An-26 light transport 8 1 stored
Antonov An-24 light transport
Shenyang F-5 Fighter Aircraft Shenyang F-5
Dornier Do 28 light transport 3
Mil Mi-8 transport and attack helicopter 2 an additional 10 are out of service
Mil Mi-24 transport and attack helicopter unknown
Cessna Skymaster two-seat light observation, liaison and basic training aircraft 2

Navy Equipment

  • PCI-class inshore patrol boat (3 ordered, non-operational)
  • Pebane (P-001) (ex-Spanish navy Dragonera (P-32) ( 85 tons, 32 meters ) transferred after refit 2012 from the Spanish Navy[11] for a symbolic price (100€).

There are about 2000 personnel in the navy. In September 2004 it was reported that the South African Navy was to donate two of its Namacurra class harbour patrol boat to the Mozambique Navy. The boats were refitted by the naval dockyard at Simon's Town and equipped with outboard motors and navigation equipment donated by the French Navy. The French Navy support vessel Marne was to deliver the boats to Maputo en route to its ALINDIEN operational area in the Indian Ocean after a refit in Cape Town.[12]

French shipyard CMN confirms major order by Mozambique including 6 Patrol Vessels & Interceptors[13]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Military Technology, World Defence Almanac, Vol. XXXII, Issue 1, 2008, p.323
  2. 2.0 2.1 IISS Military Balance 2007, p.284
  3. ‘Final Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Operation in Mozambique,’ S/1994/1449, 23 December 1994
  4. Reuters, Mozambique leader Guebuza sacks defence chiefs, 2008
  5. Richard Synge, Mozambique: UN Peacekeeping in Action, 1992-94, United States Institute of Peace Press, Washington DC, 1997, p.105
  7. Helmoed-Romer Heitman, 'Burundi mission at full strength,' Jane's Defence Weekly, 29 October 2003, 16.
  8. IISS Military Balance 2007, repeated in IISS Military Balance 2012, 445.
  9. IISS Military Balance 2012, 445.
  10. World Aircraft Information Files. Brightstar Publishing, London, File 340 Sheet 05
  11. "La Armada española transfiere el patrullero ‘Conejera’ a la Marina de Senegal". spanish navy web. 21 February 2012.;jsessionid=JTcdPGvZLTnS9LbcvpLlCSPBGpgHfxd2rBBQ3nXTp2QQxyQcZpX2!-1585499029?_selectedNodeID=732190&_pageAction=selectItem. Retrieved 22 February 2012. 
  12. Helmoed-Romer Heitman, 'SAN patrol boats gifted to Mozambique,' Jane's Defence Weekly, 1 September 2004, p.17

Further reading

  • Protocol on the Formation of the FADM, Rome 1992
  • Cameron R. Hume, Ending Mozambique's War: The Role of Mediation and Good Offices, U.S. Institute of Peace, Washington DC, 1994
  • Lundin, Irae B, Martinho Chachiua, Anthonio Gaspar, Habiba Guebuzua, and Guilherme Mbilana (2000). Reducing Costs through an Expensive Exercise: The Impact of Demobilization in Mozambique, in Kees Kingma (ed.) Demobilization in Sub-Saharan Africa: The Development and Security Impacts, Basingstoke, UK: MacMillan, 173-212
  • Anica Lala, Security and Democracy in Southern Africa: Mozambique, 2007
  • Martin Rupiya, 'Historical Context: War and Peace in Mozambique,' in Jeremy Armon, Dylan Henrickson and Alex Vines, eds, The Mozambican Peace Process in Perspective, London: Conciliation Resources Accord Series, 1998
  • Richard Synge, Mozambique: UN Peacekeeping in Action, 1992–94, United States Institute of Peace Press, Washington DC, 1997 - includes details on formation of FADM
  • Eric T. Young, The Development of the FADM in Mozambique: Internal and External Dynamics, African Security Review, Vol. 5, No. 1, 1996
  • [1]
  • Joao Porto, Mozambique contributes to the African Union Mission in Burundi, April 2003

External links

 This article incorporates public domain material from the CIA World Factbook document "2003 edition".

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