Frelimo was byname of the Mozambique Liberation Front and formed in 1962, but was initially faced with internal strife and leadership problems. A successful guerrilla war against the Portuguese was waged from 1964-1974. Frelimo got support from the USSR, Algeria, Egypt, Zaire (the Democratic Republic of Congo) and Israel.
The Portuguese Armed Forces started a coup in Portugal in 1974. The coup was bloodless, but managed to end the dictatorship in Portugal and institute democracy. General Antonio Spinola became the 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, who began a gradual process of colonisation and settlement in 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, although it still faces deployment and use of soldiers in situations other than war.
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 and 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 like; the technology for smelting iron. The towns of 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 Kingdom of Mutapa provided the coveted gold and ivory, which were then exchanged up the coast to larger port cities like Kilwa and Mombasa.
The only official language of Mozambique is Portuguese, 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 of around million is composed overwhelmingly of Bantu people. The largest religion in Mozambique is Christianity, with significant minorities following Islam and African traditional religions. Although, within Mozambique there was slavery! Human beings were bought and sold by African tribal chiefs, first to Arab Muslim traders and sent to Middle East Asia cities and plantations, and later to Portuguese and other European traders as well. Many Mozambican slaves were supplied by tribal chiefs who raided warring tribes, who sold their captives to; Portuguese land owners.
The country was named Moçambique by the Portuguese, after the Island of Mozambique. The capital and largest city of Mozambique 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.