The Northern Mozambique plateau has been a contested land and stage for countless years of untold episodes of conflict for its dominance.
Shortly after the 1890 Berlin Conference that decided the partition of Africa, most European nations claimed their stake on the Continent, sketching a map for the boundaries of their new possessions based on geographic features, that ignored ethnic groups or cultural ties of the local populations.
Overwhelmed by powerful nation’s interests, Portugal, the earliest discoverer and colonizer of the African continent, had to accept the blueprint of the partition.
The effort to secure sovereignty within the recently demarcated borders in Northern Mozambique led to a military campaign that distinguished Neutel de Abreu, as one of the fearless Portuguese army officers of his time.
The year was 1900 and the challenge was huge and stakes high.
The assignment was to pacify the constantly quarreling tribal clans and mobilize them to fight a common enemy, in those times the coastal Islamic sultanates.
Neutel de Abreu achieved the mission with great success establishing a long alliance with Mukapera, one of the most powerful traditional chiefs of the North of Mozambique.
The undeniable truth is that the trustworthy Neutel de Abreu-Mukapera coalition, which included fighting the German troops, in the Tanganyika Rovuma river border, during the First World War, laid the foundation for an unprecedented period of peace and development to the territories of then Nampula Province.
Northern Mozambique was also the origin of the uprising against Portuguese rule, but the peace after independence was short-lived, depriving the North of an opportunity to regain past fortunes.
Renewed sound of weapons was the result of the devastating consequences of economic and social neglect by a government that was thousands of kilometers away.
According to a recent report of the daily newspaper “The New York Times “, US Green Berets have been in Northern Mozambique training local armed forces, since an undisclosed time.
After enduring a history of colonial and civil wars, Northern Mozambique is again contested land, moving towards a Yemen-like proxy confrontation of global dimension with possible more dreadful consequences.