For most of the villagers along Mozambique's Lake Malawi foreshore, life is leisurely and peaceful, but occasionally sudden military activity along the lake serves as a reminder that bitter fighting has been raging in the nearby bush-country for more than six years.
SV Villagers by lakeside (3 shots)
SV Portuguese marines at gun position
GV PAN Troops unload supplies from ship (3 shots)
SV Gunboat at anchor
GV Dinghies arrive to evacuate marines from Cobue (4 shots)
SV Marines on board dinghy
GV Gunboats in harbour at Metangula Naval Base
SV Marines disembarking
SV Malawi patrol boats at dockside
NOTE TO EDITORS: Production 9916/70 PORTUGUESE TROOPS IN ANTI-GUERRILLA OPERATIONS, ALSO REFERS
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Background: For most of the villagers along Mozambique's Lake Malawi foreshore, life is leisurely and peaceful, but occasionally sudden military activity along the lake serves as a reminder that bitter fighting has been raging in the nearby bush-country for more than six years.
Lake Malawi, formerly Lake Nyasa, is bordered by Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania. On the Portuguese-ruled area of its Eastern shore, most of the people made a living from fishing, though the pattern of life is expected to change considerably if the giant Cabora-Bassa power and irrigation project is completed in the lake's hinterland. The project - the biggest of its kind in Africa - is under attack from independent African nations but is scheduled to be finished by the end of this decade.
An earlier interruption to the quiet tempo of life on the lakeside occurred in 1964 when guerrillas seeking to overthrow the Portuguese Government attacked the little port of Cabue. Since then parts of the Lake bordering on Tanzania and Zambia have been the scene of continuous fighting.
After recent offensives the Portuguese claim to have driven most of the infiltrators back across the borders. But the fight is by no means over and earlier this month the Portuguese had to mount an amphibious operation near Cabue. Portuguese marines were brought in ships from Metangula Naval Base to Cabue and then sent on patrol into the bush. The infiltrators did not risk a confrontation and the marines were soon withdrawn down the lake.
The Malawi Government maintains patrol boats on the lake and some of these recently put into Portuguese ports for minor repairs. Unlike other independent African countries, Malawi recognises Mozambique and relies on the Portuguese for access to the sea. Three months ago it opened a new railway linking Malawi with the Northern Mozambique port of Nacala on the Indian Ocean. Previously it had access to the sea only through Beira.