Mueda

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Mueda
Mueda Town Square, site of the 1960 massacre
Mueda Town Square, site of the 1960 massacre
Mueda is located in Mozambique
Mueda
Mueda
Coordinates: 11°38′S 39°37′E / 11.633°S 39.617°E / -11.633; 39.617Coordinates: 11°38′S 39°37′E / 11.633°S 39.617°E / -11.633; 39.617
Country  Mozambique
Provinces Cabo Delgado Province
District Mueda District
Elevation 249 m (820 ft)

Mueda is the largest town of the Makonde Plateau in northeastern Mozambique. It is the capital of the Mueda District in Cabo Delgado Province. It is the center of the culture of the Makondes, and the production of their ebony sculptures.[1]

Geography[edit]

Mueda is located on the upland Mueda Plateau, which has a more temperate climate than the coast, but where, because of the permeable sandy soil, water infiltrates to a great depth, making it difficult to supply drinking water.[2] In about 1970, Portugal, the ruling authority of Mozambique at the time, built a system to supply drinkable water, under the direction of the engineer Canhoto. In the 1980s, after the independence of Mozambique from Portugal, the system was rebuilt by the Mozambican government, with the assistance of UNICEF and Swiss co-operation.[3]

Climate[edit]

Climate data for Mueda
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 28
(82)
28
(82)
27
(81)
26
(79)
26
(78)
24
(76)
24
(76)
25
(77)
27
(80)
28
(83)
29
(85)
29
(84)
26.8
(80.3)
Average low °C (°F) 18
(65)
19
(66)
18
(65)
17
(63)
16
(61)
14
(57)
13
(56)
13
(56)
14
(58)
16
(61)
17
(63)
18
(64)
16.1
(61.3)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 269
(10.6)
218
(8.6)
234
(9.2)
124
(4.9)
23
(0.9)
5
(0.2)
0
(0)
3
(0.1)
3
(0.1)
5
(0.2)
41
(1.6)
175
(6.9)
1,100
(43.3)
Source: Weatherbase [4]

History[edit]

Mueda was founded around a Portuguese colonial army barracks.[1]

Massacre of Mueda[edit]

On 16 June 1960, Makonde nationalists organized a demonstration in front of the Mueda District headquarters on the Mueda town square in order to demand independence from Portugal. Apparently the district administrator had invited them to present their grievances.[5] The administrator ordered the leaders arrested, and the crowd protested.[6] The Portuguese administrator ordered his pre-assembled troops to fire on the crowd,[7] after which many more were thrown to their death into a ravine.[1] The number of dead is in dispute.[8] However, resentment generated by these events ultimately led to the independentist guerrilla organization FRELIMO gaining needed momentum at the outset of the Mozambican War of Independence (1964–1975).[6][7] The site of the massacre is marked by a commemorative statue.[1]

War for independence[edit]

The Makonde were strong supporters of FRELIMO. In fact, the Makonde African National Union (MANU - later Mozambique African National Union) was one of the three founding organizations of FRELIMO.[6][9] Mueda was also the site of Portuguese operations against FRELIMO. In 1967, in one of its first major military actions, FRELIMO launched an abortive attack against the airbase there,[10] although the base was seriously damaged.[11] In May 1970, General Arriaga began Operation Gordian Knot, headquartered out of Mueda. By the end of the operation, he claimed to have eliminated over seventy FRELIMO bases.[12] However, other than loss of equipment and supplies, the operation did not affect FRELIMO's ability to infiltrate additional arms from Tanzania, and did not substantially affect their ability to wage war.[13] In a later attack, in 1972, against the Mueda airbase, all nineteen airplanes were destroyed.[14]

Images from Mueda[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Fitzpatrick, Mary (2007) Mozambique Lonely Planet, Footscray, Victoria, Australia, page 162, ISBN 978-1-74059-188-1
  2. ^ West, Harry G. (2001) Sorcery of Construction and Socialist Modernization: Ways of Understanding Power in Postcolonial Mozambique American Ethnologist 28(1): pp. 119-150, page 123
  3. ^ Cairncross, S. and Cliff, J. (1987) "Water use and health in Mueda, Mozambique" Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 81: pp. 51-54
  4. ^ "Weatherbase: Historical Weather for Mueda, Mozambique". Weatherbase. 2011.  Retrieved on November 24, 2011.
  5. ^ This invitation was later disputed by the Portuguese authorities. Azevedo, Mario (1991) "Mueda" Historical Dictionary of Mozambique Scarecrow Press, Metuchen, New Jersey, page 92, ISBN 0-8108-2413-2
  6. ^ a b c West, Harry G. (2003) ""Who Rules Us Now?" Identity Tokens, Sorcery, and Other Metaphors in the 1994 Mozambican Elections" pp. 92-124 In West, Harry G. (editor) (2003) Transparency and Conspiracy: Ethnographies of suspicion in the new world order Duke University Press, Durham, North Carolina, page 103, ISBN 0-8223-3036-9
  7. ^ a b Newitt, Malyn D. D. (1995) A History of Mozambique Indiana University Press, Bloomington, Indiana, page 521, ISBN 0-253-34006-3
  8. ^ The number of casualties is disputed. Nationalists suggested that as many a six hundred were killed, while Portuguese accounts sometimes place the number of casualties in the single digits. West, Harry G. (2003) ""Who Rules Us Now?" Identity Tokens, Sorcery, and Other Metaphors in the 1994 Mozambican Elections" pp. 92-124 In West, Harry G. (editor) (2003) Transparency and Conspiracy: Ethnographies of suspicion in the new world order Duke University Press, Durham, North Carolina, page 120, note 31, ISBN 0-8223-3036-9
  9. ^ Azevedo, Mario (1991) "Frente de Libertação de Moçambique" Historical Dictionary of Mozambique Scarecrow Press, Metuchen, New Jersey, page 65, ISBN 0-8108-2413-2
  10. ^ Newitt, Malyn D. D. (1995) A History of Mozambique Indiana University Press, Bloomington, Indiana, page 525, ISBN 0-253-34006-3
  11. ^ Mazrui, Ali Al'Amin and Tidy, Michael (1984) Nationalism and new states in Africa from about 1935 to the present Heinemann, Nairobi, page 141, ISBN 0-435-94145-3
  12. ^ Newitt, Malyn D. D. (1995) A History of Mozambique Indiana University Press, Bloomington, Indiana, page 531, ISBN 0-253-34006-3
  13. ^ Schneidman, Witney Wright (2003) Engaging Africa: Washington and the fall of Portugal's colonial empire University Press of America, Lanham, Maryland, page 126, ISBN 0-7618-2812-5
  14. ^ Mazrui, Ali Al'Amin and Tidy, Michael (1984) Nationalism and new states in Africa from about 1935 to the present Heinemann, Nairobi, page 143, ISBN 0-435-94145-3