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SAMORA MACHEL 100 GREATEST AFRICANS
Samora Machel (September 29, 1933 - October 19, 1986) was a prominent leader of FRELIMO and president of Mozambique.
1962 Machel joined left-wing FRELIMO guerilla movement and received military training. He became leader of FRELIMO on 1968. On 1969 he became its president.
Machel had to face economical troubles and side effects of the Rhodesian civil war. Mozambique was economically dependent of South Africa with its hostile Apartheid government and had to fight Renamo guerilla movement they supported. Soviet economic aid was sporadic. At the same time he supported African National Congress and allowed South African and Rhodesian rebels train in Mozambique. He remained a popular ruler.
On October 19, 1986 Machel was on his way back from an international meeting in Lusaka in Tupolev 134 plane when the plane crashed into the hillside in the Lebombo Mountains. 10 people survived but Machel and 33 others died, some of them members of his government. The accident was attributed to the error of Russian pilot but there has been speculation of complicity of South African security forces and that the plane had been intentionally diverted by a false navigational beacon signal.
Machel's successor was Joaquim Chissano.
His widow, Graça Machel, would later marry Nelson Mandela.
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