Dhlakama, Afonso Marceta Macacho

Dhlakama, Afonso Marceta Macacho, 1953–2018, Mozambican rebel leader and opposition figure. Conscripted into the Portuguese colonial army, he soon deserted and fought briefly with the Marxist Mozambique Liberation Front (Frelimo), which took power (1975) after the country's independence. Defecting from Frelimo, he joined the anti-Communist Mozambique National Resistance Movement (Renamo) and in 1979 became its leader. Under Dhlakama, Renamo grew to include some 20,000 fighters, many of them child soldiers; it was accused of extreme brutality during the long Mozambican civil war (1977–92), when Renamo was backed by white-ruled Rhodesia (until 1980) and South Africa. After Dhlakama signed a peace accord (1992), Renamo became a political party. Dhlakama ran unsuccessfully for president in several subseqeunt elections. In 2013, after Dhlakama had relocated (2012) to a former Renamo base, he began a new Renamo insurgency. A truce in 2016 that was extended indefinitely led in 2017 to talks between Dhlakama and the government.

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