Evo Fernandes

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Person.png Evo FernandesRdf-icon.png
Evo Fernandes.jpg
BornEvo Camões Fernandes
1944
Beira, Mozambique
DiedApril 1988 (Age 43)
Lisbon, Portugal
Member ofLe Cercle
Victim ofmurder
Le Cercle attendee, Murdered in unclear circumstances.

Background

Evo Camões Fernandes was born in Beira, Mozambique and as a young man was an associate of the right-wing industrialist Jorge Jardim.

Career

He was a former policeman and journalist (at Notícias da Beira). In the early 1980s he became spokesman for Remano (an anti-communist rebel group in Mozambique) in Lisbon in the early 1980s, followed around 1984 by the position of secretary general. There were unsuccessful peace talks between RENAMO, South Africa and the communist government of Mozambique in 1984.

"Mozambican rebels, in a statement issued here Friday, said they rejected suggestions by Western nations that they open peace talks with Marxist President Samora Machel. The Mozambique National Resistance (Renamo) said a peace agreement was impossible with Machel and his followers, but rebel leaders would consider talks with others in the ruling Mozambique Liberation Front who did not support the government's "repressive policies." The statement accused Machel of torturing, deporting and killing political opponents since the southern African nation gained independence from Portugal in 1975. It said the refusal to negotiate with Machel was made "in relation to several efforts by Western countries and organizations to bring about talks." The statement did not name any countries, but the Portuguese news agency ANOP said Renamo Secretary-General Evo Fernandes was asked about a report that Chester Crocker, U.S. assistant secretary of state for African affairs, had tried to arrange peace talks. It quoted Fernandes as saying the report was "on the right track." Anop said the basis for the proposed talks was a 10-year power-sharing agreement, but Renamo opposed any accord that would maintain Machel as president. Another news agency, Noticias de Portugal, quoted unidentified Renamo sources as saying the Vatican also had been involved in efforts to arrange peace talks. Machel created a one-party state when he gained power after the Portuguese withdrew, and the pro-Western rebels backed by white-ruled South Africa began their guerrilla war against the government. Machel's government calls the rebels armed bandits and accuses them of killing civilians. Two years ago, South Africa acted as an intermediary in talks between the two sides that were held in Pretoria, South Africa, but they broke down without any agreement being reached."[1]


"Maputo, 24th March. The former Lisbon spokesman for the MNR bandits, Paulo Oliveira, has said in Maputo that there is a clash of interests surrounding control over the bandits. He said that a Washington-Paris axis is trying to break the monopoly control exercised over the MNR by the South Africans and by the Pretoria-Bonn axis. . . He said that Artur Janeiro de Fonseca, the MNR's Foreign Relations Secretary, and Evo Fernandes, the former general secretary, have support in West Germany. The support for Fernandes, he added, comes from West Germany the number three in this institution, whom he just named as Wolfgang, saying that he was the godfather of one of Fernandes' children. [sentence as received] Another important link with West Germany is through advisers to Chancellor Helmut Kohl, he added. As for support from the United States, Oliveira said that this came from private right-wing institutions such as the Heritage Foundation and Free the Eagle, and from individuals such as Tom Schaaf, who appeared in Washington in 1985 as an MNR representative. . . Oliveira said that Schaaf has links with North Carolina Republican Senator Jesse Helms, well known for his anti-Mozambican positions. As for Paris, oliveira said that a journalist from the French paper Le Figaro had recently been inside Mozambique with the MNR. He had taken a request from the MNR's Supreme Commander, Afonso Dhlakama, to contact President Mitterrand's advisers on African Affairs, and also advisers to French Prime Minister Jacques Chirac. All this, Oliveira said, reflects attempts from the United States to have a word to say over the control of Renamo. Up to now this has been blocked by the South Africans, who have a virtual monopoly of control. It is becoming increasingly difficult for the Americans to take control, but they try to keep themselves informed, and aware of what is going on.... Oliveira said that material support from the United States for the MNR is of a non-lethal nature, including boots, communication equipment, medicines, Bibles, and other books. (AIM/PANA in English 1655 gmt 24 Mar)" [2]

Murder

"He was killed in controversial circumstances in Lisbon in 1988".[3]

On March 18, 1989, Xinhua General Overseas News Service reported that "the Portuguese government declared Friday that a third secretary at the Mozambican embassy, Rafael Custodio Marques, was "persona non grata," and ordered him to leave the country within 24 hours. Custodio Marques was allegedly a planner and participant of the assassination of a Mozambican anti-government renamo rebels leader, Evo Fernandes, near Lisbon in April, 1988."

In July 1989 Alexandre Chagas was convicted of his murder in a Portuguese court, and sentenced to a gaol term of eighteen years. In his book on Renamo, Alex Vines proposes, following evidence in Portuguese police files, that an attempt had been made to persuade Fernandes to defect to Maputo. When he refused, he was killed to avoid the possibility of a damaging scandal (Renamo: "terrorism" in Mozambique [London: James Currey, 1991], p.38).

Deep political connections

He attended Le Cercle.

1944|April 1988| 

Event Participated in

EventStartEndDescription
Le Cercle/1984 (Capetown)12 January 198415 January 1984Stellenbosch, Capetown, South Africa


References

  1. April 4, 1986, Associated Press, 'Mozambican Rebels Reject Peace Talks With Marxist President'
  2. March 26, 1988, BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, 'Mozambique in brief':
  3. http://www.mozambiquehistory.net/fernandes.php