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Recommendations for Memories at Low Altitude
Book title: Memories at Low Altitude
Author: Jacinto Veloso
Imprint: Zebra Press
Type: War memoires
Publisher: Random House Struik
Cape Town, South Africa 2012
ISBN 9781770221505 / ISBN 978-1-77022-150-5
Softcover, 15x23 cm, 304 pages, several photos
A story of war and peace in Mozambique and beyond, Memories at Low Altitude spans four decades of southern African history, from the point of view of one of its main protagonists. Jacinto Veloso participated in the Mozambican liberation struggle and served in Samora Machel’s cabinet after independence, when the region was dominated by civil war and the conflict between East and West. Veloso’s story covers many fascinating issues of this period.
Among them: the conflict between FRELIMO and the South African-backed RENAMO; the negotiations that resulted in the Nkomati Accord, in which he was a key participant; the processes that resulted in the withdrawal of Cuban and South African troops from Angola and the independence of Namibia; the impact of post-independence Mozambique’s strictly socialist economy and its subsequent shift to a more market-orientated approach; and the aeroplane crash in which Samora Machel was killed. Velosa’s insights are particularly interesting given his role in the commission of inquiry into the crash.