Somalia was one of the few key countries that internationally lobbied heavily for Mozambique’s self-determination and definitive end to the 470 years of Portuguese colonial rule. In 1975, when Mozambique was granted independence and the Portuguese flag was lowered for the final time, the only head of state that was in attendance at Mozambique’s independence celebration was Somalia’s president representing Somalia and the OAU (on the right). Other delegates were a sundry of representatives from China, the Soviet Union and the UN. Even Portugal — its former coloniser and a major trading partner — sent a mere representative.
The Mozambican freedom fighter, revolutionary leader and head of the liberation movement FRELIMO, Samora Machel, became the founding father and the country’s first president. Long before they succeeded in taking the reins of Mozambique, Machel and several high-ranking members of the FRELIMO liberation movement visited Somalia on a number of occasions and on each occasion they were accorded a state visit. Samora Machel was killed in a tragic plane crash in 1986.