This unit is about the liberation wars that took place in different countries like Uganda, Korea, Vietnam among others.


These were wars meant to liberate Africans from colonialism and oppression.


Angola is found in the South-Western region of Africa. It was colonized by the Portuguese whose rule was characterized by exploitation and oppression.

By 1960 the Angolans had started agitating for their independence from the Portuguese.

The liberation war in Angola was championed by 3 major liberation movements namely;

  1. National Front for the Liberation of Angola (FNLA)
  2. National Union for the total Independence of Angola (UNITA)
  3. People`s movement for the Liberation of Angola. (M.P.L.A)


  • The Angolans were discontented with the way the Portuguese were grabbing their land and giving it to the white settlers.
  • Portuguese also pursued the policy of economic exploitation by which mineral resources were exploited for the benefit of Portugal while Angola remained poor.
  • The Angolans were also subjected to forced labor under the contract system whereby the contract laborers were given low wages yet subjected to hard work.
  • The heavy taxation imposed by the Portuguese to the Africans led to the war. The benefits resulting from taxation were not used for the development of Angola.
  • The war also broke out because of the brutal administrative system of the Portuguese. Many Angolans were publically flogged and humiliated because of minor offenses.
  • Angolans were also discontented because they were denied education except for the few “assimillados” who were colonial agents.
  • Angolans wanted to get their freedom i.e. they wanted to regain their political independence.
  • Despite the systematic exploitation of the Angolan economy, the Portuguese did nothing to develop Angola. They didn’t even invest in Angola.
  • In many instances, the Portuguese administrators rapped African women and molested their husbands. This was a source of discontent which provoked the war.
  • The role of the intellectuals can’t be ignored. They inspired the peasants by making them aware of their problems and inciting them to go against the Portuguese.
  • The Africans were also provoked by the Portuguese policy of imprisonment without trial. Many Africans who were a potential problem were arrested and detained under horrible conditions in the Portuguese cells.
  • Many Angolans were also killed innocently by the Portuguese in 1961 about 20,000 Angolans were killed in the Bakongo region by the Portuguese bombs following an uprising there.
  • The farmers in Angola were discontented by the low prices for their crops i.e. the Malange uprising (Maria`s war of 1961) was due to the poor prices for coffee.
  • The war was also brought about because the Portuguese had failed to set up social infrastructure like schools, hospitals, recreation centers etc.


  • The Angolan war of 1967-1974 had a lot of effects on the people of Angola.
  • Angola got her independence from the Portuguese after a long struggle in 1975.
  • The prolonged war led to loss of lives because the Portuguese resorted to the scorched earth policy which claimed lives to many Africans.
  • The same policy led to the destruction of property i.e. villages, houses, crops were destroyed.
  • The people who were detained under the Portuguese administration were unconditionally released.
  • The M.P.L.A thereafter embarked on the economic recovery programs leading to general economic development.
  • Social infrastructure like roads and other social amenities like hospitals and schools were set up and children were encouraged to go to school.
  • The heavy taxes which were formerly imposed by Portuguese were scrapped and Angolans were given only taxes that they would afford to pay.
  • Land which was grabbed by the Portuguese was redistributed to the Angolans.
  • The overthrow of the colonial administration led to the departure of many Portuguese who choose to go back home to Portugal.
  • Farmers were encouraged to increase production as they were given fair prices for their crops.
  • Because of the assistance, the MPLA got from the socialist countries the government in Angola adopted the socialist ideology.
  • There was however no total peace in Angola because UNITA rebels under Jonas Savimbi continued to fight until 1995 when it agreed to join MPLA to form a government of National Unity.
  • Anew government was set up in Angola under the leadership of Jose Edwardo Dos Santos.



Guinea Bissau is a West African country that was colonized by the Portuguese. Just like Angola the Portuguese inflicted much suffering to the people of Guinea Bissau.
The liberation struggle in Guinea Bissau was led by African independence party of Guinea (P.A.I.G).

P.A.I.G was founded by Amilcar Cabral in 1954. The major reasons for the outbreak of the war were;

The Portuguese were hated by Africans because the exploited the African farmers through the system of the price mechanism. The Africans were given very low prices for their agricultural produce.

The Guineans wanted to do away with the foreigners. They wanted to free themselves from the Portuguese colonial admin and regain their independence.

It also broke up because the people of Guinea Bissau wanted to restore their lost dignity, to regain the lost human rights and freedom.

The war also broke out because the Guineans were disgusted by the activities of the Portuguese secret police. They harassed and tortured innocent people without cause.

The Portuguese were also brutal and harsh. They indiscriminately killed many Guineans for example in 1958 when the African dockworkers went on strike, very many of them were killed at Pijiguiti.

The people of Guinea also rebelled against imprisonment without trial which was very common.

The Portuguese also pursued the policy of forced labor whereby the Guineans were forced to provide labor in their plantations and public works.

There was also too much insecurity in Guinea caused by constant wars. There was need to put an end to this.

The Portuguese ignored the development of health and educational facilities, many of them were illiterate and the Portuguese took no steps to fight them.

The high taxes levied on the people of Guinea led to the war. The benefits were not used for the development of guinea yet the methods of collection were harsh.

Portuguese also grabbed a lot of land from the people and gave it to the Portuguese settlers. The people of Guinea thus wanted to get back their land.

There was massive and general exploitation of Guinea`s mineral resources by the Portuguese.


  • The war led to an end to the longtime rule of the Portuguese in Guinea Bissau.
  • The war led to destruction of property like houses, crops, villages etc.
  • The military option pursued by PAIG and the scorched earth policy later adopted by the Portuguese led to loss of many lives.
  • When Guinea Bissau got her independence in 1973, the Africans enjoyed their natural rights and freedom.
  • The new government also set up infrastructure like roads etc. Social services like hospitals and schools were also set up.
  • Land which was grabbed by Portuguese was returned to the Africans.
  • Political detainees who had been arrested and detained by the Portuguese agents were unconditionally released.
  • Success of the P.A.I.G government ushered in a new era of peace and stability to many parts of Guinea.
  • The harsh and heavy taxes imposed on the Africans by the Portuguese were completely scrapped.
  • Farmers were encouraged to increase agricultural output and therefore better prices for their products.
  • Many Portuguese choose to return back to Portugal after the fall of their government in Guinea.
  • The economic development programmes later pursued by new government led to general economic prosperity.
  • The new government of P.A.I.G later followed the socialist ideology.



The 1979 Ugandan liberation war was led by spearheaded by the UNLF and its armed wing UNLA. It was aimed at toppling the government of Idi Amin Dada.
The UNLF was a coalition of about 22 groups formed in exile during the Moshi conference of March 1978. The major reasons for the war were the following.

The UNLF wanted to put an end to the fascist role of Idi Amin.

It took place because Amin was killing innocent Ugandans. By 1979 over 500,000 people had already been killed by Amin.

Amin was a tribalist. He used divisive politics by favoring his tribesmen at the expense of the other tribes.

The military agencies like Public Safety Unit (PSU) and the state research bureau were known for torturing innocent people using state organs.

Economically, the living standards of Ugandans had fallen drastically; there was a terrible shortage of essentials that prompted the growth of the black market as a result of the expulsion of Asians in 1972.

There was a high rate of inflation and it had become so difficult for people to buy what they wanted because of the continuous increase in prices.

During Amin`s regime industries collapsed because of the unskilled businessmen who were allowed to run industries after the expulsion of Asians.

The liberation also aimed at protecting the rights of the farmers who could not be paid for agricultural products like coffee, cotton etc.

The war was prompted by the fact that Amin had destroyed infrastructure due to poor management.

There was lack of security for property and lives.

The UNLF also waged war against Amin because of his poor foreign policies, his regime was hostile to the neighbors claiming territories in Kenya and Tanzania.

Ugandans who had gone into exile wanted to come back to their motherland.

The UNLF fought because they wanted to restore political freedom of human rights and the rule of law.

The military personnel often interfered with the duty of ordinary courts; at times civilians would be arrested and tried by military tribunals.

There was no freedom of speech, association, expression and press. In addition, he had declared himself life president. This left no chance for any person to rule apart from using force.

Imperialist countries supported the liberation cause. Amin had expelled foreigners some of whom had Ugandan citizenship.

Amin had denounced imperialism and working with their enemies especially Libya and Cuba.


  • Amin`s fascist rule was overthrown amidst wild jubilations and celebrations in Kampala.
  • After the fall of Kampala, the UNLF war resulted into the formation of the UNLF government and its military wind the UNLA.
  • The first UNLF government was sworn in under the Presidency of Professor Yusuf Kironde Lule.
  • After only 68 days in power Prof. Lule was removed and replaced by Godfrey Lukongwa Binaisa prominent Lawyer and former Attorney General.
  • The war brought to an end the 9yrs of Amin`s dictatorial regime.
  • Many lost their lives during the struggle.
  • A lot of property were also destroyed i.e. Masaka was almost raged to the ground.
  • The T.P.D.F stayed in Uganda for a period of 2yrs to restore sanity. During their stay, however, they were accused of violating human rights in Uganda.
  • Democracy was restored in Uganda and elections held on 10th Dec 1980 where Milton Obote came back after the removal of Binaisa and was Involved in a massive rigging of elections which forced Yoweri Museveni to the bush on 6th Feb 1981.
  • Security was restored in many parts of the country apart from Luwero triangle where there was a Guerilla war.
  • Press freedom was restored compared to what happened during the regime of Idi Amin.
  • Major industries and factories were rehabilitated leading to economic growth.
  • External trade increased and more items were imported into the country.
  • The war didn’t solve the problems of Uganda because after the 1980 general elections the UPM leaders went to the bush claiming unfairness in the elections.
  • On 27th Jan 1986, Museveni and NRM took over full control of the country and he was sworn in as the new president of Uganda.
  • Many people who were in exile returned back home.



Up to the time of the coup in Lisbon in 1974, Mozambique was ruled with an iron fist. In 1964 however war broke out against the Portuguese in Mozambique.

The war was led by FRELIMO (Fronte de liberate cad de Mozambiq) under the leadership of Edwardo Chivambi Mondlane. The liberation struggle was mainly prompted by the following factors;

The Portuguese economic policy of exploitation had transferred the Africans into a reserve for cheap labor especially for South African mines and plantations in Angola and Mozambique.

The Portuguese laborers worked under harsh conditions especially in the Highlands of Sao Tome which was greatly infested with mosquitoes.

Africans were exploited through the tax system where they were heavily taxed yet they were paid very low wages.

Africans in Mozambique were denied education and this was greatly rejected by the masses.

When the Portuguese took over Mozambique, Africans lost their political independence and the right to administer their own affairs. The Africans thus wanted to regain their independence.

More so, the Africans didn’t have the right to criticize the Portuguese system of admin or point out the evil and unfair treatment of the Africans.

There was no press freedom the freedom of the press was suppressed by the colonialists.

During the colonial era, the Portuguese rule was brutal inhuman and oppressive. They used their police system to persecute innocent civilians.

The Portuguese also on many occasions used excessive force in crushing strikes and demonstrations often leading to the unnecessary death of Africans.

The war was also inspired by the fact that Africans had no right to political association nor to form trade unions thus greatly sidelined the Africans.

The Portuguese also created “rehabilitation centers” and “labor Camps” where many Mozambiquans languished and were tortured as punishment for minor offenses.

The worst crime committed by the Portuguese and which prompted the war was that they were greatly exploiting the African resources without developing the country.

The Africans also wagged the war because of the Portuguese as a dumping ground for their cotton textiles, refined sugar, wines and spirits.

Many Africans in Mozambique had also lost land to the Portuguese who had come to settle in Mozambique in big numbers.

Africans also rejected the Portuguese policy of forceful production of cash crops, they forced Africans to grow crops which they needed to feed their industries back home.

The Portuguese rule was also full of corruption.

On top of the poor administrative policy of the Portuguese, there was also much detention without trials, torture and suffering in their cells was the order of the day.

The Africans were opposed to the construction of Cabora Bossa dam which was meant to facilitate transportation of African goods to Europe.


  • The war brought to an end to the many centuries of the Portuguese exploitative rule in Mozambique. She got her independence in 1975 with Samora Machel as president.
  • FRELIMO ushered in a new era of democracy in Mozambique.
  • The heavy and numerous taxes formerly levied by the Portuguese were scrapped.
  • Land which had been grabbed by the Portuguese was redistributed. Land reform policy was put in place to allow the locals access to land.
  • FRELIMO admin set up a new pro-people admin that invited the participation of the people in the government.
  • There was a series of post-war reforms like the setting up of infrastructure for the development of the country.
  • Hospitals, dispensaries and health centers were set up to render medical services to the people.
  • FRELIMO government opened up schools, adult literacy was carried out as a way of inculcating socialist values.
  • Political prisoners were released from jail.
  • The war was also destructive in the sense that many people lost their lives.
  • Destruction of property worth billions of dollars as the Portuguese adopted the scorch earth policy.
  • Many areas of Mozambique enjoyed relative peace and stability.
  • However the war didn’t usher in total peace because RENAMO again went to the bush to fight the government of FRELIMO.
  • Many Portuguese left Mozambique to go back to their home land Portugal.
  • People of Mozambique adopted the socialist ideology.
  • Agriculture was encouraged through co-operatives, people were free to produce basic food crops and collective farming was emphasized.
  • FRELIMO fell into a crisis of skilled labour to run factories, hospitals, H.E plants etc. that the whites left.



Korea is found in North-Eastern parts of Asia close to Japan and China. It was occupied by the Japanese in 1910 and for over 35yrs it existed under the alien rule. There were various movements for the liberation of Korea i.e.

The Samil independence movement formed in 1919.

The Heungsaden formed in 1913.

The Tonjiwhoe formed in 1914.

Bumindan formed in 1912.

Despite their good intentions they however did not succeed and it was until 1945 that the allied forces of Britain, USA, Russia and France forced the Japanese out of Korea.


  • The Koreans wanted to regain their lost independence which they lost as a result of the imposition of colonial rule.
  • The Koreans felt that there was need to fight in order to preserve and restore their national pride and dignity.
  • The administration of Japanese was harsh and militaristic. The Koreans wanted to put an end to this.
  • The Japanese also committed a lot of atrocities against the people of Korea i.e. in 1919 about 7,500 Koreans were massacred during the anti-Japanese demonstration.
  • The Koreans also fought because the Japanese deliberately wanted to extinct Korean cultures. This was evident by the fact that many Koreans religious and cultural leader were either exiled or killed.
  • The war was also inspired by the heavy taxes which were imposed on the Koreans , even the method of collecting there was brutal.
  • There was also a high cost of living with ever increasing inflation.
  • The Koreans were also deliberately made poor by the Japanese administration. There was mass poverty and malnutrition, rice which used to be the staple food was excessively exported to Japan.
  • The Japanese grabbed all the fertile lands from the Koreans. They needed land to set up their plantations.
  • The Koreans also rejected the Japanese forceful policy of assimilation. They were forced to abandon their language and were replaced by the Japanese language.
  • There was also forced constriction into the army. The situation even worsened during the World War II when Japan was fighting the allied forces of France, Britain, Russia and USA.
  • Many Koreans were also forced to provide labour on the Japanese plantations, admin, buildings etc.
  • The Koreans were also denied education in their own land. The Japanese therefore did nothing to set up schools.
  • They were also against the lack of social services and social infrastructure in Korea.


  • The Koreans gained their liberty from the Japanese colonialism i.e. Korea became independent in 1945 after World War II.
  • The struggle led to loss of lives of the people.
  • Property worth millions was destroyed during the war
  • After the defeat of the Japanese by the allied forces in 1945, Korea was split into 2 i.e. North and South Korea.
  • The division of the country into 2 eventually led to animosity between the two Koreans.
  • North Korea followed communism/ socialism while South Korea followed Capitalism.
  • The division led to increased influence of the superpowers in Korea for example Russian influence increased in North Korea, while American influence increased in South Korea.
  • The war also brought increased development in the 2 Koreans i.e. hospitals were built, schools were set up and roads and railways constructed.
  • There was also agricultural reform leading to increased agricultural production and famine which was a problem ended.
  • When Korea became independent, many political prisoners were released.
  • There was improved security as law and order was restored.
  • Increased development also led to a reduction in the rate of inflation.
  • Having organized elections in North Korea in 1948, which left Kim-il-Sung in central. Russia left North Korea.
  • In the same year Americans left after organisation elections in South Korea with Syngman Rhee elected president.



Before independence Vietnam was ruled by the Japanese and later French. It used to be referred to Indo-China.

The French occupied Vietnam in the 19th century and it denied the Vietnamese political participation in the affairs of its nation.

After World War II (1945) the Vietnamese organized themselves under the leadership of Ho-Chi-Minh and they started fighting the French imperialism.

This found the French men to retreat southwards where they formed a puppet government under the leadership of NGO-DIN-DIEM and this constituted Southern Vietnam.

When the French were defeated, Vietnam was divided into North and South Vietnam by the Geneva agreement of 1954.

North Vietnam was ruled by Ho-Chi-Minh while South Vietnam was ruled by Ngo-Din-Diem.

It was spear headed by an opposition group called the National Liberation Front and a guerilla force called Vetiong under the leadership of Ho-Chi-Minh.

The war took place because the Vietnamese rejected American Imperialism.

The Vietnamese also rejected Ngo-Din-Diem`s corrupt government in the South.

The people in the North wanted to extend communism to the South yet those in the South were under a strong influence of capitalism and America.

The Vietnamese were also encouraged by the defeat of the Japanese and the French in the previous years.

The 1964 direct attack on North Vietnam by the Americans using air craft led to the war.

The resolution by Ho-CHI-MINH was therefore the removal from Vietnam soil of American parasites.

The Vietnam War was aimed at creating national unity between the North and the South.

The people of Vietnam were encouraged and supported by Russia and China to fight Americans.

The war was also caused by the desire of Vietong to be recognized as a genuine representative of the people of Vietnam.


  • The war led to loss of lives i.e. over 60,000 Americans died in the jungles of South East Asia and about 2 million Vietnam died.
  • The war led to an extensive environmental damage with 18yrs of various fighting with the use of sophiscated weapons.
  • Communist ideas infiltrated rapidly into South in Vietnam.
  • The liberation war led to the rise of Vietiong guerilla in the South.
  • Vietnam got rid of Japanese French and American domination i.e. they got independence.
  • The war led to displacement of many people i.e. there was a steady flow of refugees from Vietnam to neighbouring countries like Singapore, Mali, Indonesia, Hong Kong etc.
  • The US spent billions of dollars in the war.
  • Americans and their allies lost credit in world affairs, it was the first foreign war in which americans were defeated and they remained with bitter memories.
  • The government of London Baines Johnson of the president of America became very unpopular to the blink of collapse.
  • The war led to economic crisis like inflation, unemployment, poverty etc in Vietnam
  • There was destruction of property as the 18yrs of war.
  • The war further strengthened the cold war between USA and Russia.
  • Many people i.e. approximately ½ a million Vietnamese were wounded and disabled.
  • The war led to the unification of Vietnam in april 1975. It was headed by a communist leader by the names of Ho-Chi-Minh.


ASSIGNMENT : LIBERATION WARS assignment MARKS : 10  DURATION : 1 week, 3 days

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