Bush War: Assembly Points
During the Lancaster House Conference, one of the agreements was to create assembly points throughout Rhodesia to house guerillas and initiate a demobilising exercise. The Assembly Points were the concentration points for all guerilla groups. Each was to be manned by a small contingent of Commonwealth monitoring forces.
All the Zimbabwean National Liberation Army (ZANLA) and Zimbabwe People’s Revolutionary Army (ZIPRA) guerillas were to go to the closest assembly point. Between 28th December, 1979 and 4th January, 1980 more than 25 000 patriotic forces marched into the 16 assembly points.
At the same time, Rhodesian soldiers began to concentrate at 40 different bases spread all over the country. The Rhodesian troop locations were mainly in the centre of the country, but with some right on the borders. Thus the guerillas in their assembly points would be sandwiched between Rhodesian forces and cut off from their escape route to Mozambique or Zambia if attacked.
Once in the assembly points, all guerillas were required to register their names, weapons and the weapons serial numbers. Within assembly points were daily counts of the Patriotic Front forces.
- www.thepatriot.co.zw – Assembly Points, the Forgotten History
- James Gavin