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Africa

1982 - Gukurahundi Massacres

Pursuant to the August 1980 agreement with North Korea, 106 Koreans arrived in Zimbabwe in August 1981 to train with what would become the Fifth army brigade.

Wearing red berets to distinguish them from the regular army, the brigade, drawn from 3500 ex- Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army (ZANLA) troops was deployed to the ZAPU stronghold of Matabeleland.

Over five years, 20,000 Ndebele civilians were killed. Mugabe christened the new brigade, 'Gukurahundi' which, loosely translated, means 'the rain which washes away the chaff before the spring rains.'

The opposition ZAPU led by the late nationalist Dr Joshua Nkomo had won a sizeable number of seats in the new parliament and clearly fitted the description of 'chaff' as it stood between him and total domination.