Angola. The government of Angola claimed that in practice it won the long war and that foreign investors could return, but a number of incidents suggested that peace was not secured. The rebel movement UNITA reverted to guerrilla tactics since its ability to conduct conventional warfare has diminished significantly. Despite UN sanctions, UNITA was estimated to make $ 100 million a year on illegally broken diamonds.
The fact that the government was at odds over how the war was to be waged was felt when the commander-in-chief João de Matos was dismissed. In May, hundreds of civilians were killed when UNITA attacked the city of Caxito near the capital Luanda. The rebels robbed 60 children but released them after a few weeks. In June and October, the rebels entered the city of Uíge 25 miles east of Luanda, but resigned after supplying supplies.
A few hundred people were killed and many were abducted in an attack on a train east of Luanda in August, and in early September, 38 people were killed when UNITA attacked a bus column in Kwanza Sul province. In late September, the rebels succeeded in knocking out electricity supply to parts of Luanda.
Through the attacks on Luanda, it is believed that UNITA wanted to try to distract the army in its protests against the rebel strongholds in northern Angola and partly to instill fear in the civilian population in government-controlled areas in the hope of forcing new peace talks.
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Portuguese oppression of the population increased as the growing opposition, violence and discrimination took on increasingly violent forms. In 1959, Agostinho Neto returned to Angola. The following year, he was arrested by PIDE – the Portuguese security police. The people of his hometown, Icolo e Bengo, demonstrated against the arrest, 30 were killed and 200 wounded by soldiers shooting at the crowd. Hard-hearted politics shattered any hope of a peaceful path to independence.
On February 4, 1961, a group of MPLA members attacked the Luanda Prison and a number of other strategic points to free political prisoners. The attack was turned down, and in the weeks that followed, the Portuguese carried out extensive massacres on the civilian population of Luanda. The poorly planned Luanda uprising became, for many, the decisive proof that Portuguese colonialism could only be fought with arms power, and the MPLA therefore considers February 4 as the start of the armed struggle against colonialism .
Despite the lost battle, the rebellion inspired resistance in the other Portuguese colonies. In the MPLA’s combat platform, it was stated that the struggle was directed not only at colonialism, but also at the international system that kept it going, as well as against racism and tribalism (tribalism).
In March 1961, the farmers and contract workers at the plantations in North Angola revolted. A rebellion soon controlled by the UPA – the People’s Union of Angola. This movement was formed in 1958 and was based on the Bakongo people living in North Angola and South Zaire. UPA was led by Holden Roberto and received support from US capital through Zaire. Roberto’s forces attacked not only the Portuguese military, but also white civilians and mulattos – a reverse racism that also later influenced the FNLA (Angola National Liberation Front) to which the UPA was renamed in 1962. The insurgency in the north was defeated and at least 20,000 lost their lives. Holden Roberto helped the MPLA in 1963 to move its headquarters from Kinshasa to Brazzaville, which was further away from Angola.
At the same time, the MPLA’s practice was restructured, with greater emphasis than before on organizing inside Angola. The armed struggle was now directed at the colonial power in the nearest part of Angola – in the Cabindaen slave in the north, separated from the rest of Angola by Zaire’s corridor to the Atlantic. In 1964, the MPLA was recognized by the Organization of African Unity OAU, on par with FNLA’s exile government, GRAE. The same year, under the leadership of Agostinho Neto, the MPLA conducted a summit of the liberation leaders to define the strategy for the extended civil war.
The “Foreign Minister” in GRAE, Jonas Savimbi , left FNLA in 1964, and two years later he formed his own organization, UNITA (the Union of Total Independence for Angola). This organization had little influence at first, but later gained a position based on the 350,000 whites in Angola, and after the coup in Portugal in 1974 through direct cooperation with South Africa. From its establishment, UNITA built on the tribe ovimbundu in southern Angola.
After the MPLA was allowed to open an office in Lusaka in Zambia in 1965, a systematic information campaign was conducted among the people of the eastern part of Angola. In 1966 the eastern front was opened with attacks in the district of Mexico, and in 1968 the fighting was extended to the province of Luanda, Malange and Bié. The Portuguese resistance now became fiercer. Especially after the MPLA got stuck in the economically important Bié province.
According to Countryaah, the population of Angola in 2001 was 19,433,491, ranking number 55 in the world. The population growth rate was 3.460% yearly, and the population density was 15.5880 people per km2.