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Will Angola survive the civil war?

27 years of civil war, murders and rapes can not be erased in one day. Long after the Portuguese had fled, Angolans fought for control of the country, for almost another thirty years, preventing the population (more than 24 million inhabitants in 2014) of this country, rich in oil and diamonds , to enjoy again democratic peace. The country is now in the claws of an old "liberator", and his clan ...

Angola's oil wealth is concentrated in a landlocked province, Cabinda, outside Angola territory ! That is why the government of Luanda regularly sends troops to keep it Angolan. No matter if Cabinda, an enclave inside the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), has no border with Angola, Luanda imposes its rule, even if it was needed to exterminate all the locals.

The Angolan president, Jose Eduardo dos Santos, is a leader of the MPLA, a "liberator" of the country. He has clung to power since 1979, he's the second oldest head of state on the black continent. In a way, he can be given credit for managing the transition from socialism to market economy. But he's nothing but one of these African dictators, taking over for himself, his family and his clan, all the wealth of the country.

The new constitution of 2010 is tailor-made. The election of the president has been abolished. The candidate of the largest parliamentary party takes the chair, automatically. It is practical, there are no more conflicts with Parliament. The old president has named his daughter, Isabel, at the head of the state oil company (Sonangol). Since 2017, Isabel is also, of course, the majority shareholder of the BFA, the largest bank in the country. The president's daughter is rich in billions in kwanzas, the local currency, but mostly in dollars, euros and Swiss francs on the offshore accounts of the Santos clan ...

Obviously, the dos Santos family controls all the media, especially radio stations which have a major influence in Africa. Social media and internet are currently being taken over. They were the last places where the government could be criticized. In a country where, on average, 50 years is life expectancy (53 years for women) , a wrong opinion can cause the statistics to fall tragically.

The kingdom of Kongo was formed, in the north, at the beginning of the 14th century, the Portuguese arrived early, in 1483. But it was for slave trade, heading to Amazonian lands. Between the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, Angola was the starting point of the slave trade to Brazil. The will for independence appeared at the end of the 19th century, but it was the Cold War organized it. The war of independence broke out in the early 1960s, stirred up by the USSR. Cuban soldiers were very present on the ground. South Africa also intervened, sending soldiers to support the Portuguese colonial power. But Portugal itself experienced the corruption of revolutionary ideas; The carnation revolution in Lisbon, in 1974, gave, de facto, independence to Angolans. The Portuguese settlers experienced the throes of a war of independence extraordinarily cruel, astonishing in an officially Christian country. Frightened, the Portuguese left the following year, without turning around, leaving the Angolans with no democratic transition organized. This is the drama of Angola.

The MPLA took military control of Luanda and proclaimed itself, unilaterally, government of the Republic of Angola. Independent rival movements, Unita and FNLA continued the fight against the MPLA from the province of Huambo. The civil war would last for almost thirty years, atrocious. In 1987, South African troops entered the south-east of the country, hunting ANC elements which had their rear base in Angola. In 2002, Unita's historic leader, Jonas Savimbi, was killed in action, eliminating a major rival for dos Santos. But the demobilization of UNITA troops, who were starving in camps, with their weapons, almost destroyed the peace process. Half a million Angolans suffered from famine that year, a legacy of civil war.

Yet the country is rich in oil and diamonds. Many illegal immigrants come to exploit clandestine mines. In April 2004, hundreds of thousands of illegal minors were expelled from the country, causing diplomatic incidents with neighboring countries, especially Congo. In 2005, a more terrible disease than Ebola, the Marburg virus, affected the north of the country. Several hundred people died , no one talked about it.

Signs of apparent relaxation are beginning to appear: Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao visited Angola in 2005, only to strengthen economic control of the Chinese over the country; Pope Benedict XVI celebrated a Mass in front of more than one million people in Luanda in 2009. In January 2010, Angola was hosting the African Nations Cup, the most popular sporting event on the continent. The football team of Togo was attacked by separatist militants of Cabinda, but it didn't matter, provided the people had the bread and the games. In the same year, Chinese miners were attacked. This was apparently an act from the separatists of the Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda (FLEC). But no one can exclude an act of rejection towards these Chinese who buy everything in Africa, gradually hold all the businesses, take the work of the Angolans and care little to speak Portuguese, umbundu, kimbundu , Kikongo or any sort of the languages spoken by these African people they despise ?

In anticipation of the September 2011 parliamentary elections, President dos Santos ensured his victory, sending more than 20,000 fierce supporters into the streets to intimidate opponents. This paid off, the MPLA wan a comfortable victory. The clan dos Santos now announces presidential elections for after 2017. President dos Santos and his people will win, of course.
Otherwise, civil war will start again.


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