Angola

Angola

Angola In the mid-20th century pro-independence movements emerged in Angola, which had been a Portuguese colony for centuries. Angola's drive for independence was further spurred when neighbouring Belgian Congo became independent in 1960. The following year, two rival pro-independence movements, FNLA (Frente Nacional de Libertação de Angola; National Front for the Liberation of Angola) and MPLA (Movimento Popular de Libertação de Angola, Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola), engaged in an armed extrastate conflict with the Portuguese authorities. In 1966, they were joined by UNITA (União Nacional para a Independência Total de Angola; National Union for the Total Independence of Angola). However, dissension between the three groups severely weakened them and the Portuguese got the upper hand in the early 1970s. The situation suddenly changed in 1974, when a bloodless military coup in Portugal brought to power a new government that was willing to grant Angola independence. In 1975, the Portuguese left the country.

Portugal did not hand over power to any particular pro-independence group and an intrastate conflict over the government of newly independent Angola ensued between them. MPLA succeeded in forming an internationally recognised Marxist-inspired government, but it was challenged by FLNA and UNITA. With the support of Cuba, the MPLA government succeeded in defeating FNLA in the late 1970s, but UNITA continued the intrastate conflict. The MPLA finally abandoned the one-party state and held elections in 1992. However, when UNITA lost the elections it resumed the armed struggle. In 2002, the killing of UNITA founder and leader Jonas Savimbi paved the way for a negotiated settlement of the conflict. UNITA frequently made use of one-sided violence during the intrastate conflict.

The Angolan government faced another insurgency in the oil-rich Angolan exclave Cabinda, which is separated from the rest of the country by a sliver of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Cabinda produces around 60% of Angola's oil revenues. Hence, it is of great economic importance. As early as 1963, a pro-independence movement, FLEC (Frente para a Libertaçâo do Enclave de Cabinda, Front of Liberation of the State of Cabinda) formed, but was suppressed by the Portuguese and later the MPLA government in newly independent Angola. In the 1980s tensions within FLEC led to its fragmentation into several factions, among them FLEC-R (FLEC-Renovada, FLEC-Renewed) and FLEC-FAC (FLEC-Forces Amardas de Cabinda, FLEC-Armed Forces of Cabinda), which engaged in an armed struggle against the Angolan government. The intrastate conflict over Cabinda was periodically active in the 1990s and 2000s. The government of Angola resorted to one-sided violence during the conflict.

Angola was a secondary warring party in the intrastate conflicts in Congo and the DR. Congo. In 1997, it supported the Cobras against the Congolese government and in 1998, 1999 and 2002, Angola backed the Congolese government against the Cocoyes, Ninjas and Ntsiloulous. Angola also supported the ADLF (Alliance des forces démocratiques pour la libération du Congo-Kinshasa; Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo-Kinshasa) in neighbouring DR. Congo in toppling president Mobuto in 1997. Thereafter it backed the government of DRC made up of former ADLF members until 2002.

Since 1946 Angola has experienced the extrastate, intrastate and one-sided categories of UCDP organised violence.