The various factions of the movement for the independence of the oil-rich enclave of Cabinda from Angola have come together in a united front to negotiate with the government in Luanda.
The Negotiating Committee for the Quest for Peace in Cabinda (CNRPC in Portuguese) declared in Lisbon on Thursday that the various factions of FLEC (Forces for the Freedom of the Enclave of Cabinda) have come together under the leadership of General Jean da Costa.
General da Costa was responsible for guerrilla activities by FLEC in Cabinda against the Angolan Armed Forces. Now, as President of the CNRPC, he declares that negotiation for peace in the only way forward.
Although he admits that Angola will never concede independence to the oil-rich Cabinda, where US and French oil companies are firmly in place, he intends to negotiate power sharing in a type of Federal State. He declares that “This is the will of the people, who are tired of war”.
Denouncing the factions in Cabinda who use kidnapping and extortion as methods to forward their cause, general da Costa calls these groups “mafia organisations”.
Meanwhile, the President of the government of Cabinda, Mavungo Benicio, exiled in Belgium, declared at the same press conference in Lisbon that his government is hereby dissolved and its members will from now on take their places in the CNRPC.
Situated between Congo and the DR Congo, this territory was included in the Province of Angola by the Portuguese colonial power. Its 25-year guerrilla war between FLEC armed factions and the Angolan Armed Forces have caused 30,000 deaths.
A Federal State of Angola may be a way towards ending the other ongoing conflict in the country, that between the government forces and UNITA.
Timothy BANCROFT-HINCHEY PRAVDA.Ru. LISBON. PORTUGAL.