On the 26th anniversary of Angolan independence, President dos Santos speaks about the war and remembers its victims.
The leader of the government faction MPLA, Jose Eduardo dos Santos, refuses to accept Jonas Savimbi, the leader of the rebel faction UNITA, as an interlocutor.
“Savimbi is severely weakened, militarily and politically”, declared the Angolan President on November 11th, the 26th anniversary of Angola’s independence from Portugal. He added that “only a miracle” could save UNITA from defeat.
“We are aware that Savimbi is a chronic loser, who always takes his party and the country to failure and unhappiness due to his immeasurable selfishness”, declared the President in a blistering attack on his rival, who he accused of boycotting peace deals in the past.
In his speech, Jose Eduardo dos Santos remembered the 4 million war refugees in Angola, a country torn by 40 years of conflict, first against the colonial power, Portugal, which granted the country its independence in 1975, then between the freedom movements, MPLA (supported by the Soviet Union), UNITA (supported by the USA and South Africa) and FNLA (supported by the USA/France/Zaire).
60% of the population of Angola of working age are unemployed, mainly because of the instability caused by the fact that the country is divided in two halves, with MPLA controlling the western part, along the coast, and UNITA controlling the interior. The government controls the country’s rich oil supplies, while the rebels control the diamond mines of Lunda.
UNITA claims that the government is undemocratic and is not interested in signing a peace deal, offered recently by Dr. Savimbi.
Timothy BANCROFT-HINCHEY PRAVDA.Ru LISBON PORTUGAL