Formal Name: Republica de Angola
Estimated population: 12 million (2000 est., Official website of the Republic of Angola http://www.angola.org/referenc/people.html)
Historical and polical context
The original inhabitants of the area now called Angola were hunters and gatherers in the northern and southern regions, fisher communities along the Zaire river, and, from about 1300 AD, Bantu speakers who were predominantly agriculturists. The main ethnolinguistic groups of present day Angola had been developed by approximately 1500, consisting of the Kongo language and culture, the "Mbundu" (Kongo term for people) and Ovimbundu groups of the central plateau. After 1500 the Hereros migrated to settle in the south and the Lunda-Chokwe settled in the Northeast.
Tvedten (1997) points out that the size of the population at the end of the fifteenth century and before the onset of colonial rule was approximately 4 million people. With a normal estimated historical population increase for countries in the region this would have implied that Angola would currently have approximately 45 million people. The actual population in the 1990s was around 12.7 million, due to the extreme impact of the slave trade and colonialism on Angola.
- Library of Congress Country Studies: http://lcweb2.loc.gov/frd/cs/aotoc.html
The Portuguese colonial period lasted nearly 500 years. The colonial history of Angola was not a simple, one-way process of domination of the Portuguese over the local population but involved resistance and instances of collaboration from the Angolan side (Tvedten, 1997). The colonial rule was characterised by two conditions: first, by the forced movements of large population groups through the slave trade and forced labour within Angola; and second, by the absence of attempts at development and integration by the colonialists. Both resulted in Angola facing extremely difficult socio-economic conditions, poor infrastructure and long-standing political and ethnic conflict at the time of independence.
- Official website of the Angolan government: http://www.angola.org/referenc/history/tour1.html
The slave trade
Slavery was one of the main objectives of the Portuguese explorers from the start. Slaves were supplied to Portugal and to other colonies such as Brazil and So Tom, initially with collaboration from the Kongo kingdom and later in alliance with the Ndongo state. The alliances between the colonialists and the local leaders deteriorated rapidly due to the increased involvement of the Portuguese in the political and economic affairs of the kingdoms and prominent leaders such as the Ndongo Queen Nzinga organised resistance to the colonial quest. However, slaves continued to be taken by the Portuguese through military intervention and were also supplied by competing warlords (Thornton: http://muweb.millersville.edu/~winthrop/Thornton.html).
It has not been conclusively established exactly how many slaves were exported from Angola. It is believed that Angolans accounted for 4 million of the 12 million slaves who survived the Atlantic crossing and landed in the Americas (Tvedten, 1997). For every slave who arrived in the Americas, another one is estimated to have died during the marches to the slave trading posts and the ocean crossing. This would bring the total number of slaves taken form Angola to 8 million, a heavier loss than any other country in Africa had to bear. The impact of the slave trade was devastating for Angolan society as the most able-bodied members of a household were taken away and decreased the production capacity of households. Authority structures were weakened and power relations changed.
The history of the slave trade is much discussed in present-day Angola and is commemorated annually in the Carnaval de Vitria around the country.
The other strand of Portuguese colonialism in Angola was that of the exploitation of the land and natural resources. After the official abolition of slavery in 1836, the Portuguese attempted to establish their control over the African labour force by imposing legislation that made the obligation of working for the colonialists lawful. The colonialists attempted to ensure that the development of the rubber industry and the production of coffee was advanced through the forced labour system. This system was in operation for 60 years during which as many as half a million Angolans escaped to neighbouring countries and an estimated 35% of the labour force died during the contract period. The Portuguese also tried to establish control over Angola through fragmenting traditional authority structures and appointing loyal puppet leaders. Military force against local resistance to these policies was implemented.
Lack of socio-economic development
Portuguese colonialism in Angola was also characterised by a lack of development in the socio-economic state and infrastructure of the country. The guiding policy of Portugal was to exploit the colonies for the benefit of Portugal and they therefore prevented any form of foreign investment in the country until the 1960s. The colonialists pursued a policy of segregation between the Europeans who were most privileged, the assimilados (assimilated non-whites) who were able to access some services, and the indgenas (majority of the African population) who had no political or social rights. Access to the government educational system was difficult for the general African population and access to social services, such as hospitals, was limited. Most schools and hospitals that were set up for the local population were church-based. The resentment of the Angolans towards the inequalities between the different categories of citizens grew, as did the opposition to the forced labour system and the identification card system that was imposed on them. This resistance to colonial rule led to the war of independence (Official website of the Angolan government: http://www.angola.org/referenc/history/tour2.html).
The recent war in Angola has often been portrayed in the international media as an internal conflict between two antagonistic political movements: the Unio Nacional para a Independencia Total de Angola (UNITA) and the Movimento Popular de Libertao de Angola (MPLA). This simplistic representation of the conflict has allowed for the identification of protagonist (in the west this was the UNITA during the Cold War era, but has since changed to the MPLA), and an antagonist (originally seen as the socialist MLPA government in the west, but in later years became UNITA). The conflict in Angola has, however, not only been far more complex than this but has also involved a large variety of other countries, for instance South Africa, Cuba, the Soviet Union, the US and Zaire. A brief overview of the wars will be given (see also: Human Rights Watch report on Angola, website http://www.hrw.org/reports/1993/angola/).
The First War: the War of Independence
Angolans refer to specific periods of the almost forty years of continuous war in their country in terms of numbers. Angola's First War was the War of Independence whose beginning was marked in 1961 by violent boycotts against the forced labour on agricultural fields and an attack on two prisons in Luanda, Angolas capital city, to hinder the movement of political prisoners to Portugal (Tvedten, 1997). African national sentiments led to the formation of three main political groups in the 1950s and 1960s which declared their goal of independence publicly, and who led military assaults on colonial targets in rural and semi-urban areas, mobilising support from amongst the peasant population. These three main groups were
the MPLA formed by Agostinho Neto in 1956, which had its main support base in larger cities and amongst the Mbundu ethnolinguistic group;
the Frente Nacional de Libertao de Angola (FNLA) established by Holden Roberto in 1962 with support mostly from the BaKongo in the northern provinces of Angola; and
UNITA, founded by Jonas Savimbi in 1966 and consisting predominantly of Ovimbundu members from the south and east of the country.
The costs of the war for independence were high for Portugal in both human and material terms, and following a coup in Portugal in 1974 which resulted in a change of the countrys policies towards its African colonies, a process of rapid decolonisation was initiated (Cravinho, 1998). An agreement was signed by the three independence movements to form a transitional government and hold elections before independence in November 1975. Independence was declared on 11th November 1975 by the MPLA who went on to form a single-party socialist government.
The Second War: the Cold War
Ideological differences and mutual suspicion among the MPLA, UNITA and FLNA resulted in outbreaks of fighting between the movements in July 1975 and led to a break-down of the transitional government. This initiated the Second War, also known as the Cold War, which was to last from 1975 until 1990. Various other countries who had ideological, political and material interests in Angola gave their support to the parties, with the Soviet Union and Cuba providing arms, combat troops, pilots, advisers, and engineers to the socialist-orientated MPLA, and South Africa and the U.S. aiding UNITA with military attacks and with covert financial assistance respectively. Angola became a cold war battleground for influence of the world powers in southern Africa, bound up with the liberation struggles of its neighbours such as Namibia, Zimbabwe and South Africa. The war was initially confined to the south-eastern part of the country, but UNITA tactics created insecurity in around 80 percent of the country, severely affecting the productive life and the socio-economic situation of the population. During these years UNITA increasingly depicted themselves as anti-Marxist and pro-western but also as truly Angolan, juxtapositioning the MPLA as a party of assimilados [urban, educated, Portuguese-orientated non-white Angolans], mesticos [mixed race] and Marxists (CCR, 2000). The MPLA, on the other hand, portrayed UNITA as power-hungry tribalists who were not interested in the welfare of all Angolans but only in that of the Ovimbundu. Negotiations involving South Africa, Cuba, the U.S., Portugal and the warring factions finally culminated in the signing of the Bicesse Peace Accord in 1991.
The Third War: the Election War
The Bicesse Accord stipulated a timetable for demobilisation of both sides of the conflict and fixed a date for multiparty elections. However, the United Nations mission to Angola (UNAVEM II) which was to oversee the ceasefire and monitor the demobilisation was severely underfunded and inadequate (Anstee, 1996), failing to implement the agreements of the Accord. Elections were held on the last days of September 1992, and the UN and other foreign observers concluded that they were generally free and fair. There was a turnout of 91% for the elections with President Dos Santos receiving 49,6% and Jonas Savimbi receiving 40,7% of the vote. In the election for the legislature the MPLA won 54% of the vote compared to UNITAs 34% (CCR, 2000). Savimbi rejected the results as biased and manipulated and returned to war with largely intact troops. This marked the beginning of the Third War or the Election War, which lasted from October 1992 until November 1994. This war proved to be more destructive and all-encompassing than the first two wars, and became known for its systematic violations of the laws of war by both the government and UNITA (Human Rights Watch, 1994). UNITA went on the offensive in provinces throughout the country, and indiscriminate bombings by the government, the laying of landmines and the entrapment of civilians in cities under prolonged siege resulted in extremely high losses of civilian lives (Tvedten, 1997). The UN estimated that some 1000 people were dying every day in Angola during 1993, more than in any other conflict in the world at the time (Human Rights Watch, 1994). Tens of thousands of people were displaced from the countryside, fleeing to towns and cities where they lived in conditions of abject poverty, cut off from food supplies and from basic sanitary and hygienic provisions.
New peace talks began towards the end of 1993 and the signing of the Lusaka Protocol in November 1994 formally marked the end of the Third War (The Lusaka Protocol: website: http://www.usip.org/library/pa/angola/lusaka_11151994.htm). Paul Hare (1998) provides an account of some of the major issues that influenced the Lusaka peace process as well as some of its short-comings.
The Fourth War: the Lusaka War
Almost from the start UNITA failed to comply with the obligations of the Protocol such as demilitarisation and demobilisation of soldiers, and small scale conflict continued to flare up in various parts of the country, increasing to incidents of serious violations of the cease-fire in 1997 (CCR, 2000). Throughout 1998 both the government and UNITA prepared for a new war which broke out in December of that year. UNITA, which had been financing its military exploits through its diamond revenues from its territories in the north and the east of the country, found itself increasingly isolated internationally, experiencing the effect of the UN sanction packages imposed on it. The MPLA government used the countrys oil resources and diamonds to fund its war efforts, confident that their capacity to purchase military equipment would surpass that of UNITA. This Fourth War continued until the killing of Jonas Savimbi in February 2002.
The 2002 Peace Process
Savimbi was killed on 22 February 2002, following combat between his rebel troops and the Angolan army. The battle took place in the locality of Lubuei in Moxico province, some 100 km away from the Zambian border (Angola Peace Monitor: http://www.actsa.org/Angola/apm/apm0806.htm). Photos of his body were made public by the government to allay rumours that his death was a propaganda ploy. The Angolan armed forces (FAA) had managed to secure some victories against UNITA prior to this decisive military intervention, including the capture of other prominent UNITA leaders. Savimbi was succeeded by Paulo Lukamba Gato, and on the 4 April 2002 a ceasefire was signed between the Angolan army and the UNITA military wing (Angola Peace Monitor: http://www.actsa.org/Angola/apm/apm0807.htm). Demobilisation of UNITA soldiers started later that month and led to the designated quartering camps accommodating a quarter of a million UNITA soldiers and their families who had been near to starvation in the bush (Angola Peace Monitor: http://www.actsa.org/Angola/apm/apm1011.htm). The entire process of demobilisation is estimated to continue until December 2006.
A joint commission was set up to oversee the initial tasks necessary for setting up the formal peace process as outlined in the Lusaka Protocol of 1994. The Joint Commission was comprised of representatives from the Angolan government, UNITA, and the troika observer states comprising the Russian Federation, Portugal and the United States. It was chaired by the UN Secretary General's Special Representative in Angola, Professor Ibrahim Gambari. The commission was dissolved in November 2002 and a new forum for discussions between the Government and UNITA was launched. UNITA ministers took up posts in the Angolan government as specified in the Lusaka Protocol and constitutional changes were agreed between the two parties. The UN Security Council lifted sanctions against UNITA in December 2002, declaring UNITA no longer a threat to national or regional interests.
UNITA reunited its two factions, UNITA-Renovada which had been formed by members who had fallen out with Savimbi following his disregard for the Lusaka Protocol, and the main core of UNITA. At its 9th Congress held in Luanda in June 2003 UNITA members elected Isaias Samavuka as its new president, following the resignation of the UNITA-Renovada leader, Manuvakola (ANN News: http://www.africahome.com/annews/categories/politics/EpklEuyuVFTYLoobgg.shtml).
Political challenges in post-war Angola
Political developments and concerns
Emerging from decades of war, Angola faces numerous serious political challenges. Amongst these are:
Humanitarian crisis: The humanitarian crisis in Angola continues to dominate the national and international response to Angolas political situation (Angola Peace Monitor:
http://www.actsa.org/Angola/apm/apm0810.htm). The signing of the ceasefire opened access to large parts of the country that had previously been war zones and has led to the uncovering of an estimated half-a-million people living in a desperate situation. In July 2002, the UN launched an international crisis appeal to meet the need for emergency assistance for the approximately 4 million people they estimated to be highly vulnerable, an appeal that has met with a poor response from the donor community. Donor scepticism is high in light of Angolas natural wealth with questions being asked as to why the government is not able to finance its own reconstruction and humanitarian aid programme (Global IDP Project:
Unaccounted weapons: A concern for government and international agencies has been the large quantities of unaccounted weapons from UNITA soldiers who ostensibly have demobilised. By October 2002, only approximately 26,000 light weapons and little ammunition had been handed over to the FAA, the equivalent of one weapon for every three UNITA soldiers. It is suspected that these weapons could be traded by criminal arms brokers across the countrys borders into the Democratic Republic of Congo, or that they could resurface
in Angola and be used by disaffected elements of society (Angola Peace Monitor:
Harassment and extortion by armed groups: Human Rights Watch (2003, website:
http://www.hrw.org/wr2k3/africa1.html) reports that harassment of IDPs and extortion at checkpoints continues to be a problem in certain parts of the country. Incidents of violence including rape were reported throughout 2002, and banditry and ambushes had occurred in various municipalities. It is likely that this low-level violence will continue for some time to come, given the large numbers of weapons in Angola and the famine in the country.
Reintegration of former combatants into civil society: As in any country that has experienced prolonged armed conflict, the challenges of reintegrating ex-combatants into communities are substantial in Angola. The success of this is related to several factors which include: the sustainability of the peace process; the participation of the government, UNITA and local partners in the process; and the educational and vocational opportunities made available to former soldiers. The General Programme for Reintegration of the Demobilised (PGDR) was initiated in March 2004 and entered its second phase in early 2005. Approximately 70,000 people are the intended beneficiaries of the programme (ReliefWeb:
Human rights abuses of IDPs: Local authorities have been reported to have used violence or threats of violence against IDPs to force them to return to areas which are still not safe due to landmines and unexploded ordnance (UXO) and where minimum standards of food, shelter and health do not exist (Global IDP Project:
http://www.db.idpproject.org/Sites/idpSurvey.nsf/wCountries/Angola). Physical and sexual abuse by members of the army and national police have also been reported.
Violent crime: Weapons are also used by criminal gangs operating in Luanda and in other urban centres. The Angolan police has launched a campaign to disarm civilians and to recoup weapons handed out to civilians for self-defence purposes (Angola Peace Monitor:
Elections: No concrete deadline has been set for general elections in Angola yet, but they are currently planned for 2005-2006. The Angolan government has indicated that it would like to hold elections as soon as possible, whereas UNITA has favoured a delay.
Relationships with international financial institutions: The Angolan government has come under increasing pressure from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to publicly account for its oil revenues. By 2003, the government had still not complied with the IMFs stipulated criteria for qualifying for a formal programme, and relations between the government and the IMF were reported to be strained (Human Rights Watch (2003, website:
http://www.hrw.org/wr2k3/africa1.html). In addition, in June 2002 Swiss banks drew attention to alleged irregularities in payments to Russian and Angolan dignitaries as part of a debt repayment deal to Russia. The Angolan government withdrew its ambassador to Switzerland in protest (Human Rights Watch (2003, website:
Humanitarian crisis: The humanitarian crisis in Angola continues to dominate the national and international response to Angolas political situation (Angola Peace Monitor: http://www.actsa.org/Angola/apm/apm0810.htm). The signing of the ceasefire opened access to large parts of the country that had previously been war zones and has led to the uncovering of an estimated half-a-million people living in a desperate situation. In July 2002, the UN launched an international crisis appeal to meet the need for emergency assistance for the approximately 4 million people they estimated to be highly vulnerable, an appeal that has met with a poor response from the donor community. Donor scepticism is high in light of Angolas natural wealth with questions being asked as to why the government is not able to finance its own reconstruction and humanitarian aid programme (Global IDP Project: http://www.db.idpproject.org/Sites/idpSurvey.nsf/wCountries/Angola)
Unaccounted weapons: A concern for government and international agencies has been the large quantities of unaccounted weapons from UNITA soldiers who ostensibly have demobilised. By October 2002, only approximately 26,000 light weapons and little ammunition had been handed over to the FAA, the equivalent of one weapon for every three UNITA soldiers. It is suspected that these weapons could be traded by criminal arms brokers across the countrys borders into the Democratic Republic of Congo, or that they could resurface in Angola and be used by disaffected elements of society (Angola Peace Monitor: http://www.actsa.org/Angola/apm/apm0902.htm)
Harassment and extortion by armed groups: Human Rights Watch (2003, website: http://www.hrw.org/wr2k3/africa1.html) reports that harassment of IDPs and extortion at checkpoints continues to be a problem in certain parts of the country. Incidents of violence including rape were reported throughout 2002, and banditry and ambushes had occurred in various municipalities. It is likely that this low-level violence will continue for some time to come, given the large numbers of weapons in Angola and the famine in the country.
Reintegration of former combatants into civil society: As in any country that has experienced prolonged armed conflict, the challenges of reintegrating ex-combatants into communities are substantial in Angola. The success of this is related to several factors which include: the sustainability of the peace process; the participation of the government, UNITA and local partners in the process; and the educational and vocational opportunities made available to former soldiers. The General Programme for Reintegration of the Demobilised (PGDR) was initiated in March 2004 and entered its second phase in early 2005. Approximately 70,000 people are the intended beneficiaries of the programme (ReliefWeb: http://www.reliefweb.int/rw/dbc.nsf/doc108?OpenForm&rc=1&emid=ACOS-635NGV)
Human rights abuses of IDPs: Local authorities have been reported to have used violence or threats of violence against IDPs to force them to return to areas which are still not safe due to landmines and unexploded ordnance (UXO) and where minimum standards of food, shelter and health do not exist (Global IDP Project: http://www.db.idpproject.org/Sites/idpSurvey.nsf/wCountries/Angola). Physical and sexual abuse by members of the army and national police have also been reported.
Violent crime: Weapons are also used by criminal gangs operating in Luanda and in other urban centres. The Angolan police has launched a campaign to disarm civilians and to recoup weapons handed out to civilians for self-defence purposes (Angola Peace Monitor: http://www.actsa.org/Angola/apm/apm0909.htm).
Elections: No concrete deadline has been set for general elections in Angola yet, but they are currently planned for 2005-2006. The Angolan government has indicated that it would like to hold elections as soon as possible, whereas UNITA has favoured a delay.
Relationships with international financial institutions: The Angolan government has come under increasing pressure from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to publicly account for its oil revenues. By 2003, the government had still not complied with the IMFs stipulated criteria for qualifying for a formal programme, and relations between the government and the IMF were reported to be strained (Human Rights Watch (2003, website: http://www.hrw.org/wr2k3/africa1.html). In addition, in June 2002 Swiss banks drew attention to alleged irregularities in payments to Russian and Angolan dignitaries as part of a debt repayment deal to Russia. The Angolan government withdrew its ambassador to Switzerland in protest (Human Rights Watch (2003, website: http://www.hrw.org/wr2k3/africa1.html).
The enclave of Cabinda, separated from the rest of Angola by a strip of land belonging to the DRC, has experienced armed conflict that has predominantly been fuelled by the fight for self-determination and separation from the Luanda-based government. The history of Cabinda is that it was the subject of a treaty between Britain and Portugal where Portugal obtained sovereignty over Cabinda in return for the granting of certain privilege to the British in that territory. Cabinda was incorporated into Angola in 1956 and remained under the Angolan colonial administration until Angolas independence in 1975. Cabindans viewed themselves as geographically, linguistically and ethnically separate from the rest of Angola and in the early 1960s several movements advocating independence for Cabinda were formed. They united in 1963 as the Frente para a Libertao do Enclave de Cabinda (FLEC) and have been waging low-level insurgency since then (Pitsch: http://www.bsos.umd.edu/cidcm/mar/angcabin.htm). FLEC has targeted government installations and oil personnel, including foreigners, and the FAA has been accused of killing large numbers of civilians in their fight against FLEC.
A large part of Angolas oil production takes place offshore from Cabinda, the enclave thus serving a vital and strategic need for the Angolan government which has no intention of granting secession rights to the territory. Despite the wealth produced through oil production, Cabinda has remained underdeveloped which has fuelled resentment against the Luanda government amongst Cabindans. Since the signing of the peace agreement between UNITA and the government in 2002 several senior FLEC leaders have surrendered to the government or have been captured (Angola Peace Monitor: http://www.actsa.org/Angola/apm/apm1011.htm). A report by the South African-based Institute for Security Studies entitled "Cabinda: Notes on a soon to be forgotten war", suggests that the way to end the conflict is to implement a negotiated autonomy in Cabinda which depends on the separatists downgrading their demands for independence, and for the Angolan government to allow humanitarian assistance to reach civilians who are facing hunger, disease and loss of livelihood. The future of Cabinda remains unclear. Human Rights Watch (2003: website: http://www.hrw.org/wr2k3/africa1.html) reports that widespread abuses against the civilian population continue to be reported, including killings and displacement.
The current population of Angola is estimated at 12 million with population density varying considerably between regions (Official website of the Angolan Government: http://www.angola.org/fastfacts/glance.html). The influx of war-displaced people from rural into urban areas has risen dramatically since the onset of the Second War: in 1995 it was estimated that 50 percent of the population lived in urban areas (UNDP, 1995). Angolas age distribution is typical of many developing countries, with an estimated 30 percent under the age of 10; 45 percent of the population under the age of 15 in 1993; and more than 50 percent under the age of 25 (OCHA, 2001). The sex distribution reflects regional differences with a large female surplus in most rural areas and a large male surplus in urban areas. Overall there are 92 men to every 100 women in Angola, but with the largest discrepancy occurring in the 20 - 24 age group where there are only 70 men to every 100 women (Tvedten, 1997). This is due to the mortality rate of young men killed in the war, and has led to an increasing number of female-headed households in the country.
The largest ethnolinguistic group in Angola are the Ovimbundu (language Umbundu), living in the Central Highlands in the interior of the country. The Mbundu (language Kimbundu) are the second largest group and live predominantly in the coastal regions around Luanda and the provinces of Malanje. The third largest ethnic group is the BaKongo (language Kikongo), settled in the north-western provinces that form a border with the DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo) and Congo. Smaller ethnolinguistic groups are the Lunda-Chokwe (language Chokwe) and the Nganguela (language Nganguela) and are located in a belt through several of the central provinces, including Huila and Huambo. Angolans of mestio and white (predominantly Portuguese) descent make up a small minority of the population (Official Angolan government website: http://www.angola.org/referenc/ethnicgrps.html).
Socio-economic impact of conflict
What impact have the wars had on the Angolan population? Angolan conditions fulfil most classical indicators of poverty and vulnerability, with a life expectancy at birth of only forty-five years, and 320 out of 1000 children dying before they reach the age of five (Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), 2001 http://www.db.idpproject.org/Sites/IdpProjectDb/idpSurvey.nsf/wCountries/Angola). In 1999 UNICEF described Angola as the country whose children are at greatest risk of death, malnutrition, abuse and development failure (OCHA, 2001), leading many organisations to conclude that Angola is the worst place in the world in which to be a child (NRC, 2001). Malnutrition rates amongst children are high: according to government statistics 35 percent of the countrys children are malnourished, with rates as high as 46 percent recorded amongst infants amongst the war-displaced in provinces such as Bi (OCHA, 2001).
No aspect of life has been left unaffected by the four decades of war. The countrys infrastructure has been severely damaged through the destruction of roads, buildings, airports, harbours, water supply systems, telecommunications and electricity systems (Cravinho, 1998). An estimated 80 percent of all schools have been destroyed or abandoned during the last three decades of war, and while school buildings are being rehabilitated by local and foreign organisations, the impact on the educational system has been severe (Tvedten, 1997). NRC (2001 http://www.db.idpproject.org/Sites/IdpProjectDb/idpSurvey.nsf/wCountries/Angola) estimates that 70 percent of first grade-aged children failed to enter school in the year 2000 due to a lack of resources and facilities. Of those who do enter the educational system, currently two thirds do not reach their fifth year of schooling. Illiteracy levels are high amongst children and adults, with approximately 54 percent of adult women and 46 percent of adult men being illiterate. Education received less than 2 percent of the governments public expenditure during the year 2000 (NRC, 2001 http://www.db.idpproject.org/Sites/IdpProjectDb/idpSurvey.nsf/wCountries/Angola).
The public health system seriously deteriorated following the outbreak of Angolas Third War, with the destruction of clinics and hospitals, inadequate supplies of medicines and medical equipment, a lack of qualified personnel and the difficulty of providing basic sanitary conditions for the displaced being characteristic of most areas. Health indicators suggest that only 30 percent of the population have access to even the most basic health services, and that a complete break-down of the health network has occurred in many war zones (Tvedten, 1997). Infectious and parasitic diseases such as measles, tuberculosis, sleeping sickness, malaria and tetanus are the most common causes of death (NRC, 2001 http://www.db.idpproject.org/Sites/IdpProjectDb/idpSurvey.nsf/wCountries/Angola). The governments budget allocation to the health sector has been low, in 1994, for instance, being only 2.8 percent. The reliance on external aid for medical supplies, for meeting the health needs of large groups of IDPs, and for health programmes such as vaccinations is increasing with international organisations such as Medicos Sem Fronteiras (MSF), UNICEF and International Committee of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (ICRC) taking a lead. Another serious consequence of the wars is the continuing prevalence of landmines (see below).
The traditional micro- and macro-economic systems in Angola have been affected through the war as well (see for instance Habgood, 1998). UNITAs strategy of attacking during the harvesting season and stealing harvested crops as well as animals from their owners have forced many people to abandon their agricultural lifestyles, or to visit their fields only at night-time. Creativity and desperation have led to many innovative survival strategies which include green belt farming in semi-urban neighbourhoods, chicken, pig and goat farming in small backyards, and negcio: informal trading in anything from soft drinks and cigarettes to diamonds and weapons (Van der Winden, 1996). Blacksmiths, tinsmiths, tailors and shoemakers ply their trades in urban centres and less conventional economic activities such as money-changing, child-care and carrying water are common ways in which people try to make a living. Urban environments may offer more chances of access to work, education and medical facilities but the rising numbers of children living in the streets attest to the fact that life in the towns and cities can be extremely harsh and difficult, especially for the young, the disabled and the elderly.
Socio-economic conditions vary greatly between regions and between social groups. A small minority of the wealthy elite live a life not dissimilar to European and North American lifestyles, while the vast majority of the population struggles with issues of daily survival. Such discrepancies between rich and poor are even more pronounced in Angola than in other developing countries by nature of the fact that the significant wealth of the countrys natural resources remains in the hands of a minute minority and does not reach the general population. Since the 2002 peace agreement, the government has committed itself to the process of reconstruction while at the same time stating that it does not have the financial capacity to launch such a programme on its own.
Angola is rated in place 166 out of 177 countries on the 2004 Human Development Report (UNDP: http://hdr.undp.org/reports/global/2004/, and while ahead of countries such as the DRC and Sierra Leone, the low ranking gives an indication of the serious economic situation faced by the majority of the countrys population.
Angolas civil society had been curtailed by various dominant political groups who used the war as a perpetual excuse (CCR, 2000). Mass organisations such as trade unions, womens and youth organisations were all tied to the MPLA after 1975 and lacked independent status and the ability to press for claims on behalf of their members. In government areas local organisations were repressed for the first 15 years following independence but in 1990 the MPLA announced its toleration of citizen action free from party and state supervision (Tvedten, 1997). This led to the formation of a number of small civic organisations that included welfare and charity organisations, womens organisations, sports clubs, professional associations and environmental committees, amongst others (Hart & Lewis, 1995).
Despite these developments, political constraints continued to hinder NGOs and the media from working freely. The case of Rafael Marques, a freelance journalist who was sentenced to six months imprisonment for defamation in March 2000 following the publication of an article in which he strongly criticised president Dos Santos, became a rallying point for organisations concerned with the lack of press freedom and freedom of expression in Angola (Amnesty International: http://web.amnesty.org/library/Index/ENGAFR120082000?open&of=ENG-AGO). Marques was just one of several journalists who were detained by the Angolan government during the war. A May 2003 report on press freedom by Reporters Without Borders commented that while no journalists have been detained since the signing of the peace agreement, several journalists have been subject to harassment and intimidation through various means such as questioning by the Criminal Investigation Department. Angola continues to have only one news agency which is publicly funded and state-controlled. A positive development was the revision of the 1991 press law, which was set in motion in July 2002 (Reporters Without Borders website: http://www.rsf.org/).
Angolan society had a large number of traditional organisations and customs that related to important events such as birth, transition to adulthood, marriage and death. The traditional council of elders ( conselho de velhos), secret societies and age group associations maintained social order and regulated alliances (Tvedten, 1997). These organisations were, however, targeted by the Portuguese colonialists who sought to impose their own traditional leaders on the population in order to control the population. Independence and the conflict also brought political interference in traditional structures as political affiliation rather than age, social status and experience was used as a qualifying criteria. However, traditional organisations continue to function, and African traditional religion and customs remain widely practised.
Churches and faith-based organisations form an important part of Angolan civil society. The dominance of the Christian church has historical been intricately linked to the history of colonialism in Angola (Henderson, 1990). The Roman Catholic Church (RCC) aligned itself with the colonial Portuguese government and became the largest and most powerful religious institution in the country during the colonial era. It has maintained this status to the present day with approximately 40-50% of the total population being adherents in 1995 (Cravinho, 1998). The Protestant churches were historically in a minority position in Angola socio-politically as well as membership-wise, and were not given official recognition during the era of Portuguese occupation of Angola (Tvedten, 1997). They were suspected of being subversive organisations providing theological cover for nationalists bent on liberation (Birmingham, 1992: 90), as the leaders of the three main liberation movements, amongst others, were all educated at Protestant mission schools. Post-independence in 1975, the Angolan government instituted a process whereby churches had to seek official registration, with the aim of placing all churches under effective government control. This goal was not achieved as a large number of churches that were not accepted for registration continued to operate, with many new religious movements also being established. The churches also attempted to influence the politics in Angola through calling for peace initiatives during the last two decades of war. In March 2002, the Inter-Ecclesiastical Committee for Peace in Angola (COIEPA) organised a forum in Huambo to debate the role of the churches and civil society in the search for http://www.hrw.org/wr2k3/africa1.html).
After the signing of the peace agreement, attempts were made to re-establish a broader functioning civic society. In September 2002, civil society groups in Angola met at a conference entitled Agenda for Peace and Reconciliation in the Republic of Angola where, amongst other things, critical views of the perceived undemocratic nature of the Angolan government were discussed (Angola Peace Monitor: http://www.actsa.org/Angola/apm/)
Displacement: thedeslocados refugiados
In 1996, UNICEF estimated that 1.2 million people in Angola were internally displaced, with over 450,000 Angolan refugees in neighbouring countries and a total of over 3 million people dependent upon humanitarian assistance for their survival (UNICEF, 1996). The outbreak of Angolas Fourth War in 1998 led to a dramatic increase in the number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) with UNHCR considering approximately 2 million people to be internally displaced in 2001 (NRC, 2001 http://www.db.idpproject.org/Sites/IdpProjectDb/idpSurvey.nsf/wCountries/Angola). At the end of the war in April 2002, the total number of IDPs was estimated to be more than 4 million and the number of refugees in neighbouring countries exceeding 0.5 million.
IDPs, referred to as deslocados in Angola, usually followed one of two settlement patterns in Angola: they were settled in government-run centres of a transitory or permanent basis, or they became self-settled in nearby towns or cities. While large numbers of IDPs are returning home following the ceasefire in 2002, a substantial number remain displaced throughout the country.
Living conditions in the IDP centres are difficult. They are often situated in rural areas, described by an Angolan journalist as desolate landscapes (NRC, 2001 http://www.db.idpproject.org/Sites/IdpProjectDb/idpSurvey.nsf/wCountries/Angola), removed from major transport routes and more easily controlled by the government. Huts are traditionally constructed from wood and mud but, since there is usually no adequate roofing material available, the huts do not provide adequate shelter from the wind, cold nor the heavy downpours which can last for up to eight months of the year. Close proximity to neighbours result in infectious diseases being passed on quickly. A report from an Angolan NGO also highlights the difficult and slow adaptation to the new physical environment in which the deslocados find themselves: people who were accustomed to having their own houses and living in kimbus (household of an extended family, sometimes consisting of up to 20 huts) with their relatives found it strenuous to live in such close proximity to people who were strangers to them (Andrade, 2001). In centres where the deslocados came from the same area and therefore knew each other prior to displacement, it is possible to create a sense of cohesion and communal support. This is largely absent in centres where the deslocados came from many different municipalities and where people were less willing to assist each other and more inclined to think primarily of the well-being of their own immediate families.
Economic survival is a constant concern and high priority in IDP centres. The deslocados usually do not have access to farming land around the centres, and are thus deprived of their previous methods of subsistence through agriculture and animal husbandry. Many IDP centres were largely dependent on the food provisions of the World Food Programme (WFP), consisting of 10 kg maize meal, 1.2 kg beans, 0.75 kg cooking oil and 0,15 kg salt per person per month, which is barely enough to sustain a person for two weeks. Additional sources of income thus have to be sought and a combination of kinship exchange, petty-commodity production, collecting and selling firewood, and food and beverage preparation are employed. Women also labour in the fields of local farmers in exchange for food, usually paid in the form of small quantities of maize. Assets such as emergency items and food provided by aid agencies are routinely exchanged or sold as a coping strategy of the population, and it is common to see WFP sacks of maize meal in the marketplaces of surrounding villages after food distribution has taken place in an area (NRC, 2001 http://www.db.idpproject.org/Sites/IdpProjectDb/idpSurvey.nsf/wCountries/Angola). Despite these initiatives, people live in a state of acute poverty, unable to cope with disruptions to their survival strategies through illness or other events. Households headed by elderly widows seemed particularly vulnerable and fragile with high rates of malnutrition and visible destitution common among them (OCHA, 2001).
An additional hardship in the lives of the deslocados residing in the centres is personal security. Relations with local residents around the centres are at times strained over matters such as the collection of firewood, with residents claiming that deslocados strip their surrounding countryside of suitable firewood at a rapid rate which forces them to walk greater distances than before. Incidents of women deslocados being raped by locals while collecting firewood have been reported, for instance, near centres in Huila province in July 2000. Local bandidos [criminals, thieves] may also lay in wait for deslocados after food distribution has taken place in an area, ambushing them and stealing their goods (NRC, 2001 http://www.db.idpproject.org/Sites/IdpProjectDb/idpSurvey.nsf/wCountries/Angola). The constant threat of attacks from UNITA forces even in areas supposedly designated as safe havens was a further concern for deslocados living in IDP centres during the conflict.
Following the signing of the ceasefire in April 2002, many deslocados started to leave the IDP centres and return to their home areas on their own accord, rather than waiting for a co-ordinated campaign. This increased towards the harvesting season later on in the year with an estimated 1.1 million deslocados making their way home by the end of 2002 (Angola Peace Monitor: http://www.actsa.org/Angola/apm/apm0901.htm). By June 2003, an estimated 2.5 million IDPs had returned home (Global IDP Project: http://www.db.idpproject.org/Sites/idpSurvey.nsf/wCountries/Angola). Despite this spontaneous return, 1.4 million people remain displaced within Angola with approximately 300,000 living in IDP centres around the country. Conditions for return remain difficult with little assistance being provided to help the IDPs make the transition of moving to areas that were devastated during the conflict. There have also been reports of forced and coerced return by government forces to areas that have not yet been de-mined and where no medical and educational facilities exist (Human Rights Watch, website: http://www.hrw.org/reports/2003/angola0803/angola0803.pdf).
The lives of the self-settled deslocados in urban areas are challenging in different ways. In many towns the number of displaced far outnumbers the indigenous population. Great variations exist in the economic circumstances between different groups of deslocados, the single most important factor being whether or not the arriving deslocados have kinship networks in the town that they can draw upon for initial support (Andrade, 2001). However, not even highly effective kinship networks can cope with the massive levels of displacement that have occurred since 1992, and host households quickly found themselves depleted if they were expected to cope with large numbers of additional people:
With the majority of the Angolan population living at, or below, the poverty line resources in most households are limited and can be extended very little without creating further hardship. During the past eight years, agencies estimate that a majority of host households have become destitute as scarce assets are shared among larger numbers of people (United Nations Security Council, 2000: 10).
The same problem, of lack of access to farming land, is faced by self-settled IDPs as those people settled in centres. In urban areas the peripheral areas around the towns are all owned and farmed by residents who rely on the produce for their livelihood. However, other opportunities and possibilities exist for those making a living in urban areas, some of which have already been mentioned. It has been widely suggested that those IDPs most likely to attempt life in urban areas are those who are best educated and most resourceful, leaving behind the more vulnerable and less influential people in the centres (Tvedten, 1997). Former community leaders and intellectuals, for instance, migrated to the towns in order to make a living for themselves there. Despite this, however, many deslocados found it very difficult to survive in urban centres, the competition in the informal trading market already being strained to maximum capacity. Some worked long hours in order to make enough for just one bread roll and a teabag at the end of the day, living constantly and precariously on the brink of destitution. Others who were not able to work lived on the streets of Luanda, Huambo, Lubango and other smaller towns, surviving on begging and stealing what little they can get. Many of the self-settled deslocados have also made the journey back home to their farming areas.
It is not only armed conflict that has contributed to displacement in Angola. Communities have been repeatedly affected by flooding in various parts of the country, predominantly in the north. For instance, in March 2005 flooding in Kwanza Norte left 10,000 people without shelter and has created conditions likely to lead to malaria and diarrhoeal diseases (Reliefweb: http://www.reliefweb.int/rw/RWB.NSF/db900SID/MMQD-6ALQ6U?OpenDocument&rc=1&emid=ACOS-635NGV). In the southern provinces of Kunene and Namibe drought led both to migration as well as to conflict over water between groups in 2004 (IRIN News: http://www.irinnews.org/report.asp?ReportID=43187). While little international attention focuses on these causes of displacement in Angola, they present serious humanitarian challenges to communities weakened by decades of war and by the lack of infrastructure.
Angolans in exile
Almost 40 years of conflict have resulted in large population movements from Angola to other countries. The largest exile communities are presently to be found in neighbouring Zambia, the DRC, Namibia, the Republic of Congo and South Africa. The total number of Angolan refugees is estimated to be over 0.5 million, with Zambia hosting approximately 211,000, the DRC hosting an estimated 193,000, and Namibia with about 24,000 of the refugees.
Angolans in Zambia
The Angolan refugees in Zambia have been the focus of research over the past three decades. The movement of Angolan refugees into Zambia started in the 1960s (Barrett, 1998). The majority of the refugees settled in rural areas independent of international and national agencies and gradually integrated into Zambian villages, as they were viewed as kin or distant relatives by their hosts (Hansen, 1979). The majority of self-settled refugees now consider Zambia their home and did not plan returning home to Angola once the war was over (Hansen, 1990). The successful integration of Angolan refugees in north-western Zambia has been heralded as a success story by refugee agencies who saw this process as a possible model for resolving other long-term protracted refugee situations.
The Angolans who were not self-settled were accommodated in organised settlements, for instance in the Meheba settlement in north-western Zambia (Barrettt, 1998). For these refugees it has not been possible to forge new Zambian-Angolan identities and their attitude towards possible repatriation to Angola, once peace is established, is more complex, wishing to be repatriated through UN-organised mass repatriation when judged appropriate (Barrett, 1998).
The UNHCR launched its two-year repatriation programme of Angolan refugees from neighbouring countries in June 2003 with a convoy of 543 refugees leaving the DRC for Angola. The Angola Peace Monitor reports that the refugees were given a warm welcome in the reception centres (website: http://www.actsa.org/Angola/apm/apm0811.htm). The refugees were provided with reintegration packages (which include blankets and basic supplies for 3 months) and also received mine-awareness education and information about HIV/AIDS. Repatriation of refugees in Namibia and Zambia also started in July 2003.
By August 2003, agencies estimated that approximately 130,000 refugees had returned of their own accord since the signing of the peace agreement, predominantly to the provinces of Cuando Cubango, Moxico, Uige and Zaire. A continuing concern is the lack of basic standards for water, health, schooling and the presence of local administration in areas to which refugees are returning. A 2005 report by Human Rights Watch stated that while most IDPs and refugees have now returned home or have decided to stay in the host communities, many experience difficulties in accessing identity documents which provide them with the right to work, to vote and to an education. ( http://hrw.org/reports/2005/angola0305/angola0305.pdf). HRW suggests that three years after peace had arrived, many displaced Angolans continue to suffer.
Angolas armed conflict has had a serious impact on its children in a myriad of ways. Not only have the chances of survival and health services drastically deteriorated for children under the age of 5 (see section 2.2.), but children of all ages have been separated from their families, some of whom are living on the streets of urban centres, while others have participated in the armed conflict either voluntarily, through coercion or through force. Some of the major issues affecting children in Angola are:
Child labour: The International Labour Office (ILO) estimated that in the year 2000, 26% of all Angolan children between the ages of 10-14 were economically active (Global March: http://www.globalmarch.org/). Many younger children are also working in the informal sector.
Street Children: Large numbers of separated children live on the streets of urban centres in Angola. In 1998, it was estimated that approximately 5000 children live on the streets of Luanda, a number that will have increased since then (Global March: http://www.globalmarch.org/). Many of these children have fled form rural areas where they and their families were subject to military attacks.
Child soldiers: Both UNITA and the Angolan government have been implicated in the forced recruitment of under-age soldiers (Human Rights Watch: Angolas forgotten fighters: http://www.hrw.org/reports/2003/angola0403/). Child protection workers estimate that as many as 11,000 children from the two sides may have lived and worked in combat conditions. The HRW report draws attention to the discrimination that operates against these forgotten fighters who have not been included in the demobilisation program that was initiated after the signing of the peace agreement in April 2002. Child combatants have not been provided with the same direct assistance that is being accorded to adult combatants, leaving them doubly vulnerable as they attempt to reintegrate into civilian life.
Child prostitution: The commercial sexual exploitation of children in the country is on the increase. EPCAT notes that many street children earn their living through prostitution and that the numbers of foreign men exploiting Angolan minors are on the rise in the country (EPCAT: http://www.ecpat.net/eng/index.asp). While exact numbers are difficult to obtain, it is estimated that approximately 3000 children under the age of 18 are involved in prostitution for survival in various urban centres around the country in 2003.
Various initiatives are under way to provide assistance to Angolan children. The ICRC is attempting to trace missing children and reunite them with their families (website: http://www.icrc.org/Web/eng/siteeng0.nsf/iwpList74/FE4721940140EFFCC1256D0B003410F1). International and national organisations are implementing health, educational, psychosocial and vocational training projects with children and adolescents, amongst others (UNICEF website: http://www.unicef.org/emerg/southernafrica/index_angola.html).
A serious consequence of the war are the injuries and deaths caused by landmines. Angola has one of the worst land mine problems in the world. The Landmine Monitor Report 2003 ( http://www.icbl.org/lm/2003/angola.html) records that 2,232 minefields have been registered with the national mine action office in Angola, a number that excludes the 660 minefields that have already been cleared since 1995. In addition, the fact that there have been 76 different types of anti-personnel mines from 22 different countries reported in Angola has made the task of de-mining even more difficult.
It is difficult to estimate the overall number of mine victims in Angola. In 2001 alone there were 673 new casualties with 170 people killed (Landmine Monitor Report 2003 ( http://www.icbl.org/lm/2003/angola.html). The US State Department estimates that there are 800 new mine casualties each year in Angola. Of these 26% of the recorded casualties are children under ht the age of 18. Only a small proportion of amputees have been provided with wheelchairs, artificial limbs or given physiotherapy as there are only a few centres in the country that provide such treatment, those operated by foreign relief agencies (OCHA, 2001). Landmines do not only impact the health sector but also affect the economic survival abilities of communities as farmlands become inaccessible. Only an estimated 25 percent of the farmland cultivated in 1975 was being used in 1990; cattle-grazing areas are deserted; and many large farms have been abandoned (Tvedten, 1997). Despite the presence of landmines, many people continued to cultivate their fields, out of desperation and the lack of alternative methods of survival.
Since the signing of the peace agreement in April 2002, war-displaced people are beginning to return to their homes in former battle zones and the issue of de-mining has become even more urgent. (Angola Peace Monitor: http://www.actsa.org/Angola/apm/apm0901.htm). The de-mining efforts have been hampered by a lack of funding and co-ordination amongst the major players in the area. However, positive developments include the ratification of Mine Ban Treaty by the Angolan government in July 2002 and the fact that no new anti-personnel mines have been reported since April 2002 (Land mine Monitor Report 2003: http://www.icbl.org/lm/2003/angola.html).
Diamonds and oil
The history of Angolas diamond mining is a chequered one, with international attention focusing in recent years on illegal trading of conflict diamonds through UNITA-controlled areas such as Lunda Sul and Lunda Norte in the north-east of the country. Illegal diamond digging and diamond smuggling through the DRC, Congo-Brazzaville and Zambia sustained UNITAs war efforts during the third and fourth wars, despite UN sanctions imposed on this trade in 1998 (Amnesty International: http://web.amnesty.org/library/Index/ENGAFR010112001?open&of=ENG-AGO). A UN sanctions monitoring mechanism was set up to try and halt the flow of cash and arms to UNITA during the final years of the war, by making it illegal to buy diamonds from UNITA or to sell them weapons. Although UNITAs diamond trade was reduced through these sanctions, it never ceased completely and independent observers believe that UNITA continued to benefit from the trade right up to the last months of war (Global Policy: http://www.globalpolicy.org/security/sanction/angola/2002/1108dia.htm). After the signing of the peace agreement in April 2002, the UN sanctions monitoring committee accused UNITA of retaining cashes of illicit diamonds (Global Policy: http://www.globalpolicy.org/security/sanction/angola/2002/1122denies.htm). Sanctions were only officially lifted in December 2002 by the UN Security Council who declared UNITA no longer to be a threat to national or regional interests.
The Angolan government subscribed to the global certification scheme to block the sale of illicit diamonds in late 2000. In 2001, the Angolan Deputy Minister of Mining, Antonio Sumbula, admitted that $1 million worth of diamonds were leaving Angola illegally each day. While substantial efforts have been under way to stem the flow of illegal diamonds from Angola since the signing of the peace agreement in 2002, observers have noted that illicit diamond mining has started up again in areas that had lain dormant due to the war, for instance in the Capembe region in Cuando Cubango (Global Policy: http://www.globalpolicy.org/security/sanction/angola/2002/1108dia.htm). Controlling the diamond trade will continue to prove challenging to the Angolan government. In the meantime, the government is pursuing new diamond mining projects with international mining companies ( O Pensador: http://www.angola.org/news/pensador/april03.pdf).
- Diamonds in conflict: http://www.globalpolicy.org/security/issues/diamond/index.htm
During the almost 40 years of conflict in Angola, the only sector of the economy that consistently performed well was the oil sector which was under the control of the Angolan government. It is run by the Ministry of Oil and Energy and the parastatal company SONANGOL, and 80% of the oil production takes place off the coast of Cabinda (see section 1.5.2. above). Angola is currently the second-largest producer of oil in sub-Saharan Africa, after Nigeria (Hodges, 2003: http://www.c-r.org/accord/ang/accord15/10.shtml).
The Angolan economy is heavily dependant on oil production. Although the oil sector is a vital source of income, during the war years the earnings were used predominantly for non-productive purposes such as military and food imports and to repay Angolas rising foreign debt (Hodges, 2003). As a percentage of GDP, defence and security expenditure peaked at 26 percent (by far the highest level in the world) in 1999, but then fell back to 7 percent in 2001 and 2002, although this is still very high by international standards. Hodges (2003) notes that it is also worrying that the government is continuing to give high priority to defence and security, which were allocated 32 percent of the budget for 2004. In addition, the strong dependence on this one particular export meant that the Angolan economy was dependent on world oil prices, its revenue rising and falling with external variations in price levels (Hodges, 2003: http://www.c-r.org/accord/ang/accord15/10.shtml).
The Angolan governments financing of its military efforts led to a situation where they raised loans from Swiss and French banks using oil as a collateral, borrowing cash against future exports (Global Policy: http://www.globalpolicy.org/security/sanction/angola/2003/0226elite.htm). It is unclear to what extent Angolas future oil wealth has already been mortgaged but the Angolan government has declared itself broke and called for an international donor conference in 2003, being unable to fund the post-war reconstruction needs of the country. Angolas foreign debt is estimated to be about 12 billion USD, of which about half is owed to Russian arms manufacturers. Some financial analysts suspect the amount of foreign debt to much higher than this (Global Policy: http://www.globalpolicy.org/security/sanction/angola/2003/0226elite.htm).
In addition, observers have commented on the missing billions that are suspected to have been siphoned off by the Angolan political elite through corrupt contracting methods providing substantial commissions for key government officials. A report by Global Witness, entitled All the presidents men (website: http://www.globalwitness.org/), accuses top government officials of benefiting financially from the oil sector and calls upon the government as well as on international oil companies to adopt a policy of transparency (see also Human Rights Watch, 2004 http://www.hrw.org/reports/2004/angola0104/).
Due to the increase in oil production, government oil revenues, which had been less than $1 billion a year for most of the 1980s, were running at an average of just over $2.5 billion per year during the period 1995-2001 (Hodges, 2003: http://www.c-r.org/accord/ang/accord15/10.shtml). Following major new oil discoveries in deep water off the Angolan coast in the mid-1990s, investments currently underway will more than double oil production in the next few years, to 2.2 billion b/d in 2008. This will take Angola's oil production to about the same level as Nigeria's, transforming Angola into the single largest oil exporter in sub-Saharan Africa by 2008 (Global Policy: http://www.globalpolicy.org/security/sanction/angola/2003/0226elite.htm).
Amnesty International Report 2003: Angola. Website: http://web.amnesty.org/report2003/ago-summary-eng
Amnesty International Report 2004: Angola Website: http://web.amnesty.org/report2004/ago-summary-eng
Cabinda: Amnesty International Report 2004 Website: http://www.unpo.org/news_detail.php?arg=13&par=670
Angola Peace Monitor: Published by Action for Southern Africa, the Angola Peace Monitor was launched in April 1995 to report on progress made in the Angolan peace process. Produces monthly reports on news items in Angola. Website: http://www.actsa.org/Angola/apm/
The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO): Publishes regular reports on the on-going food crisis in Angola. The 2003 report can be found at: ftp://ftp.fao.org/docrep/fao/005/y9881e/y9881e00.pdf
Human Rights Watch. Entitled Struggling through peace, return and resettlement, this report investigates the situation of IDPs as they embark on voluntary or coerced return to their home areas. Website: http://www.hrw.org/reports/2003/angola0803/angola0803.pdf
Human Rights Watch Report: Angola 2003 Website: http://www.hrw.org/wr2k3/africa1.html
Human Rights Watch (2005). Coming home: return and reintegration in Angola. Vol 17 (2). Website: http://hrw.org/reports/2005/angola0305/angola0305.pdf
International Crisis Group: The Brussels-based organisations has produced a report in 2002, entitled "Angola's Choice: Reform or Regress", which outlines the political challenges faced by the Angolan government and makes recommendations for possible priorities to be set in order to ensure peace and prosperity in the country.
Land mine Monitor Angola Report 2003: Established in June 1998, the International Campaign to Ban Landmines started producing the "Land mine Monitor", a reporting network to systematically monitor and document nations' compliance with the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty and the humanitarian response to the global land mine crisis. The 2003 report on Angola can be found at website: http://www.icbl.org/lm/2003/angola.html
Norwegian Refugee Council. The Global IDP database provides up-to-date information on issues of displacement in Angola. Website: http://www.idpproject.org.
Official Angolan government website Website: http://www.angola.org/
O Pensador. Published by the Embassy of Angola, this newsletter provides brief overviews of the latest political and economic developments in the country. Website: http://www.angola.org/news/pensador/index.html
Reliefweb: Produced by the United Nations Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), it provides information for humanitarian workers. The USAID Field Report on Angola (9 May 2003) can be found at website: http://www.reliefweb.int/rw/rwb.nsf/db900SID/SKAR-648B4R?OpenDocument
SARPN (Southern African Regional Poverty Network): The aim of this network is to raise the level and quality of public debate on poverty across the southern African development community (SADC). Each of the SADC countries has a website dedicated to country poverty analysis. The Angolan website can be found at: http://www.sarpn.org.za/CountryPovertyPapers/cppAngola.php
The UN Mission Observer. The Angolan Mission Observer is the bi-monthly Publication of The Permanent Mission of The Republic of Angola to The United Nations and reports on political development in the country. Website: http://www.angola.org/news/mission/index.html
Non-electronic resources and bibliography
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