P D A T E A N G O L A
01 Vol 1
Reflections from Angola: Quotations from the people....p.2
An All Men's Show?..........................................p.2
b) Mineral resources
e) Humanitarian Aid
4. ANGOLAN NGO'S....................................................p.6
a) Catholic Church
b) Congregational Church
c) Jubilee 2000
e) PADPA party
5. INTERNATIONAL NGO'S..............................................p.7
a) Global Witness UK
b) PazANGOLA New York
c) Syracuse University USA
d) SACMUP- refugee statement
e) Advocacy Network for Africa (ADNA) - USA
f) Development Workshop
Reflections from Angola: Quotations from the people.
Omega Bula of the United Church of Canada collected these thoughts and
comments during her visit with Chris Ferguson in September 2000. They are
set out at random, not in any special order; take time to reflect on ones
that strike you:
We survive through the force of faith and human determination..
Life is stronger than death - you are witnesses to that
Our children cannot eat diamonds; neither can they drink oil.
Our wealth has become our curse.
They take our diamonds and oil and in return they give a senseless war.
Angola will be free when our oil is no longer mixed with blood.
Both colonialism and mission work were based on a racist ideology. Angolan
people are reaping the fruits of that era.
This is a bad use of power by the North, choosing the best partners, best
for whom? Non-church groups/NGO's are getting more resources, local
cooperation is undermined, and we do not need this now in Angola.
I want to learn English - this way I can get a job with an NGO.
Our leaders are like chameleons; you cannot depend on them.
1.2 million internally displaced, still there are no negotiations to end
the war, only a military option.
Peace building calls for dialogue, guns do not do dialogue.
Hope for Angola is not representation, it is participation.in what people
understand and are able to do..
Our youth are struggling, their horizons have been lowered and there is no
space for dreams..
We are a church of the poor
The success of the church is helping the kids whose parents are unable to
provide health and education for them.
We area church in very difficult circumstances.
Please hear the cry of the people and carry this message..
We are not alone , we live in God's world..
WE feel encouraged by your visit, because we know you are thinking about
us, please do not forget we are here.
We sing because we cannot cry any more..
Angola cannot be saved without the conversion of the whole world..the
crisis in Angola is a global crisis
An All Men's Show? Angolan Women's Survival In The 30 Year War.
On February 21st UPDATE circulated to our e-mail list a summary of this
article AN ALL MEN'S SHOW? ANGOLAN WOMEN'S SURVIVAL IN THE 30 YEAR WAR" by
Henda Ducados, on the changing role of women in ANGOLA since the liberation
war up to now. Here is the introduction by AGENDA Magazine to the article:
"HENDA DUCADOS argues that although women's involvement in the liberation
struggle played a decisive role for women's emancipation during the
post-independence period, today they have been relegated to the status of
outcasts and victims as if their citizenship does not count..Henda Ducados
is a founding member of the Angolan Gender Network (Rede Mulher), and is
currently doing field work in Angola for her Ph.D. studies at the Gender
Institute of the London School of Economics."
Henda was one of the resource people from Angola at a November 99
conference on peace in Angola held in Ottawa Canada. The article was
published in Agenda issue #20.2000, entitled "Women and the Aftermath".
Contact information firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.agenda.org.za
Here we give only the beginning of the introduction and the conclusion.
The whole article or the summary we sent out is available from UA by e-mail
or hard copy.
I argue that the war is not by any means viewed by Angolan women as being a
'necessary evil' to achieve some goals of political ideology. Rather, it is
a war resulting out of the inability of men to find common ground to end
the conflict at the expense of the population. Angola has gone through
different types of wars.
Women's perspectives on the war have changed as its consequences have
affected the population indiscriminately, regardless of their origin and
political affiliation and it has distorted family structures and family
Much remains to be said and studied on the capacity of Angolan women to
find mechanisms to end violence.
Women's role in ending the conflict in Angola is a complex issue. Angolan
civil society is by far the weakest in the Southern Africa region, because
of war, poverty, social disintegration and disruption. However, there are
encouraging signs that civil society organizations may have an important
part in providing an answer to the conflict. It seems that the general
discontentment is increasing and people's actions are becoming more
pro-active in supporting an end to the war. Despite the heterogeneity of
Angolan women, I argue that there is hope in collective action by women to
organize on peace issues.
Angolan women's roles and gender relations in the 30-years of conflict are
multi-faceted. On the one hand, women were heroines during the liberation
struggle, which strongly suggests that nationalist struggles be gendered as
they involve the manipulation of gender identities, symbols and gendered
divisions of power, labor, and resources. On the other hand, Angolan women
have been excluded from peace negotiation processes and seem to have been
relegated to passive agents and victims of the process, as if the war was
an 'all-men's' business.
It seems that Angolan men have declared that the war is their preserve.
Indeed, the male-dominated urban, Angolan elite is devoid of purpose beyond
the illegitimate rape of the country's natural and human resources. They
have no legitimate political constituency and they have presented no
visible manifesto or viable strategy. Their reality is a short-term
situation. They live at the periphery of Angolan society - separated from
ordinary Angolans by language, security guards, air-conditioning, and dual
This suggests that while the deterioration of the socio-economic conditions
of Angola affects the people of Angola as a whole, the context is not
favorable for a process, which includes women or prioritizes their demands.
This situation will continue if more is not done internally to place gender
concerns at the center of policies and programs that have the aim of the
reconstruction of Angola. As policies and programs tend to overlook women's
needs, such as the psychological trauma of rape and other conflict-related
abuse, there is a need to examine conflict from a gender and development
perspective in order to address the needs of men and women while
translating a gender analysis of the post-conflict situation into policy
and practice (Byron, 1995:57). This in turn could enhance a stronger
participation of women in all spheres of society and adjust gender
relations to the needs of both women and men equally, in a process of
The international community should tap into women's informal structures,
resources and capacity. Angolan women need stronger mechanisms to form a
coalition around peace, so that real development of the country can be made
· The UNITED NATIONS Monitoring Mechanism reported on Dec 21st to the
Security Council on sanctions against UNITA. The Mechanism concluded that:
o "There is no doubt that the sanctions, together with the military
operations carried out by the Angolan armed forces and the vigilance of the
international community, are hurting UNITA's ability to wage war, " and
continues "however, since peace has not yet been achieved, the
international community cannot leave the Angolan situation unattended."
o Speaking of the situations in the Congo and Sierra Leone, it continues
"there are many common elements in terms of arms, diamond dealers, and air
transport carriers.these elements have no nationality or loyalty of any
kind and can be found today in Angola and tomorrow somewhere else.the
international community must urgently address [this]"
· In January the UN accepted the report, and authorized a further 3 months
from Jan 25th. The sanctions will continue: "Jonas Savimbi is a man with an
immense capacity to resurrect himself and to turn his fortunes around." It
suggests that he will find new sources of supply of arms and purchase of
· It recommended a tightening of arms export controls, of end user
certificates, and a registry of arms brokers. Also that travel restrictions
on UNITA leadership and closing of overseas offices be retained and
· The Angola Peace Monitor #7 Vol.7 concludes: "With France and others
strongly rejecting the recommendations of the report, it is unlikely that
secondary sanctions will be imposed." (that is, sanctions against alleged
sanctions -breakers like Togo, Burkina Faso, even Rwanda)
· The Government pronounced an amnesty in November for UNITA deserters and
for minor criminals. They claim about 800 had accepted by January, and a
further 600 in February including some high ranking military people.
Officially UNITA rejected the offer.
· Following the election of George Bush, UNITA wrote him praising him and
requesting him to use his influence with the Angolan government to promote
negotiations. In February unofficial meetings were reported in Washington
between a State department official and Jardo Muekalia, former UNITA
representative in the USA. The USA claimed these meetings did not break
sanctions because they were "informal and unofficial."
· The Monitor feels its unlikely that US support for Savimbi will revive
because of the increased importance of oil exports to the US-Bush is an
'oil man'-and the great improbability that Savimbi would ever be able to
actually take over the country.
· The government is using the language of dialogue (though not with
Savimbi) in line with widespread demands. However no forums are
established.. They claim there are no political prisoners or journalists in
Angolan prisons. Certainly their remains widespread intimidation of
opponents, especially media people. South Africa continues to favor a
dialogue approach to peace.
· A strike of the civil service started January 8th, ignored by the
government media. MISA the Media Institute of Southern Africa reported, "
Angolan public sector workers have been on nationwide strike since Monday
in reaction to the government's proposal to set the minimum monthly salary
at the equivalent of US $30. The unions are demanding US $300, and MISA
pointed out that some public sector workers only earn the equivalent of two
cans of Coca-Cola a month. Twelve provinces have been affected by the
industrial action, with hospitals and airports operating with minimum
numbers of staff."
b) Mineral resources
· The UN is calling on `BIG OIL' to use its influence with the Angolan
government to persuade it to provide resources to meet needs of its people.
A UN official in January met with companies in UK France and Norway in
an effort to get a coordinated and strong approach to the Angolan
government for more transparent use of the resources they obtain from oil
royalties and sales.
· On Feb 10th, UA circulated press release statements from Global Witness
commenting (favorably) on position taken by BP AMOCO who committed
themselves to some greater transparency in their dealings with the Angolan
government, and (negatively) on TOTAL FINA whose commitments did not seem
so transparent. (Press releases available from UA) or from Simon Taylor at
· Chevron is bringing on stream strong valuable new wells off shore from
· Norwegian companies are investing in Angolan oil, and following their
`model', Angola is avoiding membership of OPEC to keep sales up, and
trying to build local industry around the oil resource in addition to
· The Israeli Company Leviev is investing heavily in a mine at Camafuca. It
had already bought half of the mine from Southern Era, a small Canadian
· Conflict diamonds: Efforts continue to isolate these in the world market.
On Feb.18th in Namibia a further meeting of the Kimberly process
(African-led) agreed to a timetable to move the process forward to full
certification to end the role of conflict diamonds. De Beers has endorsed
this and declared itself clean, but hasn't established proof yet.
· There may be some negative spin off from this for smaller countries. Here
are excerpts from a paper by Namibian Human Rights Society NHRS , entitled
"Conflict Diamonds a Façade", giving a negative evaluation of this effort-
a Unita and a Namibian and Botswana point of view. (Paper available):
"As an African human rights organization, NSHR condemns the concept of
so-called blood diamonds or conflict diamonds campaign as an insidious,
diversionary and racist strategy conceived by non-Africans. In our opinion
such campaign is aimed at, not reducing or stopping conflict on the
continent, but taking control of one of Africa's most lucrative natural
resource. The notion of "conflict diamonds" is a superficial manifestation
of a deep-rooted and vicious rivalry among Western-based international
Diamond dealers, including diamond mercenary organizations, each fighting
to control the world diamond industry and or market. Western-based
multinational corporations have taken control of oil resources, arms
industry and are now also vying for control of African diamonds."
· The govt. proposes to privatize the commercial and industrial Bank of
Angola by 2002. This follows a recommendation by the IMF
· China is proposing to cancel the $1/2b debt owed by Angola.
· A government fund for peace and national reconciliation is being set up
to make grants to newly amnestied opponents and small entrepreneurs.
· The scandals continue to grow around bribes/commissions paid to European
leaders and Angolan government officials through the Oil Company SONANGOL.
Jean-Christophe Mitterand and Pierre Falcone were detained on Dec 1st
(Mitterand since bailed out for $700,000) have prompted condemnation (and
court cases) from many; led by Global Witness (see #5a). Falcone was
involved in 93/94 in illegal arms deal worth $663m, involving President dos
Santos, as well as fraud, and influence peddling. Two French judges have
just asked the government of Monaco's permission to investigate the bank
accounts of dos Santos in this tax haven.
· Attacked on Dec 29 in early morning the Benguela airport. 2 Guards were
· Made 2 major attacks on the city of Uige on Feb. IST, and apparently came
close to capturing it.
· Killed 48 people including diamond miners in Cassanguidi in Lunda Norte,
and were blamed for death of 35 people in Cajiza, and 10 in Huila.
· Claimed responsibility for shooting down an Antonov plane near Luena in
Moxico; 17 soldiers and 5 others died.
· Captured the town of Galangue in the south, killing 5 people.
Govt. troops (FAA)
· General Joao dos Matos has accepted as normal his replacement by Gen.
Armando da Cruz Neto Deputy minister of Defense ,as Chief of Staff of the
armed forces., saying his second term was up. He remains as head of the army.
· FAA troops continue to claim victories over UNITA guerrillas on the
eastern frontier with Zambia, and generally succeed against concentrations
of UNITA troops, but not against scattered attacks. No actual end of the
war is in sight.
· More FAA troops have been sent to Congo to reinforce the Kabila
government there following his assassination and the take-over by his son
Joseph, already the Military Chief of Staff.
· A new military pact with Russia will bring military advisers to upgrade
FAA troops. In exchange Russia will have more opportunity to invest in
diamond production in Angola.
e) Humanitarian Aid:
· Government proposes to take over some responsibility for Internally
Displaced Persons with a budget of $39m to repair roads, bridges and
transport. Estimated number is now 3.8 million. There are plans for them to
return to villages, but insecurity prevents most of them from going back.
· Half a million people at least are without aid; there is no number for
those inaccessible in 60% of the area controlled by UNITA.
· Cut in aid is imminent (up to 50%) because of lack of pledges to WFP and
massive donor fatigue.
· Strong movement of refugees still to camps in Zambia to escape the
fighting. In Nangweshi camp, for example, it is thought that there is a
large presence of UNITA leadership, civil and military, especially from the
area of Jamba, which was taken by government a few months ago. The UNHCR
plans to move them farther from the border to the area of Kaoma.
4. ANGOLAN NGO'S
- 300 youth demonstrated against violence, corruption and war in Mlanje,
sponsored by the Catholic Church. Their signs called for dignity of the
human person, peace, year of Jubilee. They presented the bishop of Mlanje
with a `manifesto against war'.
- Monsignor Damian Franklin age 50, has been appointed by the Pope to be
the Archbishop of Luanda replacing
Cardinal Alexander do Nascimento who has reached the mandatory retirement
age of 75. . Franklin was already titular Archbishop of Falcrone, and
currently is the Rector of the Catholic University of Angola, and is
Secretary General of the Association of African Bishops of Southern Africa
(IMBISA). Increasing Catholic leadership in ecumenical endeavours for peace
reflects the growing influence of Dom Franklin.
b) Congregational Church
- Several thousand attended a New Year rally in Benguela. Jose Chipenda
gave a New Year message. (see UA List transmission of late January for an
English translation of it. or request from UA). He called on people to
work for peace in the country leading up to elections, and for cancellation
of international debt.
c) Jubilee 2000 Angola
- Sent on Feb. 10th an open letter to the members of the national assembly
urging them to make public and invite input from the public on the new
budget for 2001. Jubilee lobbied for greater percentages of the budget for
health and education and less for defense. (circulated by UA on Feb 22nd -
available) Letters of support made be sent to then Chair, Benjamin
Castello at <email@example.com>
- Media people continue to experience harassment. For example the Media
Director of a regional government radio station was sacked for earnestly
calling for greater financial transparency , even though the government had
- 6 members of the PADPA party, including the president Carlos Leitao,
were arrested Jan 24th by 5 truckloads of Ninja's. They were demonstrating
outside parliament, and demanding the resignation of the president because
of his involvement in the financial scandal revealed in France (see 3a
above) They appeared in court on 26th and were released on bail. PADPA is
a youth based party , which does not yet have any members in parliament.
Jubilee rallies for peace was held in many places on January 1st of the new
millennium. The Gen. Sec of CICA Bernard Francisco Neto spoke in Lobito and
called people to work together for a better future. Similar rallies were
held in every city in Benguela province. In Luanda COIEPA organized a
service in the Citadel addressed by Cardinal Nascimento, and Ntoni-Nzinga,
the Gen. Sec. of COIEPA (Churches Ecumenical group for Peace),.Nzinga
affirmed the UN Year for Peace, and called for new relationships among
The government minister responsible for Religious Affairs affirmed in
December that CICA and the AEA were both considered properly registered
legal entities; this had been questioned earlier in the year.
UPDATE offers condolences to Bornito de Sousa, leader of the MPLA in
Parliament, on the death of his father
Rev Job Baltazar Diogo. Rev Diogo , a Methodist minister, had been active
with the Bible Society and instrumental in the translation of the bible
5. INTERNATIONAL NGO'S:
a) Global Witness of UK
Issued 3 press releases since the New year; the first called on President
dos Santos and the French government to explain his involvement in the
scandals of huge payments by oil companies for access to contracts and oil
in Angola. The last 2 commented on the actions of BP AMOCO who committed
them to reveal their payments and amounts of oil taken out of Angola; and
(negatively) on Total/Fina/Elf who promised transparency in what GW
called a `non-statement'.. See UA message of Feb 15th
b) PazAngola (Yvonne Lodico)
The New York-based organization sponsored jointly with the City bar
Association a seminar on conflict diamonds on Feb 27th at 7 p.m. They will
also hold an event on April 7th. See their excellent web site
c) The International Affairs department of Syracuse NY University
Will sponsor a 3-day conference on Peace in Central Africa, which will
focus on Congo, but Angola will also be included. To register contact
Horace Campbell firstname.lastname@example.org (for details see UA message of Jan 30th
which includes his background paper for the conference.)
d) USA through Advocacy Network for Africa (ADNA)
Valentines Day Feb. 14 was focus for advocacy activists in ADNA to call on
people to have a one-day moratorium to challenge the retail diamond
industry to prevent sales of conflict diamonds. (A paper from Namibia
challenges this action as detrimental to small state producers like Namibia
and Botswana, and a play by the big boys to control the industry more
tightly. See 3b above.
A SACMUP committee on Angola visited some Angolan refugee camps in Zambia,
making efforts to link them to their home churches, and to give them some
look- in at least to the negotiations which affect them so much. See or ask
for UA message of Jan.19th for full report of their visit, and refugee
f) DEVELOPMENT WORKSHOP
Taps of Huambo city have water again as of Dec. This is the result of a DW
project in partnership with the Provincial Govt and Empresa Provincial de
Agua e Saneamento do Huambo (provincial water and
sanitation company) and the Servicios Communitarias to rehabilitate the
city water supply system which has been nonfunctional for the last several
years. Project is funded by the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance,
USAID. The project upgraded electricity production capacity at the
hydroelectric power station at Cuando, through repair of generators and
control equipment and the installation of step-up transmission transformer,
trained staff in water testing and preventive maintenance, repaired water
a) A Comparison of the Angolan Diaspora and their Biblical Counterparts in
the Post-Exilic period. MA Thesis by Rev. Luciano Chianeque at the School
of Religion and Culture at Durban Westville University April 2000. 178
pages double-spaced. Covers Displacement as a social phenomenon and Angolan
experience of it; and also how people cope with it. It examines Psalm 74
and compares it to music used in the present day Diaspora.
From UA- $10 duplicating and mailing)
b) An All Men's Show? Angolan women's survival in the 30 year war by Henda
Ducados 12 pages in Agenda `Women and the Aftermath' April 2000 12 pages
(see #2.Feature above)
c) "Angola Peace Monitor" newsletter produced monthly (5/6 pages) by ACTSA,
28 Penton St., London N1 9SA UK e-mail email@example.com. Contact them
directly to subscribe. Formerly an anti-apartheid group; generally
sympathetic to the Angolan government, but an excellent source of
information, on which we draw regularly for UPDATE ANGOLA with much thanks.
d) "Oil, diamonds, and danger" , the Economist, Jan 13, 2001.
Questions whether aid from oil companies and humanitarian aid agencies
lets the government off the hook of its responsibilities to its people. 2
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