Angola Recent History

Ancient Kingdom subject, with the name of Ngola, to Mwani Congo, to. it was discovered in its coastal part and together with the Congo river between 1482 and 1486 by Diogo Cão, squire of King John II of Portugal. He was followed by Gonçalo de Sousa, with an official mission and, therefore, the first missionaries. The baptism of the sovereign and the relative official conversion of the people, the erection of the cathedral in São Salvador (new name of Bonza, Congo), the arrival of the Jesuits in 1560 were the preconditions for a stable political settlement which took place in 1574-75 by Paolo Diaz de Novaes, who occupied the coastal strip as a ‘donor’ and in 1576 he founded the city of São Paulo de Loanda (today’s Luanda). The territory was organized as a colony and subjected from 1592 to the powers of the governor general Francisco de Almeida. Angola became, from this moment, one of the major sectors of the slave trade, mainly directed towards Brazil. In 1627 the Portuguese possessions were invaded by the tribes of the interior and in 1641 the rebels found help in the Dutch who took possession of São Paulo de Loanda; other invasions occurred later with alternating events; there. he could find peace only under the enlightened government of F. de Sousa Coutinho, sent by Pombal. In the middle of the century. 19 ° there were migratory currents from Brazil and Madeira, which were joined on the highlands around 1880 by strong contingents of Boer colonists. Slavery was actually abolished only towards the middle of the century. 19 °. Borders with German and French possessions and the free state definedof Congo in 1885-86 and with Rhodesia in 1905, the Angola it was declared an integral part of Portugal in 1935. In 1951 it was named an overseas province and since then it has sent its representatives to the National Assembly in Lisbon. Starting from 1961 in Angola there were significant guerilla operations by various movements, the most important of which were the GRAE (Govêrno Revolucionário de Angola no Ex í lio), directed by Holden Roberto and pro-Western, and the MPLA (Movimento Popular de Libertação de Angola), directed by Angola Neto and M. de Andrade, pro-Communist. These movements, after fiercely fought each other, in October 1966 in Cairo they reached an understanding, under the auspices of the Organization for African Unity. In 1970, while the new Portuguese minister M. Caetano attempted the path of partial concessions, the guerrilla movements intensified and an approach was reached between the MPLA and the FLNA (Frente Nacional de Libertação de Angola) of H. Roberto who in the 1972 formed the CSLA (Conselho Supremo de Libertação de Angola). Another independence organization also operated alongside them, UNITA (União Nacional de Independéncia Total de Angola), led by J. Savimbi.

According to HOMEAGERLY, the Portuguese revolution of 1974 paved the way for new relations and the date of independence was set at 11 November 1975. At the same time, a bitter struggle for hegemony began between the three organizations – divided for ethnic, territorial, religious, political and international support reasons. After the withdrawal of the Portuguese army on the agreed date, followed by the exodus of the white population, the clash took on the dimensions of a civil war; to establish itself was the MPLA – thanks also to the political and military support of the USSR, Cuba (present with a military contingent) and other socialist states – which proclaimed the People’s Republic of Angola, whose first president was Angola Neto. The approval of the Constitution gave the MPLA control of the executive power, while the legislative power was entrusted to the national assembly (the first was inaugurated in 1980). However, the recognition of the Angolan government by the Organization for African Unity (1976) did not end the conflict with FLNA and UNITA, the first present in the north of the country and supported by Zaire (until the 1978 agreements, which re-established friendly relations between the two countries), the second active mainly in the South and supported by the Republic of South Africa and later also from the United States. Instead, relations with South Africa became more tense, which in 1981 pushed its troops far inland in pursuit of supporters of Namibian independence (a cause that the Angola advocated). In 1988, with US mediation, an agreement between Cuba, Angola and South Africa established the withdrawal of South African troops from the Angola, the independence of Namibia and the departure of the Cubans by 1991. In other respects, the difficulties deriving from the a long civil war pushed the country towards economic integration with Europe and the West and the liberalization of the market. In 1990 the party in power, which since 1977 had changed its name to MPLA-PT (Party do Trabalho), spoke out for the initiation of a democratization process. With the 1991 agreement between MPLA-PT and UNITA, the civil war seemed to end; the MPLA-PT remained in the government for ordinary administration in view of the elections scheduled for 1992. Despite the delays in the demobilization of the military contingents, the elections were held regularly and sanctioned the affirmation of the MPLA, which obtained the majority of seats and the victory of its candidate, JE dos Santos (which had replaced Neto since 1978), in the presidential elections. The results of the elections, however, were contested by UNITA which resumed fighting throughout the country, managing to occupy 65% ​​of the entire territory. The conflict quickly resulted in the deaths of thousands of civilians. The UN imposed an embargo on supplies of weapons and oil to UNITA and reconfirmed the presence of the peacekeepers of the mission sent in 1991 to verify the proper conduct of elections and general demobilization. The negotiations were concluded, thanks to the mediation of the new South African president N. Mandela, in 1994 with the signing of the Lusaka protocol. However, an effective reduction in fighting took place only from May 1995, when the leaders of the rival organizations agreed on the constitution of a government of national unity. Despite the formation of this government (1997), UNITA continued to upgrade its military facility with the proceeds from the black market sale of diamonds mined in areas under its control. In the second half of 1997, with the worsening of the crisis in Zaire, the MPLA and UNITA took sides on opposite sides: the first in fact assured its support for President L.-D. Kabila and attacked UNITA forces stationed near the border. In the first months of 1998 the situation worsened further and hostilities resumed in May. At the beginning of 2000, a growing involvement of Namibia on the side of the Angolan government seemed to put in difficulty UNITA which, since April, reacted by launching a series of surprise attacks, which intensified during 2001, reaching in September to threaten Luanda. In 2002, after Savimbi was killed in a clash with government troops, President dos Santos and the new UNITA leader P. Lukamba ‘Gato’, signed the ceasefire agreement. In 2006 the government of Luanda signed an agreement with the Cabinda Liberation Front, which provided for the recognition of a special autonomy statute for the region. In 2010, the abolition of the presidential elections, expected for the previous year, confirmed the autocratic management of power and according to the new rules approved by Parliament, President Dos Santos, as president of the MPLA, in the 2012 elections, which confirmed the pre-eminence of the MPLA, albeit in relative decline compared to the previous elections, was reconfirmed as head of the country, taking over in August 2017 by J. Lourenço, general of the former premier, minister of defense and vice president of the Dos Santos party.

Angola Recent History