Angola History

Angola History


Around 8000 years ago, the Khoisan people lived in what is now Angola as gatherers and small animal hunters. From 500 AD, Bantus came to the areas and were hunters and gatherers in the arid regions, and nomadic cattle herders in the more fertile areas, some of whom also farmed. From around 1400 various states in the north belonged to the powerful Kingdom of the Congo, including the kingdom of Kimbundu, whose king bore the title “Ngola” (from which the name “Angola” is derived), as well as the states of Imbangala and Luewa. In 1482 Portuguese sailors (D. Cão ) the coast of what is now Angola and began exploring the country. Portugal established trading branches and mission stations just two years later. Since the Portuguese did not find the gold and silver they had hoped for, they began from 1510 with the kidnapping and shipping of slaves, v. a. in the area of ​​today’s Brazil (around 2 million people by the middle of the 19th century). From the military base of Luanda (in the kingdom of Ngola) founded in 1575, the Portuguese began to conquer the hinterland. They met fierce opposition, v. a. the rich Matamba, Kazanje and Lunda. 1642–48 Angola was occupied by the Dutch and became a Portuguese colony in 1653 without being completely ruled. The plan to connect Angola with the Portuguese colony Mozambique by a land bridge failed. From 1836 onwards, black slave laborers began building coffee and sugar cane plantations. Portugal’s claim to Angola (as well as the northern exclave Cabinda) took place in 1885 on the Berliner Congo conference international recognition.

According to prozipcodes, in 1951, Portugal declared Angola an overseas province with limited internal self-government and increased the settlement of Europeans, the number of which rose to around 400,000. Only half-breeds and a few so-called assimilated black Africans were granted Portuguese civil rights in addition to the whites in 1954.

In 1956, several independence movements joined forces to form the MPLA (Movimento Popular de Libertação de Angola, German popular movement for the liberation of Angola), which, although acting peacefully, was brutally suppressed. In 1960 strikes and uprisings among forced laborers broke out, and at least 10,000 Africans lost their lives in the crackdown. In further clashes up to mid-1961, another 50,000 insurgents were killed by Portuguese troops, which had since been reinforced. Portugal abolished forced labor and granted all Africans Portuguese citizenship. Most, however, were not given the right to vote because they were illiterate. The armed struggle against Portuguese colonial rule began with the storming of Luanda prison on February 4 and 10, 1961.UNITA (União Nacional para a Independência Total de Angola, German National Union for the complete independence of Angola) and in Cabinda the FLEC (Frente de Libertação do Enclave de Cabinda, German liberation front of the Cabinda enclave), which also entered the armed struggle. The MPLA under A. A. Neto was mainly recruited from the Mbundu living around Luanda and found special support from the USSR and Cuba, the FNLA under the leadership of Holden Roberto (* 1923, † 2007) relied particularly on the Congo (Bakongo), who lived in the north. and received help from Zaire and the USA, UNITA under J. M. Savimbi had her support v. a. in the Ovimbundu ethnic group in central Angola and was supported by the Republic of South Africa and the USA.

After the revolution in Portugal (April 25, 1974) and the recognition of the colonies’ rights to state independence (June 11, 1974), an Angolan-Portuguese interim government was set up on January 31, 1975, in which the MPLA as well as forces the FNLA and UNITA were represented. However, ongoing struggles among the three liberation movements made it difficult to form a joint Angolan government. Finally, on November 11, 1975, Portugal unilaterally transferred the rights to form an independent state to the MPLA; Angola became a People’s Republic under President Neto. The Organization of African Unity(OAU) recognized the government as lawful. In the civil war that now broke out openly, in which foreign powers also actively intervened (above all Cuba with up to 50,000 men and South Africa directly as well as the USSR and the USA through financial and material support), the Marxist-oriented MPLA was able to oppose the pro-Western FNLA and Enforce UNITA.

The MPLA, since 1977 MPLA – Partido de Trabalho (MPLA – PT), built a one-party state, banned politically competing parties (especially FNLA and UNITA) and carried out a nationalization and collectivization program. After the death of Neto (1979), Angola tried under President J. E. dos Santos to improve relations with the non-communist states. 1985 joined the Lomé Convention. Angola’s continued support for the Namibian liberation movement SWAPO (South West Africa People’s Organization) operating from its territory) from 1980 onwards repeatedly led to military forays into southern Angola by the South African troops stationed in Namibia. With the mediation of the USA, Angola, Cuba and the Republic of South Africa concluded an agreement on December 22, 1988 for a political solution to the conflict. regulated the withdrawal of the South African and Cuban armed forces from Angola and the release of Namibia into independence.

In the parliamentary elections on August 23, 2017, J. E. dos Santos no longer stood as the top candidate of the MPLA and thus renounced the opportunity to take over the office of president again after the elections. In his place, Defense Minister J. Lourenço ran for the first list of the party, which was able to secure around 61% of the vote and 150 of the 220 members of parliament. The opposition UNITA won around 26.7% of the vote and 51 seats. The population had thus constitutionally elected Lourenço as the new Angolan president. He took office on September 26, 2017.

Angola History