BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Somali Swahili French Great Lakes Hausa Portugeuse
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Africa  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS
Friday, 18 October, 2002, 11:40 GMT 12:40 UK
Cabinda: Angola's forgotten war
Cabindans in Angola
Cabindans have been fleeing from government troops

By the side of the main road running through Angola's northern province of Cabinda about 500 people are camped out in the open.


The government must stop its actions against Cabindans and enter into negotiations

Tradional leader Soba Congo
These men, women and children are all refugees of a long running war between the government and rebels fighting for independence for the enclave which produces more than half of Angola's oil

The refugees say they have been attacked and thrown out of their homes by government troops, who are said to be on a new offensive.

Joaquim Carlos told me they had moved there after troops of the Angolan Armed Forces (FAA) came to their village and captured civilians.

Oil installation
Cabindans resent not benefiting from oil revenues
"They came at night, 2300, the troops came and captured civilians - it was not the first time this happened - it was the third time - that's why we had to abandon our village," he said.

Another man had deep scars on his wrists, apparently where he had been tied up.

"We were in the field playing ball. We met the FAA troops on that third occasion - we were captured, three of us, and tied up. They talked about some trouble there had been. We denied being involved - they let us go. We left the village and came here."

Rebels

While the government has made peace with Unita rebels in the rest of Angola, in Cabinda it faces a different adversary - the various factions of the Front of the Liberation of the Cabinda enclave (Flec).

Further along the road, I visited a village that was occupied by Flec until two years ago.

Its difficult to gauage exactly how much support there is for the rebels. But a man, who did not want to give his name, told me that the biggest problem is not Flec's activities, but reprisals by the FAA.

"The war happens like this. When Flec's forces and the government forces met each other, the government soldiers turn against the people, take the people's things away - they have to flee from the shooting, into the bush, he said.

"Because Flec lives with the people, and whenever there is some action, the government troops are upon the people, this is what we are suffering."

No talks

When I tried to contact an FAA spokesman to comment on these allegations, I was told that there is currently no spokesman because of restructuring in the office.

Children in Cabinda
Rebels have support and live among the population
Recently President Eduardo Jose dos Santos spoke of the desire for a negotiated settlement in Cabinda, and some Cabindans see hope for an end to the war.

Some Cabindans like Protestant priest Pastor Ngaka are hopeful that peace talks can occur.

"The government is not fighting with Flec now - it sees that dialogue is the proper way to get peace," he said.

But others believe the government is in no mood to talk.

Soba Congo, a traditional leader in Cabinda, believes the government has been sending more soldiers into the province in recent weeks.

"At least 1,000 soldiers - and when I say at least 1,000 I mean maybe two or three or four thousand - reinforced by sophisticated type of helicopters to bomb the areas.

"We say the government must stop its actions against Cabindans and enter into negotiations."

But with national and international attention focussed on the moves for peace in the rest of Angola, nobody outside Cabinda appears to be paying much attention to the fact that there is still a war going on in Angola's northernmost province.

Jonas Savimbi, killed after 26 years of civil war

Key stories

Background

Profiles

TALKING POINT
See also:

20 Sep 02 | Africa
16 Aug 02 | Africa
02 Aug 02 | Africa
09 Jul 02 | Africa
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Africa stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Africa stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes