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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 December 2005, 12:54 GMT
Homes destroyed in Angola capital
Luanda bay
Urban renewal is costing people their homes
The authorities in the Angolan capital, Luanda, recently destroyed more than 600 homes, housing activists say.

Many families are reported still to be living in the open in the Cambamba neighbourhood where they were evicted.

When the demolitions began two weeks ago, police detained 13 protesters for 24 hours and are investigating charges.

Luis Araujo of the housing rights group SOS Habitat said the demolitions had begun early in the morning of 24 November and were still continuing.

On 30 November, police destroyed shelters which the residents had built using tin sheeting and other remnants of their homes.

So far 628 houses, each housing an average of seven people, have been demolished, according to SOS Habitat.

TV announcement

Mr Araujo told the BBC News website the evictions were illegal.

"The state protects land rights - there can be expropriations in the public interest, but only using the proper measures," he said.

He said the only prior notice had been given by the head of the Nova Vida housing project speaking on state television.

It is not clear who the beneficiaries of the Nova Vida ("New Life" project will be.

Mr Araujo - who was among those detained for protesting on 24 November - said the case against him and his colleagues had been referred to the Provincial Criminal Investigation Directorate, but he did not know what the charge against him was.

In Angola's biggest single demolition campaign, the authorities destroyed about 10,000 residences in the inner-city neighbourhood of Boavista in 2001.

Luanda's evicted neighbourhood
30 Jul 01 |  Africa

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