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Last Updated: Monday, 15 January 2007, 00:22 GMT
Angola 'made thousands homeless'
By Peter Biles
BBC News, Johannesburg

Luanda bay
Urban renewal is changing the face of much of Luanda
Angola's government has been criticised for forcibly evicting thousands of people from their homes to free land for new housing projects in Luanda.

A report by Amnesty International also says the Catholic church has been involved in evictions in the capital.

According to Amnesty, homes have been demolished repeatedly in one district since September 2004 to make room for new public and private housing.

It says none of the affected residents has received compensation.

Neither have they been offered adequate alternative accommodation, the human rights group says.

'Extreme violence'

Amnesty International's report claims that nearly all the forced evictions involved excessive use of force by the Angolan authorities.

3m+ evicted since 2000
At least 6,000 Angolan families evicted since 2001
Source: Amnesty International

It also says that many forced evictions in the last two years have been carried out apparently at the request of the Catholic church.

This is because 2,000 families had been living on land where the church intends to build a sanctuary.

Last month the aid agency Christian Aid reported that over the last two years the Angolan government and private security companies had been using extreme violence against squatters during slum clearance operations in Luanda.

It said the city was facing a serious housing shortage with an increased demand for housing for foreign workers.

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