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Introduction: Angola is rebuilding its country after the end of a 27-year civil war in 2002. Fighting between the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), led by Jose Eduardo DOS SANTOS, and the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), led by Jonas SAVIMBI, followed independence from Portugal in 1975. Peace seemed imminent in 1992 when Angola held national elections, but fighting picked up again by 1996. Up to 1.5 million lives may have been lost - and 4 million people displaced - in the quarter century of fighting. SAVIMBI's death in 2002 ended UNITA's insurgency and strengthened the MPLA's hold on power. President DOS...

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People: Estimates of Angola's population vary, as there has been no census since the early 1970s, but it is generally estimated at 18 million. Angola has three main ethnic groups, each speaking a Bantu language: Umbundu 37%, Kimbundu 25%, and Kikongo 13%. Other groups include Chokwe, Lunda, Ganguela, Nhaneca-Humbe, Ambo, Herero, and Xindunga. In addition, mixed racial (European and African) people ...

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International Relations: During the 27 years of civil war, Angola’s relations with its neighbours, particularly Mobutu’s Zaire and Zambia, were poor because both countries had links with UNITA. Relations have since been normalised. Relations with its southern neighbour, Namibia, have always been excellent since Angola allowed SWAPO to use Angolan territory during its liberation struggle. In 1997, Angolan and Namibian troops went in to Kinshasa to support Laurent Kabila against Ugandan/Rwandan forces. They have since withdrawn although Angola is still engaged in training the new Congolese army. In August 2002 Angola brokered an agreement between the DRC and ...

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Although the precolonial history of many parts of Africa has been carefully researched and preserved, there is relatively little information on the region that forms contemporary Angola as it was before the arrival of the Europeans in the late 1400s. The colonizers of Angola, the Portuguese, did not study the area as thoroughly as British, French, and German scholars researched their colonial ...

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Area Handbook Series
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