Angola Peace Anniversary must be a Moment of Reflection

Published on 3rd April 2012

Angola celebrates 10 years of peace after a devastating civil war, with its leader, Dos Santos, unveiling a peace monument in Luena town. The celebration is significant considering the fact that the country is rising from the ashes of a 27-year civil conflict that erupted soon after independence from Portugal in 1975.

Having experienced the disastrous effects of being a battleground during the Cold war that pitted the Cuba and Soviet Union supported - MPLA-government against United States and apartheid South Africa assisted - Unita and the Front for the Liberation of Angola (FNLA), the country ought to guard its legacy of peace jealously.

It is no secret that the country has teething problems. Nearly 2.4 million people, almost a fifth of the population, still live in landmine riddled areas. Basic services are still trailing; education levels are still very low and there is lack of efficient public policies. In the oil-rich enclave of Cabinda, a separatist uprising still rumbles.

The country’s leadership ought to put the interests of the citizenry first and jointly address the prevailing challenges. The impending elections expected later this year ought not to divide the citizenry but rather unite them to reclaim the 27 lost years. Angola must use the anniversary to take stock of its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats with a view of forging strategies to improve the living conditions of Angolans.

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