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Angola

Angola is a country in southwestern Africa bordering Namibia, Congo-Kinshasa, Congo-Brazzaville and Zambia. The capital city is Luanda. A former portuguese colony, it has considerable natural resources, among which oil and diamonds are the most relevant. After a long war with portuguese colonial forces, Angola became independent in 1975. Shortly after, a civil war broke out between MPLA[?], UNITA and FNLA[?]. The later would retire from the conflict, leaving the marxist MPLA[?] and the western backed UNITA to fight for power. In 1991, both factions agreed to turn Angola into a multiparty state but after the current president Josť Eduardo dos Santos[?] of MPLA[?] won UN supervised elections, UNITA claimed there was a fraud and fighting broke out again. A 1994 peace accord (Lusaka protocol) between the government and UNITA provided for the integration of former UNITA insurgents into the government. A national unity government was installed in 1997, but serious fighting resumed in late 1998, rendering hundreds of thousands of people homeless. President Josť Eduardo dos Santos[?] suspended the regular functioning of democratic instances due to the conflict. On February 22nd 2002, Jonas Savimbi[?], the leader of UNITA was shot dead and a cease-fire was reached by the two factions. UNITA gave up its armed wing and assumed the role of major opposition party. Although the political situation of the country seems to be normalizing, president dos Santos still hasn't allowed regular democratic processes to occur. Among Angola's major problems are a serious humanitarian crisis (a result of the prolonged war), the abundance of mine fields, and the actions of guerrilla movements fighting for the independence of the northern enclave of Cabinda.

Much of the material in these articles comes from the CIA World Factbook 2000 and the 2003 U.S. Department of State website.



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