Angola: Rebuilding by demolishing
The politics of national reconstruction
2010-03-25, Issue 475
"Angolan civil society, leaders of the political opposition as well as the Catholic Church in the person of the archbishop of Lubango have spoken out against the demolitions, receiving letters of support from all over the world. This is a remarkable achievement for Angolan civil society and its supporters. The non-governmental organisation OMUNGA is waiting for a court’s decision on a march on Thursday 25 March in Benguela it is organising to express solidarity with all victims of demolitions and forced evictions in Angola. This march was prohibited by the provincial government of Benguela, but OMUNGA has said it will go through with it no matter what the court decides, claiming its right to protest.
* Sylvia Croese is an independent Dutch-Angolan researcher and consultant, based in Luanda.
* Please send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or comment online at Pambazuka News.
Angolan authorities ban housing protest: organisers
Thu Mar 25, 2:28 PM
LUANDA (AFP) - Provincial authorities in Angola banned a planned protest against housing demolitions that have left 3,000 families homeless to make way for a railroad, activists said Thursday.
Angolan human rights group Omunga had planned to march through the coastal city of Benguela to protest the demolitions earlier this month in the southern city of Lubango.
"We couldn't march because the local governor decided to ban the protest, and there's a climate of intimidation here," Omunga president Jose Patrocinio said by telephone from Benguela.
"There are police trucks in the city, and rapid reaction forces in the streets. The governor sent a communique to the media, which was broadcast on local radio in Benguela and Lubango," he said.
Several civic groups and opposition politicians had planned to join the march under the banner "Don't destroy my house."
Public displays of protest are rare in Angola, a country still emerging from a 27-year civil war that ended in 2002, where many still fear to challenge the government or police.
The ruling Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) on Wednesday sent a parliamentary delegation to inspect the situation in Lubango, where government wants to revive a railway to link the southern coastal city of Namibe with the city of Menongue in the eastern interior.
The main opposition Unita sent a team to Lubango last week and said that the displaced families were living with little shelter and inadequate water after they were moved to a site five kilometres (three miles) from the city.