Angola

Luanda (AFP) Angolan presidential candidate Joao Lourenco, who appears set to win next month’s election, launched his campaign on Tuesday with a speech vowing to tackle corruption and spread wealth. Defence minister Lourenco, 63, is the chosen successor of President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, whose decision to not contest the August 23 vote will bring to an end his 38 years in power. “Corruption is a great evil that will not go unpunished,” Lourenco told thousands of ruling MPLA party supporters in Huambo, Angola’s second city. Promoting his campaign sloganRead More
Luanda (AFP) Angola’s parliament passed a law on Friday that will drastically limit the powers of the country’s future presidents in matters of security and defence. The law will only apply to successors of the current head of state, President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, who has enjoyed unfettered control of Angola’s sprawling military and security institutions since taking power in 1979. Supported by a large majority of lawmakers, the new bill sets out limited circumstances in which the powerful officials can be removed — including instances of criminal behaviour andRead More
Luanda (AFP) Angola has rejected conditions demanded by an EU election observer mission that had been preparing to witness next month’s polls in the country, state media reported Monday. The European team had called for unfettered access to polling stations across the vast southern African nation during the August 23 vote. “So this is Africa. And we do not expect anyone to impose on us their means of observing elections or to give lectures,” said Foreign Minister Georges Chicoti according to the Journal de Angola newspaper. “The invitation stands. ButRead More
Luanda (AFP) Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos returned to Spain on Monday for a “private visit”, officials said, five weeks after a monthlong trip to the country when he underwent medical tests. Dos Santos, 74, has been dogged by reports of poor health, with his daughter Isabel having to deny rumours that he had died on his last trip to Spain. “President dos Santos left Luanda on Monday for a private visit to the Kingdom of Spain for personal business,” the presidency said in a statement, adding that heRead More
Luanda (AFP) Angola’s government is preparing a golden parachute for the country’s president Jose Eduardo dos Santos, complete with first-class air travel and a chauffeur-driven car. And after 38 years in power, he will retire on a pension not far short of his current salary. A bill to go before parliament would grant him generous benefits — and even create a special legal status to protect him from prosecution for alleged corruption. Dos Santos, 74, has said he will not seek another term in office in legislative elections set forRead More
Luanda (AFP) Angola’s ruling party has bowed to public criticism of a proposed law banning all abortions and instead accepted a revised bill allowing terminations in cases of rape or maternal health risk. The about-turn follows a rare rally in March when roughly 200 demonstrators protested against the proposed bill under heavy police surveillance in the capital Luanda. “We have decided to listen to the pressure from society,” the president of the ruling MPLA party’s parliamentary caucus, Virgilio de Fontes Pereira, told reporters on Monday. The initial draft penal codeRead More
Luanda (AFP) Angola’s opposition called Wednesday for official clarification on the health of veteran President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, 74, who has been out of the country for nearly three weeks. Dos Santos’s influential daughter Isabel this week moved to deny rumours the president had died in Spain, where he was confirmed to have travelled by state media on May 2. “We are all concerned about the lack of official information on the health of the president,” Rafael Savimbi, a senior figure in UNITA, the main opposition party, told AFP.Read More
Dundo (Angola) (AFP) Hundreds of people from Democratic Republic of Congo’s central Kasai region have been pouring into neighbouring Angola every day for more than a month to escape violence plaguing their homes. Some 20,000 people who have fled are now in or around three holding camps in Dundo in Angola’s far north, living in increasingly dire conditions, according to the UN. And the flow of refugees shows no sign of abating. Patrice Ilunga managed to reach Mussungue with his children after four days of walking — exhausted, but alive.Read More
Luanda (AFP) Seven Angolan opposition activists have been sentenced to 45 days in jail over a protest calling for transparency in next year’s election when veteran President Jose Eduardo dos Santos will stand down. The election, due to be held in August, will mark a new chapter for Angola as Dos Santos hands over power after ruling the oil-rich country since 1979. “The court condemns the accused to 45 days of imprisonment and a fine of 65,000 kwanzas ($390) for the offences of rebellion and association with criminals,” said theRead More
Luanda (AFP) About 200 demonstrators protested under heavy police surveillance in the Angolan capital Luanda on Saturday against a draft law criminalising all abortions. The proposed new penal code has been sharply criticised, including by Isabel dos Santos, reported to be the richest woman in Africa and the daughter of veteran President Jose Eduardo dos Santos. The mostly female protesters chanted “Freedom for women”, “Prison will not solve anything” and “Let us decide”, before dispersing after about two hours. Public protests are rare in Angola and can often be targetedRead More