The Angolan Civil War is known to the Angolans as the “Tempo da Evolucao Negra,” translated to English as the Black Evolution. The Angolan Civil War took place immediately after Angola claimed its independence from its former colonial super power Portugal. From November 4, 1975 through January 1, 2002, over a half a million individuals were killed in the cause, and another half a million are still missing or accounted for. The Angolan Civil War is well known to many African’s, but more drastically known to its current citizens the worst national disaster to ever hit the country of Angola.
As any other civil war, the Angolan Civil war was led by groups, who believe that their political views or beliefs should dictate how the country operates. In this specific instance, the two main groups involved in this particular conflict were the People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola (“MPLA”), and the Union for the Total Independence of Angola (“UNITA”). Both parties fought together against the Republic of Portugal for independence, which was finally won and granted on 11/4/1975.
After Angola gained its independence, both the UNITA and MPLA began to negotiate a united government that would allow each political party to establish certain interest and goals that would benefit themselves and the people of Angola. But behind the scenes, a dormant, intergroup conflict was brewing between the two groups, which began interfering with the ability of both groups reaching a compromise that would benefit both parties and the people of Angola.
Originally, both groups believed in creating a democratic government that would allow the people of Angola to have a voice in government. Angolans also believed that both groups wanted to create a government that allowed the people to voice themselves. But after independence was obtained, many secondary party subsidiaries began to gain interest in Angola, intervening with political negotiations between UNITA and MPLA. MPLA believed that the people should have a voice in government, and felt that creating a subsequent hierarchy, equally compared to the Portuguese government would demean the purpose of the fight for independence. UNITA, at first, was in agreement with MPLA, that a democratic government should be created.
During the negotiations between UNITA and MPLA, “rumors” began to spread regarding UNITA’s involvement with the USSR. MPLA questioned UNITA regarding such rumors regarding their involvement with the communists of Russia, and of course, UNITA denied any involvement. MPLA did not take this likely. The USSR gained interest in Angola due to its natural resources, such as diamonds and oil, and of course, and ally. Coincidentally, all of these events took place in a time where the USSR and the Unites States were in an epic battle known as the Cold War. Eventually, the rumors reached the United States, and infuriated current president Gerald Ford (“Ford”). Ford contacted the leaders of MPLA, and pledged its full support, as well as funds to stop UNITA from creating a communist parliament.
Throughout the negotiations phases between MPLA and UNITA, UNITA grew stronger gaining voluminous support from the northern part of the nation, creating an atmosphere that ignored the ideas of MPLA. After two months of negotiations, on January 5, 1977, UNITA marched down the capital of Luanda, Angola, imposing its new reign of government, fueled by communist views. On the same day, militant personal from UNITA, armed with USSR firearms, began arresting individuals who supported the MLPA cause, creating an uneven atmosphere amongst the Angolan people. Futile actions taken by both parties, led to one of the biggest civil wars in Africa. On February 21, 1977, the first shots were fired, and the 20 year war had begun.
The conflict found within the Angolan Civil War, is caused by various fact based and interest need issues. UNITA and MPLA began to