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The FNLA in war

The FNLA was dependent on the Bakongo tribe for recruiting, of which the refugees in Zaire gradually increased over the years. (D.L. Wheeler and R. Pélissier, “Angola”, P.208, suggests that in March 1964 alone, about 12 000 fled to Zaire.  According to K.L. Adelman, “Report on Angola” in “Foreign Affairs”, Vol. 53 No. 3, p.562, there were between 750 000 and one million refugees in Zaire by 1975. J.A. Marcum, “Lessons of Angola”, “Foreign Affairs”, Vol. 54 No. 3, p. 410, suggests that out of a tribe of 700 000, over 400 000 fled to Zaire.) These circumstances advantaged the FNLA’s revolutionary fight in that intimidation and political education could occur without interference from the local government. The military wing could recruit amongst these refugees without hindrance.

The FNLA maintained a foothold in the Dembos after 1961. By the end of 1961,...

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