UNITA's military wing, the Armed Forces for the Liberation of Angola (Forças Armadas de Libertação de Angola -- FALA), was under the supreme authority of Savimbi as commander in chief. The chief of staff was second in command and controlled the headquarters elements of intelligence, personnel, logistics, and operations. In January 1985, the FALA chief of staff, Brigadier Demosthenes Amos Chilingutila, who had held that post since 1979, was removed and made chief of operations, possibly because of Savimbi's dissatisfaction with his performance, and replaced by Brigadier Alberto Joaquim Vinama. However, following Vinama's death in an automobile accident in October 1986, Chilingutila was reappointed chief of staff.
By the mid-1980s, FALA had evolved into a well-defined conventional military organization with command and specialized staff organs, a formal hierarchy of ranks, an impressive array of weapons and equipment, and considerable international support. Geographically, UNITA's nationwide area of operations consisted of five fronts commanded by a colonel or brigadier, which were subdivided into twenty-two military regions under a colonel or lieutenant colonel. The regions in turn were divided into sectors (usually three) commanded by a major and further subdivided into zones under captains or lieutenants.
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