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A Concise Timeline of the MPLA's involvement in the War in Angola

Dec 1956 :
The MPLA (Movimento Popular de Libertaçao de Angola) was formed in Luanda from amalgamation of radical nationalist movements (including the Angolan Communist Party) with Ilídio Machado Alved as president.

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1 Jan 1959 :
Castro's guerrillas seized power in Cuba, spawning Che Guevara's global internationalist mission. Cuba set up contacts with African liberation movements, among them the MPLA (although contacts remain weak at this stage).


Mar 1959 :
The newly founded MPLA operated clandestinely in Luanda and apparently also in other cities, recruiting members and distributing literature.

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May 1959 :
Agostinho Neto became effective leader of the MPLA after Machado's arrest.

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1961 :
Young members of the MPLA started training at bases in Algeria, Ghana, and Morocco.

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4 Feb 1961 :
Second Angolan uprising: 250 MPLA militants attacked the police station and the Sao Paulo fortress in Luanda to free political prisoners. Seven Portuguese police officers and forty Angolans killed.

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5 Feb 1961 :
After the funeral of the police officers, white vigilantes massacred Africans in musseques around Luanda. All MPLA activists were expelled from Luanda over following weeks, the survivors fleeing north to the Dembos region to set up the `1st Military Region'.

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10 Feb 1961 :
Savimbi informed the directive of the MPLA in Conakry that he had sent a letter to Holden Roberto, asking him to send a document that "identified as speaking on behalf of the MPLA" in Switzerland. He was registered as a member of the MPLA number No. 20016.


3 Mar 1961 :
Jonas Savimbi informed the MPLA CD in Conakry that he had met with Holden Roberto and requested financial support.


8 Mar 1961 :
Holden Roberto informed the MPLA CD that he could not respond to the invitation to participate in the Casablanca Conference (creation of CONCP).

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