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Subject Rebels and Robbers. Violence in Post-Colonial Angola, by Assis Malaquias
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Posted:10/5/2019 6:57:41 PM
Violent conflict has been the dominant feature in the last four decades of Angola’s history, making it one of Africa’s worst post-colonial tragedies.
Once justifiably regarded as a potential sub-regional leader in southern Africa, due to its considerable natural resources, it flirted instead with the possibility of becoming a ‘collapsed state’ for much of the first quarter century of its existence as an independent state.
What started out in 1961 as a national liberation war to destroy an oppressive colonial system gave way, during the colonization process in 1975, to a protracted civil war that over nearly three decades, mutated through various, increasingly violent, stages. These changes were primarily a consequence of the domestic participants’ changing strategies for achieving power. These changing strategies were, in turn, pragmatic responses to various regional and international developments such as foreign military interventions, the superpowers’ Cold War calculations, the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the former Soviet Union in 1991, and the end of apartheid in 1994. But beyond the strategic calculations, there were also real “greed and grievance” factors motivating the participants and sustaining the conflict. In many respects, both grievance and greed have motivated the participants in the Angolan conflict. Thus, if the anti-colonial phase of the conflict was driven mainly by the struggle over political and civil rights as well as economic opportunities denied by the colonial system to indigenous populations, the post-colonial phase was a consequence of the inability of three nationalist groups – divided by ideology, ethnicity, region, social class, and race – to find a workable agreement on how best to share power and wealth after independence.

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Source: http://www.diva-portal.org




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Images from 'Grensoorlog' series, produced by Linda de Jager, reproduced with kind permission from MNET
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Images from 'Grensoorlog' series, produced by Linda de Jager, reproduced with kind permission from MNET
Images from 'Grensoorlog' series, produced by Linda de Jager, reproduced with kind permission from MNET
Images from 'Grensoorlog' series, produced by Linda de Jager, reproduced with kind permission from MNET

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