Manifesto for Peace in Angola

Article in The Broken Rifle No 49, May 2001 as part of the International CO Day: focus on Angola issue.

"The Angolan people want a lasting peace, social justice, good governance and the right of citizenship, and mutual respect for the diversity of people and cultures, which form the Angolan Nation project. these are the fundamental principles for the setting of a common ground among the Angolan people. In essence, these principles are the foundation for in-depth revision of the Nation's concept and valorisation of the Angolan citizenry.

As well as the consensual definition of a vision for Angola and its course towards the future.

Unfortunately, the war is still being used against the Angolan People.

While at the same time those who hold power plunder the country's wealth, in partnership with adventurous outsiders and foreign countries. Oil, diamonds and their revenues are the major source of greed by the rulers, the armed opposition and the oil multinationals, in particular. All with the complacency of countries like the United States, France, England, Brazil, Russia, Portugal and South Africa. Instead of pursuing immediate economic and political interests, these countries can reverse their efforts into a platform of values, contributing, in that way, for the reconciliation of Angolans.

The war in Angola will only come to an end when civil society, the people in general, realise that there is no definitive military solution for the Angolan conflict. People must be aware of the process of destruction in which they are targets, consequently claiming their lives and dignity. What is even more perilous, in this regard, is that the silencing of guns will not mean, by any chance, in the Angolan context, the end of the war. The mentality, specially those of the politicians, ruled by selfish interests, are more armed than the armies under their command.

In the case of Angola, peace has always been seen as the end of fighting, the disarming and demobilisation of the soldiers. This vision, especially harboured by some foreign institutions and internal emotions, is little more than a tranquilliser for those ones who desperately seek true peace.

And a feast for those who serve themselves with immediate peace to profit and to strategically and geopolitically position themselves in the running for the Angolan riches.

We have reached the extreme stage of suffering, social humiliation and the total perversion of the use of power. Hence, we have come to conclusion - a difficult one, because it is elementary and evident in spite of being consensual - that we, the Angolan people, should develop a common ground for the causes as well as for the consequences of the military and political conflict we are facing. It is fundamental that we, the Angolan people, recognise with courage and determination, that we are all accountable for the political and military devastation. As well as the social and economic chaos of the country, whether in an active or passive way. We must as well recognise the serious mistake and abuses committed by ourselves during our historic course.

We, the Angolan people, should take full responsibility for the solution of our own problems. We should not keep on blaming the colonial heritage and/or third parties for our grievances. It is self-pity and a way of self-attesting to ourselves a certificate of incapacity for systematically transferring the resolution of the national conflict to foreign intervention.

Before the verge of total sweltering of the Angolan society, the moment has come for us to act persistently, in a peaceful, courageous and moderate manner, in order to rescue the most sought and deserving treasure for Angolans: Peace through Dialogue. The Angolan people defend peace in that way, while the belligerents assume that the war is the way to reach peace, even if this means the humiliation of one part of the nation by the other, because this war does not have any patriotic sense.

Therefore, we, Angolan citizens, demand that:

  1. The government, UNITA and FLEC observe the immediate cease-fire, throughout the national territory,
  2. The urgent opening of formal communication lines between the belligerents, through the mediation of the organised civil society,
  3. The immediate opening of humanitarian corridors to assist the people affected by the war, especially in the countryside.
  4. The government and UNITA, in co-responsibility, include in their military budgets the assistance to deprived people, instead of transferring the burden, of their own war against the Angolan nation, to the international community.
  5. The definition of an agenda and schedule for peace talks, by the government (MPLA), the armed opposition (UNITA and FLEC) and organised civil society, for the definitive resolution of the causes of Angolan conflict.
  6. The establishment of conditions for the inclusiveness and safe participation of Angolans in the Process of National Dialogue for Peace, throughout the country,
  7. The government and the UNITA include in their military budgets the necessary funds to make peace, with patriotism and dignity. Because, if there is enough money to sustain the war, then there should as well be enough money to achieve Peace effectively.

We have decided to fight with persistence and determination for the full accomplishment of our demands and to work actively for the achievement of a lasting peace in Angola, through a patriotic vision of social justice and national equity.

Luanda, June 1999"

(**Contact in Angola: "Manifesto para Paz em Angola", GARP (Grupo Angolano de Reflexão para a Paz), C.P. 6095 Luanda - República de Angola, Fax +244 2 - 340409 or 394865; E-mail: or

Organisers and list of initial signatories (Name, Age, Profession): Daniel Ntoni-Nzinga (53, Pastor); Carlinhos ZASSALA (52, Professor Ensino Superior); Ana da Concecion Pedro Garcia (41, Sindicalista/Economia ..); Gaspar João Domingos (38, Pastor Evangélico); Francisco Filomeno Vieira Lopes (44, Economista Sonangol); Rafael Marques (28, Jornalista); N. Luisa C. Rogeiro (31, Jornalista)

This manifesto is supported by War Resisters' International


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