Angolan Civil War
Angola has been in war for almost three decades. At first they were controlled by Portuguese powers. I wasn’t until 1961 that that the two major liberation groups began the long struggle against colonial rule to gain their independence (Phillippe 57). In 1975 they succeeded and gained their independence by defeating the Portuguese. These groups where the People's Movement forthe Liberation of Angola (MPLA), the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), and the National Front for the Liberation of Angola (FNLA). These groups these groups had their ideological differences and were supported by foreign major powers. After Angolan independence civil war broke out and foreign power intervention increased. This intervention along with self-interest fromthe leaders and their parties prolonged the war and caused devastation in Angola.
After its independence the country was in a state of uncertainty and ideological confusion. The MPLA, UNITA, and FNLA each had a different vision of what the future of Angola was going to be after the independence. Since they couldn’t agree they continued to fight for control of the country. These groups had beenfighting even under Portuguese rule, but now that the Portuguese were gone and foreign powers played a bigger role in this conflict, the Angolan civil war then broke out (Mahmood 49). The People's Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) was composed of a wide diversity when it came to its leadership. It had guerilla operation over north Luanda, in Cabinda, and eastern Angola (Phillippe 58).MPLA had ties with some African countries, but their main support came from external powers such as Cuba and the Soviet Union. MPLA was communist in orientation since most of its support came from communist countries. The other big and predominant party at the time was UNITA. UNITA’s was concentrated around Cabinda and eastern Angola. It was composed of Ubuntu speakers and was led by Jonas Savimbi.UNITA was backed by capitalist powers this being the United States and other African countries like South Africa. They sought the views of a free market and democracy just like the United States. Lastly was the National Front for the Liberation of Angola (FNLA). The FNLA was a military group led by Holden Roberto and they had parallel views to UNITA. They were also supported by the United Statesand South Africa.
Foreign powers played a major role in this war. The U.S and the Soviets were at the fringe of a major war. This is called proxy wars politics. This usually refers when outside powers intervene in a country due to interest those powers have. The big players in the Angolan civil war were the United States and the Soviet Union. They both were interested in the resources thatAngola possessed. The United States was notorious for this. Since they supported UNITA they had a great interested in diamonds. The United States was the major importer of diamonds of the world. They knew that the diamonds were acquired through hard labor and slavery but they try to hide it, as long as there was a profit there was no problem. It wasn’t until the United Nations passed the resolution ondiamonds that the US admitted that “blood diamonds” as they were called were bad (Phillippe 68).
The primary reason for U.S intervention besides the diamonds was the fear of communism (Robert 145). United States also had interest in Angola because the Soviet Union was interested also. Since this happened during the cold war period tensions between democracy and communism were greater than ever.The United States was afraid the Soviet Union would turn Angola’s government into communism. This is why they supported UNITA. In contrast socialist MPLA was influence by Soviet powers. They received troops and support from from Cuba. South Africa perceived a thread by the precedence of these troops. Western powers at the times did not see this as a thread so they did not get involved. This...
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