Angola is re-building its country after the 27 year civil war ended in 2002. Following independence from Portugal in 1975, fighting between the MPLA led by Jose Eduardo Dos Santos and UNITA, led by Jonas Savimbi, broke out. The Civil War was kept alive with the involvement of the Aparthied South African military, funded by the United States Government and Cuban military funded by the then Soviet Union. MK, the military wing of the ANC also fought alongside Cuban soldiers. It is estimated that up to 1.5 million lives were lost during this time and 4 million people "displaced. Jonas Savimbi was eventually captured and killed in 2002, ending insurgency. President Dos Santos has led the MPLA to rule in legislative elections since 2008..
Angola gained its independence on 11 November 1975, after the 1974 Coup d'etat in Lisbon, Portugal, which overthrew the Portuguese regime headed by Marcelo Caetano. Portugal’s new revolutionary leaders began in 1974 a process of political change at home and accepted its former colonies’ independence abroad. There was a basic recognition that the Portuguese ‘homeland’ could not realistically afford to continue its colonial rule in Africa, and the former Portuguese colony of Mozambique gained independence at the same time.
Cuban Troops fighting alongside UNITA in the "Colonial War"
Political organisations first appeared in the 1950s and began to make organised demands for self-determination, especially in international forums such as the Non-Aligned Movement. The Portugese Regime meanwhile, refused to accede to the demands for independence, provoking an armed conflict that started in 1961 when black guerrillas attacked both white and black civilians in cross-border operations in northeastern Angola. The war came to be known as the Colonial War. In this struggle, the principal protagonists were the MPLA (Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola), founded in 1956, the FNLA (National Front for the Liberation of Angola), which appeared in 1961, and UNITA (National Union for the Total Independence of Angola), founded in 1966. After many years of conflict that lead to the weakening of all the insurgent parties,
The Portuguese were present in some, mostly coastal, points of the territory of what is now Angola, from the 16th to the 19th century, interacting in diverse ways with the peoples that lived there. In the 19th century they slowly and hesitantly began to establish themselves in the interior, too. In 1951, the colony was designated as an overseas province, called Overseas Province of Angola.
Republic of Angola - History