Ver Angola


Former chief of staff says country is at peace but needs to "solve" Cabinda

The former chief of staff of the Angolan Armed Forces (CEMGFAA) considered the country's political-military situation to be stable, although it was necessary to “resolve a small detail in the province of Cabinda”.


Francisco Pereira Furtado spoke this Wednesday on the theme "Peace as an Imperative Factor for the Stability and Development of Angola", at the opening of the patriotic days alluding to April 4, Day of Peace and National Reconciliation, promoted by the General Staff General of the Angolan Armed Forces

"The country's political-military situation is stable, the country is at peace, regardless of the need to resolve a small detail in the province of Cabinda. The country is pacified and it is this peace that the military must preserve, maintain stability, with in order to guarantee an effective national reconciliation ", said Francisco Pereira Furtado, speaking to Lusa at the end of the ceremony.

According to the official of the Angolan Armed Forces (FAA), mechanisms exist for the current situation in the province of Cabinda, stressing that "the Government is committed" to the matter.

"In the same way that we negotiated the previous peace processes, we must negotiate with the wing of FLEC [Front of Liberation of the State of Cabinda], because it is more a wing. From what I know of FLEC, since its emergence, in [19] 75, in its bosom more than six wings have emerged, it is necessary to take this wing that still claims in an incorrect way, with some violence, to understand that the country cannot continue on this path of conflicts ", he said.

Asked if the choice of the province of Cabinda as the central stage for the celebrations of the 19 years of peace in Angola would be a sign of approximation, Francisco Pereira Furtado said he believed that "it really has to do" with this.

"Because there is a need in Cabinda to have the same feeling and the same strategic vision of the entire country", he stressed.

In his dissertation, Francisco Pereira Furtado admitted that "due to some not very good situations", which he did not need, "the process of implementing the Special Statute for the province of Cabinda did not develop as desired and will have to be reinstated in different ways. to observe what has been agreed ".

Francisco Pereira Furtado, in a historic foray into the situation in Cabinda, said that negotiations between the Government and the Cabindês Forum for Dialogue (FCD) to achieve peace in that oil territory in the north of the country began in 2005.

"The Government of the Republic of Angola started establishing contacts with the Cabindês Forum for Dialogue from outside the country and after another year of successive contacts it was signed on June 4, 2006 in Chicamba, Massabi commune, municipality of Cacongo in Cabinda, the Hostility Cessation Agreement between the FAA and FLEC under the authority of the FCD ", he said.

According to the ex-CEMGFAA, in July 2006, delegations from the Government of Angola and the FCD joined the negotiating table in the Republic of Congo, with the observation of members of Ibinda - advice from the highest traditional authorities of Cabinda - invited to participate in the negotiations in Brazzaville.

The Angolan delegation, which included Francisco Pereira Furtado, was led by the then Minister of Territory Administration, Virgílio de Fontes Pereira, assisted by the head of the Military House of the President of the Republic, Hélder Vieira Dias "Kopelipa".

"It is in this way that the negotiations resulted in the signing of a memorandum of understanding for the reconciliation of the province of Cabinda and also a Special Statute for the province of Cabinda, a statute that gives autonomy to the province of Cabinda to be in conditions different from those other provinces ", he stressed.

Both documents were officially signed, in the city of Namibe, on August 1, 2006, between the delegations of the Government of Angola and the FCD, led by António Bento Bembe.

"For the materialization of these agreements signed in the same way as the previous process, a joint commission was created for general issues and for military issues a mixed commission was created, composed of general officers from FAA and FCD, there I was once again appointed by the then President of the Republic and Commander in Chief of the FAA [José Eduardo dos Santos] to coordinate the mixed commission of the Cabinda peace process ", he stressed.

The citizens of Cabinda have been claiming autonomy for this part of the territory for several years, with FLEC assuming responsibility for alleged armed attacks, which result in the deaths and injuries of FAA soldiers and their guerrilla forces.

In April 2019, in a statement, signed by Lieutenant General Afonso Nzau, director general of the External Intelligence Service of the Liberation Front of the Cabinda Enclave - Armed Forces of Cabinda (FLEC / FAC), the organization invited the Government to visit a of the bases of that Cabinda movement and to sign "an agreement of principle" to end the conflict in the enclave.

Successive announcements of armed attacks by FLEC have been publicly devalued by the Government, which guarantees that the situation in Cabinda is stable.

The province of Cabinda, where most of the country's oil reserves are concentrated, is not contiguous to the rest of the territory and, for many years, local leaders have defended independence, alleging an autonomous colonial history of Luanda.

FLEC, through its "armed wing", the FAC, fights for the independence of the province, claiming that the enclave was a Portuguese protectorate, as established in the Treaty of Simulambuco, signed in 1885, and not an integral part of the territory.

Cabinda is bordered on the north by the Republic of Congo, on the east and on the south by the Democratic Republic of Congo and on the west by the Atlantic Ocean.

The central act of the celebrations of the National Day of Peace and Reconciliation that is celebrated on the 4th of April will take place this year in the province of Cabinda.

On April 4, 2002, the MPLA Government and UNITA signed the peace agreements that made it possible to end a civil war that had lasted since 1975, shortly after the country's independence.