Ver Angola


JLO maintains a commitment to look for remains of the victims of May 27

The president reiterates his government's commitment to continue to look for the remains of the victims of May 27, 1977 and to respect expert conclusions about identification.

: Ampe Rogério/Lusa
Ampe Rogério/Lusa  

João Lourenço responds to the allegations of family members of some of those victims that the remains that have been delivered to them do not correspond to the people indicated, after the DNA analysis: "It is a work of great patience, very rigorously, the only guarantee we give It is that we, the authorities of the country, submit to the conclusions of the scientific examination that experts do".

At issue are the remains, among others, from the leaders José Van-Dúnem, Sita Valles and Rui Coelho, detained and killed during the alleged attempted coup d'état of May 27, 1977.

Rui Coelho was chief of staff of the then Prime Minister, Lopo do Nascimento, Sita Valles had already been removed from the MPLA and was working in a hospital as a doctor and José Van-Dúnem was a political commissioner, although days before she had been expelled from the Central Committee, together with Nito Alves, the most prominent element of the group.

His family members were notified last year where they were allegedly their bones, but a forensic examination performed in the meantime in Portugal eventually found that the DNA of family members did not coincide with that of remains.

The fact has raised suspicions about government intentions, but João Lourenço claims that the performance of these exams serves exactly to confirm or not the alleged identities.

"There will surely be cases where certain remains are from family A and family B and the exam concludes no, which is absolutely normal," he says.

But, "what can not be made public is public to say that there was the deliberate intention of the government to deceive A or B. I know that if it is referring, I think it is not fair what is doing with Angola, "says the head of state.

João Lourenço also denies that his government has received some formal accusation regarding this issue. But if that happens, "we have nothing to hide."

"Experts are the competent authority to say that these remains coincide with those of family A or family B and are free to express the conclusions of their work. It is or is not. In this case, they said it is not, ok, it is not. We will continue to search. It may be that the real remains will be found, "he says.

He concludes: "Therefore, we never go against the results of the experts" and "insist that this is" the victim. "No, if the experts say it is not, it is not. It was this attitude that we have taken to date."

In March, an association that represents the May 27 orphans accused, in an open letter, the government of taking advantage of the delivery of the remains to campaign.

In a "letter to Angola", the orphans denounce the "propaganda machine" of the government and the Civicop - reconciliation commission in memory of the victims of political conflicts, when performing funeral ceremonies and delivering bodies "to widely televised public ceremonies, on the eve of presidential elections ", which now describe as" an exercise of cruelty".

"The country has seen. The whole country saw and lived this moment as a time of truth and reconciliation. But not all we have acrytically received the remains indicated to us as belonging to our parents. Some of us have asked to perform DNA tests to confirm the identity of the corpses", they explain in the document.


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