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Cabinda Independentist Movement demands unconditional freedom for detained activists

The Independentist Movement of Cabinda (MIC) asked this Thursday for the release of two of its members detained in the city of that province in the north of the country, one of whom is accused of the crimes of criminal association, terrorist organization, rebellion, among others.

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In a note issued by the MIC's Information and Communication secretariat, the political organization calls for the release of António Tuma, MIC's deputy secretary for Information, and Alexandre Dunge, detained last Wednesday in their homes by agents the National Police and the Criminal Investigation Service (SIC) of Cabinda.

According to the document, the two activists were taken to the SIC, where they remained detained until Friday, after which they were transferred to the civil jail in Cabinda.

The document emphasizes that António Tuma's detention was ordered by the Public Ministry magistrate for alleged "practicing the crime of a criminal organization, terrorist organization, rebellion, disturbance in the functioning of the organs of sovereignty and disobedience", according to the arrest warrant of 28 September this year.

The MIC underlines that the activist Alexandre Dunge has not been shown any arrest warrant, and the reasons for his arrest are unknown.

The movement states that a total of 22 arrests were made, including the president of the MIC, Carlos Manuel Vemba, who took to the streets, the day after the arrest of António Tuma and Alexandre Dunge, to march towards the SIC premises, demanding "the unconditional freedom of its members".

"Posted at the SIC premises, the president of the MIC unsuccessfully asked for a direct conversation with the governor, Marcos Nhunga, as it was a political issue, and with the provincial commander of the National Police, to address issues related to the performance of the police, whose position was supported by his comrades who kept shouting 'yes referendum, no elections', in protest at the holding of the Angolan elections in Cabinda", the note reads.

Meanwhile, 20 activists, including Carlos Vemba, were released on the night of their arrest, but António Tuma and Alexandre Dunge are still in detention, so the MIC is calling for their return to freedom.

In statements to Lusa this Thursday, the secretary for Information and Communication at the MIC, Sebastião Macaia, said that for three months, together with his assistant, they have been carrying out political campaigns, through social networks, appealing to people from that province. Angola's oil company not to participate in the general elections scheduled for 2022, defending a referendum to resolve the situation in Cabinda.

"One of the leaders is me and António Tuma is my deputy. They were looking for me, they didn't find me, so they went after my deputy. The campaign started three months ago, through Facebook, but this is the first time that arrests have taken place, we never received any notifications, it was something surprising," he said.

According to Sebastião Macaia, two lawyers were appointed, Francisco Luemba and Mananga Padi, who are monitoring the process.

The note emphasizes that "the arrests take place in a context in which MIC militants are multiplying their actions to mobilize their people in defense of holding a referendum for a definitive solution to the Cabinda problem, disadvising the participation of Cabindans in the Angolan elections".

"The MIC understands that the holding of Angolan elections in Cabinda will never bring a definitive solution to the problem of Cabinda, because this is based on assumptions of public international law. of the United Nations, Article 1(2)/Article 55, and applied by international custom", underlines the document.

A source from the Attorney General's Office in Cabinda confirmed to Lusa the detention of citizens ​​​​​​​who are indicted for the crimes of criminal association, terrorist organization, rebellion and disturbance, and the process is still in the investigation phase.