Ver Angola

Politics

Government hands over remains of UNITA leaders, 29 years later

This Monday, the government handed over the remains of two UNITA leaders, killed in the 1992 clashes in Luanda, an act that for family members and political leaders symbolized reconciliation.

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The remains of Adolosi Paulo Alicerces Mango, then secretary general of the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) and of Salupeto Pena, the party's representative on the Joint Political-Military Commission, were handed over at a ceremony led by the Commission for Implementation of the Conflict Victims Reconciliation Plan (CIVICOP).

Speaking to the press, UNITA leader, Isaias Samakuva, considered that the act had a "very profound meaning, of reconciliation and forgiveness".

"I think today is very important in the history of our country and for the families of those who perished", said the UNITA president, who was reappointed in October as the party's leader following a decision by the Constitutional Court that dictated the removal of Adalberto da Costa Júnior, elected at the XIII Congress, in 2019.

Isaiah Samakuva also considered it important that gestures of this nature not only be repeated, as there are many cases in the country, but that they also serve as a reflection for all national citizens, because "it is painful to see Angolans disagreeing".

"To the point of not even identifying themselves as nationalists or as nationals, as Angolans, people prefer to identify themselves by the color of their party, by their party affiliation. I think it's time to go over that, to learn from the lessons of the past and we also begin to see ourselves as children of the same country, create unity among us and work for the development of our country, consolidation of peace and stability to reign in our country", he stressed.

According to the UNITA leader, acts of this nature reinforce the pacification of the minds of Angolans, and it makes no sense to witness an act of this nature and continue "to walk in problems, contradictions, insults and abuses".

"We have to take the past and make it like a school, which left us bitter, painful lessons that must be overcome," he stressed.

Isaias Samakuva corroborated the position of the Government, which advocates forgetting the past and not looking for blame at that time.

"I think so, if we start pointing fingers at one or the other today, we will never get out of there, we will be creating more complicated situations. I usually say that in the end we were all victims, we were all guilty and we were all responsible, therefore , it's not worth pointing the finger at this one or that one, now is the time to look forward, with courage and unity," he stressed.

The date for the burial has not yet been set, informed the UNITA president, and at this time family members and the party leadership are synchronizing the plan of activities.

According to Isaías Samakuva, the program will be organized calmly and calmly, to be announced in due course.
For Esteves Pena, brother of Salupeto Pena, this is an act of national reconciliation. The man has participated at other times in the ceremony to hand over the remains of General Ben Ben and UNITA's founding leader, Jonas Savimbi.

"It is painful, but for reconciliation we are willing, that this be an example for all Angolans, that reconciliation is necessary," said Esteves Pena.

He extolled the privilege of having received his brother's remains, which "not everyone will have", agreeing that one should not look to the past or find guilty, because "reconciling is really forgetting and moving forward".

In turn, Alicerces Mango, the eldest son of the then UNITA general secretary, expressed that the feeling is one of sadness and emotion, because it was time to bury his father "with all dignity".

"Because we know that, in Africa, the dead only die after being buried and also the feeling is of joy, because finally, after 29 years, there was this responsibility, this care to safeguard this deep feeling of families, to be handed over to us the remains of our father, uncle, grandfather," he said.

Alicerces Mango considered "a courageous act", the request for public pardon made by the Angolan President, in 2020, to all victims of political conflicts registered in Angola from 1975 to 2002, the year in which the country's war ended.

"Because it was time for the Angolan nation to meet again so that we stop showing the jerseys of political parties, so that Angolans can socialize, live and share the same moments, and this sign given by the President of the Republic should also motivate singular acts. Whom. he thinks he did harm to the other, he should have the courage to ask for forgiveness so that Angola walks in a truly united path", he stressed.

However, he stressed that this is the time to "test acts and theories". "We are now trusting in this act, there was a theory, there was an intention, it was materialized and we are going to wait for the next steps, if in fact our reconciliation is really moving in the right direction", he highlighted.