In statements on the sidelines of the funeral ceremonies of army general Eduardo Ernesto Gomes "Bakalof", a victim of the political conflicts that occurred 46 years ago, the leader of the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), said that the 27th of May was one of the events " most dramatic" in the country.
"The conflict of the 27th of May is one of the most dramatic, which was a conflict within the MPLA, therefore what I call the contradictions of the national liberation struggle brought later post-independence", the politician told journalists at the Cemitério da Sant'ana, in Luanda.
The remains of Eduardo Ernesto Gomes "Bakalof" were buried this Thursday in this cemetery, with military honors, in the presence of members of the Commission for the Implementation of the Reconciliation Plan in Memory of the Victims of Political Conflicts (CIVICOP), family members, deputies and survivors of these conflicts.
For Mário Pinto de Andrade, also secretary for State Reform, Public Administration and Local Authorities of his party, the general's funeral is a moment of reflection, especially due to the 46 years of anguish experienced by the family.
"And today the general and his family also find peace, because burying a loved one is always a painful act, but it is a duty and, therefore, the attitude of the President of the Republic, João Lourenço, to create CIVICOP so that we can search and Honoring the victims of various conflicts is a very noble act", he stated.
"This act that we have just witnessed here is another one, General" Bakalof "was a great fighter in the national liberation struggle, he was a great fighter in the first region", he added.
The 27th of May 1977 was an alleged attempted coup d'état carried out by MPLA "fractionists", led by Nito Alves, still under the presidency of Agostinho Neto, the first President of Angola, in which thousands of Angolans died.
The Government assured that the exhumation and certification of the general's remains followed forensic medical protocol and was "strictly" monitored by the family.
"It is a process that respects all protocol, the exhumation is carried out by specialists and then the body is stored in a dedicated area. The relevant examinations are followed with all the forensic medical protocol that is recommended", the spokesperson told Lusa from CIVICOP, Israel Nambi.
The CIVICOP spokesperson also highlighted that after the test results, carried out by the Central Criminalistics Laboratory (LCC), in Luanda, a copy is delivered to family members.
On behalf of the family, Julião Ernesto Gomes, brother of "Bakalof", thanked President João Lourenço for the opportunity to hold a dignified funeral.
"In this way, the family is duly moved because we did not count on this achievement for more than 40 years", he said, also asking for "special attention" to the general's descendants.
The deputy of the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), Clarice Caputu, was also present at this funeral ceremony and signaled the importance of the moment, considering this to be a "deserved tribute".
"It is a well-deserved tribute to those who gave their share in liberating the country from the colonial yoke, therefore, they were a fighter for independence", he told Lusa, highlighting that it is also important for the family "to be able to experience the process of grief".
The Ministry of National Defense, Former Combatants and Veterans of the Fatherland, in its message of condolences to the family presented by Brigadier António Jorge, said that General "Bakalof" was one of the sons of Angola "who from an early age joined the common cause for liberation of Angola with other nationalists".
"The premature disappearance of this military cadre constituted an irreparable loss for us, whose example of courage, bravery and patriotism were recorded in the annals of Angola's military history", the note states.
In 2019, President João Lourenço created CIVICOP, in charge of the general plan to pay tribute to the victims of the political conflicts, which occurred in Angola between November 11, 1975 and April 4, 2022, and two years later he apologized to the families, in name of the State.