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Angolan Civil War Documentary Film

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Published on Jun 20, 2012

The Angolan Civil War was a major civil conflict in the Southern African state of Angola, beginning in 1975 and continuing, with some interludes, until 2002. The war began immediately after Angola became independent from Portugal in November 1975. Prior to this, a decolonization conflict had taken place in 1974--75, following the Angolan War of Independence. The Civil War was primarily a struggle for power between two former liberation movements, the People's Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) and the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA). At the same time, it served as a surrogate battleground for the Cold War, due to heavy intervention by major opposing powers such as the Soviet Union and the United States.

Each organisation had different roots in the Angolan social fabric and mutually incompatible leaderships, despite their sharing the aim of ending colonial occupation. Although both the MPLA and UNITA had socialist leanings, for the purpose of mobilizing international support they posed as "Marxist-Leninist" and "anti-communist", respectively. A third movement, the National Front for the Liberation of Angola (FNLA), having fought the MPLA alongside UNITA during the war for independence and the decolonization conflict, played almost no role in the Civil War. Additionally, the Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda (FLEC), an association of separatist militant groups, fought for the independence of the province of Cabinda from Angola.

The 27-year war can be divided roughly into three periods of major fighting -- between 1975 and 1991, 1992 and 1994, and 1998 and 2002 -- broken up by fragile periods of peace. By the time the MPLA finally achieved victory in 2002, an estimated 500,000 people had been killed and over one million internally displaced. The war devastated Angola's infrastructure, and dealt severe damage to the nation's public administration, economic enterprises, and religious institutions.

The Angolan Civil War reached such dimensions due to the combination of Angola's violent internal dynamics and massive foreign intervention. Both the Soviet Union and the United States considered the conflict critical to the global balance of power and to the outcome of the Cold War, and they and their allies put significant effort into making it a proxy war between their two power blocs. The Angolan Civil War ultimately became one of the bloodiest, longest, and most prominent armed conflicts of the Cold War. Moreover, the Angolan conflict became entangled with the Second Congo War in the neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo, as well as with the Namibian War of Independence.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angolan_...

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