People's Republic of Angola
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People's Republic of Angola
República Popular de Angola
Anthem: Angola Avante
|Government||Unitary Marxist-Leninist one-party socialist republic|
|José Eduardo dos Santos|
|Lopo do Nascimento|
|Fernando José de França Dias Van-Dúnem|
|Historical era||Cold War|
• Independence from Portugal
|11 November 1975|
|22 November 1976|
|25 August 1992|
|ISO 3166 code||AO|
The People's Republic of Angola (Portuguese: República Popular de Angola) was the self-declared socialist state which governed Angola from its independence in 1975 until 1992, during the Angolan Civil War.
The regime was established in 1975, after Portuguese Angola, a colony, was granted independence from Portugal through the Alvor Agreement. The situation in Portugal's other former large African colony, the People's Republic of Mozambique, was similar. The newly-founded nation had friendly relations with the Soviet Union, Cuba, and the People's Republic of Mozambique. The country was governed by the People's Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), which was responsible for the transition into a Marxist-Leninist one-party state. The group was backed by both Cuba and the Soviet Union.
The Angolan government is managing its oil windfall effectively. The trade balance remained profitable and external debt was kept within reasonable limits. In 1985, debt service amounted to $324 million, or about 15% of exports.
A major effort has been made in the field of adult education and literacy, particularly in urban centres. In 1986, the number of primary school students exceeded one and a half million, and nearly half a million adults learned to read and write. The language of instruction remains mainly Portuguese, but experiments are being tried to introduce the study of local African languages from the first years of schooling. Relations between the churches and the ruling party have remained relatively calm.
An opposing group, known as the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), led by Jonas Savimbi, sparked a civil war with the MPLA, with the backing from both apartheid South Africa and the United States, establishing the Democratic People's Republic of Angola in opposition to the People's Republic of Angola. The United States did everything they could in order to prevent the spread of communism in Africa and this is the largest example.
In January 1984, an agreement was negotiated. South Africa obtains from Angola a promise to withdraw its support for the SWAPO (Namibian independence movement established in Angola since 1975) in exchange for the evacuation of South African troops from Angola. Despite this agreement, South Africa, under the pretext of pursuing SWAPO guerrillas, conducts large-scale operations on Angolan soil whenever UNITA was under attack by Angolan government forces. In parallel, South Africa is organising attacks in Angola. In May 1985, an Angolan patrol intercepted a South African special forces unit in Malongo that was about to sabotage oil installations.
The United States provides Stinger surface-to-air missiles to rebels through the Kamina base in southern Zaire, a base that the United States would consider permanently reactivating. US assistance would also include anti-tank weapons to enable UNITA to better resist the Luanda Army's increasingly threatening offensives against areas still under its control in the east and south-east of the country.
In 1992, the People's Republic of Angola was constitutionally succeeded by the Republic of Angola and elections were held. However, the peace agreement did not last, as Savimbi rejected the election results and fighting resumed across the country until his death in 2002.
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