Angola: May 29, 2000


: A Zambian spokesman said that Zambian troops captured an Angolan government (MPLA) soldier who was part of an an Angolan Army contingent that intended to attack the Zambian village of Lukoma Nyatanda in northwestern Zambia. A firefight erupted between Zambian troops and the Angolan force just before the Angolan soldier was captured. A wire service reported the Angolan soldier's name: Jeremas Evalisto, 24, of Luena district in Angola's southern Moxico province. Why did the Angolan government troops plan on attacking a Zambian village? From past reports we know the Angolan government has been pursuing UNITA guerrillas into Zambia. The Angolan unit may have suspected that someone in the village was supporting UNITA. There is a simpler explanation, however: theft and plunder. One of the sad facts of so many of Africa's long-running and anarchic wars is that military units have "gone rogue" and used supposed "counter-guerrilla operations" as a cover for banditry.


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