Angola: November 20, 2001


The Washington Post ran a long article which addressed UNITAs revived war effort. The article focused on a UNITA attack that took place on September 25 when UNITA rebels hit an electrical substation nine miles outside of Luanda. The attack darkened portions of the capital, including the presidential compound. Diplomats now make the argument that UNITA knows it cannot win the Angolan civil war, but dramatic raids that send a message (such as shutting down the electrical power) translate into political statements that UNITA has to play a role in any settlement. The article reiterated the Angolan governments position (MPLA, or Popular Movement for the Liberation for Angola) that it will no longer negotiate with UNITA and its leader, Jonas Savimbi. The article put UNITAs current strength at 10,000 troops. Also on November 20, UNITA put out a press release where it claimed its forces killed 298 Angolan government soldiers and police in actions that took place from November 8 through 19. The UNITA attacks took place in at least eight of Angolas provinces (possibly ten).


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