The Presidency’s Military Bureau and the Kidnappings

It is now two weeks since Alves Kamulingue, 30, was abducted while walking around downtown Luanda at midday on May 27. Kamulingue was on his way to a demonstration that had been scheduled to bring together former members of the Presidential Guard Unit (UGP) and war veterans to demand the payment of their pensions. On May 29, his friend Isaías Cassule, 34, one of the organisers of the protest, was also seized at dusk in the Cazenga district of Luanda. Kamulingue’s wife, Isa Rodrigues, has received anonymous phone calls that have claimed the missing men are in a police unit somewhere on the outskirts of Luanda. These rumours have started to circulate, including among journalists, contradicting other rumours that have spread on the internet claiming that the men have been executed. The calls come from unknown numbers and are then switched off so that the families cannot call back and […]

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A Day in Court to Remember

Today I had a memorable court experience. I went to witness the trial of a fellow journalist, Ramiro Aleixo, and found myself stealing away moments of his day in court. The judge and the public prosecutor spent a brief but distracting time expressing their displeasure with an article I wrote on the first day of the proceedings, on May 11. Ramiro Aleixo stands vaguely accused of defaming and slandering the “military justice” for two articles he wrote nearly five years ago on the trial and conviction of the former director of the Angolan Intelligence Service (Serviços de Inteligência Externa), General Fernando Garcia Miala. The former spymaster had initially been under investigation for an attempted coup, but was later charged and convicted for disobedience. For calling the trial a farce, the journalist was put on the dock. Upon realizing my presence in the courtroom, judge Alfredo Lourenço Martins had quite a […]

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Forced Evictions in Samba in the Dead of Night

A group of more than 150 officers of the Luanda Provincial Government’s Auxiliary Police, supported by heavily armed members of the National Police, demolished more than 80 makeshift houses on the seashore in the Mabunda area of Samba municipality, in Luanda. Some of the demolished dwellings were storehouses for fish and fishing equipment. At about 3.00 am on the night of May 24, the police knocked on the doors of the shacks to get the residents out, then immediately used wheel loaders to destroy the structures and everything inside them, and loaded the debris onto trucks. Luciano Macala, a fisherman, lost eight freezers that he used to store fish, as well as fishing equipment and other items that were in his storehouse. His case is typical. On 10 April 2012, he had paid 25,520 kwanzas (US $250) in taxes, plus 8,510 kwanzas (US $85) to the Luanda Port Captaincy for […]

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Pro-Dos Santos Militias Attack Activists at Home

A group of about 15 people attached to Angolan pro-government militias, armed with pistols, machetes and iron rods, have attacked the group of young people who have been co-ordinating demonstrations against President José Eduardo dos Santos since March 2011. President Dos Santos’ 32 year rule is tied for the longest in Africa. Shortly after 10pm on Tuesday night the attackers burst into the home of rap artist Casimiro Carbono in Luanda’s Nelito Soares neighbourhood, where ten youths had gathered. With pistols in their hands, the attackers violently beat Gaspar Luamba, Américo Vaz, Mbanza Hamza, Tukayano Rosalino, Alexandre Dias dos Santos, Jang Nómada, Massilon Chindombe, Mabiala Kianda, and Jeremias Manuel Augusto “Explosivo Mental”. Their host, Casimiro Carbono, avoided the attacks as he had gone outside a few moments earlier to take a telephone call. Afonso Mayanda, known as “Mbanza Hamza”, 26, said the attackers carried out the attacks in a quick […]

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Court Ignores Media Law

The trial of journalist Ramiro Aleixo began yesterday at the Luanda Provincial Court. Aleixo stands accused of the crimes of defamation, slander and injury against the military justice system, namely its Supreme Court and office of the military attorney. In September 2007, the defendant wrote two articles in the now defunct weekly newspaper Kesongo, about the trial and conviction of the former director of the Angolan Intelligence Services, general Fernando Garcia Miala, exposing the judicial process as a farce. Initially, it was publicly revealed that there was an investigation of general Miala for an attempted coup. To the journalist’s surprise, and to the surprise of the Angolan public at large, the general ended up in court accused of insubordination, for refusing to attend a public ceremony in which he was to be demoted from the rank of three-star general to lieutenant-general. He was convicted to four years in jail, while […]

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Journalist Ramiro Aleixo on Trial

Angolan journalist Ramiro Aleixo’s trial is scheduled to start on May 11, 2012, at the Luanda Provincial Court. At issue is an editorial Mr. Aleixo wrote in the newspaper Kesongo, in 2007, about General Miala’s case. Mr. Aleixo, formerly the director and owner of the weekly Kesongo, told Maka Angola that he only found out about the notification to be present in court through a notice published in Jornal de Angola. The journalist has not received any formal notification from the authorities. In September 2007, Mr. Aleixo published an editorial denouncing the mock trial of the former Director of the Exterior Information Services, General Fernando Garcia Miala, and three of his staff members. The defendants were convicted for the crime of insubordination and sentenced to jail. In the editorial, Mr. Aleixo voiced his outrage at what he considered to be a manipulation of the judicial system, conducted by the Angolan […]

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Generals Accused of Crimes Against Humanity

OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY-GENERAL OF THE REPUBLIC OF ANGOLA RUA 17 DE SETEMBRO, CIDADE ALTA LUANDA MOST HONORABLE ATTORNEY-GENERAL OF THE REPUBLIC GENERAL JOÃO MARIA MOREIRA DE SOUSA Rafael Marques de Morais, [personal details redacted], pursuant to the terms of article 73 of the Constitution, hereby lodges a CRIMINAL COMPLAINT Against: 1. THE PARTNERS OF THE COMPANY  SOCIEDADE LUMANHE – EXTRACÇÃO MINEIRA, IMPORTAÇÃO E EXPORTAÇÃO, LIMITADA, (cf. DR, Series III, nº 33, 2004), Rua Comandante Dangereux, n.º 130, Luanda: A)    GENERAL HÉLDER MANUEL VIEIRA DIAS JÚNIOR “Kopelipa”, Minister of State and Head of the Military Bureau of the Presidency of the Republic; B)    GENERAL CARLOS ALBERTO HENDRICK VAAL DA SILVA, Inspector-General of the General Staff of the FAA [Angolan Armed Forces]; C)    GENERAL ARMANDO DA CRUZ NETO, Governor of Benguela and former Chief of the General Staff of the FAA; D)    GENERAL ADRIANO MAKEVELA MACKENZIE, Head of the Directorate for […]

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