Angola Drought Emergency

Humanitarian organizations are warning of an impending food emergency in southern Angola as the region faces the aftermath of the worst recorded drought in nearly half a century.  Launching an urgent eight-million-dollar appeal, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) said five consecutive years of severe drought had left more than 1.5 million people at risk of famine.  It’s not known how many may have died already as a result of drought and malnutrition but thousands of starving people braved crocodile-infested rivers to cross the border into Namibia to seek help and survivors reported many dying along the way.  Namibia is repatriating drought refugees who, given the ongoing conditions, are having to regroup in resettlement camps in Angola. The Angola Red Cross has begun delivering primary assistance to the worst-affected areas in the provinces of Huila, Cunene and Namibe.  But the situation is said to be […]

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Time for Truth and Reconciliation in Angola

Today marks the 45th anniversary of the terrifying events of May 27th, 1977, in which the governing MPLA purged tens of thousands of its former comrades in arms. Amnesty International estimates at least 30,000 were murdered. Angolans who were alive then refer only obliquely to the massacre as “o 27 de Maio”, the day and month standing for events that cannot be named. The official version released by the ruling MPLA stated that it had been forced to defend itself against an attempted coup by a faction in the party. Inconvenient facts were buried along with the victims or locked away in the minds of survivors. The reign of terror unleashed on the dissident faction (and anyone connected with them) silenced internal dissent for decades. So many have suffered from “not knowing”, so many died over these 45 years still tortured by the inexplicable disappearance of sons and daughters. In […]

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