Abuse of Power in Angola (Part I): How the MPLA Elite Clears Land for Their Own Use

Earlier this month graphic pictures emerged from Angola of the killing of 14-year-old Rufino António, shot in the head at close range by a soldier enforcing demolitions in the poor neighbourhood of Walale, south of the capital, Luanda. This is not an isolated incident. The Angolan authorities have commonly resorted to sudden mass demolitions of entire neighbourhoods to clear the land for redevelopment, with little or no regard for residents’ legal rights, or even their lives. Sometimes there are legal grounds for these actions, such as slum clearance within the ambit of the Luanda Development Plan – a scheme praised by international urban planners unfamiliar with the reality of how it is being executed. All too often, however, the mass demolitions are ordered by unscrupulous and greedy members of the ruling elite who see the chance to grab choice portions of land for their own ends. Bound by blood to […]

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