Government Uses Military in Mass Forced Evictions

By Alexandre Neto Seven helicopters and an apparatus of more than 500 men, including military personnel, police and security forces, took part in a military-styled operation that forcibly evicted over 5,000 people from the residential neighborhood of Mayombe, in the Cacuaco municipality, in Luanda, on February 1. According to local residents, the joint military and police forces took the community by surprise at early dawn, causing widespread panic. “At around 5am the bulldozers started razing the houses to the ground, evicting more than 5,000 people”, said Mateus Virgílio Mukito, one of the residents left homeless. Pedro Sebastião, another evictee, told Maka Angola that two children died in the operation. “They were running from the helicopters and ended up falling into a drainage ditch.” Other residents corroborated this information. According to Mr. Sebastião, given the level of panic within the community, it wasn’t even possible to hold funerals in the area. […]

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Arresting the Shabby and Shorty Journalist

In a repressive state with the veneer of democratically elected institutions, such as Angola, the ways in which abuse can be rationalized make parodies. Journalist Coque Mukuta, 28, experienced such a parody on January 4, 2013, while interviewing women street vendors on the arbitrary police beatings against them, for selling in the streets of Viana, in the outlays of Luanda. “I personally saw, while doing my work, six police officers severely lashing women street vendors with electric wires,” said Mukuta. Rather than leaving the area, the journalist, who is the correspondent for the Portuguese service of Voice of America, remained adamant in finishing the recording of his third interview on site. “They [the six police officers] came straight at me, hauled me off into their vehicle, confiscated my equipment, and slapped me several times, and told me I would be thrown in jail,” he said. At the municipal command of […]

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Land Rush End in Summary Trials

A rumour that the municipal administration of Cacuaco, Luanda, was to distribute land in the farming area known as Kilometre 30, resulted in almost 100 detentions and summary convictions by the Cacuaco municipal court on Monday, August 13. Maka Angola has confirmed that more than 40 people, 22 of them women, were sentenced individually to a suspended prison sentence of three months, converted to a 49,000 kwanza fine (US $490). The news that plots of land were to be allocated prompted multitudes of people to the area. But for no apparent reason, members of the National Police at the scene started arresting people at random. Roque Augusto, one of those present, explained that his family went to the site and claimed a plot in the zone that was supposedly being distributed. According to him, his family didn’t even occupy the plot. “Last Saturday, a large team from the National Police […]

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Rapper and Activist Luaty Beirão Released

The Angolan activist rapper Luaty Beirão was released from custody by the Portuguese police on the evening of June 12. The day before, the rapper travelled to Lisbon, in a flight from Luanda, and was swiftly arrested at the airport upon collecting his luggage, which contained cocaine. Luaty was released without charges. While the investigations continue, the rapper, who has dual citizenship, including the Portuguese, must report to the police, if he is to be absent from the country for more than five days. According to his producer and friend, Pedro Coquenão, customs officials found a packet of cocaine inside the tyre of his bicycle, which he had checked-in from Angola, wrapped in plastic, in order to exchange it in Lisbon, where he had previously bought it. Pedro Coquenão explained that when the rapper collected the bicycle wheel from the luggage carousel, he noticed a bulge in the tyre and […]

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Attacks Against Activists Increase

Activist Adolfo Campos André, aged 32, survived an attack yesterday, June 15, when he was on his way home at about 11P.M. Two Toyota Landcruisers blocked his car, a Chevrolet Spark, in Petrangol Road in Luanda. Adolfo André, who is currently unemployed, told Maka Angola that four unknown individuals, armed with AK47s, got out of the vehicles and surrounding him, pointing their guns at him. “I got out of the car with my hands in the air,” he said. According to his statement, two of the individuals struck him on the face with the ends of their guns at the same time, leaving him with injuries next to his right eye. “I fell to the ground bleeding, and one of the men got ready to shoot at me but the other told him not to. They left straight away and I shouted for help,” Adolfo André said. A family member […]

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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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