Angola's Killing Fields PDF Print E-mail


Volume 5 1993

In the year following the United Nations supervised general elections in Angola, that country has been suffering under a frenzy of mass killings worse even than anything endured in the previous 30 years of war. In a systematic programme of ethnic cleansing the MPLA government has targeted the Bakongos and Ovimbundus for annihilation.

The marxist MPLA riot police were seen repeatedly driving into the Camama cemetery to off-load prisoners. Once the prisoners had dug their own graves they were systematically shot into the graves.

Eye witnesses in the Luanda suburb of Caleba saw a mass-grave containing many hundreds of corpses of men, women and children of all ages. Many of the women had babies in their arms or strapped on their backs.

Father Adelino Simoes testified of mass summary executions at Viana - in the town square and in backyards - of people accused of being members of the opposition UNITA movement or of the Bokongo or Ovimbundu tribes.

In a 3 day pogrom after the elections, over 10 000 people were massacred in Luanda alone. This included the vice- president of UNITA, Jeremias Chitunda, and UNITA’s Chief Negotiator, Salupeto Pena, who were dragged from their cars and shot in the back of the head.

Reportedly, the purge was co-ordinated from the military police barracks in Ho Chi Minh Avenue. From this command centre, MPLA President Dos Santos’s special advisor, General Jose Maria, worked with the chief of staff, Gen Alberto Neto, Gen Leal Monteiro, Gen Franca N’Dalu and Gen Ary da Costa, to eradicate all the leaders of non-marxist opposition parties. The leaders of 4 opposition parties were imprisoned.

Gen Maria was also seen in Luanda’s streets personally directing the killing spree. According to the Frene para a Democracia opposition party, there was a permanent execution squad at Samba. Their victims were buried in mass graves at Morro da Samba. At Catete Road Prison over a thousand prisoners were taken out in small groups and executed in the space of a few weeks.

Many eye witnesses who were in Luanda at the time, reported seeing piles of bodies in the streets, on trucks, in graveyards and in the hospitals. Arms and legs protrude like rotting grave markers from various mass graves and bullet-ridden walls indicate where mass executions took place.

These were not the first such massacres in Angola’s recent history. In 1975 the marxist MPLA, with massive Cuban military support, violently expelled the opposition UNITA and FNLA from Luanda.

And in 1977 an estimated 40 000 “intellectuals” and “bourgeoisie” were massacred after the failed Nito Alves coup attempt.
The difference this time is that the MPLA has carried out this bloody purge under United Nations supervision and without losing its substantial aid from the European Community and the USA.

Yet despite the ruthless slaughter it has endured, the anti-communist UNITA movement continues to fight and now is reported to control over 75% of Angola’s territory.


A modern hospital built by the European Community and fitted with the latest medical equipment is still empty and unused because the MPLA government has demanded a $1 million a month tax before the hospital may receive patients!

The World Health Organisation estimates that 33% of Angola’s 10 million population are starving. In the overcrowded children’s ward of Jansina Machel Hospital a third of the over 300 children admitted each day are severely malnourished and 15 die each day of war wounds or easily preventable diseases.

Doctors reported that they spend 80% of their time - not at the operating table - but tracking down and buying medicines for the hospital! Donated medicines and equipment designated for these hospitals are routinely blocked by port officials for months while they demand bribes.

Vast amounts of medicines disappear to resurface in the black markets for sale to the doctors at outrageous prices. Extortion, corruption and mindless socialist bureaucracy is blamed for most of the amputations and unnecessary deaths in these hospitals.

Meanwhile the socialist MPLA government of Eduardo dos Santos busies itself with its own priorities: a new multi-million dollar presidential palace and literally hundreds of new luxury cars for party officials.


Since 1985 Frontline Fellowship has been delivering Bibles, food, clothing and medical supplies directly to the churches and needy people of Angola. If you would like to channel gifts towards the suffering Christians of Angola please designate your support for Angola to Frontline Fellowship. Two recent field outreaches to Angola have had to be postponed mainly for a lack of funds. Your help will be invaluable in aiding the desperately needy Angolan Christians.

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