History of rebels

Angola: Cabinda, an unsolvable problem?

By Marie Toulemonde

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Posted on August 3, 2022 12:26

 © Infograph provided by Jeune Afrique.
Infograph provided by Jeune Afrique.

Flec is one of the oldest rebel groups on the continent, born in the wake of the struggle for independence and fuelled by a desire for oil. Divided but still present, it has called for a boycott of the 24 August general elections. A look back at a guerrilla group that has survived for nearly 70 years.

It is a geographical anomaly, an Angolan enclave wedged between DRC and the Republic of Congo. It is also a geological anomaly, nicknamed the “African Kuwait” because of its immense oil reserves. Its 7,283 square kilometres, partly buried in the Mayombe forest and marine subsoil have enabled Luanda to become one of the continent’s largest black gold producers and never ceased to arouse envy. Cabinda has also been the scene, for nearly 70 years, of a latent conflict led today by a handful of separatists who claim their territory’s autonomy amid an atmosphere of almost general indifference.

However, despite the death in 2016 of the historical leader of the Front de Libération de l’Enclave de Cabinda (Flec), Henrique Tiago Nzita, the movement still exists and claims responsibility for some actions and attacks every year. For its part, the Angolan army continues to cordon off the area in

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