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  • Coughing Up: Justice for Southern African gold mineworkers with silicosis and tuberculosis

    By Tony | April 25, 2017

    Coughing Up

    Justice for Southern African gold mineworkers with silicosis and tuberculosis

    ACTSA Briefing Paper Published April 2017.

    ACTSA calls on the mining companies that profited from South Africa’s gold to provide proper medical screening, decent financial compensation and healthcare for all ex and current mineworkers suffering from silicosis and TB.

    Read the full briefing paper here

    ACTSA – Justice for Miners briefing – Apr 2017

    Topics: News from ACTSA | No Comments »

    Compensation not Procrastination: Justice for Silicosis Sufferers

    By admin | March 3, 2017

    On 4 March 2017, it will be one year since a Read the rest of this entry »

    Topics: News | No Comments »

    Angola Monitor 3/2015

    By Fiona | August 3, 2015

    The latest issue of the Angola Monitor is now available online in both English and Portuguese

    This issue covers:

    Political News : President Hollande’s visit to Angola, President dos Santos’ state visits to China and Italy, dos Santos not stepping down early

    Economics News: New loan from World Bank, economic diversification, exports to the United States reach record high and the AGOA 2015

    Human Rights News: an update on the sect killings in Huambo province, the trial of Rafael Marques, NGOs express concern about a serious pattern of disregard for freedom of opinion, expression and peaceful assembly in Angola

    Aid and Development News: China’s investment and aid, Can Angola half poverty? Luanda International Fair 2015

    Topics: News from ACTSA | No Comments »

    Statements on the Marikana Inquiry

    By admin | July 1, 2015

    National Union of Mineworkers Statement: http://www.cosatu.org.za/show.php?ID=10588

    Lonmin mining company statement:  http://www.lonmin-farlam.com/

    Bench Marks Foundation statement:  http://www.bench-marks.org.za

    Topics: News | No Comments »

    Main findings and recommendations from the Marikana Inquiry

    By admin | July 1, 2015

    Marikana Commission of Inquiry, summary of main findings and recommendations:

     

    1. FINDINGS

     

    FINDINGS AGAINST LONMIN

    The Commission has found that Lonmin did not use its best endeavours to resolve the disputes that arose between itself and its workers who participated in the unprotected strike on the one hand and between the strikers and those workers who did not participate in the strike.

    It also did not respond appropriately to the threat of, and the outbreak of violence.

    Lonmin also failed to employ sufficient safeguards and measures to ensure the safety of its employees.

    Lonmin also insisted that its employees who were not striking should come to work, despite the fact that it knew that it was not in a position to protect them from attacks by strikers.

    The Commission also criticized Lonmin’s implementation of undertakings with regards to the Social and Labour plans.

     

    FINDINGS AGAINST AMCU

    The Commission has found that officials of AMCU did not exercise effective control over AMCU members and supporters in ensuring that their conduct was lawful and did not endanger the lives of others.

     

    They sang provocative songs and made inflammatory remarks, which tended to aggravate an already volatile situation.

     

    The Commission also noted that the President of AMCU, Mr Joseph Mathunjwa, did his best before the shootings to persuade the strikers to lay down their arms and leave the koppie.

     

    FINDINGS AGAINST NUM

    The National Union of Mineworkers did not exercise its best endeavours to resolve the dispute between itself and the strikers.

     

    The NUM wrongly advised Rock Drill Operators that no negotiations with Lonmin were possible until the end of the 2 year wage agreement.

    The union also did not take the initiative to persuade and enable Lonmin to speak to the workers.

    The NUM also failed to exercise effective control over its membership in ensuring that their conduct was lawful and did not endanger the lives of others.

    It encouraged and assisted non-striking workers to go to the shafts in circumstances where there was a real danger that they would be killed or injured by armed strikers.

     

    FINDINGS AGAINST INDIVIDUAL STRIKERS

    Individual strikers and loose groupings of strikers promoted a situation of conflict and confrontation which gave rise, directly or indirectly, to the deaths of Lonmin’s security guards and non-striking workers, and endangered the lives of the non-striking workers who were not injured.

     

    FINDINGS IN RESPECT OF MR CYRIL RAMAPHOSA

    The Counsel for Injured and Arrested Persons alleged that Mr Cyril Ramaphosa is the cause of the Marikana massacre and that he must be held accountable for the death of 34 miners.

    The Commission has found that it cannot be said that Mr Ramaphosa was the cause of the massacre, and the accusations against him are groundless.

     

    FINDINGS IN RESPECT OF MINISTER NATHI MTHWETHWA

    The Counsel for Injured and Arrested Persons alleged that Mr Mthethwa is the cause of the Marikana massacre and that he must be held accountable for the death of 34 miners.

    The Commission found that the Executive played no role in the decision of the police to implement the tactical option on 16 August 2012, if the strikers did not lay down their arms, which led to the deaths of the 34 persons.

     

    FINDINGS IN RESPECT OF MINISTER SHABANGU

    The Counsel for Injured and Arrested Persons submitted that Minister Shabangu should be prosecuted on charges of corruption and perjury.

    No findings were made against Minister Shabangu.

     

    FINDINGS AGAINST THE POLICE

    In respect of the tragic incident of 16 August 2012, the Commission found that the Police drew up an operational plan which entailed the encirclement of a relatively small group of strikers, who would be in the koppie early in the morning.

    The strategy entailed encircling the strikers with barbed wire, and offering them an exit point through which they would need to move while handing over their weapons.

     

    This phase was only capable of being implemented early in the morning when there was a relatively small number of strikers. Attempts were also made to negotiate with the strikers by the police.

    The encirclement plan was replaced by the tactical option which was defective in a number of respects.

    The tactical option was implemented at about 15h40 on that day, resulting in the death of strikers in scene 1 and scene 2.

    The Commission found that the police operation should not have taken place on 16 August because of the defects in the plan.

    The Commission has found that it would have been impossible to disarm and disperse the strikers without significant bloodshed, on the afternoon of the 16th of August.

    The police should have waited until the following day, when the original encirclement plan, which was substantially risk free, could have been implemented.

    The Commission also found that the decision that the strikers would be forcibly removed from the koppie by the police on 16 August if they did not voluntarily lay down their arms, was not taken by the tactical commanders on the ground.

    The decision was instead taken by Lieutenant-General Mbombo, the North West Police Commissioner, and was endorsed by the SAPS leadership at an extraordinary session of the National Management Forum.

    The Commission also found that the operation should have been stopped after the shooting at scene 1 and that there was also a complete lack of command and control at scene 2.

    The Commission has also questioned the conduct of the police management during the inquiry.

    The Police leadership did not initially disclose to the Commission, the fact that the original plan was not capable of being implemented on the first date and that it had been abandoned.

    In addition, police leadership did not inform the Commission that the decision to go ahead with the tactical option, if the strikers did not voluntarily lay down their arms and disperse, was taken at the National Management Forum meeting on 15 August. Instead, they informed the Commission that this decision was taken on the 16th of August, and only after the situation had escalated.

    The Commission has also raised serious concern that there was a delay of about an hour in getting medical assistance to the strikers who were injured at scene 1, and asserts that at least one striker might have survived if he had been treated timeously.

     

    2. RECOMMENDATIONS

    The Commission recommends that Lonmin’s failure to comply with the housing obligations under the Social and Labour Plans should be drawn to the attention of the Department of Mineral Resources, which should take steps to enforce the performance of these obligations by Lonmin.

     

    The Commission has recommended that a Panel of Experts be appointed, comprising:

    • Senior officers of the Legal Department of the SAPS;

    • Senior Officers with extensive experience in Public Order Policing;

    And

    • Independent experts in Public Order Policing, both local and international, who have experience in dealing with crowds, armed with sharp weapons and firearms, as presently prevalent in the South African context.

     

    This panel should, amongst others:

    • Revise and amend all prescripts relevant to Public Order Policing;

    • Investigate the world’s best practices and measures available for use, without resorting to the use of weapons capable of automatic fire, where Public Order Policing methods are inadequate.

     

    In Public Order Policing situations, operational decisions must be made by an officer in overall command, with recent and relevant training, skills and experience in public order policing.

     

    All radio communications should be recorded and the recordings should be preserved.

    Plans for Public Order Policing operations should identify the means of communication which SAPS members will use to communicate with one another.

    A protocol should be developed and implemented for communication in large operations including alternative mechanisms, where the available radio system is such that it will not provide adequate means of communication.

    The SAPS should review the adequacy of the training of the members who use specialized equipment such as water cannons and video equipment.

    All SAPS helicopters should be equipped with functional video cameras.

    In operations where there is a high likelihood of the use of force, the plan should include the provision of adequate and speedy first aid to those who are injured.

    The commission also emphasizes that all police officers should be trained in basic first aid.

    There should be a clear protocol which states that SAPS members with first aid training, who are at the scene of an incident where first aid is required, should administer first aid.

    Specialist firearm officers should receive additional training in the basic first aid skill needed to deal with gunshot wounds.

     

    The Commission adds that the recommendations by the National Planning Commission, for the demilitarization and professionalizing of the SAPS, should be implemented as a matter of priority.

    With regards to accountability, where a police operation and its consequences have been controversial, requiring further investigation, the Minister and the National Commissioner should take care when making public statements or addressing members of the SAPS. They should not say anything which might have the effect of ‘closing the ranks’ or discourage members who are aware of inappropriate actions, from disclosing what they know.

    The standing orders should more clearly require a full audit trail and an adequate recording of police operations.

    The SAPS and its members should accept that they have a duty of public accountability and truth-telling, because they exercise force on behalf of all South Africans, the Commission states.

    The staffing and resourcing of the Independent Police Investigations Directorate (IPID) should be reviewed to ensure that it is able to carry out its functions effectively.

     

    REFERRAL FOR FURTHER INVESTIGATION IN TERMS OF SECTION 24(1) OF THE NPA ACT

    The Commission recommends a full investigation, under the direction of the Director of Public Prosecutions in North West, with a view to ascertaining criminal liability on the part of all members of the SAPS who were involved in the incidents at scene 1 and 2.

    For the purposes of the investigation, a team should be appointed, headed by a Senior State Advocate, together with independent experts in the reconstruction of crime scenes, expert ballistic and forensic pathologists practitioners and Senior Investigators from IPID, and any such further experts as may be necessary.

     

    REFERRAL FOR PROSECUTION

    The Commission also recommends that all the killings and assaults that took place between 11 and 15 August 2012, should be referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions, for further investigation and to determine whether there is a basis for prosecution.

    The Commission states that the propensity in South Africa presently for the carrying of sharp instruments and firearms and the associated violence even in service delivery protests, requires the strict enforcement of the laws that prohibit such conduct.

    It pointed out that the Lonmin workers can be seen very clearly on videos and photographs in possession of dangerous weapons at the public gatherings or in public places.

    The Commission has thus called for a further investigation of offences, in terms of the Regulation of Gatherings Act and the Possession of Dangerous Weapons Act.

    The Commission has also recommended that there must be an inquiry into the fitness to hold office, of the National Police Commissioner as well as the North West Provincial Police Commissioner in terms of Section 9 of the South African

     

     

    Topics: News | 1 Comment »

    Marikana Inquiry Incomplete – A summary

    By admin | July 1, 2015

    Marikana – a terrible tragedy that should not have occurred.

    44 people were killed around the Marikana platinum mine about 2 and half hours north-west of Johannesburg between 11 –16 August 2012. 34 were killed by the South African police on the 16 August.

    The Marikana Commission of Inquiry has reported. It makes criticism of the police, Lonmin (the mining company that owned the mine), the striking miners and the trade unions.

    The terms of reference of the Commission of Inquiry were, “to investigate matters of public, national and international concern arising out of the tragic incidents at the Lonmin Mine in Marikana, in the North West Province which took place on about Saturday 11 August to Thursday 16 August, 2012 which led to the deaths of approximately 44 people, more than 70 persons being injured, approximately 250 people being arrested.”

    Most criticism is directed at the police operation for the killings on the 16 August. The commission found that the police decided to move from an encirclement and containment plan, which in the Commission’s view could have been implemented without significant risk of loss of life on the morning of 16 August or the following day to a plan to demand the striking miners disarm and if not force would be used which would inevitably lead to bloodshed. The Commission also severely criticised the police for not ceasing shooting at scene 1 where 16 people were killed and that at scene 2 where 17 people were killed there was a, “complete lack of control and command”.

    The Commission recommends a full investigation to ascertain criminal liability on the part of all members of the South Africa police who were involved in the incidents at scene 1 and 2.

     

    The Commission recommends that there be further investigation into all the killings and assaults that took place between 11 and 15 August 2012 to determine whether there is a basis for prosecution.

     

    The Commission recommended that there must be an inquiry into the fitness to hold office, of the National Police Commissioner as well as the North West Provincial Police Commissioner.

     

    The Commission found that the Executive played no role in the decision of the police to implement the tactical option on 16 August 2012, if the strikers did not lay down their arms, which led to the deaths of the 34 persons.

     

    The Commission is critical of the conduct of Lonmin for its failure for not doing more to resolve the dispute, not doing more to ensure the safety of employees, not responding effectively to the threat and outbreak of violence and failure to implement social undertakings it had committed to do.

     

    The Commission criticised the conduct the trade unions for not doing more to reduce tensions and conflict between workers.

     

    The Marikana Commission of Inquiry did not however consider the wider context in which Marikana occurred.

     

    The Commission recognises that the catalyst for the dispute was the decision of management at another platinum mine owned by Impala Platinum to unilaterally go beyond a three wage deal and pay some workers more. This led to resentment by workers at that mine and then at other mines that they were not getting an increase. It put the National Union of Mineworkers in a difficult position. It thought it had negotiated the best deal possible but then some workers they represented got an increase. The unilateral breaking of the three wage deal weakened their credibility and to some their legitimacy.

     

    …” the tragic events at Marikana are rooted in widespread labour disputes in the area, particularly, at Lonmin‟ s Karee mine and at the nearby Impala Platinum Mine („Implats‟) which were characterized by violence, intimidation and loss of life and the undermining of agreed collective bargaining processes;” Marikana Commission of Inquiry

     

    Why does the platinum sector have negotiation mine by mine whereas wage negotiations for gold mining is across the sector? In whose interests was mine by mine negotiation?

    Why 20 years after South Africa’s first democratic elections are conditions for many miners, most of whom are migrants still so poor?

    These are questions the Marikana Commission of Inquiry did not address. It was not in their terms of reference and they have interpreted their terms of reference quite narrowly. What was required was a shorter but thorough inquiry about what actually happened and as far as possible why and who is responsible for the events between 9 and 16 August and a broader inquiry into the mining industry which is what COSATU, the trade union federation called for.

     

    Why are many migrant workers still living in terrible conditions? Why is the industry still based around migrant labour who are away from their families and homes for 11 months a year and therefore many develop, acquire two families/homes? Why in disputes in South Africa is there the willingness to use force, sometimes and terribly and overwhelming in the case of Marikana lethal force by the police and by protesters. Why are a number of corporate social responsibility projects about PR  and not substantial and lasting improvements? What is needed to bring about transformation of the mining industry so it treats its workers more fairly and ensures benefits also flow to the communities and areas the mines are located? Has the mining industry changed in the three years since Marikana? Has policing of protests? Do protesters behave differently?

     

    Those who recklessly and needlessly caused and contributed to the deaths of 44 people in and around Marikana between 9 -16 August by their actions and in-actions should face justice. But as well as individuals there is the need to address systemic weaknesses and failures in and across the mining industry, in policing and by those engaging in labour and community protests.

     

     

     

    Topics: News | No Comments »

    O Monitor de Angola No 2, 2015

    By Fiona | May 11, 2015


    O Monitor de Angola aborda a política, economia, desenvolvimento, democracia e direitos humanos em Angola. Publicado trimestralmente pela Ação pela África Austral (ACTSA, sigla em inglês), também está disponível em inglês.

    Esta edição cobrirá:

    Política: Angola membro do Conselho de Segurança da ONU por dois anos; visitas de diversos chefes de Estado; visão alemã de Angola

    Economia: Queda do preço do petróleo provoca revisão do orçamento com uma queda de 25 por cento da receita; Angola busca empréstimos que somam 10 bilhões de dólares; o uso do Fundo Soberano de Angola.

    Direitos Humanos: Ativistas presos em Cabinda; Rafael Marques de Morais acusado de difamação; preocupações acerca da liberdade de expressão e reunião.

    Ajuda e desenvolvimento: Maior mortalidade infantil do mundo; enchentes; desminagem ao redor de Cuito Cuanavale.

     

    Esta edição também está disponível em inglês.

    Mensagens de nossos leitores são bem-vindas. Por favor envie os comentários para info@actsa.org. Para mais notícias e informações sobre Angola e a África austral, visite o sítio do ACTSA: www.actsa.org.

     

    Política:

    Angola assume cadeira no Conselho de Segurança da ONU

    No dia 1º de janeiro de 2015, Angola iniciou seu período de dois anos como membro não permanente do Conselho de Segurança da ONU. O país foi o único candidato da África.  Existe uma demanda por reformas do Conselho de Segurança que possui cinco membros permanentes com poderes de veto e dez membros não permanentes. Angola se juntará à Nigéria como os membros africanos do Conselho de Segurança. O período da Nigéria terminará no final de 2015 e o de Angola no final de 2016.

     

    Visitas de chefes de Estado

    O presidente angolano, José Eduardo dos Santos, realizou, de maneira incomum, duas visitas internacionais no período de janeiro a março de 2015. Ambas as visitas foram para países vizinhos.

     

    Em janeiro, o presidente visitou a República Democrática do Congo. Acordos de cooperação nas áreas de transportes e comércio interfronteiriço foram assinados.

     

    No mês de março, José Eduardo dos Santos esteve presente na posse do presidente da Namíbia, Hage Geingob. Em abril, o presidente Hage Geingob realizou uma visita a Angola, sua primeira visita internacional desde a posse como presidente.

     

    O presidente da Zâmbia, Edgar Lungu, fez uma visita oficial a Angola em fevereiro, sua primeira visita oficial desde sua eleição em janeiro de 2015.

     

    O presidente do Congo (Brazzaville), Denis Sasou Nguesso, realizou uma visita oficial a Angola no final de março. Esta foi sua segunda visita ao país em um ano. As visitas parecem indicar um relaxamento das tensões entre os dois países. As tensões se seguiram às incursões de Angola dentro de territórios do Congo Brazzaville em busca de separatistas de Cabinda; as relações entre os dois países agora melhoraram.

     

    FNLA reelege seu presidente

    Após uma eleição contestada em fevereiro, Luca Ngonda foi reeleito presidente da Frente Nacional de Libertação de Angola (FNLA). A FNLA foi um dos movimentos de libertação que lutaram contra os portugueses. Nas eleições de 2012, o partido obteve 1,1por cento dos votos e dois assentos na Assembleia Nacional.

     

    Perspectiva alemã de Angola

    Em março, durante a visita de quatro navios da marinha alemã a Angola, o embaixador alemão em Angola afirmou que a Alemanha vê Angola como um poderoso e influente agente regional na África. O embaixador destacou o papel de Angola na manutenção da paz e estabilidade no Golfo da Guiné.

     

    Britânicos treinarão militares angolanos?

    Durante uma visita a Angola em março, o diplomata britânico, Richard Arkwright, afirmou que o Reino Unido havia encaminhado propostas para que o país fornecesse treinamento militar para soldados angolanos.

     

    Economia:

    Queda dos preços do petróleo, revisão do orçamento

    Em resposta à queda dos preços do petróleo, Angola definiu um orçamento revisado no fim de fevereiro. O orçamento inicial baseava-se no preço do barril de 81 dólares. O novo orçamento considera o valor de 40 dólares por barril. O valor por barril no final de março estava em 55 dólares. O novo orçamento apresenta uma redução de 25por cento dos recursos, de 7,2 para 5,4 trilhões de Kwanzas (cerca de 15 bilhões de dólares). Todos os setores sofreram cortes, sendo o setor econômico (que cobre energia, indústria e transporte) o mais afetado, com redução da ordem de 44 por cento. O setor da defesa foi o menos afetado, sofreu redução de 17,2 por cento. O impacto que os cortes terão no setor de serviços ainda não é claro. Apesar de esforços com relação à diversificação econômica, Angola permanece profundamente dependente do petróleo que representa cerca de 46 por cento do PIB, 80 por cento da receita do governo e 95 por cento das exportações do país.

     

    Angola busca empréstimos

    Devido à queda prevista de receitas oriundas do setor petroleiro, há relatos de que Angola estaria buscando empréstimos, tanto de fontes comerciais como do Banco Mundial, de onde espera-se que em maio seja tomado um empréstimo da ordem de 500 milhões de dólares para apoio ao orçamento. Angola nunca antes havia buscado empréstimo para ajuda ao orçamento. Espera-se, ainda, que o país emita um Eurobond para arrecadar 1,5 bilhão de dólares. Planos de emitir este tipo de título foram adiados em diversas ocasiões no passado. Estima-se que Angola busca emprestar 10 bilhões de dólares.

     

    Fundo Soberano pronto para investir 1,4 bilhão de dólares

    O Fundo Soberano de Angola (FSDEA) investirá 250 milhões de dólares em cada um dos setores de mineração, madeiras e agricultura. O valor também será aplicado para ajudar empreendedores que têm dificuldades em obter capital de fontes tradicionais. Outros 400 milhões de dólares serão investidos na saúde. O Fundo Soberano, presidido pelo filho mais velho do presidente, José Filomeno dos Santos, tem como objetivo apoiar a economia de Angola para além do setor petroleiro. No último ano, foram investidos 1,6 bilhão de dólares em infraestrutura e turismo ao redor da África.

     

    100 milhões de dólares pagos por Angola para uma empresa de fachada?

    Isto é o que alega o jornalista investigativo Rafael Marques de Morais. Ele afirma que no dia 22 de janeiro de 2015, o Fundo Soberano de Angola (FSDEA) transferiu a quantia de 9.948.750.000 kwanzas, (aproximadamente 100 milhões de dólares) para a empresa Kjinga S.A. O jornalista afirma ainda que a Kjinga é uma empresa de fachada, sem nenhum funcionário, criada pelo Banco Kwanza Invest (BKI). O banco foi criado pelo presidente do FSDEA e primogênito do presidente José Eduardo dos Santos, José Filomeno dos Santos. O FSDEA comunicou que foi fornecido apoio financeiro para a empresa como forma de apoio ao micro-empreendimento.

     

    Goodyear paga 16 milhões de dólares em multas por pagamento de suborno em Angola e no Quênia

    A empresa de pneus Goodyear pagou 16 milhões de dólares para reguladores norte americanos como multa por pagamentos de subornos através de suas subsidiárias em Angola e Quênia. A Comissão de Títulos e Câmbio dos Estados Unidos havia notificado a empresa por acusações de pagamento de 3,2 milhões de dólares em subornos nos dois países. Afirma-se que mais de 1,6 milhão foram destinados a angolanos que trabalhavam para a Sociedade Mineira de Catoca, UNICARGAS, Engevia Construção Civil e Obras Públicas, Companhia Elétrica de Luanda, Direcção Nacional das Alfândegas e Sonangol. A subsidiária da Goodyear em Angola é a empresa Trentyre. A multa de 16 milhões de dólares foi calculada com base nos lucros (14,1 milhões) obtidos através da atividade ilegal pela qual a empresa é acusada em Angola e no Quênia e nos juros do período (2,1 milhões de dólares).

     

    Diversificação econômica

    O enviado do primeiro-ministro britânico para o comércio em Angola e Nigéria, deputado David Heath, visitou Angola em fevereiro. Esta foi a terceira visita em nove meses visando promover a diversificação econômica e comércio entre Grã-Bretanha e Angola, com foco na agricultura. O enviado comercial britânico disse que investidores de seu país “ficarão animados pelo que eu vi”. David Heath deixará de ser deputado, uma vez que não disputará a reeleição nas eleições britânicas de 7 de maio.

     

    Angola é um dos cinco países africanos que fazem parte da iniciativa Alto Nível de Prosperidade e Parceria, lançada pelo governo britânico em 2013 com intuito de fomentar o comércio e a cooperação econômica com vários países da África. Os outros países participantes da iniciativa são: Costa do Marfim, Gana, Moçambique e Tanzânia. A iniciativa envolve o Ministério dos Negócios Estrangeiros e Commonwealth britânico, o Departamento para o Desenvolvimento Internacional e iniciativas comerciais e de investimentos do Reino Unido. 
     

    Direitos Humanos:

    Dois ativistas pelos Direitos Humanos presos em Cabinada

    Jose Marcos Mavungo e Arão Bula Tempe foram presos na província de Cabinda em meados de março, acusados de estarem envolvidos na organização de uma manifestação que havia sido proibida pelo governador. Tempe é o presidente da Ordem dos Advogados de Cabinda. A Anistia Internacional, Advogados pelos Direitos Humanos, Centro de Litigação da África Austral, a Comissão Internacional de Juristas e a Associação dos Advogados da Comunidade de Desenvolvimento da África Austral (SADC, sigla em inglês) clamaram pela libertação imediata e incondicional dos detidos.

     

    “Estas detenções arbitrárias são os últimos alarmantes exemplos da crescente repressão contra vozes dissidentes, protestos pacíficos e liberdade de expressão em Angola, particularmente na província de Cabinda”, afirmou Muleya Mwananyanda, vice-diretor da Anistia Internacional para a África Austral.

     

    Rafael Marques de Morais: homenageado em Londres, acusado em Angola

    Em cerimônia ocorrida em Londres no dia 18 de março, o jornalista investigativo angolano Rafael Marques de Morais foi um dos premiados pela organização britânica Index on Censorship como “Jornalista do Ano pela Liberdade de Expressão”. Ele dedicou a premiação aos etíopes Eskinder Nega, Reeyot Alemo, e aos blogueiros do grupo Zone 9, presos na Etiópia, de acordo com Rafael Marques, pelo “crime de exercer seus direitos à liberdade de expressão”. O jornalista celebrou o poder da solidariedade dizendo que ela traz esperança. De volta a Angola no dia 24 de março, Rafael Marques de Morais foi a julgamento, acusado por difamação criminosa. Inicialmente respondendo nos tribunais a nove acusações, Rafael Marques foi informado que haveria outras 15, totalizando 24 acusações. Caso condenado por todas as acusações, ele poderá ser preso por até 14 anos, além de possíveis multas de mais de um milhão de dólares. As acusações têm origem nas alegações e acusações feitas por Rafael Marques de Morais em seu livro “Diamantes de Sangue: tortura e corrupção em Angola”, publicado em Portugal em 2011. O livro aponta para sérias violações aos direitos humanos cometidas por ou com consentimento e conhecimento de militares de alta patente e empresas nas minas de diamante de Angola. Os denunciantes inicialmente tentaram acionar tribunais portugueses, no entanto as autoridades do país foram contrárias aos apelos alegando não haver o que responder. Ações legais, então, foram iniciadas nos tribunais angolanos. Diversas organizações, incluindo a Anistia Internacional, a Iniciativa pela Defesa Legal da Mídia, o Centro de Litigação da África Austral, a Artigo 19 e a Publish What You Pay assinaram uma carta aberta publicada no jornal português Público no dia 22 de março. A carta pede que as acusações sejam retiradas. Argumenta-se que Rafael Marques de Morais está sendo atacado por escrever um livro que algumas pessoas não gostaram e que a lei de difamação sob a qual ele está sendo acusado viola a Constituição Angolana e as obrigações de Angola sob as leis internacionais.

     

    O julgamento inicialmente foi adiado para o dia 23 de abril e depois, novamente, para o dia 14 de maio. Rafael Marques deu indicações de que discussões para que se alcance um possível acordo antes do julgamento estavam em andamento. Ele disse que “há uma disposição para conversar que é muito mais importante que ater-se a posições individuais, mas isso não pode impedir o trabalho na área dos direitos humanos, liberdade de imprensa e liberdade de expressão”.

     

    Liberdade de associação e reunião suprimida?

    Esta é a visão da Anistia Internacional acerca de Angola no seu relatório anual de 2014/2015, publicado no dia 25 de fevereiro.

     

    O relatório diz que desalojamentos forçados aumentaram em 2014 com pelo menos quatro mil pessoas tendo suas casas demolidas em Angola, sendo que 700 dessas pessoas foram deixadas sem habitação adequada.

     

    O relatório indica que a polícia e forças de segurança usaram força ou ameaçaram usá-la, além de prender arbitrariamente, a fim de suprimir manifestações pacíficas em Angola. O documento ainda menciona indivíduos que foram acusados por difamação, fazendo clara referência às acusações sofridas por Rafael Marques de Morais.

     

    O relatório da organização Human Rights Watch (HRW) sobre 2014 adota um ponto de vista parecido com relação a Angola apontando para estimativas de que 17.500 pessoas foram desalojadas de Luanda a força. Alguns se mudaram para lotes com infraestrutura limitada a 80 km de distância, além de 7.500 pessoas deixadas sem moradia. A HRW afirma que a liberdade de expressão é severamente restrita em Angola devido à censura e autocensura da mídia estatal e mídia privada controlada pelo partido do governo, além de outras formas de repressão. O relatório diz que repressão política e eliminação de dissidentes continuam ocorrendo em Angola.

     

    Sete funcionários públicos condenados por assassinato

    Isaías Sebastião Cassule e António Alves Kamulingue foram raptados em maio de 2012 (O Monitor de Angola 4/2012). Após repetidamente negar saber do paradeiro dos desaparecidos, o procurador-geral, após vazamento de informações a fontes da imprensa, confirmou no final de 2013 que eles haviam sido raptados e provavelmente assassinados. Sete policiais e agentes de segurança do Estado foram recentemente condenados pelas mortes a sentenças que variam entre 14 e 17 anos.

     

    Isaías Sebastião Cassule e António Alves Kamulingue organizavam manifestações contrárias ao governo quando foram raptados. Durante o julgamento daqueles agora condenados pelas mortes tomou-se conhecimento de que a polícia e o aparato de segurança estatal mantinham Sebastião Cassule e António Alves Kamulingue sob vigilância.

     

    Enquanto alguns afirmam que as condenações são um sinal de que não existe impunidade em Angola, outros expressam dúvidas sobre se o julgamento e as condenações realmente apontam claramente para quem e em qual nível a ordem para o rapto e subsequente assassinato foi dada.

     

    Assassinatos relacionados a seita

    Pelo menos 22 pessoas foram mortas em enfrentamentos entre a polícia e membros da seita Adventista do Sétimo Dia à Luz do Mundo. O número de mortos é provavelmente muito maior. Os enfrentamentos ocorreram no município de Caála, província de Huambo, em abril. A igreja foi fundada por José Kalupeteka após sua expulsão da igreja Adventista do Sétimo Dia e é chamada por alguns de seita Kalupeteka. A polícia afirma que agiu para proteger pessoas em um complexo religioso e após nove policias serem mortos por supostos guarda-costas de José Kalupeteka. A polícia admitiu ter matado 13 pessoas, alegou-se que as mortes ocorreram em autodefesa e para prevenir mais mortes. Alguns relatos sugerem um total de mortos muito maior, de cerca de 200 pessoas. Há informações dizendo que a UNITA, principal partido de oposição, afirma haver mais de mil mortos. José Kalupeteka foi preso. Ele prega que o mundo acabará no dia 31 de dezembro de 2015 e diz que as pessoas deveriam se mudar para regiões remotas de Angola.

     

    Empresas de mineração deveriam adotar e implementar políticas de Direitos Humanos

    Essa é a recomendação chave contida no relatório “Negócios incomuns: mineração no período pós-Marikana – os impactos sobre os Direitos Humanos do setor extrativo da África Austral” publicado em fevereiro pela Business and Human Rights Resource Center. O relatório recomenda que empresas de mineração deveriam:

     

    Adotar e implementar políticas de direitos humanos baseadas em princípios internacionalmente aceitos.

    Implementar devidas diligências de direitos humanos, incluindo o emprego de avaliações independentes de impactos aos direitos humanos, levando em consideração os resultados obtidos ao planejar e implantar projetos e relatar sobre o desempenho com relação aos direitos humanos.

     

    Comprometer a buscar consentimento informado, livre e anterior das comunidades afetadas pelos projetos.

    Desenvolver sistemas de ouvidoria acessíveis aos trabalhadores e moradores em conjunto com trabalhadores, comunidades locais e sociedade civil que sejam independentes e efetivos e cumpram com parâmetros internacionais de Direitos Humanos.

    Proteger direitos dos trabalhadores seguindo trâmites que respeitem normas da OIT, promover a transparência e respeito aos Direitos Humanos em conexão com garantias de segurança e cumprir as normas da Iniciativa de Transparência das Indústrias Extrativas e os Princípios Voluntários de Segurança e Direitos Humanos.

    Respeitar os direitos de defensores dos Direitos Humanos e outros que levantem questionamentos com relação a impactos causados por empresas e estimular governos a proteger e respeitar os direitos de defensores de Direitos Humanos e sindicalistas.

    Adotar e trabalhar pela erradicação de mortes no trabalho.

    Pagar uma quantia justa de impostos.

    Ajuda e Desenvolvimento:

    Maior taxa de mortalidade infantil do mundo

    Dados do UNICEF apontam Angola como o país com a maior taxa estimada de mortalidade infantil do mundo. A UNICEF diz que a probabilidade que um recém-nascido em Angola morra antes do quinto aniversário é de 167 a cada mil nascimentos, quase um quinto. A segunda maior taxa do mundo é de Serra Leoa (161/1000). A taxa da RDC é de 119, da Nigéria 117, de Moçambique 87, Zâmbia 87, Namíbia 50 e África do Sul 44. As taxas dos Estados Unidos e Reino Unido são de 7 e 4 respectivamente.

     

    Malária, diarreia, infecções respiratórias e complicações pós-parto são as maiores causas de mortes, sendo a desnutrição uma causa subjacente. Apesar do brilho e glamour, do boom de construções e do consumo conspícuo de bens de luxo visto em algumas partes de Luanda, além do objetivo de Angola ser um país de renda média até o ano de 2018, a UNICEF estima que 40 por cento da população não tem acesso ao saneamento básico e apenas 42 por cento tem acesso à água potável.

     

    A taxa de desnutrição crônica entre crianças menores que cinco anos em Angola é estimada em 29 por cento.

     

    Empréstimo para melhorar suprimento de água

    O Banco Africano de Desenvolvimento (BAD) aprovou um empréstimo de 127,77 milhões de dólares para melhorias no suprimento de água e saneamento em sete províncias: Cabinda, Cunene, Lunda Norte, Lunda Sul, Namibe, Bengo, e Cuanza Sul. O projeto visa melhorar e aumentar a capacidade institucional, incluindo o gerenciamento. Afirma-se que o empréstimo irá promover o acesso à água para 338 mil pessoas em áreas ao redor de cidades.

     

    Enchentes

    Chuvas intensas e enchentes relâmpago afetaram o oeste de Angola em março e início de abril. Mais de 70 pessoas morreram e centenas, talvez milhares, foram desalojadas. Desconhece-se o número de pessoas realocadas. A velocidade e força das enchentes destruíram prédios e parece ter pegado a população e o governo de surpresa. As províncias mais afetadas foram Benguela e Cuanza Sul.

     

    Em 2009 e 2013 enchentes no mês de março impactaram fortemente Angola,

    Em janeiro de 2015, enchentes afetaram cerca de um milhão de pessoas em Moçambique, Maláui, Madagascar e Zimbábue. Mais de 150 pessoas morreram em Moçambique e mais de 250 no país vizinho, Maláui. Cerca de 250 mil pessoas foram forçadas a abandonar suas casas.

     

    Desminagem de Cuito Cuanavale

    No dia 23 de março comemora-se o aniversário da batalha de Cuito Cuanavale ocorrida em 1988 quando forças angolanas e cubanas derrotaram/afastaram forças sul-africanas e da UNITA. A data é significativa no calendário de Angola, é considerada um momento crucial para o fim do apartheid na África Austral. Cuito Cuanavale é uma das áreas com maior quantidade de minas de Angola. A organização humanitária de desminagem britânica Halo Trust disse ter retirado mais de 27 mil minas da área, mas que ainda são necessários muitos anos de desminagem para que a cidade e as comunidades ao redor da área fiquem seguras.

     

    Angola: um país de renda média até 2018?

    No dia 25 de fevereiro, o vice-presidente de Angola, Manuel Vicente, reuniu-se com o secretário-geral da Conferência das Nações Unidas para o Comércio e Desenvolvimento (UNCTAD, sigla em inglês), Mukhisa Kiyuyi, para discutir cooperações para fazer com que Angola se torne um país de renda média. Atualmente Angola é classificada como país subdesenvolvido. A classificação não significa muito para o angolano comum uma vez que Angola recebe muito pouca ajuda estrangeira bilateral. A discussão sobre qual categoria Angola deveria pertencer tem sido estimulada pelo crescimento de sua economia e PIB, baseado no aumento dos preços do petróleo nos últimos dez anos (até recentemente) e produção que alcançou dois milhões de barris/dia. Ainda é discutível se o crescimento beneficiou a maioria dos angolanos ou apenas uma elite. O secretário-geral da UNCTAD, ao afirmar que Angola é um país forte que não pode pertencer à mesma categoria que Burundi, Sudão do Sul e Moçambique, disse que Angola enfrenta desafios gigantescos, “particularmente em setores como educação primária, redução das taxas de mortalidade infantil e materna e deve fazer um “alto investimento” no campo social”. Ele prosseguiu dizendo que Angola precisa diversificar sua economia para reduzir a dependência do setor petrolífero. A UNCTAD havia comentado previamente acerca da falta de avanços de Angola em índices sociais e dos gastos muito inferiores em saúde e educação se comparados a outros países. O gasto nestas áreas é muito menor que os 7% por cento do PIB acordados previamente.

     

    Angola ocupou a posição 149 entre 187 países no quesito desenvolvimento humano de acordo com o Relatório de Desenvolvimento Humano publicado em 2014 pelo Programa de Desenvolvimento das Nações Unidas. Angola está na categoria de baixo desenvolvimento humano.

     

    Magnificent and Beggar Land: Angola since the civil war

    Terra magnífica e pedinte: Angola desde a Guerra civil (tradução livre do inglês)

    O mais recente livro sobre Angola de Ricardo Soares de Oliveira, publicado em março de 2015 pela Hurst and Co., é um relato do desenvolvimento de Angola desde o fim da guerra civil em 2002. Críticos têm aclamado enormemente o livro, “altamente informativo”, “o melhor estudo de Angola escrito em inglês”, “fascinante, provocativo”, são alguns dos comentários. É uma análise da formação da Angola moderna – atualmente a terceira maior economia na África Subsaariana – pelos vencedores de uma das mais guerras civis longas e mortais da África.

     

     

     

    As matérias do Monitor de Angola não representam necessariamente qualquer posição acordada pelo ACTSA.

     

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    Angola Monitor Issue 2/2015

    By Fiona | May 11, 2015

    The Angola Monitor covers the politics, economics, development, democracy and human rights of Angola. It is published quarterly by Action for Southern Africa (ACTSA).

    This issue covers:
    Political News:  Angola a member of the UN Security Council for two years, several Head of State visits, German view of Angola
    Economic News:  Oil price fall leads to revised budget with a 25% reduction in revenue, Angola seeking $10 billion in loans, the use of the Sovereign Wealth Fund
    Human Rights News: Activists arrested in Cabinda, Rafael Marques de Morais charged with defamation, concerns for freedom of expression and assembly
    Aid and Development News: Child mortality highest in world, floods, mine clearance around Cuito Cuanavale

    This issue is also available in Portuguese.

    We welcome readers’ responses to the Angola Monitor. Please send your comments to info@actsa.org. For more news and information on Angola and southern Africa visit the ACTSA website www.actsa.org.

    Politics

    Angola takes seat on the UN Security Council
    Angola began its two year term as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council on 1 January 2015. It was the only nominee from Africa. There is a demand for a reform of the UN Security Council, which has five permanent members with veto powers and ten non- permanent members. Angola joins Nigeria as African members of the Security Council. Nigeria’s term will finish at the end of 2015 and Angola’s at end of 2016.

    Heads of State visits
    The Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos unusually made two foreign visits in the period January to March 2015.  They were to neighbouring countries. In January he visited the Democratic Republic of Congo, where co-operation agreements on transport links and on cross border trade were signed.

    In March President dos Santos attended the inauguration of President Hage Geingob in Namibia. President Hage Geingob made a state visit to Angola in April, his first foreign visit since his inauguration. The President of Zambia, Edgar Lungu made a state visit to Angola in February, his first official foreign visit since his election in January 2015.

    The President of the Republic of Congo (Brazzaville) Denis Sasou Nguesso made a state visit to Angola in late March. His second such visit in a year. This would indicate any tensions between the two countries following Angolan incursions into Congo Brazzaville in pursuit of Cabindan separatists has eased and relations are good.

    FNLA re-elect their president
    Luca Ngonda was re-elected President of the Frente Nacional de Libertação de Angola, FNLA, in February in a contested election. The FNLA was one of the liberation movements which fought the Portuguese. It got 1.1%and two seats in the 2012 National Assembly elections.

    German view of Angola
    The German Ambassador to Angola, on the occasion of a visit by four German naval ships to the country in March said Germany viewed Angola as a powerful, influential and regional player in Africa, a force for peace and stressed Angola’s role in the maintenance of peace and stability in the Gulf of Guinea.

    UK to train Angolan military?
    United Kingdom (UK) diplomat, Richard Arkwright on a visit to Angola in March stated that the UK had submitted proposals for the UK to provide military training for Angolan soldiers.
    Economic News:

    Falling oil price, revised budget
    Angola set a revised budget in late February. This was in response to falling price of oil. The initial budget was based on an oil price of $81/barrel. The revised budget assumes $40/barrel. The price per barrel in late March was $55/barrel. The revised budget has a 25% reduction in revenue from 7.2 trillion to 5.4 trillion Kwanza (approx. $15 billion). All sectors were cut, with the biggest cut being 44% in the economic sector, covering energy, manufacturing and transport, and the least being defence and security with a 17.2% reduction. The impact of these cuts on services is not clear.  Angola, despite efforts at diversification remains heavily dependent on oil, which accounts for about 46% of GDP, 80% of government revenues and 95% of Angola’s exports.

    Angola to seek loans
    Given the fall in projected revenues from oil there are reports that Angola is seeking loans, some from commercial sources and some from the World Bank, with a $500 million loan for budget support from the latter expected to be finalised in May. Angola has not previously sought a loan for budget support. Angola is also expected to issue a Eurobond to raise $1.5 billion. It has previously postponed plans to issue such a bond on a number of occasions.  It is reported that Angola is seeking up to $10 billion in loans.

    Sovereign Wealth Fund set to invest $1.4 billion
    Angola’s Sovereign Wealth Fund, the Fundo Soberano de Angola (FSDEA) will invest $250 million in each of mining, timber, agriculture sectors and for entrepreneurs who struggle to raise capital from traditional sources and £400 million in healthcare. The Fund which is headed by the President’s eldest son, Jose Filomeno dos Santos, aims to support a diversification of the Angolan economy away from oil.
    $1.6 billion was invested last year in infrastructure and tourism across Africa.

    Has Angola’s sovereign wealth fund paid $100 million to a shell company?
    That is the allegation made by investigative journalist Rafael Marques de Morais.  He claims that on 22 January 2015, Angola’s Sovereign Wealth Fund (FSDEA) transferred the sum of 9,948,750,000 kwanzas, approx. US$100 million to the company Kijinga S.A.and that Kijinga is a shell company with no employees established by Banco Kwanza Invest (BKI). The latter he says was set up by the head of FSDEA and the eldest son of the President, Jose Filomeno dos Santos. FSDEA have said they have provided finance to a company to support micro businesses.
    Goodyear pays $16million to settle bribery allegations in Angola and Kenya
    The Goodyear tyre company has paid $16 million to US regulators to settle a charge it had paid bribes through subsidiaries in Angola and Kenya, The US Securities and Exchange Commission had charged the company and alleged it had paid  $3.2million in bribes in total across both countries, with a reported more than $1.6million to Angolans who worked for the Catoca Diamond Mine, UNICARGAS, Engevia Construction and Public Works, Electric Company of Luanda, National Service of Alfadega, and Sonangol. The Goodyear subsidiary in Angola is Trentyre. The $16 million has been calculated on basis of profit ($14.1 million) made from alleged illicit activity in Angola and Kenya and from interest ($2.1 million).

    Economic diversification
    The UK Prime Minister’s trade envoy for Angola and Nigeria David Heath MP visited Angola in February, his third visit in nine months, to promote UK- Angola trade and economic diversification, with a focus on agriculture. The UK Trade envoy commented that UK investors, “are going to be excited by what I have seen.” David Heath is ceasing to be an MP and did not stand for re-election in the UK election on 7 May.

    Angola is one of five African countries in a High Level Prosperity Partnerships initiative the UK launched in 2013 to increase trade and economic co-operation with a number of countries in Africa. The others are Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Mozambique and Tanzania. The initiative involves the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Department for International Development and UK trade and investment.
    Human Rights News:

    Two Human Rights activists arrested in Cabinda
    Jose Marcos Mavungo and Arao Bula Tempe were arrested in Cabinda province in mid- March for allegedly being involved in seeking to organise a demonstration that the Governor of Cabinda had banned. The latter is President of the Cabinda Bar Association.  Amnesty International, Lawyers for Human Rights, The Southern Africa Litigation Centre, the International Commission for Jurists and the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) Lawyers Association called for their unconditional and immediate release.
    “These arbitrary detentions are the latest disturbing example of growing repression of dissenting voices, peaceful protest and freedom of expression in Angola, particularly in the province of Cabinda,” said Muleya Mwananyanda, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for Southern Africa.

    Rafael Marques de Morais, honoured in London, charged in Angola
    The Investigative Angolan journalist Rafael Marques de Morais was awarded joint winner of Journalist of the Year for Freedom of Expression by the UK organisation Index on Censorship at a ceremony in London on 18 March. He dedicated his award to Ethiopians Eskinder Nega, Reeyot Alemo, and the Zone 9 bloggers who are in jail in Ethiopia, in Rafael Marques’s view, “for the crime of exercising their right to freedom of expression.”  Rafael Marques paid tribute to the power of solidarity, saying it provided hope.

    Back in Angola on 24 March, Rafael Marques de Morais was in court on charges of criminal defamation.  Initially facing nine charges in the court, he was informed that there would be an additional 15 charges, making 24 in total. If convicted on all charges he faces a potential 14 years in prison plus possible fines of over one million dollars.  The charges stem from allegations and accusations made in Rafael Marques de Morais book, “Blood Diamonds: Torture and Corruption in Angola” published in Portugal in 2011. It alleges serious human rights violations were committed by or with the consent and knowledge of senior military and companies in the diamond fields of Angola.  The complainants first tried to take action in the Portuguese courts, but the authorities there decided against it on the grounds that there was no case to answer.  Legal action was then begun in the Angolan court.  A number of organisations, including Amnesty International, The Media Legal Defence Initiative, The Southern Africa Litigation Center, Article 19 and Publish What You Pay signed an open letter published in the Portuguese paper Publico on 22 March calling for the charges to be dropped arguing that Rafael Marques de Morais was being attacked for writing a book some did not like and that the criminal defamation law under which he is being tried is in violation of the Angolan constitution and Angola’s obligations under international law.
    The trial was postponed to 23 April but then subsequently further postponed to 14 May. Rafael Marques de Morais indicated that discussions to reach a possible negotiated settlement prior to the trial were taking place saying, “there is a willingness to talk that is far more important than sticking to individual positions, but this cannot impede work on human rights, freedom of the press and freedom of expression.”

    Freedom of association and assembly suppressed?
    That is the view of Amnesty International on Angola in their annual report of 2014/15 published on 25 February. The report says forced evictions increased in 2014, with at least 4,000 in Luanda having their homes demolished, with 700 of these left without adequate housing. The report says police and security forces used force or the threat of force, as well as arbitrary detentions, to suppress peaceful demonstrations in Angola. It also cites individuals being subject to criminal defamation charges in a clear reference to the charges against Rafael Marques de Morais.

    The Human Rights Watch report on 2014 takes a similar view on Angola, stating an estimated 17,500 were forcibly evicted from Luanda, some moved 80 kilometres away to plots with limited or no facilities and 7,500 left homeless. HRW state that freedom of expression is severely restricted in Angola due to censorship and self-censorship in state media and ruling party-controlled private media and other forms of government repression. The report says political repression and suppression of dissent persists in Angola.

    Seven state officials sentenced for murder
    Isaías Sebastião Cassule and António Alves Kamulingue were abducted in May 2012 (Angola Monitor 4/2012). After repeated denials of any knowledge of their whereabouts by the state and the attorney general, a leak to media sources followed, confirming in late 2013 that they had been abducted and probably killed. Seven serving police and state security officers have now been sentenced to between 14 – 17 years for their murder.

    Isaías Sebastião Cassule and António Alves Kamulingue were organising anti-government demonstrations when they were abducted. The trial of those now convicted of their murder heard that the police and state security apparatus had Isaías Sebastião Cassule and António Alves Kamulingue under surveillance. While some say the convictions are an indication that there is no impunity in Angola, others have expressed concern that the trial and convictions have not led to clarification of who and at what level the order was given for the abduction and subsequent killing of Isaías Sebastião Cassule and António Alves Kamulingue.

    Sect killings
    At least 22 people, but possibly many more were killed in clashes between the police and members of the Seventh Day Light of the World church in Caála municipality, Huambo province in April. The church was founded by Jose Kalupeteka after his expulsion from the Seventh Day Adventist church and is sometimes referred to as the Kalupeteka sect. Police said that they had to act to protect people in a church compound and after nine police were killed by it is alleged personal bodyguards of Jose Kalupeteka. The police admit to killing 13, they claim in self-defence and to prevent more deaths. Some reports suggest a much higher death toll of 200 and there is a report saying that UNITA, the main opposition party claims 1,000 were killed. Jose Kalupeteka has been arrested. He preaches the world will end on 31 December 2015 and that people should move to remote areas of Angola.

    Mining companies should adopt and implement Human Rights policy
    This is the key recommendation in a report published in February by the Business and Human Rights Resource Center, “Business unusual: Mining in the aftermath of Marikana – the human rights impacts of southern Africa’s extractive sector.” The report recommends that mining companies should:
    • Adopt and implement a human rights policy based on internationally accepted principles
    • Implement human rights due diligence, including commissioning independent human rights impact assessments, taking findings into account in planning and implementing projects, and reporting on human rights performance
    • Commit to seeking free, prior and informed consent of communities affected by projects
    • With workers, local communities and civil society, develop grievance systems that are accessible to workers and residents, are independent and effective, and comply with international human rights
    • Protect workers’ rights by taking steps to respect ILO norms, and promote transparency and respect for human rights in connection with security provision, by joining and implementing the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative and the Voluntary Principles on Security & Human Rights
    • Respect rights of human rights defenders and others who raise concerns about companies’ impacts, and urge governments to protect and respect the rights of human rights defenders and trade unionists
    • Adopt and work toward a goal of zero worker fatalities
    • Pay a fair share of taxes

    Aid and Development News:


    Child mortality highest in the world
    Figures from UNICEF say that Angola has the highest estimated child mortality in the world. UNICEF says the probability in Angola that a new born child will die before their fifth birthday is 167 in 1,000, nearly one in five; the highest in the world. The second highest is Sierra Leone with a rate of 161 in 1,000. The rate for the DRC is 119, Nigeria 117, Mozambique 87, Zambia 87, Namibia 50, and South Africa 44. For the USA it is 7 and for the UK 4.

    Malaria, diarrhoea, respiratory infections and neonatal problems are the main causes of child deaths with malnutrition an underlying cause. Despite the glitz and glamour, building boom and conspicuous consumption of luxury goods by some in parts of Luanda, and with Angola aiming to be a middle income country by 2018 UNICEF, estimates that 40% of the population do not have access to sanitation and only 42% to safe water. The chronic malnutrition rate amongst children five or less in Angola is estimated at 29%.

    Loan to improve water supply
    The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) approved a US $123.77-million loan to Angola to improve water supply and sanitation in seven provinces; Cabinda, Cunene, Lunda Norte, Lunda Sul, Namibe, Bengo, and Cuanza Sul.  The project is to improve and increase institutional capacity, including management. It is claimed it will lead to increased access to water for 338,000 people in peri urban areas.

    Floods
    Heavy rain and flash flooding affected western Angola in March and early April, with over 70 dead and hundreds, potentially thousands homeless with an unknown  number of people relocated. The speed and ferocity of the flooding which destroyed buildings seems to have taken people and the government by surprise. The most affected provinces were Benguela and Cuanza Sul.

    March floods hit Angola hard in 2009 and 2013
    In January 2015, flooding affected nearly one million people in Mozambique, Malawi, Madagascar and Zimbabwe. More than 150 people died in Mozambique, and more than 250 in neighbouring Malawi. About a quarter of a million people were forced to leave their homes.

     

    Cuito Cuanavale Mine clearance
    23 March is commemorated as the anniversary of the battle of Cuito Cuanavale in 1988, where Angolan and Cuban forces defeated/repelled South Africa and Unita forces. It is a significant date in Angola and is regarded as a turning point in southern Africa for the ending of apartheid. Cuito Cuanavale is one of the most mined areas of the country and Halo Trust, a UK humanitarian landmine clearance organisation, said it has cleared more than 27,000 mines in the area but that there are still many more years of clearance remaining if the town and surrounding communities are to become safe.

    Angola – a Middle Income country by 2018?
    Angolan Vice President, Manuel Vicente, met with the Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Mukhisa Kituyi, on 25 February to discuss cooperation to make Angola a middle income country.  Angola is currently classed as a ‘least developed country’. The classification may however, not mean much to the ordinary Angolan, as Angola receives very little bilateral foreign aid. The discussion about which category Angola should be in has been stimulated by the growth in both its economy and GDP in the past 10 years, largely based on increasing oil prices (until recently) and production to two million barrels a day. Whether the growth has benefited most Angolans or just a small elite group is debated.

    The Secretary General of UNCTAD, while stating that Angola is a strong country, which does not belong in the same category as Burundi, South Sudan and Mozambique, said that Angola faces daunting challenges, “particularly in the sectors of primary education, reducing maternal and child mortality rates and making “heavy investment” in the social field”. He went on to say that Angola needs to diversify its economy to reduce its dependence on oil. UNCTAD has commented previously on Angola’s lack of progress on social indicators and has stated that it is spending much less on health and education than comparable countries, and far less than the initially agreed target of 7 % of GDP. Angola is ranked 149 out of 187 countries for human development in the 2014 Human Development Report published by the United Nations Development Programme. It is in the category of low human development.

    Magnificent and Beggar Land. (Angola since the civil war)
    This is a new book on Angola by Ricardo Soares De Oliveira, published in March 2015 by Hurst and co.
    It is an account of the development of Angola since the end of the civil war in 2002. Reviews have praised the book highly, “hugely informative”, “the best study of Angola in English”, “fascinating, provocative”. It is an account of the making of modern Angola, now the third largest economy in sub Saharan Africa, by the victors of one of Africa’s longest and deadliest civil wars.

     

    The articles in the Angola Monitor do not necessarily represent any agreed position of ACTSA itself.

     

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    Angola Monitor Issue 1/15

    By Tony | February 9, 2015

    The Angola Monitor covers the politics, economics, development, democracy and human rights of Angola. It is published quarterly by Action for Southern Africa (ACTSA).

    This issue covers:
    Political News: MPLA Congress, Independence Day, Angola improving ties with USA and Portugal;
    Economic News: Public Sector Recruitment freeze, Angola perceived as most corrupt country in Southern Africa, Banco Espirito Santo Angola recapitalised;
    Human Rights News: Clampdown on Protests, Migrants arrested, British security guards acquitted over death of Angolan detainee
    Aid and Development News: Mine Clearance, Cunene Dam.

    This issue is also available in Portuguese. Read the rest of this entry »

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    O Monitor de Angola No 1, 2015

    By Tony | February 9, 2015

    O Monitor de Angola aborda política, economia, desenvolvimento, democracia e direitos humanos em Angola. É publicado trimestralmente pela Ação pela África Austral (ACTSA, sigla em inglês).

    Esta edição cobrirá:
    Política: Congresso do MPLA; Dia da Independência; Angola fortalece laços com os Estados Unidos e Portugal.
    Economia: Suspensão dos concursos de admissão para o setor público; Angola é percebida como o país mais corrupto da África austral; Banco Espírito Santo Angola é recapitalizado.
    Direitos humanos: Repressão a protestos; imigrantes presos, seguranças britânicos são absolvidos da morte de detento angolano.
    Ajuda e desenvolvimento: Desminagem; represa de Cunene. Read the rest of this entry »

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