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Cabinda separatist movement, Angola

Jeffrey Shantz


Cabinda's relationship to Angola has been a point of intense conflict from the colonial period. While administered as an Angolan province, the territory is an exclave between the Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly the Belgian Congo, then Zaire) and Congo-Brazzaville, or the Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly the French colonial Middle Congo), and has linguistic and ethnic ties to these territories. Separatists insist Cabinda should have been granted its own independence following the end of Portuguese colonial rule in 1975, and argue that the territory's vast oil industry should benefit its people, rather than a distant and hostile government in Luanda. Cabinda was established as a Portuguese Protectorate by the 1885 Treaty of Simulanbuco – a document that features prominently in separatist claims. The 1933 Estado Novo (New State) constitution defined Angola and Cabinda as separate Portuguese provinces (although the two areas were brought into the same administrative structure). In 1956, however, Cabinda was incorporated into Angola, as a province placed it under the direct authority of the Portuguese Governor-General. The 1960s saw armed insurgencies sweep Portugal's African territories: in Angola the key forces were the National Front for the Liberation of Angola (FNLA), the Popular Liberation Movement of Angola (MPLA) , and the National Union for the Total Independence ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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