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Savimbi, Jonas 1934–2002

Jonas Savimbi 19342002

Angolan rebel leader

Messianic Image Challenged

Called to Lead the Fight to Free Angola

Clashed With MPLA Government

Savimbis Motives Questioned

1991 Peace Accord

The Final Days of UNITA

Selected Writings

Sources

From 1975 until his death in 2002, Jonas Savimbi has campaigned relentlessly against the government of his home nation, Angola. The leader of the National Union for the Total Independence of Angolaknown by its Portuguese acronym, UNITASavimbi and his followers waged guerilla war in Angola, taking aid in the form of weapons and money from the United States and even South Africa. Only in 1991 did Savimbi agree to hold to a cease-fire that would allow the war-torn nation time to prepare for its first democratic election in 1992. As head of UNITA, the charismatic Savimbi ran for the presidency, promising a free market economy, regular elections, and constitutional reforms.

Several American presidents have given Savimbi support in the form of covert aid, state-of-the-art weaponry, and millions of dollars in hard currency. As reported in the Washington Post, President Ronald Reagan praised Savimbi as a freedom fighter who was seeking to expel Soviet and Cuban mercenaries from Angola and overthrow a dictatorial Marxist regime. Savimbi found many friends on the American right wing who considered him a noble soldier trying to save his nation from communist-inspired ruin. UNITA says it aspires to nothing less than making Angola the first democratic, free-market country on the [African] continent, wrote Radek Sikorski in the National Review. Savimbi has been feted in Washington as Africas premier freedom-fighterthe pictures of his meeting with Ronald Reagan, George Bush, and George Shultz in January 1986 adorn every hut in Unitaland. It is largely thanks to [the] U.S. that UNITA is such a formidable force.

Messianic Image Challenged

Other observers have strongly condemned Savimbis motives and methods. Rakiya Omaarexecutive director of Africa Watch, an organization that monitors human rights abusesdetailed offenses by UNITA forces in a piece for Africa Report. Omaar noted: Africa Watch found that UNITAs objective is to intimidate civilians into supporting it or to punish them for assisting government forces. In eastern Angola, many of UNITAs tactics are designed to starve civilians. In spite of its efforts to portray itself as a movement committed to winning the hearts and minds of civilians, it has in fact shown a callous disregard for

At a Glance

Born Jonas Malheiro Savimbi on August 3, 1934, in Angola; died February 22, 2002; son of Lot (a railroad stationmaster and preacher) Savimbi; married. Education: Attended University of Lisbon, Portugal, 1958-60, and University of Fribourg, Switzerland, 1961-64; studied political science at University of Lausanne, Switzerland, 1964-65; studied guerilla warfare in China, 1965.

Career: Angolan rebel leader, 1965-02. Began agitating for Angolan independence from Portugal while a student in Lisbon in late 1950s; participated in the armed struggle against Portuguese rule in Angola, beginning in the early 1960s; former secretary-general of Union for the Population of Angola; foreign minister of Angolan Revolutionary Government in Exile, 1962-64; founder and leader of National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), 1966-02; carried on guerilla war against Marxist government of Angola, 1975-91; agreed to respect cease-fire in anticipation of free elections in September, 1992; presidential candidate in 1992 elections; continued to fight government of Angola, 1992-02.

their welfare. Even Sikorski admitted that Savimbi has ended up by believing his own propaganda and accepting the cult he has nurtured as a confirmation of his messianic mission. Ideology is something Savimbi can choose like the fashion of his soldiers uniformspatterned to please whoever provides the cloth.

Angola is located on the southern Atlantic coast of Africa and is slightly larger than the American states of Texas and California combined. Its rich reserves of oil, diamonds, and iron oreas well as its strategic locationhave brought it great attention from powerful nations elsewhere. In 1483 Portuguese explorers reached Angola and began a five-hundred-year domination of the country. The slave trade flourished from Angolan port cities in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and even in modern times much of Angolas petroleum and diamond wealth went straight into Portuguese hands. Savimbi was born during this Portuguese colonization, in 1934. He was a member of the Ovimbundu tribe, an ethnic group that comprises about one-third of the nations population. His father, who was an important Ovimbundu chief, worked as a stationmaster on the Benguela railway and also preached Christianity to his people. At the time when Savimbi was a youngster, it was very difficult for blacks to acquire much education in Angola. Fortunately for Savimbi, he was befriended by Portuguese missionaries who helped him to enter an all-white high school. He graduated first in his class in 1958 and earned a scholarship to study medicine in Portugal.

Called to Lead the Fight to Free Angola

Savimbi spent two years in college in Lisbon, but his passionate views on his countrys plight sparked a change in career plans. He became an activist on behalf of Angolan independence and soon had to flee Portugal for Switzerland. There he studied at the University of Fribourg and the University of Lausanne, promoting himself as a potential leader for a free Angola. For some time in the mid-1960s, Savimbi aligned himself with Holden Roberto, a rebel leader fighting the Portuguese from neighboring Zaire. A rivalry grew between the two men, however, because Savimbi wanted to stage the fight from within Angola rather than from beyond its borders.

In 1965 Savimbi decided to form his own movement and seek support for it. That support came from the Peoples Republic of China, which invited Savimbi and some of his lieutenants to a nine-month course in guerilla warfare. In Peking, Savimbi met Mao Tse-tung and other military and political leaders of the Chinese revolution. He also learned the tactics that he would use so effectively in Angola. Later, when he sought help from Western nations, Savimbi downplayed his stay in China. He told Readers Digest: From Mao and the Communists I learned how to fight and win a guerilla war. But I also learned how not to run an economy or a nation. The wealth of a nation is created by the initiative of individuals.

Returning to Angola, Savimbi began to mobilize the Ovimbundu people, as well as other alienated factions. The Portuguese government found itself besieged within Angola and ostracized internationally for its continued hold on the nation. On November 10, 1975, Portugal formally renounced its control of Angola. A quick and bitter power struggle ensued, and the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA; a Marxist-Leninist workers party), declared itself the new government. When Savimbi and his UNITA party protested, the MPLA called in Cuban troops and used Soviet-manufactured weapons to maintain power. Soon Savimbi was on the run, pushed into the bush country with only a few dozen followers.

Clashed With MPLA Government

But Savimbi was not so easily beaten. He attractedand conscripteda new army, pointing out to his followers that Angola had only traded domination by the Portuguese for domination by the Soviet Union. His arguments found fertile ground in Angola and elsewhereespecially South Africa, where the minority-run white government feared Soviet incursions into Africa. With the help of South African weapons, soldiers, and training, Savimbi was able to organize a powerful and effective guerilla force. Time after time, the Angolan government, with its Cuban reinforcements and Soviet war machinery, tried to annihilate Savimbis army. By the mid-1980s, Savim-bis UNITA forces held vast stretches of territory, from which they harassed government installations, railroads, and supply lines.

Savimbi lobbied the United States for aid many times. His most effective mission came in 1986, when he visited President Reagan and appeared on numerous television programs, including Sixty Minutes and Nightline. For American conservatives, the bearded and burly Savimbi emerged as a hero, a fatigue-clad rebel who was trying to offset the Communist government in his homeland. Some influential politicians felt uncomfortable supporting Savimbi, noting that the South African government was supplying UNITA while occupying the neighboring nation of Namibia. Nevertheless, the Reagan administration gave Savimbi more than $15 million in aid as well as the weapons he needed to counter Soviet aircraft and missiles.

Peter Worthington explained the American right wings position on Savimbi in the National Review: Savimbi may not be perfect, may not even be a guarantee of a better future [for Angola]. But what we know suggests he is several cuts above the typical African leader and that he understands, or is coming to understand, genuine democratic principles. Given that his enemies are willing Soviet clients, at the mercy of Cuban troops, that makes him a reasonable bet.

Savimbis Motives Questioned

At first Savimbi seemed to be running a campaign aimed at winning the support of his Angolan countrymen. By 1989, however, suggestions of human rights abuses by UNITA forces began to surface. Without question, the ruling MPLA party had committed numerous violations of human rights, torturing and killing suspected UNITA supporters without benefit of a trial. But several commentators, including Sikorski, began to wonder if Savimbi might be resorting to some drastic tactics himself. Traveling with UNITA is like touring a showpiece Soviet collective farm, the reporter observed. Everything is perfect, if the guides are to be believed, but if one tries to find out for oneself, going beyond the established program, armed guards will physically stop one for protection, even when the enemy is five hundred miles away.

Africa Watch made a more thorough investigation in the spring of 1989. According to Omaar, UNITA has systematically committed gross abuses of human rights that no conception of military necessity could possibly justify. Omaar told Africa Report that UNITA forces had laid land mines in fields to deter peasants from planting their crops, had conducted forced marches for whole villages to remote sections of Angola, and had in some cases deliberately attacked and killed civilians.

In the meantime, Savimbi was blamed for a breakdown in a cease-fire to the civil war negotiated by President Mobutu Sese Seko of Zaire. The fighting continued in its sporadic fashion even though the United States was able to negotiate for the removal of both Cuban and South African assistance. By the end of 1989, Angolas economy was shattered, some two hundred thousand of its citizens had been killed, and many times that number had been uprooted from their homes, some fleeing to neighboring nations. Many citizens faced severe food shortages, and the fighting slowed international relief efforts.

By 1990 most of the Cuban troops had left Angola, and the Soviet Unions own domestic problems made further assistance to the Angolan government difficult. At that point, the United States stepped up its assistance to UNITA, and Savimbi shifted his base of operations from Angolas southern reaches to its north, where U.S. military supplies could easily be run across the border.

1991 Peace Accord

Through the spring of 1991 Savimbis troops harassed the capital city of Luanda by cutting power lines and intercepting supplies. Eventually the MPLA was forced to admit that its policies had indeed contributed to Angolas shattering $20 billion debt and its almost total lack of productivity. MPLA president Jose Eduardo dos Santos agreed to peace talks with Savimbi and UNITA, as well as a package of reforms aimed at shoring up the sagging economy. Peace accords were signed on May 31, 1991, and the fighting stopped soon thereafter.

Savimbi then began conducting a presidential campaign throughout Angola, supported by his enthusiastic followers. He still promised that a UNITA-run Angola would provide a free market economy, regular free elections, and private ownership of land and business. During a rally in the capital city in September of 1991, Savimbi told the crowd: UNITAs strength is not just measured in terms of its arms but in terms of its political presence.

In an Africa Report feature story, Anita Coulson expressed an eerily prophetic doubt about lasting peace in Angola. Noting that the country had been in a state of war for more than thirty yearsincluding the period of insurgency against the PortugueseCoulson stated that the citizens of Luanda are at least still highly fearful of violent times ahead. The reporter added: With all the dirty laundry (including MPLA incompetence and corruption and UNITA human rights abuses) to be aired, the election campaign promises to be heated. A popular graffiti slogan in Angolas urban centers reads: MPLA gatunos, UNITA asessinos (MPLA are thieves, UNITA are murderers). Unless a strong third force arises out of the proliferation of emergent political parties, that will be the choice facing a politically unsophisticated Angolan electorate in 1992.

The results of the 1992 found Savimbi on the losing side, and instead of admitting defeat, he claimed that the elections were rigged. UN monitors who had been keeping close tabs on the election declared them nearly flawless with over 90% of the country turning out to vote. Savimbi refused to accept this explanation and plunged Angola back into civil war. The country continued to fight until the United Nations forced a second peace accord on the country in late 1994. In May of 1995 Savimbi met with President Jose Eduardo dos Santos to begin the slow process of reuniting Angola, but the integration of the MPLA and UNITA was to prove harder than expected. Talks began to break down in 1996 when the government offered Savimbi the post of vice president, a position of title with no power. UNITA thought this to be an insult to their leader as well as their cause and once again the country found itself in the middle of a war.

The Final Days of UNITA

Angola continued to be wrought by the warring factions of the government and rebel powers, but as time went on, UNITA began to lose funding. By 1996 UNITA had lost all outside resources and found that they had to supply their continuing need for weapons and ammunition with a small horde of diamonds that Savimbi had secured. Over the next four years, UNITA would continue to fight, but the organization would continue to grow weaker as well as less popular in the eyes of the world. In 2000 Britain called for the removal of Savimbi from any position of power in any movement, which seemed to depart from Britains long-standing commitment to fight against communism. Yet other countries quickly followed Britains call for action, for it had been determined that the problem in Angola was no longer the threat of communism, but the on-going slaughter of thousands of Angolan citizens daily in a war that seemed to have no resolution in sight. The United States had already demanded the shutdown of all UNITA operations in North America, and refused to send any more funding to Angola until the conflict in government could be resolved. Yet Savimbi continued to fight for what he considered a free Angola and publicly refused to stop the bloodshed until UNITA demands became reality.

Finally, on February 22, 2002, Savimbi was shot and killed by government troops. With Savimbis passing, Angola hopes to finally see the end of the thirty year civil war that has constantly ravaged its country. The Economist, stated, Making peace will not be easy; past attempts have always failed. Fortunately, most of UNITAs troops are sick of fighting, and now that they have no leader to rally them on, they might be willing to look toward peace. Even though most people will fondly remember Jonas Savimbi as a fighter for freedom from communism, it will be difficult to forget the amount of strife and damage he brought to Angola in his physical agenda to topple its government.

Selected Writings

The Angolan Road to National Recovery, privately printed.

Sources

Books

Africa South of the Sahara, 1991, Europa, 1990.

Periodicals

Africa Report, March-April 1988; May-June 1989; May-June 1990; September-October 1990; July-August, 1991; September-October 1991.

Economist, January 30, 1993; March 2, 2002.

Insight On The News, March 20, 2000.

National Review, May 9, 1986; August 18, 1989; Sept 30, 1996.

Newsweek, March 31, 1986; October 16, 1989.

New York Times, September 21, 1985; December 27, 1985; December 30, 1985; January 26, 1986.

Philadelphia Inquirer, September 30, 1991.

Readers Digest, May 1987.

Time, February 10, 1986; July 3, 1989.

Washington Post, January 26, 1986; February 2, 1986; February 9, 1986; November 11, 1997.

Anne Janette Johnson and Ralph Zerbonia

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Savimbi, Jonas 1934–

Jonas Savimbi 1934

Angolan rebel leader

At a Glance

Called to Lead the Fight to Free Angola

Clashed With MPLA Government

Savimbis Motives Questioned

1991 Peace Accord

Selected writings

Sources

Since 1975 Jonas Savimbi has campaigned relentlessly against the government of his home nation, Angola. The leader of the National Union for the Total Independence of Angolaknown by its Portuguese acronym, UNITASavimbi and his followers have waged guerilla war in Angola, taking aid in the form of weapons and money from the United States and even South Africa. Only in 1991 did Savimbi agree to hold to a cease-fire that would allow the war-torn nation time to prepare for its first democratic election in 1992. As head of UNITA, the charismatic Savimbi has announced his candidacy for the presidency, promising a free market economy, regular elections, and constitutional reforms.

Several American presidents have given Savimbi support in the form of covert aid, state-of-the-art weaponry, and millions of dollars in hard currency. As reported in the Washington Post, President Ronald Reagan praised Savimbi as a freedom fighter who was seeking to expel Soviet and Cuban mercenaries from Angola and overthrow a dictatorial Marxist regime. Indeed, Savimbi found many friends on the American right wing who considered him a noble soldier trying to save his nation from communist-inspired ruin. UNITA says it aspires to nothing less than making Angola the first democratic, free-market country on the [African] continent, wrote Radek Sikorski in the National Review. Savimbi has been feted in Washington as Africas premier freedom-fighterthe pictures of his meeting with Ronald Reagan, George Bush, and George Shultz in January 1986 adorn every hut in Unita-land. It is largely thanks to [the] U.S. that UNITA is such a formidable force.

Other observers have strongly condemned Savimbis motives and methods. Rakiya Omaarexecutive director of Africa Watch, an organization that monitors human rights abusesdetailed offenses by UNITA forces in a piece for Africa Report. Omaar noted: Africa Watch found that UNITAs objective is to intimidate civilians into supporting it or to punish them for assisting government forces. In eastern Angola, many of UNITAs tactics are designed to starve civilians. In spite of its efforts to portray itself as a movement committed to winning the hearts and minds of civilians, it has in fact shown a callous disregard for their welfare. Even Sikorski admitted that Savimbi has ended up by believing his own propaganda

At a Glance

Born Jonas Malheiro Savimbi, August 3, 1934, in Angola; son of Lot (a railroad stationmaster and preacher) Savimbi; married. Education: Attended University of Lisbon, Portugal, 1958-60, and University of Fribourg, Switzerland, 1961-64; studied political science at University of Lausanne, Switzerland, 1964-65; studied guerilla warfare in China, 1965.

Angolan rebel leader, 1965. Began agitating for Angolan independence from Portugal while a student in Lisbon in late 1950s; participated in the armed struggle against Portuguese rule in Angola, beginning in the early 1960s. Former secretary-general of Union for the Population of Angola; foreign minister of Angolan Revolutionary Government in Exile, 1962-64; founder and leader of National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), 1966. Carried on guerilla war against Marxist government of Angola, 1975-91; agreed to respect cease-fire in anticipation of free elections in September, 1992; presidential candidate in 1992 elections.

and accepting the cult he has nurtured as a confirmation of his messianic mission. Ideology is something Savimbi can choose like the fashion of his soldiers uniformspatterned to please whoever provides the cloth.

Angola is located on the southern Atlantic coast of Africa and is slightly larger than the American states of Texas and California combined. Its rich reserves of oil, diamonds, and iron oreas well as its strategic locationhave brought it great attention from powerful nations elsewhere. In 1483 Portuguese explorers reached Angola and began a five-hundred-year domination of the country. The slave trade flourished from Angolan port cities in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and even in modern times much of Angolas petroleum and diamond wealth went straight into Portuguese hands.

Savimbi was born during this Portuguese colonization, in 1934. He is a member of the Ovimbundu tribe, an ethnic group that comprises about one-third of the nations population. His father, who was an important Ovimbundu chief, worked as a stationmaster on the Benguela railway and also preached Christianity to his people. At the time when Savimbi was a youngster, it was very difficult for blacks to acquire much education in Angola. Fortunately for Savimbi, he was befriended by Portuguese missionaries who helped him to enter an all-white high school. He graduated first in his class in 1958 and earned a scholarship to study medicine in Portugal.

Called to Lead the Fight to Free Angola

Savimbi spent two years in college in Lisbon, but his passionate views on his countrys plight sparked a change in career plans. He became an activist on behalf of Angolan independence and soon had to flee Portugal for Switzerland. There he studied at the University of Fribourg and the University of Lausanne, promoting himself as a potential leader for a free Angola. For some time in the mid-1960s, Savimbi aligned himself with Holden Roberto, a rebel leader fighting the Portuguese from neighboring Zaire. A rivalry grew between the two men, however, because Savimbi wanted to stage the fight from within Angola rather than from beyond its borders.

In 1965 Savimbi decided to form his own movement and seek support for it. That support came from the Peoples Republic of China, which invited Savimbi and some of his lieutenants to a nine-month course in guerilla warfare. In Peking, Savimbi met Mao Tse-tung and other military and political leaders of the Chinese revolution. He also learned the tactics that he would use so effectively in Angola. Later, when he sought help from Western nations, Savimbi downplayed his stay in China. He told Readers Digest: From Mao and the Communists I learned how to fight and win a guerilla war. But I also learned how not to run an economy or a nation. The wealth of a nation is created by the initiative of individuals.

Returning to Angola, Savimbi began to mobilize the Ovimbundu people, as well as other alienated factions. The Portuguese government found itself besieged within Angola and ostracized internationally for its continued hold on the nation. On November 10, 1975, Portugal formally renounced its control of Angola. A quick and bitter power struggle ensued, and the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA; a Marxist-Leninist workers party), declared itself the new government. When Savimbi and his UNITA party protested, the MPLA called in Cuban troops and used Soviet-manufactured weapons to maintain power. Soon Savimbi was on the run, pushed into the bush country with only a few dozen followers.

Clashed With MPLA Government

But Savimbi was not so easily beaten. He attractedand conscripteda new army, pointing out to his followers that Angola had only traded domination by the Portuguese for domination by the Soviet Union. His arguments found fertile ground in Angola and elsewhereespecially South Africa, where the minority-run white government feared Soviet incursions into Africa. With the help of South African weapons, soldiers, and training, Savimbi was able to organize a powerful and effective guerilla force. Time after time, the Angolan government, with its Cuban reinforcements and Soviet war machinery, tried to annihilate Savimbis army. It simply could not be done. By the mid-1980s, Savimbis UNITA forces held vast stretches of territory, from which they harassed government installations, railroads, and supply lines.

Savimbi lobbied the United States for aid many times. His most effective mission came in 1986, when he visited President Reagan and appeared on numerous television programs, including Sixty Minutes and Nightline. For American conservatives, the bearded and burly Savimbi emerged as a hero, a fatigue-clad rebel who was trying to offset the Communist government in his homeland. Some influential politicians felt uncomfortable supporting Savimbi, noting that the South African government was supplying UNITA while occupying the neighboring nation of Namibia. Nevertheless, the Reagan administration gave Savimbi more than $15 million in aid as well as the weapons he needed to counter Soviet aircraft and missiles.

Peter Worthington explained the American right wings position on Savimbi in the National Review: Savimbi may not be perfect, may not even be a guarantee of a better future [for Angola]. But what we know suggests he is several cuts above the typical African leader and that he understands, or is coming to understand, genuine democratic principles. Given that his enemies are willing Soviet clients, at the mercy of Cuban troops, that makes him a reasonable bet.

Savimbis Motives Questioned

At first Savimbi seemed to be running a campaign aimed at winning the support of his Angolan countrymen. By 1989, however, suggestions of human rights abuses by UNITA forces began to surface. Without question, the ruling MPLA party had committed numerous violations of human rights, torturing and killing suspected UNITA supporters without benefit of a trial. But several commentators, including Sikorski, began to wonder if Savimbi might be resorting to some drastic tactics himself. Traveling with UNITA is like touring a showpiece Soviet collective farm, the reporter observed. Everything is perfect, if the guides are to be believed, but if one tries to find out for oneself, going beyond the established program, armed guards will physically stop one for protection, even when the enemy is five hundred miles away.

Africa Watch made a more thorough investigation in the spring of 1989. According to Omaar, UNITA has systematically committed gross abuses of human rights that no conception of military necessity could possibly justify. Omaar told Africa Report that UNITA forces had laid land mines in fields to deter peasants from planting their crops, had conducted forced marches for whole villages to remote sections of Angola, and had in some cases deliberately attacked and killed civilians.

In the meantime, Savimbi was blamed for a breakdown in a cease-fire to the civil war negotiated by President Mobutu Sese Seko of Zaire. The fighting continued in its sporadic fashion even though the United States was able to negotiate for the removal of both Cuban and South African assistance. By the end of 1989, Angolas economy was shattered, some two hundred thousand of its citizens had been killed, and many times that number had been uprooted from their homes, some fleeing to neighboring nations. Many citizens faced severe food shortages, and the fighting slowed international relief efforts.

By 1990 most of the Cuban troops had left Angola, and the Soviet Unions own domestic problems made further assistance to the Angolan government difficult. At that point, the United States stepped up its assistance to UNITA, and Savimbi shifted his base of operations from Angolas southern reaches to its north, where U.S. military supplies could easily be run across the border.

1991 Peace Accord

Through the spring of 1991 Savimbis troops harassed the capital city of Luanda by cutting power lines and intercepting supplies. Eventually the MPLA was forced to admit that its policies had indeed contributed to Angolas shattering $20 billion debt and its almost total lack of productivity. MPLA president Jose Eduardo dos Santos agreed to peace talks with Savimbi and UNITA, as well as a package of reforms aimed at shoring up the sagging economy. Peace accords were signed on May 31, 1991, and the fighting stopped soon thereafter.

Since then Savimbi has been conducting a presidential campaign throughout Angola, supported by his enthusiastic followers. He still promises that a UNITA-run Angola will provide a free market economy, regular free elections, and private ownership of land and business. During a rally in the capital city in September of 1991, Savimbi told the crowd: UNITAs strength is not just measured in terms of its arms but in terms of its political presence.

In an Africa Report feature story, Anita Coulson expressed doubts about lasting peace in Angola. Noting that the country has been in a state of war for more than thirty yearsincluding the period of insurgency against the PortugueseCoulson stated that the citizens of Luanda are at least still highly fearful of violent times ahead. The reporter added: With all the dirty laundry (including MPLA incompetence and corruption and UNITA human rights abuses) to be aired, the election campaign promises to be heated. A popular graffiti slogan in Angolas urban centers reads: MPLA gatunos, UNITA asessinos (MPLA are thieves, UNITA are murderers). Unless a strong third force arises out of the proliferation of emergent political parties, that will be the choice facing a politically unsophisticated Angolan electorate in 1992.

Despite the graffiti writers characterization of him, Savimbi is favored to win Angolas first democratic election and is expected to institute the reforms to which he has pledged himself for so many years. As David Reed put it in Readers Digest, General Jonas Savimbi and his heroic band have waited over 20 years for victory. They can afford to wait a while longer.

Selected writings

The Angolan Road to National Recovery, privately printed.

Sources

Books

Africa South of the Sahara, 1991, Europa, 1990.

Periodicals

Africa Report, March-April, 1988; May-June, 1989; May-June, 1990; September-October, 1990; July-August, 1991; September-October, 1991.

National Review, May 9, 1986; August 18, 1989.

Newsweek, March 31, 1986; October 16, 1989.

New York Times, September 21, 1985; December 27, 1985; December 30, 1985; January 26, 1986.

Philadelphia Inquirer, September 30, 1991.

Readers Digest, May, 1987.

Time, February 10, 1986; July 3, 1989.

Washington Post, January 26, 1986; February 2, 1986; February 9, 1986.

Anne Janette Johnson

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Savimbi, Jonas

Jonas Savimbi (sävĬm´bē), 1934–2002, Angolan rebel leader. He was a founding member of the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) in 1966. Savimbi was included in the interim independent government with Neto and Roberto in 1974 but returned to armed opposition when Neto's Marxist government was established. Aided by the United States and South Africa, he led a guerrilla war over much of Angola (1975–91) until a cease-fire was achieved. Running for president, Savimbi refused to accept his defeat in the 1992 elections, and UNITA resumed armed conflict with government forces, initially with much success. After reverses in 1994, however, UNITA signed a new peace accord; under it Savimbi was offered one of two Angolan vice presidencies, which he declined. With renewed warfare in 1998, the government said it would no longer recognize the 1994 agreement or deal with Savimbi, instead recognizing a splinter group, UNITA Renovada. Savimbi was killed in an ambush in 2002.

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Savimbi, Jonas Malheiro

Savimbi, Jonas Malheiro (1934–2002) Angolan politician. Prominent in the struggle for independence from Portugal, Savimbi formed (1966) the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA). After liberation (1975), he began a guerrilla war against the MPLA government. In 1991, President dos Santos and Savimbi signed a peace agreement. Savimbi refused to recognise the 1992 re-election of Dos Santos, and civil war resumed. UNITA's dwindling support forced Savimbi to accept the Lusaka Protocol (1994). He refused the vice presidency, however, and fighting resumed as UNITA retained control in c.50% of Angola. In 1997, the UN imposed sanctions on UNITA. Savimbi was shot dead by government troops.

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"Savimbi, Jonas Malheiro." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"Savimbi, Jonas Malheiro." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved August 17, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/savimbi-jonas-malheiro