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(Death toll from U.S.-backed civil war in Angola 1976-1992: 300,000)

1300s - Kongo kingdom consolidates in the north.

1483 - Portuguese arrive.

1575 - Portuguese found Luanda.

17th and 18th centuries - Angola becomes a major Portuguese trading arena for slaves. Between 1580 and 1680 a million plus are shipped to Brazil.

1836 - Slave trade officially abolished by the Portuguese government.

1885-1930 - Portugal consolidates colonial control over Angola, local resistance persists.

Angola under the Portuguese: The Myth and the Reality

1951 - Angola's status changes from colony to overseas province.

1956 - The early beginnings of the socialist guerrilla independence movement, the People's Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), based in northern Congo.

1950s-1961 - Nationalist movement develops, guerrilla war begins.

1961 - Forced labour abolished after revolts on coffee plantations leave 50,000 dead. The fight for independence is bolstered.

1974 - Revolution in Portugal, colonial empire collapses.


1975 - Angola gains independence but power struggle ensues between MPLA, backed by Cuba, and the FNLA plus Unita, backed by South Africa and the USA.
Killing Hope by William Blum: Angola 1975-1980s

The CIAs Greatest Hits: Angola

Secret Third World Wars by John Stockwell

In Search of Enemies by John Stockwell

1976 - MPLA gains upper hand.

1979 - MPLA leader Agostinho Neto dies. Jose Eduardo dos Santos takes over as president.

Secret Collaboration: U.S. and South Africa Foment Terrorist Wars

1987 - South African forces enter Angola to support Unita.

Remembering Cuba’s Sacrifice for African Liberation

The Secret Wars of the CIA by John Stockwell

1988 - South Africa, Angola, Cuba sign agreement on withdrawal of Cuba's 50,000 troops from Angola by mid-1991. South African army withdraws.

1989 - Dos Santos, Unita leader Jonas Savimbi agree cease-fire, which collapses soon afterwards and guerrilla activity resumes.

Towards peace

1991 April - MPLA drops Marxism-Leninism in favour of social democracy.

1991 May - Dos Santos, Savimbi sign peace deal in Lisbon which results in a new multiparty constitution.

1992 September - Presidential and parliamentary polls certified by UN monitors as generally free and fair. Dos Santo gains more votes than Savimbi, who rejects results and resumes guerrilla war.

1993 - UN imposes sanctions against Unita. The US acknowledges the MPLA.

1994 - Government, Unita sign Lusaka Protocol peace accord.

1995 - Dos Santos, Savimbi meet, confirm commitment to peace. First of 7,000 UN peacekeepers arrive.

1996 - Dos Santos, Savimbi agree to form unity government join forces into national army.

1997 April - Unified government inaugurated, with Savimbi declining post in unity government and failing to attend inauguration ceremony.

1997 May - Tension mounts, with few Unita troops having integrated into army.

1998 - Full-scale fighting resumes. UN plane shot down. Angola intervenes in civil war in Democratic Republic of Congo on the side of President Laurent-Desire Kabila.

1999 - UN ends its peacekeeping mission.

2002 February - Savimbi killed by government troops.

Angola After Savimbi

2002 April - Government, Unita sign ceasefire.


2002 May - Unita's military commander says 85% of his troops have gathered at demobilisation camps. There are concerns that food shortages in the camps could threaten the peace process.

2002 June - UN appeals for aid for thousands of refugees heading home after the ceasefire.

2002 August - Unita scraps its armed wing. "The war has ended," proclaims Angola's defence minister.

2003 January - President Dos Santos appoints Fernando da Piedade Dias dos Santos, known as Nando, as prime minister. The post had been vacant for more than three years.

2003 February - UN mission overseeing the peace process winds up.

2003 June - Unita - now a political party - elects Isaias Samakuva as its new leader.

2004 April onwards - Tens of thousands of illegal foreign diamond miners are expelled in a crackdown on illegal mining and trafficking. In December the government says 300,000 foreign diamond dealers have been expelled.

2004 September - Oil production reaches one million barrels per day.

2005 March-May - Marburg virus, which is deadlier than Ebola, kills more than 300 people, most of them in the north.

2005 June - Cholera epidemic claims 1,900 lives, mainly in Luanda.

2006 August - The government signs a peace deal with a separatist group in the northern enclave of Cabinda.

2006 October - The UN refugee agency begins "final repatriation" of Angolans who fled the civil war to the neighbouring DR Congo. Some 60,000 are still due to return under the scheme which began in 2003 and which has repatriated 180,000 people.

2007 February - President dos Santos says parliamentary elections will be held in 2008 and presidential polls in 2009.

Making a Killing: The Business of War

A Rough Trade: The Role of Governments and Companies in the Angolan Conflict

The human cost of international inaction on Angolan sanctions

The devastating story of oil and banking in Angola’s privatised war

A Crude Awakening

Africa's Oil Tycoons