UNITA-A Case Study In Modern Insurgency
SUBJECT AREA Strategic Issues
Author: Burke, Robert R., Major, USMC
Title: UNITA - A Case Study in Modern Insurgency
Publisher: Marine Corps Command and Staff College
Date: 2 April 1984
After nearly 400 years of Portuguese rule, Angola finally
became independent in November 1975. This independence was
the culmination of nearly 14 years of civil war in which
three insurgencies vied for control of Angola: the Movimento
Popular de Libertacao de Angola (MPLA), the Frente Nacional
de Libertacao de Angola (FNLA), and the Unizo Nacional para
Independencia Total de Angola (UNITA). With the help of
nearly 15,000 Cuban troops and massive aid from the Soviet
Union, the Marxist MPLA defeated FNLA and UNITA in the
Angolian civil war of 1975-76 and established a communist
government in Angola.
Despite the communist victory, fighting has not ended
in Angola. Although FNLA has ceased to be a viable
insurgency, UNITA has staged a remarkable recovery since
the civil war. UNITA now controls at least one third of
Angola and is conducting successful operations in another
third of the country.
The purpose of this paper is to fill the void that has
been created by the absence of scholarly books and articles
on UNITA since the civil war. Most professional literature
has focused on the Communist victory in that conflict and
on "lessons to be learned" in American foreign policy in
southern Africa. As a result, a number of information gaps
remain open on recent UNITA activity in Angola. Information
obtained from State Department officials and scholars has
been most beneficial in filling some of these gaps.
In order to address the UNITA insurgency in an organized
and systematic manner, a framework for analysis is essential.
This framework assists in the identification of factors
that should be considered when examining an insurgency.
Some of these factors are critical, such as environment,
popular support, external support, organization, and
government response. This paper will define and explain
each of these factors with respect to UNITA. Their analysis
should not only provide a better understanding of UNITA and
its importance in Angola, but also an appreciation of the
heterogeneity of insurgent movements.
While many factors have contributed to UNITA's success,
two are of paramount importance. The first is Savimbi
himself. UNITA's effective political and military organization
owe much to his inspirational leadership and extraordinary
patience and dedication. Despite the presence of a large
number of competent people within the scope of UNITA's
organization, none seems capable of filling the void his
loss would create. Without Savimbi, UNITA would be extremely
vulnerable. The second factor is UNITA's environment.
UNITA's stronghold in Cuando-Cubango Province in southeastern
Angola is a natural haven that obviates the need for
sanctuary in a neighboring country. Dangerous logistical
and security burdens are avoided by the insurgents. The
regions proximity to South Africa facilitates UNITA's
receipt of external support from that country.
The irony of UNITA is that the stronger it becomes, the
less likely it is to achieve its objectives. The government
insists on keeping the Cubans in Angola as long as UNITA is
a threat. This dilemma portends a stalemate in which the
Soviets and Cubans must remain in Angola as long as UNITA
continues waging guerrilla warfare against the government.
Meanwhile, Mao's sage advice to Savimbi that the road to
success is a long and tortuous one remains the guiding
principle for UNITA as it pursues the politics of survival
into an uncharted future.
WAR SINCE 1945 SEMINAR
UNITA - A Case Study in Modern Insurgency
Major Robert R. Burke, USMC
2 April 1984
Marine Corps Command and Staff College
Marine Corps Development and Education Command
Quantico, Virginia 22134
TABLE OF CONTENTS
LIST OF MAPS iii
1. WHENCE IT CAME 5
2. THE ARMED ARENA 20
3. DELINEATING THE POLITICAL FOLD 33
4. MUSCLE FLEXING 45
5. "SWIMMING IN A SEA OF CROCODILES" 67
6. RIPOSTE - OF SORTS 74
SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY 94
LIST OF MAPS
1. POLITICAL MAP OF ANGOLA 6
2. ANGOLA'S ROADS AND RAILWAYS 21
3. ANGOLA'S PRINCIPAL AIRFIELDS 27
4. SAVIMBI'S HEADQUARTERS 28
5. UNITA ACTIVITY IN ANGOLA 54
6. UNITA PRIZES AND TARGETS (1) 55
7. UNITA PRIZES AND TARGETS (2) 57
An understanding of insurgency is best accomplished by
focusing on a particular insurgency. Few insurgencies
offer a better opportunity to gain this understanding than
UNITA (National Union for the Total Independence of Angola)
of Angola. UNITA is a classic insurgency in terms of the
definition that will follow. UNITA has been active for
a relatively long period of time. This study facilitates a
better assessment of its strengths and weaknesses. An examin-
ation of UNITA not only provides a better understanding of
the nature of an insurgency, but also of guerrilla warfare
UNITA is fighting in a country of considerable strategic
importance to the United States. This alone justifies a
study of UNITA. Located between Zaire and Namibia on the
west coast of Africa, Angola is larger than the states of
New York, Texas, and California combined. Rich in oil,
iron ore, silver, manganese, copper, and phosphates, Angola
has the potential to become one of the wealthiest countries
in Africa. More important, however, is the fact that
Angola's takeover by the Marxist MPLA in the civil war of
1975-76 has embroiled the U.S. in a global shoving match
with the Soviet Union, whose support of Angola keeps the
government in power. Soviet involvement in Angola
now threatens to spill over into Namibia, which is seeking
independence from South Africa, the most powerful democracy
on the African continent. These factors portend greater
involvement of the U.S. in sub-Saharan Africa.
Few subjects seem more confusing to most Americans than
that of insurgency. The primary reason for this lies in
disagreement, even among scholars, as to what constitutes
an insurgency. While it is correctly associated with a
form of internal political violence, so too are guerrilla
warfare and terrorism. Accordingly, this study will begin
In his book, Insurgency in the Modern World, Professor
Bard O'Neill, a well known expert on insurgency, has taken
great pains to clarify the meaning of various terms associated
with insurgency. His definition of insurgency as "a struggle
between a nonruling group and the ruling authorities in
which the former consciously employs political resources
(organizational skills, progaganda, and/or demonstrations)
and instruments of violence to establish legitimacy for
some aspect of the political system it considers illegitimate,"1
clearly suggests that terrorism and guerrilla warfare are
instruments of violence embraced by the term insurgency,
and tailored to achieve the objectives of insurgency. The
purpose of terrorism is to lower the morale and psychological
support of the ruling government through systematic or
arbitrary acts of violence such as murder, torture, arson,
kidnapping, and hijacking. The primary target is always
the civilian population. Guerrilla warfare is used to
deplete the resources of the ruling government through
harassment by small, lightly armed groups. Unlike terrorism,
the object of guerrilla warfare is the ruling government's
armed forces, police, and crucial economic facilities.
Since both terrorism and guerrilla warfare are instruments
of insurgent warfare, they cannot be fully appreciated and
understood without examining the nature of insurgency.2
Nearly all professional literature on UNITA has been in
connection with the Angolan civil war of 1975-76. UNITA's
defeat in that conflict in spite of U.S. support has spawned
a spate of literature on "lessons to be learned" in American
foreign policy in southern Africa. Virtually nothing has
appeared in scholarly works on UNITA's remarkable recovery
since the civil war, an equally important topic.
The purpose of this paper is to fill this void. There
are no recent books and articles that focus on UNITA. A
number of information gaps remain open. Information obtained
from interviews with State Department officials and scholars
has been moot beneficial.
In order to address the UNITA insurgency in an organized
and systematic manner, a framework for analysis is essential.
This framework assists in the identification of factors
that should be considered when examining an insurgency.
Some of these factors are critical, such as environment, popular
support, external support, organization, and government
response. This paper will define and explain each of these
factors with respect to UNITA. Their analysis should not
only provide a better understanding of UNITA and its
importance in Angola, but also an appreciation of the
heterogeneity of insurgent movements. A brief historical
sketch of Angola's history will preceed an examination of
the major factors that we identified as critical. A concluding
note will provide a brief comment on UNITA's outlook.
WHENCE IT CAME
Modern Angola has deep rooted historical ties to Portugal,
that small nation so culturally misplaced in Western Europe.
The first European to reach Angola was the Portuguese explorer,
Diogo Cao, who landed at the mouth of the Congo River in 1423.
He found the land under the rule of an African monarch, the
King of the Kongo, whose capital became the present day M'Banza-
Congo in northwest Angola (see Map 1). In 1490 the Portuguese
sent a small fleet of ships carrying priests, artisans, and
tools to the Kongolese King who received the mission warmly,
accepted Christianity, and agreed to send his son, the future
King Alfonso, to Lisbon. Initial contacts between Angola and
Portugal were friendly and respectful.
Soon, however, the slave trade led to the deterioration of
Portugal's relations with King Alfonso and his successors.
Internal revolts hastened the decline of the Kongo Kingdom.
Meanwhile, the Portuguese tended contacts southward along the
Atlantic Coast, founding Luanda, the present capital of Angola,
in 1576. The slave trade continued to dominate until the
middle of the 17th century with Angola serving as a major
source of labor for Brazilian plantations. Perhaps as many
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as 3 million Angolans were transported to the New World
during three centuries of the Portuguese slaving.1
Like the relationship of other European countries with
their colonies, that between Portugal and Angola became ever
more complicated. Angola's territorial boundaries were settled
by the Berlin West Africa Congress (1884-85), in which France,
Germany, and Portugal won international recognition of the
boundaries of their colonies bordering The Congo. Tribal wars
and uprisings in Angola increased in frequency during the
early part of the 20th century, until Portugual responded
with repressive measures The discovery of diamonds in Angola
in the 1930's stimulated Portuguese interest in developing the
colony, especially after the Salazar government took power
following World War II. Of the three Portuguese colonies in
Africa (Angola, Mozambique, and Portuguese Guinea (Guinea-
Bissau)), Angola was the largest and potentially the richest.2
A long struggle for Angolan independence really got started
in 1961. To appreciate the dimensions of this latest struggle,
an examination of Portuguese colonial policies in Angola is
necessary. Of primary importance was the Portuguese conceptual
view of race, termed "Lusotropicality." Under this concept,
the fusion of Portuguese culture and history with the Black
African phyisque would constitute a new race ideally suited
for the development of the African territories into modern
states. Although Portugal viewed all members of this "race"
as ostensibly equal, the realities of life in Angola and in
the other Portuguese African territories undermined the
validity of this concept.3
The concept was too theoretical to have any useful meaning.
Distinctions among native Angolans were based on class rather
than on race. One's class depended in large part on educational
level and ability to speak Portuguese. Angolans were generally
divided into two groups, assimilado and indigena, which were
treated as citizenship categories. In order to be classified
as an assimilado, one had to speak Portuguese, receive income
from a job, have good character, be at least 18 years old, and
must not have been guilty of evading military or public service.
Native-born black Angolans who did not meet these requirements
were classified as indigena. The assimilados enjoyed a few of
the rights of white native Europeans whereas the indigena had
no political or economic rights at all. Although the number
of assimilados remained small, the racial overtones of this
class distinction alienated many native Angolans from the
Portuguese. This was especially so because white settlers
from Portugal and mesticos (mixture of native-born black Angolans
and white European settlers) had all of the rights and privileges
accorded whites in Portugal.
Education is a good example of the de facto racial barriers
existing in Angola. While education was free and compulsory
throughout Portugal and the colonies, Portugal lacked the
resources to build sufficient schools in Africa. The
few schools that did exist were located primarily in
the urban areas of Angola where most of the whites, assimilados,
and mesticos lived. Consequently, the rural indigena population
was denied any upward mobility (transition to assimilado status)
that education might have allowed.4
From the earliest days of colonial rule to the last, Portugal
used the colonies, especially Angola, to relieve social and
economic pressures at home. The unemployed, the landless, the
tenant farmers, and all those who had had problems in Portugal
(degredados) were encouraged or forced to emigrate to one of
the colonies. Dr. Gerald Bender, a noted historian, indicates
that Portugal "was the first and last European nation to use
degredados in the colonization proceess."5 Their lack of freedom
in the politics of the mother country was an important factor
in the development of Angolan nationalism.
After the outbreak of fighting in Angola in 1961, Portugal
responded to the nationalist challenge on a broad front.
The most significant response was the adoption in 1963 of the
Organic Law of the Overseas Provinces, under which the status
of the territories in Africa was changed from that of colony
to province. This action was an attempt to abate the tide of
nationalism in the colonies by providing them more administra-
tive and financial autonomy. A resettlement plan was begun
that gave the indigenous population greater access to schools
and medical facilities. Portugal sent troops to Angola
and recruited natives to fill the ranks of the armed forces.
The Portuguese secret police increased their activity and
infiltrated colonial organizations such as labor unions that
were allowed to exist for non-political purposes.6
These activities resulted in stalemate. However, this was
tantamount to a victory for the insurgents because Portugal
simply did not have the political, economic, and social where-
withal to continue the fight. General Antonia de Spinola, the
most effective counterinsurgent commander and military governor
in Angola said, "To want to win in a war of subversion by means
of a military solution is to accept defeat in advance, unless
one possesses unlimited capacity to prolong the war indefinitely...
Is that our case? Obviously not!"7
A successful counterinsurgency in Angola would have required
a sustained effort at the expense of holding onto Mozambique
and Guinea-Bissau, where similar insurgencies were active, and
this would have undermined the legitimacy of "Lusotropicality."
A failure of this concept in one colony would surely be viewed
in domestic and world opinion as a failure in the other colonies
as well. Army officers became dissatisfied with the conservative
colonial policies of the Portuguese government and staged
a coup that ousted Dr. Marcello Cataeno, who had replaced Antonio
Salazar in 1968. While this coup did not mark the withdrawal
of the Portuguese from Angola, it did result in reduced counter-
insurgent efforts. Realizing that the fate of the Portuguese
government following the coup was uncertain, the insurgents
sensed that their time was at hand. The Portuguese simply lost
the will to resist. The most important question in 1975 was
just how the governmental control would pass from Portugal to
At the time three insurgent groups vied to rule Angola:
the Frente Nacional de Libertacao de Angola (FNLA), led by
Holden Roberto; the Movimento Popular de Libertacao de Angola
(MPLA) led by Agustinho Neto; and the Unizo Nacional para
Independencia Total de Angola (UNITA), led by Dr. Jonas M.
Savimbi. A brief examination of each of these insurgencies
The FNLA, which was founded in 1952, derived the bulk of
its strength from the Bakongo population in the north of Angola.
The organization stood for the liberation of all the Angolan
people from Portuguese rule. The brutality of Portuguese
repression against Bakongo uprisings after 1961 resulted in the
emigration of over 400,000 Bakongo across the border into Zaire.
This had important consequences for the future of the FNLA.
First, much of the political constituency of FNLA was located
in Zaire rather than in Angola. Holden Roberto himself lived
in Kinshasa, Zaire. From there he directed all FNLA operations.
He had close ties with Zairian President Mobutu Sere Seko and
was married to a close relative of Mobutu's wife. By having his
base in Zaire, Roberto was able to receive a consistent flow of
aid from external sources without interruption by the Portuguese.
The Zairian army organized, trained, and equipped the bulk of
the FNLA armed forces. The FNLA received aid from the CIA
(money), the Peoples Republic of China (advisers and equipment),
and Romania (arms).9 Roberto tried to enlarge his ethnic base
and even had the support of Dr. Savimbi, who served as foreign
minister of FNLA's Revolutionary Government of Angola in Exile
(Governo Revolution ario de Angola no Exilo-GRAE) in 1962.10
This arrangement failed, however, and FNLA was to have little
success in obtaining popular support from the remainder of the
Of the three insurgent movements, FNLA probably was the
most conservative and least complex. Holden Roberto did
everything himself, mistrustful as he was of potential rivals
to his leadership. He sought political independence for Angola,
agrarian reform, and pan-African unity. But in so doing he
relied primarily on military means rather than on political
indoctrination. By 1974, the FNLA had the largest military
force of the three insurgent movements. Nearly 2,000 guerrillas
were active in Angola and an additional 10,000 to 12,000 were
striking at targets in Angola from bases in Zaire.11
By contrast, the MPLA was a much more sophisticated and
complex organization. Founded in 1956, the MPLA was a fusion
of a number of small organizations that grew up in Angolan
cities, especially Luanda and Lobito (see Map 1). MPLA member-
ship consisted primarily of mesticos and members of the assimilado
class. While this kind of membership at first antagonized a
number of rural Angolans, the MPLA later succeeded in obtaining
support from among the one and one-half million Mbundo tribe
in the Cuanza Valley in the west, the Lunda and Chokwe tribes
in the eastern part of the colony, and from the slum dwellers
of Luanda. The MPLA stood for independence from Portugal and
the development of a modern society devoid of social and ethnic
prejudice. From the beginning, however, the MPLA was identified
with the Communist Party, which had existed secretly in Angola
as well as in Portugal since the end of World War II. By 1968,
the MPLA had created village action committees and political
cadres in every Angolan province. Regional party conferences
The MPLA had little difficulty in obtaining external support.
The Marxist views of the MPLA appealed to the worldwide ideological
left. This appeal gave the MPLA a distinct strategic advantage.
Liberals in Europe and North America respected the MPLA for
its multi-racial composition and nationalist outlook as opposed
to the other insurgencies for which ethnicity and regionalism
were distinguishing characteristics. The MPLA received continu-
ous support from Scandinavia, the Soviet Union, East Germany,
Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, and, until the Soviets began providing
more extensive aid, the People's Republic of China. The U.S.
declined to provide support to the MPLA because of its leftist
orientation. Until the introduction of Soviet arms and Cuban
troops, the MPLA was the weakest militarily of the three insur-
The last of the three insurgencies is UNITA, the youngest
and the smallest at the time of the civil war. Its leader,
Dr. Jonas Malheiro Savimbi, was born in 1934 at a small railway
village in the Angolan central highlands where his father was a
stationmaster and lay Protestant preacher. His parents, of the
Ovimbundu tribe, had been converted to Christianity when they
were young adults. Savimbi's father had established a
number of small churches and schools along the Benguela Railroad,
Angola's primary railway, despite strong resistance from Catholic
priests who repeatedly tried to have him transferred to
another part of the country. This religious independence in
the face of Catholic repression had a profound effect on the
younger Savimbi, who developed a strong sense of social justice
reminiscent of the Progressives in American politics in the
early 20th century.14
After finishing at the top of his class at a colonial
secondary school, Jonas Savimbi embarked upon a long period of
political education and indoctrination. He received a scholar-
ship from the United Methodist Church to study medicine
in Lisbon in 1958. There he was under constant pressure by the
political police to inform on other Angolan students. He
refused to do this and fled to Switzerland in 1961 when anti-
colonial insurgency broke out in Angola. In 1965, he completed
a license in political and legal science at the University of
Lausanne. (The "Dr." before his name was given to him by UNITA
officials who report that he earned a medical degree instead.)
Meanwhile, he had been affiliated with Holden Roberto of FNLA
between 1961 and 1966. During this period he met Che Guevara
in Morocco and Mao Tse-tung in the People's Republic of China,
and attended the Nanking Military Academy.15
Savimbi had long felt the need to form his own movement
because the Ovimbundu (nearly 40 percent of the Angolan popu-
lation) had no political representation in the FNLA and the
MPLA. As a result, he founded UNITA in 1966. He established
an exile base in Zaire, but was soon forced to leave that
country when UNITA guerrillas destroyed a portion of the Benguela
Railroad on which Zaire is dependent for shipment of mineral
and other exports. After a short visit to Cairo, he returned
to Angola in the summer of 1968 by way of Zambia with the help
of the South West Africa People's Organization (SWAPO), which
is fighting for Namibian independence from South Africa.
With the exception of foreign visits to gain external
support for UNITA, Savimbi has remained on scene in Angola.
He long concentrated on raising the political consciousness
of the peasantry, an important lesson learned from Mao. He
established food cooperatives and developed village self-defense
units. He also established an elaborate governmental framework
in which regional elected councils made their views known
through a political commissar to the 35 member central committee
whose members were to be chosen every four years at a congress.
The central committee reported to the political bureau, a 19
member policy making body whose members were chosen by Savimbi,
the president of UNITA. Savimbi was to be "re-elected" every
four years by the congress in a secret ballot.16
Savimbi's political views probably were midway between the
conservative FNLA and the pro-Marxist MPLA. He emphasized the
importance of a truly independent Angola and relied primarily
on political rather than military means to extend his control.
This outlook explains in large part why he relied the least of
the three insurgencies on external support. For example, from
1966 to 1974, on the eve of the civil war, Egypt was the only
supplier of aid to UNITA. Savimbi claimed to have stolen and
captured all of his weapons from the Portuguese. An exceptional
politican, Savimbi tailored his pronouncements to meet the
views of his audience. On the one hand he could sooth the
Portuguese by stating he would treat Angolan whites and
mesticos as equals in a government run by UNITA. On the other
hand he could placate black Angolans by stating they would enjoy
majority rule and preeminence under his leadership. Demonstrating
a political acumen that was sorely lacking in Angolan politics,
Savimbi called for a period of political education to prepare
Angola for a democratic society.17
The three insurgencies sought to govern an independent
Angola. In January 1975, the Portuguese worked out an agreement
known as the Alvor Accord, which provided for a transitional
government including all three factions that would culminate
in free elections to prepare Angola for independence. By the
summer of 1975, continued fighting among the three groups
had resulted in the collapse of the Alvor Accord. Fighting
intensified with each of the three groups receiving external
support for their activities. Of particular concern to the
United States was the massive aid the Soviet Union furnished
the MPLA. Recognizing the military inferiority of UNITA, the
United States began supplying arms to FNLA in August 1975
in order to establish a sufficient military balance. South
Africa, anticipating direct U. S. intervention, intervened at
this time with 2000 troops and fought with UNITA and FNLA.
However, Cuban troops landed in Angola in September 1975 in
support of the MPLA. By November 1975, the number of these
troops had reached at least 15,000. Unable to control events
in Angola, the Portuguese folded their flag and removed the
last remnants of colonial rule from Angola on Independence
Day, 11 November 1975. The MPLA announced the creation of the
People's Republic of Angola in the capital city of Luanda and
received immediate recognition from the Soviet Union.18
In desperation, both UNITA and FNLA announced on 11 November
1975 the creation of the Democratic People's Republic of Angola
with headquarters in Huambo (see Map 1). Long standing hostility
between the two factions precluded a coordinated military and
political strategy to counter the MPLA. South Africa's inter-
vention proved to be a disaster for FNLA and UNITA because it
legitimized Soviet and Cuban aid to the MPLA from the point of
view of the other African states which have long been hostile
to South Africa's racial policy of apartheid. This intervention
contributed to the Huambo regime's failure to win foreign
External support for the MPLA proved decisive. The MPLA
had, for over a decade, received Soviet and East German aid.
This included both arms and military training. The Soviets
provided MIG aircraft, T54 and T34 tanks, 122mm rockets, and
introduced Cuban troops to employ these weapons against FNLA
and UNITA. By February 1976, the value of Soviet aid over the
previous year was estimated at nearly $300 million. Meanwhile,
U.S. aid to FNLA ended in January 1976, suppressed by the
Clark Amendment, prohibiting further aid to Angola. Unused to
the conventional warfare waged by the MPLA and Cuban troops,
UNITA and FNLA were simply no match for them and were defeated.
The Huambo regime collapsed on 11 February 1976.19
Although the MPLA was successful in defeating UNITA and
FNLA in a brief civil war and in gaining control of the govern-
ment, fighting has not ended in Angola. What began as a war
for national independence in 1961 has now become a war against
the MPLA and the foreign assistance that props up its power.
In this regard, the current conflict is actually a continuation
of the uprising against colonial rule that began in 1961.
Although FNLA has continued guerrilla warfare against the
government, it has ceased to be a viable insurgency. On 18
March 1983, eight top military leaders of FNLA surrendered to
Angolan authorities and denounced FNLA while doing so.20
FNLA's leader, Holden Roberto fled to Europe. He now remains
in exile in Paris. By contrast, Savimbi of UNITA is waging a
heroic struggle to achieve his long standing objective of a
truly independent Angola. Having examined the historical
background of Angola and its fight for independence, we shall
now turn to an examination of the UNITA insurgency since the
THE ARMED ARENA
Environment is an extremely important factor to consider
in assessing the effectiveness of an insurgency. Environment
includes terrain, climate, communications network, ethnicity,
culture, size of the country, and population size and distribu-
tion. Rarely do all of these elements combine to favor an
Angola is a large country. With an area of 421,351 square
miles, it is about twice the size of the State of Texas. Angola
lies north of the Congo River and is bordered by Zaire on the
north and northeast, Zambia on the east, Namibia (Southwest
Africa) on the south and the Atlantic Ocean on the west. (See
Map 2) The enclave of Cabinda, which belongs to Angola, lies
on the seacoast northwest of Angola proper and is bordered by
the Congo, the Atlantic Ocean, and a portion of Zaire that
separates the Cabinda enclave from Angola proper.
Angola's climate is tropical. Alternate rainy and dry
seasons are clearly defined. In the far north, the rainy season
may last as long as eight months, from September to May. In
the south, the rainy season begins later and ends sooner, from
December to April. Rainfall at any latitude in Angola is
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greater in the interior than at the coast and generally
increases with altitude. Rainfall is greatest in the far
north along the Zairian border. Temperatures decrease from
north to south and from east to west. The average annual
temperature at M'banza-Congo, for example, is 82oF while
that at Huambo is only 62oF. The coolest months are July
and August, during the dry season when frost occasionally
occurs at the highest elevations.
Like most of the other countries in sub-Saharan Africa,
Angola has an extremely varied physical environment. The
country has four dominate geographic regions: the coastal
plain along the Atlantic Ocean, the central savanna, the
northern plateau, and the steppe desert in the south. Each
of these regions warrants examination.
The coastal plain varies in width from 15 miles near
the city of Benguela to 90 miles in the Cuanza River valley
near the capital city of Luanda. The cold, counter-clockwise
Benguela Current, which prevents westerly winds from drawing
adequate moisture from the Atlantic Ocean, severely limits
rainfall on the coastal plain. Luanda, for example, rarely
receives more than 15 to 20 inches per year. This amount
is generally unreliable from year to year. Farther south
towards Namibia, the amount of rainfall gradually decreases.
The Benguela Current also keeps temperatures moderate
in the coastal plain. Vegetation in the area ranges from dry
scrub to sand dunes in the Namibia Desert to thick brush in
the north. Except for natural cover and concealment found in
the urban centers, the coastal plain has the least favorable
amount of cover and concealment for military operations of all
The central savanna region is predominately flat and open
with sandy soils. Through its center runs the Lunda Divide, a
series of low ridges that mark the division between the north
flowing rivers and the south and east flowing rivers. Annual
rainfall in this area ranges from 40 to 60 inches per year and
is more reliable than that of the coastal plain. Vegetation
consists mostly of savanna, but forests are present along the
major river valleys. Both conventional warfare and guerrilla
warfare are practical here.3
The northern plateau has the most physical diversity of the
four geographic regions. The region contains Angola's highest
elevations, which range from 1000 to 2500 meters. A moderate
climate with relatively cool temperatures and steady rainfall
from year to year have long made this area attractive to Angolans
of European descent. Deciduous forest once covered most of the
area, but it has largely been removed for timber. Other vegetation
consists of baobobs, acacias, and elephant grass. Dense rain
forest prevails along the Congo River in the far northwest.
Numerous hill and rock formations make the northern plateau
rather difficult terrain for conventional warfare but ideal
for guerrilla warfare. Of the four principal geographic regions
of Angola, the northern plateau has the best cover and conceal-
ment and is the most ideally suited for guerrilla warfare.4
This is the area where the FNLA was once dominant.
The final region is the southern steppe desert. It is sandy
and dry and poor. Here water is extremely scarce. Vegetation
is sparse except along river valleys where elephant grass and
scrub forest appear. Grass growing in relative abundance
during rainy seasons, disappears during the dry season. The
area is infested with the tsetse fly which makes farming and
cattle raising difficult. The few inhabitants of the area are
located along the Luengue, Cuito, Cuando and Cubango Rivers.
The Portuguese called this area the "Land at the End of the
Earth."5 Cuando-Cubango Province (see Map 2), which is located
in the steppe desert in the southeastern portion of the country,
is UNITA's principal stronghold. The steppe desert neither
favors nor hampers guerrilla warfare.6 Mobile conventional
warfare, however, is extremely difficult to conduct in the
region because of the poor trafficability of the terrain
during the rainy season, and the almost total absence of adequate
Angola's large size and distant borders have had a profound
effect on UNITA. Although Cuando-Cubango Province does not
favor guerrilla warfare, its remote location in Angola has
provided UNITA a superb sanctuary in which to build up its
infrastructure. Like the Portuguese before independence, the
present MPLA government has been unable to seal the 3,000
miles of Angolan borders. Probably 250,000 troops would be
required to do so, a task for which the MPLA is unlikely to
ever acquire adequate resources.7 The MPLA's inability to seal
the frontier has facilitated UNITA's receipt of external support.
Like most underdeveloped countries, Angola has a poor
transportation network. Only three major railways exist. The
Luanda Railroad, opened in 1901, is the country's oldest. This
railway has a total length of 240 miles with three spurs
and extends inland as far as Malange. One spur runs south
from Luanda to Dondo on the Cuanza River; another runs from
Luanda to Ndalatando and finally to Malange; and the third
runs from Luanda to Caxito. The Mocamedes Railroad extends
eastward from the City of Mocamedes for some 450 miles to
Menongue, the capital of Cuando-Cubango Province. Two other
branches reach Chiange and Kassinga. The total length of the
Mocamedes Railroad is nearly 520 miles. The most important
railway, however, is the Benguela Railroad, which has a total
length in Angola of nearly 838 miles. This railroad runs from
the port city of Benguela, eastward across the country into
Zaire, to Zambia, to Rhodesia, and finally to Beira in Mozambique.
A forty mile spur runs to the Cuima copper mines south of
Huambo. The Benguela Railroad has been a major target of
UNITA guerrillas since the civil war.8 (See Map 2 for a depiction
of Angola's railroads.)
Angola has approximately 43,000 miles of roads of all kinds.
Only 5,000 miles of roadway are paved; perhaps 16,000 miles of
Angola's roads have improved gravel or dirt surfaces. The
other 22,000 miles of roadway are unimproved dirt roads that are
impassible during the rainy season. Nevertheless, by 1975 nearly
all of the provincial capitals were accessible by paved road.
The extension of the road network is a major goal of the MPLA.
Figures that reveal the extent to which Angola's roadways were
damaged during the civil war are not available. It is reported
that a number of bridges were destroyed and that Cuban construction
brigades have assisted the MPLA in their repair. Except for
the Congo River, which is navigable with portages, Angola's
rivers are unsuitable for navigation throughout the year. (Map 2
shows some of Angola's major roadways.)9
Angola has 22 major airfields and perhaps 11 other minor
airfields throughout the country (see Map 3). The exact
number of airfields, especially those relegated solely to
military use, is not known. Like the construction of roadways,
the construction of airfields is a major priority of the MPLA,
just as it was for the Portuguese before independence.10
As can be seen, Cuando-Cubango Province in the southeastern
portion of the country (see Maps 2 and 3) is devoid of airfields,
roadways, and navigable rivers. During his recent visit to
Savimbi's headquarters in Samatango (see Map 4), Mr. Richard Harwood,
a Washington Post Foreign Service correspondent, noted that it
took 30 hours to drive a truck for a distance of 100 miles on
one of the area's pioneer trails. In order to engage UNITA
forces, the MPLA has been forced to rely primarily on aviation
with its inherent limitations of range and loiter time.
Click here to view image
UNITA has been well able to exploit such limitations. The most
efficient weapon used by the MPLA in the civil war, the Soviet
122mm rocket, has been rendered useless against UNITA because
of the difficult terrain and the absence of an adequate trans-
portation network in the region. Conversely, UNITA has employed
the same weapon effectively against fixed MPLA targets.11
The environmental impact of population deserves close
scrutiny. With a total population of approximately 7,000,000
people, Angola has fewer than 10 people per square mile,
an exceptionally low population density compared to other
developing nations. The annual population growth rate is only
2 percent. This, too, is relatively low for a developing
nation. Reflecting a high death rate, infant mortality is 122
per 1000 (U.S. 15 per 1,000) and life expectancy is only 38
years. The largest cities are Luanda, 500,000; Huambo, 50,000;
and Lobito, 40,000. All are under firm MPLA control. Like
most developing countries, Angola is experiencing a very high
rate of urbanization, expecially near Luanda and Lobito. Since
the MPLA controls these cities, this urbanization would seem to
favor the MPLA. Before the civil war in 1975-76, approximately
400,000 whites lived in Angola. Nearly 350,000 of these people
left the country during the war. Their departure portended
serious consequences for the MPLA. The mesticos, which number
perhaps 2.2 million, are the most important political, economic,
and social group. They hold the reins of power in the MPLA.12
The ethnic fragmentation of Angola's population is its most
important demographic characteristic. As many as 100 tribes
exist in Angola based on language groupings and historical
origins. While the majority of languages stem from the Bantu
root, they are sufficiently different from one another to
preclude communication among the various tribes. As a result,
Portuguese is the only common language throughout the country.
However, the lack of schools and the tribal character of Angola's
population have traditionally hampered attempts to raise the
literacy rate, which remains less than 15 percent. The largest
ethnic group, the Ovimbundu (38 percent of the total population),
live in central and southern Angola. They adjusted well to the
Portuguese while maintaining both tribal pride and cohesion.
As mentioned earlier, the Ovimbundu have become most closely
associated with UNITA. The Bakongo (13 percent of the total
population) are concentrated in the northwest portion of the
country, including the Cabinda enclave, but also live in the
Congo and Zaire. This group has been traditionally associated
with FNLA. The Mbundu (23 percent of the total poulation)
occupy the area in the hinterland of Luanda and are culturally
related to the Bakongo. The Mbundu have been traditionally
associated with the MPLA. Other tribes include the Chokwe,
Nganguela, Kwangali, Lwena, and the Lunda (all of which constitute
less than 10 percent of the total population) in eastern Angola.
These groups are becoming increasingly identified with UNITA.13
Such ethnic fragmentaion has made nation building difficult.
No sense of being "Angolan" exists among the various tribal
groups. In fact the Bakongo loath the other tribes. Their
practice of forced recruitment of other tribal members into the
ranks of FNLA before the civil war was hardly an effective
public relations effort. Outside the Bakongo tribe, neither
unity nor habits of animosity afflict the various tribes.
This complex situation challenges both UNITA and the MPLA.
Each must strive to unify the population without allowing
tribalism to become more divisive than it already is.
While control of the government clearly gives the MPLA an
advantage in this regard, it now has fewer resources than had
the Portuguese who so sorely failed to achieve any sense of
unity in Angola. By having identified itself with the Ovimbundu
tribe, UNITA has lost what advantage of neutrality it might
otherwise have had in seeking support among other tribes.
Promising opportunities still exist, however, for further
political indoctrination of the rural societies traditionally
associated with the MPLA and UNITA.14
In summary, the most important features of the Angolan
environment are the vastness of the country and the ethnicity
of the population. A lesser, but increasingly important feature
is Angola's growing urbanization. UNITA's geographic isolation
clearly has been the most important factor in its continued
survival and growing strength as an insurgency. The ethnicity
of the population, however, makes it extremely difficult for
UNITA to establish itself as a truly national political force.
The same holds for the MPLA. Since the MPLA controls the
major cities in Angola, the increasing urbanization of the
country enhances the ability of the MPLA to widen control.
DELINEATING THE POLITICAL FOLD
No insurgency can survive without some degree of popular
support. Insurgents must have this support to offset the advan-
tages the government has by its contol of the levers of power,
especially the military forces and the police. Most insur-
gencies cannot afford to confront the government directly; to do
so is too costly and risks destruction of the insurgent
force. Instead, insurgents seek to erode the strength and
will of the government by the use of guerrilla warfare and
terrorism until it either collapses or capitulates on condi-
tions favorable to the insurgents.1 Guerrilla warfare and
terrorism must, however, increase the base of popular support
to sustain the momentum of an insurgency.
Bard O'Neill has identified six methods that insurgents
use to gain popular support. These are: (1) charismatic
attraction, (2) esoteric appeals; (3) exoteric appeals, (4)
terrorism, (5) provocation of government counterterrorism,
and (6) demonstration of potency.2 This chapter focuses on
UNITA's employment of charismatic attraction, esoteric appeals,
and exoteric appeals. The following chapter will focus on
UNITA's use of terrorism and provocation of counterterrorism
and its demonstration of potency, and will summarize the
major aspects of UNITA's quest for popular support. A study
of UNITA's employment of the methods of gaining popular
support reveals a great deal about its organization, strategy,
and insurgency classification.
Charismatic attraction is the phenomenon by which individuals
are attracted to an insurgency through the leadership of its
chief.3 Numerous examples of charismatic attraction exist;
Mao-Tse-tung, Fidel Castro, and Agustino Sandino are some
important ones. The oratorical skills and dynamic personali-
ties of these men were important factors accounting for
large followings. No analysis of UNITA is complete without
an examination of the charismatic attraction of its important
leader -- Dr. Jonas Savimbi.
Savimbi is a leader in the best African tradition --
the chief who leads his people. His picture is everywhere.
His praises are literally sung by everyone. Fluent in Spanish,
Portuguese, English, and French, and in at least five addi-
tional native Angolan languages, he is a spellbinding orator.
This skill facilitates the transmission of a boundless
enthusiasm to a number of widely different audiences. Michael
Samuels, an Angolan affairs expert with the Center for Strategic
and International Affairs at Georgetown University, believes that
Savimbi is "one of the very few people who can lay claim to
being truly charismatic: he understands political nuance
and overall, he is very savvy."4
His conduct at a recent UNITA congress illustrates an
adroit ability to stir passions. Always stately, always
imperious, Savimbi stood erect in a favorite uniform with
pressed camouflage utilities and a green silk ascot. A red
beret pulled rakishly to the right matched the reddish
gloss on his cordovan colored boots. He spoke: "The country
is living in a moment of decision and that is why you are
here. To make decisions that will free our country from
Soviet imperialism."5 The delegates then jumped to their feet
and cheered wildly for a full five minutes. Leon Dash of the
Washington Post, one of the few Western correspondents who
has attended a UNITA congress, wrote: "it did not matter
what [Savimbi] said just as long as [he] spoke -telling
them what to do, how to do it and how long it would take.
They would follow."6 That conveys a flavor of his personal
power and attraction.
Savimbi has acquired many labels during his long struggle
against the opposition. He has been called brilliant, affable,
unyielding, forgiving, temporizing, Machiavellian, opportunistic,
lying, nationalistic, Marxist, Maoist, pro-Western, and
socialist.7 Given the radically changing circumstances of
his struggle against the Portuguese and then against the
MPLA, and his continuing search for legitimacy, internally
and externally, there is doubtless some truth in each of
these labels. All of them describe part of the Savimbi myth.
His power has rested in large part on durability. Savimbi
has become synonomous with UNITA.
Savimbi relys on esoteric appeals to gain popular
support. These appeals are primarily aimed at the thin
intellectual stratum of the population. Esoteric appeals
"seek to clarify the situation by placing it in an
ideological or thereotical context that orders and integrates
political complexities."8 Esoteric appeals aim at the masses
to galvanize them into action. An ideology that identifies
the source of frustration and grievance is necessary because
discontented people act more effectively when they are aware
of the source of their frustration.
Savimbi's primary goals are to free Angola from Soviet and
Cuban domination and to establish a democratic Angolan government.
He often says that he would agree to a negotiated settlement
in which a government of national unity and reconciliation
would be the dominant themes. No one, not even the MPLA would
be excluded. He argues for democratic elections and a mixed
economy, and says that he would accept someone else as
president in the interest of a peaceful transition to a free
government. What Savimbi will not tolerate, however, is the
"forcible imposition of Soviet expansionism and Cuban revolu-
tionary culture on a people and society alien to the experience
of Marxism".9 Probably the best example of a UNITA esoteric
appeal is the following statement by Savimbi in 1979:
Agustinho Neto came to power through Soviet
tanks and not through people's choice. His
decisive element of gaining power was the
regular army from Cuba made up of 20,000
men who are still keeping Neto in power
against the will of the people, against the
effective and active guerrillas of UNITA,
and even against growing dissatisfaction
within the ranks of the MPLA. We are
determined to remain African whatever the
odds against our temporary weaknesses.
Yesterday we were slaves. Today, some are
still slaves. Today, we want to free Afri-
cans on African soil. The price of true
liberalism and freedom is our own lives.10
Savimbi has used a number of slogans, but the most prominent
one is "Demoncracy, Socialism, Negritude, Non-Alignment." He
reconciles democracy and socialism by stating that he wants to
retain a degree of private initiative because no one "wants
to do anything unless he expects to get something out of it."11
At the same time he recognizes that as an underdeveloped
country Angola must set priorities so that the educated few
will not get all of the wealth. "Nationalization [of foreign
companies] would not be my ultimate nor immediate aim.
Foreign companies will not bring the technical knowledge to
Angola without [getting] something in return. You must be
honest with the company, however, and tell them that the wealth
will be returned to the country."12 By negritude, Savimbi is
careful not to refer to black power, a term that offends many
whites and mesticos in Angola. He believes that Angola
should be inspired by its own culture; formulas adopted
abroad that are alien to African society must be avoided.
By non-alignment, he recognizes that while total independence
might be impossible -- "you have to be allied with one block
or the other" -- Angola should be free to make its own deci-
Unlike esoteric appeals that focus primarily on ideology
as a basis for an insurgency's legitimacy, exoteric appeals
focus on the mundane, day to day matters the people face.
Problems such as the need for food, education, land reform,
and medical care are the basis for exoteric appeals. Like
esoteric appeals, exoteric appeals are aimed at both the
intelligentsia and the masses.14
UNITA has strongly emphasized exoteric appeals for
popular support. For example, Cuban troops are described
as rapists in UNITA propaganda. The Soviets and East Germans
are described as clannish, impatient, and ethnocentric.
UNITA also emphasizes the fact that only one Ovimbundu (Faustino
Muteko, Minister of Transport) is in the MPLA hierarchy. The
MPLA is portrayed as catering to the interests of whites,
mesticos, and Mbundus in the Luanda area. UNITA charges that
the MPLA commits atrocities against civilians sympathetic to
UNITA and uses napalm and other weapons against civilians in
UNITA-controlled areas.15 The MPLA, however, routinely makes
similiar claims against UNITA.
The most important exoteric appeal that UNITA has made
is based on the deplorable state of the Angolan economy.
David Lamb of the Washington Times who recently visited
Luanda remarked that "Angola is a fragile and wounded country
in a state of utter deterioration .... A 2000 mile trip
through four provinces produced little evidence of anything
save decay and stagnation, incompetence, and inefficiency."16
Angola, once a net exporter of food, now imports over 80
percent of its requirement. The production of coffee has dropped
from 240,000 tons in 1974, the year before the civil war, to
less than 30,000 tons. Iron ore and diamond production have
almost ceased because UNITA now controls the mines. The
country receives $5 million a day from the Gulf Oil Company,
but it is spending at least $3 million a day on military
operations, salaries, and fees for 40,000 Cubans, Soviets,
and East Germans in Angola.17
Nearly all of the provinces suffer from severe shortages
of basic commodities and food. The flight of more than 350,000
skilled white Portuguese from Angola during the civil war left
the country without managerial talent.18 Industrial production
in many factories is down to 20 percent of capacity. Corruption
at all levels is reported to be increasing. The black market
prevails at ten to fifteen times the official price levels.
The unending search for food has created rampant absenteeism
at the work place. A barter system is the only mechanism
that keeps many people alive.19 The infrastructure is flat.
W. G. Smith, a British scholar with a Marxist bent, echoes
some of these features of the Angolan economy, and claims
that the only beneficiaries of the MPLA government have been
the "petty bourgeosie" of the governmental bureaucracy. The
proletariat has fared much worse than the "petty bourgeosie."
While Gulf Oil produces the basic share of the income for the
government, it employs too few workers in its highly mechanized
operations. Thousands of workers have lost their jobs during
the economic crisis and severe food shortages have resulted
from the general breakdown in the distribution system and the
shortage of vehicles and drivers. The rural towns have lost
up to half their populations to the larger urban centers,
straining the government's ability to provide essential ser-
vices.20 All of these economic deficiencies have provided
fertile ground for UNITA in broadcasting exoteric appeals
for popular support.
In the quest for popular support, UNITA has recently
established a radio station in Namibia under the auspices of South
Africa. The "Voice of the Black Cockerel," the name of the station,
is broadcast throughout Angola. Many of UNITA's esoteric and
exoteric appeals are transmitted through this powerful medium.21
Savimbi recognizes that while esoteric and exoteric appeals
are extremely important in any insurgency, their effectiveness
depends on substantive action to raise the standard of living
of the people. Perhaps the most effective method used to
proselytize the population is "consciousness raising" through
song and morality plays. Richard Harwood of the Washington
Post described a parade in which he heard nearly two hours of
songs. One was prefaced with the following chant: "Down
with Russia! Down with Brezhnev! Down with Cuba! Down with
Castro! Down with the MPLA! Down with dos Santos [now president
of the MPLA]!"22 Then a young woman recited a short poem
that read something like this:
"A lion is a soldier.
A lion is a frightening beast in the
As lions, we must be frightening to
Finally, the main event takes place at the center of the parade
ground, a five scene play:
Scene one: Leonid Brezhnev, Fidel
Castro, and Agustinho Neto (first
president of the MPLA) sit around
a table to make a devil's bargain.
Brezhnev and Castro will send arms
and men to Angola. Neto will give
them the country's wealth. Scene
two: Cuban troops arrive, invade
a village, abuse and kill the peas-
ants, and steal their possessions.
Scene three: guerrillas of UNITA
hear the cries of the peasants and
vow to shave them. Scene four: the
guerrillas attack the Cubans and
rout them. Scene five: Brezhnev,
Castro, and Neto learn of the
uprising and flee for their lives.23
While the uniquely tribal character of these rituals might
seem primitive to Westerners, they are important means of
political indoctrination for UNITA. They build high morale
and cohesion while instilling a strong sense of unity, a
fundamental requirement for the success of any insurgency.
Savimbi has also placed a high priority on education.
It is compulsory. UNITA claims that more than 20,000 pupils
are enrolled in educational facilities and that an additional
56,500 children are registered in UNITA's nursery schools.
While many of the schools are no more than log benches under
shade trees, they give each pupil basic instruction in reading,
writing, arithmetic, and history. Some of the schools also
serve as boarding institutions for children whose parents are
serving in the military or who have been killed. A teacher
training college established in 1979 provides instructors to
administer adult education programs. Older students receive
paramilitary training along with political indoctrination.
Since UNITA is not officially recognized by international
agencies as a liberation movement, it does not benefit from
such organizations as UNESCO or UNICEF. Nonetheless, UNITA
claims to have more than 500 primary, secondary, and vocational
Public health is strongly emphasized. While only one quali-
fied doctor (Dr. Adelino Manassas, who was captured from the
MPLA-held town of Huambo in 1979) is reported, public health
programs are administered by nurses and medics trained in
mission hospitals during the colonial period. The French
medical organization, Medecins Sans Frontieres, which is
active in Afghanistan, Kurdistan, and Ethiopia, is planning to
send training teams to UNITA. UNITA claims more than 200
No less important is preventive health. Extreme care is
taken to ensure that camps are maintained as clean and orderly
as possible. Litter is nonexistent. Water supplies are
protected from contamination and every hut has its own latrine.
Unlike most African communities, UNITA camps are devoid of
part, a response to the hostile environment of the countryside
and the severe shortage of adequate medical supplies. Malaria
is a severe problem during the rainy season. Pneumonia and
eye diseases are also common during this period. The intensity
of the military struggle has resulted in a large number of
wounded who cannot be adequately treated. Treatment of burns
by napalm has been especially difficult. Medicines, instruments,
and microscopes are badly needed.26
In its advocacy of Angolan nationalism, UNITA has made a
special effort to include representatives from Angola's
eight major tribal groups in the party leadership. Straw
polls among military officers show that all of the tribal
groups are represented. Of particular significance is the
increasing number of Mbundus, traditional supporters of
MPLA, in clandestine UNITA activities. In an attempt to
gain favor with the churches, which resent the MPLA law
forbidding party membership to anyone who "holds a belief in
any religious area," UNITA has guaranteed freedom of
Nor has the UNITA "economy" been neglected. Through Savimbi's
advocacy of self-reliance, UNITA is now able to grow nearly 70
percent of its food supply. UNITA has developed a large
network of collective farms under the direction of Dario
Daniel Katata. He was Director of Agriculture in Huambo,
Angola's most important food producing region, under the
MPLA before his and his senior staff's defection to UNITA in
1977. He has established experimental farms and agricultural
schools where students who have completed secondary school
science courses train to establish new farms. Farms are
operated by villagers under military supervision. They give
one morning of labor each week in exchange for time on their
private plots. Emphasis is given to the cultivation of land
along the river valleys where the best soils are located.
Cabbages, tomatoes, peppers, onions, beans, tobacco, and
maize, the staple diet in Angola, are grown on UNITA
collective farms. Katata hopes UNITA will soon be totally
self-sufficient in food supplies.28
While charismatic attraction, esoteric appeals, and
exoteric appeals are extremely important methods of gaining
support, no insurgency can rely on these factors in isolation.
An insurgency must demonstrate a capacity to use military
force to convince the population of its strength and potential
for success. We shall first examine UNITA's use of the
military by examining the final three methods of gaining
popular support: terrorism, provocation of counterterrorism,
and demonstration of potency.
Terrorism and provocation of counterterrorism are often used
where esoteric and exoteric appeals are unsuccessful. The
primary goal of terrorism is to demonstrate the weakness of
the government in the face of insurgent strength. The provoca-
tion of counterterrorism is to designed to stimulate a govern-
mental response so arbitrary that the resentment of the
population will rage against the government.1 UNITA's successful
use of esoteric and exoteric appeals since the civil war has
obviated the need for terrorism and techniques for provocation
of counterterrorism to gain popular support.
Demonstration of potency is the final technique the insurgent
uses to gain popular support. No insurgency can survive unless
it can demonstrate an ability to meet the needs of the population
through social services and to gain strength through military
means. We have already examined UNITA's quest for popular support
through demonstration of potency in the social and economic
realm. Despite Savimbi's frequently avowed reliance on a
political solution to the Angolan conflict, his military
achievements through conventional and guerrilla warfare
since the civil war have been most effective.
Savimbi fully recognizes that military as well as political
and social means must be used to convince the population
that UNITA will eventually succeed. George B. Jordan, a
noted expert as guerrilla warfare, notes that "units...
active and successful in the accomplishment of assigned
missions build up a high esprit de corps and attract followers;
success is contagious."2 Guerrilla units that do not remain
active in combat lose their morale and sense of purpose.
UNITA's strong appreciation for the importance of guerrilla
warfare reflects Savimbi's training under Mao Tse-tung and
Che Guevara in the 1960's.
On any given day in Jamba, just 50 miles north of the
Namibian border in Cuando-Cubango Province, one is reminded
of Parris Island. Companies march in perfect formation; the
voices of the men rise and fall in melodic cadence. Drums
signal the beat to which the companies march. Buglers blow
at timed intervals. Such is the cacophony of Jamba, where
UNITA trains approximately 1500 regular troops every three
The military facilities at Jamba would please an inspector
general. Jamba is a major installations with a hospital,
barracks, drill fields, and machine shops. Neat fences line
the roadways. Guards in beautiful olive drab uniforms stand
watch at each gate. The huts are neatly numbered; "Casino
number 9" is an example. Generators provide electric light
for all the huts and buildings. Jamba is the largest of
some 20 training centers in UNITA territory.4
Military training is as rigorous as one would expect in a bona
fide insurgency. Military service in UNITA is voluntary and
without pay. Most recruits are about 18 years of age; some
are a little younger. Many have to walk for as long as two months
to reach the training centers from the outlying "liberated
zones." Upon arrival, the new recruits engage in endless
physical training sessions and instruction on the assembly and
disassembly of the AK-47 rifle and the Soviet PKM machine
gun. The instructors are dedicated professionals whose classes
are well organized to make learning easier. Recruits are
required to assemble and disassemble these weapons until they
can do it in seconds. Contests are given and the instructors
praise those with the fastest times.
Despite the rigors and the absence of pay, morale is
exceptionally high. Classes are sometimes interrupted by
boisterous outbursts of singing, slogan shouting, and fist-
clenching appeals for Angolan independence from "Soviet-Cuban
imperialism" or "Soviet expansion."
Training is tailored to one's ability, experience, and
prospective use in the organization. Promising recruits,
usually those who have had some basic education, receive
more specialized training in communications, intelligence,
commando operations, and logistics. Some recruits are even
assigned to the military band, a luxury few insurgencies can
afford, but one that is essential to UNITA. Regular soldiers
with field experience receive periodic improvement courses
in tactics. Guerrilla forces, however, receive more limited
training and are encourged to operate as independently as
possible in their own areas.5
UNITA's forces are divided into three general categories.
The first category consists of 15 regular battalions of 500-600
men each. The mission of these battalions is to protect the
"liberated zones" under total UNITA control from MPLA counter-
attacks. The second category is the guerrilla force of
approximately 25,000 men. The mission of this force is to
gain new territory and woo the population to the UNITA cause.
The third category consists of a number of special commando
units of 45 men each. These units perform highly sophisticated
UNITA's military command structure is solid and includes
highly competent and experienced officers. Under Savimbi is
Brigadier Demosthenes Chilingutila, the army field commander
and chief of staff. Secretary general Miguel N'Zau Puna also
holds the rank of brigadier along with Samuel Epalanga, who
coordinates relations and supplies with South Africa. Other
prominent military figures are Colonel Bok Sapalalo, chief of
logistics; Colonel Renato Mateus, chief of operations; Colonel
Geraldo Nunda, senior political commissar, Colonel Antonio
Vakulakuta, chief of administration; and Colonel Sam Chiwale,
chief of training. (Colonel Chiwale once held the grade of
brigadier and the position of army commander and chief of
staff, but was recently demoted to his current grade and
position.) Most of these men have been with Savimbi since
the founding of UNITA in 1966 and are exceptionally loyal to
him. The armed forces over which these men preside are
highly cohesive and unified. No evidence of factionalism
exists in any segment of the UNITA organization.7
Nearly all of these military leaders are ranking members
of UNITA's political bureau. As mentioned in Chapter 1, this
is the policy making body that hears the views of the 35
member central committee, which in turn deals with the regional
councils in UNITA-held territory through the political
commissar. Since the last UNITA Congress in 1982, a 14-man
political bureau has emerged with the following ranking order:8
1. Jonas Savimbi (President)
2. Brigadier Miguel N'Zau Puna (Secretary general)
3. Brigadier Demosthenes Chilingutila (army commander
and chief of staff)
4. Brigadier Samuel Epalanga (chief liaison with
5. Colonel Geraldo Nunda (senior political commissar)
6. Colonel Antonio Vakulakuta (UNITA's senior Ovambo
7. Jeremias Chitunda (foreign affairs secretary)
8. Colonel Renato Mateus (chief of operations)
9. Ernesto Mulato (secretary for economic affairs;
UNITA's senior Bakongo tribe member)
10. Carlos Kandanda (representative in West Germany)
11. Antonio Dembo (chief liaison with Zaire;
UNITA's senior Mbundu tribe member)
12. Colonel Smart Chatta (secretary for justice;
UNITA's senor Chokwe tribe member)
13. Eugenio Ngolo (central committee secretary)
14. Tito Chingunji (roving envoy, mostly in London)
Until recently, UNITA officers received military training
abroad. Hundreds of officers have received extensive training
in Morocco, Senegal, Tanzania, and Zambia. Others received
training while serving with the Portuguese armed forces in
Angola during the colonial era. However, Savimbi claims that
since mid-1982, outside training has ceased and his forces
now have a highly qualified officer corps fully capable of
training its own. He also claims that UNITA, unlike the
MPLA, has never employed mercenaries nor advisers, nor conducted
operations with South African troops.9
UNITA forces are well equipped. All regular troops wear
leather boots and locally made uniforms consisting of khaki,
olive-green, or dark blue depending on the unit. Local
workshops turn out as many as 2000 uniforms a month each
operating on a 24-hour basis. The principal weapon is the
AK-47 Kalashnikov rifle, most of which have been captured
from the MPLA. Other weapons are purchased on the international
arms market or supplied by friendly nations. Western observers,
such as Richard Harwood of the Washington Post and Fred
Bridgland of the Scotsman, report large supplies of small
arms ammunition, 12.7mm anti-aircaft guns, and SAM-7 missiles.
Skilled workers quickly repair damaged weapons in well organized
Cannibalization and innovation in weapons repair and
development are essential. A chief mechanic at one workshop
devised a new kind of rocket launcher from parts taken from
helicopter firing pods. The launcher had hand carved and
polished ivory knobs. Mechanics have become especially
adept at manufacturing their own parts to replace those that
are missing in captured weapons.10
UNITA has also improved its communication facilities.
It has gotten lorries from South Africa and a fleet of some 200
captured vehicles of Soviet, Polish, or Czech origin. These
vehicles are precious to UNITA. Each truck is assigned its
own driver, co-driver, and mechanic. The team is held totally
accountable for a truck's condition. No one else may so much
as touch the treasured vehicle. As a result, trucks are
maintained in top shape. UNITA engineers are constantly
expanding the road network by felling trees and constructing
catwalks across rivers and swamps. UNITA claims to have
20,000 miles of usable roads and tracks throughout the "liberated
zones." Near Jamba is UNITA's clandestine communications
center. UNITA forces, equipped with hand held Racal radios,
use coded messages to remain in daily contact with all their
units and bases over a 900 set two-way radio network. UNITA's
headquarters monitors all MPLA radio traffic so that troops in
the field can change tactics according to MPLA troop movements.11
UNITA's transformation from a defeated band of some 1500 to
3000 guerrilla forces at the end of the civil war in 1976 to a
powerful military force has meant vast dividends in morale
among UNITA insurgents. The troops are truly enamored with
their mixed force of regular battalions and guerrilla units equipped
with modern weapons and vehicles. A young solder named "Red
Sun" -- a typical war name given to all soldiers; others,
for example, include Gringo and Big Rat -- who has been
in the bush fighting for five years told Richard Harwood that
"he feels very strong. We can move in lorries now. We have
a regular army. We have SAM missiles. We shoot down airplanes.
We chase them [MPLA forces] away."12 This is typical of the
kind of confidence and enthusiasm shown by young UNITA soldiers.
Savimbi admits that the goal of rebuilding UNITA's military
has been difficult. "The first two years were the hardest,"
he said. "There were many problems. No guns, little outside
support and consistent harrassment by government troops and
planes. But if a guerrilla force can overcome the initial
obstacles and survive those first two or three years, then
you know that you have succeeded."13
Savimbi has clearly succeeded in demonstrating that UNITA is
potent force. He is now reported to have under his control
nearly one third of the country and to be conducting guerrilla
warfare at will in another third (see Map 5). UNITA claims
to be conducting operations in ten of Angola's 16 provinces.
However, as one senior diplomat warned, the military situation
in Angola is in a constant state of flux. "Above all," he
said, "You must avoid using the word 'control'. Everyone
claims to control everything here, but the verb just doesn't
fit the situation."14 Nevertheless, UNITA has achieved a
number of military successes especially during the last three
years. Even MPLA president Edwardo dos Santos, in a 1982
speech commemorating Angola's seventh anniversary of independence,
said that UNITA has caused $10 billion -- Western intelligence
sources say $7 billion - worth of damage to roads, bridges,
buildings, and other facilities. Dos Santos also reports
that nearly 160,000 Angolans have been made homeless refugees
by the fighting.15
UNITA's first major military victory since the civil war
was the capture of Mavinga in 1981 (see Map 6). Mavinga is
the second largest town in Cuando-Cubango Province and has
Click here to view image
been an important administrative and trading center with
police barracks under the MPLA. UNITA regards Mavinga as a
precious jewel that symbolizes its capability to attack and
defeat in open country a modern Angolan army that is supported
by Cuban troops and Soviet logistical help. UNITA reports
that a brigade of 2,000 MPLA troops guarded the town and its
3000 yard airstrip on 19 September 1980. Two other large
MPLA contingents were located 30 miles to the west; 6000
Cuban and government troops at Menongue (see Map 7) and 4000
at Cuito-Canavale. UNITA forces attacked the town at daylight
with four battalions of 625 men each (2500 total). In four
hours UNITA secured the town, the airfield, the brigade
command post, and inflicted heavy casualties among the MPLA.
The MPLA tried to retake Mavinga first in March 1981 and
again in June of that year. Both attempts failed. UNITA
battalions ambushed MPLA relief forces 40 miles west of
Mavinga, killed 800 MPLA troops, and captured hundreds of
weapons, large stores of ammunition, and more than 70 trucks.
UNITA also shot down a Soviet Antonov cargo plane (capable of
carrying T62 tanks) and a helicopter gunship. MPLA prisoners
confirmed this account of the battle for Mavinga, which now
remains firmly in UNITA's hands.16
UNITA captured the towns of Lupire, Muie, and Lumbala
(see Map 6) in 1982. Lumbala was a particularly important
prize. It has an airfield and controls the main access route
to Zambia, whose president, Dr. Kenneth Kaunda, supports
Click here to view image
UNITA. On 8 November 1982, 3000 UNITA regular troops launched
an assault on Lumbala's garrison of 1200 MPLA and 90 Cuban
troops. Within two hours UNITA had seized the town and
inflicted heavy casualties among the defenders. UNITA reported
200 enemy dead, including 16 Cubans, and only 12 dead and 23
wounded among its own forces.17
In February 1983, UNITA captured Cangonga (see Map 6)
on the Benguela Railroad. The manner in which it was taken
not only shows the detail in planning made but also the
sophistication off the force involved. Battalion 017, commanded
by Colonel Ben-Ben Arlindo Pena, 28 years of age, had constructed
a relief model the size of a badminton court of the town and
its approaches to use for the battle briefing. Colored
roads, arches, bark, twigs, and moss were used in the model
town to symbolize the buildings and fortifications of Cangonga.
Battalion 017 conducted endless rehearsals. The battalion
consisted of 520 regular troops armed with 75mm cannons,
81mm mortars, RPG-7 antitank missiles, AK-47 rifles, a
45-strong platoon of "Special Forces," a 50-strong logistics
team, 25 demolitions specialists, some 300 guerrillas, and a
long chain of young men and women carrying ammunition on
their heads. Finally, at 0300 on 11 February, a single
rifle shot signaled that all units of Battalion 017 were in
position. At 0500 the attack began. The MPLA's arsenal
exploded and the entire town was soon ablaze. The MPLA
garrison was stunned! Most of the 300 defenders fled.
UNITA killed or captured the remainder.18
The importance of Cangonga's capture was two-fold. First,
it allowed a secure supply line to be pushed to regular forces
and guerrillas who had already infiltrated 200 miles north
of the Benguela Railroad. This would help UNITA fulfill one
of its major objectives of creating a corrider of "liberated"
territory right up the center of the country to where a
salient of Zaire juts into northcentral Angola. This would
cut off the territory held by the MPLA in the east from its
areas in the west. The significance of Cangonga's capture,
however, lay in its propaganda value. UNITA wanted to show
Western journalists as well as its own people that its forces
were highly skilled and motivated, and fully capable of
striking the MPLA in the very heart of Angola with a surgical
precision devoid of help from external sources, especially
UNITA achieved other important military successes in 1983.
It has taken every principal town from Lumbala to Luena (see
Map 6) on the Benguela Railroad. Heavy fighting is now
taking place around the town of Huambo and Kuito (see Map 6),
both of which lie along the Benguela Railroad. These two
cities are located in the economic heartland and the best
food producing region of the country. Although the MPLA
refuses to allow Western journalists to enter the region, it
has corroborated destruction of Angola's second largest dam,
the Alto-Catumbela (see Map 6), between Huambo and Lobito, a
major port on the Atlantic. UNITA blew the dam with a force
of 800, including the 530-strong 517th Battalion that is
based in the mountains northwest of Huambo.20
The destruction of the dam reflects Savimbi's desire
to concentrate on economic targets as well as to infiltrate
new regions and bring as much territory as possible under
his control. Savimbi plans to open up a new front in Uige
Province in order to focus on Luanda and the oil rich Cabinda
enclave. Others likely targets are food distribution centers
in Malange and Cuanza Sul Provinces, and the Canbembi dam
near Dondo (see Maps 2 and 7), just 130 miles southeast of Luanda.
This dam is the largest in Angola and is the capital's chief
source of electricity and water.21
The largest battle between the MPLA and UNITA took place
in August 1983 when UNITA captured the city of Cangamba (see
Map 7), a strategic crossroads town of 6000 in Moxico Province.
The battle lasted nearly eleven days with three UNITA brigades
(strength and composition unknown) pitted against MPLA forces
of at least equal size. UNITA seized the town and claimed
to have killed 709 enemy troops, including 120 Cubans, and
to have taken 328 prisoners in the battle. It claimed only
63 dead and 200 wounded. The MPLA contends that its forces
killed 1100 UNITA troops while losing only 53. While the figures
on both sides probably are exaggerated, they do indicate the
scope of the battle.22
UNITA's pattern of behavior after capturing a town in
MPLA territory follows a familiar pattern. The town is first
divested of all booty -- blankets, small generators, radios,
sewing machines, buckets, drinking bottles, cooking pots,
uniforms, boots, and anything else of value. UNITA forces
rarely try to hold captured towns. All towns of any economic
or military value are sabotoged. UNITA forces frequently
stage small groups of men armed with anti-aircraft and light
artillery weapons to key locations to block the MPLA from
returning. Civilians are settled in nearby UNITA-controlled
village camps and encourged to resume farming their own fields.
This procedure assures UNITA a continued food supply, provides
UNITA access to the local population for political indoctrination,
and renders the towns useless to the MPLA.23
However, in its infiltration of disputed territory, UNITA's
modus operendi reflects Savimbi's training under Mao at the
Nanking Military Academy. As Savimbi has often said, the
basic lesson he learned there is that a peasant cannot be won
by guerrillas unless he is helped and treated with respect.
He cannot be coerced. Accordingly, his policy is to have the
guerrillas enter the villages unarmed initially. They talk to
the people until a point has been reached when they will feed
and protect the guerrillas. Then the guerrillas will provide
arms. Savimbi's guerrillas are under under strict orders to
avoid clashes with the MPLA unless absolutely necessary.24
UNITA has also used another tactic to demonstrate its military
potency, the so-called dramatic gesture, a form of terrorism.
This refers to acts of kidnapping or hijacking conducted by
the insurgents to convince world and domestic opinion that
they are a strong and active force fighting for worthwhile
goals.25 On 12 March 1983, UNITA announced the taking of
64 Czechoslovak and 20 Portuguese hostages and the capture
of a Cuban Army officer in an attack on an industrial plant
near Huambo. Czechoslovakia confirmed the capture of its
nationals and appealed to the international community for
help in securing their release. UNITA has indicated it is
willing to swap the Czech prisoners for the release of its
own prisoners held by the MPLA. UNITA also holds several
Soviet prisoners taken when an Antonov military transport
plane was shot down by a UNITA SA-7 missile in 1981.26
Savimbi admits that UNITA has a deliberate policy of
hostage taking. Anyone in Angola who is sympathetic toward the
MPLA is a candidate for capture. He believes that hostages
are important propaganda symbols that advance the cause of UNITA.
Prisoners are treated well in UNITA camps, however, and many have
been released to the Red Cross after being held captive for as
long as four months to three years or more.27
UNITA's growing strength as an insurgency since the civil
war reflects primary emphasis on three of the six methods
used to gain popular support: charismatic attraction, exoteric
appeals, and demonstration of potency through military means.
Of these three methods, charismatic attraction is the most
important. Savimbi's forceful and dynamic leadership is
vital to UNITA's success, so much so that one wonders how
UNITA could survive without him. While UNITA is rich in
competent lieutenants, none seems to be capable of filling
his shoes in the event of Savimbi's death, capture, or assas-
sination. UNITA's exoteric appeals to the masses for popular
support are successful because propaganda and sloganeering
are supported by deeds. UNITA's emphasis on health care,
education, and adequate food supplies for the population have
proven enormously effective in winning the minds and hearts
of a number of rural Angolans, many of whom had faced starvation
and want before coming under the aegis of UNITA. Equally
important, however, is UNITA's demonstration of potency
through military means. UNITA has clearly shown that it has
a powerful military that can function as a conventional army
as well as a long term guerrilla force. UNITA has good
command structure, logistics, and tactical skills to defeat
forces with superior equipment and air support. Without
question UNITA's territorial gains in recent years owe much
to its military strength.
As we have seen, UNITA has developed an extremely effective
organization to support political and military objectives.
The organization is simple and permits intimate contact
with the people. This simplicity has also facilitated the
achievement of a high degree of cohesion and unity. Devoid
of factionalism and competing centers of loyalty, UNITA has
presented a positive image of strength and seems to commit
all resources to problems of political and military mobilization.
The result has been a dramatic increase in the strength of
UNITA since the civil war.
UNITA's strategy reflects Savimbi's training under Mao.
Savimbi has used the same sequential stages to win adherents
for UNITA: political organization, guerrilla warfare, and
conventional warfare. UNITA has created cellular networks in
newly won areas to propagandize the population by emphasizing
both esoteric and exoteric appeals. UNITA supports such
appeals with solid social services to isolate the population
from the MPLA. Although terrorism is often associated with
the first stage of the Maoist strategy as a means of gaining
popular support, it is most often used in that strategy when
the insurgent organization and environment are unable to
support guerrilla warfare. However, since UNITA's organization
is simple and responsive to its needs and since the environment
in which UNITA operates permits guerrilla warfare, Savimbi
has avoided the use of terrorism to gain popular support.
He has, however, resorted to sabotage operations, another
feature commonly associated with the organization stage of
the Maoist strategy.
The second stage of the Maoist strategy consists of
warfare by volunteer guerrillas and the establishment of
extensive social services to gain new territory and popular
support. As we have seen, UNITA has conducted widespread
guerrilla warfare operations. Like Mao, Savimbi has relied
exclusively on voluntary recruits to fill the ranks of the
guerrilla forces and the regular army. UNITA has established
an array of schools, political indoctrination centers, and
health care centers to win the population.
Finally, UNITA has conducted conventional warfare with
regular forces, the third stage of the Maoist strategy.
Although the objective of this stage is to overthrow the government
through full scale civil war, UNITA has mainly relied on
conventional warfare to improve popular support and gain
foreign respect through demonstrations of potency. UNITA
does not have the resources to wage full scale civil war
against the MPLA and is unlikely to acquire such conventional
Savimbi's goals indicate the kind of insurgency UNITA
represents. Since UNITA wants the Soviets and the Cubans out
of Angola and since the MPLA is so closely affiliated with
them, one logically concludes that UNITA seeks what is tantamount
to an overthrow of the MPLA. In this context, UNITA can be
classified as a revolutionary insurgency. On the other
hand, Savimbi has indicated a willingness to negotiate a
power sharing agreement with the MPLA if the Soviets and the
Cubans leave the country. If one assumes the MPLA can survive
without their assistance, UNITA can also be classified as a
reformist insurgency because it would presumably be obtaining
more political, social, and economic benefits through such an
agreement with the MPLA. However, UNITA's identification
with the Ovimbundu in Angola also suggests that UNITA may
ultimately prove to be a secessionist insurgency, in which
insurgents reject the political community of the larger
government and establish their own. Since UNITA identifies
the policies of the MPLA with those of the Soviets and the
Cubans, UNITA clearly rejects the political community of the
MPLA. And, as we have seen, UNITA has established a separate
political community.28 The UNITA insurgency is difficult
to precisely classify. It seems to be a secessionist insurgency
with hopes for becoming revolutionary one. It might have
to settle for being a reformist insurgency.
"SWIMMING IN A SEA OF CROCODILES"
UNITA's external support is divided into four categories
to identify the extent of support provided: moral support,
political support, material support, and sanctuary. Of
these kinds of support, moral support is the easiest to
provide because it is the least costly and risky. Such
support may involve nothing more than public acknowledgement
that the insurgency is fighting for a just and worthy
cause. A nation or group that actively champions the cause
of an insurgency is said to be providing political support.
Material support is tangible support that includes money,
arms, food, training, and military advisers. The final
kind of support provided to an insurgency is sanctuary. A
good example of such support is that which Zaire provided
Holden Roberto of FNLA before his defeat by the MPLA during
the civil war and prior to his exile to Paris. Just as
moral support involves the least risk, so material support
and sanctuary involve the most risk for the supporting
nation or group.1
Although material support probably is the most desirable
from the standpoint of the insurgents, other forms of
support are important. Whether a particular kind of
support is more important than another depends a great deal
on the status of an insurgency at any given time. Sanctuaries,
for example, can be important in any stage of an insurgency,
but they may be most critical in the early days of an
insurgency when it is unable to establish a secure base in
the target country. Such was the case of UNITA in 1966,
when Zaire provided a badly needed sanctuary.
The country most commonly associated with external
support for UNITA is South Africa. This country shares
UNITA's goal of a Soviet and Cuban withdrawal from Angola
and regards UNITA as an effective counter to Angolan Support
of the Southwest Africa People's Organization (SWAPO) (the
Marxist organization that is attempting to take over Namibia),
whose raids into Namibia originate from sanctuaries provided
by the MPLA in Cunene Province (see Map 2) in southern
Angola. South Africa is widely rumored to want UNITA
established in Cunene Province to provide a buffer between
Namibia and SWAPO. This action would allow South Africa to
beef up the multiracial government it has installed in
Namibia and ignore U.N. Resolution 435, calling for interna-
tionally supervised elections that probably would favor
SWAPO. The Namibia issue is the primary one of several
factors accounting for close relationships between South
Africa and UNITA.2
Thus, South Africa's moral, political, and material
support to UNITA has been extensive. South Africa has made
no secret of its support of UNITA and has insisted that
UNITA be included in any settlement involving Namibia. Of
most importance to UNITA, however, is South Africa's material
support. Although UNITA denies receiving weapons from
South Africa, an assertion enjoined by South Africa, UNITA
has received arms from South Africa during its raids on
SWAPO. UNITA admits it receives military intelligence
information, trucks, medicines, gasoline, helicopter transport,
food, and miscellaneous items in return for which UNITA
provides ivory, timber, and diamonds. South Africa has
provided medical care in Namibia for UNITA wounded. Most
South African aid goes to UNITA through Namibia.3
While UNITA has been South Africa's cause celebre,
South Africa has been UNITA's bete noire. UNITA's close
ties to South Africa have provided the MPLA an important
esoteric appeal. The MPLA has declared UNITA a puppet of
racist South Africa. There is no question that UNITA's
credibility in the eyes of black African states has been
damaged by relations with South Africa. Savimbi admits
that it "hurts" him to have any dealings with South Africa.
He is against apartheid, but believes that relations with
South Africa are inevitable because it is the most powerful
country in sub-Saharan Africa. He is quick to point out
that nearly 90 percent of MPLA trade within Africa is
with South Africa.4 Savimbi is a practical man. He trades
with South Africa to survive. "When you are swimming in a
sea of crocodiles," he says, "you don't ask about the
identity of the one offering a helping hand."5
Savimbi has twice privately visited the U.S. since the
civil war. He first visit, in November 1979, was sponsored
by the New York based Freedom House, an organization that
monitors political freedom around the world. Savimbi met
with former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, the late
Senator Henry Jackson, Senator Sam Nunn, Senator Daniel
Moynihan, a member of the board of Freedom House, and James
Schlesinger, who was Secretary of Defense during the civil
war. Savimbi urged the U.S. to drop attempts to negotiate
with the MPLA and requested moral and political support.
"We don't need tanks and we don't wany any GI's to go there
(Angola)," he said, "because we are already winning the
war, but we do need your understanding."6 Savimbi also met
with the Congressional Black Caucus. From this group he
got only a chilly reception because of connection with
South Africa. Believing that aid in any form to UNITA
would antagonize the black African states, President Carter
and other administration officials refused to meet with him
and gave him no Support.7
Savimbi's second visit to the U.S., in December 1981,
was far more productive. He met with Alexander Haig, then
Secretary of State, William Clark, then Deputy Secretary
of State, and Chester Crocker, Assistant Secretary of State
for African Affairs. Savimbi cogently argued that UNITA is
a legitimate political force fighting for democracy in
Angola. His efforts were successful. The Reagan
Administration has actively sought the repeal of the Clark
Amendment, which obstructed aid to Angola in 1976.
President Reagan himself said, "...frankly, I would provide
them (UNITA) with weapons. It doesn't take American
manpower; Savimbi...controls more than half of Angola...I
don't see anything wrong with someone who wants to free
themselves from the rule of an outside power, which is the
Cubans and East Germans..."8
Although the Senate voted to repeal the Clark Amendment
in 1981, the House will not follow. The division in Congress
over the Clark Amendment reflects conflict over U.S.
policy in Angola. On the one hand, the President and the
Senate believe the Clark Amendment is too restrictive on
U.S. policy options there. On the other hand, the House
believes that repeal of the amendment would, in the words
of Congressman Howard Wolpe of the House Foreign Affairs
Committee, "encourage South African aggression and
intransigence, both with respect to Namibia [and Angola]
and with respect to the issues of internal change in South
Africa itself."9 Since South Africa backs UNITA, U.S. aid
to UNITA would, Wolpe said, "be viewed as a very threatening
gesture by the Angolans themselves and would be viewed by
the entire continent of Africa as an intention to interfere
in Angolan internal affairs."10 The House believes that U.S.
relations with Angola should be normalized and that Namibia
must be settled before the Clark Amendment is repealed.11
This view has prevailed. The Clark Amendment remains in effect.
Nevertheless, the Reagan Administration has provided
UNITA moral and political support by affirming that UNITA
is a legitimate force in Angola and should play a strong
role in any settlement of the Namibia issue. UNITA has
also been recently encouraged by the refusal of the U.S. to
seek diplomatic relations with the present Angolan government.
This stance probably will continue as long as Soviets and
Cubans remain in Angola. Although Savimbi would welcome
material support from the U.S., he has not asked for it.
He has, however, gotten what he wanted most: public recogni-
tion of UNITA as a viable political force.
UNITA has received support in one form or another from
a number of other sources. Besides South Africa, Morocco
has been UNITA's most active suporter. Morocco still seems
to be providing weapons training for UNITA officers and key
troops in the regular army, despite Savimbi's claim that
UNITA is now conducting its own military training. There
are reports that Pierre Muller, a veteran Swiss arms dealer,
has met with UNITA's representative in Morocco, Jose Furtado.
Tunisia and Zaire are also firm supporters. Zambia is much
less firm in its support, but ignores UNITA activity along
Angola's eastern border. Other supporters of UNITA have
been Senegal, Ivory Coast, Togo, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and
the People's Republic of China. UNITA has acquired Spanish
and Yugoslav weapons in Madrid through Portuguese mercenaries
and Bulgarian and Czech weapons through Lebanese arms
Despite Savimbi's advocacy of self-reliance, UNITA has
received extensive support of all kinds from external
sources. The scope of this support reflects the relatively
high degree of legitimacy UNITA has achieved in the eyes of
foreign nations, including the United States. Nonetheless,
the most important single source of external support for
UNITA is South Africa. Until the Namibia issue is resolved
to South Africa's satisfaction, meaning a free and independent
Namibia as opposed to a Marxist one run by SWAPO, South
Africa will continue to aid UNITA morally, politically,
and materially. And UNITA will continue to accept this
aid in spite of the bad press associated with it.
RIPOSTE - OF SORTS
No other factor is more important in determining the
outcome of an insurgency than the government response.
Professor Walter Sonderland, a noted expert on counterinsur-
gency, has written: "As soon as the challenge is in the
open, the success of the operations depends not primarily on
the development of insurgent strength, but more importantly
on the degree of vigor, determination, and skill with which
the incumbent regime acts to defend itself, both politically
Except for total war, no demand is greater on a government
than the coordinated execution of a counterinsurgency program.
Such a program requires an effective counterorganization
that includes psychological warfare operations, extensive
police action, sophisticated security measures, and responsive
intelligence activities to identify insurgent cells and
isolate them from the population. A flexible military must
also exist to conduct operations ranging from small unit
patrolling to mobile conventional warfare in order to kill
or capture isolated guerrillas, destroy insurgent base camps,
defend vital lines of communication, and defeat insurgent
mobile conventional forces. Not only must all these activities
be carried out simultaneously, they must also be done in
such a manner as to retain the support of the government and
the people.2 Accordingly, a successful counterinsurgency
program requires extensive resources, political and military
adroitness, and, in most cases, at least as much patience as
that demonstrated by the insurgents.
As we have seen, UNITA's growing strength in recent years
suggests that the Marxist MPLA has had serious difficulties in
executing an effective counterinsurgency program. One of the
major difficulties has been the uninspired leadership of the
MPLA. As president of the MPLA, Jose Edwardo dos Santos is
head of government, president of the party, and commander
in chief of the armed forces. Yet he, like Agustinho Neto before
him, is a colorless individual. He is shy, taciturn, and
reluctant to make public appearances, He lives in Futunga
Belas, the presidential compound just south of Luanda. Once
this site was a famous resort for the rich in the colonial
era; now tanks are dug in around the main road that runs past
the compound and Cuban guards take quarters next door.3
Although the MPLA bureaucracy is more sophisticated and
complex than UNITA's, dos Santos has none of the personal
leadership qualities that Savimbi of UNITA demonstrates.
Perhaps fear of Savimbi's charisma provides some of the
rationale for the MPLA official stance toward UNITA. The
MPLA regards UNITA as a group of "bandits" that would disappear
without aid from South Africa. Savimbi is viewed as "the
main enemy of the Angolan people and little more than an
extension of the South African military machine to be dealt
with by force rather than [by] political compromise."4
Savimbi is the most wanted "outlaw" in Angola. There are rumors
that the government is not unanimous on this issue, but none
of these has been confirmed.5 This suggests that some elements
within the MPLA might be willing to negotiate with Savimbi
and establish a coalition government.
The competency of the MPLA government is questionable.
Official visitors and diplomatic representatives have indicated
that apart from the president and a few ministers, the other
members of the government are disinterested in running the
country. Few members of the government in key positions take
part in negotiations on crucial issues. As indicated in a
recent edition of Africa Confidential, "The party members
are vastly outnumbered by the non-committed, and the main
nucleus of power surrounding the presidency is outnumbered
by the dissidents within the party secretariat and people's
Factionalism has been a serious problem for the MPLA.
In 1977, two members of the government, Nito Alves and Jose
Van Dunem, distressed over the poor state of the Angolan
economy, staged an abortive coup that resulted in a massive
purge and reorganization of the government. The commissars
and directing committees in eight provinces were removed.
In October 1983, dos Santos narrowly escaped an assasination
attempt. The MPLA has always had a mixture of ideologues and
pragmatists who disagree violently over the direction Angola
should take. The ideologues want a Soviet style economy
while the pragmatists want more private enterprise and exchange
with the West. In response to the internal rivalries that
beset the MPLA, dos Santos has played a more active role in
the selection of candidates for office.7 Nevertheless,
the divisiveness within the MPLA has seriously impaired its
efforts to counter UNITA.
The MPLA government is similar to the oligarchical Salazar-
Caetano regime in Portugal that kept the country isolated
from the outside world. Censorship is widespread. The
few foreign vistors allowed to enter the country are afraid
to talk to anyone but official representatives. All interviews
must be arranged by the Department of Information and Propaganda.
It took Jay Ross, a Washington Post correspondent, 23 days to
obtain just one interview. The secrecy surrounding the MPLA
probably has hampered its ability to gain more international
recognition from the West, especially the United States.8
Although the MPLA has attempted to mobilize the population
by socializing the economy along Soviet lines, it has made
some concessions to realism. Nearly all Portuguese enterprises
that were abandoned during the civil war have been nationalized.
Other enterprises deemed essential, such as banking and finance,
have also been nationalized. State farms and agricultural
cooperatives have been established. Yet the MPLA has recognized
protected, and guaranteed private activities and property,
even of foreigners, provided they supported the nation's
economy. Corporations such as Gulf, Texaco, Boeing and
Mobile have not been nationalized because the MPLA derives
much of its revenue from these companies and because the MPLA
does not have the technicians to run them if they were nation-
Indeed lack of skilled technicians and adequate resources
has forced the MPLA to rely heavily on outside assistance.
As mentioned earlier, the departure of more than 350,000
skilled white Portuguese during the civil war has left Angola
bereft of managerial talent. Cubans have helped to fill the
void. While the exact number of Cuban civlians in Angola is
not known, there are reports that at least 4500 to 5000 are
serving in medical, education, construction, technical, and
agricultural fields. Besides Cubans, technical aid is coming
from the Soviets, Yugoslavs, Bulgarians, Romanians, Czechoslovaks,
Poles, East Germans, Brazilians, and some British and Scanda-
navians.10 This foreign assistance is vital to the MPLA, and
as long as it continues to receive such assistance, UNITA
will retain a most powerful esoteric appeal for popular
The chaotic economic situation has continually beset the
MPLA. Low productivity levels are blamed on corruption and
inefficiency at all levels. President dos Santos has publicly
lashed out at officials who take bribes and department heads
who are more concerned with titles and salaries than with
their competency on the job. Dos Santos has accused the
"petit bourgeois" in the civil service and state run businesses
of using their positions to commit economic sabotage.11
Not only does UNITA benefit from the MPLA's inability to
meet the economic needs of the population, but from its
corruption and inefficiency as well.
Foreign assistance to the MPLA in the military sphere has
received the wide publicity. Besides the MPLA's 40,000
regular soldiers, there are another 25,000 Cuban troops
and 2000 Soviet military advisers in Angola. Although most
of the fighting has been waged by MPLA regular troops, there
are reports that the use of Cuban troops is increasing in the
face of recent UNITA military successes.12
Cuban and MPLA troops who have been captured by UNITA report
that morale is low among many of their units. Cuban captives
report acute food and clothing shortages as well as
arbitrary extensions of tours of duty in Angola. The low
morale among the Cubans might also be based on their own poor
military training. One Cuban captive reported that he was
sent to Angola as a kind of peace corps volunteer and wound
up being a mortarman in the 5939th Cuban Regiment. MPLA
captives report that they receive little or no pay and that
desertions are increasing.13 While the validity of reports
from MPLA and Cuban captives in UNITA camps is suspect,
there probably is some truth to them.
The MPLA has had serious difficulties in manning the ranks
of the People's Armed Forces for the Liberation of Angola
(Forces Armados Populares de Libertacao de Angola-FAPLA). In
1978, Angola became the first black state in sub-Saharan Africa
to initiate compulsory military service. Both men and women
from 18 to 35 are eligible for military service regardless of
race, ethnic background, or place of birth. Since implementation
of the draft law, MPLA newspapers have reported a high number
of "preposterous" excuses for avoiding military service. Many
Angolans eligible for military service discover at the last
minute that they are the sole support for families or that
they have debilitating physical defects.14
The MPLA has made serious blunders in its struggle against
UNITA. Like the Soviets in Afghanistan, the MPLA does not seed
to relish guerrilla warfare. The MPLA has relied too heavily
on search and destroy operations against UNITA. Amnesty
International (AI), the London based human rights organization,
has accused the MPLA of torture and execution of UNITA sympath-
izers captured in such operations. The security police of
the MPLA has been singled out by AI as the primary culprit.15
Moreover, the MPLA has sent a number of alleged UNITA sympath-
izers to Cuba for political indoctrination and for work in
the sugar cane fields. UNITA alleges that over 6000 youths
have been sent to Cuba from UNITA areas.16 These activities
have contributed to an increase in the number of refugees
whose number probably exceeds half a million in Angola today.17
The MPLA has recently adopted other measures to counter UNITA.
In June 1983, the MPLA declared a general amnesty for all
UNITA guerrillas while enacting a tough new internal defense
law to combat UNITA guerrilla attacks. There are no reports
on the effect the amnesty has had. The internal defense law
places power and responsibility for security in the hands of
military councils whose members are appointed by dos Santos.
The councils have the authority to restrict movement, organize
transport of supplies, and requisition food and other essential
items.18 Both means suggest a growing feeling of frustration
on the part of the MPLA in its struggle against UNITA.
Finally, the MPLA is hoping to diffuse UNITA through a
settlement on Namibian independence. The MPLA contends that
South African aid to UNITA would stop if Namibia became
independent. South Africa has repeatedly invaded southern
Angola since 1978 to raid bases held by SWAPO. UNITA has,
at least until recently, received extensive aid from South
Africa to assist in raids on SWAPO bases. South Africa,
Angola and SWAPO have just recently agreed to observe a cease
fire that might set the stage for Namibian independence and
cessation of South African forays into Angola. The cease
fire resulted from an agreement by which South Africa will
refrain from its attacks on SWAPO if Angola and SWAPO stay out
The outlook for the agreement and cease fire is dim.
South Africa and the U.S. still insist that Cuban troops be
withdrawn from Angola. They are unlikely to go. And SWAPO
is unlikely to cease activities in Namibia. Finally, Jonas
Savimbi has warned that any peace agreement regarding Namibia
that does not include a role for UNITA in the region is
doomed to failure.20 Even if the agreement holds, the MPLA is
extremely naive to believe that UNITA will wither and die
without South African aid. Just the opposite might happen.
The most important feature of the MPLA response to the
UNITA insurgency is extensive reliance on outside assistance,
principally Cuban. This assistance has placed the MPLA in an
awkward and embarrassing position. Without help, the MPLA
cannot function in either the economic or military sphere.
With it, the MPLA is a prime target for UNITA esoteric
appeals for popular support. Even more embarrassing to the
MPLA is the relatively poor quality of assistance received
in the military sphere. The Cubans in Angola do not seem to
be well trained in guerrilla warfare and their morale is
sagging. While external support has kept the MPLA in power,
it has not enabled the MPLA to overcome severe deficiencies
in resources, leadership, cohesion, and unity, without which
factors an effective counterinsurgency program against UNITA
is impossible. There is every indication that additional
support from the Soviet Union, Cuba, or both will be required
to bolster the economy and improve the MPLA military posture
against UNITA. The MPLA's response to UNITA has been arbitrary,
uncoordinated, and unsophisticated, and reflects an inability
to differentiate the threat posed by UNITA.
An insurgency is best evaluated only after it has ceased
to exist through failure or, having succeeded in the accom-
plishment of its objectives, becomes a governing entity.
Until that time, evaluation is difficult because of the
rapidity with which events occur and circumstances change.
After the civil war, UNITA was virtually a moribund organi-
zation. In just seven years, however, it has become
an extremely powerful force that threatens the survival of
the ruling government. Still, UNITA has not accomplished
its primary objective of ridding the country of foreign
domination. Since UNITA still exists, it has neither failed
nor succeeded as an insurgency. UNITA's future depends
on these very factors that have accounted for its remarkable
survival. These will play an important role in its future.
UNITA owes its existence to two primary facts. Jonas
Savimbi, himself, is the lightening without which the fuel
for UNITA could not be fired. His inspirational leadership
and extraordinary dedication and patience have been instru-
mental in UNITA's development of an effective political and
military organization and achievement of a high degree of
solidarity and unity. Although Savimbi has a number of
competent assistants, within the scope of his organization,
none seem capable of filling the void his loss would create.
Without him, UNITA's effort might be seriously derailed.
The second factor is environment. The government has
been unable to overcome the advantageous geographic isolation
of UNITA. So distant from the rest of the country, Cuando-
Cubango Province affords UNITA a natural haven that obviates
the need for sanctuary in a neighboring country. Dangerous
logistical and security burdens are avoided by the insur-
gents. UNITA's guerrillas roam almost at will in a third
of the country. They conduct effective operations in
another third. Although environment never determines the
outcome of an insurgency, it often dictates the rules of
engagement by which an insurgency must function. These
rules clearly favor UNITA.
What outcome can we predict? The irony of UNITA is
that the stronger it becomes, the less likely it is to
achieve its objectives. UNITA wants both Soviets and
Cubans out of Angola, but their presence is the key make
weight to the strength of UNITA. This dilemma portends a
stalemate in which the Soviets and the Cubans must remain in
Angola as long as UNITA continues waging guerrilla warfare
against the government. Meanwhile, Mao's sage advice to
Savimbi that the road to success is a long and tortuous one
remains a stark principle for UNITA as it pursues a course
into an uncharted future.
1Bard E. O'Neill, William R. Heaton, and Donald J.
Alberts, eds., Insurgency in the Modern World (Boulder,
Colorado: Westview Press, 1980), p 1.
2O'Neill, pp. 4-5.
1Department of State, Background Notes, Department of
State Publication, No. 7975 ([Washington, D. C.: Government
Printing Office, 1979]), pp. 3-4.
2Department of State, Background Notes, p. 4, Irving
Kaplan, ed., Angola: A Country Study, 2d ed. (Washington, D.C.:
The American University, 1979), pp. 3-31; John A. Marcum, The
Angolan Revolution, Vol. 1: The Anatomy of an Explosion
(1950-1962) (Cambridge, Massachusetts: The M.I.T. Press, 1967),
3Alberts, pp. 236-237.
4Ibid., p. 238; Kaplan, pp. 112-115.
5Kaplan, p. 28.
6Alberts, p. 239.
7General Antonio de Spinola, quoted in Newsweek, May 6,
8Alberts, pp. 240-241; Kaplan, pp. 131-132.
9Kaplan, pp. 123, 133.
10Ibid., p. 127; Marcum, pp. 245-246.
11Kaplan, p. 124.
12Ibid., pp. 125-126; Marcum, pp. 28-30.
13Kaplan, p. 126; John A. Marcum, The Angolan Revolution,
Vol. 2: Exile Politics and Guerrilla Warfare (1962-1976)
(Cambridge, Massachusetts: The M. I. T. Press, 1978), pp.
28-30, 40, and 278.
14John A. Marcum, "The Politics of Survival: UNITA in
Angola," Africa Notes, no. 8 (February 18, 1983), p. 1.
15Ibid., p. 2; Marcum, Exile Politics and Guerrilla
Warfare (1962-1976), pp. 191-197.
16Kaplan, pp. 127-128.
17Ibid., p. 130; Marcum, Exile Politics and Guerrilla
Warfare (1962-1976), pp. 185, 217, 243. and 247-248.
18Kaplan, pp. 133-136.
19John A. Marcum, "Lessons of Angola," Foreign Affairs,
54 (April, 1976), 417.
20"FNLA Rebels Surrender, UNITA Threat Continues,"
Guardian [Manchester, U.K.], June 8, 1983, p. 14.
1Bard E. O'Neill, William R. Heaton, and Donald J.
Alberts, eds., Insurgency in the Modern World (Boulder,
Colorado: Westview Press, 1980), p. 16.
2Irving Kaplan, ed., Angola: A Country Study, 2d ed.
(Washington, D. C.: The American University, 1979), p. 61;
Alberts, p. 243.
3Kaplan, p. 61; Alberts, p. 243; Department of State,
Background Notes, Department of State Publication, No. 7975
([Washington, D. C.: Government Printing Office, 1979]),
pp. 1, 3.
4Alberts, p. 243.
5Richard Harwood, "Savimbi Defends Links With South
Africa," Washington Post, July 24, 1981, p. A1.
6Alberts, p. 243.
8Kaplan, pp. 232-237.
9Ibid., pp. 237-238; Alberts, p. 244.
10Kaplan, pp. 239-240.
11Alberts, p. 244.
12Department of State, Background Notes, pp. 1-3; Kaplan,
13Department of State, Background Notes, p. 1; Kaplan,
14Alberts, p. 246.
1Bard E. O'Neill, William R. Heaton, and Donald J.
Alberts, eds., Insurgency in the Modern World (Boulder,
Colorado: Westview Press, 1980), pp. 6-7.
2O'Neill, pp. 6-7.
3Ibid., p. 7.
4Michael Samuels, quoted in National Review, August 22,
1980, p. 1018; Statement by Michael Samuels, Georgetown
University, personal interview, Washington, D. C., January 16,
5Leon Dash,. "Savimbi, Lifeblood of UNITA, Is A Man of
Many Labels," Washington Post, August 13, 1977, pp. A1 and A11.
6Ibid., p. A1.
9Jonas Savimbi, quoted in National Review, August 22,
1980, p. 1018.
10Jonas Savimbi, quoted in Donald J. Alberts, ed.,
Insurgency in the Modern World (Boulder, Colorado: Westview
Press, , p. 248.
11Fred Reed, "Savimbi Outlines UNITA's Strategy,"
Washington Times, December 2, 1982, p. 8A.
12Dash, p. A11.
13Reed, p. 8A.
14O'Neill, p. 8.
15Edward Girardet, "Angolans describe human rights abuse
during the civil war," Christian Science Monitor, June 3, 1983;
"Angola: Behind the Mask," Africa Confidential, 23 (August 25,
1982), p. 6.
16David Lamb, quoted in the Washington Post, July 25,
1981, p. A17.
17Richard Harwood, "UNITA's Shoestring Enterprise,"
Washington Post, July 25, 1981, p. A17.
18Jay Ross, "Nightmares Beset a Pivotal Nation,"
Washington Post, September 20, 1981, p. A22.
19"Angola: Behind the Mask," Africa Confidential, 23
(August 25, 1982), p. 5.
20Harwood, p. A17.
21"Angola: The UNITA Structure," Africa Confidential, 24
(May 25, 1983) , p. 4.
22Richard Harwood, "Guerrillas Demonstrate High Morale,"
Washington Post, July 22, 1981, p. A1.
24Girardet, p. 13.
26Reed, p. 8A.
27"Angola: Behind the Mask," Africa Confidential, 23
(August 25, 1982), p. 7.
28Fred Bridgland, "Inside the Secret World of UNITA,"
Scotsman [Edinburgh, Scotland], July 23, 1981, p. 11; Edward
Girardet, "One Place Where Pro-West Rebels Take the Offensive,"
U. S. News and World Report, June 13, 1983, pp. 30-31.
1Bard E. O'Neill, William R. Heaton, and Donald J.
Alberts, eds., Insurgency in the Modern World (Boulder,
Colorado: Westview Press, 1980), p. 9.
2Bard E. O'Neill, ed., Insurgency in the Modern World
(Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press, 1980, p. 10, citing George
B. Jordan, "Objectives and Methods of Communist Guerrilla
Warfare," Modern Guerrilla Warfare, pp. 404 and 409.
3Fred Reed, "Angolan Rebels train with order,
discipline," Washington Times, December 1, 1982, p. 1A.
5Ibid.; Edward Girardet, "Angolan rebels go on offensive
against Soviet-backed regime," Christian Science Monitor, May
31, 1983, pp. 12-13.
6"Savimbi has large number of SAM-7's, "Johannesburg Star
[Johannesburg, S. A.], October 30, 1982, p. 9.
7"Angola: The UNITE Structure," Africa Confidential, 24
(May 25, 1983), p. 4, Fred Bridgland, "The Long March of
Savimbi, "Scotsman [Edinburgh, Scotland], July 22, 1981, p. 10.
8"Angola: The UNITA Structure," Africa Confidential, p. 4.
9Girardet, p. 13.
10Ibid.; Richard Harwood, "UNITA's Shoestring
Enterprise," Washington Post, July 25, 1981, pp. A1, A16, and
11Girardet, p. 13.
12Richard Harwood, "Guerrillas Demonstrate High Morale,"
Washington Post, July 22, 1981, p. A15.
13Edward Girardet, "Angola's UNITA: guerrillas...or
shadow government?", Christian Science Monitor, June 1, 1983,
14Glenn Frankel, "Angolan Rebels Gain Strength,"
Washington Post, July 21, 1981, p. A1.
15Fred Bridgland, "What if the Angolan Rebels Win?",
Washington Post, May 29, 1983, p. C2.
16Richard Harwood, "Angolan Rebels' Precious Jewel,"
Washington Post, July 21, 1981, p. A1.
17Bridgland, "What if the Angolan Rebles Win?", p. C2.
21Frankel,. p. A10.
23Girardet, "Angola's UNITA: guerrillas...or shadow
government?", p. 12.
24Bridgland, "The Long March of Savimbi," p. 10.
25O'Neill, p. 11.
26Bridgland, "What if the Angolan Rebels Win?", p. C2.
1Bard E. O'Neill, William R. Heaton, and Donald J.
Alberts, eds., Insurgency in the Modern World (Boulder,
Colorado: Westview Press, 1980), pp. 15-16.
2Glenn Frankel, "S. Africa, U.S., Angola to join in Peace
Effort, "Washington Post, February 16, 1984, pp. A1 and A40;
Glenn Frankel, "Angola Joining South Africa to Observe Truce,"
Washington Post, February 17, 1984, pp. A1 and A16.
3Richard Harwood, "Savimbi Defends Links with South
Africans," Washington Post, July 24, 1981, pp. A1 and A15;
Edward Girardet, "One Place Where Pro-West Rebels Take the
Offensive," U.S. News and World Report, June 13, 1983, pp.
30-31; "UNITA's Timber Trade," Africa Research Bulletin,
January 15-February 14, 1983, pp. 6719-6720; Richard Harwood,
"What if the Angolan Rebels Win?", Washington Post, May 29,
1983, p. C2.
4Harwood, "Savimbi Defends Links with South Africans," p.
A15, Edward Girardet, "Angola - yet to come to grips with
independence," Christian Science Monitor, June 16, 1983, p. 12.
5Richard Harwood, "UNITA's Shoestring Enterprise,"
Washington Post, July 25, 1981, p. A16.
6Thomas W. Lippman, "Savimbi Pushing U.S. to Stiffen
Stand on Africa," Washington Post, November 7, 1979, p. A4.
7Steve Mufson, "Angolan Rebel Leader Courts U.S. Aid,U
Wall Street Journal, December 17, 1981, p. 29.
8President Ronald Reagan, quoted in The Library of
Congress, Angola and the Clark Amendment, Congressional
Research Service, Issue Brief Number 1B81063 ([Washington,
D.C.; Congressional Research Service, October 20, 1982]),
9Congressman Howard Wolpe, quoted in "Angola Interview,"
Africa Report (November-December 1981), pp. 6-7.
10Ibid., p. 7.
11Henry Allen, "Angola's Struggle from Within,"
Washington Post, December 12, 1981, p. C11; Bernard D.
Nossiter, "Angola Rebel Leader Says His Forces Are Beating
Cubans," New York Times, November 8, 1979, p. k; Statement by
Michael Ranneburger, Department of State, personal interview,
Washington, D. C., February 10, 1984.
12"Angola: Can UNITA Survive?", Africa Confidential, 20
(February 14, 1979), p. 2.; "Angola: The throttling process,"
African Confidential, 23 (December 1, 1982), pp. 6-8; Allen,
p. C11; "Angola: The UNITA Structure," Africa Confidential, 24
(May 25, 1983), p. 3; "Savimbi can carry on without SA's
backing," Johannesburg Star [Johannesburg, S.A.], April 16,
1983, p. 2; Statement by John Marcum, University of California
(Santa Cruz), personal interview, Santa Cruz, California (via
telephone), February 23, 1984.
1Bard E. O'Neill, ed., Insurgency in the Modern World
(Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press, 1980), p. 19, citing Walter
C. Sonderland, "An Analysis of the Guerrilla Insurgency and
Coup D'Etat as Techniques of Indirect Aggression," International
Studies Quarterly, December 1970, p. 345.
2O'Neill, pp. 19-21.
3"Angola: Wind of Change," Africa Confidential, 24
(September 21, 1983), p. 7.
4David B. Ottaway, "Angola Unwilling to Make Peace with
Guerrillas," Washington Post, December 29, 1978, p. A2.
5Edward Girardet, "Angola - yet to come to grips with
independence," Christian Science Monitor, June 16, 1983, p. 12.
6"Angola: The throttling process," Africa Confidential,
23 (December 1, 1982), pp. 6-8.
7Ibid., p. 6; Irving Kaplan, ed., Angola: A Country
Study, 2d ed. (Washington, D.C.: The American University,
1979), pp. 137-140).
8Jay Ross, "Inaccessibility to West Fosters
Misunderstandings of Key Nation," Washington Post, September
20, 1981, p. A22.
9Kaplan, pp. 203, 223, 226, 230, and 249.
10David Wood, "Angola Hints Terms for Cuban Exodus,"
Washington Star, December 25, 1978, p. 2; Jay Ross, "Nightmares
Beset a Pivotal Nation, "Washington Post, September 20, 1981,
pp. A1, A22; Glenn Frankel, "Angolan Rebels Gain Strength,"
Washington Post, October 4, 1983, pp. A1 and A10.
11Marcelino Komba, "Pretoria Strikes Again," Africa, No.
107 (July, 1980), pp. 27-28.
12Frankel, pp. A1, A10, and A11.
13Richard Harwood, "UNITA Guerrillas Show Off Soviet and
Cuban Captives," Washington Post, July 23, 1981, pp. A1 and A20.
14Kaplan, pp. 172-173.
15Edward Girardet, "Angolans describe human rights abuse
during civil war," Christian Science Monitor, June 3, 1983,
16Francis X. Maier, "The Jonas Savimbi Interview,"
American Spectator; 13 (January, 1980), p. 10.
17Ross, "Nightmares Beset a Pivotal Nation," p. A1.
18"Angola: Amnesty for Rebels," Africa Research Bulletin,
July 1-31, 1983, p. 6903.
19Glenn Frankel, "S. Africa, U.S., Angola to Join in
Peace Effort," Washington Post, February 16, 1984, pp. A1 and
A40; Glenn Frankel, "Angola Joining South Africa to Observe
Truce," Washington Post, February 17, 1984, pp. A1 and A16.
20Frankel, "Angola Joining South Africa to Observe
Truce," p. A16.
Chilcote, Ronald H., ed. Protest and Resistance in Angola and
Brazil. Berkeley, California: University of California
An anthology of scholarly essays on resistance
movements in Angola and Brazil that includes a fine
synthesis provided by the editor. Chapter 11 regarding
Portuguese racial policies, written by Roger Bastide, is
one of the best analyses of the "science" of lusotropi-
cology, the controversial racial concept developed
by Gilberto Freyre, the renown Portuguese sociologist.
Kaplan, Irving, ed. Angola: A Country Study. 2d ed. Washington,
D.C.: The American University, 1979.
The best, most up-to-date single volume work on the
Angolan scene written by Foreign Area Studies, the American
University, under the Area Handbook Program.
Klinghoffer, Arthur J., The Angolan War: A Study in Soviet
Policy in the Third World. Boulder, Colorado: Westview
Professors of political science at Rutgers University,
Klinghoffer, in this work, discusses both the Soviet and
Cuban roles in Angola and the U.S. reaction to those roles.
________. The Soviet Union and Angola. Carlisle Barracks,
Pennsylvania: Strategic Studies Institute, 1980.
A candid analysis of Soviet involvement in Angola.
Klinghoffer believes that Soviet policy in Angola has been
very successful thus far, considering the comparatively
small investment the Soviets have made there.
Marcum, John A., The Angolan Revolution. Vol. 1, The Anatomy
of an Explosion (1950-1962). Cambridge, Massachusetts:
M.I.T. Press, 1967.
The most scholarly work available on the Angolan
Revolution by one of America's leading authorities on
Angolan politics. This volume focuses on the events that
culminated in the initial colonial uprisings in 1961.
________. The Angolan Revolution. Vol. 2, Exile Politics and
Guerrilla Warfare (1962-1976). Cambridge, Massachusetts:
M.I.T. Press, 1967.
A superb analysis of the Angolan civil war of 1975-76
and its historical background. Of particular value is
Marcum's focus on Portuguese colonial policies.
Okuma, Thomas, Angola in Ferment. Boston: Beacon Press, 1962.
A survey of Portuguese colonial policies through 1961,
the first year of anti-colonial uprising in Angola. Okuma
spent nearly eight years in Angola as a teacher and a
missionary. He was a Fellow in the African Studies program
at Boston University.
O'Neill, Bard E., William R. Heaton, and Donald J. Alberts,
eds. Insurgency in the Modern World. Boulder, Colorado:
Westview Press, 1980.
An outstanding work that provides an extremely useful
analytical framework that can be used to assess the
effectiveness of any insurgency. Selected case studies
incorporating this framework are included.
Adelman, Kenneth L. "Report From Angola." Foreign Affairs 53
(April 1975): 558-574.
Adelman cites Portugal's failure to sense and follow
the "flow of history in the fifties and sixties" as a
primary reason for Angola's troubles in the 1970's. A
former assistant to the Secretary of Defense and now a
senior political analyst at the Stanford Research
Institutie, Adelman believes there can be no permanent
peace in southern Africa without the participation of UNITA.
"Amnesty for Rebels." Africa Research Bulletin (July 1983):
A short article that includes data on the government's
declaration of amnesty for UNITA guerrillas and increased
security measures against UNITA, UNITA's recent guerrilla
activity, UNITA's receipt of external support, and the
scope of UNITA's organization.
Baynham, S. J. "International Politics and the Angolan Civil
War" Army Quarterly and Defense Journal 107 (January
Baynham argues that Angola is potentially too rich
and too strategically important to determine its own
future, thus explaining why the Angolan civil war was an
international rather than a national conflict.
Bender, Gerald J. "Angola: Left, Right and Wrong." Foreign
Policy, no. 43 (1981), pp. 53-69.
Associate professor of history at the School of
International Relations, University of Southern California,
Dr. Bender argues that the U.S. should recognize the
Marxist MPLA regime, citing the heavy U.S. financial
investment in Angola and the futility of linking diplomatic
relations to Cuban withdrawal as primary reasons.
________. "Angola, The Cubans, and American Anxieties."
Foreign Policy, no. 43 (1981), pp. 3-30.
Bender was on the staff of then Senator John V. Tunney
(D-California) who sponsored legislation ending U.S.
participation in the Angolan civil war. Bender downplays
the Cuban role in Angola and argues that U.S. diplomatic
recognition of Angola is a necessary first step in
development of a responsible African policy.
Girardet, Edward. "One Place Where Pro-West Rebels Take the
Offensive." U.S. News and World Report, June 13, 1983,
A beautifully crafted article on UNITA's recent
military gains and surge in popular support.
Henriksen, Thomas H. "People's War in Angola, Mozambique, and
Guinea-Bissau." Journal of Modern African Studies
14 (September 1976): 377-399.
An excellent work on emerging nationalism in Portugal's
African colonies and on Portugal's inability to develop a
successful counterinsurgency program.
Hughes, Anthony J. "Congressman Howard Wolpe." Africa Report
26 (November-December 1981): 4-8.
A first-rate report of an interview with Congressman
Howard Wolpe of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Wolpe
represents the majority view of Congress that the Clark
Amendment should remain in effect until Namibia is settled.
Komba, Marcelino. "Pretoria Strikes Again." African Affairs,
no. 107 (1980), pp. 27-28.
This article reports of South Africa's desire to have
UNITA installed in power in Angola and of widespread
corruption in the Angolan government.
Maier, Francis x. "The Jonas Savimbi Interview." American
Spectator 13 (January 1980): 7-11.
An excellent report of an interview with Jonas
Savimbi. He emphasizes the "treachery" of the Angolan
government and chastens the Carter administration for not
responding to the Soviet and Cuban occupation of Angola.
________. "Voice from the Wilderness." National Review,
August 22, 1980, pp. 1017-1018.
A fine description of Jonas Savimbi with particular
emphasis on his first private visit to the U.S. in 1979.
Maier, editor of the National Catholic Register, is very
sympathetic towards Savimbi and believes he would be a
humane leader of the Angolan people.
Marcum, John A. "Lessons of Angola." Foreign Affairs 54 (April
One of many "post mortem" monographs on the ill-fated
U.S. involvement in the Angolan civil war of 1975-76.
Marcum decries U.S. support of South Africa in that conflict
and argues for "dissociation" from that country in order to
gain more black African support.
_______. "The Politics of Survival." Africa Notes, no. 8
(1983), 5 pages.
An outstanding mini-biography of UNITA's leader, Jonas
Savimbi, by the foremost U.S. expert on Angolan politics.
Meynell, Charles, ed. "Angola: Can UNITA Survive?" Africa
Confidential 20 (February 1979): 1-3.
An excellent article on UNITA's principal logistical
________. Angola: Behind the Mask. Africa Confidential
23 (August 1982): 5-7.
This article covers UNITA's external support and
emphasizes UNITA's vulnerability if a settlement over
Namibia is reached.
_________. "Angola: The Throttling Process." Africa
Confidential 23 (December 1982): 6-9.
An incisive analysis of internal political developments
within the Angolan government. The article focuses on the
government's dependency on the Cubans in the face of
growing UNITA strength.
________. "Angola: The UNITA Structure." Africa Confidential
24 (May 1983): 2.
A complete listing of the prominent figures in UNITA's
political and military organization. Emphasis is also
given to UNITA's territorial and political goals as well as
to UNITA's receipt of external support.
________. "Angola: Wind of Change." Africa Confidential 24
(September 1983): 7.
This article portrays dos Santos, President of the
Angolan government, as a shy, taciturn figure who resembles
"Sidney Poitier in his early films" and focuses on the
government's internal divisions. Key governmental figures and
offices held are included.
Papp, Daniel S. "Angola, National Liberation, and the Soviet
Union." Parameters, Journal of the U.S. Army War College
8 (March 1978): 26-39.
A fine overview of Soviet involvement in Angola. Papp
argues that Soviet actions fit within the confines of Soviet
ideology and that the Soviet Union's wont of aiding selected
national liberation movements will continue.
Schmidt, Rudolf "Angola: An International Conflict." Aussen
Politik 27 (April 1976): 475-488.
Schmidt argues that South Africa is an "enemy" of
African independence by its intervention in the Angolan
civil war and suggests possibilities the U.S. could have
explored to avoid the debacle it incurred by supporting
South Africa in that conflict.
"UNITA's Timber Trade." Africa Research Bulletin (January 15-
February 14, 1983): 6719-6720.
An interesting account of UNITA's teak log trade with
South Africa in exchange for diamonds and ivory. The
diamonds UNITA sends to South Africa comes from mines that
UNITA has taken over in Angola.
Allen, Henry. "Angola's Struggle From Within." Washington
Post, December 12, 1981, pp. C1, C11.
An excellent account of Savimbi's first private visit
to the U.S. in 1979 and his difficulties over UNITA's South
Bridgland, Fred. "The Long March of Savimbi." Scotsman
[Edinburgh, Scotland], July 22, 1981.
An excellent article on UNITA's military organization
by one who is currently writing a biography of Savimbi,
________. "Inside the Secret World of UNITA." Scotsman
[Edinburgh, Scotland], July 23, 1981.
Fred Bridgland accompanied Richard Harwood of the
Washington Post on a three month visit to UNITA-controlled
areas. Bridgland is currently writing a biography of
UNITA's leader, Jonas Savimbi. This article provides
excellent coverage of UNITA's political and military
________. "What if the Angolan Rebels Win?" Washington Post,
May 29, 1983, p. C2.
Bridgland, currently writing a biography of Jonas
Savimbi, focuses on UNITA's recent military victories.
Dash, Leon. "Savimbi, Lifeblood of UNITA, Is a Man of Many
Labels." Washington Post, August 13, 1977, p. All.
A superb account of Savimbi's personality and politics.
"FNLA Rebels Surrender, UNITA Threat Continues." Guardian
[Manchester, U.K.], June 8, 1983, p. 14.
A good account of the demise of FNLA, one of the three
insurgencies that vied for power in the Angolan civil war
Foisie, Jack. uIn Troubled Angola, War and Strife Just Won't
Go Away." Washington Post, June 4, 1980., p. A21.
Foisie provides some useful information on Cuban
involvement in Angola.
Frankel, Glenn. "Angolan Rebels Gain Strength." Washington
Post, October 4, 1983, pp. A1, A10, A11l.
This article provides a good account of UNITA's
________. "Hopes for Namibia Solution Dying on Angola's Battle-
fields." Washington Post, October 5, 1983, pp. A1, A33.
This article sets forth the conditions under which Cuban
troops would leave Angola.
________. "S. Africa, U.S., Angola to join in Peace Effort."
Washington Post, February 16, 1984, pp. A1, A40.
This article provides excellent coverage of recent
attempts to reach a settlement on Namibia.
________. "Angola Joining South Africa to Observe Truce."
Washington Post, February 17, 1984.
A fine article on the truce that is currently being
observed between Angola and South Africa as a preliminary
step for a Namibia settlement.
Girardet, Edward. "Angolan rebels go on offensive against
Soviet-backed regime." Christian Science Monitor,
May 31, 1983, pp. 1, 12-13.
One of the best newspaper accounts of recent UNITA
________. "Angola's UNITA: guerrilla...or shadow government?"
Christian Science Monitor, June 1, 1983, p. 13.
An outstanding description of UNITA's Jonas Savimbi and
his efforts to gain more popular support.
________. "Angola's Savimbi: portrait of a rebel." Christian
Science Monitor, June 2, 1983, p. 13.
A superb description of Savimbi's policies and outlook
________. "Angolans describe human rights abuse during civil
war." Christian Science Monitor, June 3, 1983, p. 13.
An excellent account of Amnesty International's report
of recent human rights abuse in Angola.
________. "Angola--yet to come to grips with independence."
Christian Science Monitor, June 16, 1983, p. 12.
Art outstanding account of the deplorable state of
Harwood, Richard. "Warrior Camp Deep in the Bush." Washington
Post, July 19, 1981, pp. A1, A21.
The first article in a superb series entitled "Angola -
A Distant War." Harwood, who spent three months in Angola
as UNITA's guest devotes this first article to the
historical background of UNITA.
________. "Rebel Goal: An End to Foreign Control." Washington
Post, July 20, 1981, pp. A1, A8.
A fine description of UNITA's goals in this second
article of Harwood's "Angola - A Distant War."
________. "Angolan Rebels' Precious Jewel." Washington Post,
July 21, 1981, pp. A1, A8.
This, the third of seven articles on "Angola - A Distant
War," focuses on UNITA's capture of the town of Mavinga, a
strategic crossroads center in Cuando-Cubango Province in
________."Guerrillas Demonstrate High Morale." Washington
Post, July 22, 1981, pp. A1, A15.
This article, the fourth of seven articles on "Angola -
A Distant War," is a superb description of Savimbi's
________. "UNITA Guerrillas Show Off Soviet and Cuban
Captives." Washington Post, July 23, 1981, pp. A1, A20.
This, the fifth article in Harwood's series entitled
"Angola - A Distant War," describes UNITA's rationale for
________. "Savimbi Defends Links With South Africans.
Washington Post, July 24, 1981, pp. A1, A15.
This article, the sixth of Harwoods's series entitled
"Angola - A Distant War," contains Savimbi's explanation of
his reliance on South African aid.
________. "UNITA's Shoestring Enterprise." Washington Post,
July 25, 1981, pp. A1, A16, A17.
This article is the last of Harwood's series entitled
"Angola - A Distant War." The article focuses on UNITA's
policy of self-reliance.
Lippman, Thomas W. "Savimbi Pushing U.S. to Stiffen Stand on
Africa." Washington Post, November 7, 1979, p. A31.
This article covers Savimbi's first private visit to
the U. S. in order to obtain support from the Carter
Mufson, Steven. "Angola Rebel Leader Courts U. S. Aid."
Wall Street Journal, December 17, 1981, p. 29.
A fine account of Savimbi's second private visit to the
U. S. in December 1981.
Nossiter, Bernard D. "Angola Rebel Leader Says His Forces Are
Beating Cubans" New York Times, November 8, 1979, p. k.
This article, which covers Savimbi's first private visit
to the U.S. in 1979, includes some useful information on
Savimbi's personal lifestyle.
Ottaway, David B. "Angola Struggles to Revive Its Limp Economy.
Washington Post, December 25, 1978,, p. A26.
An excellent account of Angola s economic difficulties
with particular emphasis on the government's lack of skilled
_______. "Angola Unwilling to Make Peace With Guerrillas."
Washington Post, December 29, 1978, p. A2.
A good description of the government's attitude toward
UNITA in 1979.
Porte, Jean-Luc. "UNITA Rebels Expanding Raids in Angola."
Washington Post, May 10, 1983, p. A4.
Porte, who was recently expelled from Angola, gives an
excellent account of UNITA territorial gains.
"Rebel Leader Wages War On Two Fronts, at Least." New York
Times, December 5, 1982, sec. 2, p. 4.
A good account of Savimbi's attitude about reconcilia-
tion with the Angolan government. Savimbi states that some
form of reconciliation with the government will be made
when Cuban troops leave Angola.
Reed, Fred. "UNITA rebels build nation-within-nation in war torn
Angola." Washington Times, November 29, 1982, pp. 1A, 6A.
The first article in a series entitled "African Bush
War," Reed provide excellent coverage of UNITA's internal
_______. "Shortages Plague Angolari Fighters." Washington
Times, November 20, 1982, pp. 1A, 8A.
This is the second article of a series entitled "African
Bush War." Reed focuses on UNITA's dire need for all kinds
of material support.
________. "Angolan Rebels Train with Order, Discipline."
Washington Times, December 1, 1982, pp. 1A, 6A.
This is the third of a series of articles entitled
"African Bush War." The article provides an excellent
account of UNITA military training.
_______. "Savimbi outlines UNITA's strategy." Washington
Times, December 2, 1982, pp. 1A, 8A.
this is the fourth article in a series entitled "African
Bush War" The article reports of an interview Reed had
with Savimbi, with emphasis on UNITA political strategy.
_______. "UNITA: Tough and Competent." Washington Times,
December 3, 1982, p.3A.
This article, which is the last of a series entitled
"African Bush War," provides a superb account of UNITA's
military training and discipline.
Ross, Jay. "Inaccessibility to West Fosters Misunderstandings
of Key Nation." Washington Post, September 20, 1981,
Ross provides a superb account of the difficulties he
encountered in Angola in arranging for interviews with
________. "Nightmares Beset a Pivotal Nation." Washington Post
September 20, 1981, pp. A1, A22.
This is the first article in a series entitled "Angola:
Africa's Battleground." The article focuses on Angola's
________. "Angola Sees Rebel Forces As Puppets of Pretoria."
Washington Post, September 21, 1981, pp. A1, A18.
A good account of the Angolan government's view of
UNITA. Ross echoes the government's position that the key
to defeating UNITA is to end its ties to South Africa.
"Savimbi and the sinews of war." Johannesburg Star
[Johannesburg, S.A.], April 2, 1983, p. 7.
A short article on UNITA's logistical support from
Zaire, Morocco, and Saudi Arabia, which have long been
staunch supporters of UNITA.
"Savimbi can carry on without SA's backing." Johannesburg Star
[Johannesburg, S.A.], April 16, 1983, p. 2.
A good article on Savimbi's connection with South
Africa. Emphasis is given to Savimbi's determination to
survive, even without help from South Africa.
"Savimbi has large number of SAM-7's." Johannesburg Star
[Johannesburg, S.A.], October, 20, 1982.
A candid account of UNITA's growing military arsenal.
"UNITA grateful for Reagan's aid." Johannesburg Star
[Johannesburg, S.A.], November 20, 1982, p. 5.
A candid statement by Savimbi thanking President
Reagan for his political and moral support.
Wood, David. "Angola Hints Terms for Cuban Troop Exodus."
Washington Star, December 25, 1978, p. 2.
Wood reports of the government's willingness to remove
Cuban troops if South Africa stops supporting UNITA and
raiding SWAPO bases in Angola.
Department of State, Annual Human Rights Report for Angola (1982)
A complete survey of the status of human rights in
Angola. Information is provided on killings, disappearance,
torture, cruel and inhuman punishment, arbitrary arrest and
imprisonment, and other aspects germane to human rights.
Department of State, Background Notes. Department of State
Publication No. 7975 (September 1979).
A fine mini-survey of the Angolan scene with data on
Angola's geography, people, government, economy, history,
political conditions, U.S. - Angola relations, and foreign
Department of State, Southern Africa: America's Responsibility
for Peace and Change. Department of State Publication
[Bureau of Public Affairs] Current Policy No. 497 (June 23,
An address by Lawrence S. Eagleburger, Under Secretary
for Political Affairs, before the National Conference of
Editorial Writers, San Francisco, California, June 23,
1983. This address includes a summary statement of U.S.
foreign policy toward Angola, Namibia, and South Africa.
The Library of Congress, Angola and the Clark Amendment.
Congressional Research Service Issue Brief No. 1B810C3
(October 20, 1982).
An outstanding chronological survey of U.S. involvement
in Angola presented in Kiplinger style. This document also
contains a full description of the Reagan Administration
policy in Angola.
Marcum, John. Personal interview. Santa Cruz, California
(via telephone), February 23, 1984.
A leading authority on Angolan politics, Dr. Marcum
provided some useful information on UNITA's relations with
Rannebarger, Michael. Personal interview. Washington, D. C.,
February 10, 1984.
The Angola desk officer at the State Department, Mr.
Rannenbarger was extremely helpful in clarifying the U.S.
position on UNITA.
Samuels, Michael. Personal interview. Washington, D. C.,
January 16, 1984.
An Angolan affairs expert with the Center for Strategic
and International Affairs at Georgetown University, Mr.
Samuels provided some useful insight on Savimbi's character
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