a memorial for all wars: the Polynational War Memorial


Angolan War of Independence

Also called: Guerra do Ultramar/Guerra Colonial

Years: 1961-1975
Battle deaths: 79,000 [1]

Nation(s) involved and/or conflict territory [note]
Portugal, Angola

Published prior to 2013 | Updated: 2014-03-17 16:34:03
Portugal had had a presence in Angola for almost 500 years, with full control of the country for half a century. Angola was a colony, although Portuguese colonialism was of a softer variety than that practised by other European powers, such as Great Britain.

The 1933 Portuguese Colonial Act recognized the supremacy of Portuguese over native people, and, even if locals could pursue all studies including university, the de facto situation was of clear disadvantage. Beginning in the 1950s, many Portuguese people settled in Angola, encouraged by the authoritarian government of Salazar.

In that time period, several groups pushing for independence from Portugal were formed.

The Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) were a front representing the tribal powers and intelligentsia in the Kumbundu and Luanda. They had economic ties to several eastern europe countries, including the Soviet Union, as well as Zambia, and had the support of the Portuguese Communist Party.

The National Front for the Liberation of Angola (FNLA), led by Holden Roberto, were another front with a power base in the north and ties to the United States and Algeria. They were formed in 1962 by a combination of two smaller congo nationalist groups, the UPA and the PDA. The FNLA received funding from the Organization of African Unity and Zaire.

The National Union for Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) was another communist front based in the centre of the country. Founded in 1966 by Jonas Savimbi, an ex-FNLA leader, its base of support was Ovimbudu, Chokwe, and Ovambo tribes. UNITA initially had little foreign aid, enjoying only small assistance from China, but later on gained the support of South Africa.


Source: excerpt from article in the open dictionary Wikipedia. Read Article


Notes on fatalities

[1] Battle deaths: PRIO Battle Deaths Dataset v3.0 (link) (id 66)

More about sources


NOTE! Nation data for this war may be inconlusive or incomplete. In most cases it reflects which nations were involved with troops in this war, but in some it may instead reflect the contested territory.



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