Jonas Savimbi: Angola’s former Unita chief reburied after 17 years


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Media captionJonas Savimbi’s coffin was carried to its remaining resting place in Lopitanga

The previous chief of Angola’s Unita insurgent group, Jonas Savimbi, is being reburied 17 years after his demise.

1000’s of former Unita fighters carrying white T-shirts emblazoned with photographs of Savimbi attended the ceremony in his residence village of Lopitanga.

His 2002 demise introduced an finish to one among Africa’s longest civil wars.

His stays had been lastly handed over to his household on Friday following confusion earlier within the week.

Unita says the funeral ceremony will probably be an vital step in the direction of nationwide reconciliation within the oil-rich nation.

Nonetheless, no authorities representatives had been current on the ceremony, studies the AFP information company.

His coffin was draped in Unita’s inexperienced and pink flag.

Angola was a Chilly Struggle battleground, with the US and apartheid South Africa backing Unita, whereas the governing MPLA acquired assist from the previous Soviet Union and Cuba.

At the least 500,000 individuals died within the 27-year battle.

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Who was Jonas Savimbi?

Savimbi, referred to as the “black rooster”, was a particularly divisive determine.

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He was accused of widespread atrocities however was additionally a charismatic chief revered by hundreds.

He was killed by authorities troopers in 2002 and was hurriedly buried in a cemetery within the central city of Luena. His grave was marked by a cross of iron on a mound of pink soil, AFP studies.

He will probably be buried close to his father.

His household and Unita officers had demanded his reburial for a few years to no avail.

The deadlock was damaged after his long-time foe, Jose Eduardo dos Santos, stepped down as president in 2017.

His successor, Joao Lourenco, agreed to their calls for and his physique was exhumed earlier this 12 months, with DNA assessments confirming his id.

Durão Sakaíta, one among Savimbi’s eldest sons, informed the Lusa information company that the household would “lastly be at peace” after he was reburied.

Savimbi timeline:

Based Unita motion in 1966 in jap Angola
Deserted his medical research in Portugal to affix anti-colonial battle
Regardless of Angola’s independence in 1975, Unita continues to battle the federal government
Savimbi thought of himself chief of Angola’s battle in opposition to communism
He acquired sturdy assist from the US and met President Reagan on the White Home in 1986
His demise in 2002 was celebrated within the capital, Luanda

Obituary: Jonas Savimbi, Unita’s native boy

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