In less than a week after the politically boasting visit of UN Secretary General Ban Kin-moon to Angola to which the MPLA capitalized to “legitimise” the country’s scheming election in accordance with Angola’s atypical election - no one knows what is the election for: the parliamentary or presidential elections -, a group of youth student protesters joined by a few opposition party members gathered on the streets on the March 10 to express their dissatisfaction with the electoral process and the dictatorial ruling of president Jose Eduardo dos Santos (some even argue he is illegible to take the presidency).
The path to the Angola’s general elections have moved from war of words - between the majority party the MPLA and the opposition parties with parliamentary seats such as UNITA, PRS, and FNLA - to glimpses of absolute tyranny of Dos Santos’s regime. When last year the group went to the streets to demand that he lives the presidency, which he has held for almost 33 years, this time the self-claimed the Revolucionary Student Movement demanded that the nominated president of the National Election Commission and member of the MPLA, the lawyer Suzanna Ingles, be removed from that post, which the opposition allege she was appointed as a lawyer when the constitution indicates that only a judge and a non-partisan figure should take on the seat, the regime recurred to tactics to repress this Saturday’s demonstration that may indicate that the country may be going to chaos.
It is no longer the police which is designing violent acts against the manifestants, but a well-organized group of militias, formed by corpulent, tall, and sturdy men - also known as gauchos, who, some say with irrefutable evidence, that they are paid by Bento Kangamba, an inordinate wealth man who made his riches out of the blue, is Dos Santos’s niece husband, had inflicted pains to that small crowds that were only exercising their constitutional rights. Those mitilias used iron-bars and personal attacks to the demonstrators under sight of the police that did less than pretending to not to see the brutality. One of the victims was a well-known and respected economist Dr. Filomena Viera Lopes, the secretary of the Bloco Democratico (BD), a new party which has made inroads into the Angolan political scenario - to the despair of the MPLA, was brutalized to death. He broke one of his arms and was stubbed on the head and took several seizures. The militia inflicted similar attacks to main members of the Student Movement and other demonstrators.
Those acts of violence have dominated much of the talk this weekend, and the days to come, on private circles, since the public and private media are only encircled in the regime aura of censure. Facebook’s Amigos do Bloco Democratico page, internet-based news posts Club-K, and Radio Ecclesia, the only radio refrained by the regime censorship, were the only forums where the discussion were possible.
However, from the sheer violence that took place last Saturday, now the country is waiting what is going to happen next. Abel Chivukuvuku, who is about to announce his candidacy for the presidency, had voiced their discontent saying that “there is only one person responsible for this brutality. That is the president Jose Eduardo dos Santos”. Radio Ecclesia’s political analyst Justino Pinto de Andrade expressed categorily on the radio’s morning program the gloomy scenario of what may come next: “Our country is walking towards a path without exit; the state is setting up militias to repress, with the help of the police, Angolans who exercise their constitutional rights. We are in the fringes of a bloodshed. Today we are brutalizing the people; tomorrow we are killing them”. My hopes are that we do not have to go through a bloody conflict again.
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