Angolan police, youths clash at rally

2011-12-04 13:00

Lisbon - Angolan youths and police clashed at an anti-government rally in Luanda on Saturday, injuring three protesters and leading to several arrests, Portuguese state news agency Lusa reported on Sunday.

Lusa said dozens of protesters started their march at Independence Square and planned to head to the presidential palace but were swiftly blocked by police, aided by unidentified civilians.

The rally, the sixth organised this year by Angola's burgeoning youth movement, called for the resignation of President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, who has never before faced such dissent in his 32-year-long rule.

Lusa quoted one of the protest organisers as saying an unknown number of youths had been arrested and at least three injured in the clashes.

Political tension is rising ahead of elections planned for late 2012 in Africa's biggest oil producer after Nigeria, where an estimated two-thirds of a population of 16.5 million people live on less than $2 per day.

Inspired by uprisings which toppled rulers in Egypt and Tunisia, Angola's youth movement has organised the rallies without the official support of opposition parties.

They have urged the government to stop using violence to suppress the protests.

They have also long accused the government of mismanaging the country's oil revenues, avoiding public scrutiny and doing too little to fight corruption and poverty.