Cabinda activists detained in Luanda

Cabinda activists detained in Luanda

A group of activists from the province of Cabinda was detained this Tuesday (02/01) while demonstrating in front of the Portuguese embassy in Luanda, capital of Angola, to draw the attention of the Portuguese Government to the political situation in that territory. 

Speaking to the Lusa agency, one of the participants in the act, Leoton Mabiala, said that the protest began with four activists with posters, at 11:00 am. Around 12:00, a police patrol car appeared and took the protesters to an uncertain place. 

“There were already seven or eight policemen [at the scene] and then the patrol showed up and took the four. So far I don’t know where they took them, I suppose they must be in Bairro Operário, but I haven’t had contact with them yet”, he said.

Leoton Mabiala added that in addition to the four activists, there were other people, a number he did not reveal, who were part of the protest, but who “for strategic reasons” were away.

When contacted by the police, the spokesman for the provincial command of Luanda, Nestor Goubel, confirmed the arrest of three activists, who “did not meet any presupposition” of the Law of Manifestations and Meeting. The spokesman said that, due to the “turmoil” created on the spot, they were preventively detained and should be presented to the Public Ministry.

A demonstration called by the Independentist Movement of Cabinda (MIC) for Angola’s independence day, on November 11, was frustrated by the authorities.

“Portugal is guilty of the war in Cabinda”

“Cabinda is a Portuguese Protectorate”, “There are Political Prisoners in Cabinda! Freedom Now!”, “We demand an end to the Armed Conflict in Cabinda. Long live Dialogue!” and “Viva Simulambuco” were written on the posters held by the activists, who asked to speak with the Portuguese ambassador.

“Cabinda is a Protectorate of Portugal. We want to speak with the ambassador, we are in Portuguese territory. Our problem is not with Angola, our problem is with Portugal. Portugal is the one that handed us over to Angolans”, shouted the activists.

According to Leoton Mabiala, the purpose of this concentration was to remind Portugal that “it has a treaty with the people of Cabinda, the Treaty of Simulambuco, and it needs to pronounce itself on the problem of Cabinda”.

“We are still a Portuguese Protectorate, so Portugal needs to gain that courage and assume the agreements and treaties that were made with the Cabindas, this was the objective of the demonstration and we also alerted to the issue of the armed conflict”, he said.

Protesters ask Portugal for courage

Regarding the alleged armed conflict in Cabinda, the activist stressed that “it only exists because Portugal still remains silent”. If Portugal had the courage to speak out, as it did in the situation of Timor-Leste against the invasion of Indonesia, the problem in Cabinda would already be solved and the conflict in Cabinda should already end”, he stressed.

The political activist accuses Portugal of having “a certain responsibility and complicity in the situation that is happening in Cabinda”.

Leoton Mabiala recalled the arrest in Cabinda of two activists from the Independentist Movement of Cabinda (MIC), in October last year, a condition in which they continue to this date. “It is one of our concerns, they are political prisoners and we cannot continue to live like this”, he stressed, stressing that at this time the biggest concerns are related to the armed conflict and arbitrary detentions in that oil territory of Angola.

These are António Tuma, Deputy Secretary for Information at the MIC, and Alexandre Dunge, a member of the movement, indicted for the alleged crime of criminal organization, terrorist organization, rebellion, disruption of the functioning of sovereign bodies and disobedience.

On the matter, the defense lawyer in the case, Mananga Padi, told Lusa that the procedural instructor has already prepared the report on the procedural instruction, and must send the document to the Public Ministry, “for the purpose of abstention or prosecution”. The lawyer said that on the 6th of this month the first period of preventive detention ends, with the possibility of extension.


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