Projects: Angola I - Truce & Consequences
On February 22, 2002 during a government offensive in the remote eastern province of Moxico, the UNITA rebel chief Jonas Savimbi was killed by a hail of bullets in an ambush. An armistice and peace treaty quickly ensued, ending more than 27 years of brutal civil war. The country was entirely laid to waste by the conflict. Up to a million people were killed and millions more displaced. Angola's fertile lands, desperately needed to cultivate food, are riddled with landmines that kill and maim innocent civilians on a daily basis. When the guns fell silent, vast areas of the country that had been under UNITA control, and inaccessible to the outside world, opened up for the first time in years. The severe famine that was revealed was a direct result of both UNITA and government military strategies. Angola is enormously rich in natural resources, including oil and diamonds. Although the warring factions that have been fighting over those resources have at last signed a truce, the consequences of the conflictt will be felt for generations to come.