251,565 Pages

Cabinda War
File:Angola - Cabinda.svg
A map of Cabinda.
Date 1975 - ongoing
Location Cabinda Province
Status Ceasefire declared by FLEC-Renovada in August 2006, continued guerilla warfare by FLEC-FAC.
Flag of Angola.svg Angola
Flag of Cuba.svg Cuba
Flag of Cabinda (FLEC propose).svg FLEC
Commanders and leaders
Angola Agostinho Neto Flag of Cabinda (FLEC propose).svg António Bento Bembe
Flag of Cabinda (FLEC propose).svg Henrique N'zita Tiago
Flag of Cabinda (FLEC propose).svg Alexandre Builo Tati [4]
30,000 Angola 300 - 7,000 (1975) [5]
Casualties and losses
Around 30,000 killed[6]

The Cabinda War is a separatist insurgency of the Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda (FLEC) in Cabinda Province against the government of Angola. Cabinda is an exclave bordering the Democratic Republic of Congo and Republic of Congo.

Rich in oil, it produces 60% of the total Angolan output. International corporations such as Chevron Corporation, Total and Agip operate in the country, along with the partially state-owned Sonangol, an important corporation for Angola.[citation needed]

Until the late 1950s, Angola and Cabinda were separate legal entities. Angola was a Portuguese colony while Cabinda was a Portuguese proctectorate under the Treaty of Simulambuco. Portugal decided to put both territories under the same administration based in Luanda. In January 1975 under pressure from Angolan liberation movements, Portugal accepted Cabinda as part of Angola in Alvor (Alvor Agreement) where the 3 Angolan movements (MPLA, UNITA and FNLA) were present, ignoring completely the will of the People of Cabinda their right to self-determination not only under the U.N. Chart/Right to Self-determination of people but under the Treaty of Simulambuco in which Portugal recognizes the right to self- determination of Cabinda and to protect the culture and territorial integrity of Cabinda. In November 1975 Angola became an independent country from Portugal, claiming Cabinda as part of its territory and invaded Cabinda in November 1975 soon after Portuguese troops left the territory.[7] The provisional Cabindan government, led by the FLEC, was overturned. Angola gained control of the main cities, while occupant forces moved into the countryside.

There was constant fighting for decades, as the Angolan Civil War dragged on nearly thirty years, until 2002 when Angolan forces and UNITA forces signed the peace deal that end the war in Angola. The conflict in Cabinda persists. There's no sign that it will end anytime soon unless the international community take it seriously.[8] The Cabindan independence movements experienced a number of splits. A ceasefire was reached between Angola and FLEC-Renovada, while FLEC-FAC denied such a treaty and supported the Republic of Cabinda government in exile.

According to U.S. intelligence services, France allegedly supported FLEC by providing training and financial aid.Despite the fact Zaire remained FLEC's main foreign supporter.[2][3]

A few small steps occurred in recent times, with some leaders proposing a new ceasefire and peace talks.[9]

According to the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization, Cabinda is under military occupation,[10] reinforced in recent times by Angolan forces.[11] This was especially true after the Togo national football team was attacked by the FLEC, when Angola was hosting the 2010 African Cup of Nations. Rebel forces claimed it was a mistake.[12] In 2012, FLEC-FAC announced its readiness to declare a ceasefire and pursue a negotiated resolution to the conflict.[13]

International intervention in the conflict has been limited, with Portugal offering a mediation role and letting the FLEC rule a delegation in Lisbon.[14] France hosts part of the Cabindan government in the exile, the vast majority of whom are francophone. (The French oil company Total is present in the country.) The Netherlands has hosted some talks between the sides in recent years. Cuba reduced its presence after several years of intervention in the Civil War on behalf of the government.


In August 1974, FLEC absorbed the Democratic Union of Cabindan Peoples and the Democratic Party of Cabinda, becoming the sole political organisation in Cabinda.[15]

In early November 1975, FLEC engaged clashed with MPLA. A total of 600 Cabindan MPLA soldiers defected to FLEC following rumours of a large scale Congolese invasion into the region, the defectors reportedly brought Soviet made heavy weaponry.[1]

On 18 July 2006, Cabinda Forum for Dialogue (FCD) led by António Bento Bembe signed a second definite cease fire with the Angolan government, the event took place in Macabi, Cabinda. The agreement assured Cabinda's status as a part of Angola, provided special economic status and local governance powers to Cabinda, and condemned further acts of insurgency and separatism. The treaty received criticism from Bembe's opponents within the movement.[16][17]

On 27 March 2009, FLEC-FAC rebels attacked a convoy of three Chinese owned trucks in the outskirts of Cacongo, killing one Chinese national. At least 8 people were arrested for allegedly perpetrating the attack.[18]

On 1 April 2009, a army patrol came under attack by suspected militants in the area of Cacongo.[18]

On 9 July 2010, Henrique N'zita Tiago stated that FLEC will discontinue its armed struggle and offered to restart peace talks, FLEC Renovada commander Alexandre Builo Tati echoed the statement.[4]

On 8 November 2010, FLEC militants ambushed a convoy carrying Chinese workers, 2 Angolan soldiers were killed in the incident.[19]

On 20 December 2014, guerrillas ambushed an army vehicle in the outskirts of Vito Novo, Buco Zau municipality, killing 4 and wounding 7 soldiers.[20]

On 22 December 2014, a skirmish took place in Ntataba, Buco Zau, resulting 1 death and one injury among the ranks of the government troops.[20]


  1. 1.0 1.1 "CABINDA SITUATION/ FNLA & UNITA REPORTED IN BENGUELA AND LOBITO". Wikileaks. November 6, 1975. Retrieved 23 January 2015. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "RUMORED FRENCH AID TO CABINDA LIBERATION MOVEMENT". Wikileaks. 25 October 1974. Retrieved 26 January 2015. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Cabinda". Wikileaks. January 16, 1976. Retrieved 23 January 2015. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 "G3/S3 - ANGOLA/SECURITY - Angola FLEC leaders call off war in Cabinda". Wikileaks. 9 July 2010. Retrieved 26 January 2015. 
  5. "Cabinda". Wikileaks. May 28, 1975. Retrieved 23 January 2015. 
  6. History of Cabinda (Norwegian)
  7. John Pike. "Cabinda". Retrieved 23 January 2015. 
  8. "¿Qué pasa en… Cabinda?". África no es un país. Retrieved 23 January 2015. 
  9. [1] Cabindan rebels historic leader offers a ceasefire and proposes peace talks in Luanda
  10. UNPO Resolution Concerning the Cabinda Enclave Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization, July 7, 2005
  11. "Angola mantém presença militar reforçada em Cabinda". Retrieved 23 January 2015. 
  12. Sturcke, James; Myers, Paul; Smith, David (2010-01-11). "Togo footballers were attacked by mistake, Angolan rebels say". The Guardian. 
  13. AfricaReview - Angola's Cabinda rebels to 'lay down arms', May 2, 2013. Retrieved January 5, 2015.
  14. [2]
  15. "CABINDAN NATIONALISM AND THE POSSIBLE NEED FOR A U.S. POLICY DECISION". Wikileaks. 24 September 1974. Retrieved 26 January 2015. 
  16. "ANGOLA - SECOND, "DEFINITIVE" CEASE-FIRE SIGNED IN CABINDA". Wikileaks. 19 July 2006. Retrieved 26 January 2015. 
  17. "ANGOLA - GRA READY TO SIGN PEACE ACCORD IN CABINDA". Wikileaks. 30 July 2006. Retrieved 26 January 2015. 
  18. 18.0 18.1 "CABINDA: SECURITY INCIDENT PROVOKES STERN REACTIONS". Wikileaks. 14 April 2009. Retrieved 26 January 2015. 
  19. "Re: ANALYSIS FOR EDIT - ANGOLA - FLEC Still Causing Problems in Cabinda". Wikileaks. 12 November 2010. Retrieved 26 January 2015. 
  20. 20.0 20.1 "Attacks on cargo and military in Angola's Cabinda exclave more likely, but low risk to energy assets". Wikileaks. 22 January 2015. Retrieved 9 February 2015. 

External linksEdit

This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.