When Even Terrorists Say "You Suck!"

Photographers sit beside a billboard showing portraits of the victims of an attack on the bus carrying the Togo national football team, ahead of a ceremony in Lome on January 15, 2010. EMILE KOUTON/AFP/Getty Images

Four men were convicted in Angola early last month for “crimes against the state” based on a purported involvement in the January terror attack against the Togo football team in Cabinda Province. The Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda (FLEC), who claimed responsibility for the attack as part of its on-going separatist campaign, promptly denounced the convictions. Personally, I don’t think it’s a good sign how you are running your country when a terrorist group has a stronger moral compass on a human rights issue…

In January 2010, Angola hosted the Africa Cup of Nations soccer tournament. On route to the opening games, the Togo national team was fired upon by armed rebels in the Cabinda province, killing three people. Cabinda is a small spit of land separated from the northern territorial borders of Angola by the Democratic Republic of Congo. It is rich in oil and struggled with a separatist movement for many years now.

The four men, including Prisoners of Conscience Francisco Luemba and Raul Tati, were sentenced to between three and six years’ imprisonment by the Cabinda Provincial court. Luemba and Tati are members of the now banned human rights organization Mpalabanda. They are long-standing critics of both the government and FLEC. Police arrested both men shortly after the January attack. Francisco Luemba and Raul Tati were found with documents on Cabinda and had recently attended a conference aimed at finding a peaceful resolution to the situation in the troubled region.

All four activists have been convicted of violating article 26 of the Angolan Law of Crimes against the Security of the State, which gives the authorities power to class any act as a crime. Help us tell the Angolan government these men must be released unless they are charged with a recognizable criminal offence and guaranteed a fair trial. Maybe the members of FLEC will also take this action and send a letter to the Angolan government…

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4 thoughts on “When Even Terrorists Say "You Suck!"

  1. On route to the opening games, the Togo national team was fired upon by armed rebels in the Cabinda province, killing three people.

  2. On route to the opening games, the Togo national team was fired upon by armed rebels in the Cabinda province, killing three people.

  3. FLEC (Tiago/Barros/Batila) has denied reposnibility for the attack on the Togolese football team. The so called FLEC faction responsible was believed to working with Angolan police. Subseqently several top FLEC officials were expelled from the organization as Angolan dupes and are activiely recruiting militias to be used to put down resistance to the MPLA in Angola. FLEC has requested the Vatican speak up on behalf of Fr. Tati who along with the others here are victims of the Angolan MPLA occupiers.

  4. FLEC (Tiago/Barros/Batila) has denied reposnibility for the attack on the Togolese football team. The so called FLEC faction responsible was believed to working with Angolan police. Subseqently several top FLEC officials were expelled from the organization as Angolan dupes and are activiely recruiting militias to be used to put down resistance to the MPLA in Angola. FLEC has requested the Vatican speak up on behalf of Fr. Tati who along with the others here are victims of the Angolan MPLA occupiers.