Slumming it in Angola

This posting is part of our Forced Evictions in Africa Series

A woman sits in the ruins of houses destroyed in the Cambamba neighbourhoods of Luanda, Angola to make room for a luxury housing complex.

Luanda, Angola hosted World Habitat Day last year. UN Habitat’s Executive Director Anna Tibaijuka called upon President dos Santos to allocate 10% of Angola’s oil income to upgrading vital social services such as housing, plumbing, clean water and electricity and praised Angola’s stated commitment toward a slum revitalization program. Approximately 85% of Angolans live in slum conditions surrounding major cities.

In response, President dos Santos stated his government was waging “a sustained war against chaotic urbanization.” I would agree with that analysis. It certainly looks like a battleground when armed forces enter a neighborhood, raze houses, evict families and destroy their homes and belongings. Since 2001, Amnesty International has documented the forcible eviction of more than 10,000 persons from slum dwellings in Angola, often accompanied by violence including police indiscriminately firing their weapons and beating women and children. And the reason why these evictions have occurred? To facilitate urban development projects and the construction of luxury housing.

In April 2009, Angola announced the creation of a special fund to build one million houses over the next four years. That’s great. But three months later in July, three thousand families were forcibly evicted from the Luanda neighborhoods of Iraque and Bagdad, utterly demolishing homes and possessions.

“Armed police, soldiers and presidential guards arrived in both neighbourhoods at 3am on 20 July and ordered people out of their homes before bulldozers began to demolish the houses. The residents stood and watched as their homes were being demolished. Some of those who tried to stop the demolitions were beaten.”

Well, that’s a little awkward Mr. dos Santos. You say you are following up on your campaign commitment to provide housing because you are concerned about social unrest and then you have your government thugs throw families into the street in the middle of the night in winter, beating them up when they try to salvage a portion of their possessions and dignity. Seems like you might want to consider building those houses at a faster pace than the ones you are tearing down.

Help Human Rights Live in Angola. Stand Up Against Forced Evictions in Africa. Take action now.

AIUSA welcomes a lively and courteous discussion that follow our Community Guidelines. Comments are not pre-screened before they post but AIUSA reserves the right to remove any comments violating our guidelines.

11 thoughts on “Slumming it in Angola

  1. What needs to happen in all of Africa, is re-colonization. These people are totally incapable of self governance. Standards of living were so much higher when the Europeans controlled Africa.

  2. What needs to happen in all of Africa, is re-colonization. These people are totally incapable of self governance. Standards of living were so much higher when the Europeans controlled Africa.

  3. For the likes of Mr Kurt(z) Anderson — yes, why don't you try the "recolonization" of Africa — or anywhere else !! We got a welcome committee outside the airport .

    We serve a special menu for all self – identified "recolonizers", drinks & dishes with a zing in 'em — the appetizer's a real wakeup, & the dessert is unmissable . That's just the preliminary "get to know us" bash ( literally ).

    Next we offer royal accomodations. In a place called Isandhlwana.

    If it's not on your map, you have a nice DAYBREAK awaiting.

  4. For the likes of Mr Kurt(z) Anderson — yes, why don’t you try the “recolonization” of Africa — or anywhere else !! We got a welcome committee outside the airport .

    We serve a special menu for all self – identified “recolonizers”, drinks & dishes with a zing in ‘em — the appetizer’s a real wakeup, & the dessert is unmissable . That’s just the preliminary “get to know us” bash ( literally ).

    Next we offer royal accomodations. In a place called Isandhlwana.

    If it’s not on your map, you have a nice DAYBREAK awaiting.

  5. Now now, A Savage. While I appreciate the difficulty in not responding to the blatant ignorance expressed by Mr. Anderson, lets not sink to his level. It's better to not engage those with such opinions because it often just tends to entrench them in a defensive mode. I prefer to hope that because Mr. Anderson even bothered to read this blog, he is willing to learn and expand from the cultural mindset he currently holds.

    Sarah

  6. Now now, A Savage. While I appreciate the difficulty in not responding to the blatant ignorance expressed by Mr. Anderson, lets not sink to his level. It’s better to not engage those with such opinions because it often just tends to entrench them in a defensive mode. I prefer to hope that because Mr. Anderson even bothered to read this blog, he is willing to learn and expand from the cultural mindset he currently holds.

    Sarah

  7. Well spoken, Sarah.Very well spoken. i'll remember your words next time. But easier said — each time a specific instance erupts, it does raise the spirit. But right you are — only to protect the people & the creatures everywhere should we speak. Surprising how your words will make it easier to maintain calm !!

    i remain corrected by you.

  8. Well spoken, Sarah.Very well spoken. i’ll remember your words next time. But easier said — each time a specific instance erupts, it does raise the spirit. But right you are — only to protect the people & the creatures everywhere should we speak. Surprising how your words will make it easier to maintain calm !!

    i remain corrected by you.

  9. Pingback: Southern Africa Year in Review 2009 | Human Rights Now - Amnesty International USA Blog

  10. Pingback: Import Human Rights to Angola | Human Rights Now - Amnesty International USA Blog

  11. UN Habitat’s Executive Director Anna Tibaijuka called upon President dos Santos to allocate 10% of Angola’s oil income to upgrading vital social services such as housing, plumbing, clean water and electricity and praised Angola’s stated commitment toward a slum revitalization program.