By Stephen L. Weigert (auth.)
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Additional resources for Angola: A Modern Military History, 1961–2002
69 Cabindan residents, some of whom had already joined the ranks of the Mouvement 28 Angola de Liberation de l’Enclave de Cabinda (MLEC) in 1961, were not rallying to the MPLA, and by 1963, a small separatist movement known as the Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda (FLEC) had emerged to challenge MPLA and FNLA claims to lead or speak for the enclave’s sixty thousand inhabitants. A French analyst observed that the FNLA’s and MPLA’s shortcomings persisted long after Savimbi’s initial criticisms and faulted both movements for their continued “neglect of the need to win over the peasantry .
As the creator of an effective anticolonial coalition, her accomplishments laid the foundation for a larger national identity. Her political and military successes suggested to some that she be viewed as an African Joan of Arc. 1 Long after Nzinga’s death, Angolans continued to resist Portuguese colonialism, often in response to Lisbon’s oppressive land and labor policies. Portugal eventually had yielded to nineteenth-century international demands to abolish slavery, only to replace it with an equally onerous and brutal contract labor policy that prompted several early twentieth-century uprisings.
12 Stretching across more than ten degrees of latitude, the country contained tropical rain forests in the northwest and Cabinda. 13 The country’s vast and sparsely populated interior was distant and difficult to reach from its coastal cities. Using forced labor and little heavy equipment, Portuguese administrators had managed to develop a 33,000-kilometer road network by the middle of the twentieth century but, by 1960, only 725 kilometers were paved. 14 The country’s rail system had 3,670 kilometers of track dedicated primarily to three major rail lines running east from Luanda, Benguela, and Mocamedes (later Namibe).
Angola: A Modern Military History, 1961–2002 by Stephen L. Weigert (auth.)