• Short Summary

    Portuguese forces in Angola are preparing for the big withdrawal amid fears that the battle between liberation groups for control of the country before independence day on 11 November is about to explode again.

  • Description

    Portuguese forces in Angola are preparing for the big withdrawal amid fears that the battle between liberation groups for control of the country before independence day on 11 November is about to explode again.

    There are also growing signs of panic amongst the 250,000 Portuguese settlers waiting for transport out of the war-torn country.

    It's estimated that 200,000 settlers have departed during the past 10 months.

    The 24,000-strong Portuguese supervisory force in Angola will now be pulled out before Independence Day .. instead of in February, 1976 as originally planned.

    But with independence only a matter of weeks away, Portugal still does not know who it will hand power over to.

    The withdrawal from Angola marks the end of 500 years of Portuguese colonial presence in Africa, and Lisbon is hoping fervently that their departure can be graceful.

    Now the three nationalist liberation groups are about to launch new assaults that may reach uncontemplated heights of violence, in a struggle to gain the upper hand before 11 November.

    But the Portuguese deny that they are abdicating their responsibility while the war escalates. Officials say their first priority is to repatriate their refugees.

    However, Portugal has sent an official delegation to Kampala to try to negotiate a peace settlement. It is also preparing to make a plea to the United Nations to take on peace-keeping responsibilities.

    The three liberation fronts -- the MPLA, the FNLA and UNITA -- are all fighting for power and the right to become the new government.

    SYNOPSIS: These soldiers are part of the 24,000 Portuguese supervisory force in Angola. Right now, they are preparing to leave the war-torn country before independence day only a matter of weeks away. The date to pull out has been put back from February next year. But Portugal denies that it is abdicating its responsibilities while the war escalates. The Portuguese say Lisbon's first priority is to complete the repatriation of over 350,000 refugees. But Portugal faces the problem of installing a new government. It still does not know who it will hand power over to.

    In the Angolan capital of Luanda there is growing panic as an escalation in military activity becomes inevitable. The three liberation warring movements -- the National Front for the Liberation of Angola, the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola and the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola -- are all seeking power to become the government. The President of UNITA, Dr. Savimbi, says an upsurge of fighting this month will occur. If this is the case a civil war could last two or three years if no political solution is found, he says. And for the people there is still the problem of a food shortage to worry about.

    The withdrawal by the Portuguese will mark the end of 500 years of Portuguese colonial presence in Africa. Lisbon's main desire is to withdraw from Angola gracefully.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA53HPORSNZB041A1K9YJORS6AN
    Media URN:
    VLVA53HPORSNZB041A1K9YJORS6AN
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    04/10/1975
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Colour
    Duration:
    00:01:37:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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