• Short Summary

    The Portuguese Air Force evacuated the last refugees from the Angolan town of Nova Lisbon to the capital of Luanda on Saturday (4 October).

  • Description

    The Portuguese Air Force evacuated the last refugees from the Angolan town of Nova Lisbon to the capital of Luanda on Saturday (4 October).

    The refugees were flown out as forces of the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) were advancing toward Nova Lisbon, fighting their way along roads still held by the Union for the Total Liberation of Angola (UNITA).

    The MPLA has pledged to take control of Angola before 11 November when Portugal is scheduled to grant the country independence, but just who Portugal will hand power to is still unknown.

    The refugees from Nova Lisbon joined some 70,000 other Portuguese settlers waiting for flights out of Angola in Luanda while thousands more, both black and white, are still stranded around the countryside trying to make for the capital.

    It's estimated that 200,000 white settlers have left Angola during the past ten months, but another 100,000 are still trying to get out of the country before the 24,000 strong Portuguese supervisory force is withdrawn.

    Luanda's docks are crowded with refugees and their belongings waiting for transport.

    SYNOPSIS: The Portuguese Air Force supervised the evacuation of the last refugees to leave Nova Lisbon on Saturday. The refugees were moved out of the Angolan town as rival liberation forces prepared to battle for its control. MPLA forces were advancing towards Nova Lisbon as the last refugee truck left the town's limits .. on roads still controlled by UNITA forces.

    United Nations personnel were on hand to watch the refugee movement.

    Portuguese Air Force jets were used for the transportation of the refugees' belongings. Space was extremely limited and many had to leave most of their possessions behind. However, the entire operation was carried out without a hitch.

    Portuguese troops, part of the twenty-four-thousand strong force in Angola, supervised the loading and boarding from the tarmac.

    The refugees from Nova Lisbon will join around seventy-thousand others in Luanda, and wait their turn for transport out of Angola. It's estimated that two hundred-thousand people have left the country in the past ten months .. fleeing before Independence Day -- scheduled for the eleventh of November.

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    Reuters - Source to be Verified
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