On Sunday (August 4) as Portugal announced its decision to make contact with the Liberation movements in its west African colony of Angola, reports from the capital, Luanda, indicated that the situation there was deteriorating.
On Sunday (August 4) as Portugal announced its decision to make contact with the Liberation movements in its west African colony of Angola, reports from the capital, Luanda, indicated that the situation there was deteriorating. Three people died in clashes on Thursday and Friday(1 and 2 August), but later military authorities reported order had been restored.
Local newspapers say the clashes were between rival nationalist organisations. They say the fighting involved supporters of the Unita Liberation Movement and those of the recently-united Front for the Liberation of Angola (FNLA) and Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA). The FNLA and MPLA have settled their differences for future negotiations with Portugal - apparently leaving Unita out in the cold. A Visnews cameraman now in Luanda reported on Sunday (4 August) that tension between extremist Europeans, Africans and local military authorities was rising daily. He said extremist whites had wrecked the cameras of two other journalists in Luanda, and he personally had been threatened when he tried to reach the scene of regular confrontations. Crowds of people on Saturday (3 August) queued outside the Luanda Railway Station, waiting for trains to take them into the interior - away from the troubles in the capital.
On Friday, supporters of the FNLA and the MPLA rallied together in a unique show of unity. Thousands of chanting, cheering banner-waving nationalists attended the rally under the watchful eyes of the military police. Army helicopters flew overhead as truckloads of supporters joined the rally. Leaflets distributed by Unita were torn to shreds and tossed into the air.
Unita and its leader, Dr. Jonas Savimbi, also came under attack at the first official MPLA rally, held in Luanda Sports Stadium on Sunday. Banners denounced Dr. Savimbi as a traitor, alleging he'd made contact with the Portuguese forces in the past.
The rally was attended mainly by Africans, although there was a sprinkling of Europeans - among them, senior Portuguese military officers, invited by the MPLA.