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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

11/25/2013 (8 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Police fire teargas into demonstrations to dispel crowds

Demonstrations following the possible deaths of two anti-government activists led Angolan police to fire teargas and warning shots this past weekend. Hundreds of opposition supporters had gathered in the capital .

Angola's Interior Ministry advised UNITA to cancel the rallies as they coincide with a public march planned by the MPLA ruling party.

Angola's Interior Ministry advised UNITA to cancel the rallies as they coincide with a public march planned by the MPLA ruling party.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

11/25/2013 (8 months ago)

Published in Africa

Keywords: Angola, protests, opposition leaders, kidnappings, murder


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos' MPLA party has accused the main UNITA opposition group of promoting "chaos." The opposition group plans nationwide rallies to express public anger.

The activists in question, Isaias Cassule and Antonio Alves Camulingui were involved in organizing protests by former presidential guards to demand payment of back wages. The two are now feared kidnapped - and possibly murdered, following their disappearance in May of 2012.

Angola's Interior Ministry advised UNITA to cancel the rallies as they coincide with a public march planned by the MPLA ruling party.

"We met as planned at 4 a.m. ET near the Santana cemetery but an hour and a half later police charged on us, using teargas, anti-riot and mounted police and dogs," UNITA spokesman Alcides Sakala told reporters meters from the venue. Police charged on protesters behind Sakala as he spoke, firing teargas. Some protesters responded by throwing stones.

UNITA had planned a march to the Primeiro de Maio Square. A large police contingent, which included helicopters flying over the area, broke up small groups using teargas along the busy avenue that links the venues.

Sakala later said that UNITA had called an end to the protest, asking demonstrators to return home.

Former rebel group UNITA lost a 27-year civil war to the MPLA in 2002 and has since been trounced in two elections. The group has long accused Dos Santos of suppressing human rights and using violence to block dissent in his 34-year rule.

CASA-CE, the country's second-biggest opposition party, alleges that one of its members had been killed by presidential guards. A police spokesman contacted by Portuguese news agency Lusa did not confirm the allegation.

Angola is Africa's number two oil producer.

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