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Saturday, March 12, 2011


Welcome, my 169th country:


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Angola is rebuilding its country after the end of a 27-year civil war in 2002. Fighting between the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), led by Jose Eduardo DOS SANTOS, and the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), led by Jonas SAVIMBI, followed independence from Portugal in 1975. Peace seemed imminent in 1992 when Angola held national elections, but fighting picked up again by 1996. Up to 1.5 million lives may have been lost - and 4 million people displaced - in the quarter century of fighting. SAVIMBI's death in 2002 ended UNITA's insurgency and strengthened the MPLA's hold on power. President DOS SANTOS held legislative elections in September 2008 and, despite promising to hold presidential elections in 2009, has since made a presidential poll contingent on the drafting of a new constitution.

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Angola is almost a forgotten African country.  In 1999, the United Nations called this the worst country for children.  Maybe this is progress, but in 2009, Angola was #143 (whoops, dropped to #146 in 2010) of 182 countries in the UN Human Development Index, but a recent report said progress for children is mixed.  However, in general, things are improving.

Angola has a population approaching 19 million and GDP/capita of $6412.  The only current public rallies are organized by the government and are, of course, pro-government.


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