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Mbunda In Angola History
Angola, officially the Republic of Angola is a country in Southern Africa. It is the seventh-largest country in Africa, and is bordered by Namibia to the south, the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the north, Zambia to the east, and the Atlantic Ocean to west. The exclave province of Cabinda has borders with the Republic of the Congo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The capital and largest city is Luanda, which is home to 2.8 million of Angola's 24.3 million people.
Although its territory has been inhabited since the Paleolithic Era, modern Angola has its roots in Portuguese colonization, which began with mostly coastal settlements and trading posts established in the 16th century. In the 19th century, settlers slowly and hesitantly began to establish themselves in the interior. Angola as a Portuguese colony encompassing the present territory was not established until the early 20th century, after Mbunda resistance ended following the abduction of their King, Mwene Mbandu I Lyondthzi Kapova. Independence was achieved in 1975, after a protracted liberation war. That same year, Angola descended into an intense civil war that lasted until 2002.
The name was derived by the Portuguese from the title ngola held by the kings of Ndongo. Ndongo was a kingdom in the highlands, between the Kwanza and Lukala Rivers, nominally tributary to the king of Kongo but which was seeking greater independence during the 16th century.
Early migrations and political units
Territory comprising Kingdom of Ndongo, present-day Angola
Khoi and San hunter-gatherers are the earliest known modern human inhabitants of the area. They were largely absorbed or replaced by Bantu peoples during the Bantu migrations, though small numbers remain in parts of southern Angola to the present day. The Bantu came from the north, probably from somewhere near the present-day Republic of Cameroon and Sudan. The establishment of the Bantu took many centuries and gave rise to various groups who took on different ethnic characteristics.
During this time, the Bantu established a number of political units ("kingdoms", "empires") in most parts of what today is Angola. The best known of these is the Kingdom of the Kongo that had its centre in the northwest of contemporary Angola, but included important regions in the west of present day Democratic Republic of the Congo and Republic of Congo, and in southern Gabon. It established trade routes with other trading cities and civilizations up and down the coast of southwestern and West Africa and even with the Great Zimbabwe Mutapa Empire, but engaged in little or no transoceanic trade.
Others include the Mbunda, whose kingdom was established in the 15th century at the confluence of Kwilu and Kasai rivers, in the south of present day Democratic Republic of the Congo, after a misunderstanding in Kola, also known as the origin of the Lunda and the Luba Kingdoms. The Mbunda trace their origin from Sudan, trekking southwards through Kola where they came in contact with the Luba and Ruund people. They reached what is now Angola in the sixteenth century, where they encountered the Khoisan, Bushmen and other groups considerably less technologically advanced, whom they easily dominated with their superior knowledge of metal-working, ceramics and agriculture. The Mbunda kingdom in Mbundaland, southeast of the now Angola endured until late 19th century, one of the oldest and biggest ethnic grouping in Southern Africa.
Queen Nzinga in peace negotiations with the Portuguese governor in Luanda, 1657.
An image depicting Portuguese encounter with Kongo Royal family
The geographical areas now designated as Angola entered into contact with the Portuguese in the late 15th century, concretely in 1483, when Portugal established relations with the Kongo State, which stretched from modern Gabon in the north to the Kwanza River in the south. In this context, the Portuguese established a small trade-post at the port of Mpinda, in Soyo. The Portuguese explorer Paulo Dias de Novais founded Luanda in 1575 as "São Paulo de Loanda", with a hundred families of settlers and four hundred soldiers. Benguela, a Portuguese fort from 1587 which became a town in 1617, was another important early settlement they founded and ruled. The Portuguese would establish several settlements, forts and trading posts along the coastal strip of current-day Angola, which relied on the slave trade, commerce in raw materials, and the exchange of goods for survival.
The Atlantic slave trade provided a large number of black slaves to merchants and to slave dealers in Angola. European traders would export manufactured goods to the coast of Africa where they would be exchanged for slaves. Within the Portuguese Empire, most black African slaves were traded to Portuguese merchants who bought them to sell as cheap labour for use on Brazilian agricultural plantations. This trade would last until the first half of the 19th century. According to John Iliffe, "Portuguese records of Angola from the 16th century show that a great famine occurred on average every seventy years; accompanied by epidemic disease, it might kill one-third or one-half of the population, destroying the demographic growth of a generation and forcing colonists back into the river valleys".
The Portuguese gradually took control of the coastal strip during the 16th century by a series of treaties and wars, forming the Portuguese colony of Angola. Taking advantage of the Portuguese Restoration War, the Dutch occupied Luanda from 1641 to 1648, where they allied with local peoples, consolidating their colonial rule against the remaining Portuguese resistance. In 1648, a fleet under the command of Salvador de Sá retook Luanda for Portugal and initiated a conquest of the lost territories, which restored Portugal to its former possessions by 1650. Treaties regulated relations with Kongo in 1649 and Njinga's Kingdom of Matamba and Ndongo in 1656. The conquest of Pungo Andongo in 1671 was the last major Portuguese expansion from Luanda outwards, as attempts to invade Kongo in 1670 and Matamba in 1681 failed. Portugal also expanded its territory to some extent beyond the coastal town of Benguela, but until the 19th century the inroads from Luanda and Benguela were very limited, and Portugal had neither the intention nor the means to carry out a large scale territorial occupation and colonization.
King Mwene Mbandu I Lyondthzi Kapova, the 21st Monarch of the Mbunda Kingdom
Portuguese troops heading for Angola during World War I.
The process resulted in few gains until the 1880s. Development of the hinterland began after the Berlin Conference in 1885 fixed the colony's borders, and British and Portuguese investment fostered mining, railways, and agriculture based on various forced-labour and voluntary labour systems. Full Portuguese administrative control of the hinterland did not establish itself until the beginning of the 20th century. In the East of the territory this happened after the end the Mbunda resistance and abduction of their King, Mwene Mbandu I Lyondthzi Kapova, eventually dislodged the Mbunda Kingdom extending Angolan territory over Mbundaland. In 1951 the Portuguese government designated the colony as an overseas province of Portugal, called the Overseas Province of Angola.
Portugal had a minimalist presence in Angola for nearly five hundred years, and early calls for independence provoked little reaction amongst the population whose had no social identity related to the territory as a whole. More overtly political and "nationalist" organisations first appeared in the 1950s and began to make demands for self-determination, especially in international forums such as the Non-Aligned Movement.
The Portuguese regime, meanwhile, refused to accede to the demands for independence, provoking an armed conflict that started in 1961 when black guerrillas attacked both white and black civilians in cross-border operations in northeastern Angola. The war came to be known as the Colonial War. In this struggle, the principal protagonists included, the People's Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), founded in 1956, the National Front for the Liberation of Angola (FNLA), which appeared in 1961 and the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), founded in 1966.
After many years of conflict that led to the weakening of all the insurgent parties, Angola gained its independence on 11 November 1975, after the 1974 coup d'état in Lisbon, Portugal, which overthrew the Portuguese regime headed by Marcelo Caetano.
Portugal's new revolutionary leaders began in 1974 a process of political change at home and accepted independence for its former colonies abroad. In Angola a fight for dominance broke out immediately between the three nationalist movements. The events prompted a mass exodus of Portuguese citizens, creating up to 300 000 destitute Portuguese refugees—the retornados. The new Portuguese government tried to mediate an understanding between the three competing movements, and succeeded in getting them to agree, on paper, to form a common government. But in the end none of the African parties respected the commitments made, and military force resolved the issue.
Independence and civil war
Monument to the memory of Agostinho Neto and the Angolan struggle for independence, in Luanda
After it gained independence in November 1975, Angola experienced a devastating civil war which lasted several decades (with some interludes). It claimed millions of lives and produced many refugees, eventually coming to an end in 2002.
Following negotiations held in Portugal, itself experiencing severe social and political turmoil and uncertainty due to the April 1974 revolution, Angola's three main guerrilla groups agreed to establish a transitional government in January 1975. Within two months, however, the FNLA, MPLA and UNITA had started fighting each other and the country began splitting into zones controlled by rival armed political groups. The MPLA gained control of the capital Luanda and much of the rest of the country. With the support of the United States, Zaïre and South Africa intervened militarily in favour of the FNLA and UNITA with the intention of taking Luanda before the declaration of independence. In response, Cuba intervened in favor of the MPLA (see: Cuba in Angola), which became a flash point for the Cold War.
With Cuban support, the MPLA held Luanda and declared independence on 11 November 1975, with Agostinho Neto becoming the first president, though the civil war continued. At this time, most of the half-million Portuguese who lived in Angola – and who had accounted for the majority of the skilled work in the public administration, agriculture, industries and trade – fled the country, leaving its once prosperous and growing economy in a state of bankruptcy.
For most of 1975–1990, the MPLA organised and maintained a socialist régime. In 1990, when the Cold War ended, MPLA abandoned its ties to the Marxist–Leninist ideology and declared social democracy to be its official ideology, going on to win the 1992 general election. However, eight opposition parties rejected the elections as rigged, sparking the Halloween massacre.
Ceasefire with UNITA
On 22 March 2002, Jonas Savimbi, the leader of UNITA, was killed in combat with government troops. A cease-fire was reached by the two factions shortly afterwards. UNITA gave up its armed wing and assumed the role of major opposition party, although in the knowledge that in the present regime a legitimate democratic election was impossible. Although the political situation of the country began to stabilize, regular democratic processes were not established before the Elections in Angola in 2008 and 2012 and the adoption of a new Constitution of Angola in 2010, all of which strengthened the prevailing Dominant-party system. MPLA head officials continue e.g. to be given senior positions in top level companies or other fields, although a few outstanding UNITA figures are given some shares in the economic as well as in the military share.
Among Angola's major problems are a serious humanitarian crisis (a result of the prolonged war), the abundance of minefields, the continuation of the political, and to a much lesser degree, military activities in favour of the independence of the northern exclave of Cabinda, carried out in the context of the protracted Cabinda Conflict by the Frente para a Libertação do Enclave de Cabinda, but most of all, the dilapidation of the country's rich mineral resources by the regime. While most of the internally displaced have now settled around the capital, in the so-called "Musseques", the general situation for Angolans remains desperate.
Angola has a population of 24,383,301 inhabitants according to the preliminary results of its 2014 census, the first one conducted or carried out since 15 December 1970. It is composed of Ovimbundu (language Umbundu) 37%, Ambundu (language Kimbundu) 25%, Bakongo 13%, and 32% other ethnic groups (including the Chokwe, the Ovambo, the Mbunda, with the latter having been replaced by Ganguela, a generic term for peoples east of the Central Highlands, which has a slightly derogatory meaning when applied by the western ethnic groups, and the Xindonga) as well as about 2% mestiços (mixed European and African), 1.4% Chinese and 1% European. The Ambundu and Ovimbundu nations combined form a majority of the population, at 62%. The population is forecast to grow to over 60 million people to 2050, 2.7 times the 2014 population.
It is estimated that Angola was host to 12,100 refugees and 2,900 asylum seekers by the end of 2007. 11,400 of those refugees were originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo, who arrived in the 1970s. As of 2008 there were an estimated 400,000 Democratic Republic of the Congo migrant workers, at least 30,000 Portuguese, and about 259,000 Chinese living in Angola.
Since 2003, more than 400,000 Congolese migrants have been expelled from Angola. Prior to independence in 1975, Angola had a community of approximately 350,000 Portuguese, but the vast majority left after independence and the ensuing civil war. However, Angola has recovered its Portuguese minority in recent years; currently, there are about 200,000 registered with the consulates, and increasing due to the debt crisis in Portugal and the relative prosperity in Angola. The Chinese population stands at 258,920, mostly composed of temporary migrants.
Angola is a member of CPLP – Community of Portuguese-speaking nations
The languages in Angola are those originally spoken by the different ethnic groups and Portuguese, introduced during the Portuguese colonial era. The indigenous languages with the largest usage are Umbundu, Kimbundu, and Kikongo, in that order. Portuguese is the official language of the country.
Mastery of the official language is probably more extended in Angola than it is elsewhere in Africa, and this certainly applies to its use in everyday life. Moreover, and above all, the proportion of native (or near native) speakers of the language of the former colonizer, turned official after independence, is no doubt considerably higher than in any other African country.
There are three intertwined historical reasons for this situation.
As a consequence of all this, the African “lower middle class” which at that stage formed in Luanda and other cities began to often prevent their children from learning the local African language, in order to guarantee that they learned Portuguese as their native language. At the same time, the white and “mestiço” population, where some knowledge of African languages could previously often been found, neglected this aspect more and more, to the point of frequently ignoring it totally. After independence, these tendencies continued, and were even strengthened, under the rule of the MPLA which has its main social roots exactly in those social segments where the mastery of Portuguese as well as the proportion of native Portuguese speakers was highest. This became a political side issue, as FNLA and UNITA, given their regional constituencies, came out in favour of a greater attention to the African languages, and as the FNLA favoured French over Portuguese.
The dynamics of the language situation, as described above, were additionally fostered by the massive migrations triggered by the Civil War. Ovimbundu, the most populous ethnic group and the most affected by the war, appeared in great numbers in urban areas outside their areas, especially in Luanda and surroundings. At the same time, a majority of the Bakongo who had fled to the Democratic Republic of Congo in the early 1960s, or of their children and grandchildren, returned to Angola, but mostly did not settle in their original "habitat", but in the cities—and again above all in Luanda. As a consequence, more than half the population is now living in the cities which, from the linguistic point of view, have become highly heterogeneous. This means, of course, that Portuguese as the overall national language of communication is by now of paramount importance, and that the role of the African languages is steadily decreasing among the urban population—a trend which is beginning to spread into rural areas as well.
The exact numbers of those fluent in Portuguese or who speak Portuguese as a first language are unknown, although a census is expected to be carried out in July–August 2013. Quite a number of voices demand the recognition of "Angolan Portuguese" as a specific variant, comparable to those spoken in Portugal or in Brazil. However, while there exists a certain number of idiomatic particularities in everyday Portuguese, as spoken by Angolans, it remains to be seen whether or not the Angolan government comes to the conclusion that these particularities constitute a configuration that justifies the claim to be a new language variant.
On 16 August 2008, the Mbunda Monarch which was dislodged in 1920 after the Mbunda resistance to Portuguese colonial occupation, when the Portuguese colonialists abducted the twenty first (21st) Mbunda Monarch, King Mwene Mbandu I Lyondthzi Kapova (Kathzima Mishambo) and eventually extending Angola territory over Mbundaland  was restored, with the enthronement of the twenty third (23rd) Mbunda Monarch, King Mwene Mbandu III Mbandu Lifuti. The ceremony took place in Lumbala Nguimbo, Moxico and officiated by Deputy Minister of Territory, Garciano Domingos Sunday, Governor of Moxico Province, João Ernesto dos Santos “Liberdade” and Angolan Ambassador accredited to Zambia, Mr. Pedro Neto. Also in attendance were Chiefs Chiyengele and Kandala, two of the three Chieftainships which migrated from Mbundaland to Barotseland of the now Zambia at the end of the 18th century. The ceremony also marked the beginning of the "Lithathe Lya Miondo Ya Mbunda" celebrated during the second week of August of every year in Lumbala Nguimbo.
The government held legislative elections on 5 September 2008, the first national election in sixteen years. Election observers reported serious electoral irregularities and restrictions on political freedom.
 "Resultados preliminares do censo geral – 2014". Instituto Nacional de Estatística (INE). Retrieved 21 August 2014.
"Angola". International Monetary Fund. Retrieved 26 April 2014.
 "Gini Index". World Bank. Retrieved 2 March 2011.
 "2014 Human Development Report Summary" (PDF). United Nations Development Programme. 2014. pp. 21–25. Retrieved 27 July 2014.
 René Pélissier (1977) Les Guerres grises: Résistance et revoltes en Angola (1845–1941), Montamets/Orgeval: Éditions Pélissier
 "Life expectancy at birth". World Fact Book. United States Central Intelligence Agency. 2014.
 Heywood, Linda M. & Thornton, John K. (2007) Central Africans, Atlantic Creoles, and the foundation of the Americas, 1585–1660. Cambridge University Press. p. 82. ISBN 0521770653
 "The Bantu in Ancient Egypt, citing sources: Alfred M M'Imanyara 'The Restatement of Bantu Origin and Meru History' published by Longman Kenya, 1992 – Social Science – 170 pages, ISBN 9966-49-832-X". Kaa-umati.co.uk. 30 June 2008. Retrieved 13 July 2014.
 "The Story of Africa". BBC. Retrieved 27 June 2010.
 Almanac of African Peoples & Nations page 523, Social Science By Muḥammad Zuhdī Yakan, Transaction Publishers, Putgers – The State University, New Jersey, ISBN 1-56000-433-9
 Robert Papstein (1994) The History and Cultural Life of the Mbunda Speaking People, Lusaka Cheke Cultural Writers Association, ISBN 9982-03-006-X
 Dismantling the Portuguese Empire, Time (7 July 1975)
 Stuart A. Notholt (1998). "The Decolonization of Portuguese Africa: Metropolitan Revolution and the Dissolution of Empire by Norrie MacQueen – Mozambique since Independence: Confronting Leviathan by Margaret Hall & Tom Young". African Affairs 97 (387): 276–278. doi:10.1093/oxfordjournals.afraf.a007936. JSTOR 723274.
 "Americas Third World War: How 6 million People Were killed in CIA secret wars against third world countries". Imperial Beach, California: Information Clearing House. 16 November 1981. Archived from the original on 29 June 2010. Retrieved 27 June 2010.
 "CIA & Angolan Revolution 1975 Part 1". YouTube. Retrieved 27 June 2010.
 "The Economist: Flight from Angola". 16 August 1975.
 M.R. Bhagavan (1986) Angola's Political Economy 1975–1985, Uppsala: Nordiska Afrikainstitutet. ISBN 9171062483
 Santos, Hélia (2008), "MPLA (Angola)", A Historical Companion to Postcolonial Literatures – Continental Europe and its Empires (Edinburgh University Press), p. 480
 National Society for Human Rights, Ending the Angolan Conflict, Windhoek, Namibia, 3 July 2000 (opposition parties, massacres); John Matthew, Letters, The Times, UK, 6 November 1992 (election observer); NSHR, Press Releases, 12 September 2000, 16 May 2001 (MPLA atrocities).
 "CIA – The World Factbook". United States Central Intelligence Agency.
 In 2006 a former UNITA general, Nduma, was appointed head of the general staff of the armed forces.
 Lari (2004), Human Rights Watch (2005)
 For an overall analysis see Ricardo Soares de Oliveira, Magnificant and Beggar Land: Angola since the Civil War, London: Hurst, 2015
 José Redinha, Etnias e culturas de Angola, Luanda: Instituto de Investigalção Científica de Angola, 1975
 Alvin W. Urquhart (1963). Patterns of Settlement and Subsistence in Southwestern Angola. National Academies. pp. 10–.
 As no reliable census data exist at this stage (2011), all these numbers are rough estimates only, subject to adjustments and updates.
 2050 Population as a Multiple of 2014. PRB 2014 World Population Data Sheet
 U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants. "World Refugee Survey 2008". p. 37
 World Refugee Survey 2008 – Angola, UNHCR. NB: This figure is highly doubtful, as it makes no clear distinction between migrant workers, refugees, and immigrants.
 Angola, U.S. Department of State. NB: Estimations in 2011 put that number at 100,000, and add about 150,000 to 200,000 other Europeans and Latin Americans.
 "Angola: Cerca de 259.000 chineses vivem atualmente no país". Visão. 25 April 2012. Retrieved 13 January 2013
 "Calls for Angola to Investigate Abuse of Congolese Migrants". Inter Press Service. 21 May 2012
 Gerald Bender; Stanley Yoder (1974). "Whites in Angola on the Eve of Independence. The Politics of Numbers". Africa Today 21 (4): 23–27. JSTOR 4185453. Flight from Angola, The Economist , 16 August 1975 puts the number at 500,000, but this is an estimate lacking appropriate sources.
 Siza, Rita (6 June 2013). "José Eduardo dos Santos diz que trabalhadores portugueses são bem-vindos em Angola". Público (Lisbon).
 Tom Phillips (26 August 2012) "Chinese 'gangsters' repatriated from Angola", The Daily Telegraph
 An illustration is Franz-Wilhelm Heimer, Educação e sociedade nas áreas rurais de Angola: Resultados de um inquérito’’, vol. 2, ‘’Análise do universo agrícola’’ (survey report), Serviços de Planeamento e Integração Económica de Angola, Luanda, 1974
 René Pélissier, La révolte des Bunda (1916-1917), pp. 408 - 412 (French for "the Mbunda revolt"), section footnotes citing sources: Luís Figueira, Princesa Negra: O preço da civilização em África, Coimbra Edição do autor, 1932.
 Robert Papstein, 1994, The History and Cultural Life of the Mbunda Speaking People, Lusaka Cheke Cultural Writers Association, ISBN 99 820 3006X
 news AngolaPress 16-08-2008 23:50
 Rafael Marques de Morais (2008). "Angola: Elections - Waiting for Democracy to Fall from the Sky". allAfrica. Retrieved 2008-12-25.
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