The drama of Angola's recent history must be seen against the backdrop of political developments in Southern Africa, which had a direct impact on the turn of events in the civil war. During the 1960s and 1970s, the conflict was widely regarded as a prominent example of a liberation struggle against the Portuguese colonial regime. In contrast, the bitter battle in the 1980s and early 1990s between UNITA and the Movimento Popular de Libertação de Angola (Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola – MPLA), the party which has dominated the government in Luanda since independence, was seen as a proxy war between the superpowers over the control of a key African state. During the final phase of the conflict, from the mid-1990s to early 2002, Angola was viewed as a quintessential resource conflict, a power play over access to valuable commodities such as diamonds and crude oil (Global Witness, 1998; Global Witness, 1999). All these categorizations – which reflect the dominant themes in conflict analyses of their time – fall somewhat short of grasping the complex reality of the Angolan conflict. Nevertheless, the shifting position of much of the industrialized world – particularly of the United States at the end of the Cold War – goes a long way toward explaining how the FAA managed, during the mid-1990s, to turn a decade-long military stalemate on the battlefield into a decisive victory. Looking at the geo-strategic picture also helps to explain why it took the comprehensive sanctions regime against UNITA so long to become effective in cutting the supply lines for arms, ammunition, and fuel.
Paes, W.-C. (2009), "Chapter 6 From failure to success: The impact of sanctions on Angola's civil war", Brzoska, M. and Lopez, G.A. (Ed.) Putting Teeth in the Tiger: Improving the Effectiveness of Arms Embargoes (Contributions to Conflict Management, Peace Economics and Development, Vol. 10), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 137-162. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1572-8323(2009)0000010010Download as .RIS
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