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03 March 2024

Angolan rebels warn of new attacks

Angolan policemen guard a bus as it leaves the Olympic Village. (REUTERS)


Separatists, who claimed a deadly shooting on Togo's football team yesterday threatened new attacks in Angola, saying they had warned against hosting the Africa Cup of Nations in their province.

The Forces for the Liberation of the State of Cabinda-Military Position (FLEC-PM) said attacks would continue because African football boss Issa Hayatou had refused to move games scheduled in Cabinda.

"This is going to continue, because the nation is at war, because Hayatou persists," said the group's Secretary-General, Rodrigues Mingas. "Weapons will continue to talk," he said. "This is our home, and it is time Angola understood that."

"We wrote two months before the Nations Cup to Mr Issa Hayatou to warn him that we were at war. He did not want to take our warnings into consideration," said Mingas, who lives in exile in France. "They were warned, they knew it, and they closed their eyes."

"If they [Angola's government] wanted to hold the Nations Cup in Cabinda, it's because they had a hidden marketing agenda to make people believe that there's peace in Cabinda so that investors would invest in Cabinda," he said.

Mingas said a dozen men were involved in Friday's attack that killed Togo's assistant coach and squad spokesman. Nine others in the convoy were injured, and Mingas said one guerilla was shot in the leg. The rebels opened fire as Togo's team crossed the border from Congo-Brazzaville. "There was a counter-attack, that's when we really erupted [with gunfire]," Mingas said, adding the gun battle lasted about 20 minutes.


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