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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             DEVELOPMENT STUDIES

                                                                            Copyright © 2002 International Development Options

                                                                                               All Rights Reserved



Volume Two                                                                 Winter 2000-Spring 2001                                                       Numbers 3-4.




        Mohamed A. El-Khawas

       Department of History and Political Science

       University of the District of Columbia

       Washington, D.C. 20008

       Published Online February 15, 2017





In 1975, Angola’s liberation movements formed a transitional government and agreed to hold elections in preparation for independence. Their subsequent failure to work together turned the internal power struggle into a proxy war between the East and the West. However, when the Cold War ended in the late 1980s, the superpowers pressured the MPLA-led government and the rebels (UNITA) to seek a peaceful solution.  It was only after the warring parties realized that they could not score a decisive military victory did they accept a political solution. The Bicesse Accord (May 1991), which marked the beginning of the democratization process, opened a new chapter in the country’s internal struggle. It led to maneuvering over the election procedures and demobilization of troops. Internationally supervised multi-party elections finally occurred in September 1992, but they brought neither democracy nor peace.  The UNITA’s Jonas Savimbi refused to accept his electoral defeat. Attempts at power sharing did not persuade him to demobilize his forces and to relinquish control over territory. He instead took the country back to war and ended the experiment with democracy.



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