Home Worldwide News Angolans react to government’s new law-and-order initiative

Angolans react to government’s new law-and-order initiative


Street vendors in Angola | Photo by Simião Hossi (2018)

A new government initiative in Angola wants to tackle public disorder, crime, and illegal immigration. Officials say that “Operation Rescue”, as it’s called, is meant to restore the state’s authority and encourage citizens’ care about the country’s public services. It will begin on November 6 and has no end date.

Speaking with Deutsche Welle, Angolan police commissioner general told Deutsche Welle that, although Angola is experiencing economic, financial and social difficulties, that should not justify disorder:

Operation rescue will also crack down on illegal immigration. This is a heated debate in Angola, whose border with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is the longest in Africa and, Angolan authorities say, is crossed by 1,000 people every day.

In March 2018, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) criticized the Angolan government for having forced 530 refugees to return to DRC. The Congolese authorities recently said that they will also deport Angolans living in that country in retaliation.

Since September the Angolan government has been conducting another program directed specifically at border control. “Operation Transparency” happens in seven Angolan provinces that borders the DRC and combats primarily diamond smuggling.

According to Minister Pedro Sebastiao, who is also the head of presidential security, diamonds worth over one million US dollars have been seized in the course of the operation, as well as 59 firearms. Over 200 premises for illegal diamond trading were also dismantled.

Domingos das Neves, Professor at the Catholic University of Angola, says that the operation should have different objectives, namely the improvement of the lives of Angolans:


O resgate maior do Estado seria o de proporcionar condições para garantir empregos e trabalhos dignos para a multidão de jovens desempregados, licenciados (ou não), técnicos ou analfabetos, pois que todos precisam, pelo menos, sobreviver com um mínimo de dignidade. E, nada melhor do que viver com o fruto do próprio suor. Isso sim, seria o verdadeiro resgate da autoridade do Estado, que é uma entidade de bem!


The most important rescue by the state would be to provide the conditions to guarantee decent jobs for the young unemployed, licensed (or not), technic or illiterate, because everyone must at least survive with a minimum of dignity. And there is nothing better than living through our own effort. That would be the real rescue of the State’s authority, which is a good entity!

Gilberto Muatye Alberto Fernando, journalist, and resident in Luanda, supported the statement of the Professor, with some reservations:

E sendo o Estado uma entidade de bem, com tudo aquilo que foi dito neste post, a operação resgate seria uma solução e não um problema… só que temos o hábito de querer precipitar as coisas, não acautelamos o mínimo para que as pessoas tenham dignidade e depois queremos organização… onde é que já se viu organização com fome?

If the state is a good entity, and with all that was said in this post, the rescue operation would be a solution and not a problem… except that we have the habit of wanting to rush things, we do not take the minimum precautions for people to have dignity and then we want organization… where have we ever seen organization where there’s hunger?

Others wholly support the government’s program saying that it is necessary for citizens to carry out their activities in an organized way.  commented:

Acho pertinente sua reflexão amigo Domingos Das Neves. Mas enquanto as condições de vida mínimas desejadas não chegam, podemos indo arrumar a nossa casa. Podemos ser pobres e limpos. A venda e o amontoados de lixo em qualquer esquina não tem a ver com a pobreza más sim com o espírito do deixa andar. Assim cresceram desordenadamente muitos bairros.

I think your reflection is pertinent, Domingos Das Neves. But while the minimum living conditions don’t come, we can still clean up our house. We can be poor and clean. Street selling and trash in every corner is not about poverty, but rather with a careless spirit. So many neighborhoods have grown in disorderly way.

Street sellers in Angola | Photo by Simião Hossi (2018)

The journalist Alberto dos Santos Ovni reminded that people are embarrassed by this operation because of poverty in the country:

Operação Resgate
Senhor Presidente da República
Senhor Ministro do Interior

A zunga ou venda ambulante, as oficinas sem cobertura, as bancadas do jovem que repara telefone junto a via pública, o jovem que exerce o seu serviço de moto táxi vulgo kupapatas, o taxista que nos leva dos Mulenvos, Papá Simão, Bananeira, Caroango, beco da morte, do Calauenda, da Belo Monte, Maiombe, Pedreira, Vidrul, da Fubu, Mundial entre outros bairros da nossa /vossa capital Luanda onde os transportes públicos não chegam por falta de estradas em condições para chegarmos ao centro da cidade e sermos tratados em hospitais, porque o plasmódio fez de nós o seu hospedeiro… Isto não é sinónimo de retirar a autoridade do Estado é simplesmente sinónimo de ‘‘POBREZA”.
Por favor deixem a mamá zungueira em paz!

Rescue Operation
Mr. President of the Republic
Minister of the Interior

The street selling, the uncovered shops, the magazine of the young man who repairs the telephone along the public highway, the young man who carries out his taxi service, the taxi driver who takes us from the Mulenvos, Papá Simão, Bananeira, Caroango, Calauenda, Belo Monte, Maiombe, Pedreira, Vidrul, Fubu, Mundial among other neighborhoods of our capital Luanda where public transport does not arrive due to the lack of roads in good condition. This doesn’t mean lack of state authority, it is simply means POVERTY.

Luaty Beirão, rapper, and activist, was even more peremptory against the campaign of the Angolan authorities:

And @joaomelo_ao is not even a bit ashamed to be a spokesperson for this scandalous description? Rescue your own humanity first because it has long gone in your luxury.

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