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Spike in fuel prices sparked demonstrations that left five people dead.
Govt 2 June scrapped fuel subsidies, prompting gasoline price to almost double. In response, taxi drivers 5 June held protest in Huambo province. Police responded with live ammunition, killing five people including 12-year-old. NGO Human Rights Watch next day condemned disproportionate use of force, called for impartial investigations and prosecutions. President Lourenco 8 June fired economic coordination minister and replaced him with central bank governor. Unrest continued with thousands 17 June protesting fuel price hike in several cities, including in capital Luanda and Benguela and Namibe cities; police fired tear gas, with several people reportedly wounded and at least 87 detained.
Tensions ran high over results of August general elections.Constitutional Court endorsed victory of ruling party in August elections. After ruling party People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) of incumbent President Lourenço late Aug won 51% of vote in general election, main opposition party National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) 1 Sept filed legal complaint against results to Constitutional Court, citing large differences between official vote count and party’s parallel tally. Constitutional Court 5 Sept rejected request.Opposition supporters took to streets despite violence and arrests. Meanwhile, human rights organisation Friends of Angola around 2 Sept said it had received “vast” number of reports of unlawful detention of opposition supporters since elections. Suspected MPLA supporters 2 Sept attacked UNITA local headquarters near Benguela city, injuring ten and torching several vehicles. Security forces 15 Sept patrolled streets in major cities, including capital Luanda, for Lourenco’s inauguration. Thousands of anti-govt protesters 24 Sept attended demonstrations in Luanda, alleging electoral fraud and calling for release of political prisoners. Opposition leader Adalberto Costa Júnior same day promised “year of protests”.
Security forces’ deadly crackdown on protesters caused outrage. In joint statement, NGO Amnesty International and Angolan rights group OMUNGA 2 Feb confirmed security forces had killed at least ten people during heavy crackdown on protesters in Cafunfo mining town, Luanda Norte province, since 30 Jan, said unconfirmed reports revealed high number of activists still unaccounted for, and called for prompt investigation; meanwhile, opposition parties UNITA and CASA-CE joined calls for investigation into killings. Police chief Paulo de Almeida late Jan-early Feb said security forces 30 Jan foiled armed attack on Cafunfo police station by secessionist group Lunda Tchokwe Protectorate Movement (LTPM), leaving six dead and 20 injured; LTMP president, José Mateus Zecamutchima, however maintained police went on “shooting spree” against unarmed protesters 30 Jan, leaving at least 25 dead and many missing. Authorities 9 Feb detained Zecamutchima on charges of rebellion; his lawyers 26 Feb raised concern about absence of due process
Police violently repressed anti-govt demonstration. Following calls by main opposition party National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), thousands of youths 11 Nov took to streets in capital Luanda for second time in less than three weeks to protest against rampant poverty and govt corruption, and to call for new date for local elections delayed by COVID-19 pandemic; security forces used teargas and live bullets to disperse crowd, reportedly killing one protester and injuring several others. NGO Human Rights Watch next day deplored “heavy-handed policing and violent repression of peaceful protests”, urged govt to investigate abuses. President Lourenço 26 Nov held talks in Luanda with 17 youth organisations, including UNITA’s youth wing, to appease tensions.
Security forces violently suppressed protests. Around 2,000 people 24 Oct demonstrated in capital Luanda against worsening living conditions and Sept decision to postpone municipal elections amid COVID-19 pandemic, following call by coalition of civil society organisations Angolan Revolutionary Movement (MRA) endorsed by opposition party UNITA; police clashed with protesters, reportedly killing one, injuring over 50 and detaining over 100. In following days, demonstrations erupted in several areas in solidarity with detained protesters; in Huambo city (south of Luanda), police 28 Oct cracked down on protesters, severely injuring nine. UNITA same day decried “terrorism by national police”, while MRA said 387 participants in 24 Oct protest were still missing.