Angola. Angola's oil-dependent economy was in crisis
after oil prices fell to half the forecast in this year's
budget. In January, the government decided to cut the budget
by one-third and was forced to take large loans. Government
subsidies were removed and fuel prices were raised by 30%, a
tough blow for a population where about half live on less
than two dollars a day. The oil accounted for about half of
the country's GDP, 80% of tax revenue and over 90% of export
income. The ruling elite has been able to enrich itself with
the huge sums of oil exports given.
In March, internationally acclaimed journalist Rafael
Marques de Morais, who published a book on corruption,
murder and torture at diamond mines owned by the Angolan
military, was arrested. He had, among other things, singled
out one of President Josť Eduardo dos Santos confidants.
Marques de Morais was later sentenced to conditional
imprisonment for slander and was ordered to withdraw the
At least 64 people died in severe floods in March. More
than half of the dead were children. Heavy rains caused clay
on the coast south of Luanda.
In April, the police made a violent fear of seizing a
leader of the sect of the World Light, which propagated
against the authorities and, according to the regime, killed
several police officers. According to
people were killed in the raids, but the opposition claimed
that more than 1,000 died when police besieged the group's
arrest. A mobile film that was published online indicated a
carnage. The United Nations High Commissioner for Human
Rights called on Angola to conduct an independent
In June, President dos Santos visited China and settled
on new Chinese loans, but the details were kept secret. At
home, protests took place and several people were arrested.
In the enclave Cabinda, a militant group demanded
independence and all Chinese left the region. There is
widespread opposition in Angola to growing Chinese influence
and a suspicion that politicians are settling on obscure
During the year, Amnesty talked about growing oppression
of dissent. In June, 16 youths were arrested by police under
brutal forms when they had a study group on dictatorship and
democracy. They were placed in solitary confinement and
charged with threatening state security. When protesters
demanded their release, there was a clash with police and
new arrests. In an unusual response to human rights groups'
criticism of the arrests, a government official explained
that Angola must restore confidence in its justice system.