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 José Eduardo dos Santos confidants. Marques de Morais was later sentenced to conditional imprisonment for slander and was ordered to withdraw the book.
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 COUNTRYAAH, Luanda is the capital of Angola which is located in Central Africa. 13 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 investigation.
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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 loan settlements.
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.