Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Peace Dawns in Angola

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Peace Dawns in Angola

Article excerpt

FOR the first time since Angola became independent in 1975, it looks as though the former Portuguese colony in southern Africa can anticipate the end of civil war.

In the mid-'70s Angola became a major staging ground for Moscow's strategy to end-run the superpower stalemate in Europe by consolidating Soviet gains in the third world. The Soviets, together with Cuba, threw their weight behind the Marxist Popular Liberation Movement of Angola (MPLA). In turn the US, with South Africa, made a major commitment to Jonas Savimbi's National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA).

The 15 years of continuous warfare cost more than 300,000 lives and virtually destroyed Angola's agriculture- and oil-based economy.

But in the new spirit of cooperation that marks superpower relations, the United States and the Soviet Union have agreed to cut off the military aid that has fueled the war. Cuba's decision to withdraw its large force has further enhanced the prospects for political settlement. …

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