Angolan President calls for Peace and Tolerance
The President of Angola, H.E. Mr. João Lourenço, delivers speech to the Angolan people and the government on 25/05/2021 at Luanda, the Capital, through which he calls for peace, reconciliation and tolerance during a historic initiative in line with what the Global Council for Tolerance and Peace and its objectives call for in spreading tolerance and peace. The text of the Angolan President speech is shown below:
Angolan President Speech to the Nation in Presence of the Government Today
His Excellency the Vice president of Angola
His Excellency the President of National Council of Angola
M/S the members of the Council of the Republic
The respected Church Leaders
Dear members of Reconciliation body attended in memory of victims of political conflicts
Tomorrow will be forty-four years since the tragic events that afflicted the country on 27 May 1977. At this time when only two years have passed since the proclamation of national independence, for which we fought long to achieve.
At that time, no one could imagine that the internal divisions caused by the liberation movements would affect the country in the post-independence period and had tragic consequences that left deep wounds in hearts of the Angolans.
A group of organized citizens carries out a failed coup attempt which resulted in the death of prominent figures in relation to the executive branch; especially the Minister Vieira Dias Mingas, commanders Paulo Silva Mungungo “Danjero”, Jose Manuel Paiva “Paula”, Eugenio Verissimo da Costa “Nzaghi”, Yorrico Gonçalves, Citizens Helder Ferreira Neto, Antonio Ferrera Neto, Cristiano dos Santos and Adelino Riqua.
In order to restore constitutional order, the authorities’ response at that time was not appropriate and highly extreme; with a large number of executions were summarily carried out against Angolan citizens, amongst which there were many innocents.
The state’s position in face of adverse and extremely stressful situations should be considered and measured whenever possible due to the large responsibilities the state bears in defense of the constitution, law and human life.
Recently, Angola has played role in the region in promoting peace and dialogue and eliminating tensions and internal or inter-State conflicts.
We believe that working for our diplomacy is important, but the most important is to work continuously towards healing wounds that still prevail in our political conflicts.
On April 4, 2002, the country began a process of national reconciliation that was widely admired and encouraged. Such process should have everyone’s commitment to be continued and renewed, in order to be strengthened and entrenched.
In this regard, we established under a presidential decree on May 16, 2019, a reconciliation committee in the memory of the victims of political conflicts since our national independence. This committee operates in an environment of harmony with the political parties` representatives. A parliamentary seat that includes members of civil society organizations and relatives of the victims.
At that time, it seemed like a cosmetic measure that had no clear goal to achieve. Slowly, many people lost their doubts that the process seemed to be serious.
Today, we can say that confidence has overcome those peoples` doubts and the success of the authority`s work encouraged His Excellency the President to take the important step that he will announce today.
This is not the time to point fingers of blame to at the perpetrators and offenders; It is important that everyone shall take his own responsibility.
In this spirit, we addressed the victims of conflicts and the Angolans in general, on behalf of the Angolan state, with our apology and our tolerance, for the awful damage caused by the summary executions at that time and under such conditions.
This public apology and tolerance are not limited to simple words, but rather reflects our sincere regret and our willingness to put an end to the anguish that these families have tolerated over the years, due to the lack of information about the fate given to their loved ones ( our Dears).
Angolans, (males and females_
Tomorrow we will symbolically begin the process of handing over the first death certificates to family members of the conflict victims of 27 May.
In the next few days, we will begin the process of finding the remains (bones) of Elvis Bernardo Baptista (Neto Alves), Jacob João Caetano (immortal monster), Ernesto Eduardo Gómez da Silva (Bacalove), Seta María Dias Valles (Sita Valles), José Jacinto Da Silva Vieira Dias Van Denim (Ze Van Denim), Antonio Urbano de Castro (Urbano de Castro), David Gabriel Jose Ferreira (David Ze), Artur de Jesus Nunes (Artur Nunes), Pedro Fortunato, Arsenio José Lourenço Mesquita (Sianuk) , António Lourenço Galiano da Silva, Domingos Ferreira de Barros (Sabata), Ex-soldiers in the 9th Brigade, Ex-soldiers of the female detachment and Ex-soldiers of the DISA, victims of 27 May, 1977 exhumation and delivery of bodies to family members.
The bones of Jeremias Calandula Chitonda, Elias Salobito Pina and Adolosi Paulo Mango Alexis will also be handed over to their families, who have been included in the fighting in the conflict that followed the 1992 elections in Luanda.
As for the time that has elapsed, it is expected that it will not be possible to locate and identify the remains of all the victims, but we will do everything so that as many of the affected families as possible can hold a dignified funeral for the victims. Loved ones, now demand everyone’s understanding of those situations in which this goal cannot be achieved.
We believe that this gesture, full of emotion and great symbolism, provides great relief to the families of the victims, but also to the Angolan state that, through the current executive branch, has decided to break the silence for more than four decades.
This is a moment of joy, and at the same time, the shedding of tears that have contained it for many years, which brings us the desired comfort and leads us to the assurance not to allow the country to live again such unfortunate events one day.
Due to the need to maintain secrecy even today, only the first excavations will be carried out in the next few days and the first steps will be taken to reflect what has just been announced.
Recognizing the importance and necessity of doing so, the Angolan state, by taking this step on its own initiative, turns over a new page in our history and encourages all actors and other participants in political conflicts to do so as well.
History does not fade away, the truth of the facts must be assumed so that societies take the necessary preventive measures, to prevent the recurrence of identical tragedies.
These heroic and generous people, who have already shown their capacity for forgiveness, also deserve to be heard, from those who have a responsibility to do so, a general apology and tolerance for the spirits of Tito Chingungi, Wilson dos Santos and their families, the brave women of the Jamba fires, of the passengers of the Zenza do Itombe train, among the martyrs of the cities of Quito Pei and Huambo, and others not mentioned here.
We are convinced that this gesture will give the souls of victims of political conflicts the necessary peace for eternal rest.
With this turning of the page, which leads us to true reconciliation among Angolans regardless of party colors, I urge all Angolan citizens to devote all our knowledge and all our energies to the cause of building our nation’s project and economic and social development, for the prosperity and well-being of Angolans.
Long live peace and national reconciliation
Long live Angola!