Books – On Africa: Do They Deserve This?

Angola Unravels by Alex Vines Published by Human Rights Watch, 1999

The World Today Updated 27 October 2020 Published 1 January 2000 2 minute READ

Chester Crocker

Professor, Strategic Studies, Georgetown University

Angola unravels by Alex Vines and his colleagues sheds welcome light on the dismal human rights picture in a country controlled since its birth by factional elites who are unaccountable to anyone. Approximately half of the volume eloquently documents the human rights and humanitarian results of their leadership.

We learn how the Luanda (MPLA) government and its UNITA opponents have each, in their particular ways, engaged in arbitrary and authoritarian conduct toward their own people. They have both ignored minimal standards of conduct in their use of repressive techniques, denied elementary freedoms, harassed the media, ignored the laws of war, and manipulated wartime circumstances to avoid the observance of basic rights and pursue their own interests.

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