24 July 2006

Angola: Cabinda - Nzita Tiago Walked Away From Peace Process

Luanda — The head of the Military Office of the Presidency of the Republic, Helder Vieira Dias "Kopelipa", said Monday in Luanda that the president of the Cabinda Enclave Liberation Front (FEC/FAC), Nzita Tiago, excluded himself of the peace process on the province.

Kopelipa was refuting charges that the peace talks on Angola's northern Cabinda province between the Government and Cabinda Forum for Dialogue (FCD) were illegitimate as they were being held on the basis of exclusion of other relevant interlocutors, with stress to Nzita Tiago.

The head of the Military Office was explaining to the National Assembly (Angolan parliament) about the alleged lack of ligitimacy on the part the FCD. According to the source, FCD was assigned by the National Council on Cabinda, of which Nzita

Tiago and some member of the civic association Mpalabanda, were members. "Nzita Tiago and elements linked to Mpalabanda withdrew because they did not agree with the objectives of the negotiations that were not leading them to independence," he stated.

Helder Vieira Dias underlined that "these people stayed away because they believe they can continue with the armed struggle and reach their objectives."

Kopelipa eased the audience saying that 98 percent of the military forces are under FCD. According to him, 300 men are estimated to belong to FLEC/FAC and another 200 pertaining to FLEC Renovada.

In August 2004, after two years of secrete negotiations, the two Cabinda armed movements of resistance FLEC/FAC and FLEC Renovada, decided to merge into FLEC (Cabinda Enclave Liberation Front).

The meeting took place in Holland and had the participation of Nzita Tiago, Bento Bembe and representatives of the church and civil society. That is when the Cabinda forum for Dialogue was founded, under Bento Bembe.

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