19 March 2008

Angola: General Highlights Cuito Cuanavale Battle in Affirmation of Sovereingty

Luanda — The victory of the Cuito Cuanavale Battle was determining and crucial for the sovereignty of the country, showing Angolans' position as an independent and brave people.

This was said Wednesday in Luanda by the inspector general of the Angolan Armed Forces (FAA), gen. Rafael Sapilinha "Sambalanga".

"Angolans would never permit that after the victory against the Portuguese colonial regime, they would once again be subjected to foreign humiliation," said the general, while speaking on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Cuito Cuanavale Battle, on March 23.

According to him, the date (March 23, 1988) marks the defeat imposed by the ex-Angolan People's Liberation Armed Forces (FAPLA) backed by Cuban military units, on the troops of the South Africa defunct apartheid regime that on the at the time attempted to invade Angola through Cuito Cuanavale region.

Rafael Sapilinha "Sambalanga", who at the time was the military attache of Angola to Cuba, considered the Angolan troops' victory as of "extreme importance" for the southern Africa region.

He stated that the battle permitted the defence of the interests of other nations of Africa, such as the proclamation of the independence of Namibia and the end of apartheid in South Africa.

To him, the help of the Cuban internationalist troops, directly involved in the war scene, contributed very much for the defeat of the South African invaders.

This important date, according to the general, must be remembered, particularly by the peoples of Angola, Namibia and South Africa.

A monument in homage to the martyrs of the Cuito Cuanavale Battle will be erected by Angolan Government in that locality, some 189 kilometres to the east of Menongue, Kuando Kubango province.

Cuito Cuanavale district has an area of 35, 610 square kilometres and a population estimated at 94,737 inhabitants.

The ceremony of celebrations of the Cuito Cuanavale Battle will be witnessed by about 30 ex-combatants of the South Africa's ruling ANC party, academicians, journalists and MPs.

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