5 April 2014

Zimbabwe: Angolan Residents in Zimbabwe Mark Peace Day

ANGOLAN nationals resident in Zimbabwe Friday came together to mark 10 years since the signing of the war ravaged, Southern African country's peace accord.

The peace agreement culminated in what is now their country's Peace and Reconciliation Day, celebrated 4 April every year.

Angolan ambassador to Zimbabwe, Pedro Hendrik Vaal Neto told diplomats and other dignitaries to the celebration ceremony his country was now able to appreciate the importance of peace, having endured devastating conflicts on its painful path towards peace.

"Angola has not only experienced wars of resistance to colonial occupation culminating in independence, she has also experienced very complex internal conflicts which she has always managed to overcome," Neto said.

"The Angolan people have therefore been matured by numerous difficulties which have characterised their nation's long existence.

"Today owing to this maturity, there remains a deep sense of revulsion within all Angolans for using war or any type of violence to resolve differences amongst themselves."

Neto said because of her experiences with civil war and general conflict, Angola has committed herself to working with all countries in a joint effort to ensure peace in conflict-ridden parts of the world.

"One cannot speak of respect for human rights when nations are involved in wars or when a climate of widespread physical and psychological violence does not allow their people to enjoy a peaceful life," Neto said.

A 27 year long civil war in Angola claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands and displaced over a million.

The peace deal followed the killing of long time rebel leader Jonas Savimbi of the Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA).

His successor, General Gato struck a peace agreement with the enemies, bringing an end to one of Africa's most brutal conflicts.

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