Cuito Cuanavale — The Culture Minister, Carolina Cerqueira, said on Tuesday in the south-eastern Cuando Cubango province that the Cuito Cuanavale municipality has appropriate material and historical conditions to become a World Heritage Site.
Speaking to the press at the end of the ceremony to inaugurate the Memorial to Victory of the Cuito Cuanavale Battle, chaired by the President of the Republic, José Eduardo dos Santos, the minister justified for its historical character and symbolism, not only for Angola but for the Southern Africa region and world.
She defended that this desideratum could be effective because it is a constituency that is a reference in the culture of peace, having argued that this culture is one of UNESCO's major purposes.
The official revealed that the candidacy of Cuito Cuanavale for its elevation to world heritage was accepted with rejoicing, but the Angolan authorities were indeed encouraged to continue conducting studies.
The essence of the studies, she said, is to prove that Cuito Cuanavale has enough material to be admitted as a world heritage site, as it was the scene of one of the greatest battles in contemporary history.
The minister recalled that the victory over that battle led to the overthrow of the South African fascist regime and brought a new geopolitics in the perspective of an effective peace and the liberation of Africa.
Carolina Cerqueira said that the construction of the memorial is a corollary of the definitive peace that is experienced in the country and will, in essence, bring a legacy very significant for the new generations and for the enrichment of the history not only of Angla but also for the rest of the countries of the African continent.
She added that the victory of the armed forces in that battle brought a change in regional geopolitics to a new era of peace and peaceful coexistence between peoples and will add important values to the country's cultural heritage.
The memorial to the victory of the Cuito Cuanavale battle, south-eastern Cuando Cubango province, was built in honor of the combatants who fought and defended this locality against the occupation of the then apartheid regime.
The memorial symbolises the heroic resistance of the Angolan combatants against the South African armed forces invasion, at the time of the apartheid regime that ruled South Africa.
In the area of the memorial one also finds different infrastructures, some of which are still being built or being finished, such as a conferences centre, one library and one museum where visitors can see the spoils of that battle.
The Cuito Cuanavale Battle was a decisive turning point in the war that was going on for many years.
The reference date in the military confrontation between the then People's Armed Forces for the Liberation of Angola (FAPLA) and the invading South African forces is 23 March, 1988.
The FAPLA, supported by Cuban soldiers and advisers, managed to put up a brave resistance against the foreign military aggression and imposed themselves over the invaders on 23 March, 1988.
The defeat of the invading forces caused the South African apartheid regime to promote quadripartite talks that led to the signing of the New York Agreement which, consequently, brought about the independence of Namibia and the end of the apartheid regime in South Africa, thus facilitating a new democratic era in those two countries.