Rights groups confirm Angola shooting spree by security forces has killed at least 10 protesters

Two human rights organizations on Tuesday condemned a crackdown by Angolan security forces that has left more than 10 protesters dead since January 30 in the mining town of Cafunfo, Cuango municipality, Lunda Norte province.

Amnesty International and OMUNGA, an Angolan Non-Governmental Organization, have been exposing the use of excessive, abusive and even lethal force by the Angolan security forces to deal with infringements of COVID-19 public health measures and peaceful demonstrations since 2020.

The two organizations recorded 11 killings in 2020 by the security forces, but they believe the true death toll was likely to be much higher.

“Amnesty International can today confirm that since 30 January, Angolan security forces have killed at least 10 people, as authorities continue to hunt down peaceful protesters whose only ‘crime’ has been to speak out against deplorable living conditions,” Muleya Mwananyanda, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for Southern Africa said in a statement.

According to João Malavindele, Executive Director of OMUNGA, the exact number of those killed is not known as most protesters are still missing. 

Malavindele wrote: “Unconfirmed reports indicate that a higher number of activists remain unaccounted for, and that some bodies may have been dumped in Cuango river in the past two days hours.

“A video circulating on social media filmed on 30 January morning local time shows several bodies on the ground, as one police officer kicks and steps on the head of a severely wounded victim.

“Angolan authorities must launch a prompt, thorough, independent, effective, and transparent investigation into the killings and bring suspected perpetrators to justice in fair trials that meet international standards. Victims and their families must be granted access to justice and effective remedies.”

Chief White House Correspondent for

Simon Ateba is Chief White House Correspondent for Today News Africa. Simon covers President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, the U.S. government, the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions in Washington D.C. and New York City.

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