Country Listing

Angola Table of Contents


Civic Action and Veterans' Groups

Like those of many other developing countries, Angola's armed forces were intended to play an important role in nation building through civic action programs. The Constitution, in fact, specially assigns "production" and "reconstruction" duties to FAPLA. In the late 1970s, FAPLA units were encouraged to grow their own food and to undertake civic action, emergency relief, and public construction projects. However, such tasks were given only nominal attention as the war intensified.

Veterans of the liberation struggle and families of those who died in that protracted conflict enjoyed "special protection" under the Angolan Constitution, but this status was not further defined. The rapidly expanding pool of war veterans in the 1980s could make a substantial contribution to national reconstruction and development if their political, ideological, organizational, social, and technical skills could be mobilized or channeled in such directions. However, the continuation of the war and the absence of information about their postservice occupations and activities precluded observation of veterans' actual roles in society. The MPLA-PT did attend to veterans' interests through party and government organs. As noted earlier, veterans were eligible for party membership, and a high government post, the secretary of state for war veterans, was also dedicated to veterans' affairs. The Angolan War Veterans Committee, with government endorsement, sought aid from the Soviet Union and presumably other potentially sympathetic international donors.

Data as of February 1989