Integral to the message of the President of the Republic in memory of the victims of political conflicts
The President of the Republic, João Lourenço, addressed this Wednesday, May 26, in Luanda, a message to the Nation in memory of the victims of political conflicts.
Honorable Vice-President of the Republic
Your Excellency President of the National Assembly
Honorable Members of the Council of the Republic
Worthy leaders of the churches
Dear Members of the Commission for Reconciliation in Memory of Victims of Political Conflicts
Tomorrow will be 44 years since the tragic events that mourned the country on May 27, 1977, at a time when just two years had passed since the proclamation of National Independence, for which we fought so much.
At that time, no one imagined that the internal divisions of the liberation movements would be transported to the interior of the country in the post-Independence period and with consequences so tragic that they left deep wounds in the hearts of Angolans.
A group of organized citizens carried out an unsuccessful attempted coup d’etat, killing high figures of the instituted power, with emphasis on Minister Saidy Vieira Dias Mingas, Commanders Paulo Silva Mungungu “Dangereux”, José Manuel Paiva “Bula”, Eugénio Veríssimo da Costa “Nzagi”, Eurico Gonçalves and the citizens Hélder Ferreira Neto, António Ferreira Neto, Cristiano dos Santos and Adelino Recua.
In order to restore the constitutional order, the reaction of the authorities at that time was disproportionate and taken to the extreme, with summary executions carried out by an undetermined number of Angolan citizens, many of them innocent.
The position of a State in the face of adverse and extremely stressful situations should, whenever possible, be considered and measured, due to the greater responsibilities that the State has in defending the Constitution, the Law and human life.
In recent years, Angola has been playing a role in promoting peace in the region through dialogue, relieving internal or interstate tensions and conflicts.
We believe that this action of our diplomacy is important, however, more important will be to work continuously to heal, definitively, the wounds still prevailing of our own political conflicts.
On April 4, 2002, the country began a process of National Reconciliation that was widely applauded and encouraged, but which must be continuous and with the commitment of everyone to constantly renew it, in order to strengthen and consolidate it.
It is within this framework that we created, by Presidential Order of 16 May 2019, the Commission for the Reconciliation in Memory of Victims of Political Conflicts since our National Independence, which has been working in an environment of harmony with the representatives of Political Parties with parliamentary seat, with members of Civil Society Organizations and relatives of the victims.
At that time, it seemed to be more of a cosmetic exercise, which had no clear objective to achieve. Little by little, the skepticism of many gave way to the hope that the process appeared to be serious.
Today we can say that confidence has overcome skepticism and that the success of the Commission’s work has encouraged the Head of State to take the important step that he will announce today.
It is not the time for us to point the finger at the culprits; it is important that each one assumes his responsibilities in his part.
That is how, imbued with this spirit, we came to the victims of conflicts and Angolans in general, to humbly ask, on behalf of the Angolan State, for our public apologies and forgiveness, for the great harm that were the summary executions at that time and under those circumstances .
This public apology and forgiveness is not limited to simple words, it reflects our sincere regret and willingness to put an end to the anguish that the families carry with them over the years, due to the lack of information about the fate given to their loved ones. dear ones.
Angolans and Angolans
Tomorrow, symbolically, we will start the process of delivering the first death certificates to the relatives of the victims of the May 27 conflict.
In the next few days, we will begin the process of finding the remains (bones) of Alves Bernardo Baptista (Nito Alves), Jacob João Caetano (Immortal Monster), Ernesto Eduardo Gomes da Silva (Bakalof), Sita María Dias Valles (Sita Valles) , José Jacinto da Silva Vieira Dias Van-Dúnem (Zé Van-Dúnem), António Urbano de Castro (Urbano de Castro), David Gabriel José Ferreira (David Zé), Artur de Jesus Nunes (Artur Nunes), Pedro Fortunato, Arsénio José Lourenço Mesquita (Sianuk), António Lourenço Galiano da Silva, Domingos Ferreira de Barros (Sabata), ex-soldiers of the 9th Brigade, ex-soldiers of the Female Detachment and ex-soldiers of the DISA, victims of the 27th of May 1977 , for exhumation and delivery to family members.
The bones of Jeremias Kalandula Chitunda, Elias Salupeto Pena and Adolosi Paulo Mango Alicerces will also be handed over to the respective families, who were listed in combat in the 1992 post-electoral conflict in the city of Luanda.
For the time that has passed, it is to be expected that we will not be able to locate and identify the remains of all the victims, but we will do everything so that the greatest possible number of affected families can perform a dignified funeral for their loved ones, asking now for the understanding of all for those cases in which it is not possible to achieve this objective.
We believe that this emotion-laden gesture and great symbolism provides great relief to the victims’ families, but also to the Angolan State that, through the current Executive, decided to break the silence of more than four decades.
This constitutes a moment of joy and, at the same time, the shedding of tears contained for many years, which bring us the desired relief and lead us to swear not to allow the country to return to live such sad events someday.
Due to the need to maintain secrecy until today, only in the next few days will the first excavations be carried out and the first steps taken to materialize what has just been announced.
Aware of the importance and the need to do so, by taking this step on its own initiative, the Angolan State opens a new page in our history and encourages all other actors and participants in political conflicts to do so as well.
History does not fade, the truth of the facts must be assumed so that societies take the necessary preventive measures, to prevent identical tragedies from recurring.
These heroic and generous people, who have already demonstrated their ability to forgive, also deserve to hear, from those who have the responsibility to do so, a public apology and forgiveness for the souls of Tito Chingungi, Wilson dos Santos and their families, brave women from the Jamba campfires, the passengers on the Zenza do Itombe train, the martyrs in the cities of Cuito Bié and Huambo, and others not mentioned here.
We are convinced that with this gesture the souls of the victims of political conflicts will have the necessary peace for eternal rest.
With this turning of the page, which leads us to the genuine reconciliation of Angolans regardless of party colors, I urge all Angolan citizens to dedicate all our knowledge, all our energies, to the cause of the construction of our Nation project, of economic development and social, for the prosperity and well being of Angolans.
Long Live Peace and National Reconciliation
Long live Angola.