13 February 2006 Cabinda:
WS on Human Rights Situation in Cabinda


Sixty-second session
Item 9 of the provisional agenda


Written statement* submitted by the International Federation for the Protection of the Rights of Ethnic, Religious, Linguistic and Other Minorities (IFPRERLOM), a non-governmental organization on the Roster

The Secretary-General has received the following written statement which is circulated in accordance with Economic and Social Council resolution 1996/31.

Cabinda,The human rights situation in Cabinda is characterised by a heavy army presence, following the earlier military offensives launched by the Government. The army presence is extended to all localities and is largely interpreted as having the intent to control and intimidate the population. The Angolan Government has done little to address the resulting human rights violations, which have been compiled in several reports, produced by the civil society association Mpalabanda.

The report of Hina Jilani, Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Human Rights Defenders, 21 February 2005, states that representatives of state prosecution and judiciary in Cabinda claimed they had not received any cases of human rights abuses and merely alluded to instances of “overzealous” action by the police. The report concludes that either the judiciary does not receive the cases or chooses not to address them.3

Harassment and intimidation in the territory continue on a daily basis. A strong contingent of “anti-riot” police is present in the capital and has been used to prevent civil society meetings and initiatives. The anniversary of the treaties signed between Portugal and Cabinda are always a time of particular tension. On the anniversary of the Treaty of Chinfuno, a visit to the monument commemorating the treaty was marred by police intervention. Twenty five people were detained, Anselmo Conde Nzau, deputy secretary of Mpalabanda, was beaten by police officers. Mpalabanda’s conference during human rights day was similarly forbidden. On 10 December 2005, fifty youths who went to the conference at Landana, were surrounded by police and military and temporarily detained.

Six members of Mpalabanda were criminally prosecuted; the court absolved them of any wrongdoing.

A march for peace programmed for the 29 January 2006, to commemorate anniversary of the Treaty of Simulambuco was banned. The houses of the main Mpalabanda activists were surrounded by police and riot police were stationed throughout the capital. Two days earlier, on 27 January, Angolan soldiers opened fire on a truck, killing Elisée Khonde Muanda, who was eight months pregnant and wounding another youth, Paulo Conde. This act was preceded on 2 January by the killing of Francisco Banheva, 40 years, old from Mbucu-Chivava. He was working on his land in Mbata-Missinga when he was surprised by a group of soldiers who beat him to death. He had been working on a Monday; a curfew had been imposed in the area whereby people are only allowed to go to their work in the fields on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Concerned at recent development in Cabinda, and alarmed by rising levels of violence, IFPRERLOM calls upon the Commission on Human Rights

to condemn the use of lethal force by security forces of the government;

to ensure that all extra-judicial acts of killings be investigated thoroughly and impartially

by an independent international body in accordance with international standards;

to put pressure on the government of Angola to stop ongoing human rights violations; and

to request standing invitations of the Commissions thematic mandates to visit the regions in question.