Conference on ‘A Common vision for Cabinda’

Centro Cultural Chiloango, Cabinda, 8-9 July 2003
Organized by: Open Society Foundation – Cabinda


In a manner unprecedented in the history of Cabinda, over 1500 people participated in the Conference on ‘A Common Vision for Cabinda” organized by Open Society Foundation from 8 -9 July, 2003 at Centro Cultural Chiloango in Cabinda. After intense debates and deliberations the participants recommend the following:

1. In general:

1.1. The immediate cease-fire between the Angolan government invading forces and the FLEC factions (FAC and Plataforma);

1.2. The status of the Republic of Cabinda should be the object of negotiations only when Angola has a government that has been legitimized by its people; a government established through elections that are truly free and fair;

1.3. Until a new government has been chosen and legitimized by the people of Angola, the Cabindan situation must be provisionally defined within the transitional period in Angola, as a form of ensuring the end of hostilities and the preparation of conditions to normalize the political, social, economic and cultural life in Cabinda;

1.4. The international community, and in particular the United Nations, should support all the efforts to normalize the political and social situation in Cabinda;

1.5. Combine civic and judicial efforts in holding the Commander-in-Chief of the Angolan Armed Forces (FAA) José Eduardo dos Santos, accountable for the war crimes and crimes against humanity that continue to be systematically carried out in Cabinda.

2. To the government:

2.1. Put an immediate stop to the “cleansing operations [1]” that are indiscriminately victimizing the civilian population;

2.2. Put an immediate stop to the systematic human rights violations, above all, the rape of minors and women by soldiers, summary executions, torture, and arbitrary detentions;

2.3. Immediately reduce the military contingent currently deployed in the territory; estimated to be above 30, 000 soldiers – for a population of 300, 000 inhabitants;

2.4. Put an end to the looting of people’s personal belongings;

2.5. Remove MPLA [2] cells from public administration and the rural areas in Cabinda;

2.6. Stop the manipulation of public media and its abuse for propaganda in favor of MPLA interests;

2.7. Abandon the policy of repression against citizens that are supposedly in support of FLEC;

2.8. Stop the formation and the support of dissident groups that present themselves as internal interlocutors without any representation;

2.9. Abstain from retaliating against local public administration staff that engages in civic activities.

3. To FLEC and the different political and social actors in Cabinda:

3.1. FLEC and other political, religious and social forces should seriously and responsibly engage in the search of internal agreements that, as a first step, guarantee the preservation of the most basic rights for Cabindans;

3.2.The diverse political and social actors in Cabinda should be pro-active in the search of viable and peaceful solutions;

4. To Chevron Texaco:

4.1. Strictly respect the rights of the local workers, native to Cabinda and put an immediate end to discrimination;

4.2. Seriously revise the "process of angolanization", giving special attention to the placement of natives of the territory, according to their competences;

4.3. Stop the active complicity with the State’s repressive structures;

4.4. Immediately demine the areas surrounding its oil compound (Malongo) as it violates the Ottawa Treaty which bans the use of anti-personal landmines, ratified by Angola;

4.5. Immediately clean the beaches and maritime coast that are highly polluted because of its activities;

4.6. Compensate all the victims of its activities, with particular attention to the fishers;

4.7. Publish its payments related to petroleum exploration and to its transactions with the Angolan government, as a form of contributing to transparency and distancing itself from the institutional corruption which siphons away oil revenues to the detriment of development and citizens’ welfare;

4.8. As the main financial contributor to the Angolan state, it has the obligation to assume a responsible position and not that of an agent of corruption and accomplice in the underdevelopment of a nation so rich in natural resources.

Cabinda, July 09 2003.

[1] Expression used by the government and its military commanders to define its military operations in Cabinda.

[2] MPLA (Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola), in power since 1975.