Reconciliation in Angola relies on successful experiences

Luanda – The minister of Justice and Human Rights, Francisco Queiroz, declared on Monday, in Luanda, that the reconciliation process in Angola is based on the successful experience of forgiveness and reintegration, without pointing out the guilty, victims, defeated or winners.

Francisco Queiróz was speaking at the inauguration ceremony of the members of the technical-scientific group of the commission for the implementation of the Reconciliation Plan in Memory of the Victims of Political Conflicts, whose coordinator is the historian Cornélio Caley.

The minister said that, despite the African Union’s recommendations and its experience of reconciliation, in Angola it must be considered the success of the end of war process, reached on April 4, 2002 (Peace Agreement), which allowed pacification and reintegration of stray brothers.

He exemplified that, unlike political conflicts such as South Africa, where “apartheid” (then segregationist regime) was a state policy and the aggressors were identified, in Angola the quarrels were not politically programmed.

Francisco Queiróz also cited, as an example, the case of May 27, 1977, when the country had only one year and six months of independence, explaining that it was an internal conflict that received the impact of the conflict between the great powers of the time (cold war).

To the minister of Justice, it would be risky to open in Angola a reconciliation process identical to what was done in South Africa, for fear of accusatory claims that may jeopardize the success of the current reconciliation process, which was “achieved without accusations, nor demand of forgiveness”, and the country is against the repetition of episodes of violence.

The minister reaffirmed that the reconciliation programme in memory of the victims aims essentially to unite Angolans around the need to build the foundations of democracy, market economy and inclusive economic and social development, for the well-being of the population and in defence of sovereignty.

He urged the technical-scientific group, installed last Monday, to identify the victims, their historical characterization, to sensitize them to forgiveness, to prepare for a future of peace and harmony.

Promoting forgiveness is one of the priorities

The coordinator of the technical-scientific group of the Commission for the implementation of the Reconciliation Plan in Memory of the Victims of Political Conflicts, Cornélio Caley, pointed out as a mission “to work for Angolans to embrace one another, strengthen democracy and promote the development of the country”.

The historian also said that he considered essential to move forward with forgiveness, to analyze events in through the political parties’ perspective, many of which have “unresolved liabilities”.

The commission is comprised of several individuals, representing political parties, churches and socio-professional and civil society organizations, as well as academics.

Of particular note are Father Celestino Epalanga, from the Justice and Peace Commission of CEAST (Angola/São Tomé Episcopal Conference of the Catholic church), Luís Jimbo from the Institute of Electoral Systems, Reverend António Mussaqui, jurists Salvador Freire dos Santos, Solange Pereira and Carlos Manuel, historian and sociologist Francisco Alexandre, lawyer Florbela Malaquias and political scientist Fernando Faria.

The historian Luzia Milagre, psychologist José Nkossi, plastic artist António Tomás Ana “Etona” and the university lecturer Mário Pinto de Andrade were also sworn in as members of the technical-scientific group.

Source: Angola Press News Agency