What Jonas Savimbi Fought For
In this entry, we will explore what Jonas Savimbi fought for in Angola and how he impacted Angola’s history.
Jonas Savimbi was an Angolan rebel leader who fought against the country’s left-wing government during the Angolan Civil War.
Savimbi was born in 1934 in Munhango, Angola to a wealthy family and attended high school in Portugal and then college in Switzerland before returning to Angola to fight in the Angolan War of Independence.
After fighting in the Angolan War Of Independence, Savimbi founded the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) which became a political party as well as an armed rebel group.
Savimbi’s UNITA fought against the ruling People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) during the Angolan Civil War which lasted from 1975-2002.
The Angolan Civil War
Jonas Savimbi fought the Angolan Government in the Angolan Civil War which was a conflict that lasted for over 27 years, from 1975 to 2002.
It began shortly after Angola’s independence from Portugal, when the country’s first president, Antonio Agostinho Neto, proclaimed Marxism–Leninism as the official state ideology. This resulted in a power struggle with the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), which was led by Jonas Savimbi.
The Angola Civil war which Savimbi fought was characterized by extreme violence, with both sides engaging in widespread atrocities.
An estimated 500,000 to 1.5 million people were killed during the conflict, making it one of the deadliest civil wars in African history. In addition to the human cost, the war also had a devastating effect on Angola’s infrastructure and economy.
Savimbi’s fighting tactics earned him criticism from both international observers and his own people. However, he was also seen as a charismatic leader who was committed to his cause.
Savimbi fought against what he saw as a corrupt government that was not representing the interests of the Angolan people.
Savimbi’s Death and Legacy
On April 22, 2002, Jonas Savimbi—the charismatic leader of Angola’s rebel movement and one of Africa’s most notorious warlords—was killed in a firefight with government troops. His death ended Angola’s civil war, which had raged for almost three decades and claimed millions of lives.
Ultimately Jonas Savimbi fought for a variety of causes throughout his life.
Savimbi fought as an anticolonialist, a communist, and later, a capitalist. Savimbi also fought as a ruthless dictator who was responsible for the deaths of thousands of people.