Saved by the Civil War

Jan 16, 2017 | Artigos, Publicações

Saved by the Civil War: African ‘Loyalists’ in the Portuguese Armed Forces and Angola’s Transition to Independence

  • Pedro Aires Oliveira
  • 2017
  • The International History Review
  • Volume 39, Número 1
  • 126-142
  • Idioma: Inglês
  • DOI: 10.1080/07075332.2016.1167103
  • ISSN: 0707-5332 / 1949-6540 (online)

Artigo integrado no número temático “Allies at the end of empire: loyalists, nationalists and the Cold War, 1945-76” [Aliados no fim do império: lealistas, nacionalistas e a Guerra Fria, 1945-76], editado por David M. Anderson e Daniel Branch.

The article examines the trajectories of ‘loyal’ African troops in Angola before and after the demise of Portugal’s authoritarian regime in 1974. It starts by placing the ‘Africanisation’ drive of the Portuguese counterinsurgency campaign in a historical perspective; it then explores the rocky transition from colonial rule to independence in the territory between April 1974 and November 1975, describing the course of action taken by the Portuguese authorities vis-à-vis their former collaborators in the security forces. A concluding section draws a comparison between the fate of Portugal’s loyalists in Angola and the one experienced by similar groups in other ex-Portuguese colonies. The choice of Angola has the advantage of allowing us to look into a complex scenario in which the competition amongst rival nationalist groups, and a number of external factors, helped to produce a more ambiguous outcome for some of the empire’s local collaborators than what might have been otherwise expected.

Angola, colonial troops, Loyalists, counter-insurgency, decolonisation

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