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Angola's UNITA to Pick Savimbi Successor

Angola’s former UNITA rebels gather to elect a new president this week to succeed Jonas Savimbi in a congress that will cap its transition from a rag-tag army to a political party. Over 1,500 UNITA delegates from across the country are expected for the congress, which kicks off on Tuesday and runs until Friday, to pick the person who will lead them in elections against the ruling MPLA that could take place next year. Savimbi, UNITA’s founding president, died in the bush in a hail of bullets in February 2002 and a ceasefire signed by the rebels and government two months later ended almost three decades of civil war in Angola. The oil-rich southwest African country of around 13 million was devastated by the conflict which is believed to have killed one million people and left much of Angola in ruins. After a heated campaign, observers say the race is still open between the two frontrunners, Lukamba Paulo, known as ‘Gato’ or ‘Cat’, and Isaias Samakuva. Full Story

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