At the height of the war between UNITA rebels and the MPLA government of Angola there was - I recall - for a time a plan to fully partition Angola and create two countries. UNITA would have the southern half and the existing MPLA government would hold on to the northern half (including the capital).

This would have been in the 1990s? Maps showed a line of partition approximately along the line of the Benguela railway.

Obviously the idea fizzled out because we still have one Angola. I remember it being thought of as a deeply radical solution to the seemingly interminable civil war, and probably too radical (maybe less so now we have the example of Sudan).

How far did the plan get, and why was it killed?

2 Answers 2


I know that there was supposed to be an American plan in the 1970s to split Angola, more-or-less "along the 11th parallel" (actually along the line of the Benguela railway) after the Portuguese left. At the time (1975/76), Operation Savannah by the South African Defence Force (SADF) was supposed to be in support of this plan. The plan is mentioned by Andrew Sardanis in his book A Venture in Africa: The Challenges of African Business

I hadn't heard that the plan had been revived in the 1990s, but I suppose it is possible. However, by that point Namibia had gained its independence and South Africa was emerging from the shadow of Apartheid. The first of the major peace agreements that would end the civil war and move Angola towards a multi-party democracy (initially under the supervision of the UN) was signed in mid 1991. It is difficult to see how a plan to partition Angola would receive much support under those circumstances.


So far, the most comprehensive answer I can provide is through this source: http://books.google.com/books?id=NOHZWdvu66sC&pg=PA264&lpg=PA264&dq=angola+partition&source=bl&ots=JRBb4ac4Ds&sig=6FRU8YNZxQ9wrQdKm5yvSb_N5B0&hl=en&sa=X&ei=fM3QUpXjN8zMsQSh3YL4Cw&ved=0CD0Q6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=angola%20partition&f=false

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    You should provide a summary of the answer here, with the book as a reference. Feb 10, 2014 at 7:33

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