The Curse of War in Angola and Mozambique: Lusophone African Decolonization in Historical Perspective

The twenty years of internal war which followed independence in Angola and Mozambique have their roots in the process whereby these two countries sought and achieved their freedom from colonial rule. A proper comparative understanding of lusophone Africa’s decolonization demands a reanchorage of the study of Portuguese-speaking Africa in its proper African historical context and a reassessment of the ways in which the experience of armed struggle shaped the postcolonial fate of Angola, Guinea-Bissau and Mozambique within the general experience of postcolonial Africa. The author examines three areas which he believes can help both to understand the history of the three countries and to compare their postcolonial evolution with that of the rest of Africa. First, how did the nationalist struggle affect the consolidation of national unity and the construction of the nation-State after independence? Second, what effect did the war have on the societies most directly affected by it? Third, how did the ambitions of ‘revolutionary’ nationalism work themselves out in the policies of the postcolonial governments? Notes, ref.

Title: The Curse of War in Angola and Mozambique: Lusophone African Decolonization in Historical Perspective
Author: Chabal, Patrick
Year: 1996
Periodical: Africa Insight
Volume: 26
Issue: 1
Pages: 5-12
Language: English
Geographic terms: Angola
Mozambique
Guinea-Bissau
Abstract: The twenty years of internal war which followed independence in Angola and Mozambique have their roots in the process whereby these two countries sought and achieved their freedom from colonial rule. A proper comparative understanding of lusophone Africa’s decolonization demands a reanchorage of the study of Portuguese-speaking Africa in its proper African historical context and a reassessment of the ways in which the experience of armed struggle shaped the postcolonial fate of Angola, Guinea-Bissau and Mozambique within the general experience of postcolonial Africa. The author examines three areas which he believes can help both to understand the history of the three countries and to compare their postcolonial evolution with that of the rest of Africa. First, how did the nationalist struggle affect the consolidation of national unity and the construction of the nation-State after independence? Second, what effect did the war have on the societies most directly affected by it? Third, how did the ambitions of ‘revolutionary’ nationalism work themselves out in the policies of the postcolonial governments? Notes, ref.