24 arrested in Angola

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Old 04-Sep-2011
24 arrested in Angola

authorities arrested 24 people at
an anti-government youth rally in
the capital Luanda on Saturday
during which several protesters,
journalists and police officers
were injured, according to media
The rally, organised by a youth
movement without the support of
any of the main opposition
parties, called for the resignation
of President Jose Eduardo dos
Santos, who has held power in
oil-rich Angola for over 32 years.
According to the Portuguese
television station RTP, around 200
youths gathered at Luanda's
Independence Square at 1200
GMT. Police intervened when a
small group headed towards the
presidential palace to demand the
release of a protester allegedly
arrested earlier on Saturday.
RTP added that several protesters,
as well as several Portuguese and
Angolan journalists, suffered light
injuries in the fracas.
The Angolan National Police said
it arrested 24 people during the
rally, with four police officers
injured as they tried to persuade
the protesters to stay on the
authorised route.
It added that three civilians had
been injured "by unidentified
people", and that they were taken
to hospital for medical treatment.
"Against police guidance, some
individuals forced the security
cordon in an anarchical way,
insulting passers-by and police
officers and saying they wanted
to the head to the palace," the
police said in a statement quoted
by Angolan state news agency
"That led to a climate of the
violence, which led to the
throwing of heavy objects and
caused the injuries," it added.
Portuguese news agency Lusa
cited one of the protest
organisers who had was arrested
as saying the police "acted with
brutality" during an event
authorised by the local
Dos Santos' MPLA party, which
won in 2002 won the 27 year-
long civil war against UNITA and
then obtained 82 percent of the
vote in the 2008 general election,
has long been accused of
mismanaging the country's oil
revenues, avoiding public scrutiny
and doing too little to fight
An estimated two-thirds of
Angola's 16.5 million people live
on less than $2 per day in a
country which is Africa's second-
largest oil producer after Nigeria.
The MPLA is favourite to win a
general election next year, but
tensions are rising ahead of the
ballot after UNITA, now the main
opposition party, last month
accused it of stripping the
national elections committee of
any real power.

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