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Will Angola be the Next Libya?

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Special to the NNPA from the Global Information Network –

More than a dozen protestors including a popular rap artist were arrested recently as the Angolan government attempted to head off a protest against the 32-year rule of President Jose Eduardo dos Santos.

The protest began when an anonymous group of individuals set up a website announcing "a new revolution of the Angolan people."

Government officials rebuked the protest. "Angola is not Egypt. Angola is not Libya. Angola is not Tunisia," said one official. Dino Matross, secretary general of the ruling party, was more blunt. "Anyone who demonstrates," he said, "we're going to get you."

Luaty Beirão, a popular Angolan rapper also known as Brigadeiro Mata Frakus believes the political parties are out of touch with Angolan people. At a recent gig, he called on President Dos Santos to step down while a large audience chanted "Fora!" ("Out!")

Although Angola is the continent's first producer of crude oil along with Nigeria, the majority of its people live beneath the poverty line and the gap between rich and poor is one of the widest in the world. Rafael Marques, a noted journalist, observed: "Opposition is weak, but unhappiness with the ruling MPLA party is overwhelming."

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