Returning Home to a Normal Life? The Plight of Displaced Angolans

"Amongst all the atrocities of war, one of the most tragic consequences of the 27 year long civil conflict in Angola was that over 4 million of civilians were forced to leave their homelands searching for safe havens elsewhere in the country and becoming internally displaced persons (IDPs). The 4th of April 2002, date of the ceasefire signed by the Angolan Army (Forças Armadas de Angola) and the UNITA military forces (Forças Militares da União National para Independência Total de Angola UNITA–FMU) represented the most evident sign of hope for those people to return home and rebuild a normal life. The paper analyses what happened in those 18 months including governmental policies, the contribution of the international community and the difficulties encountered by the returning populations. It finally identifies the most urgent priorities to be met by the competent actors involved, in light of the ultimate goal of securing a lasting peace."