Angola, War Crimes and Transitional Justice

The Oxford Handbook on Atrocity Crimes, 2019

24 Pages Posted: 15 Apr 2021

Date Written: February 1, 2019


After a war of independence against the Portuguese colonizer, Angola has known a civil war from 1975-2002. What could be characterized as a ‘proxy cold-war’ in the 1970s and 1980s, in the 1990s turned into a ‘greed’ based war over the control of natural resources. During the war numerous war crimes and arguably also crimes against humanity were committed; an estimated 500.000 to 1 million people died as a consequence of the war, the country was infected with landmines. When a peace agreement was signed in 2002, it included a blanket amnesty for all former warring parties. Based on a literature review and original empirical fieldwork, this chapter describes in particular why and how – in the absence of any accountability mechanisms – alternative strategies to truth seeking, reconciliation, commemoration or memorialization have only to a limited extent been adopted.

Keywords: Angola, War Crimes, Crimes Against Humanity, Amnesty, Accountability Reconciliation, Transitional Justice, Memorialization, Illiberal Peace, Education

Suggested Citation

Wijk, Joris, Angola, War Crimes and Transitional Justice (February 1, 2019). The Oxford Handbook on Atrocity Crimes, 2019, Available at SSRN: or

Joris Wijk (Contact Author)

VU University Amsterdam ( email )

De Boelelaan 1105
Amsterdam, ND North Holland 1081 HV

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