When Will Angola's Civil War 'Actually' End?

Published July 7th, 2019 - 07:14 GMT

Angola's 27 year-long civil war, a bloody post-colonial conflict, lasted from 1975 until 2002, pitting the ruling MPLA against Unita rebels. 

Nearly two decades since the war ended, parts of Kuito, the site of heavy battles, still bear the scars of war. 

Homeless children play outside a war-wrecked building as their parents cook food on an open fire. Clothes dry on walls covered with plaster partially hiding bullet holes. 

Disabled and without any state assistance, former soldiers find themselves destitute in the city of Kuito, which was the Unita headquarters and the site of some of the fiercest fighting during the 27-year long war. Angola has about 159,000 war veterans according to the veterans ministry, but only a small percentage receive a pension.

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A woman, living in the bullet-riddled and graffiti-covered building that used to house Jonas Savimbi, leader of the rebel UNITA movement during the Angolan civil war, calls out, in Kuito, Bie Province in Angola. RODGER BOSCH / AFP

A woman, living in the bullet-riddled and graffiti-covered building that used to house Jonas Savimbi, leader of the rebel UNITA movement during the Angolan civil war, calls out, in Kuito, Bie Province in Angola. RODGER BOSCH / AFP

Domingo Tomas, a former soldier with the Angolan Army and now part of a group of homeless people living in a building damaged during the Angolan civil war.  RODGER BOSCH / AFP

Domingo Tomas, a former soldier with the Angolan Army and now part of a group of homeless people living in a building damaged during the Angolan civil war. RODGER BOSCH / AFP

Delfina Graca, part of a group of homeless people living in a building damaged during the Angolan civil war RODGER BOSCH / AFP

Delfina Graca, part of a group of homeless people living in a building damaged during the Angolan civil war RODGER BOSCH / AFP

A homeless woman living in a derelict building, damaged during the Angolan civil war, stands by clothes left to dry on its wall RODGER BOSCH / AFP

A homeless woman living in a derelict building, damaged during the Angolan civil war, stands by clothes left to dry on its wall RODGER BOSCH / AFP

This picture shows a detail of a bullet-riddled brick wall, damaged during the Angolan civil war, in Kuito, Bie Province in Angola.  RODGER BOSCH / AFP

This picture shows a detail of a bullet-riddled brick wall, damaged during the Angolan civil war, in Kuito, Bie Province in Angola. RODGER BOSCH / AFP

A person walks past a staircase in the bullet-riddled and graffiti-covered shell of a building that used to house Jonas Savimbi, leader of the rebel UNITA movement  RODGER BOSCH / AFP

A person walks past a staircase in the bullet-riddled and graffiti-covered shell of a building that used to house Jonas Savimbi, leader of the rebel UNITA movement RODGER BOSCH / AFP

Children play on a derelict building, damaged during the Angolan civil war, in Kuito, Bie Province in central Angola. RODGER BOSCH / AFP

Children play on a derelict building, damaged during the Angolan civil war, in Kuito, Bie Province in central Angola. RODGER BOSCH / AFP

A man uses a hand pump to wash his feet outside a building damaged by bullet holes, dating from the Angolan civil war RODGER BOSCH / AFP

A man uses a hand pump to wash his feet outside a building damaged by bullet holes, dating from the Angolan civil war RODGER BOSCH / AFP

Motorcycles drive down a road in Kuito, Bie Province in Angola RODGER BOSCH / AFP

Motorcycles drive down a road in Kuito, Bie Province in Angola RODGER BOSCH / AFP

A woman, living in the bullet-riddled and graffiti-covered building that used to house Jonas Savimbi, leader of the rebel UNITA movement during the Angolan civil war, calls out, in Kuito, Bie Province in Angola. RODGER BOSCH / AFP
Domingo Tomas, a former soldier with the Angolan Army and now part of a group of homeless people living in a building damaged during the Angolan civil war.  RODGER BOSCH / AFP
Delfina Graca, part of a group of homeless people living in a building damaged during the Angolan civil war RODGER BOSCH / AFP
A homeless woman living in a derelict building, damaged during the Angolan civil war, stands by clothes left to dry on its wall RODGER BOSCH / AFP
This picture shows a detail of a bullet-riddled brick wall, damaged during the Angolan civil war, in Kuito, Bie Province in Angola.  RODGER BOSCH / AFP
A person walks past a staircase in the bullet-riddled and graffiti-covered shell of a building that used to house Jonas Savimbi, leader of the rebel UNITA movement  RODGER BOSCH / AFP
Children play on a derelict building, damaged during the Angolan civil war, in Kuito, Bie Province in central Angola. RODGER BOSCH / AFP
A man uses a hand pump to wash his feet outside a building damaged by bullet holes, dating from the Angolan civil war RODGER BOSCH / AFP
Motorcycles drive down a road in Kuito, Bie Province in Angola RODGER BOSCH / AFP
A woman, living in the bullet-riddled and graffiti-covered building that used to house Jonas Savimbi, leader of the rebel UNITA movement during the Angolan civil war, calls out, in Kuito, Bie Province in Angola. RODGER BOSCH / AFP
A woman, living in the bullet-riddled and graffiti-covered building that used to house Jonas Savimbi, leader of the rebel UNITA movement during the Angolan civil war, calls out, in Kuito, Bie Province in Angola. RODGER BOSCH / AFP
Domingo Tomas, a former soldier with the Angolan Army and now part of a group of homeless people living in a building damaged during the Angolan civil war.  RODGER BOSCH / AFP
Domingo Tomas, a former soldier with the Angolan Army and now part of a group of homeless people living in a building damaged during the Angolan civil war. RODGER BOSCH / AFP
Delfina Graca, part of a group of homeless people living in a building damaged during the Angolan civil war RODGER BOSCH / AFP
Delfina Graca, part of a group of homeless people living in a building damaged during the Angolan civil war RODGER BOSCH / AFP
A homeless woman living in a derelict building, damaged during the Angolan civil war, stands by clothes left to dry on its wall RODGER BOSCH / AFP
A homeless woman living in a derelict building, damaged during the Angolan civil war, stands by clothes left to dry on its wall RODGER BOSCH / AFP
This picture shows a detail of a bullet-riddled brick wall, damaged during the Angolan civil war, in Kuito, Bie Province in Angola.  RODGER BOSCH / AFP
This picture shows a detail of a bullet-riddled brick wall, damaged during the Angolan civil war, in Kuito, Bie Province in Angola. RODGER BOSCH / AFP
A person walks past a staircase in the bullet-riddled and graffiti-covered shell of a building that used to house Jonas Savimbi, leader of the rebel UNITA movement  RODGER BOSCH / AFP
A person walks past a staircase in the bullet-riddled and graffiti-covered shell of a building that used to house Jonas Savimbi, leader of the rebel UNITA movement RODGER BOSCH / AFP
Children play on a derelict building, damaged during the Angolan civil war, in Kuito, Bie Province in central Angola. RODGER BOSCH / AFP
Children play on a derelict building, damaged during the Angolan civil war, in Kuito, Bie Province in central Angola. RODGER BOSCH / AFP
A man uses a hand pump to wash his feet outside a building damaged by bullet holes, dating from the Angolan civil war RODGER BOSCH / AFP
A man uses a hand pump to wash his feet outside a building damaged by bullet holes, dating from the Angolan civil war RODGER BOSCH / AFP
Motorcycles drive down a road in Kuito, Bie Province in Angola RODGER BOSCH / AFP
Motorcycles drive down a road in Kuito, Bie Province in Angola RODGER BOSCH / AFP