Angolan War of Independence

1961–1974 conflict for independence of colonial Angola from Portugal / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The Angolan War of Independence (Portuguese: Guerra de Independência de Angola; 1961–1974), called in Angola the Luta Armada de Libertação Nacional ("Armed Struggle of National Liberation"),[27][28] began as an uprising against forced cultivation of cotton, and it became a multi-faction struggle for the control of Portugal's overseas province of Angola among three nationalist movements and a separatist movement.[29] The war ended when a leftist military coup in Lisbon in April 1974 overthrew Portugal's Estado Novo dictatorship, and the new regime immediately stopped all military action in the African colonies, declaring its intention to grant them independence without delay.

Quick facts: Angolan War of Independence, Date, Location, ...
Angolan War of Independence
Part of the Portuguese Colonial War, the Decolonization of Africa and the Cold War

Portuguese troops on patrol in Angola
Date4 February 1961 – 25 April 1974 (cease fire)
(13 years, 2 months and 3 weeks)
11 November 1975 (independence)

Portuguese military victory, MPLA, FNLA, and UNITA political victory

 South Africa[2][3]
Material support
Commanders and leaders
Agostinho Neto
Lúcio Lara
Holden Roberto
Jonas Savimbi
António de Oliveira Salazar
Francisco da Costa Gomes
Marcello Caetano
Hendrik Verwoerd
Balthazar Johannes Vorster
90,000 65,000
Casualties and losses
~10,000 killed[24] 2,991 killed (1,526 KIA & 1,465 non-combat deaths[25] according to Portuguese Government)
9,000+ casualties (other estimates)
4,684 with permanent deficiency (physical or psychological)
30,000–50,000 civilians killed [26]
Map of the present provinces of Angola, corresponding almost exactly to the Portuguese-era districts.

The conflict is usually approached as a branch or a theater of the wider Portuguese Overseas War, which also included the independence wars of Guinea-Bissau and of Mozambique.

It was a guerrilla war in which the Portuguese army and security forces waged a counter-insurgency campaign against armed groups mostly dispersed across sparsely populated areas of the vast Angolan countryside.[30] Many atrocities were committed by all forces involved in the conflict. In the end, the Portuguese achieved overall military victory.

In Angola, after the Portuguese withdrew, an armed conflict broke out among the nationalist movements. This war formally came to an end in January 1975 when the Portuguese government, the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), and the National Liberation Front of Angola (FNLA) signed the Alvor Agreement. Informally, this civil war resumed by May 1975, including street fighting in Luanda and the surrounding countryside.