Baixa de Cassanje revolt

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

The Baixa de Cassanje revolt is considered the first battle of the Angolan War of Independence and the Portuguese Colonial War. The uprising began on February 3, 1961 in the region of Baixa do Cassanje, district of Malanje, Portuguese Angola. By February 4, the Portuguese authorities had successfully suppressed the revolt.[1]

On January 3, agricultural workers employed by Cotonang, a Portuguese-Belgium cotton plantation company, staged a protest to force the company to improve their working conditions.[1] The protest, which later became known as the Baixa de Cassanje revolt, was led by two previously unknown Angolans, António Mariano and Kulu-Xingu.[2] During the protest, the Angolan workers burned their identification cards and physically attacked Portuguese traders on the company premises. The protest led to a general uprising, to which Portuguese authorities responded with an air raid on twenty villages in the area, killing large numbers of Angolan villagers. While the People's Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) claimed that the air raid killed some ten thousand people, most estimates range from 400 to as many as 7,000 Angolans killed.[3][4]

After independence from Portugal in 1975, the Angolan government designated February 4 a national holiday, "Liberation Movement Day," in 1996 in remembrance of the attack.[1][5]

March 15 UPA Revolt[edit]

On March 15, 1961 the União das Populações de Angola (UPA), led by Holden Roberto, staged a popular revolt in the Bakongo region of northern Angola. Angolan Bantu farmers and coffee-plantation workers joined the uprising and in a frenzy of rage against European settlers and landowners, killed some 1,000 white Angolans in the first days of fighting, together with an unknown number of natives.[6] The rioting workers burned plantations, bridges, government facilities, and police stations, and destroyed several barges and ferries.[6] Graphic images of raped and mutilated settlers inflamed the rage of the Portuguese public, and the Portuguese Army instituted a harsh counter-insurgency campaign that destroyed dozens of villages and killed some 20,000 people, before the uprising was put down in September 1961.[6][7]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Manuel Jerónimo (2008). "Angola: "Baixa De Kassanje" Massacre Turns 47 Years". Angola Press Agency via allAfrica. Retrieved 2008-01-05. 
  2. ^ George, Edward, The Cuban Intervention in Angola, 1965-1991, New York: Frank Cass Publishing Co., ISBN 0-415-35015-8 (2005), p. 9
  3. ^ Wright, George, The Destruction of a Nation: United States' Policy Towards Angola Since 1945, Pluto Press, ISBN 0-7453-1029-X, 9780745310299 (1997), pp. 5–6
  4. ^ George, Edward, The Cuban Intervention in Angola, 1965-1991, New York: Frank Cass Publishing Co., ISBN 0-415-35015-8 (2005) p. 9: Some sources state as many as 7,000 Angolans were killed in the air raids.
  5. ^ "National Holidays". Embassy of the Republic of Angola. Retrieved 2 February 2013. 
  6. ^ a b c George, Edward, The Cuban Intervention in Angola, 1965-1991, New York: Frank Cass Publishing Co., ISBN 0-415-35015-8 (2005) pp. 9-10
  7. ^ Walker, Frederick, A Certain Curve of Horn: The Hundred-Year Quest for the Giant Sable Antelope of Angola, New York: Grove Press, ISBN 0-8021-4068-8 (2004), p. 143: Commenting on the incursion, Roberto said, "This time the slaves did not cower. They massacred everything."