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Sun, 05 Jan 2014 11:24 - Updated Sun, 05 Jan 2014 11:24

Cassanje Massacre considered one of most violent

The vice-governor of Luanda for political and social affairs, Adriano Mendes de Carvalho, said on Saturday here that the January 4 massacre was one of the bloodiest havocs that the Angolan people have ever suffered.

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Adriano Mendes de Carvalho - Vice-Governador de Luanda

Photo: Escrivão

The official said so during the main event in honor of the Colonial Repression Martyrs Day held under the slogan "Let’s celebrate the January 4 strengthening cohesion and national unity".

According to him, this day is not just for the Martyrs of Baixa de Cassanje revolt, but for all Angolans who participated in the struggle of national liberation and independence.

He said that "our government decided that the day of the Martyrs of Colonial Repression was a patriotic tribute to all Angolans who for centuries have been victims of brutal aggression of the Portuguese colonial regime".

The country marked on Saturday, the 53rd anniversary of the Baixa de Cassanje revolt of 4 January 1961 in Angola’s northern Malanje province, a day established to pay homage to the Angolan compatriots, who were brutally murdered by the Portuguese fascist army in that region.

On 4 January 1961, the colonial regime of Portugal killed thousands of peasants working for the cotton company (Cotonang), who with courage and determination to the humiliation and forced labour decided to uprise against the Portuguese fascist army.

The January 4, 1961 Baixa de Cassanje revolt is considered a trigger for the Angolan War of Independence (1961-1974), which however was being prepared by several pro-independence guerrillas in neighbouring African countries under support of world powers such as the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China.

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 3 January in 1961 in the region of Baixa do Cassanje, district of Malanje, Portuguese Angola. By 4 January, the Portuguese authorities had successfully suppressed the revolt.

On 4 January, agricultural workers employed by Cotonang, a Portuguese-Belgium cotton plantation company, staged a protest to force the company to improve their working conditions.

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. 

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