Angolans highlight meaning of March 23

  • A view of Cuito Cuanavale town
Luanda - Several nationals stressed, this Tuesday, the importance of March 23, Liberation Day for Southern Africa, but asked the country's authorities to reinforce the programmes to publicize the date.

March 23 was unanimously adopted in 2018 by the member states of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), in Windhoek (Namibia), as the Day of Liberation of the Southern Region of the continent.

 

The date is dedicated to the Battle of Cuito Cuanavale, fought in the Angolan province of Cuando Cubango, in 1988, between the Angolan Army, supported by Cuban forces, and by the invading troops of the former Apartheid regime of South Africa.

 

The anniversary started to be celebrated as a national holiday in 2018, following the approval, by the Parliament, of a new law on the National Holidays.

 

According to the banker Filomeno de Jesus, the anniversary is to honour the combatants of the countries of the region that, for a long time, fought to release the peoples oppressed by colonialism and, mainly, for the fall of Apartheid in South Africa.

 

"It is a new holiday that needs to be publicized, as there is an utter lack of knowledge among the youngest," he said.

 

The student Igor António said that he ignores the commemorative date, having never heard of it, but after listening to some explanation about it, he recognized its magnitude.

 

On her turn, young Maria Eugénia Carlos, self-employed, was categorical in saying that dates like this deserve wide participation not only by the competent authorities, in particular, but also by the population in general.

 

GEOPOLITICAL INFLUENCE

According to General João Pereira Massano, National Director for the Preservation of the Military Historical Legacy of the Ministry of National Defence and Veterans of the Homeland, the region witnessed the biggest confrontation in the history of the war in Angola.

 

It is, according to scholars, the most bloody confrontation among the various military conflicts that occurred on the African continent after the Second World War.

 

João Pereira Massano went on to explain that, during that period, thousands of combatants of the ex-FAPLA (then governmental forces) showed bravery and heroism, in defence of the homeland.

 

He also said that, this allowed the implementation of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 435/78, which helped create the premises for Namibia's independence and the end of the racial segregation regime that prevailed in South Africa, thus contributing to the liberation of the Southern Africa region.

"After 33 years, history registered those dark days when our brave combatants gave the best of themselves in body and soul for the defence of the homeland, with many of them sacrificing their own lives," he said.

 

The official added that the patriotic fervour of these combatants was decisive in overcoming moments of danger in the face of a heavily equipped enemy with modern weaponry, tanks, heavy artillery systems and aerial means.

 

He added that, with the victorious outcome of the Battle of Cuito Cuanavale, in 1988, the myth of invincibility of the invading army of the Apartheid regime was broken and the subsequent establishment of a climate of peace in our sub-region.

 

For the general of the Angolan Armed Forces, the battle allowed the removal of external factors that negatively influenced peace and reconciliation among all Angolans and the establishment of bases that would culminate in the definitive cessation of hostilities.

 

According to João Pereira Massano, the transformation of March 23 as the Liberation Day of Southern Africa constitutes the best tribute and just recognition for the glorious deeds of the defenders of Cuito Cuanavale.

March 23 was unanimously adopted in 2018 by the member states of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), in Windhoek (Namibia), as the Day of Liberation of the Southern Region of the continent.

 

The date is dedicated to the Battle of Cuito Cuanavale, fought in the Angolan province of Cuando Cubango, in 1988, between the Angolan Army, supported by Cuban forces, and by the invading troops of the former Apartheid regime of South Africa.

 

The anniversary started to be celebrated as a national holiday in 2018, following the approval, by the Parliament, of a new law on the National Holidays.

 

According to the banker Filomeno de Jesus, the anniversary is to honour the combatants of the countries of the region that, for a long time, fought to release the peoples oppressed by colonialism and, mainly, for the fall of Apartheid in South Africa.

 

"It is a new holiday that needs to be publicized, as there is an utter lack of knowledge among the youngest," he said.

 

The student Igor António said that he ignores the commemorative date, having never heard of it, but after listening to some explanation about it, he recognized its magnitude.

 

On her turn, young Maria Eugénia Carlos, self-employed, was categorical in saying that dates like this deserve wide participation not only by the competent authorities, in particular, but also by the population in general.

 

GEOPOLITICAL INFLUENCE

According to General João Pereira Massano, National Director for the Preservation of the Military Historical Legacy of the Ministry of National Defence and Veterans of the Homeland, the region witnessed the biggest confrontation in the history of the war in Angola.

 

It is, according to scholars, the most bloody confrontation among the various military conflicts that occurred on the African continent after the Second World War.

 

João Pereira Massano went on to explain that, during that period, thousands of combatants of the ex-FAPLA (then governmental forces) showed bravery and heroism, in defence of the homeland.

 

He also said that, this allowed the implementation of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 435/78, which helped create the premises for Namibia's independence and the end of the racial segregation regime that prevailed in South Africa, thus contributing to the liberation of the Southern Africa region.

"After 33 years, history registered those dark days when our brave combatants gave the best of themselves in body and soul for the defence of the homeland, with many of them sacrificing their own lives," he said.

 

The official added that the patriotic fervour of these combatants was decisive in overcoming moments of danger in the face of a heavily equipped enemy with modern weaponry, tanks, heavy artillery systems and aerial means.

 

He added that, with the victorious outcome of the Battle of Cuito Cuanavale, in 1988, the myth of invincibility of the invading army of the Apartheid regime was broken and the subsequent establishment of a climate of peace in our sub-region.

 

For the general of the Angolan Armed Forces, the battle allowed the removal of external factors that negatively influenced peace and reconciliation among all Angolans and the establishment of bases that would culminate in the definitive cessation of hostilities.

 

According to João Pereira Massano, the transformation of March 23 as the Liberation Day of Southern Africa constitutes the best tribute and just recognition for the glorious deeds of the defenders of Cuito Cuanavale.