Angola's war economy: the role of oil and diamonds

2000-11-01

The Angolan war, now entering its fifth decade, initially coincided with a period of intense Cold War rivalry but has continued unabated thereafter, reflecting remarkable adaptive characteristics and the ability to survive Africas political and strategic marginalisation. Cold War patronage has been replaced by the instrumentalisation of oil and diamonds as part of the ongoing insurgency.

This study reflects possibly the most complete work on the Angolan war economy to be published in recent years. The book first presents a theoretical framework for the political economy of the Angolan abundant resource war and an interpretative account of the internal and regional dynamics of the war, its global and arms dynamics and ethnic roots. Four of the sixteen chapters are devoted to the diamond industry, looking at commercial diamond mining in Angola, porous borders and diamond smuggling and the political sociology of power struggles in the diamond rich Lundas.

Two chapters are devoted to UNITA logistics. The first presents an overview of UNITAs logistic support structures and the other more specifically looks at airborne support to UNITA. Two chapters focus on the oil industry, providing an overview of the industry and role of oil in the war economy, while a third investigates the ethical considerations of multinationals doing business in Angola.

A separate chapter is devoted to the role of humanitarian aid during the war and a final chapter looks towards the future.

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