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At least ten Angolan soldiers were killed during the last clash with the Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda (FLEC) in the oil-rich Cabinda enclave, according to information from the separatist guerillas.
Nearly forty combatants have died in a flare-up of violence after exiled FLEC founder Nzita Tiago passed away on 3 June at the age of 88.
According to a FLEC statement, the confrontation took place last Friday and Saturday in the Cabinda area where the rebels have sought independence from Angola.
The rebels previously claimed to have slain twenty-six soldiers during battles from 29 July to the 31 July. Following those incidents, the FLEC warned foreign workers to leave Cabinda since their lives were in danger. The guerillas reiterated those demands in a communiqué issued on Monday when they urged relocation of Chinese workers whose presence allegedly “constitutes a provocation.”
The Angolan government has thus far failed to comment on the latest combats between the military and the FLEC. Despite the uptick in violence in the latest two months, Cabinda state Governor Aldina Matilde Barros Da Lomba recently stated that there is no armed conflict or war in the region.
The plummeting price of oil has led to a bust for an Angolan country that earns approximately 45 percent of its gross domestic product from gas and oil. Angola’s economic crisis resulting from plummeting revenue has exacerbated the stark wealth gap in the nation and led to strong cutbacks in basic social services.
The Angolan economy is expected to continue facing obstacles and a “bleak year ahead”, based on a pessimistic analysis by Platts in July.
By Erwin Cifuentes for Oilprice.com
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Erwin Cifuentes is a Contributing Editor for Southern Pulse Info where he focuses on politics, economics and security issues in Latin America and the Caribbean.…