The Paradox of Terrorism, Armed Conflict and Natural Resources in Africa: an Analysis of Cabinda in Angola

Victor Ojakorotu


Angola is a coastal west-central African state which currently stands as one of the fastest growing economies on the sub-continent. Angola’s development as a burgeoning economic powerhouse has been attained despite a protracted and brutal civil conflict spanning several decades. In the current post-conflict era, Angola has emerged as one of the leading producers of oil on the African continent, second only to Nigeria, in addition to boasting an equally robust diamond mining industry. However, the main oil-producing region in Angola, the Cabinda province, has been the centre of intense conflict between the inhabitants of the region on one hand in their endeavor for self-determination, and the central government on the other, which defends the economic and geo-strategic importance of the region. At a practical level, the proponents of the conflict are the Liberation Front of the Enclave of Cabinda (FLEC), which is at the forefront of secessionist calls, and the Luanda government through the Angolan Armed Forces (FAA). The activities of FLEC in the Cabinda region against Luanda (the Angola state) have launched a new debate on the dynamics of oil violence in the region. Among the main concerns is that the militia groups in the region are carrying out terrorist acts which,in turn, breed further instability that could have severe consequences for the state’s security. Therefore, it is pertinent to undertake an in-depth exploration of the nexus between terrorism and FLEC activities in the region, as well to establish whether the recurrent breach of national security law committed by the FLEC in their secessionist endeavors have allowed the Angolan government to rightly characterize the violent activities of the militant group as terrorism. 

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Perspectives on Terrorism is  a journal of the Terrorism Research Initiative and the Center for Terrorism and Security Studies

ISSN  2334-3745 (Online)

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