Last modified: 2021-01-02 by bruce berry
Keywords: cabinda | flec | simulambuco monument |
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The historical and political background to the enclave of Cabinda is provided here.
The Political Handbook of the World (1997) has the following entry
Since the early 1960s a number of groups have been active in the oil-rich Cabinda enclave under the banner of Front for the Liberation of the Cabinda Enclave (Frente de Libertação do Enclave de Cabinda - FLEC). The original FLEC was founded in August 1963 by Luis Ranque Franque who, encouraged by Portuguese authorities to continue separatist activities, refused to join other Angolan independence movements. In 1974 the Front's attempts to gain military control of the enclave were rebuffed by the MPLA and in 1975 the movement broke into three factions:
Anxious to create ties to the economically important region, both the government and UNITA have named Cabindans to leadership positions in their parties. Nevertheless, in July 1991 a joint MPLA-PT/UNITA offensive was launched in Cabinda to eradicate the terrorists. Meanwhile, although past attempts to unify the numerous FLEC factions had proven short-lived, it was reported that four of the identifiable groups (FLEC-Lubota, the UNLC, CCC, and FLEC - Renovada) were attempting to form a united front, with FLEC - N'Zita reportedly refusing to participate.
In mid-1992 increased incidents of FLEC initiated violence were reported in the province, with the situation further deteriorating during the run-up to the September 1992 elections. In August FLEC officials called for a boycott of the balloting. Subsequently, only 19% of the eligible voters registered, with one observer describing the low turnout as a "referendum on independence". In December FLEC activists, citing the likelihood of further unrest, urged São Tomé and Principe expatriates to depart and in January 1993 Angolan officials charged "Congolese politicians" with supplying arms to the separatists.
In mid-May 1993 FLEC responded to the US recognition of Luanda by declaring that it did not extend to Cabinda and warning that "all those people with companies in Cabinda must choose between supporting the extermination of the Cabindan people or leaving the territory." Following UNITA's capture of Soyo in northwestern Angola in late May, the government, fearing a pact between the separatists and rebels, was reported to be attempting to form an alliance with a FLEC-Renovada opponent, the FLEC-Armed Forces of Cabinda (Forças Armadas do Cabinda - FLEC-FAC). However, after a new guerilla offensive was launched in Cabinda from mid-1995, government and FLEC-Renovada representatives meeting in Windhoek, Namibia, in April 1996 concluded a ceasefire agreement that was thought likely to be observed by other FLEC-factions.
In 1996 a new FLEC was created, in
the Netherlands, replacing the word "Enclave" by the word "State"
(Estado). The "Frente de Libertação do Estado
de Cabinda" (Liberation Front of the State of Cabinda) should not be
confused with the Frente de Libertação do Enclave de Cabinda
(which also goes by the same acronym).
Joan-Frances Blanc, 04 May 1998
detail of the central emblem by Joan-Frances Blanc (re-giffed by Robert Kee, 25 Feb 2001)
The FLEC flag adopted in 1996 is a blue, yellow and black horizontal tricolor with a representation of the Simulambuco monument in the centre.
In February 1885 a treaty was signed establishing
as a Portuguese protectorate at Simulambuco . A monument was built to
commemorate the event, which is similar to a padroe,
but much higher. The three arrows are not arrows, but spears, representing
the three kingdoms of Kakongo, Loango and Ngoyo. The three spears are actually
in front of the Simulambuco monument.
Joan-Frances Blanc, 04 May 1998
The detail of the flag is a representation of a padrao, a column
of stone, carved in the upper segment with the Portuguese quinas
and topped by the cross of Christ, that the Portuguese sailors used to
carry around to leave at the lands they claimed for Portugal. There are
dozens of these monuments left by the Portuguese explorers and there may be one in Cabinda
Jorge Candeias, 29 April 1998
Another FLEC-faction, with its seat in Vilvoorde (Belgium), has the same flag as J. F. Blanc reported - but the quinas are missing. There is a good picture of the monument of Simulambuco with the quinas in blue, with the following explanation (in their words):
'Explanation of our national emblem - the flag
Blue : the royal row of the pre-colonial principality of Cabinda. It is also the colour of the Atlantic Ocean of the 200km of full of fish coast of Cabinda which is not an enclave (illusory word invented at the 19th century for the benefit of the Portuguese illiterates of the time).
Yellow : symbolize the various mineral not yet exploited in which abounds deep Cabinda, namely: white gold, pink, yellow; the diamond of jewellery and industrialist; money, platinum, copper, lead, zinc, cobalt, mercury, aluminum, bauxite, nickel, tin, antimony, lithium, tungsten, the molydene, zirconium, niobium, thorium, asbestos, asbestos, gypsum-talc, quartz, mica, graphite, the beryl, the lapse-lazuli, topaz, the ruby, sapphire, it salt-gem, sand-silicon (for the technology of micro-processing), coal, uranium (easily to be enriched for amateur of human destruction).
Black : finally, black gold (oil) and the KMT. And also membership of Cabinda in the African continent.
The logo in the center : represent the famous one and memorable historic
monument of Simulambuco (Treaty of protectorate lusitano-cabindais initialed 01 February 1885 between princes and notable
Cabindais and Portugal).
Angular Stone of the Cabindan irredentism and irreplaceable initial treaty
" Pacta Sunt Servanda " (article 15,26 of the convention of Vienna of 1969
on the right of the treaties.).'
Make no mistake, the quinas have and the three spears have gone.
Jarig Bakker, 06 Apr 2001
There is also a picture of the president of the government, holding
a small desk flag with the central emblem missing. This is the third FLEC-faction,
and seems to be implanted solely on the internet and in francophone Europe.
The people from the inside talk about the "Enclave" of Cabinda, while this
group talks about the "State" of Cabinda, for instance. Here there are representatives
of both FLECs that operate inside Cabinda (FLEC-FAC and FLEC-Renovada),
but no representative that I know of from this third FLEC grouping, which is basically a government
in exile aimed at "organizing a national Cabinda conference reuniting
all sensible entities that struggle for independence", as they say in the
Jorge Candeias, 08 Apr 2001