Flag description: two equal horizontal bands of red (top) and black with a centred yellow emblem consisting of a five-pointed star within half a cogwheel crossed by a machete (in the style of a hammer and sickle)
conventional long form: Republic of Angola
conventional short form: Angola
local long form: Republica de Angola
local short form: Angola
former: People's Republic of Angola
Capital City: Luanda
Important Cities: Jamba, Huambo, Caxito
Major peoples: Bakonga, Mbunda, Ovimbundu, Lunda-Tchokwe, Nganguela, Nyaneka-Humbe, Hiriro, and Ambo, and about 100 subgroups. A major exodus of Europeans in the 1970s left, (around 30,000 mainly Portuguese).
14th century Under Wene, the powerful Kongo kingdom extended control over much of Northern Angola.
early 16th century The Kongo ruler King Afonso I adopted Christianity and sought constructive relations with Portuguese traders.
1575 and 1617 Portugal secured control over the ports of Luanda and Benguela and began to penetrate inland, meeting resistance from Queen Nzinga, the Ndonga ruler.
17th-18th centuries Inland, the Lunda peoples established powerful kingdoms which stretched into the Congo; the Portuguese made Angola a key centre for the export of slaves; over one million were shipped to Brazil 1580-1680.
1836 Slave trade officially abolished.
1885-1915 Military campaigns waged by Portugal to conquer the interior.
1926 Modern borders delineated.
1951 Angola became an overseas territory of Portugal.
1956 Formation of People's Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), a socialist guerrilla independence movement based in the Congo to the North.
1961 50,000 massacred in rebellion on coffee plantations; forced labour abolished, but armed struggle for independence now waged.
1962 Second nationalist guerrilla movement formed, the National Front for the Liberation of Angola (FNLA), based in the North.
1966 National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) formed in South Eastern Angola as a breakaway
from the FNLA.
1975 Independence achieved from Portugal. MPLA (backed mainly by Cuba) proclaimed People's Republic of Angola under the presidency of Dr Agostinho Neto. FNLA and UNITA (backed by South Africa and the USA) proclaimed People's
Democratic Republic of Angola.
1976 MPLA gained control of most of the country. South African troops withdrew, but Cuban units remained as civil war continued.
1979 Neto died and was succeeded by José Eduardo dos Santos.
1980 UNITA guerrillas, aided by South Africa, continued raids against the Luanda government and bases of the Namibian South West Africa People's Organization (SWAPO) in Angola.
1988 Peace treaty, providing for the withdrawal of all foreign troops, signed with South Africa and Cuba.
1989 Cease-fire agreed with UNITA broke down and guerrilla activity resumed.
1991 Peace agreement ended civil war. Amnesty for all political prisoners. New multiparty constitution.
1992 MPLA general election victory, led by dos Santos, was fiercely disputed by UNITA, and plunged the country into renewed civil war.
1993 MPLA government recognized by USA. United Nations (UN) sanctions imposed against UNITA.
1994 Peace treaty signed by government and UNITA representatives.
1995 UN peacekeepers drafted in.
1996 UNITA leader Jonas Savimbi rejected offer of vice presidency.
1997 Delay in formation of national unity government. Unity government eventually sworn in but boycotted by
Geographic coordinates: 12 30 S, 18 30 E
Map references: Africa
total: 1,246,700 sq km
land: 1,246,700 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Area - comparative: slightly less than twice the size of Texas
total: 5,198 km
border countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo 2,511 km(of which 220 km is the boundary of discontinuous Cabinda Province), Republic of the Congo 201 km, Namibia 1,376 km, Zambia 1,110 km
Coastline: 1,600 km