From military peace to social justice? The Angolan peace process

Angola’s 26-year civil war ended in April 2002 with the signing of the Luena Memorandum of Understanding between the government and the Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA). Marking the end of the government’s campaign to achieve peace through war, the Luena Memorandum built on a series of previous failed peace agreements.

Accord 15 asks ‘what next?’ for a nation that has secured ‘military peace’ but still faces huge challenges in post-conflict peacebuilding and a secessionist war in Cabinda? It provides lessons from Angola’s history of conflict and peacemaking, and reviews past peace processes and the roles played by Angolan civil society, the United Nations and foreign governments.

Written by authors with first-hand or expert knowledge of Angolan peacemaking, it identifies key challenges for achieving greater social justice such as:

  • deeper democratisation
  • more accountable management of oil and diamonds resource wealth
  • a positive role for the media, civil society and women in Angolan society.

The publication also contains summaries and a chronology of Angolan history and conflict, the various peace agreements, plus profiles of the key people and institutions. Also available is a Portuguese version and a policy brief in English and Portuguese.

This issue of Accord was edited by Guus Meijer.

As ending the war by military means consolidates the power of the victorious party, the democratic process which depends on dialogue, negotiation, respect for other points of view and eventual compromise, has been sidelined.

Guus Meijer, Accord 15 issue editor

Issue editor

Guus Meijer


Guus Meijer is a consultant and trainer in conflict transformation and peacebuilding and a former Co-Director of Conciliation Resources. He has been involved in development and civil society initiatives in Angola since the 1980s.

Read more from Guus:

Accord Issue 15: Angola