October 14, 2006
The October 7 rally was held in the capital of Angola, in the hall of the African League. The 102 people attending the event included government administrators, Muslim and Christian religious leaders, university professors, party heads, leaders of NGOs, diplomats and journalists. The national television showed an interview with the secretary general of UPF and gave the event seven minutes of coverage during the news show. This enabled people to understand the activities of UPF and its Founders’ vision for world peace and the development of a culture of living for the sake of others.
The October 14 rally in Cabinda was covered by local television and radio. A representative of the governor attended, along with local government officials, Christian leaders, business people, and representatives from civil society. The 150 people in attendance gained a better understanding of UPF and its Founder. Participants requested another rally in Cabinda in the near future.
Cabinda is an enclave situated on the Atlantic coast north of Angola, separated from Angola by a portion of Congo-Brazzaville. The enclave was given to Angola by Portugal after its independence in 1975. A separatist group known as FLEC (Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda) was formed that year and fought against the former communist government of Angola, adding to the strife caused by 27 years of civil war throughout Angola. Many of the people struggling for independence have been drawn to UPF and its vision for peacemaking, including Antonio Bento Bembe, leader of the Cabindan Forum for Dialogue.
On April 4, 2006 FLEC rebels agreed to end hostilities against the central government, in return for the government giving the Cabinda enclave if not independence some autonomy and special status on account of its resources, which include petrol and lumber. The Angola government will invest in several local development projects. Cabindan refugees in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Congo Brazzaville are coming back to Cabinda to support the reconciliation process. This is a special, historic opportunity for UPF to put its vision of peace and reconciliation into practice, using radio and television.
The rally in Lubangu City, in the southwest province of Huila, was also held on October 14. It attracted about 50 people, including members of local government, university professors, local churches leaders and journalists. Dr. Manuel Adao Domingos, president of UPF-Angola led the rally. The local radio station did a special program before the rally in which representatives of UPF-Angola explained the Founders’ activities and vision of peace. There also, people requested that another rally be held in the near future.
In September UPF received legal recognition enabling it to work everywhere in Angola, from Cabinda in the north to Cunene in the south, along the border with Namibia.