Peace Day in Angola
Observed annually on April 4th, Peace Day is a national holiday in Angola. Also known as the Day of Peace and Reconciliation, this holiday commemorates the end of the Angolan Civil War—a war that ended in 2002. This war lasted for almost three decades and resulted in the deaths of over half a million people, with over a million being displaced.
It also resulted in the destruction of infrastructure that has taken years to repair. If this holiday falls on a Sunday, it is usually observed on the following Monday.
The History Of Peace Day In Angola
In 1975, Angola gained independence from Portugal. This independence came as a result of two armed guerrilla groups: the communist People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) and the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA).
After independence, these two groups struggled against one another in a bid to control the country. This resulted in a war that lasted for 27 years and resulted in half a million deaths and a million people being displaced.
In 2002, government troops killed the leader of UNITA, which prompted the end of military operations. Both combatants then came to the negotiating table. Finally, a peace agreement was signed on April 4, 2002, that effectively ended the civil war.
Observing Peace Day In Angola
Because April 4th is a national holiday, many government buildings, schools, and businesses are closed on this day. People also take the time to learn more about the civil war and the effect it had on the country’s infrastructure, as well as the loss of life.
People also visit memorials and the graves of those who may have fallen during the conflict. Finally, people take the time to make plans with friends and family members or simply use the day as a personal day off from their usual responsibilities.