News / Africa

Angolans Left Homeless or Detained After Forced Evictions

Multimedia

Audio
TEXT SIZE - +
Kim Lewis
The international human rights organization, Human Rights Watch, said it is concerned over the forced eviction of five thousand residents living in an informal settlement in the Maiombe neighborhood of Luanda, Angola’s capital.  The evictions were carried out between February 1st and 3rd by Angolan police.  In addition, dozens of people have been arrested and convicted for peacefully protesting the evictions.

According to Human Rights Watch, residents say they were not forewarned about the evictions.  They also say authorities failed to provide the evicted people access to alternative shelter, or have the opportunity to secure and safely remove their personal property.

Leslie Lefkow is deputy director of the Africa division of Human Rights Watch.  She said that the residents were squatters who had been living in the neighborhood for some time.

“The government has a right to move squatters who are occupying land that’s owned by others, including states.  The problem is with the way these evictions are done.  People are not given any warning.  In this case the security forces swooped in, in the early morning.  Helicopters, military forces, really caused panic in the community, and started bulldozing homes without given any warning to people; without giving them a chance to collect their belongings; organize their move; and unfortunately without giving them any alternative shelter or services,” explained Lefkow. 

She emphasized that the way in which this eviction and other evictions have been carried out is extremely problematic from a human rights point of view.  Lefkow also pointed out that there are very clear standards for how evictions should be conducted, under international law.

“There’s the need for advanced warning, adequate notice to people, to be able to organize themselves.   In some cases compensation for example, if homes are going to be bulldozed, or if possessions are going to be lost.  And certainly there’s a need to make sure that people have access to shelter and services,” said Lefkow, who added that, “what has happened in this community is that they have been moved to another area that doesn’t even have running water, so people are in quite a desperate situation.”

Lefkow said a second major problem is that security forces have cracked down very harshly on the community.  She explained that many people, at least 40 and possibility up to more than 100,  who were peacefully protesting, were arrested and are now detained.

Human Rights Watch also noted that authorities provided a number of vehicles to help transport people to another area, away from the Maiombe neighbor, however when speaking with residents, they told them that they were not given enough time to pack their belongings.

You May Like

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

Turkish Law Gives Spy Agency Controversial Powers

Parliament approves legislation to bolster powers of intelligence service, which government claims is necessary to modernize and deal with new threats Turkey faces More

Video Face of American Farmer Changing

Average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Face of American Farmer is Changingi
X
Mike Osborne
April 18, 2014
The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid