Cabinda

From Academic Kids

Map of Angola with the province highlighted
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Map of Angola with the province highlighted

Cabinda is an Angolan province and exclave, separated from the rest of the country by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which bounds the province on the south and the east. Cabinda is bounded on the north by the Republic of the Congo, and on the west by the Atlantic Ocean. As of 1991, the population was 163,000, with an area of 7,270 km².

Portuguese explorers, missionaries and traders arrived at the mouth of the Congo (or Nzere) river in the mid-15th century, making contact with the powerful King of the Congo (Manikongo). The Manikongo controlled much of the region through affiliation with smaller kingdoms, such as the Kingdoms of Ngoyo, Loango, and Cacongo in present-day Cabinda.

Over the years, the Portuguese, Dutch, and English established trading posts, logging camps and small palm oil processing factories in Cabinda. Trade continued and the European presence grew, resulting in conflicts between the rival colonial powers.

Cabinda was once physically attached to the rest of Angola, but in 1885, the Conference of Berlin extended the Congo Free State's territory along the Congo River to the river's mouth at the sea, and Cabinda was isolated.

Cabinda produces hardwoods, coffee, cacao, rubber, and palm oil products. Petroleum production began in 1968 and now accounts for most of Angola's production.

A liberation movement, the Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda (Frente para a Libertação do Enclave de Cabinda, FLEC), has been active since Angola's independence from Portugal in 1975.

FLEC controlled most of the region in 1975, and constituted a provisional government led by Enriquez Tiago. The independence of Cabinda from Portugal was proclaimed on August 1, 1975. Luiz Branque Franque was elected president. After the declaration of Angolan independence in November 1975, Cabinda was invaded by forces of the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (Movimento Popular de Libertação de Angola, MPLA), with mercenaries from Cuban. The MPLA overthrew the provisional FLEC government, and re-incorproated Cabinda into Angola. FLEC has continued its political and military struggle for Cabindan independence since the invasion, with little success.

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