Angola President Labels Taxi Drivers’ Protest ‘Act of Terror’

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The President of Angola, João Lourenço, on Wednesday, described the protests by taxi drivers in the country’s capital, Luanda, as an “act of terror.”

Speaking at the opening of a cabinet meeting, Lourenço said the protest was a “political pretext” to “create anger” among Angolans ahead of general elections in August.

“What happened on Monday was a true act of terror,” he said.

The New Alliance of Angolan Taxi Drivers Association (ANATA) and Luanda Taxi Drivers Association had ordered all commercial cab drivers to embark on industrial action over alleged overzealousness of police officers and poor condition of roads.

The taxi drivers protested to demand better roads and the easing of COVID-19 restrictions which limit the number of passengers they can carry to 50 per cent load capacity.

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However, the demonstrations witnessed violence in the city, with the police accusing them of setting fire to a bus and vandalising a building belonging to the ruling MPLA party.

Police said at least 30 people were arrested.

The Unita party, the main opposition, condemned the violence.

Lorenço acknowledged that the protests are part of an “ungovernability plan”, but insisted that the elections will be held in a safe environment.

Lourenço is running for a second term under the banner of the MPLA – the ruling party since 1975.

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