AN Angolan envoy says the sacrifice of the Zambian government and its people in building the peace in Angola after the civil war was valuable and was highly appreciated.
Angola Consul General Antonio Sawimbo said; “Various periods of negotiations were necessary in order to achieve effective peace and one of these culminated in the signing of the well-known Lusaka protocol that took place in the Republic of Zambia and I want to say that our Zambian brothers in general and the government in particular were participants in the building of our peace in our coutry,”.
Mr Sawimbo was speaking during celebrations to mark that country’s 40th independence anniversary in Solwezi held at Kansanshi hotel under the theme “Angola – 40 years of independence, peace, national unity and development”.
He said 11th November was an important day in the history of Angola when people in the neighbouring country put an end to Portuguese colonial dominion which, during half a millennium, subjected Angolans to all forms of discrimination from political, social, economic as well as forced labour.
“The martyred people of Angola have passed in various vices with war, many falling on the way, others had to abandon their areas of origin to more secure zones in the country, others left for other countries to seek better conditions of security as is the case in Zambia where our compatriots found a satisfactory welcome by their Zambian brothers and many of them do not even think of returning home,” Mr Sawimbo said.
He also expressed gratitude to the Zambian Government and some traditional leaders for having decided to authorize some Angolans to be able to be integrated in Zambia.
“Our gratitude is equally extended to UNHCR which even after cessation of the refugee status still proceeds to favourably support them,” he said.
Mr Sawimbo urged Angolans still living in Zambia to consider returning home as the country was now enjoying peace.
“I encourage the return of those who still have doubts of Angola being in peace that do not wait for the last train carriage because it will be too late,” he said.
Earlier, Mr Sawimbo and his delegation donated assorted goods worth K20,000 to Solwezi Central prison and to five babies that were born on 11th November at Solwezi General Hospital.
Among the goods donated were baby blankets, washing paste, bathing soap and basins.
And acting Solwezi district commissioner Chipawa Chipawa who witnessed the handover of the assorted goods thanked the Angolan government for the gesture.