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July 24th, 2003
AIDS Warriors
Data: Events, Aid, and Africa
1482 Captain Diogo Cao of Portugal “discovers” the mouth of the Congo River — ten years before Christopher Columbus reached the shores of America.
1575 The Portuguese, under Paulo de Novais establish a settlement on the Ihla of Luanda, at the mouth of the Cuanza River. Angola quickly becomes one of the principal suppliers of slave labor to the New World. Today, historians estimate that between 3 and 4 million Angolans were captured and sold as slaves.
Feb 4, 1961 MPLA fighters attack the military prison in Luanda, beginning the armed struggle for the liberation of Angola from the Portuguese.
1975 Angola is granted independence from Portugal. A government of national unity is formed, but war breaks out between the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) and the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA). UNITA is strongly backed by the South African apartheid regime.
1976 The MPLA, supported by Cuba, seizes control of the bulk of the country, except parts of the UNITA-held south.
1985 The first case of AIDS is diagnosed in Angola.
1992 Hostilities cease for Angola’s first-ever multi-party elections. MPLA wins a first round of U.N.-monitored elections. UNITA rejects the results, and the country goes back to war.
1993 The U.N. imposes sanctions on Angola. An attempted agreement between MPLA and UNITA over disarmament takes place in the form of the Lusaka Accords.
1996 Angola joins Rwanda and Uganda in the military invasion of Zaire.
1999 U.N. peacekeepers leave Angola.
1999 The Ministry of Health reports 44,000 cases of AIDS. This represents an infection rate of about 3.4 percent of the population.
Feb 22, 2002 Jonas Savimbi, the leader of the rebel group UNITA, is killed in an ambush by government troops.
April 4, 2002 Less than six weeks after Savimbi’s death, a cease-fire is signed between the leader of the Angolan military (FAA) and the rebel UNITA forces. The civil war ends after 27 years.
2002 A study by UNAIDS finds that 8.6 percent of pregnant women attending pre-natal clinics in Luanda test positive for HIV.

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