Israel, which keeps diplomatic and economic ties with Angola, has supplied Angolan forces with arms and military training since the 1960s, during the Angolan War of Independence. Angola purchased among others helicopters, patrol boats and rifles from Israel.
Angola established diplomatic relations with Israel in 1992.Human Rights Watch Report- ANGOLA: ARMS TRADE AND VIOLATIONS OF THE LAWS OF WAR SINCE THE 1992 ELECTIONS In 1995 the Israeli embassy opened in Luanda, and in 2000 Angola opened an embassy in Tel Aviv.Relations between Angola and Israel
In December 1992 a ten member Angolan delegation, headed by António dos Santos França, visited Israel.Human Rights Watch Report- ANGOLA: ARMS TRADE AND VIOLATIONS OF THE LAWS OF WAR SINCE THE 1992 ELECTIONS In 2006 the president of Angola, José Eduardo dos Santos, held an official visit to Israel. In August 2012, during a visit to Israel by the Angolan Foreign Minister, an agreement was signed to strengthen mutual ties. Then President Shimon Peres, in response to signing of the agreement, said that cooperation between the two countries would be based on the fields of science and technology, economics, and various security issues.Relations between Angola and Israel
In 2006, trade between Israel and Angola totaled $400 million. The scope of Israeli export to Angola in 2014 was $64 million with the main goods being machines, metals, transportation, plastic and rubbers and instruments.Relations between Angola and Israel Angola exports to Israel were $452.45 million during 2018 with mineral fuels, oils, machinery and diamonds being the main goods.
The Israeli government aided the National Front for the Liberation of Angola in 1963 and 1969, during the Angolan War of Independence. In the 1960s, Holden Roberto, head of the NFLA, visited Israel and FNLA members were sent to Israel for training. In the 1970s, Israel shipped arms to the FNLA through Zaire.
In the 1980s an Israeli company, founded by three ex-air force pilots, named LR got involved in defense exports in Angola and spent years massively arming the Angolan government and training its troops.The Israeli businessmen who got rich off Angola’s war LR built border security systems on the coasts of Angola and Angolan military bases and airports.Haaretz- The Secret Trio The company, according to different reports, sold Sukhoi 27 combat planes, artillery shells and light weapons to the government. In early 1993, Galil rifles appeared in combat zones. Human Rights Watch observed Galils in the hands of some Rapid Intervention Police and soldiers deployed in Luanda.Human Rights Watch Report- ANGOLA: ARMS TRADE AND VIOLATIONS OF THE LAWS OF WAR SINCE THE 1992 ELECTIONS
LR also built airports and security systems. LR upgraded the artillery systems of Angola, including technologies of Elbit and as part of the deal trained the Angolan artillery soldiers together with the Israeli company Azimuth. In 2001 LR organized an arms deal for eight Bell-212 helicopters for an estimated $25 million including the training of pilots in Israel.Haaretz- The Secret Trio The company also built in cooperation with Aeronautics a pilot-academy in Angola and security systems for oil rigs for American oil companies (Chevron) including drones.Israeli arms fuel atrocities in Africa In the 2000s LR broke into civilian fields: infrastructure, technology, agriculture, philanthropic work, medicine.The Israeli businessmen that got rich off of Angola’s war
The largest reported Israeli arms deal in Africa is a set of contracts worth $1 billion with Angola in 2006. This included unidentified equipment from the Israeli arms companies Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and Tadiran as well as $230 million for self-propelled artillery, mortars and ammunition from the Israeli arms company Soltam Systems. However, the deals have never been confirmed nor have there been reports of equipment produced by these companies in Angola.SIPRI Background Paper- ISRAELI ARMS TRANSFERS TO SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA Other deals not yet confirmed by SIPRI include Angolan Cessna Citations configured for maritime surveillance by Israel’s BIRD Aerosystems.Arms Exports from Israel to Africa on the Upswing
In a different case several senior French political figures together with the Israeli arms dealer Arcadi Gaydamak were accused of supplying arms to the Angolan government in 1993 for use in its war against UNITA rebels, circumventing an arms embargo. The Equipment that was sold included 6 warships, 12 helicopters, 420 tanks, 150,000 shells, 170,000 anti-personnel mines and was valued at $790 million. A French court convicted 36 individuals in 2008, including Gaydamak, but some of these convictions were overturned in 2011.Angolagate- Compendium of Arms Trade Corruption
IAI and other Israeli companies cooperated with a Polish company in developing a modernization package for Su-22 combat aircraft largely based on Israeli avionics. An unknown number of Angolan Su-22s have since been modernized in Angola and Poland. In addition to Israeli avionics, ‘smart munitions’ (most likely guided bombs) have possibly been delivered to Angola by Israel for the Su-22.SIPRI Background Paper- ISRAELI ARMS TRANSFERS TO SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA
In 2015 Angola purchased 4 Super Dvora MK-III patrol vessels from IAI.
In 2021, The Media Policy and Democracy Project released a report arguing that there has been “profound collaboration” since the 1990s between the Angolan political elite (such as Isabel dos Santos, billionaire daughter of former president of Angola, José Eduardo dos Santos) and former members of the Israeli intelligence services and armed forces (especially Arkady Gaydamak and Haim Taib) in fundamental security and electronic surveillance options.Israeli Involvement in Electronic Surveillance in Angola: A Step Towards Transparency or the Sophistication of Illegal Practices?
Usage of Israeli Arms
Uzi submachine gun – used by Angolan Armed ForcesSale of Uzi manufacturer highlights Israeli hypocrisy towards arms trade
IWI Micro Tavor – used by Angolan Armed ForcesAngola Infantry Arms List (Current and Former Types)
Super Dvora MK-III – in use by Angolan NavyAngola confirmed as Super Dvora Mk 3 patrol boat customer
Human Rights Violations
Angolan Civil War
The Angolan civil war began in 1975 and ended in 2002. It began after Angola became independent from Portugal and was a power struggle between two former anti-colonial guerilla movements, the MPLA and the UNITA. It was used as a surrogate battleground for the Cold War by states such as the Soviet Union, Cuba, South Africa and the US.The Angolan Civil War (1975-2002): A Brief History More than 500,000 people died and over one million were internally displaced. The war devastated Angola’s infrastructure and severely damaged public administration, the economy and religious institutions.Angola: Current political and human rights conditions in Angola
External support played a major role in the funding of Angola’s civil war. UNITA was supplied with $80 million in arms, military training and logistics by the South African government in the 1980s. Also Egypt, Morocco, Senegal, Somalia, Israel, The U.S, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait supplied arms or aid in training to UNITA. The FNLA received support from several external sources, among others France, China and the U.S. FNLA troops were sent to Israel for training and arms were supplied to the FNLA by Israel during the 1970s, through Zaire. The MPLA secured external funding through the USSR, Cuba, and People’s Republic of Congo.The Angolan Civil War (1975-2002): A Brief History
Angola has long been severely criticized for its human-rights record. A 2012 report by the U.S. Department of State said, “The three most important human rights abuses [in 2012] were official corruption and impunity; limits on the freedoms of assembly, association, speech, and press; and cruel and excessive punishment, including reported cases of torture and beatings as well as unlawful killings by police and other security personnel. Other human rights abuses included: harsh and potentially life-threatening prison conditions; arbitrary arrest and detention; lengthy pretrial detention; impunity for human rights abusers; lack of judicial process and judicial inefficiency; infringements on citizens’ privacy rights and forced evictions without compensation; restrictions on nongovernmental organizations; discrimination and violence against women; abuse of children; trafficking in persons; discrimination against persons with disabilities, indigenous people, and persons with HIV/AIDS; limits on workers’ rights; and forced labor”.US Department of State- ANGOLA 2012 HUMAN RIGHTS REPORT
In 2019 freedom of expression and peaceful assembly continued to be undermined, despite the initial signs of progress. Land disputes due to large scale acquisition for private use continued to undermine the right to food and water in rural parts of the country. Failure to fulfill the right to water in both rural and urban areas remained as significant as ever. The rights of LGBTI people remained at risk in practice despite legislative improvements, including the decriminalization of same-sex conduct effective January 2021.Amnesty International- Angola 2021Progress and Setbacks on LGBT Rights in Africa — An Overview of the Last Year
Extrajudicial killings in the diamond fields of Lunda Norte and Lunda Sul continued with impunity in 2019. Government and private security forces continued to conduct extrajudicial killings of those suspected of illegal diamond mining. Kwango, Lukapa and Lusage were the most affected with more than 40 people killed by the military in July and August 2019. In August 2019, 36 people were killed in Kalonda. Although the traditional authorities asked the Angolan government to intervene to stem the killings, no action had been taken by year’s end.Amnesty International- Angola 2021 In 2021, Amnesty International confirmed that at least 10 protesters had been shot and killed by security forces between 30 January and 2 February in the mining town of Cafunfo, Cuango municipality, Lunda Norte province.Angola: Shooting spree by security forces kills at least 10 protesters In anticipation of the general election of August 2022, Angolan authorities have continued throughout 2021 and 2022 to repress civil society organizations and threaten the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and association through police conduct and abusive prosecution.Angola: Authorities repress civil society organizations ahead of electionHuman Rights Watch- The Day in Human RightsAngola: Police Arrest, Charge 22 Peaceful Protesters