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Angola's top Brass accused of "crimes against humanity" in new suit

Sami Disu | 11/16/2011, 11:49 p.m.
Angola's top Brass accused of "crimes against humanity" in new suit

Nov. 15 (GIN) - Angolan anti-corruption campaigner and journalist Rafael Marques de Morais filed a criminal complaint this week against mining businesses and seven Angolan generals for daily acts of torture and frequently murder against villagers and informal miners in diamond producing regions.

Those charged include Minister of State Gen. Manuel Helder Vieira (Kopelipa), and several high commanders in the Angolan Armed Forces for abuses amounting to "crimes against humanity".

The criminal case, filed at the offices of Angola's attorney-general last week, will be closely watched by anti-corruption and civil society groups in this poor, but mineral- and petroleum-rich country.

Marques, who has been investigating systematic human rights abuses and corruption in Angola's Lunda region since 2004, is the author of Blood Diamond: Torture and Corruption in Angola. He has previously called on foreign countries to boycott Angola's "conflict diamonds".

Angola, in south-central Africa, has one of the widest income gaps between rich and poor. An extensive list of human rights abuses committed by the government appears on the 2010 Human Rights Report of the U.S. State Dept. published in April of this year.