(UA 248/11) Great News! Forced Eviction in Angola Cancelled

"The planned forced evictions in the Arco Iris neighborhood of Lubango, Angola, which were scheduled for 25 August, did not take place. Residents believe the work of Amnesty International and the local NGO Association Building Communities (Associação Construindo Comunidades – ACC) contributed to stopping the forced eviction.

On or around 22 August, the Huila Provincial Governor announced during a press conference that the demolitions in the Arco Iris area would not take place. He said that the Lubango city administration had not completed the distribution of plots of land among the residents and the area earmarked for relocation still lacked basic services, and therefore the demolitions were “abolished”.

While it is not clear whether this is a temporary or permanent position, residents believe that it is unlikely that the evictions will take place in the near future, particularly as general elections are scheduled for the second part of 2012. The Lubango city administrator had sent a written notification on 29 June to the residents of the Arco Iris neighborhood (also known as Dr António Agostinho Neto) in the city center, of the intention to demolish their homes to build a new road, and ordered them to leave the area. It gave residents, some 750 families, 30 days to vacate the area and offered land in an isolated area 14 km from the city center for them to build new houses. It offered them no compensation or other form of assistance. That was the first time the residents heard about the local authority’s plans.

A resident has also told Amnesty International that since the announcement by the Provincial Governor, there has been no further allocation of plots nor has there been any contact between the residents and the municipal authorities. Many thanks to everyone who sent appeals. No further action is requested."