Editor’s note: For much of the 1990s, Anthony C. LoBaido lived and
traveled in Southern Africa, working as a journalist and photographer.
His reports on the South African government’s lost war against the
Communist African National Congress have been published throughout South
Africa and Europe.
LoBaido has paid particular attention to the anti-communist rebel
movement UNITA, based in Southern Angola. His report on the South
African ex-Apartheid mercenary army Executive Outcomes
broke open the story of how Western transnational corporations had
raised up a private army of elite special forces soldiers from
Apartheid-era South Africa to fight and destroy UNITA, a former key ally
of what was then the staunchly anti-communist, pro-West government of
By Anthony C. LoBaido
© 2000, WorldNetDaily.com
Winston Churchill’s famous saying — “When evil men combine, good men
must unite, or else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in
a contemptible struggle” — makes a fitting epitaph for UNITA, the
National Union for the Total Independence of Angola, currently being
wiped from the face of the earth by its communist neighbors.
Since 1975, UNITA has fought bravely as a Christian, anti-communist
force. In fact, in the last quarter century, UNITA has taken on the
communist Popular Movement for the Liberation of the government of
Angola, blocked inroads by the Soviet Union and Eastern Block nations,
and fought successfully against North Korea and Cuba, not to mention
tangling with the United Nations’ peacekeeping forces and the Executive
Outcomes special forces mercenary army financed by Western transnational
“UNITA is a Christian movement which understands communism is evil
and still a threat to all of Africa,” stated South African missionary
Peter Hammond in a WorldNetDaily interview. “They have fought for 25
years, and I believe they can still fight for another 25 more.” Hammond
is a former Special Forces soldier with the South African Defense Force.
Historically, southern Angola was an impenetrable fortress protected
by lush forests in the north and east, and the Kalahari Desert in the
South bordering Namibia, said Hammond.
Until 1989, Namibia was known as “Southwest Africa,” an
anti-communist country controlled by South Africa. UNITA rebels received
supplies, aid and thousands of South African Afrikaner troops to help
her fight off the Soviet-bloc invasion of Angola during the 1970s and
Nelson and Winnie Mandela alongside KGB colonel and then-ANC
leader Joe Slovo in front of Soviet flag, giving the communist salute.
But the 1994 ousting of the Afrikaner leaders in South Africa, pushed
intensely by both the United States government and the United Nations,
installed into power the Marxist African National Congress, led by
Nelson Mandela. The first president of the communist “New South Africa,”
Mandela made it one of his priorities to destroy UNITA — with the aid of
EO is led by Eeben Barlow, a white Special Forces operator who once
trained UNITA troops to fight against the Soviets and the African
National Congress. Although Executive Outcomes, being a mercenary army,
later pressured UNITA militarily in the early and mid 1990s, it never
achieved total victory. EO later pulled out of Angola to fight other
wars in Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka and Papua New Guinea — all for millions
of dollars and the rights to lucrative gold, diamond and copper mines.
However, Namibia was taken over in 1990 by the communist-led SWAPO,
or South West African People’s Organization. SWAPO now has given the
People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola, or MPLA, as well as
mercenaries from Zimbabwe, permission to attack UNITA from its southern
The results have been nothing short of disastrous.
Persecution of Christians
Christians in Southern Angola are currently enduring the extreme
trials of suffering as the Communist Angolan government — the People’s
Movement for the Liberation of Angola — is making an all-out military
assault on the Cuando Cubango province.
In the late 1970s, the Cuban-backed MPLA persecuted Christians in
Angola, causing many of them to flee to UNITA-controlled Christian
According to eyewitnesses, in recent weeks MPLA Angolan government
troops have swept though the rural areas along the Namibian and Angolan
border, leaving in their path burned huts, destroyed villages and the
bodies of civilians who apparently had been executed in cold blood.
MPLA special forces
An Associated Press reporter went to one site where he found the
bodies of nine men, all with gunshot wounds to the forehead. The bodies
had been doused with fuel and set on fire, but rains had extinguished
the flames. All of the men wore civilian clothes. One body had been
scalped, and a hand was chopped off. It was unclear what had happened to
the other civilians who were marched away at gunpoint.
The loss of Jamba
“We have heard reports that Angolan army eliminates all people it
believes are with UNITA,” said Phil ya Nangoloh, the executive director
of the Windhoek, Namibia-based National Society for Human Rights.
The total number dead in this offensive has yet to be determined, but
there are tens of thousands of refugees.
Recently, the People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola seized
the town of Jamba, UNITA’s headquarters. Meaning “elephant” in the local
Unbundu language, Jamba is located near the southeast border of Namibia
and Zambia. Originally, UNITA’s first bush base, today it is home to
20,000 Christians displaced by the MPLA’s war against UNITA.
The MPLA also captured a UNITA supply base on an island in the
Cubango River, which rests near the Angolan-Zambian-Namibian border.
Over 50 mortar bombs, 200 land mines, two cannons and other equipment
were captured, according to the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation.
The loss of Jamba is a huge blow for UNITA, which also lost its base
in the Central Highlands of Angola last October. Jamba had long been a
secure base, featuring bunkers, artillery batteries and a plethora of
landmines. The massive airborne assaults of the Cubans and Russians
during the 1980s could not begin to penetrate the region.
However, throughout the 1990s the U.N. and non-governmental agencies
came into Southern Angola on “humanitarian missions,” only to begin
mapping exactly where UNITA had planted its landmines. The movement to
take up the landmines was greatly aided by the late Princess Diana of
North Korean troops fought with the Soviets in Angola against UNITA
in the 1980s, killing 30,000 black Matabele tribesmen who
opposed the communist takeover of Rhodesia/Zimbabwe. Today North Korean
troops are digging for uranium in Marxist Congo, hoping to make nuclear
“Although Angola is plagued by landmines — many thousands have lost
limbs to the mines, and farmers will not plant crops for fear of the
mines — they are needed to defend UNITA-held territory,” said Willem
Ratte, a former South Africa Defense Force Special Forces commander who
led South Africa’s war in Angola against the Russians.
By 1997, UNITA had learned of this military intelligence-style
mission and banned all non-governmental organizations from Southern
The United Nations and Western governments, as well as transnational
corporations like Chevron and DeBeers, are supportive of the communist
MPLA government. Over the course of recent months, many news articles
have been published regarding the war in Angola. Typically, UNITA and
its leader Jonas Savimbi have been vilified.
Indeed, news coverage by the establishment media has been such as to
evoke little outcry against the MPLA atrocities.
The current communist offensive in Angola against UNITA is in no
small part related to the fact that UNITA controls lucrative diamond
fields coveted by the DeBeers corporation. DeBeers, which signed a
secret diamond deal with the Soviet Union in the 1950s to monopolize the
world diamond market, is anxious to see UNITA defeated. The reason?
UNITA sells one billion dollars worth of diamonds each year through
European outlets — cutting deeply into DeBeers’ profits.
Southern Africa is the world’s treasure chest of strategic metals.
Cobalt, zirconium oxide (a rare commodity used to sheath reactor fuel),
titanium (used in aircraft) and “Wonder Stone” a rare rock harder than
steel which is found only at a single mine near Klerksdorp, South Africa
are vital to the America and the West’s strategic arsenal.
A ‘Cold War’ showdown
“In the 1970s, Soviet Premier Brezhnev announced the Brezhnev
Doctrine, in which he sought to capture the mineral treasure chest of
Southern Africa and boycott these metals to the West,” said former U.S.
Ambassador to Costa Rica Lewis Tambs in an exclusive interview with
WorldNetDaily. Tambs served on President Reagan’s National Security
By Nov. 10, 1985, Brezhnev’s “forward policy” was on a roll, as he
had found in the Third World a willing and enthusiastic audience, said
Tambs. Brezhnev knew that the U.S. would offer only token opposition,
and so between 1974 and 1986, the Soviets sent $400 million in weapons
to the MPLA. The U.S. responded by sending, via the CIA, $32 million to
However, virtually all of the UNITA and South African Defense Force
soldiers interviewed by WorldNetDaily claimed the CIA’s weapons were
either defective or lacked the needed spare parts to keep them
Neil Bezuidenhout, left, is a former SADF special forces soldier
recruited by Executive Outcomes to fight in Angola against UNITA.
Missing in action in 1994, his family has been searching for him since.
The U.S. also supported another Angolan group, the FNLA, to the tune
of $50 million — also through the CIA. But all U.S. aid to UNITA was
cut off in 1975 by the Clark Amendment.
By 1985, Cuban troops in Angola totaled 31,000, supported by over
3,000 East German and Soviet personnel. Soviet military aid in Angola
expanded to more than $1 billion between 1984 and 1985, and by 1989 had
jumped to $2 billion.
The MPLA was also given 30 MiG fighter jets, 23 bombers and 500 tanks
(350 T-55s and 150 T-34s). At the same time, the Gulf and Chevron oil
companies were paying the MPLA hundreds of millions of dollars to
protect “their” oil fields — a service later taken over by Executive
During the Reagan Administration, U.S. aid to UNITA was once again
increased, up to about $15 million per year.
Then in September 1985, MPLA forces crossed the Lomba River towards
Mavinga, at which stage the Afrikaner-led South African Defense Force
entered the war and stopped the MPLA dead in its tracks.
While Soviet and Cuban officers were airlifted to safety by
helicopter, this MPLA disaster led Moscow to reappraise its commitment
to the Angolan theater. The Soviets sent Gen. Konstantin Shagnovitch to
assume overall control of the war, together with another $1 billion in
In March 1987, a small contingent of 3000 South African Defense Force
personnel, trained by Willem Ratte and other SADF elite special forces
soldiers, rallied with 8,000 UNITA troops to take on the Soviet-bloc
The Soviet bloc troops totaled 50,000 Cubans as well as 7,000
Russians, East Germans and North Koreans who had been propping up the
MPLA regime. The Soviet bloc force was routed, and enormous numbers of
tanks, vehicles and equipment were destroyed and captured by the SADF.
Had the MPLA campaign been successful, the communist forces would
have invaded Namibia (then Southwest Africa) and finally South Africa
itself. But it was this Angolan border war, which had raged since the
1960s, and which intensified during the period from 1975 — when
Portugal granted Angola its independence — to 1989, that shaped much of
the Christian, anti-communist sentiment that unites white, black, Indian
and colored South Africans in their struggle for freedom to this very
Eeben Barlow, the head of Executive Outcomes. EO’s corporate
involvment turned Barlow into a very wealthy man.
An agreement negotiated by U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Chester
Crocker with South Africa, Cuba and the U.S.S.R. led to a South African
Defense Force pullout from Angola and South West Africa. The agreement
also provided for the removal of 50,000 Cuban mercenaries from Angola,
but allowed 20,000 Cuban soldiers to stay behind as “private citizens.”
This left UNITA alone to stand against the Cuban-backed MPLA, the
United Nations’ military presence, as well as the corporate-funded
Executive Outcomes, and the new Marxist regimes of Zimbabwe and Namibia.
“If UNITA wins, they owe the West nothing,” said Ratte in an
interview with WorldNetDaily. “The MPLA, on the other hand, long ago
sold its soul to the Western multinational corporations. Russia and
China now control Southern Africa for all intents and purposes.
Ratte added, “There is nothing the communists respect more than
strength. There is nothing they despise more than weakness.”
Anthony C. LoBaido is an
international correspondent for WorldNetDaily. He is the author of “The
Third Boer War,” which he describes as “an apocalyptic novel about a
future war in South Africa between the Afrikaners and the UN/ANC.”