Who or what is FLEC?

The Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda, FLEC is one of the smallest of the Angolan movements and has suffered from internal divisions and fragmentation. Its one theme – the fight for Cabindan independence – meant that it never formed alliances with other independence movements. FLEC and its various offshoots have been fighting a guerrilla war since 1963 with the aim of securing Cabindan independence, originally from the Portuguese and then from the MPLA government following independence in 1975. For much of the period since independence until late 2002, FLEC mounted a low-intensity guerrilla war as it lacked the manpower and weaponry of a conventional army. The Angolan armed forces have deployed thousands of soldiers to Cabinda including special forces in an attempt to defeat FLEC. Over the years it has abducted expatriate oil, construction and timber workers and fought bloody battles with the Angolan army. Although a memorandum of understanding of peace was signed with the Angolan government in 2006, elements of FLEC continue to fight Angolan troops and threaten expatriate workers.

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