By Colin McClelland and Candido Mendes – // Mar 4, 2011 2:14 PM GMT
Calls to protest against Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos are unlikely to trigger mass demonstrations against the three-decade ruler of sub-Saharan Africa’s second-largest oil producer, Control Risks said.
Angola lacks a discontented middle class capable of rallying disaffected groups and sustaining the momentum necessary to force regime change,” the London-based advisers said in a report on its website.
An anonymous call has circulated via the internet, text messages and e-mails urging Angolans to demonstrate at midnight local time on March 6 against Dos Santos, who has ruled the southern African nation since 1979. The move echoes similar protests in North Africa that deposed long-time rulers in Egypt and Tunisia, and sparked a civil war in Libya.
Angola’s ruling party, the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola, has called for a pro-government rally tomorrow, with supporters to wear white clothes and wave white handkerchiefs. Both rallies come as Luanda, the capital, hosts its annual carnival parades and festivities March 5 to 8.
“The demonstrations are unlikely to lead to any serious deterioration in the security environment,” said Control Risks. “Police are likely to use robust measures to disperse any unsanctioned or disruptive demonstrations.”
Interior Minister Sebastiao Martins said March 1 the government would not tolerate public disorder, government-run newspaper Jornal de Angola reported.
Angola pumps about 1.8 million barrels of oil a day as the second largest crude supplier in sub-Saharan Africa after Nigeria. With a booming construction industry since Angola ended a civil war in 2002, Luanda is consistently ranked as one of the world’s most expensive cities while containing millions of poor in makeshift housing.
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