CAS Seminar - Angola’s Securitized state: elections, corruption and militarisation
As Angola heads into difficult elections, the country reels with inequality, an economic recession, political dissilution the securitization of the state and sustained corruption. The August 2022 polls have the capacity to represent a turning point for the country, given the trajectory of political decay of the MPLA and the opposition’s assertiveness. The Presidency is expected to show little restraint in how it perpetuates a policy that has invalidated the democratic exercise, exacerbated tensions and coordinated actions to disarticulate the opposition. As expected, the process will likely be directed at renewing Joao Lourenco’s mandate. A sense of continuation within the political order of MPLA hegemony and presidential absolutism is anticipated.
Within the next decade the country could either reform and de-securitise or enter an era of greater authoritarianism. One is dependent on the forces of liberalisation and democratisation, the other on overt repression, militarisation and entrenched securitisation dependent on force rather than patronage and surveillance. With a budget shattered by decreasing oil revenues and galloping public debt the options are either to invest in areas that would make society less rebellious, or rearm and reinforce the security apparatus to quash the possibility of a social insurrection. The options are between a warrior people and a besieged president, or effective change. One implies greater violence, the other political sacrifice. Both require fundamental shifts in public policy and the role of society.
- Paula Cristina Roque - Independent Analyst & Author of author of Governing in the Shadows: Angola’s Securitised State.