Angola Dancing to a Tin Drummer

Starvation, chaos and stalemate, after years of civil strife

Angola remains mired in a seemingly endless war between the Marxist-Leninist government, led since 1979 by Jose Eduardo dos Santos, and the rebel National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (unita), headed by Jonas Savimbi and supported by South Africa and the U.S. After a decade the fighting drags on, with no prospect of victory on either side. TIME's Nairobi bureau chief, James Wilde, recently spent 15 days crisscrossing Angola. His journey took him from the U.S.-operated oil installations in the northern enclave of Cabinda to the capital, Luanda, where he was admitted to the presidential palace three times. His...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!