Angola separatists call for Portuguese return

JOHANNESBURG (AP) " Portuguese rule in Angola ended in 1975, but separatists in one Angolan province want the former colonizers to return.

The Portuguese news agency Lusa reported Thursday that a separatist group in Angola's oil-rich Cabinda province wants Portugal to oversee a referendum there on the region's political future.

Militants of the Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda have carried out kidnappings and other attacks over the years. They say the Cabinda enclave was never part of Angolan territory.

Governments in Portugal, a major trade partner of Angola, have not commented in recent years on the claims and demands of Cabindan separatists.

Lusa reports that the Angolan interior minister, Angelo da Veiga Tavares, said last month that the situation in Cabinda is calm despite "speculation" about alleged rebel operations.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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