The exhumed body of Angolan
rebel chief Jonas Savimbi, who was killed in 2002, will be reburied in his hometown
next month, authorities said after DNA tests confirmed the identity of the

The charismatic warlord,
who fought Angola’s socialist government in a 27-year civil war, was killed in
a battle against the People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA)
forces on February 22, 2002.

His death paved the way for
a peace deal that brought an end to one of Africa’s longest and bloodiest
conflicts, which erupted after independence from Portugal in 1975.

He was buried the day after
he died in Angola’s eastern Moxico province.

Six weeks after his death,
his Unita movement signed a peace treaty with the MPLA government.

DNA tests, conducted by
laboratories in South Africa, Argentina, Portugal and Angola, confirmed that
the body was Savimbi’s.


“All tests
agree,” Minister of State Pedro Sebastiao told reporters on Monday.

The rebel leader will be
re-buried in his hometown Lopitanga on June 1.

“It is a relief to
know that it is his body, and that we will bring him back where he wanted to be
buried,” one of his sons, Alleluia Sakaita-Savimbi, told AFP.

Unita has campaigned for
Savimbi to be given a dignified funeral, and President Joao Lourenco last year
set up a commission to exhume and rebury his remains.

Lourenco came to power in
2017 as head of the MPLA party, succeeding Jose Eduardo dos Santos, who ruled
for 38 years.

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