On-line version ISSN 2309-8392
Print version ISSN 0018-229X
OOSTHUIZEN, Gerhard J.J.. Operasies Chuva en Moduler (fase 1): 'n Waardering van die SAW-UNITA-bondgenootskap, Mei tot Oktober 1987. Historia [online]. 2012, vol.57, n.2, pp.378-415. ISSN 2309-8392.
In July 1974, after the Portuguese Caetano government had been overthrown in a coup, Portugal announced that it was willing to negotiate on Angolan independence. On 15 January 1975, Portugal signed the Alvor Agreement with the three Angolan liberation organisations, namely the MPLA, FNLA and UNITA, in terms of which 11 November 1975 was to be Angola's Independence Day. However, by August 1975 a full-scale civil war had broken out between the UNITA-FNLA alliance and the MPLA. The MPLA defeated the alliance to such an extent that it was generally expected that UNITA and the FNLA would not recover, but would gradually disappear. UNITA, however, survived the ordeal and then went from strength to strength, to the point that they presented a real threat to the MPLA. The prolonged civil war took place against the backdrop of the Cold War (1945-1990). South Africa, supported by the USA, assisted UNITA, while the USSR and its satellite state Cuba supported the MPLA. The latter supported the communistic SWAPO and enabled them to penetrate Namibia from South Africa. As a result, beginning in 1975, the SADF launched a number of transborder operations to thwart any infiltration of South-West Africa from Southern Angola. The focus of this article is an evaluation of the UNITA-SADF alliance during Operations Chuva and Moduler (phase one), May to October 1987. In the SADF there were different opinions of UNITA as an ally: on the one hand, the cooperation was described as mostly good in general terms; on the other hand, UNITA was seen as an unreliable ally. The truth is probable to be found somewhere between these extremes. UNITA was familiar with local conditions and was supported by the local population. In spite of their limited conventional abilities, they had no small part in the success of Operations Chuva and Moduler (phase one).
Keywords : Angola; Cuba; Cuito Cuanavale; FAPLA; Lomba; Mavinga; Menongue; MPLA; Operation Chuva; Operation Modular/Moduler; SADF; Savimbi; UNITA.