Angola, officially the Republic of Angola,
is a country in south-central Africa bordering Namibia,
Democratic Republic of the Congo
and Zambia, and with a west
coast along the Atlantic Ocean. The exclave
province Cabinda has a border with the Republic of the Congo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Angola was a Portuguese colony from the 16th
century to 1975. The Angolan Civil War (1975 - 2002), one of the largest and
deadliest Cold War conflicts, erupted shortly after and lasted 27 years,
ravaging the economy, disturbing social order and disrupting social stability
in the newly independent country. Over 500,000 people lost their lives, mostly
in the 1990s, as the three main factions and several smaller ones struggled for
supremacy. Thousands of Angolan refugees suffered with the conflict and left
the country or simply fled to other regions of Angola. The war has made its people
among the continent's poorest, though the country is the second-largest petroleum
and diamond producer in sub-Saharan Africa.