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B.P Oil | 27.06.2002 11:42

What has continuation of warfare to the benefit of oil companies meant for Angola? The consequences are dire:

Known as "Angolagate" in France, the scandal involves arms-for-oil deals between French businessman Pierre Falcone, the head of a firm called Brenco International; his colleague Jean-Christophe Mitterand, the son of the former French president; and a Russian-born Israeli named Arkadi Gaydamak.

According to "All the Presidents' Men," a March 25 report on Angolagate by Global Witness, Gaydamak funneled billions of dollars in arms and oil-backed loans to Angola's government in return for lucrative oil contracts with Western oil companies. Falcone and Gaydamak, relying on the special access that Mitterand had to the Angolan government, managed to transfer some $463 million in arms to Angola.

The net effect of the Angolan arms buildup was the scrapping of the 1994 Lusaka Peace Agreement between Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos and long-time UNITA rebel leader Jonas Savimbi, a one-time favorite of the Central Intelligence Agency and a person who President Reagan once hailed as the "George Washington of Angola."

·Angola is one of the poorest countries in the world.

·Famine is increasing throughout the country with one child dying of malnutrition and associated diseases every three minutes.

·Life expectancy is 45 years in a country that earned $5 billion in oil revenues in 2001.

·The Angolan Civil War has resulted in the deaths of over half a million people and 3.1 people becoming refugees.

Tens of thousands of children have been maimed by land mines.In any case, Bush's so-called "compassionate conservatism," has been a myth for the people of Angola and a windfall for oily business friends like the Falcones and Ken Lays of the world. The Bush administration does not appear to be bothered by the havoc being wrought by oil company cartels on the countries of Africa.

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  1. Mr. — Zacarias Muquixe