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Testimonies from Angolans Facing the Current Nutritional Emergency
Interviews With Displaced People at the Transit Center in Kamacupa, Angola (May 3, 2002)
May 3, 2002
"We left Luando in March and went directly to Cuemba I camp. We stayed there for one month and when we saw there was nothing to eat, we decided to come to Kamacupa. We left Luando because there was nothing to eat at all - nothing to eat, no clothes, no food - and also because of the war we didn't grow any crops. We heard that in Kamacupa there were some camps and the displaced people are supplied with some food, that is why we come here to Kamacupa."
— 35 year old man from Luando
"I left Mossinde village to Andulo to make some business - to get something to eat, something to wear. After some days there I was recruited by UNITA soldiers to join the army. I was trained for a couple of months and after I saw we were suffering a lot, I decided to leave. I was looking for some people where I could live as a civilian, then I was living together with an old man. I left Andulo in 1999, together with this old man, when we heard that government soldiers were coming to besiege Andulo municipality. We decided to leave the area in the direction of Cuemba. I forgot exactly when we were attacked, but we were attacked by government soldiers at Luando. There were so many, all of us civilians, and that's where I got injured by a bullet [in his foot]. We left the bush when we heard they signed the cease-fire - there is no more war, there is peace now in Angola. We came to Kamacupa to get any help from the government because before we were not allowed to leave the bush. Because if you decided to go to town, you were stopped. You had to flee, to run away, otherwise you would be killed. I hope I can get some crutches. And I want to go to Mossinde to find my family so they will look after me."
— 19 year old from Kwanza Sul Province
"I am an old lady. I don't know exactly how old I am because my father didn't tell me exactly and now my father has died. I was born in Ringoma. I left in 1980 for Umpulo, where I was married. I am the mother of 6 children - 3 are dead and 3 are living. We fled into the bush the first time we were attacked. Then we gathered and the whole family was living together. The second time we were attacked, we were separated - my husband was fleeing alone, me alone, the children also alone. I was lost in the bush alone. I could follow the group to Kwanza later on. We took almost seven days from Ringoma to here - almost seven days just walking, sleeping, walking, sleeping, without food. I don't have food yet. I'm waiting for them to give me a WFP card. My desire is to build a small house where I can live. Where, I don't know. Wherever they direct me I will build my house."
— A woman from Ringoma
"My name is Rosalie and I was born in 1988. We came here because of hunger. We walked one day and we didn't have any problems during our travel. We are four - 3 children and my mother. My father died. We don't have food yet [from the WFP] but we are eating some food that we brought with us from our village."
— Young girl from Tchikala-Tcholohanga
My name is Mario. I don't know how old I am. We left Cuemba because of hunger. We walked for three days from Cuemba to Kamacupa. It was tough. For the future, I want to attend school. We were not attending school in Cuemba because there were no teachers. They were witched by witchcraft."
— Young boy from Cuemba
"My name is Matteus. We came to Kamacupa from Cacunda because we were suffering a lot. Now we are receiving food. Before the war, life was very nice because we were growing crops, and with these crops we could barter and buy some clothes, some soap - whatever we wanted to buy with maize, for example, or some manioc, or some nuts. Life was good because we were growing crops. During the war it was difficult because we could try to cultivate, but after some days we would be attacked and would have to flee into the bush. When we returned to the village, we would find everything was stolen. Life was so difficult.
— 70 year old man from Cacunda
Interviews at MSF Center in Bunjei (May 11, 2002)
"My name is Domingos and I am 47 years old. I was a catechist in the Evangelical church. My wife and I have 8 children - 4 have died in the last month. My son died 2 days ago on the way from Vicungo to here [Bunjei]. My wife and two children just left for Caala [in an MSF truck] because they are sick. I will stay here with the other two.
— 47 year-old man from Vicungo
"My name is Cecilia. I was born in Cuche. I am married and my husband stayed in the military camp at Galange. I came here with 3 children, but they are not suffering from hunger. They are just sick.
— 30 year-old woman coming from Galange