Late last night the President's plane arrived at LOME airport in the Togo capital after a two hour flight from Cabinda with the Togolese squad, including 3 flag draped coffins of their dead bus driver, media spokesman Stanislas Ocloo, and assistant coach Amalete Abalo.
It was a sobering sight this morning on TV to see the outcome of Friday's attack on their personnel and equipment buses in the disputed province of Cabinda separated from the rest of Angola by a strip of land in Congo-Brazzaville. The team had been training at their camp in Point-Noire in Congo-Brazzaville 200 km south of the Cabinda-Angolan border.
However, it was not too unexpected. Angola broke free from Portugal in 1975, and in fact the Estacio Nacional in Luanda is named 'November 11' after the date of independence. The disputed territory is claimed by FLEC: Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda. It has an office in Paris, France and you can look at it's web site www.cabinda.org. It is in Portuguese and has a white dove of peace with an olive branch it its mouth. The English version is www.cabinda.org/anglais.
FLEC spokesman Rodriguez Minges told the BBC Portuguese service " The attack by our Position Militaire was not directed at the Togo bus, but it was against the Angolan forces" Well, they were not very accurate!!
Angola was supported in it's independence struggle and its Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola(MPLA) by the Soviet Union with money and men, and with the Cuban army, and if you notice the current national flag of Angola, waved by thousands of fans in the stadium, the red and black background has a cog wheel and MACHETE !! some sort of peace ?? The whole thing is like the Monty Python movie 'A Life of Brian'
Group B in the African Cup of Nations is scheduled for the new stadium in Cabinda with Togo, Ivory Coast, Ghana and Burkino Faso, due to play there. With the Ghana v Togo match now off, Ivory Coast will play Burkino Faso Monday in the Chiazi Stadium. It has been reported that two members of FLEC were arrested today. Bring out the machetes for a confession?
After a minutes silence prior to the opening game in Luanda the tournament kicked-off. Then we had Angola take a 4-0 lead with 11 minutes of regular time remaining. The final score 4-4.
Many people have asked me in the last 24 hours about safety in South Africa at FIFA World Cup 2010 in June and July. Well there is over 1,000 miles and two countries in between, though lots of crime, mostly with knives and small arms in South Africa, with 50 murders a day.
Three days before the Israeli massacre at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, West Germany by Black September, I had been exchanging team pins with the Israelis and other athletes in the main square of the Olympic Village. Two years later at the 1974 World Cup, also in Germany I had armed police with Uzis outside and inside my hotel in Munich. They never dared try and steal my tickets!!