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Angolans celebrate 20 years of peace with a mass in Luanda

President of Angola João Lourenço   -  
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Adrian Dennis/AP


Thousands of Angolans gathered in the capital, Luanda, on Sunday to celebrate 20 years since the end of the civil war.

Many politicians, including president João Lourenço, participated in a mass. President João Lourenço and his wife, accompanied by Vice President Bornito de Sousa Baltazar attended the religious celebration. The ceremony brought together politicians both from government and the opposition.

"This service is very important and we must toast our presence with a new commitment to peace, stability and prosperity for all Angolans", said Manuel Fernandes, President of the CASA-CE political coalition.

On April 4 2002, the Angolan government and the main opposition party UNITA put an end to 27 years of war, with the signing of the peace and national reconciliation agreements.

"A very blessed day, why? Because we have been through many years of turmoil, but for 20 years we have been like this, and now we are enjoying our peace" added Sonia Isabel Nanituma.

The signing of the peace agreement on April 4 2002 was preceded by several negotiations -- including the Bicesse agreement signed in Portugal on May 31 in 1991, and the Lusaka protocol signed on November 20 in 1994.

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