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A Robust Operation: Resettling, Security, and Development in Late Colonial Angola (1960s–1970s)

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  08 April 2020

Abstract

The forced removal and resettlement of population was a main feature of late European colonialism, in Africa and elsewhere. Both were crucial to the formulation and enactment of securitarian projects and developmental schemes, and to their recurrent intersection and close interdependence. The repertoires of repressive developmentalism—the shaping of development strategies by securitarian concerns and the contamination of schemes of security by socioeconomic rationales—were diverse, inspiring the various authorities and guiding many specific operations on the ground. This text provides one telling example of these repertoires, the Operação Robusta (1969–1974), which entailed the forced removal of thousands of men, women, and children from the district of North Cuanza to the district of Zaire (both in the north of Angola, under Portuguese rule, and in the middle of an armed conflict that started in 1961), and was seen as a model for similar actions. Assessing the drives and the prospects associated with the operation, this text also addresses its violent dynamics and effects, namely the substantial separation of families, the meagre provision of welfare, and the intense processes of land expropriation.

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Articles
Copyright
Copyright © The Author(s) 2020. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of Research Institute for History, Leiden University

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Footnotes

*

Miguel Bandeira Jerónimo is a senior research fellow at the Centre for Social Studies, University of Coimbra, Portugal. He has been working on the historical intersections between internationalism(s) and imperialism since the nineteenth century, and on the late colonial entanglements between idioms and repertoires of development and of control and coercion in European colonial empires. He is the author of The “Civilizing Mission” of Portuguese Colonialism (c. 1870–1930) (2015), and the coeditor of The Ends of European Colonial Empires (2015), Internationalism, Imperialism and the Formation of the Contemporary World (2017), and Resistance and Colonialism: Insurgent Peoples in World History (2019). He coordinates the international research project The Worlds of (Under)Development: Processes and Legacies of the Portuguese Colonial Empire in a Comparative Perspective (1945–1975), funded by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (2018–2021).

References

Bibliography

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Junta Provincial do Povoamento. Brigadas de Promoção e Desenvolvimento Rural. Luanda: Junta Provincial do Povoamento, 1971.Google Scholar
Allina, Eric. “Borderlands, Boundaries, and the Contours of Colonial Rule: African Labor in Manica District, Mozambique, c. 1904–1908.” The International Journal of African Historical Studies 36: 1 (2003): 5982.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
António, João. “O micro-crédito como ferramenta para o relançamento da cultura do café na região agrícola do Libolo e Amboim (Angola).” MA diss., Lisbon, Instituto Superior de Agronomia, 2008.Google Scholar
Bender, Gerald. Angola under the Portuguese. London: Heinemann, 1978.Google Scholar
Cann, John P.Portuguese Counterinsurgency Campaigning in Africa 1961–1974. PhD diss., University of London, 1996.Google Scholar
Coelho, João Paulo Borges. Protected Villages and Communal Villages in the Mozambican Province of Tete (1968–1982). PhD diss., Bradford, University of Bradford, 1993.Google Scholar
Coelho, João Paulo Borges. “State Resettlement Policies in Post-Colonial Rural Mozambique: The Impact of the Communal Village Programme on Tete Province, 1977–1982,Journal of Southern African Studies 1 (1998): 6191.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Coelho, João Paulo Borges. “Da violência colonial ordenada à ordem pós-colonial violenta: Sobre um legado das guerras coloniais nas ex-colónias portuguesas,” Lusotopie (2003): 175–93.Google Scholar
Coghe, Samuel. Population Politics in the Tropics: Demography, Health and Colonial Rule in Portuguese Angola, 1890s–1940s. PhD diss., Florence, European University Institute, 2014.Google Scholar
Curto, Diogo Ramada, Cruz, Bernardo, and Furtado, Teresa. Políticas coloniais em tempo de revoltas. Angola circa 1961. Porto: Afrontamento, 2016.Google Scholar
Feichtinger, Moritz. “Villagization”: A People's History of Strategic Resettlement and Violent Transformation, Kenya and Algeria 1952–1962. PhD diss, Bern, University of Bern, 2016.Google Scholar
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Jerónimo, Miguel Bandeira. “‘A Battle in the Field of Human Relations’: The Official Minds of Repressive Development in Portuguese Angola.” In Decolonization and Conflict: Colonial Comparisons and Legacies, edited by Thomas, Martin and Curless, Gareth, 115–36. London: Bloomsbury, 2017.Google Scholar
Jerónimo, Miguel Bandeira. “Ordering Resistance: The Late Colonial State in the Portuguese Empire (1940–1975).” Political Power and Social Theory 33 (2017): 109–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Jerónimo, Miguel Bandeira. “Rural (In)securities: Resettlement, Control and ‘Development’ in Angola (1960s–1970s).” Comparativ: Zeitschrift für Globalgeschichte und vergleichende Gesellschaftsforschung 27: 2 (2017): 7597.Google Scholar
Jerónimo, Miguel Bandeira. “Repressive Developmentalisms: Idioms, Repertoires, Trajectories in Late Colonialism.” In Oxford Handbook of the Ends of Empire, edited by Thompson, Andrew and Thomas, Martin, 537–54. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018.Google Scholar
Jerónimo, Miguel Bandeira. “Managing Inequalities: Welfare Colonialism in the Portuguese Empire since the 1940s.” In Inequality in the Portuguese-Speaking World: Global and Historical Perspectives, edited by Bethencourt, Francisco, 243–60. Eastbourne: Sussex Academic Press, 2018.Google Scholar
Jerónimo, Miguel Bandeira, and Pinto, António Costa, eds. “International Dimensions of Portuguese Late Colonialism and Decolonization.” Special issue, Portuguese Studies 29: 2 (2013): 137276.Google Scholar
Jerónimo, Miguel Bandeira, and Pinto, António Costa. “A Modernizing Empire? Politics, Culture and Economy in Portuguese Late Colonialism.” In The Ends of European Colonial Empires: Cases and Comparisons, edited by Jerónimo, Miguel Bandeira and Pinto, António Costa, 5180. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Jerónimo, Miguel Bandeira, and Dores, Hugo. “On the ‘Efficiency’ of Civilization: Politics, Religion and the Population Debates in Portuguese Africa in the 1940s.” Portuguese Studies Review 25: 1 (2017): 179204.Google Scholar
Mann, Michael. “The Autonomous Power of the State: Its Origins, Mechanisms, and Results.” Archives Européennes de Sociologie 25 (1984): 185213.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Nugent, Paul, and Asiwaju, A. I., eds. African Boundaries: Barriers, Conduits and Opportunities. London: Cassell/Pinter, 1996.Google Scholar
Stucki, Andreas. “‘Frequent Deaths’: The Colonial Development of Concentration Camps Reconsidered, 1868–1974.Journal of Genocide Research 3 (2018).Google Scholar
Stucki, Andreas. Violence and Gender in Africa's Iberian Colonies: Feminizing the Portuguese and Spanish Empire, 1950s–1970s. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2019.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Tilly, Charles, “War Making and State Making as Organized Crime.” In Bringing the State Back In, edited by Evans, Peter, Rueschemeyer, Dietrich, and Skocpol, Theda, 169–91. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Waals, W. A. van der. Portugal’ s War in Angola. Pretoria: Protea, 2011.Google Scholar
Arquivo Histórico-Militar, Lisbon, Portugal (AHM):Google Scholar
- DIV/2/2/184/002Google Scholar
- DIV2/2/127/003Google Scholar
- FO/007/B/46/SSR.3Google Scholar
Arquivo Histórico Diplomático, Lisbon, Portugal (AHD):Google Scholar
- Ministério do Ultramar, Gabinete do Ministro, Gabinete dos Negócios Políticos, Repartição de Negócios Políticos (MU-GM-GNP-RNP)Google Scholar
Arquivo Nacional Torre do Tombo, Lisbon, Portugal (ANTT):Google Scholar
- Polícia Internacional e da Defesa do Estado (PIDE/DGS), Delegação de Angola, Divisão de informação, 1ª SecçãoGoogle Scholar
Estado-Maior do Exército. Comissão para o Estudo das Campanhas de África (1961–1974). Resenha Histórico-Militar das Campanhas de África (1961–1974), 6 vols., vol. 1, Aspectos da Actividade Operacional, bk. 2, Angola. Lisboa: Estado-Maior do Exército, 2006.Google Scholar
Estado-Maior do Exército. Resenha Histórico-Militar das Campanhas de África (1961–1974), 6 vols., vol. 1, Aspectos da Actividade Operacional, bk. 1, Angola. Lisboa: Estado-Maior do Exército, 2006.Google Scholar
Junta Provincial do Povoamento. Brigadas de Promoção e Desenvolvimento Rural. Luanda: Junta Provincial do Povoamento, 1971.Google Scholar
Allina, Eric. “Borderlands, Boundaries, and the Contours of Colonial Rule: African Labor in Manica District, Mozambique, c. 1904–1908.” The International Journal of African Historical Studies 36: 1 (2003): 5982.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
António, João. “O micro-crédito como ferramenta para o relançamento da cultura do café na região agrícola do Libolo e Amboim (Angola).” MA diss., Lisbon, Instituto Superior de Agronomia, 2008.Google Scholar
Bender, Gerald. Angola under the Portuguese. London: Heinemann, 1978.Google Scholar
Cann, John P.Portuguese Counterinsurgency Campaigning in Africa 1961–1974. PhD diss., University of London, 1996.Google Scholar
Coelho, João Paulo Borges. Protected Villages and Communal Villages in the Mozambican Province of Tete (1968–1982). PhD diss., Bradford, University of Bradford, 1993.Google Scholar
Coelho, João Paulo Borges. “State Resettlement Policies in Post-Colonial Rural Mozambique: The Impact of the Communal Village Programme on Tete Province, 1977–1982,Journal of Southern African Studies 1 (1998): 6191.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Coelho, João Paulo Borges. “Da violência colonial ordenada à ordem pós-colonial violenta: Sobre um legado das guerras coloniais nas ex-colónias portuguesas,” Lusotopie (2003): 175–93.Google Scholar
Coghe, Samuel. Population Politics in the Tropics: Demography, Health and Colonial Rule in Portuguese Angola, 1890s–1940s. PhD diss., Florence, European University Institute, 2014.Google Scholar
Curto, Diogo Ramada, Cruz, Bernardo, and Furtado, Teresa. Políticas coloniais em tempo de revoltas. Angola circa 1961. Porto: Afrontamento, 2016.Google Scholar
Feichtinger, Moritz. “Villagization”: A People's History of Strategic Resettlement and Violent Transformation, Kenya and Algeria 1952–1962. PhD diss, Bern, University of Bern, 2016.Google Scholar
Gerlach, Christian. “Sustainable Violence: Mass Resettlement, Strategic Villages, and Militias in Anti-Guerrilla Warfare.” In Removing Peoples: Forced Removal in the Modern World, edited by Bessel, Richard and Haake, Claudia B. H., 361–93. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009.Google Scholar
Jerónimo, Miguel Bandeira. A Diplomacia do Império. Política e Religião na Partilha de África (1820–1890). Lisbon: Edições 70, 2012.Google Scholar
Jerónimo, Miguel Bandeira. “‘A Battle in the Field of Human Relations’: The Official Minds of Repressive Development in Portuguese Angola.” In Decolonization and Conflict: Colonial Comparisons and Legacies, edited by Thomas, Martin and Curless, Gareth, 115–36. London: Bloomsbury, 2017.Google Scholar
Jerónimo, Miguel Bandeira. “Ordering Resistance: The Late Colonial State in the Portuguese Empire (1940–1975).” Political Power and Social Theory 33 (2017): 109–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Jerónimo, Miguel Bandeira. “Rural (In)securities: Resettlement, Control and ‘Development’ in Angola (1960s–1970s).” Comparativ: Zeitschrift für Globalgeschichte und vergleichende Gesellschaftsforschung 27: 2 (2017): 7597.Google Scholar
Jerónimo, Miguel Bandeira. “Repressive Developmentalisms: Idioms, Repertoires, Trajectories in Late Colonialism.” In Oxford Handbook of the Ends of Empire, edited by Thompson, Andrew and Thomas, Martin, 537–54. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018.Google Scholar
Jerónimo, Miguel Bandeira. “Managing Inequalities: Welfare Colonialism in the Portuguese Empire since the 1940s.” In Inequality in the Portuguese-Speaking World: Global and Historical Perspectives, edited by Bethencourt, Francisco, 243–60. Eastbourne: Sussex Academic Press, 2018.Google Scholar
Jerónimo, Miguel Bandeira, and Pinto, António Costa, eds. “International Dimensions of Portuguese Late Colonialism and Decolonization.” Special issue, Portuguese Studies 29: 2 (2013): 137276.Google Scholar
Jerónimo, Miguel Bandeira, and Pinto, António Costa. “A Modernizing Empire? Politics, Culture and Economy in Portuguese Late Colonialism.” In The Ends of European Colonial Empires: Cases and Comparisons, edited by Jerónimo, Miguel Bandeira and Pinto, António Costa, 5180. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Jerónimo, Miguel Bandeira, and Dores, Hugo. “On the ‘Efficiency’ of Civilization: Politics, Religion and the Population Debates in Portuguese Africa in the 1940s.” Portuguese Studies Review 25: 1 (2017): 179204.Google Scholar
Mann, Michael. “The Autonomous Power of the State: Its Origins, Mechanisms, and Results.” Archives Européennes de Sociologie 25 (1984): 185213.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Nugent, Paul, and Asiwaju, A. I., eds. African Boundaries: Barriers, Conduits and Opportunities. London: Cassell/Pinter, 1996.Google Scholar
Stucki, Andreas. “‘Frequent Deaths’: The Colonial Development of Concentration Camps Reconsidered, 1868–1974.Journal of Genocide Research 3 (2018).Google Scholar
Stucki, Andreas. Violence and Gender in Africa's Iberian Colonies: Feminizing the Portuguese and Spanish Empire, 1950s–1970s. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2019.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Tilly, Charles, “War Making and State Making as Organized Crime.” In Bringing the State Back In, edited by Evans, Peter, Rueschemeyer, Dietrich, and Skocpol, Theda, 169–91. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Waals, W. A. van der. Portugal’ s War in Angola. Pretoria: Protea, 2011.Google Scholar

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