The Front for the Liberation of the State of Cabinda brought a complaint on behalf of the people of Cabinda against the Republic of Angola. In 1975, Angola declared the annexation of the state of Cabinda without any Cabindan participation. Several groups attempted to re-claim autonomy for the people of Cabinda in 2002, but Angola undertook a massive military campaign in the course of which numerous human rights violations were committed.
The complaint refers to these violations including the economic exploitation of Cabindan resources and the economic domination of the Cabindan people. Furthermore, the claimant argues that Cabinda was culturally, linguistically and identifiably separate from the Republic of Angola and that several Articles of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Freedoms (“Charter”) including Article 21 ensuring the right to natural resources were violated.
The Commission held that the complainant failed to show both the violation of the Articles of the Charter and the profound cultural attachment to their land and its natural resources to the extent that they must be protected by the state. In referencing Cabindans’ ability to vote in elections, Angola’s efforts in promoting a multicultural and multilingual society and Cabindan representatives present in the Angolan Parliament, the Commission held that it could not be sufficiently proven that the Cabindan people had been treated unfairly.