Cabinda crackdown underway

In the last hour, I have received information of another arrest in Cabinda, this time of Belchior Lanso, an economist and also a social activist of the ‘extinct’ human rights organisation, Mpalabanda. Sr Belchior was picked up at his house by the Criminal Investigation Police in Cabinda at three pm today. As they had done with Sr Puati, an employee of Chevron who was arrested on Friday (the day of the Togo attack), the house of Sr Belchior was searched from top to bottom. Sr Belchior has been denied access to a lawyer. Both Belchior and Puati were critical of the 2006 peace accord that was signed by our amigo Ant√≥nio Bento Bembe (appearing on the BBC’s Africa Perspective this Saturday – details to follow) and so, like many others before them, they have been targeted by the police and authorities. Sr Belchior is known for actively discussing the sham peace deal with members of the government, and his position on the matter is well known. Why this should mean he has to be put in prison is another question altogether.