Protests hit the Independence Square in the Angolan capital with two different protests connected to former president Jose Eduardo dos Santos.
According to journalist and human rights researcher, Zenaida Machado, it was the first time in many years that activists were able to protest without police crackdowns.
“No dogs, no horses, no batons… Well done, Angolan Police. Continue like this,” she added in a tweet.
She later clarified that the pictures that accompanied her tweet had two protesting parties. One protest consisted of motor bikers riding and marching in support of Dos Santos as part of peace day celebrations. The other demonstration, which held more importance for Machado, had activists demanding that Dos Santos return millions of dollars his son, José Filomeno, is accused of helping defraud from Angola’s central bank.
Eduardo dos Santos ruled Angola for close to four decades before stepping down in 2017 ahead of polls. The ruling MPLA fielded Defense Minister, Joao Lourenco who won the polls with over 60% of votes.
Lourenco who promised massive reforms in the economic sector has since rolled out strong measures which has had anti-corruption at its center.
Two of dos Santos’ children who played prominent roles under their father are currently being probed for corruption. Isabel headed the state oil firm SONANGOL whiles her brother Filomeno headed Angola’s sovereign wealth fund – both have been replaced by the president.