A peace agreement signed in April 2002 ended the 25-year-old civil war that devastated the country. However, Angola is still unstable and unsuitable for travel.
The end of hostilities is just the first step in Angola's journey of a thousand miles. War leaves scars: millions of displaced, homeless, maimed, orphaned, starving and diseased Angolans. This means no infrastructure, poor roads, crime, graft, up to 11 million landmines - and a glimmer of hope.
Police operations targetted at eradicating diamond smuggling has put North and South Lunda Provinces out of bounds, as has an active separatist movement in Cabinda Province. In Luanda, crime is the major issue facing travellers.
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