Angola Liberation war began in 1961 led by Agostinho Neto of MPLA against the
Portuguese colonial masters. The problems faced by the Angolans included;
- Military weaknesses of the Angolan nationalists contrary to the military might of the Portuguese.
- Micro-nationalism based on ethnicity e.g. the Bokongo against the Mbundu and Ovimbundu.
- Economic backwardness of the Angola masses.
- General illiteracy, ignorance and apathy of the Angolans.
- Power struggles among the Angolans e.g Daniel Chipenda against Agustinho Neto, Jonas Savimbi against Neto.
- The divide and rule tactics of the Portuguese ie the Ovimbundu against other tribes.
- Desire by the Portuguese to continue exploiting the Angola nationalists ie the natural resources like diamond, oil.
- The repressive policies of the PIDE police that tightly spied on the Africans and tortured them.
- The Portuguese exploitative polices of over taxation and forced labour,land grabbing.
- The brutal oppressive policies of the Portuguese ie public flogging of leaders eg Agustinho Neto in 1960.
- The racial discrimination of the Portuguese (Assimilation).This created a class of assimilados and indignas which hampered nationalistic struggles.
- The delayed independence of neighboring countries affected Angola eg Namibia, Zimbabwe.
- Double standards of the UNO.
- The existence of the Triumvirate alliance.
- The negative effects of cold war politics that made the NATO forces to swing in Angola.
- The use of non-violent methods of demanding independence by the Agolans in early stages eg demonstration and strikes.
- The absence of capable and charismatic leaders in the initial stages of the struggles.
- The negative impact of the Catholic Church that branded the nationalists as terrorists.
- The creation of rehabilitation centres (reserves) used by the Portuguese to torture Africans and use of scotched earth policy.
- The conservative leadership of Don Salazar who refused to bend the wings of change.
- The consolidated of the NATO forces that gave support to the Portuguese ie military, financial to weaken the communist orientation.
- Limited exposure of the nationalists to the outside world, liberal and press reports were censored, banned political activism.