Family members, friends and colleagues of a journalist and university professor from Guinea-Bissau working in Angola, who has not been seen or heard of for the past six months think, she may have been kidnapped, possibly raped and later killed by hitmen hired by both the governments of Angola and Guinea-Bissau.
It has been six months since Milocas Pereira, who has been living in the Angolan capital city Luanda since 2004, mysteriously disappeared, Global Voices Online reported last week.It is believed that the 58-year-old’s disappearance or death could be linked to a TV interview in which she vehemently criticised the ‘dangerous’ link between what she described as two ‘criminal’ regimes of Angola and Guinea-Bissau.
Global Voices says: In an interview with Angolan television, at the beginning of January, the professor spoke about the situation in Guinea-Bissau after the death of President Malam Bacai Sanhá. After this, Milocas Pereira said that she began to feel under great pressure.
And despite calls to authorities from various social media platforms, including Facebook, to investigate her disappearance, neither the Angolan government nor its West African counterpart has lifted a finger to say or do something. The group’s Facebook page SOS, STOP! Queremos a Jornalista Milocas de Volta (We want Journalist Miloca back), had 5803 members by 10am today, Moon of the South found out. https://www.facebook.com/groups/437019412999928/?ref=ts&fref=ts
Angola appears to be a dangerous place for critical journalists to operate in, according to media rights campaigners. Analysts say the regime of President Jose Edouardo dos Santos, in power since 1979, has constantly resorted to brutal and cruel methods to silence critics of his unpopular regime.
Scores of journalists have been killed, others jailed and harassed, media rights organisations said.“Milocas was aggressed by unknown people, after she told some people that her life was in danger and that she was planning to leave Angola,” Global Voices quoted sources from the Sindicato dos Jornalistas Angolanos (Union of Angolan Journalists) as saying.In its November 2 edition, the Novo Jornal, an Angola private newspaper, dedicated an entire page to the disappearance of the journalist, the website said.
Colleagues from the University of Angola, where Perreira lectured, were also suggesting that she may have been murdered for having sought to investigate certain matters related to the obscure links between Angola’s ‘criminal’ regime and Guinea-Bissau.
The tiny nation of Guinea-Bissau has not known lasting peace and stability for the past three decades, with coups d’etats and countercoups following one another. International drug experts believe the country has also become the continent’s major route transit for Europe-bound cocaine, shipped in from Latin America.