Inge Brinkman :

Refugees on routes. Congo/Zaire and the war in Northern Angola (1961-1974)

After the events of 15 March 1961, and especially when the Portuguese army started its counter-insurgency, many people in Northern Angola fled to the bush or to the newly independent Congo (later Zaire). Some areas became near to depopulated. There were already many Angolans in the Congo, but during the war they did not travel in the same manner as before. Most of the refugees travelled through the forests and avoided the roads controlled by the Portuguese army. For the Portuguese troops, these forests appeared an impenetrable bush, in which an invisible enemy was hiding. For the population of the North the forests constituted a possibility to flee and to contact people even over international boundaries. These different perceptions of road, trail, forest and bush and the various ways in which these are used form the subject of this paper.