The exhumed body of Angolan rebel leader Jonas Savimbi was expected to be received by his family and members of the opposition UNITA on Tuesday, but a last-minute decision by the government has added confusion ahead of his long-awaited burial.

Members of his family and UNITA had asked the government to bury Savimbi in his home village near the city of Kuito.

His body has been buried since his death in 2002 in the neighbouring province of Moxico.

The government had agreed to bring his remains to Kuito in Blé province, but a last-minute decision by the office of the President meant the remains were sent to a military convoy in Andulo, where no family or UNITA members are present.

RFI has since learned that the government is also demanding that the burial take place on Wednesday 29 May in Andulo, rather than the planned date of 1 June in his home village of Lopitanga.

The decision to finally allow the family access to Savimba’s body follows the long road Angola has taken to peace.

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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