The former leader of Angola’s Unita rebel group, Jonas Savimbi, is being reburied 17 years after his death.

Thousands of former Unita fighters wearing white T-shirts emblazoned with images of Savimbi attended the ceremony in his home village of Lopitanga.

His 2002 death brought an end to one of Africa’s longest civil wars.

His remains were finally handed over to his family on Friday following confusion earlier in the week.

Unita says the funeral ceremony will be an important step towards national reconciliation in the oil-rich nation.

However, no government representatives were present at the ceremony, reports the AFP news agency.

His coffin was draped in Unita’s green and red flag.

Angola was a Cold War battleground, with the US and apartheid South Africa backing Unita, while the governing MPLA received support from the former Soviet Union and Cuba.

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