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Map of Angola with the province highlighted

Bié is a province of Angola. Located on Bié Plateau in central part of country. Its capital is Kuito and it has an area of 70,314 km² and a population of approximately 800,000. Municipalities in the province include Andulo, Nharea, Cunhinga, Chinguar, Chitembo, Catabola, Camacupa and Cuemba. Current Governor is José Amaro Tati. It has boundaries with the province of Malanje, to the northeast with the province of Lunda Sul, to Moxico, to the south with Cuando Cubango and to the west with the provinces of Huila, Huambo and Cuanza Sul.

The climate of Bié is fresh and abundant rainfall makes possible the culture of corn, sugar cane, rice, coffee and peanuts. Its ground known to be one of the most fertiles of Angola.

Bié is furrowed to east and north from the Cuanza River, that sliding towards north, marks part of the border with Malanje. The south-west is furrowed from the river Cuchi, an affluent of river Cubango.

Origins of Jonas Savimbi

Bié province is perhaps best known as the place where the family of Angolan political leader Jonas Savimbi came from. Savimbi, although born in Moxico Province near Bié, was ethnically Bieno, i.e. of a subgroup of the Ovimbundu. He led the UNITA movement first in the anti-colonial war against the Portuguese, and then in the Civil War against the ruling MPLA before he was killed in combat in 2002. Savimbi gained global notoriety as a United States ally during the Cold War.

Civil War

Bié is one of the regions that were heavily affected by the Civil War. Agriculture came to a halt in several areas, and part of the rural population fled to the cities. The province capital Kuito was in part destroyed by bombing, as were roads and other infrastructures. Since 2002, reconstruction efforts have been important, but as of early 2011 much remained to be done.

External links

Coordinates: 12°31′S 17°34′E / 12.517°S 17.567°E / -12.517; 17.567

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