The African Cup of Nations football tournament got under way tonight with the opening game in the capital Luanda between host nation Angola and Mali. The tournament started under a cloud following news of an attack on the Togolese team bus by separatist gunmen in the enclave of Cabinda. The driver and two others were killed in the attack and several other players and support staff were injured, leading the Togolese government pulling out of the competition earlier today. This is the first significant such news from Angola in quite a while. In general the country has stabilised after years of civil war, but there remains a conflict over Cabinda’s independence, and the Togo team ignored security advice to fly to their destination at their cost.
Why am I writing about this, on a blog that seldom gets deeper than “which gadget should I buy next?”. Well Karen and I have a special interest in events in Angola becuase we will be moving there in July. Yes, we’re on our travels again following the news that Karen is being posted to the British Embassy in the capital Luanda in the summer, for a two-year tour.
Karen’s job has had us on the move before. Those of you who have known me for a while will know all about this but to my new readers — yes, both of you — a little explanation is called for. Karen works for the British Foreign & Commonwealth Office and her work took us to Riyadh in Saudi Arabia for two years (2006-7). You can read all about our Saudi adventure on the blog Neal of Arabia. Then we returned to London at the end of 2007 and now, just over two years later, we are preparing to go overseas again.
So, you can expect to see lots more detail about Luanda here in the near future as our posting date draws nearer. Meanwhile, enjoy the football.