The Republic of Kabinda (also known as Cabinda) is the de facto government of Cabinda. It is the successor state to the Portuguese Protectorate known as the Portuguese Congo, established under the 1885 Treaty of Simulambuco. Cabinda was designated the 39th independent African state by the former OAU (Organization of African Unity).
The Angolan MPLA (Marxist Peoples Liberation Army) invaded Cabinda in 1975 as the Portuguese withdrew and pushed the Front for the Liberation of the State of Cabinda (FLEC) into the countryside. The Cabinda de facto government has maintained itself against Angola inside Cabinda continually since 1975.
The head of the government of Cabinda is Dr. Joel Batila, who holds the position of Premier in conjunction with the legislative body, known as the Nkoto Likanda. The president of the Republic Cabinda is Aphonse Massanga, who is also the Chairman of the Front for the Liberation of the State of Cabinda (FLEC).
The Republic of Kabinda is a unity government whose members include the FLEC political party. The constitutional republic is based in exile in Europe, and FLEC has civil and military bases of operation inside Cabinda and in Pointe Noire, Republic of the Congo. All operate under the common name FLEC.
The three Kingdoms of Cabinda
Cabinda consists of three kingdoms: Kakongo, Loango and Ngoyo and was the result of the signing of three treaties: Chinfuma, September 29, 1883, Chicamba, 26 December 1884 and that of Simulambuco, February 1, 1885, the parties were the Traditional Chiefs of Cabinda and the Crown of Portugal. Legally Cabinda was a Portuguese Protectorate. The Treaty of Simulambuco was ratified the same year by the Berlin Conference of 1885 held under the aegis of France, Great Britain and King Leopold II of Belgium. Since February 16, 1885, Cabinda was ruled by a Portuguese Governor Plenipotentiary dealing directly with Lisbon. The Portuguese Constitution of 1933 in force until 1975 made a clear distinction between Cabinda and Angola in the first paragraph of Article 2, Title One. Cabinda was headed administratively by the Portuguese authority residing in Luanda from 1956, but remained legally separate from Angola.
A de facto government requires no diplomatic recognition to conduct itself under International Law. Both the United States and international courts have repeatedly accorded legal standing to de facto governments. De facto governments may conduct foreign relations with sovereign states which have not extended de jure recognition to them. Section 107 of the Restatement (Second) of Foreign Relations Law of the United States  states that: “An entity not recognized as a state but meeting the requirements for recognition specified in § 100 [of controlling a territory and population, and engaging in foreign relations], or an entity recognized as a state whose regime is not recognized as its government, has the rights of a state under international law in relation to a non-recognizing state…” See also Article 74 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties which states that “The severance or absence of diplomatic or consular relations between two or more States does not prevent the conclusion of treaties between those States.”
|Floor plan of the Forte de Santa Maria de Cabinda 1784|
Cabinda is a member of the OEAS (Organization of Emerging African States) along with other non-UN members like Biafra, Southern Cameroons and UMMOA. Cabinda maintains an informal working relationship with the Republic of Congo, the European Parliament, and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. Cabinda is currently in diplomatic negotiations with a small European state regarding recognition, and maintains close bilateral relations with other African exile governments.
Cabinda explicitly does not recognize the existing ownership of onshore oil and mineral rights. The companies involved here have been repeatedly warned that FLEC vigorously opposes operations in those regions, and that the security of Angolan contractors cannot be guaranteed.
Cabinda and FLEC have mounted a legal challenge through the African Union Court in Banjul, Gambia challenging the control of these onshore blocks in Case No. 328/06, which is pending on the merits. The African Commission in December 2011 took complete jurisdiction over the matter after deliberating for five years, and has requested evidence be submitted for a decision on the merits. FLEC is requesting the African Union appoint a Special Rapporteur to take charge of the matter of onshore oil and mineral assets in Cabinda. A favorable outcome is expected as Angola has boycotted the proceedings to date. The very fact the African Union has afforded recognition to FLEC’s claims is a major legal victory.
SUMMARY OF FACTS:
1883 (September 29th) : The treaty of Chinfuma.
1884 (November 26th) : The treaty of Chicamba.
1885 (February 1st) : The treaty of Simulambuco between Portugal and the cabindese native authorities.
1885 : The Conference of Berlin recognized the splitting of Congo in three parts, that is to say French Congo , Belgian Congo and Portuguese Congo with it's general governor.
Birth of Cabinda. At the time when the colonial powers shared Africa juggling with the borders the treaty of Berlin took away the north bank of the Congo, which was up until then one of the trading post, from PORTUGAL granting it a fallback territory = CABINDA.
1956 (May 28,): In order to administer its overseas colonies cheaply, PORTUGAL decided to put CABINDA and Angola under the authority of the same general governor on the model of the F.E.A. by grouping 4 distincts territories or on the model of what was called the Congo-Rwanda-Urundi.
1960 (October 6th) : M. Tchichelle, vice-president of the Republic of Congo-Brazzaville, Minister of foreign affairs, demanded the total independence of CABINDA from the U.N.O..
1963 (August 4th) : In Pointe-Noire, Republique of Congo, fusion of the Cabindese nationalist movements into the Front of Liberation of of the state of CABINDA (F.L.E.C).
1964: The O.A.U. (Organisation of African Unity) put CABINDA at the 39th position on the list of the African countries that decolonized, distinctly Angola put at the 35th.
1975: Declaration at the tribune of the O.A.U. bu the Minister of foreign affairs of Congo, Mr David Charles Ganao, and the head of the delegation sent from Zaïre to Ethiopia, the citizen called BAGBENI Adeito NZENGEYA, the Zaïrese ambassader in Ethiopia.
1975 (November): Launching of the figth armed by the Forces of Liberation of of the state of CABINDA (F.L.E.C).
Rodrigues Mingas is the leader of the Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda, the FLEC/PM-Military Position (Portuguese: Frente para a Libertação do Enclave de Cabinda (FLEC), a guerrilla the independence movement of Cabinda organisation fighting since 1975 for the total independence of the oil rich Angolan province of Cabinda, one of the country's 14 provinces rich with oil reserves.
Rodrigues Mingas is prince of royal blood. Resulting from the royal family from Cabinda, grandson of “MaNgoyo” - king Mankata Kalambo from Kayes “Li bù” in the kingdom of goyo précolonial1 of which its famous ancestors: King Jack, prince of Ponta do Tafe; King Taine, prince of Ponte of Tafe Fernando Mingas, son of prince Jack; and prince Jack, governor of Buco-Sinto, all co-signatories of the treaty Portuguese-Cabindan protectorate of February 1, 1885, conferring on Cabinda the legal status of protectorate of Portugal in central Africa (see the treaty of Simulambucu), for this reason it is one of the interlocutors incontestably contestable in the cabindan question according to ancestral the triptychs criteria (Makongo-Mangoyo-Maloango).
Mingas is believed to live in exil in Europa.