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In Guinea, rival Europeans grabbed much of the trade (mainly slaves) while local African rulers confined the Portuguese to the coast.These rulers then sent enslaved Africans to the Portuguese ports, or to forts in Africa from where they were exported.After Germany declared war on Portugal in March 1916 the Portuguese government sent more reinforcements to Mozambique (the South Africans had captured German South West Africa in 1915).These troops supported British, South African and Belgian military operations against German colonial forces in German East Africa.Thousands of kilometers down the coast, in Angola, the Portuguese found it even harder to consolidate their early advantage against encroachments by Dutch, British and French rivals.Nevertheless, the fortified Portuguese towns of Luanda (established in 1587 with 400 Portuguese settlers) and Benguela (a fort from 1587, a town from 1617) remained almost continuously in Portuguese hands.However, the Portuguese traders and explorers settled in the coastal strip with greater success, and established strongholds safe from their main rivals in East Africa - the Omani Arabs, including those of Zanzibar.

Excursions traveled ever farther inland to procure captives that were sold by African rulers; the primary source of these slaves were those captured as a result of losing a war or inter-ethnic skirmish with other African tribes.The former Portuguese territories in Africa became sovereign states, with Agostinho Neto in Angola, Samora Machel in Mozambique, Luís Cabral in Guinea-Bissau, Manuel Pinto da Costa in São Tomé and Príncipe, and Aristides Pereira in Cape Verde as the heads of state.When the Portuguese began trading on the west coast of Africa, in the 15th century, they concentrated their energies on Guinea and Angola.The war was a decisive ideological struggle in Lusophone Africa, surrounding nations, and mainland Portugal.The prevalent Portuguese and international historical approach considers the Portuguese Colonial War as was perceived at the time: a single conflict fought in three separate theaters of operations: Angola, Guinea-Bissau and Mozambique (sometimes including the 1961 Indian Annexation of Goa).

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), also known in Portugal as the Overseas War (Guerra do Ultramar) or in the former colonies as the War of Liberation (Guerra de Libertação), was fought between Portugal's military and the emerging nationalist movements in Portugal's African colonies between 19.

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