The separatist rebels of the Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda (FLEC) said it would not participate in a “foreign” election.
“The FLEC does not accept the permanence of a foreign power on our territory, but does not want to interfere in the internal affairs of Angola,” the group said in a statement.
“For this reason, FLEC urges all the people of Cabinda to not participate in presidential elections in Angola,” it said.
Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos last week announced that he would step down this year to bring an end to a 37-year reign marked by an unrelenting authoritarian style.
Now aged 74, and in reportedly poor health, Dos Santos became president in 1979, making him Africa’s second-longest serving leader, one month shy of Equatorial Guinea’s Teodoro Obiang Nguema.
Joao Lourenco, Dos Santos’s defense minister, was named as the ruling party’s candidate to run in the president’s place in August elections.
Dos Santos has been credited for leading Angola out of the war, moving away from hardline Marxism and fostering a post-war oil boom and foreign investment surge that transformed central Luanda.
However, the FLEC, which fought a low-level insurgency for four decades, has been seriously threatened by Santo’s regime because the crude is drilled on their territory.