Angola: Peace Monitor, III, 2, 10/31/96

Angola: Peace Monitor, III, 2, 10/31/96

Angola: Peace Monitor, III, 2
Date Distributed (ymd): 961031

Published by ACTSA on behalf of the Angola Emergency Campaign

Issue no.2 Vol III 30 October 1996

UN sets UNITA 20 November ultimatum

In a significant new indication of growing impatience with UNITA's prevarication, the United Nations Security Council has given UNITA the deadline of 20 November to complete specific military tasks or face the prospect of sanctions.

Meeting in New York on 11 October to renew UNAVEM III's mandate, the Security Council expressed "deep disappointment with UNITA for delaying the full implementation of the Lusaka Protocol" (resolution 1075/1996).

The resolution demanded that UNITA stands by its commitment to transform itself from an armed opposition to a political party. To this end it called on UNITA to carry out the tasks formulated by the Secretary General's Special Representative in Angola, Alioune Blondin Beye, in his "Mediation Document", which includes to: complete substantially the selection of UNITA soldiers to join the Angolan army; stem the flow of deserters from the quartering areas and to return those who have deserted; register in the quartering areas "UNITA policemen" who have remained in areas vacated by UNITA military forces; dismantle all UNITA command posts; co-operate fully with UNAVEM in the extension of State administration throughout Angola; make available other generals and high ranking officers for duty in the Angolan army; return all elected deputies to the National Assembly; establish the free circulation of people and goods; cease interference with UN aircraft flights and with mine-clearing activities.

The resolution states the Security Council's "readiness to consider the imposition of measures, including, inter alia, those specifically mentioned in paragraph 26 of resolution 864/1993 of 15 September 1993, unless, by 20 November 1996, the Secretary General has reported that UNITA has made substantial and genuine progress in fulfilling its tasks in the Mediation Document and its commitments under the Lusaka Protocol".

In view of the situation in Angola, the Security Council only agreed to extend UNAVEM III's mandate until 11 December 1996. It took note of the expectation that UNAVEM III would complete its mission by February 1997.

Resolution reflects growing anger

Up until now the Security Council has resisted calls to threaten further sanctions on UNITA if it fails to meet deadlines. In part, the strong resolution is being read as a result of a high level delegation of foreign ministers from Southern Africa representing the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) at the meeting in New York (see separate story).

There is a growing desperation internationally at the delaying tactics of UNITA, who have once more failed to meet solemn undertakings to comply with a deadline of 20 September for the completion of the specific military tasks outlined in the Mediation Document.

Many commentators are now suggesting that November will be a watershed for Angola. Sources claim that UNITA has recently sold $20 million worth of illegally mined diamonds, and is using the proceeds to buy arms. In another move, UNITA has begun to claim that the Government army is launching attacks on UNITA areas. Some fear this may be a pretext for military action by UNITA's forces, held in reserve during the quartering process.

However, the international political environment is increasingly supportive of the Angolan Government. A growing number of analysts are coming to the conclusion that Savimbi now faces the choice of coming into the political fold or using military force to maintain his power. The highly respected International Institute for Strategic Studies, in their annual publication "The Military Balance", published on 9 October, states that "Jonas Savimbi retains his UNITA forces and the demobilisation process has so far not been completed. The situation will not improve until the internal power struggle has been resolved".

A leader piece in The Times in London stated on 4 October that "Mr Savimbi's UNITA forces still control substantial areas of the Lundas, the Eastern provinces of Angola. Commanding an estimated $500 million a year from their diamond fields, he grows rich while he keeps his country in limbo". It continued that "Mr Savimbi has squandered whatever sympathy the West once harboured for him. Angola's only chance of recovery is that all the warring factions should honour their agreements. Meanwhile the prospects for this war-torn country look bleak".


The serious threat posed by UNITA has spurred the member states of the Southern African Development Community to take a more interventionist stance on Angola in an attempt to salvage the peace process.

SADC's Political, Defence and Security body met in Luanda on 2 October. Attending the summit were seven presidents, two prime ministers, one deputy prime minister and Malawi's High Commissioner. Following the meeting, a high level delegation was despatched to New York to call on the Security Council to impose sanctions on UNITA.

Zambia's President, Frank Chiluba, invited UNITA leader Jonas Savimbi to attend the summit. His failure to attend angered the heads of state, who "expressed deep disappointment at the absence at the event of the UNITA leader, Dr Jonas Savimbi, at a crucial phase of the peace process".

Having received briefings on the current situation from Angola's President dos Santos, and the United Nations Secretary General's Special Representative Alioune Blondin Beye, the summit expressed concern over the impasses and slow progress in the implementation of the peace process.

In particular, the summit placed the blame for the slow progress on UNITA. It "strongly appealed to UNITA to honour its commitments within the deadlines set out in the Lusaka Protocol and UN Security Council Resolution 864/93".

In a clear signal that patience with UNITA had run out, the summit decided to send a delegation to the United Nations in New York to put forward a regional position on the peace process, specifically to call on the Security Council to "take into consideration UNITA's latest failure to comply with its commitments and, consequently, adopt measures, within the framework of Resolution 864/93, to make UNITA fully and urgently respect the deadlines established by the Security Council".

Resolution 864/93 lays out sanctions to be taken against UNITA, which include measures to restrict trade with UNITA and to restrict the travel of UNITA personnel. (Other measures may include the closing of UNITA offices and the freezing of UNITA bank accounts).

--------------------------------------- EU/SADC MEETING PRESSES UNITA

The European Union has called for UNITA to abide by the Lusaka Protocol. The call came during an important meeting in Windhoek, Namibia, between the EU and SADC on 15 October.

Irish Foreign Minister Dick Spring, who is President of the EU Council of Ministers, said that "we need to get Savimbi back to the negotiating table and seek an ultimate reconciliation. They have to be ready to walk the last mile". He continued that "international pressure is already mounting on Savimbi".

The EU used the occasion to promise to fund programmes to remove mines. Dick Spring said that "this is a priority issue for the EU".


The Security Council meeting in New York on 11 October had before them a report from the UN Secretary General (S/1996/827), in which he called for additional support for the demobilisation process.

The Secretary General stated that "the demobilisation and reintegration process is at a critical juncture: to support the demobilisation of approximately 100,000 ex-combatants, the humanitarian community will have to increase its activities and donors will need to come forward with additional resources. Only 27.4% of the costs of the demobilisation and reintegration programmes are currently covered, and, unless the donor community provides the indispensable additional resources in the near future, the process will come to a halt".

Dr Boutros Ghali placed the blame for the slow pace of integrating UNITA personnel into the Angolan army squarely on the rebel movement. He stated that "although selection teams were deployed to almost all quartering areas, UNITA continued to procrastinate on this issue". He also warned that "the overall quality of weapons and ammunition surrendered [by UNITA to the United Nations] remains low. Moreover, only 28,762 personal weapons and 3,969 crew-served weapons have been surrendered to the United Nations".

The head of the UN also pointed out that there is likely to be a problem with next year's harvest. He stated that "the prospects for the next planting season depend largely on the free circulation of people and goods. The presence of newly planted mines along some secondary roads which were previously considered safe is raising serious concerns among humanitarian agencies responsible for the distribution of agricultural assistance".

The Secretary General makes clear that he intends UNAVEM III to complete "most of its mandated tasks by February 1997". He is therefore aiming to start withdrawing UN infantry and support units by the end of December 1996.

The Secretary General's Special Representative in Angola, Alioune Blondin Beye, stated on 9 October that there is no reason to keep the UN troops in Angola for much longer.

He continued that "The international community, Angolan civilians and even the protagonists are impatient. Everyone has in mind the fact that the second anniversary is approaching, and that we should have made more progress".

Alioune Blondin Beye has also provided the latest figures for UNITA troops quartered. He stated on 19 October that "as of 17 October, 63,704 UNITA troops have been registered in the quartering areas, but 13,476 have deserted leaving 49,658 present, of which 11,322 have been selected to join the unified national army". Under the Lusaka Protocol, 26,300 UNITA personnel are to join the Angolan army.

The Secretary General's Special Representative also stated that 455 youngsters have been demobilised.

Members of Blondin Beye's team openly admit that UNITA soldiers are at large in the country. Col. Raj Manucha, head of India's contingent to the UN operation in Negage, stated "I'm aware that many of them have not joined. I won't be surprised if they have weapons and ammunition".

The Portuguese Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, speaking on 10 October at the UN Security Council in New York, expressed concern over the increasing numbers of desertions from the quartering areas and reports that they were not spontaneous, but occurred in an organised manner.

--------------------------------------- WARREN CHRISTOPHER VISITS ANGOLA

As part of an Africa tour, the US Secretary of State, Warren Christopher, visited Angola on 14 October, where he held meetings with senior figures on the current peace process.

During his five hour visit he met with President dos Santos and the Joint Commission which oversees the peace process. UNITA leader Jonas Savimbi refused to come to Luanda to meet Mr Christopher, who appointed his representative, George Moose to travel to Andulo to pass on a message from the US administration. However, due to heavy rain Moose's aircraft was unable to land and was forced to return to Luanda. The US ambassador is now delegated to pass on the message to Savimbi.

On the eve of Christopher's visit to Angola, a state department official is quoted by SAPA as saying that Savimbi has not respected all his commitments as part of the peace process in Angola while "the Government is upholding its end of the bargain for the most part". The report states that the US Government is "growing increasingly irritated with the attitude of Angola's UNITA leader Jonas Savimbi, but does not wish to cut ties with him".


Ahead of Mr Chrisopher's visit, the commander in chief of US troops in Europe, General James Jamerson, arrived in Luanda on 24 September. This was his third visit to the country in 1996. During his visit he met with the Prime Minister Fernando Van Dunem, and other officials.

A group of four more UNITA generals arrived in Luanda on 11 October to join the five that arrived on 10 September. They are to be integrated into the Angolan army's High Command. The group was composed of Generals Demosthenes Amos Chilingutila, Job Sukuete "Longfellow", Alberto Pongolola "Bungi" and Deolindo Katata "Wenda".

It has been reported that General Paulo Lukamba "Gato" was expected to arrive in Luanda to take up a position in FAA. However, there is no indication as to when the leading UNITA general Altino Bango Sapalalo "Bock" and others are to rejoin the army.

Eighty two UNITA members arrived in Luanda on 24 September for integration into the national police force. The UNITA members join another 27 that have already been integrated into the special force to protect diplomats and political figures. They will have the specific task of protecting UNITA figures.

Human rights group Amnesty International has called for a "thorough investigation by independent forensic and other suitably qualified experts on a mass burial ground, reportedly containing the remains of at least 60 people, apparently victims of deliberate and arbitrary killings, which was discovered by a mine clearing team working near Soyo in north-western Antola".

The statement added that according to local residents the victims were probably abducted by UNITA, who had held the area for a year from May 1993.

It continued that "among the remains were skulls with holes suggesting shots to the head, the bones of children and articles of women's clothing and Government police uniforms".

Amnesty International also brought out on 24 October a report on the human rights situation in Angola. It warned that the "political compromise" in Angola "will unravel if it does not include mechanisms for the protection and promotion of human rights".

The report warns that without human rights peace cannot last, and calls on both the Government and UNITA to take immediate steps to ensure that members of the security forces who abuse human rights are brought to justice.

The report calls for the setting up of "a permanent, independent and impartial body which is able to monitor human rights and ensure that appropriate remedial action is taken". Copies of the report are available from Amnesty International, International Secretariat, 1 Easton Street, London WC1X 8DJ.

Angola has entered into a defence agreement with its former coloniser, Portugal, allowing for joint military industries.

The agreement, signed on 3 October, was reached between Angola's Defence Minister, General Pedro Sebastiao and his Portuguese counterpart, Antonio Vitorino.

The Portuguese minister was on a five day visit to the country, where he met with members of the Government and UNITA. He was also invited to address the SADC meeting in Luanda.


Following a three day visit to Angola in October, the IMF's managing director Michel Camdessus said he believed the country was serious about economic reform and pledged to set up a three-year emergency programme worth up to $75 million.

Some donors, including Britain, have linked pledges of development aid to Angola to economic reform.

In a different interpretation of the IMF's visit to Angola, the London-based journal Southscan said on 18 October that the IMF has "warned that it will not back a reconstruction package for the Angolan economy until after a government of national unity has been formed".

The UK Working Group on Landmines, of which ACTSA is a member, staged a vigil and photo-call to draw attention to the "world's worst serial killer" - anti-personnel mines.

The vigil on 3 October at St Martin in the Fields, Trafalgar Square, London, had a one and a half tonne mountain of shoes to represent the 26,000 people every year who are injured by mines.

The vigil coincided with a three day conference in Canada which debated an action plan for working towards a global ban on anti-personnel mines.

It is estimated that there have been 75,000 landmine victims in Angola, with 4 - 8 million mines still buried.
The Angola Peace Monitor is produced every month by ACTSA - Action for Southern Africa, the successor organisation to the British Anti-Apartheid Movement. It is produced as our contribution towards the work of the Angola Emergency Campaign, which seeks to highlight the need for international action in support of peace and democracy in Angola.

ACTSA, 28 Penton Street, London N1 9SA, UK, e-mail, fax +44 171 837 3001, telephone +44 171 833 3133. Back issues of the Angola Peace Monitor are available on the WorldWide Web at


Message-Id: <> From: Date: Thu, 31 Oct 1996 21:53:08 -0500 Subject: Angola: Peace Monitor, III, 2

Editor: Ali B. Ali-Dinar

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