Angola: Peace Monitor II-3, 12/04/'95

Angola: Peace Monitor II-3, 12/04/'95

Date Distributed (ymd): 951204

Angola Peace Monitor Volume II, Issue 3, 30 November 1995

Troop confinement begins

On the occasion of the first anniversary of the signing of the Lusaka Protocol, the Quartering Area at Vila Nova in Huambo Province received the first 150 UNITA troops. The opening of the first Quartering Area at Vila Nova, on 20 November, was witnessed by the UN Secretary-General's Special Representative, Alioune Blondin Beye, and other members of the Joint Commission.

Although the confinement of UNITA troops has fallen seriously behind schedule, it is now hoped that 150 soldiers can be confined daily at the camp, until it reaches a maximum of 5,000.

Progress has also been reported from two other Quartering Areas, at Piri in Bengo Province, and N'gage in Uige Province. However, according to the United Nations Humanitarian Assistance Co-ordination Unit (UCAH) in Luanda, there were further delays in the establishment of the Quartering Areas following a security incident near Quibaxe, Bengo Province, on 24 October involving UN and NGO staff. This led to NGOs suspending their activities pending safety assurances from UNITA. Subsequently, UNITA gave a verbal apology to the Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the UN, Alioune Blondin Beye.

The total number of identified Quartering Areas by the end of October was 13, following the creation of further sites at Caiundo and Licua, Kuando Kubango Province. It is also reported that the Government's Rapid Intervention Police have already moved to their barracks, as required under the Lusaka Protocol.

Government Minister Higino Carneiro on 29 November criticised UNITA and the UN for the slow pace of quartering UNITA troops. He said that by 27 November only 500 had so far entered the camps, less than half the scheduled number.

Peace grows in Cabinda despite clashes

The London based journal +Southscan+ reported on 24 November that the Angolan Government and the Cabinda Democratic Front (FDC) separatist movement held talks in Congo the previous week, but failed to reach agreement. The talks follow a successful agreement between the Government and the Flec Renovada organisation.

In a more positive reading of the talks, +ANGOP+, the official Angolan News Agency, report that on 21 November a truce was agreed between the Government and the FDC to allow for the free movement of people in areas controlled by the FDC, with a view to creating a climate conducive to a definitive solution to the problems of Cabinda.

In a further move to strengthen the peace process, the Governor of Cabinda Province, Jose Amaro Tati, has signed a security and co-operation agreement with its northern neighbour, Congo.

However, the +South African Press Association+ (SAPA) reported on 2 December that government troops had taken over the town of Sumba, 20km east of Soyo. The report states that UNITA soldiers had been using Sumba as a base for attacks on Soyo, which is the site of key onshore oil facilities. According to the report, Sumba became a base for UNITA operations after UNITA forces retreated from Cabinda following the recent peace treaties signed in the area.

UNITA's radio station, +Voice of the Resistance of the Black Cockerel+, VORGAN, stated that UNITA troops were heading eastwards towards a Quartering Area in Negage. However, the +SAPA+ report states that UNITA +has been reportedly moving troops out of, rather than into, the UN camps, casting a pall over peace hopes+.

The +SAPA+ report ends by stating that +UNITA threatened to suspend quartering all its troops in the Soyo region if the Government did not withdraw from Sumba+.

It has also been reported that there has been fighting recently between UNITA and Flec-FAC in the northern Belize district. The Angolan Minister of the Interior, Santana Andre Pitra +Petroff+ has called for UNITA troops to leave Cabinda, which does not host a troop confinement area.

Problems have also been reported between Government troops and the United Nations in Cabinda. According to a report from UNITA radio +VORGAN+ at least one UN soldier was injured in Cabinda during a shoot out with Government troops.

Government to give green light to NGOs

Angolan Minister for Assistance and Social Integration, Albino Malungo, announced on 27 November that the Government will waive import duties on international donations, to help NGOs. He stated that it had been agreed that all international donations will now go through the state dispatching house, Angodespatchos.

Vital railway link to be reconstructed

The London based magazine +West Africa+ reports that the Angolan Government has allocated over 100 million US dollars for the renovation of the Benguela-Lobito railway. The railway is expected to be operating by March 1996.

President dos Santos invited to meet President Clinton

The President of Angola will be visiting the United States in December, where a number of vital issues are to be discussed with leading political and economic figures. The President has been invited to meet with US President Bill Clinton in the White House on 8 December. The visit was announced by US Assistant Secretary for African Affairs, George Moose, during his visit to Angola in November.

This will be the first official visit to the US by an Angolan President, and follows a very significant improvement in relations between the two countries since the election of Bill Clinton.

The change in the official attitude to Angola is apparent from a document published by the US Agency for International Development on 23 October regarding the situation in Angola, and efforts by the US government to assist in the peace- process.

The report focuses on problems faced by Angola in the coming year. It states that:

+The existence of a tentative peace throughout the country, in the wake of the Lusaka Protocol, has led to a gradual resumption of normalcy in select zones in Angola. Although nationwide food needs are expected to increase until the 1996 harvest, some food assistance programs are being scaled back in areas as the populace becomes better able to take care of its own nutritional needs. As access throughout the country increases for relief agencies, new pockets of needy populations are encountered. As displaced populations in some provinces slowly begin returning to their areas of origin, targeted assistance programs have been shifted to assist the returnees and help them to rebuild their lives.

+Overland transportation in the western half of the country is gradually increasing, as roads are being re-opened for both peacekeeping and humanitarian purposes. The major obstacle to this process, however, is the continued presence of large numbers of unexploded mines, destroyed bridges, and general insecurity in many parts of the countryside. With funds provided by the US Department of Defense, USAID/OFDA has completed the procurement of 13 Bailey bridges to be transported to Angola to facilitate humanitarian transport operations and the return of displaced persons and refugees to their places of origin.

+Angola is at a challenging point in its development. Civil war has wreaked extensive damage on the country's infrastructure. Consumer prices are rising by more than 1,000 per cent per year and approximately 20 per cent of all citizens receive humanitarian assistance. Many of the displaced are still not returning home ten months after the signing of the Lusaka Protocol, due to a lack of security in their areas of origin. +

The report quotes a UNHCR survey of refugees, which reveals that 20 per cent were ready to return to Angola in 1995 after the maize harvest, more than 40 per cent said they would be likely to return in 1996, and 30 per cent thought that they would return in 1997.

The report points out that the total US government assistance to Angola for 1995 and 1996 is planned to reach 103,859,289 US dollars. In 1995 this includes 4.5 million US dollars for UN mine clearance operations, 1.8 million US dollars for the UNHCR programme for Angolan refugees, and 1.5 million US dollars for the UNICEF demobilised soldiers quartering aid programme.

Mine action summary

Namibia supports demining

The Namibian Defence Minister, Philemon Malima stated on 21 November that 200 Namibian soldiers will travel to Angola to assist in landmine clearing operations.

Mine survey

CARE is conducting a basic mine survey in support of their programme in areas around Menongue, Kuando Kubango Province.

Mine training

SCF-US has begun recruitment of former FAA/UNITA soldiers as students for their Mine Training Programme which will be based in Sumbe, Kwanza Sul Province. 120 students are required during this phase.

Mine awareness

World Vision International (WVI) in close collaboration with Norwegian People's Aid, continues to train instructors and supervisors to create awareness among the local population on the dangers of mines. As of 20 October 83 people have graduated, and have gone on to teach mine awareness to 47,000.

UNAVEM landmine school

UCAH has reported that the UNAVEM Central Mine Action Training School has benefited from the recruitment of demobilised FAA and UNITA troops. This has been beneficial in releasing technical information on mine-laying by both parties.

UN personnel under attack

United Nations peace-keepers have been accused by a Portuguese radio report of profiteering.

According to the report, relayed in +West Africa+ (27 November - 3 December) +people living in Zaire and Uige provinces accused UN peace-keepers of collaborating with UNITA. They said that the UN soldiers were doing nothing to promote the free movement of people and goods agreed under the Lusaka Protocol+.

The report continued that +residents of these regions have seen the Blue Helmets acting as real businessmen who are only interested in making money rather than the peace process+.

Ukraine added to countries contributing to UNAVEM III

The UN Secretary-General, Dr Boutros Boutros-Ghali, wrote to the Security Council on 1 November, proposing that Ukraine be added to the list of countries contributing military personnel to UNAVEM III.

Angolan Independence celebrated

Friends of Angola and Mozambique met in London on 11 November to mark Angola Independence Day and to discuss the future of the country.

The one-day conference was organised by the Mozambique Angola Committee (MAC), and incorporated MACs annual conference - A Luta Continua. The well attended conference heard from Francisco Assis of the Angolan Embassy, Victoria Brittain of the Guardian newspaper, and the Director of ACTSA - Ben Jackson.

The afternoon had workshops on Demobilisation and Demilitarisation, Landmines, and Reconstruction and Economic and Social Development.

The internationally acclaimed Angolan musician, Andre Mingas performed at the conference before going on to play at the Southbank Centre as part of the London International Jazz Festival.

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.

A years subscription to the Angola Peace Monitor is available at a cost of 10 pounds sterling in Britain and 15 pounds sterling elsewhere. Please indicate whether you wish to receive the Angoa Peace Monitor by post, fax, or e-mail. A full set of back issues is available at an additional cost of 2 pounds sterling. Payment should be made in pounds sterling. If you wish to pay in any other currency, you must add the equivalent of 6 pounds sterling to cover our bank charges.

ACTSA, 28 Penton Street, London N1 9SA, e-mail:, fax: +44 171 837 3001, telephone:
+44 171 833 3133.

From Mon Dec 4 22:09 EST 1995 Received-Date: Mon, 4 Dec 1995 22:09:58 -0500 Message-Id: From: "APIC"