Angola: Peace Monitor, II, 10, 6/22/96

Angola: Peace Monitor, II, 10, 6/22/96

Angola: Peace Monitor, II, 10
Date Distributed (ymd): 960622

Angola Peace Monitor
Published by ACTSA on behalf of the Angola Emergency Campaign
Issue no.10, Volume II, 14 June 1996


On 3 June Angolan President Eduardo Jose dos Santos announced a dramatic reshuffle of his Government to deal with the growing economic and social crisis facing the country.

The sacking of the Prime Minister, Marcolino Moco, by President dos Santos had been predicted by analysts during the previous month. One reason for this was growing discontent at the performance of the economy, with calls for demonstrations in Luanda against the Government (which were in fact unheeded).

Various commentators have suggested that the position of Prime Minister is likely to disappear with the creation of two posts of Vice-President, with Moco vying for one of these positions.

The reshuffle also leaves space for UNITA nominees to join the cabinet, as envisaged under the Lusaka Protocol.

In an address to the nation on 3 June, broadcast on radio and television, President Jose Eduardo dos Santos warned that the country faced the most serious socio-economic crisis ever.

He stated that "the successive experiments undertaken to overcome that crisis over the past three years have failed. The consequences of that are the virtual paralysis of the productive sector, except oil production; the drastic erosion of the social infrastructure, notably electrical power and water; hyper-inflation whose annual rates exceed 3,000 per cent; the worsening of the budget deficit; the unbridled expansion of economic credit; a huge increase in the issuing of money, but with no return; the practical existence of two currencies that has discredited and undermined the banking system; a major lack of control over foreign exchange; and so on".

The President went on to criticise the speculative commercial sector, and its parallel financial system, which amount to over 90 per cent of the country's overall imports. Commentators have pointed out that this system has led to vast fortunes being made by those with access to hard currency at preferential exchange rates.

President Dos Santos drew a grim picture of the social crisis, pointing out that "most salaries have become virtually symbolic, notably salaries in the civil service", and that "the state health and education sectors have almost collapsed due either to the resignation of many of the officials and workers or to the worsening of basic working conditions".

Criticising Government inaction, the President said that "the 1996 programme of action and the state budget proposed by Government, and approved by the National Assembly, merely comply with the economic management philosophy and Government action responsible for the aforementioned situation. Since the beginning of the year, the Government, from a practical and economic stand-point, has done nothing but propose and approve new fiscal laws to review successively the official foreign exchange rates and "rehearse" the payment of a new salary scale for the civil service sector, though not fully covering the entire sector."

Turning to the Government, the President said that "the time of reckoning has come. Those that have failed must modestly take responsibility for their mistakes. One must change, and to do that we must identify precisely the fundamental causes that have led to this state of affairs".

Whilst the President put the economic crisis in the context of the return to war after UNITA rejected the results of the 1992 elections, he also firmly placed blame upon the influence of speculation and illegal diamond mining on the economy.

In the light of the situation outlined in the President's speech to the Angolan nation, the President on 3 June relieved Marcolino Moco of his duties as Prime Minister, and appointed in his place Dr Fernando Jose de Franca Dias Van Dunem.

Van Dunem is 61, and has represented Angola as Ambassador in Belgium, Holland, Spain, Portugal and the European Community. He has also acted as Minister of Justice and of Planning as well as Vice Minister of Foreign Relations. From 1991 until 1992 he was Prime Minister of Angola. Since the 1992 election, he has been a Deputy at the National Assembly, as well as President of the Assembly. He has been a member of the MPLA's Political Bureau since 1990.

Under the constitution, Van Dunem was given five days to appoint the Government. On 8 June the following were sworn in as Ministers:

Defence: General Pedro Sebastiao (*)
Interior: Santana Andre Pitra (Petroff) (**)

External Relations: Venancio da Silva de Moura (**)
Territorial Administration: Jose Anibal Rocha (**)
Agriculture and Rural Development: Isaac Maria dos Anjos (**)
Industry: Manuel Diamantino Borges Duke (***)
Culture: Ana Maria de Oliveira (**)
Oil: Albina Faria de Assis Africano (**)
Planning and Economic Co-Ordination: Emanuel Moreira Carneiro
Finance: Mario de Alcantara Monteiro
Education: Antonio Burity da Silva
Fisheries: Maria de Fatima Monteiro Jardim (**)
Transport and Communications: Andre Luis Brandao (**)
Trade: Manuel Francisco Gomes Maiato (**)
Information: Pedro Hendrik Vaal Neto (**)
Assistance and Social Reintegration: Albino Malungo (**)
Justice: Paulo Tchipilica (**)
Youth and Sports: Jose da Rocha Sardinha de Castro (**)
Public Administration: Antonio Pitra Neto (**)
Minister Without Portfolio, and head of Government delegation
to the Joint Commission: Fernando Faustino Muteka (**)

(*) previously acting Minister of Defence following the death
of Pedro Maria Tonha (Pedale). (**) no change (***)
previously Deputy Minister

None of the Secretary of State positions have altered, except for the scrapping of the post of Secretary of State for Co- operation. Three ministerial positions have been left vacant: Health; Geology and Mines; and Public Works and Town Planning. Under the Lusaka Protocol, UNITA are to hold the following ministerial posts: Health; Geology and Mines; Trade; and a created post of Hotel Business and Tourism.

Also removed in the reshuffle was Antonio Gomes Furtado, the Governor of the central bank. He has been replaced by Sebastiao Bastos Lavrador, who was Governor of the National Bank of Angola in 1992.

The other important new appointment was that of Secretary to the Council of Ministers, who is now Antonio Pereira Van Dunem.

The first fifteen officers from UNITA's military forces have been incorporated into the Angolan Armed Forces (FAA). This follows an agreement between the Government and UNITA for the incorporation of 26,000 UNITA soldiers into the FAA between 1 June and 30 July (see APM 9).

On 3 June, the first fourteen officers were integrated: a colonel, five lieutenant colonels, four majors and four captains took their positions in the FAA at a ceremony at the army's communication regiment in Luanda.

On 12 June as UNITA's self imposed deadline of quartering 50,000 of its troops by 15 June approached, UNITA had quartered 44,518 people. However, on 3 June (the latest available figures) 5,389 had deserted.

The Guardian in London on 5 June stated that according to UN and aid officials, at least half of those quartered were not soldiers. A UN official is quoted as saying that "UNITA has not even begun a serious effort towards disarming and demobilising, 18 months after the Lusaka accords, and there is no sign of any change in their attitudes".

General Philip Sibanda, the head of UNAVEM's military component said that "it is clear we do not have the best troops in the quartering areas, we do not have the best weapons, we do not have ammunition or other war stores, explosives, communications equipment". By June 11 only 26,995 weapons had been handed in.

However, sources in Luanda talk of growing optimism in the capital. It is understood that UNITA have begun to quarter "real" soldiers.

A planned visit to Angola by South African President Nelson Mandela, set for 11 to 13 June has been rescheduled at the South African premier's request, following the reshuffle in the Angolan Government.

Mandela was due to visit the country to honour a long standing invitation by President dos Santos. It would have been his first official State visit to the country. He was scheduled to address the National Assembly, meet with members of the UNITA leadership, as well as with members of the Joint Commission (who are charged with overseeing the implementation of the peace process). He was also to have visited Lubango in Huila Province, where a number of South African firms have invested.

A bilateral co-operation agreement was also due to have been signed. According to President Mandela's office, Mandela instructed Minister of Foreign Affairs, Alfred Nzo, to visit Angola on 10 June to convey a personal message to the Angolan President.

A tour of European capitals by UNITA leader Jonas Savimbi planned for early June has been cancelled.

The official UNITA explanation of the cancellation was that the political situation in Angola was the cause. However, sources in Europe suggest that Jonas Savimbi was unhappy with the lack of importance placed on his visit by the host countries. One factor raised by the Portuguese radio station, Radio Renascence Lisbon, was that the planned timing of the visit clashed with a major Lusaphone conference.

In contrast to the cancellation of the trips of Savimbi and Mandela, the head of the Angolan Armed Forces (FAA), General Joao de Matos has continued with his planned visit to Germany and Britain.

General de Matos was in Germany to visit General James Jamerson, second in command of American forces in Europe. He then arrived in Britain on 8 June at the invitation of the British Government. Amongst others, he met with Baroness Lynda Chalker, Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

A communique issued by the Political Commission of UNITA on 4 June stated that UNITA want to continue to be an opposition party. At the same time, it demands that all the opposition parties represented at the National Assembly be included in the Government.

It stated that "UNITA would like to emphasise that it will only participate in a Government of National Unity and Reconciliation if it will reflect the consensus of the Angolan parties within the National Assembly. UNITA should be seen inside and outside Angola as an opposition party to the MPLA government".


Separatist forces in the oil-rich enclave of Cabinda have claimed that a battle has taken place between its forces and those of the Government.

The news agency AFP stated on 6 June that the separatists have claimed that 150 have died in fighting around Nekuto since 10 May. The Cabinda Liberation Front - Cabindan Armed Forces (FLEC-FAC) claimed that the FAA launched an attack on the town with tanks and helicopters.

As previously reported in issue no.9 Vol II of the Angola Peace Monitor, an agreement on a cease-fire was signed between the Government and FLEC-FAC on 15 May.

Endiama, the state owned diamond company, has signed an agreement with De Beers for diamond prospecting. The agreement commit De Beers to spend $50 million on prospecting.

In another significant move, the Director of Endiama, Paulino Neto, and Government representative Higino Carneiro, have visited Bailundo to discuss with Jonas Savimbi the future of the diamond industry after the Government resumes administrative control of the whole country.

The Minister for Assistance and Social Reintegration, Albino Malungo, warned on 10 June that the repatriation of 100,000 Angolan refugees from Zambia will be delayed.

The refugees should have returned in June, but conditions for their return have not yet been met. Shelters have not been provided for, due to the lack of freedom of movement in the country. The unfinished quartering of UNITA troops has also delayed the repatriation, the Minister stated.

The return of the refugees is now scheduled for August or September.

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 Angola 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.

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

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Message-Id: <> From: Date: Sat, 22 Jun 1996 11:01:00 -0500 Subject: Angola: Peace Monitor, II, 10

Editor: Ali B. Ali-Dinar

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