Angola: Peace Monitor, II, 11, 8/5/96

Angola: Peace Monitor, II, 11, 8/5/96

Angola: Peace Monitor, II, 11
Date Distributed (ymd): 960805

Angola Peace Monitor
Published by ACTSA on behalf of the Angola Emergency Campaign Issue no. 11, Volume II, 31 July 1996

International donors pledge support for reconstruction as economic crisis moves centre stage

Pledges of aid from some international donors over the last two months has marked a growth in concern over the economic crisis in Angola.

International donors have begun to nominate projects which will receive aid to rebuild the economy. Until now almost all aid to Angola has been humanitarian aid (see APM no.8, Vol II). Now development aid is trickling in, and it is hoped that this will become a flood as donors keep their promises made in Brussels on 25-26 September 1995, when almost one billion dollars was pledged (see APM no.1, Vol II).

Recent pledges of development aid include: Switzerland: co-operation agreement signed on 31 May for $12 million for Community Rehabilitation Programme; United Nations Development Programme: agreement for $10.5 million for community rehabilitation signed on 17 June; Germany: protocol signed on 2 July for improving facilities in Kwanza Sul and Benguela; European Union: allocated $210 million for socio-economic development on 18 June; Japan: announced on 15 July aid of $2.7 million to assist with agricultural production.

The economy is in a state of near collapse, a process started when UNITA rejected the results of the 1992 UN supervised elections and returned to war. In recent months the social crisis has placed the Government under severe pressure, leading to the replacement of Marcolino Moco with Fernando Franca Van Dunem as Prime Minister (see APM no.10 Vol II). Commentators attribute UNITA's prevarication over implementing the agreements negotiated under the Lusaka Protocol to UNITA's hope that the central Government will disintegrate with the growing social discontent.

Several measures have been taken to stabilise the economy. Subsidies of up to 50% have been introduced on fuel and flour. Maximum prices and profit margins have been set for the sale of goods, and the licensing of imports through private funds has been banned.

Although these measures are aimed at reducing profiteering, sources in Luanda have told ACTSA that there has been a sudden reduction of food available in Luanda. On 10 July Jornal de Angola published an announcement from the Government stating that if shopkeepers did not reopen for trade they could fall foul of the law concerning crimes against the national economy.

In a further move to avoid profiteering by speculators, the Council of Ministers announced on 9 July that there was to be a single currency exchange rate.
Moose visit underlines US policy shift

In an important sign of support for the peace process, US Under-Secretary of State for African Affairs, George Moose, arrived in Angola on 11 July on a five day trip.

On 12 July George Moose met with the Joint Commission, the body which is charged with implementing the peace process. During the meeting he stated that the US administration was happy with developments in the peace process, and that progress had been recorded, although much needed to be done.

On 15 July the American official opened a USAID office in Luanda. This is seen as significant as many other countries in Africa are expecting their US aid to be reduced. The visit underlines the shift in US policy over the last year, which culminated in the visit of President dos Santos to the White House in December 1995 (see APM no.5, Vol II)
Three month extension of UNAVEM mandate

The United Nations has agreed to extend its peace-keeping force in Angola, UNAVEM III, for a further three months. The decision was taken by the UN Security Council on 11 July 1996 in New York, following advice from its Secretary-General, Dr Boutros Boutros-Ghali. The Secretary-General in his report to the Security Council, published on 27 June 1996 (S/1996/503), pointed out that UNAVEM III has become the UN's biggest peace-keeping operation, and that its continued involvement remains essential.

UNAVEM III will end in February 1997, and the Secretary-General has initiated contingency planning for the phased downsizing of its military component as soon as the quartering process has been successfully concluded and the incorporation of the rebel UNITA troops into the Angolan army, the Angolan Armed Forces (FAA) has reached an advanced stage.

Dr Boutros-Ghali drew attention to positive developments in Angola: the adoption of the framework agreement on military matters; the promulgation of the Amnesty Law on 8 May; the beginning of the process of incorporating UNITA military personnel into FAA; the completion of the quartering of the rapid reaction police; and the second phase of the withdrawal of FAA from forward positions. The Secretary-General also drew attention to the fact that UNITA have submitted proposals to change the status of its radio station, Vorgan, to ensure that it becomes non-partisan.

FAA criticised over withdrawals

Under the Lusaka Protocol, which underpins the peace process, the Government army is to withdraw to its bases away from forward positions. However the UN Secretary-General criticised FAA, stating that 14 out of the 47 redeployments have been determined by UNAVEM III to be unsatisfactory.
UN slams UNITA over failure to quarter troops

The Secretary-General of the UN has once again shown impatience at UNITA's failure to comply with the Lusaka Protocol and subsequent agreements to quarter their troops in UN verified bases.

It had been agreed on 1 March, at a meeting in Libreville between UNITA leader Jonas Savimbi and Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, that UNITA would complete the quartering of its troops by the end of May 1996 (see APM no,7 Vol II).

On 14 May the UNITA leader promised that 50,000 soldiers (out of a declared total of 62,500) would be quartered by 15 June. Subsequently, on 21 May, an agreement was reached between the Government and UNITA that all of the rebel troops would be quartered by the end of June.

The self-imposed target of Jonas Savimbi was met on 17 June. However, Dr Boutros-Ghali in his report to the Security Council points out that in the second half of June the pace of quartering decreased significantly. As at 25 June, 51,597 troops had been registered. The UN report also stated that over 5,628 UNITA troops had deserted from the quartering areas, stating that "it is believed that many of them are civilians or members of local militias who had been brought forcibly to the camps". Sources in Luanda state that there has recently been an improvement in the quality of troops quartered, with "real soldiers" entering the camps. These soldiers are said to be under tight military discipline from their UNITA officers.

Figures given by British foreign office minister Jeremy Hanley MP, in response to a Parliamentary Question by Robert Hughes MP, show that as of 10 July the total number of UNITA troops quartered had only risen to 52,906. However, the number of desertions had risen to 6,894. As Sylvana Foa, the spokesperson for the Secretary-General, told journalists on 3 July, "some are coming in but a lot are going out".

The figures given by the British Minister also show that as of 10 July, 1,148 of those quartered were under the age of 15. A further 3,931 were between the age of 15 and 18.

The Secretary-General stated in his report that the UN "will not be in a position to declare that it [the quartering process] is complete unless convincing evidence is provided that all regular, commando, engineer, support and other units of UNITA have been effectively cantoned or otherwise accounted for. Another source of concern is the presence in areas vacated by UNITA of persons which it claims are its police, even though the establishment of such a force is contrary to the provisions of the Lusaka Protocol. It is imperative that these personnel also be quartered and their weapons handed over to the United Nations".

----------------------------------------------------------- 15th quartering area set up in the Lundas

Agreement has been reached on the site for the 15th and final Quartering Area. It will be at Kapenda Kamulemba, Muxinda in Lunda Norte. This is the site where UNITA troops from the Lundas are required to be confined until they are demobilised. The Lundas are the two provinces with the richest diamond deposits, making it a crucial area for UNITA. If the area comes under the administrative control of the Government, illegal diamond mining will be curtailed. There has been continued violence associated with this illegal trade.

The acting head of the state diamond mining company has visited the UNITA stronghold of Bailundo to discuss the future of diamond mining. Speculation suggests that UNITA have been offered a diamond concession.
UNITA hands over heavy weapons

UNITA have handed over a significant amount of heavy weapons to the UN, following criticisms from many quarters, including the UN Secretary-General, over the lack of quantity and quality of weapons given in.

On 27 July UNITA handed over to the UN in Jamba 770 tonnes of weapons and munitions. The arms included 16 tonnes of ammunition, anti-aircraft guns, rockets and multiple rocket launchers, several field artillery pieces, shells and grenades, and one T-55 tank.

Acording to UNAVEM II Commander, General Philip Sibanda, the arms and munitions turned in were new. The 770 tonnes has been transported to Menongue, where UNAVEM III have their regional base.

Some weapons have already been destroyed in situ. On 11 June the commander of UNAVEM III, General Sibanda, witnessed the destruction of 11 tonnes of explosive devices including 2,019 anti-tank mines, 575 Soy mines, 6,768 anti-personnel mines, 12,569 Cardoen charges and 3,552 Claymore mines.

The Acting Chief of Staff, General Sapalalo "Bock" said that "the people of Angola and the international community should recognise that these are our last stocks".
UNITA maintains stockpiles

Although the amount of weapons in UNITA's armoury is not public knowledge, what evidence exists show that UNITA continues to be a well armed organisation.

According to the highly respected London-based organisation, the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), UNITA are in possession of, inter alia:

T-34-85 tanks; T-55 tanks; miscellaneous armoured personnel carriers; BM21 multiple rocket launchers; field artillery - 75, 76, 122 and 130mm; mortars - 81,82,120mm; anti tank weapons - RPG-7, and 75mm rocket launchers; anti-aircraft - 12,7, 14.5, 20, 23mm; and SAM-7 and Stinger surface to air missiles.

It has been reported by Africa Watch that the Stinger missiles were returned to the US in late 1990, however the International Institute for Strategic Studies say that this is "highly unlikely".

In addition to the above weapons, the Angolan Government also report that it captured from UNITA in 1994 80mm and 106mm and 120mm artillery, 60mm mortars, and M-60 grenade launchers.

Recent information given to ACTSA by highly placed military sources suggest that UNITA have substantial quantities of weapons beyond what has been handed over to the UN. Whilst the threat from tanks is minimal (with UNITA possessing roughly a dozen, of questionable use), a greater threat is posed by UNITA's ground to air missiles, with UNITA said to be in possession of roughly 150 stinger missiles. UNITA are also known to have quantities of SAM-7, 14 and 16 missiles.

UNITA also has many hundreds of hand-held rocket propelled grenade launchers - RPG-7s. For its basic troops, UNITA have substantial quantities of rifles (AK47's given to them by the old Apartheid regime, supplemented by others bought on the open market). They also have roughly 60 armoured personnel carriers.

In addition, it has also been suggested that UNITA have the highly sophisticated US made TOW anti-tank missiles. However, both the IISS and Janes Defence Weekly were surprised at this suggestion.

The calculation of the quantity of UNITA arms is further confused by Jonas Savimbi's recent remarks that UNITA has sold many of its weapons (to unnamed buyers).

Some observers point out that even if UNITA is successfully integrated into legal political activity, without full disarmament the door will be left open to banditry.
Completion of armed forces

The process of incorporating UNITA's military force into the Government army is back on track after its suspension by the Government.

It was envisaged that UNITA generals would return to the FAA by mid-July, and that the incorporation of 26,300 of its troops into FAA would be completed by the end of July. However, on 10 July the Chief of Staff of FAA, General Joao de Matos announced the suspension of the incorporation process, accusing UNITA of bad faith. In particular, the quality of troops was judged to be too low. The FAA wanted to incorporate "real soldiers".

However, by 25 July it was reported that sufficient guarantees had been made by UNITA that the Government was prepared to restart the integration process. It was reported by the official Angolan news agency, ANGOP, that 667 soldiers and 70 surgeons were to be incorporated in Bie province "over the next few days".

Offers of assistance for demobilised troops have continued to come in from the international community, with the latest offers coming from the United States, Israel, and Germany. However, as US Ambassador to the UN, Karl Inderfurth, pointed out to the UN Security Council on 11 July, "only $10 million of the $42 million required for the first year of the demobilisation/reintegration process has been received. We call on other member states to give this urgent requirement their fullest attention. Demobilised combatants must have a real stake in peacetime Angola - they must be convinced that there is indeed "life after Lusaka".
Disarming of civilians begins

The disarming of the civilian population, as demanded under the Lusaka Protocol, has begun. According to General Higino Carneiro citizens who hand in weapons will receive a reward.

On 6 July, Televisao Popular de Angola reported that the National Police had collected 250 weapons in Luanda. However, estimates put the total number of weapons in civilian hands at one million. According to the London-based journal, Southscan, 700,000 weapons were distributed by Government forces to civilians in Luanda after UNITA returned to war in 1992.

Government and UNITA agree to keep post of Prime Minister

The Portuguese radio station, Radio Renascenca, reported on 4 July that the Angolan government and UNITA had agreed to maintain the post.

------------------------------------------------------------- Savimbi prevaricates over vice-presidency

The leader of UNITA, Jonas Savimbi, has maintained that it will be up to the UNITA Congress, due to be held in August, to decide whether he will take up the post of vice-President or remain to be the leader of UNITA.

Despite the fact that Jonas Savimbi pushed to be offered the post when he met with President dos Santos in Libreville in 1 March 1996, he now maintains that it is impossible to hold the two posts. A further issue under discussion between the Government and UNITA is the function of the two vice-Presidents, with Savimbi calling for them to have executive powers along with the abandonment of the post of Prime Minister.

Savimbi meets Mbeki

The leader of UNITA, Jonas Savimbi, met with South Africa's Deputy President, Thabo Mbeki, in Pretoria on 8 July. An official statement from the Deputy President's office stated that Savimbi briefed Thabo Mbeki on the peace process. Savimbi warned that the success of the peace process required that donor countries fulfilled their pledges of financial assistance to Angola.
UNITA blamed for aviation accident

The pilots who miraculously survived an aviation accident in January 1996, in which at least 225 people were killed, have blamed UNITA for overloading the aircraft.

The Soviet-built Antonov crashed into a market shortly after taking off from Zaire's Kinshasa airport. The pilots, who are on trial in Zaire, state that they were on an illegal mission to deliver supplies to UNITA.

The fact that so many people died in the incident has been put down to the fact that the aircraft was carrying petroleum products that ignited after the crash, burning the victims to death.

Former Prime Minister to head of Lusophone Commonwealth

Marcolino Moco, who was replaced as Prime Minister of Angola in June (see APM no.10, Vol II) has been confirmed as head of the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP).

The Commonwealth was formally launched on 17 July in Lisbon, where heads of state signed the founding declaration. The members of the Lusophone Commonwealth are Portugal, Angola, Brazil, Sao Tome and Principe, Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde.
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.

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Message-Id: <> From: Date: Mon, 5 Aug 1996 09:47:41 -0500 Subject: Angola: Peace Monitor, II, 11

Editor: Ali B. Ali-Dinar

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