Angola: Peace Monitor, III, 1, 9.28/96

Angola: Peace Monitor, III, 1, 9.28/96

Angola: Peace Monitor, III, 1

Date Distributed (ymd): 960928

Angola Peace Monitor

Published by ACTSA on behalf of the Angola Emergency Campaign

Issue no.1 Vol III, 27 September 1996

Savimbi rejects post of vice-president

On 27 August UNITA leader Jonas Savimbi formally rejected the offer of vice-presidency of Angola. The offer was made by President dos Santos following a request by Jonas Savimbi himself at a meeting between the two in Libreville on 1 March.

In response to the UNITA leader's rejection of the post the Angolan Government called on the Joint Commission - which is made up of the Angolan Government; UNITA; UNAVEM III; and the troika of Russia, the United States and Portugal - to withdraw the "special status" given to Savimbi under the Lusaka Protocol.

Although this request has been rejected, the head of UNAVEM III, the United Nations Secretary-General's Special Representative Alioune Blondin Beye stated that "after rejecting the Government's offer, it [UNITA] must now make a proposal".

UNITA generals arrive in Luanda, but progress is slow

Following strong pressure from the United States and the United Nations, five generals from UNITA's army arrived in Luanda on 9 September to rejoin the Angolan army, the FAA, and prepare the ground for the integration of UNITA soldiers. The delegation was led by General Arlindo Chenda "Ben Ben" Pena.

Under the Lusaka Protocol UNITA generals are to return to the Angolan army, which they had deserted after the elections in 1992. These generals would be responsible for working out with other officers of the FAA how to incorporate 26,500 UNITA soldiers and officers into the army, with the rest being demobilised.

The failure so far of UNITA to abide by their commitment to provide ten top generals to lead the integration of UNITA troops was seen by many as a sign of their lack of willingness to stick by the Lusaka Protocol.

UNITA promised UNAVEM's Beye that a further five generals would arrive in Luanda before 20 September - this did not happen. Equally serious is the allegation that the generals sent so far are not the top UNITA generals, who are said to have remained with their fighting units in case of a resumption of hostilities.

General Pena is officially UNITA's Chief of Staff, but is not considered to be the most powerful of UNITA's 59 generals. Among notable senior generals who failed to appear in Luanda with the first contingent were General Paulo Lukamba "Gato", General Altino Bango Sapalalo "Bock" and General Demostenes Chilingutila.

The London-based Economist magazine on 14 September asked, "Is Mr Savimbi using the opportunity to clear out some dead wood and keep his best officers in the field?"

President due to meet UNITA leader

There has been a delay in plans for the Angolan President to meet with Jonas Savimbi on Angolan soil.

According to a report from the AFP news agency, the UNITA leader had agreed to meet with the President before 20 September, the date set by the Joint Commission for the completion of various military tasks (see below).

The two leaders had been expected to meet, for the fifth time since the signing of the Lusaka Protocol. This would be the first time in Angola.

Security Council to meet to discuss future of UNAVEM

The UN Security Council will meet in New York in October to discuss the renewal of UNAVEM III's mandate, which will run out on 11 October.

Amongst issues to be raised will be the selection of UNITA troops for the FAA, the demobilisation of the remaining UNITA troops, and the "special status" of Jonas Savimbi.

One crucial issue which will be raised will be plans for reducing UNAVEM's military component. It had been originally planned that UNAVEM III would complete its mission in February 1997. However, due to slippage in the Lusaka Protocol's timetable, it is expected that this mandate will be extended beyond February in a cut-down form.

Currently UNAVEM III is the biggest and most expensive UN peacekeeping operation. Other factors which may shape its future include the US presidential elections and a possible challenge for the position of UN Secretary-General currently held by Boutros Boutros-Ghali.

Military deadline ignored by UNITA

The deadline for the completion of various military tasks, set by the Joint Commission at 20 September has not been met.

Quartering of UNITA troops

UNITA has failed to quarter all its troops. Under the Lusaka Protocol it was obliged to quarter 62,500 soldiers. Those quartered still fail to make this number.

However, of those quartered, over 11,000 have since deserted. The largest number of desertions has been at the camp in Andulo, where 1,478 soldiers have left. Andulo is the location of UNITA's military headquarters and the place where Jonas Savimbi resides.

According to many sources (see APM passim), a high proportion of those quartered are not real troops. The latest available figures from the United Nations show that 7,600 of those quartered are under the age of 18. Others were press-ganged by UNITA to make up the numbers. On 5 June the British newspaper, The Guardian, stated that according to UN and aid officials, at least half of those quartered were not real soldiers.

The London-based journal, New African, in its September issue states that UNITA still has "regular and penetration battalions, special force commandos and a technical and explosives brigade, in all numbering about 25,000 men".

UNITA police force still in operation

UNITA has failed to quarter its self-proclaimed police force, despite strong demands that it do so.

The UN Secretary General, Dr Boutros Boutros-Ghali, in his report to the UN Security Council on 11 July, (S/1996/503) stated that "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".

The Lusaka Protocol provided for the incorporation of UNITA members into the National Police so that it can function as a non-partisan institution. 12 specific principles, along with a series of modalities, were agreed on how this was to be achieved. These included arrangements for the participation of 5,500 UNITA members, including 180 officers.

However, none of the above has been implemented. Road blocks previously operated by UNITA soldiers are now under the control of UNITA "police".

Estimates of the strength of this force vary. According to a report on 23 September from the news agency Clarinet, there are 5,000 in the force. The London based journal Southscan puts the figure at 15,000.

On 18 September UNAVEM III put forward a proposal to the Joint Commission concerning the disarming and quartering of the UNITA police.

This proposals was accepted by the Angolan Government, the troika observers of Russia, the United States and Portugal. However, it was vetoed by UNITA who want the issue to be dealt with bilaterally between the two political leaders at their forthcoming summit.

UN criticises lack of weapons handed in

The United Nations has once again criticised UNITA for failing to hand over all weapons in its possession, in particular its heavy weapons and sophisticated ground to air missiles.

Some further weapons have been handed in during September. At Ntuku, Zaire Province, two tanks, seven artillery pieces, two rocket launchers, assault rifles and 14 tonnes of shells and ammunition were handed over. A further hand-over of weapons was cancelled on 16 September due to what UNITA describe as a "misunderstanding".

Other weapons were handed over at Muxinde in the north-east of the country.

According to the New African magazine UNITA still possess 100 artillery pieces, multiple rocket launchers and mortars. They also are said to have a small number of SAM-7s, SAM-14s and SAM-16s.

Savimbi waits as Government heads towards end of fourth year

A number of media commentators have recently written that UNITA is continuing with a policy of dragging out the peace process in the hope of gaining more concessions or even outright victory.

A report by the Clarinet news organisation states that "diplomats say these delaying tactics, which are reminiscent of 1992, are a way to buy time before the government mandate expires in November". It goes on to state that UNITA "is also aware of the potential for social unrest, with Angola's devastated economy suffering 10,000 percent inflation".

The report goes on to quote a diplomat as saying that "Savimbi is playing a waiting game, hoping the regime will collapse. He is trying to wriggle out of what he signed in 1994 and is now saying the timetable should be flexible".

The report concludes that "whether or not Savimbi plans to resume fighting, he is getting rich by keeping Angola in limbo. By occupying most of Angola's diamond fields, UNITA earns around $500 million a year".

A report in the New African magazine stated that, "though publicly UNITA says it will abide by the peace process, a secret agenda provides for the core elements to resume full scale guerrilla activity if the central authority in Luanda collapses. This could be provoked by an army coup d'etat or by serious civil unrest in the cities caused by food shortages".

In an ominous sign that the above analysis may be partially correct, Jonas Savimbi said in an interview with Agence France Press, AFP, that he is "waiting for the country to implode...then I will take it".

Economy stabilises

The Angolan economy has shown some tentative signs that it has begun to stabilise after the first 100 days of the new government, headed by Prime Minister Franca van Dunem.

The Angolan currency, the Kwanza, had settled at around 200,000 to the dollar following severe action taken against traders in the parallel money market, including the expulsion of some foreign nationals from the country.

The Government also introduced new controls over imports, requiring all foreign transactions to be carried out via the banking system. It is hoped that this will increase customs remittances.

Reuters reported on 20 September that the Government has halted the commercial activities of the national bank, and transferred them to the state owned Caixa de Credito Agro- Pecuaria e Pescas in a move to reduce corruption.

Most public workers have now received their pay arrears and have had their average wage increased from $20 to $40 a month.

The Government crackdown on currency and customs, along with the discovery of a massive counterfeit dollar ring, will lead to a shortage of goods in the short term, although it is hoped that this will stabilise the economy and take it out of the hands of the speculators.

UN General Assembly hears of Angola's plight

The Minister for External Relations, Venancio de Moura, has used the United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York to highlight the problems facing his country.

Speaking in the general debate on 23 September, the Minister called for a new Marshall Plan before the end of the century to help Africa through its social and economic crisis.

He said that the consequences of the cycles of poor capital and technologies, population growth and social unrest could be avoided if Africa could rely on the understanding and goodwill of its creditors and major international financial institutions that imposed economic management prescriptions without regard for each nation's realities.

Turning to Angola, he said that over 70 percent of the social and economic infrastructure and the agro-industrial base was destroyed during the war following the 1992 elections, compounding the humanitarian situation in the country.

US top official to visit Angola

According to the LUSA news agency, the US Secretary of State may make a short visit to Angola on 13 October if significant progress has been made in the peace process.

The news agency said that Warren Christopher's visit would be part of the preparations for a tour of Africa by Vice- President Al Gore.

State Department spokesperson Nicholas Burns states that "this [Angola] is a very important stop, it's meant to stimulate further movement towards full national reconciliation in Angola".

The trip to Africa, from 7-15 October is the first extended visit by a Secretary of State since 1987.

US sanctions against UNITA extended

President Clinton has written to the US Congress announcing that he is extending sanctions taken against UNITA in 1993.

In the letter he said that "discontinuation of the sanctions would have a prejudicial effect on the Angolan peace process". It continued "I have determined that it is necessary to maintain in force the broad authorities necessary to apply economic pressure to UNITA, to reduce its ability to pursue its aggressive policies of territorial acquisition".

Report documents war toll in Angola

A new report focuses on the devastation to the people and economy of Angola following the return to war in 1992. The organisation Saferworld's report: Angola - Conflict Resolution and Peace-building, suggests policy responses to "end the culture of political violence, restore social cohesion, rebuild the economy and establish a system of governance that provides a stake for all Angola's people".

Detailing the history of the Angolan conflict, including the inadequacies of UNAVEM II, it concludes that whilst responsibility for recovery and rehabilitation rests principally with the Angolan parties themselves, external assistance can prevent further conflict if effectively utilised. The report considers it "crucial that substantial aid commitments for rehabilitation and reconstruction are made conditional on the full and timely implementation of the Lusaka Protocol".

Copies of the report are available from Saferworld, tel (+44) (0)171 580 8886, e-mail

-------------------------------------------------------------- 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 subscription to Volume III of the Angola Peace Monitor is available at a cost of 10 pounds sterlinlg in Britain and 15 pounds sterling elsewhere. Please indicate whether you wish to receive the Angola Peace Monitor by post or e-mail.

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.


Message-Id: <> From: Date: Sat, 28 Sep 1996 10:25:17 -0500 Subject: Angola: Peace Monitor, III, 1

Editor: Ali B. Ali-Dinar

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