Angola: Peace Monitor, V, 12, 9/5/99

Angola: Peace Monitor, V, 12, 9/5/99

Angola: Peace Monitor, V, 12
Date Distributed (ymd): 990905
Document reposted by APIC

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Region: Southern Africa
Issue Areas: +security/peace+
Summary Contents:
This issue of the Angolan Peace Monitor reports on the ongoing war and humanitarian crisis which the Food and Agriculture Organization characterizes as the worst crisis of the 16 African countries currently receiving emergency food aid.

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Angola Peace Monitor Published by ACTSA on behalf of the Angola Emergency Campaign Issue no.12, Vol. V 3 September 1999

Two hundred people die every day, says UN

The United Nations has warned of the critical condition of the two millionAngolans who have fled their homes and who are now suffering from a lack offood, medicines, shelter and arable land. The UN continues to hold the rebel movement UNITA responsible for the war, and is calling on the international community to provide aid to meet the crisis.

The President of the UN Security Council on 24 August released a statement(S/PRST/1999/26) in which the Security Council "reiterates that the primarycause of the current crisis in Angola is the failure of the leadership ofUNITA to comply with its obligations under the Lusaka Protocol, and again demands that UNITA comply immediately and without conditions with itsobligations to demilitarise and permit the extension of State administration to areas under its control".

The statement urged "both parties to ensure full respect for human rightsand international humanitarian law. In this connection, the Council urgesUNITA to cease committing atrocities, including killing civilians andattacking humanitarian aid workers".

Humanitarian conditions in Angola have continued to deteriorate, withestimates from the United Nations that two hundred people are dying everyday as a result of hunger, sickness and war. Little is known of what ishappening in UNITA-held areas, but the focus remains on getting supplies through to the major cities of Huambo, Cuito and Malanje. Figures releasedon 17 August from the UN Office for the Co-ordination of HumanitarianAffairs (UCAH) show that in Huambo there are now more than 175,000 displaced people, in Cuito 72,810, and in Malanje 134,724.

Malanje is considered the worst-hit, and the Angolan government has declared it a "humanitarian disaster area". Malnutrition in the city is estimated bythe United Nations to have reached 30 per cent. Local residents aresuffering as severely as the displaced people. Humanitarian agencies have been struggling to get their emergency aid into the city, which issporadically under fire from UNITA's heavy artillery. According to JaneStandley, filing a rare television report from Malanje for the BBC on 24August, the city has been shelled nearly every day this year.

On 28 July UNITA fired ten shells on Malanje, killing four and wounding six. Another four people died on 27 July when a car belonging to the respectedAngolan NGO ADRA was ambushed on the road linking Malanje with Cacuso.

According to the Bishop of Malanje, Luis Maria de Onraita, quoted on 14August in the British newspaper, The Independent, "local food stocks areexhausted. People cannot get out of the city to their fields. Ifinternational donors do not help these people they are all condemned todeath". In the same article, Medecins sans Frontieres estimates that half of Malanje's 100,000 children are malnourished, with a quarter of thesesuffering from severe malnutrition.

On 31 July the UN's World Food Programme managed to get 240 tonnes of foodinto the city. The supplies were brought by seven trucks, and the driversreceived a heroes welcome for risking their lives. This was the firstdelivery since the end of May. The WFP planned to transport a further 2,200 tonnes of food by the end of August. During the week 6-13 August theydelivered a further 800 tonnes. Approximately 2,200 tonnes of food arerequired monthly to meet Malanje's needs.

The planting season for the next harvest is due to take place in Septemberand October. However, hundreds of thousands of small-scale farmers have been forced to flee their land due to UNITA attacks. There is a severe shortageof land in secure areas, and a lack of seeds and tools. A poor harvest will intensify the problems faced by Angola.

Three million Angolans remain inaccessible to the humanitarian agencies,many of these living in areas under the control of UNITA. Many thousands ofthese continue to flee to government-controlled areas.

International community responds to worst crisis in Africa

The international humanitarian organisations active in Angola have beenstriving to meet the ever increasing demands. The UN Food and AgriculturalOrganisation has stated that Angola has the worst problems of 16 countriesreceiving emergency food aid.

On 22 July in Geneva the United Nations relaunched its 1999 ConsolidatedInter-Agency Appeal for Angola in response to the worsening situation (seeAPM no.11 vol.V). The appeal was increased from $66 million to just under$106 million, split between nine different UN organisations as follows (inUS$):

Organisation Original Revised Pledges % needs

FAO 1,692,5 00 6,414,000 0 0.0
IOM 3,807,000 0 0 0.0
OHCHR 1,100,200 550,000 0 0.0
UNDP 4,785,250 2,650,500 476,191 18.0
UNHCR 4,830,732 4,830,732 996,662 41.3
UNICEF 14,900,000 17,800,000 3,900,226 21.9
WHO 943,400 943,000 142,653 15.1
WFP 31,162,250 69,344,938 30,444,814 43.9

Total 66,665,852 105,978,190 39,070,506 37.8%

By mid-July total humanitarian assistance to Angola in 1999 by
donor was as follows:

Donor Total US$ % of funding

USA 20,178,986 33.89
Sweden 9,191,161 15.44
Netherlands 4,839,964 8.13
Germany 4,594,236 7.72
France 3,223,788 5.41
Switzerland 2,564,245 4.31
Britain 1,989,378 3.34
Norway 1,640,875 2.76
Canada 1,636,802 2.75
Denmark 1,610,797 2.71
Others 8,075,487 13.56

The WFP announced on 20 August that the US had promised a further donationof $13.5 million for its work in Angola, to pay for the delivery andtransportation of 19,000 tonnes of food. This donation will make up morethan a third of the total needed by the WFP in 1999.

According to the WFP Representative in Angola, Francesco Strippoli, "this is the first substantial response to the new appeal and we hope that it willencourage other donors to contribute the remaining two-thirds of therequirement within the next few weeks".

ICRC launches appeal

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on 11 August launched an appeal to raise US $28 million for Angola. When added to its other Angolaprogrammes, the total budget is over $36 million, making it their thirdlargest programme in Africa.

The British NGO Oxfam has announced that it needs to triple its water andsanitation projects in Huambo, Malanje and Cuito, which will cost a further1.2 million. Oxfam hopes to raise the funds from institutional donors suchas the European Union or the British government's Department for International Development.

A spokesperson for Oxfam, Matthew Granger, praised the internationalcommunity for "moving mountains" in its relief efforts in Kosovo, but called for a similar response for Angola.

His view was echoed in Angola by the UN Under Secretary-General forHumanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Sergio Vieira deMello, who said on 16 August that, "I was concerned that the very high level of attention and solidarity towards Kosovo inevitably would distractcapitals, ministries of finance, and therefore resources, from criseselsewhere in the world. I hope I was wrong, but we will tell in the next few months."

Congo peace deal signed

On 31 August the main rebel movements in the Democratic Republic of Congosigned the peace accord aimed at ending that country's war.

The peace accord states that observers from the Organisation of AfricanUnity will be deployed within 30 days, with a UN peacekeeping missionfollowing within months.

There are still major doubts as to whether the peace agreement will hold,but one of the key elements in the accord is the disarming of all armedmilitias in the country. This may pose a threat to rebel soldiers fromUNITA, who operate over the porous border with Angola. Another key elementof the accord is the withdrawal of foreign troops, which should end the Angolan army's role in the country.

Oil price rises boost government finances

The recent increases in oil prices, which at their worst dropped to around$9 a barrel, have given the Angolan government a huge boost in income. Thevast majority of the government's income comes from oil revenues, and withprices now around $20 a barrel the Angolan government has substantial extraresources to boost its military capacity.

On 6 August the Angolan Council of Ministers met and announced an increasein the national budget of 31.1 percent. It was also announced that $20million was to be made available for humanitarian relief, half of which wasearmarked for food. The first tranche of money will be $3 million for the purchase of farming equipment. The meeting also approved the purchase of two IL-76 cargo aircraft for the national airline TAAG.

The Council of Ministers has also agreed to create a social and economicdevelopment fund in an attempt to relaunch the economy, with $150 million at its disposal.

Military situation boils

During the month of August UNITA stepped up its attacks on small towns andvillages throughout the country, resulting in many deaths and thousands ofpeople fleeing to the provincial capitals. However, there is no sign thatthe government army has been able to respond to the attacks.

UNITA has claimed that it is holding territory within 50 kilometers ofLuanda. In recent weeks there have been reports of attacks by UNITA on thetowns of Caxito and Catete.

Fighting is increasing in Benguela province, and around 30,000 people haverecently fled to the town of Cubal. It was reported that UNITA had shelledthe town of Balombo on 16 August and destroyed a strategic bridge, cuttingroad access from Benguela to Cubal and Ganda, and to Huambo. Thirteen people were reported to have been killed and 12 injured on the same road.

Reports state that heavy fighting in Uige Province has led to thousands ofpeople fleeing to Uige city. The UN reports that a large number of peopleare fleeing fighting around Sanza Pombo.

In Huila province, a road bridge linking Matala and Kuvango was destroyed.There have also been recent reports of guerilla units moving towards Lubango from the UNITA held towns of Kubango, Chipido and Chicomba. Rebels are alsosaid to have seized the town of Jamba in the same province.

The Namibian government has confirmed that it has arrested seven UNITAsoldiers in the Caprivi Strip, where they are alleged to have been fightingwith a local separatist movement.

Another suspected UNITA atrocity was uncovered in Angola in August. About100 bodies were found dumped in four wells in the Chipeta region of Bieprovince near Cuito. The area had reportedly been under the control of UNITA until a couple of months ago when the Angolan army retook the area.

There is still no sign of the expected dry-season offensive by governmentforces. With the rains due to start in September/October, it is clear thatthe government has not yet prepared itself for large scale battles withUNITA's forces. Military supplies are still being flown into Huambo, reports say.

IMF visits Angola again

An International Monetary Fund mission arrived in Angola on 31 August toassess the implementation of the latest economic reforms. The ten-day tripby a technical mission is led by Paul Newhouse, who visited Angola in April. Negotiations are underway to create a staff-monitored macro-economicprogramme which could, if successful, open the door for IMF-sponsored debtrestructuring.

Particular problems have stood in the way of previous attempts to getinternational backing for restructuring Angola's debt - now standing at anestimated $13 billion. In particular, exchange rate policy and transparencyin oil revenues have posed obstacles to IMF participation in the country. However, the current Finance Minister, Joaquim David, and the Governor ofthe Bank of Angola, Aguinaldo Jaime, have an increasingly high reputation in financial circles for their handling of the recent financial crisis whichsaw the government's budget shrink by a third in a short space of time asoil prices plummeted. The two visited the World Bank and the IMF in Washington in May.

Civil society initiatives continue

One of the leading supporters of the "peace manifesto" launched on 15 July(see APM no.11 vol.V) spoke at a meeting organised by the British-AngolaForum at the Royal Institute of International Affairs on 26 August atChatham House. Marques is one of the founding members of the Angolan Group of Reflection for Peace - GARP.

During his address, Marques claimed that "the Lusaka Peace Protocol wasdrafted by Alioune Blondin Beye and the Portuguese Ambassador, and was apre-arranged deal by foreigners". He spoke of the need for Angolan civilsociety to open dialogue with the Government and Jonas Savimbi's UNITA.

UN to open new office in Angola

The UN has announced that it is to open a liaison office in Luanda comprised of 30 people. In a letter to the UN Security Council on 11 August the UNSecretary General, Kofi Annan, wrote that the new office is beingestablished "with a view to exploring effective measures for restoringpeace".

A Security Council resolution authorising the mission is expected to beapproved after 23 September.

SADC offers non-military support

Leaders of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) on 19 Augustpledged greater political and non-military support to the government ofAngola, but stopped short of the fuller military intervention predicted bysome.

SADC leaders denounced Jonas Savimbi and declared that he had "ceased to bea viable interlocutor to the solution of the Angolan conflict", backing theAngolan government position that there is nothing left to negotiate withSavimbi. The Angolan president's spokesperson, Aldemiro Vas da Conceicao expressed this view on 27 August, stating the government's resolve to keepto the Lusaka Protocol but "with the exclusion of Jonas Savimbi".

Jonas Savimbi offers negotiations

Jonas Savimbi has given his first interviews in several months to reportersfrom the BBC and Voice of America on 16 August, during which he called fornew negotiations with the government.

During the BBC World Service interview he claimed that "there is nohumanitarian catastrophe in Angola, it has all been invented by the Luandagovernment to extort food out of the international community".

UNITA's position on the Lusaka Protocol was expanded on during an interviewgiven by Alcides Sakala to Reuters on 31 August. He said that "UNITA isready to talk to Dos Santos so that we can discuss our differences. ButLusaka is dead, completely dead. We would have to begin from a new realityaccording to the situation on the ground today."

Sanctions panels created

The two expert panels appointed to look at UN sanctions against UNITA metfor the first time on 26 August in New York. The Chairman of the UNSanctions Committee, Ambassador Robert Fowler, said that the creation of the panels would significantly improve the committee's ability to limit UNITA's capacity to make war.

The UN has estimated that UNITA has sold between $3 and $4 billion worth ofdiamonds since it returned to war in 1992, and has bought sophisticatedweaponry with the income.

The first panel will be made up of six experts investigating UNITA's revenue and their source of petroleum supplies. The second panel, with four experts, will look at sources of military support for UNITA.

The Swedish Ambassador to the UN, Anders Mollander, will chair both panels,whilst Botswana's Colonel Otisitswe Broza Tiroyamodimo will be thevice-chair.

Panel members include Stanlake Samkange of Zimbabwe; George McKay, Namibia's chief detective inspector with the Ministry of Mines and Energy; OlivierValles from France; Benny Lombard, a small arms expert from South Africa;and Melvin Holt, an Interpol agent from the United States.

The panel is to submit its first report to the Security Council by the endof September.

Aircraft impounded in Zambia

There have been conflicting reports over a cargo plane impounded at LusakaAirport, with allegations that it was part of a UNITA smuggling operation. The crew of nine Ukrainians and one South African is being questioned overthe allegations that the plane was breaking UN sanctions.

Some reports emanating from the Zambian authorities state that the plane was empty and en route to South Africa to pick up oil products for UNITA.However, other sources have claimed that the aircraft was laden with armsfrom the Ukraine, and suggest that the crew have not been arrested.


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,
fax +44 171 837 3001, telephone +44 171 833 3133.

Back issues of the Angola Peace Monitor are available on the World Wide Web at:
Message-Id: <> From: "APIC" <> Date: Sun, 5 Sep 1999 16:36:31 -0500 Subject: Angola: Peace Monitor, V, 12

Editor: Ali B. Ali-Dinar

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