Get AfricaFocus Bulletin by e-mail!
Print this page
This document is from the archive of the Africa Policy E-Journal, published
by the Africa Policy Information Center (APIC) from 1995 to 2001 and by Africa Action
from 2001 to 2003. APIC was merged into Africa Action in 2001. Please note that many outdated links in this archived
document may not work.
Angola: Peace Monitor, VI, 9
Angola: Peace Monitor, VI, 9
Date distributed (ymd): 000605
Document reposted by APIC
Region: Southern Africa
Issue Areas: +security/peace+
This posting contains the latest issue of the Angola Peace Monitor,
noting in particular delays in follow-up on implementation of new
UN Security Council steps to enforce sanctions against UNITA. The
posting also reports on a conference in South Africa on "conflict
diamonds." Back issues of the Angola Peace Monitor are available on
the World Wide Web at: http://www.anc.org.za/angola
Angola Peace Monitor
Published by ACTSA
Issue no.9, Vol. VI 24th May 2000
UN struggles to enforce sanctions against UNITA
Concern is growing about the huge amount of work needed to follow
up the decisions of the UN Security Council, before it is due in
November to consider further action against those breaking the
embargoes placed on the rebel-movement UNITA. In particular, the
group of experts due to look for further evidence of complicity in
this sanctions busting has not yet been constituted, leaving just
over four months for the experts to produce an authoritative
The UN Security Council on 18 April agreed action to crack down on
violations of UN sanctions against Jonas Savimbi's UNITA. UN
Security Council Resolution 1295 agreed a mechanism for monitoring
and enforcing the sanctions, and called for the convening of expert
conferences or workshops to help stem sanctions busting on arms and
petroleum to UNITA, the sale of diamonds from UNITA, and to tighten
financial sanctions against the rebels. The resolution also invited
the Southern African Development Community, SADC, to take action to
stop fuel in the region being diverted to UNITA (see APM no.8 vol.
VI for a fuller report). The resolution followed the report of the
Expert Panel discussed by the Security Council on 15 March, which
detailed UNITA sanctions busting (see APM no.7 vol. VI for a precis
of the report).
Various governments have forwarded names of experts they think
should be part of the new UN monitoring mechanism, which will
eventually be made up of five experts to collect information,
investigate leads and verify information concerning sanctions
busting. However, the experts will only have until 18 October 2000
to provide a written report to the Security Council. This report
will be used as the basis for action against any member state found
to have violated the mandatory international embargoes.
The Security Council has set a deadline of 18 November for an
initial decision on action against transgressors; action they shied
away from in April. It is not clear what further evidence they hope
to receive by this date from the new monitoring mechanism.
The practical focus of action against sanctions busters is
currently on two areas, Togo and diamonds.
SADC considers position on Togo
An immediate focus for follow-up from the Expert Panel is the
growing confrontation over the Angolan government's call for fellow
African states to take action against Togo.
The Fowler Report of the Expert Panel to the UN Security Council
(see APM no.7 vol. VI) named President Gnassingbe Eyadema of Togo
as one of the main supporters of Jonas Savimbi, helping him smuggle
arms into Angola. It stated that following the fall of President
Mobutu in Zaire, Eyadema became the primary supplier of end-user
certificates for arms and military equipment for UNITA. It also
reported that Togo gave refuelling facilities for smugglers flying
into Angola, and that $5 million was given by Savimbi to Eyadema
for safe keeping.
In July the Organisation of African Unity is due to meet in Togo,
and to elect President Eyadema as Chair of the organisation. Angola
has announced that it will boycott the meeting, and is calling for
other African countries to do the same. Angola points out that the
Fowler Report recommended that sanctions should be applied against
leaders and countries who have deliberately broken sanctions
On 18 May, Angolan Foreign Minister Joao Miranda said in the
Mozambican capital, Maputo, that his country expects, "the
Organisation of African Unity (OAU) not to clash with or rebel
against the resolutions of the United Nations".
Miranda was speaking after a meeting with Mozambican Prime Minister
Pascoal Mocumbi to whom he reiterated that Angola will boycott the
next OAU summit, scheduled for 10 and 12 July.
Mozambique is currently chair of SADC. Miranda raised the issue
with Prime Minister Mocumbi, who stated that "Mozambique's reaction
is that it is in solidarity with Angola, but Mozambique has
regional responsibilities and will have to consult with other
If SADC was to lead a boycott of the summit it might block the
election of President Eyadema. However, it is unclear whether SADC
will be able to find a common position.
Conference looks at conflict diamonds
An international conference on 11 - 12 May in South Africa brought
together governments, industry and non-governmental organisations
to take a close look at diamond production in conflict zones in
Africa, and at the wider issues of strengthening economic
development benefits in producer countries. The conference, held in
Kimberley and convened by the South African Department of Minerals
and Energy, can be seen as a reaction by diamond producers to
pressure from campaign groups highlighting the role of illicit
sales of rough diamonds in funding the military capacity of rebel
groups such as UNITA in Angola.
The convenors succeeded in bringing together most of the key
players including government and industry representatives from
Namibia, Botswana, the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Africa,
Angola, India, and both the Diamond High Council and the government
of Belgium. Also present at the conference were the British Foreign
and Commonwealth Office and the US State Department. However,
conspicuous by their absence were Israel and Russia. In a keynote
address, Noe Baltazar of ASCORP outlined the Angolan governments
new diamond regime.
It was reported by Reuters on 16 May that British Foreign Minister,
Robin Cook, plans to push forward the recommendations of the
conference during a meeting with Russia's Foreign Minister.
Despite sharp debate, particularly over whether technical methods
of marking or identifying diamonds could play a useful role, some
significant consensus emerged. There was agreement on the need for
action to set up a global certification scheme to enable rough
diamonds to be reliably tracked from mine to market.
It was also proposed that a working group of key stakeholders would
be set up to take forward proposals from this technical conference
to a ministerial level meeting, which was proposed to be held in
UNITA hits humanitarian aid
The Angolan Armed Forces (FAA) have continued to make gains against
Jonas Savimbi's military remnants.
Fighting has continued along the eastern border with Zambia, and
there have been reports that this has spilled over into Zambian
On 10 May Zambia's Minister of Defence, Chitalu Sampa, alleged that
Angolan aircraft had violated Zambian airspace in the west and
north-west of Zambia while pursuing UNITA troops. He also claimed
that on 27 April Angolan troops had moved four kilometres into
Zambia, where they clashed with Zambian troops, killing one and
injuring three. He also claimed that there was another clash with
Zambian troops on 23 April, twenty kilometres into Zambia at Nguvu.
There have previously been reports that the clashes with Zambian
troops were in fact with UNITA fighters, but the Zambians clearly
now believe that the Angolan forces are carrying out hot pursuit
into Zambian territory.
The Angolan authorities had made a formal request to Zambia in
April to allow FAA to carry out hot pursuit against UNITA bandits;
a request that was refused. However, the lack of political will on
the Zambian side to take action against UNITA bases inside Zambia
has led to renewed accusations that senior political figures in
Zambia are covertly supporting the rebels.
The Pan African News Agency reported on 18 May that the Angolan
government has called for an urgent meeting of the joint military
commission, which was set up to resolve military tensions between
the two countries. The article states that the Angolan government
has denied the claims against them, and in particular counter-claim
that Zambian troops came into Angolan territory, leading to the
clash in which one Zambian soldier died.
UNITA continues to claim victories on the battlefront, inflicting
high casualties on FAA. It claims that on 8 May it killed 49
soldiers at Kuango barracks; on 6 May it killed 27 soldiers at
Kwanda near Soyo; on 7 May it killed 19 soldiers at the border
village of Luau; on 11 May it killed 32 soldiers at Kuemba; and on
12 May it killed 29 soldiers at Maria Teresa, near Katete.
The Angolan army has continued to keep news from the conflict under
wraps, making it impossible to verify UNITA's claims. There is no
further news concerning previous reports that a major attack on the
UNITA base of Cazombo in the east of the country is imminent.
Humanitarian agencies targeted
Reports from international aid agencies confirm that UNITA has
reverted to hit and run tactics, attacking convoys and laying
mines. On 30 April a World Food Programme (WFP) convoy was attacked
by UNITA. Four lorries carrying 50 tonnes of maize, beans, salt and
cooking oil were ambushed near Cubal. Three of the trucks were
destroyed. The convoy had been bringing vital food for the Catholic
Relief Services kitchens at Cubal, which are feeding around 30,000
people who have been displaced by war.
This attack occurred as the World Food Programme warned that it is
running out of basic goods.
On 12 May a shipment arrived of relief food worth $15 million
donated by the European Union. A spokesperson for WFP told the UN's
IRIN news agency that "donors such as the European Union are the
life blood that will enable WFP to sustain our efforts against the
danger of malnutrition and starvation. This donation will cover one
month of maize rations for the 1,200,000 people currently
registered to receive food from WFP".
However, the spokesperson warned that WFP had received less than
half of its estimated needs as contained in the original appeal for
the year 2000. It is now estimated that the number in need will
rise to 1,500,000. He continued that "we need large donations
immediately, otherwise we will run out of food by August".
This seems to be a real danger, with the WFP already planning to
cut down on rations. The WFP's revised budgetary needs for Angola
in 2000 is now $208 million.
Although part of the increased need is due to continued insecurity,
the situation is worsened by the fact that many people did not
plant their crops this year, and unfavourable rainfall exacerbated
the problem. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation,
cereal production is likely to fall by 5% in the year 1999/2000.
They conclude that in the year 2000/2001 the country will need
333,000 tonnes of food aid and 420,000 tonnes of commercial food
A further limitation to the humanitarian relief effort is the
costly need to fly in aid to cities such as Kuito, due to poor and
insecure roads. However, even the airbridge to Kuito is under
pressure, with the WFP only able to bring in five of the ten planes
it needs every day to feed the 125,000 internally displaced people
and the 140,000 residents. This is because the airstrip is in such
poor condition that it is often closed for makeshift repairs.
Angolan government strengthens international links
The UN Secretary General's Special Advisor on African conflicts,
Ibrahim Gambari, arrived in Angola on 16 May, to discuss the formal
opening of the UN Office in Angola (UNOA).
Among the issues raised during meetings with Angola's President and
Foreign Minister were the exact role of the office, and who will
take over as the UN Secretary General's Special Representative. He
also discussed Angola's proposal to hold national elections next
A delegation from the World Bank arrived in Luanda in mid-May to
follow up plans to fund a project to bring clean water and
sanitation to the overcrowded capital. The project was given the
green light in April with the formal agreement between Angola and
the International Monetary Fund for a Staff Monitored Programme,
which could lead to a full structural adjustment programme. It is
expected that details of the agreement will become public shortly.
Another important international visitor to Angola during May will
be Susan Rice, US President Bill Clinton's Assistant Secretary of
State for Africa. She will be taking part in the "US/Angola
bilateral forum" which aims to improve relations between the two
The United States has been increasing its presence in Angola.
Recently it was announced that the US has granted half a million
dollars to Norwegian People's Aid for demining projects in Angola.
Priority will be given to Moxico province, which suffers from many
Project to revitalise coffee production
Following the relatively successful military campaign by the
Angolan army to push back UNITA, some efforts are being made to
bring life back to the nation's economy.
The International Coffee Organisation (ICO) is supporting efforts
to rehabilitate the coffee growing sector in Angola. It has helped
develop a pilot project budgeted at $8 million which aims to divide
old coffee plantations to provide land and sustainable income for
up to a thousand families in a pilot project in Kwanza Sul
The Pilot Project entitled "Rehabilitation of Family Farms
producing Robusta Coffee in Angola" is currently being submitted to
the intergovernmental Common Fund for Commodities. When running, it
will operate in the municipality of Amboim, which has a long
tradition of coffee production and is regarded as safe, at least in
relative terms. The project is expected to last three years in its
By the time of liberation from Portugal in 1975, 596,000 hectares
of land was under coffee production, with 2,000 coffee plantations
- over seventy percent of these being larger than 100 hectares.
Eighty five percent of coffee production was in the hands of
The coffee sector employed 190,000 people, which represented 6.3%
of the active population. Of these 60,000 were peasants farming
The coffee plantations were extremely profitable, and made enormous
payments to the colonial administration and the Coffee Institute of
Angola's "coffee diversification fund". These high rates of profit
were based on plantation owners entering into contracts with the
Portuguese colonial administration which provided them with
contract labour (akin to slave labour). In general local people did
not work on the plantations.
Angola's coffee was predominantly an export product, with more than
half exported to the United States.
Coffee has suffered from a relative decline in price, common
amongst many primary products. Coffee prices received by the small
peasants were even further deflated by the excessive system of
small traders and middlemen, who left the peasants with little to
show for their work.
In 1972/73 coffee production reached 4 million bags, making Angola
the fourth largest producer in the world. Currently, Angola only
produces 64,000 bags, barely enough to cover domestic demand. Apart
from the fact that plantations were abandoned by their owners
around the time of liberation, many thousands of contract workers
spontaneously left the plantations for home following the breaking
of their contractual chains by the revolution. While the
international cartel of the 1970's has been dismantled, recent
action to restrict production by coffee producers and growing
global demand is expected to lead to some increase in prices - at
least for Arabica beans. Project aims
The overall aim of the project is to create an economically
sustainable model of coffee production that can be transferred to
other ex-coffee plantations in Angola, and even to other countries.
Its wider aim is for a replicable model which can be transferred to
other projects in Angola and elsewhere.
The project will take over plantations in the locality that have
suffered degradation. Each of the thousand families will be given
2 hectares of land for coffee production and 1.5 hectares for food
crops. At the beginning of the project, families will be given food
in exchange for labour. Tools and other resources will be given,
along with agro-technical support and marketing support.
The $8 million project is to be funded from several sources,
including the Common Fund for Commodities, and the governmental
Instituto Nacional de Caf de Angola (INCA) and other donors.
Coffee nurseries will be established to produce seedlings for
planting. The density of plants will be dramatically increased and
improved growing techniques aim to increase yields to 350 kg/ha of
green coffee by year three. It is hoped that by the seventh year
there will be yields of 800 kg/ha.
There has been great stress in the proposal for the production of
high quality beans. With fierce competition in the world coffee
market, and with the price of Robusta coffee currently depressed,
quality is seen as being the route to sustainability.
The Angola Peace Monitor is produced every month by ACTSA - Action
for Southern Africa. ACTSA, 28 Penton Street, London N1 9SA; e-mail
email@example.com; fax +44 20 7837 3001 telephone +44 20
This material is being reposted for wider distribution by the
Africa Policy Information Center (APIC). APIC provides
accessible information and analysis in order to promote U.S.
and international policies toward Africa that advance economic,
political and social justice and human and cultural rights.