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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 Please note that many outdated links in this archived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: Oil Report; Peace Monitor
Angola: Oil Report; Peace Monitor
Date distributed (ymd): 000108
Document reposted by APIC
Region: Southern Africa
Issue Areas: +security/peace+
This posting contains a press release from Global Witness
annoucing their December 1999 report calling for
accountability for the use of oil revenues in Angola. It also
contains excerpts from the latest Angola Peace Monitor, noting
continued Angolan government military advances and ongoing
international efforts to implement sanctions against UNITA.
Another posting sent out today contains a new APIC statement
on Angola and links to additional resources.
Global Witness Press Release
5th December 1999
For further information contact Simon Taylor or Alex Yearsley
of Global Witness on: Tel: +44 (0)171 272 6731; Fax+44 (0)
171 272 9425 mobile +44 (0) 7968 160377 Email:
Report Available in English and Portuguese on Global Witness
'A Crude Awakening'
How Angolan State corruption and the lack of oil company and
banking transparency has contributed to Angola's humanitarian
and development catastrophe.
Global Witness (1) today launched a campaign to expose the
role of multinational corporations for the harmful way in
which they operate in countries that are in, or emerging from
conflict. Focusing on Angola, the report: 'A Crude
Awakening-The Role of the Oil and Banking Industries in
Angola's Civil War and the Plunder of State Assets', details
the full extent of how Angola's long suffering population are
being systematically abused in favour of corporate profits and
"As Angola is set for a massive US$18billion in oil company
investment over the next four years, the starving and war-torn
population will see little if no benefit from these vast
investments in terms of the most basic human needs," said
Simon Taylor of Global Witness. "Instead vast sums are being
siphoned off by Angola's key players, who we have named "the
This combination of massive corruption, together with the lack
of corporate transparency and accountability by oil
multinationals such as France's Elf Acquitaine, the UKs
BP-Amoco and the USs Chevron and Exxon/Mobil, whilst the
country relies on international humanitarian assistance,
coupled with murky multimillion dollar loans from private
banking and investment firms, has ensured that Angola has
remained at the lowest rungs of humanitarian development(2),
as we approach the dawning of the new millennium. Global
Witness' report exposes the activities of key individuals such
as President dos Santos, Elisio Figueiredo, Fernando Miala,
General 'Kopelipa', General Jose Maria, Jose Leitao, Desiderio
Costa, and the underhand business activities of Pierre Falcone
and Antonio 'Mosquito' Mbkassi. Global Witness is challenging
the Angolan Government to clarify the exact role of these
individuals, especially with regard to flows of Angolan State
"The oil multinationals and international financial
institutions need to urgently adopt a policy of full
transparency and accountability, thus supporting IMF attempts
to forge transparency and accountability for Angolan
Government revenue and expenditure, " said Alex Yearsley of
Global Witness "It is time to test the rhetoric of the oil
multinationals regarding their much publicised claims to
corporate transparency and social responsibility. They must
realise that if they fail to do more, they could be seen as
complicit in the further suffering of Angola's people."
 Global Witness is a British based non-governmental
organisation which focuses on the links between environmental
and human rights abuses, especially the impacts of natural
resource exploitation upon countries and their people. Using
pioneering investigative techniques, Global Witness compiles
information and evidence to be used in lobbying and to raise
awareness. Global Witness' information is used to brief
governments, inter-governmental organisations, NGOs and the
media. Global Witness has no political affiliation.
 Angola has slipped to position 160 out of 174 countries in
the UN's HDI index, according to key social indicators.
Angola Peace Monitor
Published by ACTSA (Action for Southern Africa)
Issue no.4, Vol. VI, 21st December 1999
[excerpts below : for full version see
Government pushes UNITA to edge of country
The Angolan army is continuing to pursue the remaining
military elements of Jonas Savimbi's UNITA. The army is
focussing its efforts in the east and south of the country
where UNITA has amassed its troops following its expulsion
from its headquarters in Andulo and Bailundo.
Sources indicate that there are heavy engagements around the
historic UNITA headquarters of Jamba, close to the Namibian
border in the southeast of the country. According to a report
in the South African Mail & Guardian published on 10
December, two columns of UNITA troops are reported to have
retreated to the area following UNITA's defeats in the central
highlands. Following the seizure of the town of Cuangar from
UNITA on 18 November, the army went on to take the nearby
town of Calai on 10 December. It has been stated that the
town had previously been used by UNITA as a warehouse for
illicit goods such as ivory, diamonds and timber.
According to a report by the South African Press Association
(SAPA), UNITA had held the town for the last 25 years. This
emphasises the extent to which UNITA is being routed from its
traditional strongholds, built up under the protective
umbrella of apartheid South Africa.
Namibian Defence Minister Erkki Nghimtina confirmed to Reuters
on 6 December that his government had asked the Angolan army
to hold back its offensive in the border region during the
elections in Namibia, but following the victory of SWAPO and
President Sam Nujoma the offensive was relaunched. ...
UNITA is also being fought in its other long-term strongholds
in the east of the country, along the border with Zambia. This
is the region of the country where UNITA first began military
operations against the MPLA in the 1970s prior to
independence under the protection of the Portuguese colonial
According to a SAPA press report on 16 December, ten thousand
people have fled to Zambia since October to escape the
violence engulfing the region. ...
UNITA backbone shattered
The conventional military capacity built up by UNITA since it
pledged to disarm in 1994 has been severely damaged, leaving
questions about whether it can continue to operate as a single
military force. However, senior Angolan military officers
recognise that the capacity for UNITA to continue as a
dangerous guerrilla force remains.
The Chief of Staff of the Angolan army, General Joao De Matos,
speaking in Catumbela on 18 December, said that UNITA no
longer has the capacity to take control of the country by
force. He claimed that UNITA had lost more than 80% of its
fighting capacity, with the army seizing from the rebels
15,000 tonnes of weapons, munitions and other equipment, 27
tanks, 7 artillery emplacements, 30 missiles, and hundreds of
Britain launches major diamond initiative
On 17 December the British Foreign Secretary, Robin Cook,
called on a meeting in Berlin of foreign ministers from the
G8 group of countries to take steps to curtail the worldwide
trade in illegal diamonds.
The G8 meeting agreed to investigate conflict prevention with
a focus, inter alia, on the role of the illicit trade in
diamonds. It was reported in the London Guardian that Robin
Cook secured agreement for an international project aimed at
tabling proposals by the middle of next year.
The Foreign Office has already hired the nongovernmental
organisation Global Witness to undertake research into the
possibility of an identification and global certification
scheme which could note the unique identity of every diamond.
The proposed scheme aims to curtail the sale of stolen
diamonds from regions where they have contributed to
sustaining violent conflicts, such as in Angola, Sierra Leone
and the Democratic Republic of Congo. It would have far
reaching effects on the diamond marketing industry, which it
is estimated currently receives over a third of its diamonds
through irregular channels.
UN expert panels travel
Members of the expert panels set up by the UN Security Council
to investigate the breaking of sanctions by the rebel UNITA
movement have travelled extensively over the last month as
they battle to build up evidence of how UNITA still flouts
sanctions and what must be done to stop it.
The chairman of the expert panels, Anders Mollander, and panel
member and rapporteur Stanlake Samkange, visited London on 14
December, and met with a range of government departments
about sanctions implementation, including the Department of
Trade and Industry and the Treasury.
The British government has offered $200,000 to help with the
work of the expert panels, who are due to present their
report on sanctions-busting to the UN Security Council by the
end of February 2000, with the report being made public by
the end of March.
The expert panels have reportedly received valuable
information from the British government, in contrast to the
lack of assistance from some other key governments.
Anders Mollander also headed a visit to Zambia on 16 December,
looking at how sanctions are being implemented in Angola's
neighbouring country. Mollander met with Foreign Minister
Keli Walubita, Police Inspector-General Francis Ndhlovu,
Mines Minister Syamukayumbu Syamujaye, and officials from the
national oil company and revenue authority.
On 12 December the Zambian authorities released nine
Ukrainians who had been arrested when their Antonov transport
plane was impounded at Lusaka Airport on suspicion that it
had delivered contraband to UNITA. Reports suggest that the
aircraft is still being held by the Zambian authorities.
According to a Human Rights Watch (HRW) report -- Angola
Explicada -- launched in Luanda on 16 December, the crew had
claimed to Zambian authorities that they had flown from
Gambia. However, what had drawn the aircraft to the attention
of the Zambian authorities was the thick caking of mud on the
aircraft's tyres, suggesting that it had flown from a dirt
airstrip. The HRW report makes links between the aircraft and
senior officials in Uganda.
The HRW report also publishes a list obtained from the UN
which gives the names of 20 aircraft which landed in UNITAheld
territory in 1998. Incidentally, the fact that these
aircraft were seen by UN personnel, but were not inspected,
is an indictment of the lack of proactive action taken by the
UN whilst UNITA was rearming right under its nose.
Among the list of 20 were two aircraft belonging to the state
oil company, Sonangol, and one belonging to the Angolan
government. No explanation has been offered to HRW on what
these aircraft were doing in UNITA-held territory.
Security Council to look at sanctions in January
Before the expert panels' report is published the UN Security
Council is preparing to hold a special session on the crisis
in Angola. ... The intention to hold a special session was
announced by the US ambassador to the UN, Richard Holbrooke,
on 6 December at a speech in South Africa at the end of his
10-nation African tour, including a two-day stop in Angola.
The US diplomat announced that when the US takes over the
presidency of the UN Security Council for the month of January
2000 it will make Africa the priority, naming January the
"Month of Africa".
Holbrooke announced that at the special Security Council
meeting "we will immediately begin to seek ways to tighten
the sanctions regime (against UNITA). But I want to say that
this does not mean a blank cheque for oppression by either
party in this struggle. Those responsible for this endless
war, now in its thirty-fifth year, deserve the contempt and
the opprobrium of the world."
However, the expert panels reportedly remain unhappy with the
lack of openness of the US adminstration over critical
intelligence which they believe it has yet to release
concerning UNITA activities.
US official visits Angola
The visit of Ambassador Holbrooke was followed by a visit by
the US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, Thomas
Pickering, on 15 December. At the end of his day-long visit to
Luanda, Pickering stated that "the circumstances for peace
During his visit he met with President Jose Eduardo dos
Santos, Defence Minister Kundi Paihama, and gave an address
at the Catholic University in Luanda.
New report on oil and loans
London-based nongovernmental organisation, Global Witness, has
released a report stating that major international oil
companies and private financial institutions have been
funding Angola's war effort against Jonas Savimbi's UNITA.
The 23-page report "A Crude Awakening", was published on 5
December in London, and simultaneously published in the
Portuguese newspaper O Publico. Simon Taylor of Global
Witness said that, "As Angola is set for a massive $18
billion in oil company investment over the next four years,
the starving and war-torn population will see little if no
benefit from these vast investments in terms of the most
basic human needs".
The report estimates that direct Angolan state income from the
oil sector was in the range of $1.8 to $3 billion per year
for the period 19901991, rising to an estimated $2.9 to $3.2
billion per year during the years 2003 to 2010.
It points out that the oil sector accounts for as much as 90
per cent of government revenue, and plays a pivotal role in
funding the war economy. The report highlights the economic
phenomena known as the "Dutch Disease" which "refers to the
stagnatory effects of oil resources on the development of
other sectors of the economy; in particular, the failure to
invest in traditional export sectors".
The report accuses international businesses of complicity for
allowing a lack of transparency in the Angolan government's
financial dealings. The report claims that "a significant
portion of Angola's derived wealth is being subverted for
personal gain and to support the aspirations of elite
individuals, at the centre of power around the Presidency".
The report names a number of senior individuals, prompting the
threat of legal action by the Angolan government, which says
the report does not substantiate the claims with evidence.
The report urges oil companies to "establish a formal
coalition, which should support the IMF attempts to forge
transparency and accountability for Angolan Government revenue
and expenditure"; though Global Witness' seeming enthusiasm
for a strong IMF role puts it at odds with those who criticise
the Fund's part in exacerbating poverty in many countries.
The report's argument that large amounts of oil resources have
been used to pay for the war and indeed that some people
have made profits from this would be denied by few. But it
does little to substantiate its claim that there are "vested
interests of elite individuals, which are driving the war, and
which severely limit the incentive to look for peace".
This return to the theme of equivalence between the government
of Angola and UNITA comes at a time when even the oldest
allies of Jonas Savimbi have been forced to recognise by the
history of events that, in the words of the UN Security
Council, "the primary cause of the current crisis in Angola is
the failure of the leadership of UNITA to comply with its
obligations under the Lusaka Protocol". ...
UN to press ahead with UNOA
The UN Security Council has called on UN Secretary General
Kofi Annan to press ahead with arrangements to open the UN
Office in Angola, UNOA.
The Security Council voted on 15 October with Resolution 1268
to open the office, with a remit to "liaise with the
political, military, police and other civilian authorities,
with a view to exploring effective measures for restoring
peace, assisting the Angolan people in the area of capacitybuilding,
humanitarian assistance, the promotion of human
rights, and coordinating other activities".
The Angolan government has not moved on its previously stated
position that the office is to concentrate on humanitarian
assistance and strengthening the government's human rights
Civil society delegation visits Europe and Canada
"Angolan Reflections on Peace Building" a conference jointly
organised by the Netherlands Institute for Southern African
(NIZA) and the Interchurch Organisation for Development
Cooperation (ICCO) was held in The Hague on 9 December. The
conference brought together representatives from across
Angolan civil society, including Fernando Pacheco, Director of
the NGO, ADRA, Ana Garcia of the Federation of Independent
Trade Unions and Daniel Ntoni Nzinga coordinator of the
On their way to another conference in Canada, the delegation,
which also included representatives from the Protestant,
Evangelical and Catholic Churches, visited London where they
met Foreign Office officials as well as ACTSA, Christian Aid
and the Catholic Institute for International Relations
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: http://www.anc.org.za/angola
This material is being reposted for wider distribution by the
Africa Policy Information Center (APIC). APIC's primary
objective is to widen international policy debates around
African issues, by concentrating on providing accessible
policy-relevant information and analysis usable by a wide
range of groups and individuals.