news analysis advocacy
AfricaFocus Bookshop
New Gift CDs
China & Africa
tips on searching

Search AfricaFocus and 9 Partner Sites

 

 

Visit the AfricaFocus
Country Pages

Algeria
Angola
Benin
Botswana
Burkina Faso
Burundi
Cameroon
Cape Verde
Central Afr. Rep.
Chad
Comoros
Congo (Brazzaville)
Congo (Kinshasa)
Côte d'Ivoire
Djibouti
Egypt
Equatorial Guinea
Eritrea
Ethiopia
Gabon
Gambia
Ghana
Guinea
Guinea-Bissau
Kenya
Lesotho
Liberia
Libya
Madagascar
Malawi
Mali
Mauritania
Mauritius
Morocco
Mozambique
Namibia
Niger
Nigeria
Rwanda
São Tomé
Senegal
Seychelles
Sierra Leone
Somalia
South Africa
South Sudan
Sudan
Swaziland
Tanzania
Togo
Tunisia
Uganda
Western Sahara
Zambia
Zimbabwe

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 Please note that many outdated links in this archived document may not work.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, VII, 4

Angola: Peace Monitor, VII, 4
Date distributed (ymd): 010111
Document reposted by APIC

+++++++++++++++++++++Document Profile+++++++++++++++++++++

Region: Southern Africa
Issue Areas: +security/peace+
Summary Contents:
This posting contains excerpts from the latest issue of the Angola Peace Monitor, with a summary of the latest UN report on sanctions against UNITA. The full report can be found at:
http://www.un.org/Depts/dpa/docs/monitoringmechanism.htm

Another posting today contains excerpts from an unofficial version of the December UN report on Sierra Leone, which likewise addresses issues of conflict diamonds, weapons and sanctions enforcement.

+++++++++++++++++end profile++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Angola Peace Monitor
Published by ACTSA
Issue no.4, Vol. VII, 5th January 2001

ACTSA, 28 Penton Street, London N1 9SA, UK; e-mail actsa@actsa.org; fax +44 20 7837 3001; telephone +44 20 7833 3133; web: http://www.actsa.org.

The Angola Peace Monitor can now be found at
http://www.anc.org.za/angola, as well as on the ACTSA web site, along with a useful search engine at: http://www.actsa.org/apm A Portuguese translation of the APM can be found at: http://www.angonet.org

[excerpts; full text of Peace Monitor at
http://www.anc.org.za/angola]

Monitoring Mechanism Report

A major new report published by the United Nations in December warns that "only tight control on the strict compliance with the sanctions [on UNITA] will assist in forcing UNITA, at some time, to fully comply with the peace process it has betrayed".

On 21 December 2000 the final report of the Monitoring Mechanism on Angola Sanctions was presented to the Chairman of the UN Security Council Committee concerning the situation in Angola, Ambassador Paul Heinbecker. It details how the Angolan rebel movement, UNITA, has broken international sanctions, by smuggling diamonds out of Angola, and illegally importing large quantities of arms.

The Mechanism concludes that "there is no doubt that the sanctions, together with the military operations carried out by the Angolan armed forces and the vigilance of the international community, are hurting UNITA's ability to wage war", and continues "however, since peace has not yet been achieved, the international community cannot leave the Angolan situation unattended".

Drawing on evidence that the same networks of international dealers are profiting from conflicts elsewhere in Africa, the Mechanism stresses that "peace in Angola will also have an important impact in the Democratic Republic of Congo and in Sierra Leone, where so many efforts are being deployed to stop the conflicts that have ravaged those countries".

It continued, "we have to take into account that there are many common elements in terms of arms, diamond dealers and air transport carriers involved in these conflicts. It would not be a surprise to see emerging the same names, companies and activities related to the organised crime profiting from death, destruction and greed. Those elements have no nationality or loyalty of any kind and can be found today in Angola and tomorrow somewhere else. This is becoming an increasingly common phenomenon that the international community must urgently address".

The UN Security Council is due to meet in January to debate how to act on the recommendations of this report, which includes a need to review the substantial recommendations of the Fowler Report.

Building on Fowler Report

The Monitoring Mechanism built on the groundbreaking work of the Panel of Experts, which on 15 March 2000 published its report to the UN Security Council, exposing how individuals and governments helped UNITA build a formidable arsenal in return for rough diamonds (see APM no.7 Vol. VI).

The Mechanism endorsed the thorough recommendations made by the Panel of Experts, and reiterated its proposal that the UN Security Council should consider applying sanctions against any government found to be intentionally violating them. This would make action against Togo, Burkina Faso and Cote d'Ivoire a possibility.

The Mechanism was formed in July 2000, with the mandate to follow up leads initiated by the Panel of Experts, collect new information and investigate leads, and develop a mechanism to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the implementation of sanctions on UNITA.

It got off to a slow start due to wrangling over its role, but in the final months of its investigations it made considerable headway in uncovering links between UNITA and the international trade in diamonds and arms. However, it reports that in many cases information was received too late to be thoroughly investigated and analysed. In other cases, requests for information were still outstanding.

The Mechanism is disbanding after its six month mandate, and currently there are discussions about the need to form a new structure to maintain vigilance. One proposal has been to combine the monitoring of sanctions against UNITA and RUF (in Sierra Leone), in some kind of permanent body.

The Mechanism has set up a web site containing information on its work as well as an e-mail address where the Mechanism can be contacted. The web address is:
http://www.un.org/Depts/dpa/docs/monitoringmechanism.htm and the e-mail address is: MonitoringMechanism@un.org.

Context

The Mechanism's report puts the current political and military situation in the context of UNITA's failure to abide by the Lusaka peace agreement. ...

The report points out that the balance of power shifted against UNITA following the Angolan army's offensive in September 1999, which led to UNITA losing most of its conventional warfare capacity and most of its territory. ...

Need to keep sanctions

Despite the shift in military balance away from UNITA, the Monitoring Mechanism believes that "sanctions and their implementation and monitoring are of utmost importance". ...

It warns that "as UNITA's traditional allies and arms suppliers and conduits become more hesitant, as a result of publicity and the "name and shame" campaign, we expect UNITA to seek new and unexpected friends and to explore more subtle and refined ways of evading the sanctions. As usual, the lure of diamonds may prove irresistible to some arms brokers and dealers and the need for vigilance and continued monitoring of the sanctions regime against UNITA cannot be overemphasised".

Arms controls weaknesses exposed

The Monitoring Mechanism found that Bulgaria and the Ukraine had been major suppliers of weapons to UNITA, but appears to accept that some weapons were sold in good faith on the basis of end-user certificates to Togo and Burkina Faso.

However, the Mechanism's report does not tackle the issue of why these countries were prepared to sell Togo and Burkina Faso such large quantities of weapons, which on the face of it do not meet their current military needs - for example, Bulgaria shipped 6,300 RPG-7 anti-tank rockets to Togo.

The Mechanism points out that Bulgaria, Ukraine and Romania have wide-ranging legislation governing various aspects of the export of arms. However, Bulgaria exported $14 million worth of weapons between 1996 and 1998 on the basis of forged end-user certificates, with Togo as the stated destination. Forensic examinations carried out on these certificates on behalf of the Mechanism found that they were forgeries, but the Mechanism concludes that the forgeries were based on a legitimate end-user certificate issued by Togo to one of UNITA's senior arms procurers, Marcelo Moises Dachala "Ambassador Karrica".

Romania provided the Mechanism with evidence that it had exported $776,000 worth of weapons to Togo and Burkina Faso between 1996 and 1999. Burkina Faso denies ever issuing the end-user certificates, but the forensic examinations found that "the end-user certificates featuring Burkina Faso as the country of origin were authentic".

The Mechanism points out that the Panel of Experts had addressed the issue of forged Zambian end-user certificates that surfaced in the Russian Federation, Bulgaria and Ukraine.

Recommendations

The Mechanism called for:

  • a strengthening of arms export systems to improve verification of the authenticity and country of issuance of the relevant documents,
  • adequate legislation on the importation of arms and the setting up of a mechanism that can define clearly the responsibilities of all agencies and officials involved,
  • end-user certificates to have a level of security to deter forgery, and the development of a system to allow for the verification of the validity of end-user certificates,
  • a registry of intermediary firms/brokers with import/export of arms.

Fuel supplies

The Monitoring Mechanism points out that UNITA's switch to guerrilla warfare has reduced its need for petroleum. The Mechanism heard reports of limited quantities being transported into eastern Angola from Zambia, but expects that it is likely to be the work of enterprising Zambian nationals.

UNITA representation abroad

The Mechanism stresses that, "UNITA representatives and senior officials abroad have a crucial role to play in assuring its continued existence and the advancement of its political and military objectives. The representatives and senior officials thus not only keep UNITA alive through political propaganda, but, more importantly, are essential for its financial transactions, diamond dealings and arms and other strategic procurements. In view of UNITA's current sharply diminished military strength and its loss of secure areas inside Angola from which to conduct business with dealers from abroad, activities carried out by its representatives abroad are now even more important than before September 1999." ...

It found that following the imposition of sanctions on UNITA officials in 1997, there has been a switch towards making more use of nationals of the countries in which UNITA operates. Most countries have now formally ended UNITA representation, but UNITA has set up front organisations. ...

It found that UNITA has particularly active information machinery in South Africa - where it uses an important informal network of associates from the apartheid era - and in Portugal. The main poles of UNITA activity outside Africa are in France, Portugal, Italy, Belgium, Ireland and Switzerland. ...

UNITA in Africa

The Mechanism states that since 1997 UNITA has relied heavily on Togo as an external base. Senior UNITA officials and their families have lived there. Among senior members present in Togo are Joaquim Ernesto Mulato, Joao Baptista Rodrigues Vindes, Marcelo Moises Dachala "Karrica", Helder Mundombe "Boris", and Lizette Pena - also named in the report as key figures in UNITA's diamond smuggling and arms trading.

Following the Fowler Report on sanctions busting, Togo claimed in May 2000 to have expelled 56 UNITA members. However, the Mechanism found it likely that some of the named UNITA members simply moved location in Togo.

The report states that Burkina Faso appears to have become an essential "country of operation", being a base for several of the senior officials named under the Togo section, along with Joao Katende "Jo Prata", a director of UNITA's mining business. Representatives in Burkina Faso include Julio Kanyualuku and his deputy David Kokelo.

Burkina Faso has written to the Mechanism stating that the information listed above is unfounded and that these persons have not been found in the country. The Mechanism nonetheless concluded that it is likely that they still remain in Burkina Faso.

It is stated that Cote d'Ivoire is probably still important to UNITA due to the Ivorian passports issued to UNITA officials. However, the Mechanism was informed that the Government has decided to replace all passports in order to remove from circulation passports that were given "loosely" to non-Ivorian nationals. UNITA is represented in Cote d'Ivoire by Adelio Chitekulo and Jorge Marques Kakumba. ...

The senior resident official in Zambia is said still to be Eduardo Chali. Zambia received a huge influx of Angolan refugees following the Angolan army victory at the former UNITA base of Jamba in December 1999, leading to the setting up off a refugee camp at Nangweshi. The Mechanism points out that there is "a considerable risk that this camp also functions as a kind of clandestine UNITA base or safe haven", and its leadership consists "of persons that had important functions in the 'old Jamba'". ...

The report warns that in South Africa, Mines Tadeu is actively promoting UNITA and facilitating its activities.

Recommendations

The Mechanism recommends that the UN list of senior UNITA officials and their adult family members should be continually updated. The list should be circulated to relevant government departments. ...

Role of transport in sanctions violations

The Mechanism reports that "transportation and its related logistics could be seen as the lifeline for UNITA. Since it is so important for UNITA, it is vital for the international community not to simply pay lip service to its strategic importance but to take action to disrupt or destroy this logistical network through concerted law enforcement".

During its investigations the Mechanism heard reports of airdrops into UNITA territory, which "reveals the strategic importance of air transport to UNITA".

The main transporter denounced firstly by the Panel of Experts and subsequently by the Monitoring Mechanism is Victor Bout, and his aviation companies Air Cess, Air Pass, Cessavia, IRBIS, and Central African Airways. Another company involved in the Air Cess network is Santa Cruz Imperial, a subsidiary of Flying Dolphin. Bout also owns Air Cess Incorporated, registered in Miami. The report states that amongst the associates of Bout is a British national, Michael Harridine, of the Kent-based Aircraft Registration Bureau.

The report warns that the use of flags of convenience make it easy to circumvent controls on unscrupulous operators.

Recommendations

The Mechanism recommends that:

  • there should be tighter controls on operators using flags of convenience, and that if an air operator wants to use a country as a base, then aircraft should be registered in that country,
  • sanctions-busters should have their aircraft deregistered. An international list of companies, individuals and aircraft breaking sanctions should be maintained by the UN and provided to arms exporting countries. Pilots breaking sanctions should be de-licenced,
  • the international community should consider assisting Member States, where necessary, in acquiring equipment for the control of national and regional air spaces.

Diamonds

Whilst welcoming the progress towards setting up an international Certificate of Origin scheme for diamonds, and recognising the significant reduction of the scale of UNITA diamond production, the report strongly underlines that "the Mechanism is in no doubt that UNITA still has access to diamond mines and that UNITA still maintains a diamond stockpile".

The report stresses the link between UNITA's survival and diamonds, stating that "an Interpol analysis of probable UNITA airstrips places each one close to a UNITA mining area, suggesting continuing close links between UNITA's logistics and diamond trading". ...

The report states that "UNITA's diamond production is estimated to have been $800 million in 1996 and $600 million in 1997. When UNITA withdrew from the Cuango Valley it is said to have taken a stockpile of $250 million". The reports states that "the De Beers central selling organisation bought the majority of the diamonds produced" [this refers to diamonds produced before the United Nations placed international sanctions on buying diamonds from UNITA]. ...

The Mechanism states that "an overall figure of $3 billion [for diamonds mined by UNITA] between 1993 and 1998 inclusive is not far-fetched, though not all of this accrued to UNITA directly".

De Beers now gives a guarantee that none of its diamonds are sourced from conflict zones, and has closed down its African buying offices, but the Mechanism points out that there is "no external validation of the De Beers claim".

The Mechanism also points out that it "has received information that major dealers, some of them well known clients of De Beers, are knowingly buying rough diamonds from UNITA, and in some cases, have been operating buying offices along the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo since the beginning of 2000, buying Angolan diamonds without a certificate of origin". ...

The Mechanism considers that UNITA sells its diamonds through three main distinct systems: selling direct to diamond cutters, tenders held in third countries, and through South Africa's small open market.

It states that central to UNITA's diamond trade in South Africa is a network of businessmen whose motivation is financial rather than political. The purpose of the new networks is to create new covert channels for UNITA operations, since the older channels have been compromised by exposure.

The South African government is moving to implement the certificate of origin scheme, and co-sponsored the resolution on the role of diamonds in fuelling conflicts which was adopted by the UN General Assembly on 1 December.

The Mechanism researched the trade statistics for diamonds and found anomalies which require further investigation. In particular, diamonds with the provenance of Togo, Zambia, Rwanda and Uganda were highlighted. Only Zambia mines any diamonds, and those would be of a much lower value than those declared. ...

The Mechanism reports that the Belgian diamond industry and government "are taking considerable care to implement the UN sanctions ... All diamonds enter the Diamond Office and the parcels are checked for conformity to import procedures. At the Diamond Office, a "watchlist" for diamonds is now in place, which lists 15 "sensitive" African countries whose diamonds might include those produced by UNITA or the Revolutionary United Front of Sierra Leone".

The Mechanism calls for unified diamond statistics to enable those tracking the trade in conflict diamonds to compare like with like. ...

Recommendations

The Mechanism calls for the implementation of the Certificate of Origin scheme with minimum delay. Those countries that lack the technical resources to implement the system should be aided in setting it in place.

It states that the ASCorp system of controls, which the Angolan Government has introduced to purchase and export legally mined diamonds in Angola, could be considered a model of how diamond purchases can be more closely tracked from mining region to market, to specifically address the problem of unscrupulous buyers. The Mechanism suggests that the World Diamond Council could be involved in setting up such a system so that diamond buyers' and dealers' credentials are standardised worldwide.

It recommends that the relevant ministries of diamond-producing countries should profile the production from their mines, recording the characteristics of diamonds from each mine in detail. Such a record would help enable parcels of diamonds to be checked against their stated origin. ...


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 the full spectrum of human rights.


URL for this file: http://www.africafocus.org/docs01/ang0101.php