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 Please note that many outdated links in this archived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
Region: Southern Africa
Issue Areas: +security/peace+
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:
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.
Angola Peace Monitor
Published by ACTSA
Issue no.4, Vol. VII, 5th January 2001
ACTSA, 28 Penton Street, London N1 9SA, UK; e-mail email@example.com;
fax +44 20 7837 3001; telephone +44 20 7833 3133; web:
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:
[excerpts; full text of Peace Monitor at
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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
- the international community should consider assisting Member
States, where necessary, in acquiring equipment for the control of
national and regional air spaces.
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
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
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
The Mechanism calls for unified diamond statistics to enable those
tracking the trade in conflict diamonds to compare like with like.
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.