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Note: This document is from the archive of the Africa Policy E-Journal, published
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Date distributed (ymd): 010501
Document reposted by APIC
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Africa at http://www.africapolicy.org
Africa Action Note to Readers
April 30, 2001
According to an April 29 article in the New York Times, an unnamed
senior U.S. Treasury Department official "said Africans lacked a
requisite 'concept of time,' implying that they would not benefit
from HIV drugs that must be administered on tight time schedules."
The Health GAP Coalition and Africa Action have written a letter of
protest to Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill, demanding that
the administration retract and apologize for this ignorant and
racist statement, which is particularly inexcusable for an official
with a role in deciding U.S. policy on response to HIV/AIDS. For
the text of the letter, see
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, supplemented by a brief excerpt from IRIN on UN
plans to investigate evasion of financial sanctions. Another recent
report, The Oil Diagnostic in Angola, published by Human Rights
Watch in March, with particular focus on accountability for the use
of oil revenues by the Angolan government, is available at:
Angola Peace Monitor
Published by ACTSA
Issue no.8, Vol. VII, 25 April 2001
ACTSA, 28 Penton Street, London N1 9SA, UK;
fax +44 20 7837 3001; telephone +44 20 7833 3133;
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
UN sanctions thwarting UNITA lifelines
A major study by the United Nations into the application of
sanctions imposed on Jonas Savimbi's rebel movement has warned that
UNITA is still very active in conducting guerrilla warfare,
attacking civilian targets and killing innocent people. However the
study found that the UN's firm commitment to monitoring the
sanctions has had a positive effect on thwarting the military
lifelines that UNITA requires.
The UN Monitoring Mechanism on Sanctions against UNITA, submitted
its study to the Security Council on 18 April
http://www.un.org/Docs/sc/committees/Angola/363e.pdf) in the form
of an addendum to its report which was issued on 21 December 2000
(see APM no4, vol.VII).
The addendum quotes UN sources in Luanda as revealing that
"civilians fleeing UNITA speak of terror by the rebel movement",
and that there has been a "significant deterioration in the
physical conditions of civilians fleeing UNITA".
The Mechanism's overall assessment is that "sanctions continue to
play an important part in efforts to resolve the Angolan conflict.
With no fixed arms supply lines and diminishing revenue from
diamonds, UNITA's military capacity has been significantly
The addendum gives further information about arms smuggling to
UNITA, and concludes that "the central role played by the
identified brokering companies in the procurement of arms by UNITA
is overwhelming and cannot be overemphasised." It stresses that,
"the need to tighten the regulations governing the activities and
operations of arms-brokering companies has become urgent.
Similarly, the establishment of an international register of the
dubious companies involved in sanctions-busting should be given due
UNITA representation continues
The Mechanism did not find evidence that any major changes in UNITA
structures in Africa have taken place. Burkina Faso and Togo
continue to be important countries of residence for senior UNITA
officials and their family members. ...
The addendum points out that UNITA has made efforts to take
advantage of the changes in the United States Administration since
George W Bush became president, and that the UNITA representative
in the US Jardo Muekalia met with an official of the Department of
Defence. However, it acknowledges that the US authorities consider
that the meeting was informal and on a personal basis, and that
such unofficial meetings took place under the Clinton
UNITA diamond earnings cut by a third
The Mechanism warns that UNITA continues to mine diamonds, and that
in the year 2000 UNITA earned at the very least $100 million from
illegal diamonds, and states that UNITA's access to diamond mines
remains unchanged at present.
The addendum states that "the principal limitation on UNITA's
capacity to mine is the control of a large enough workforce,
together with the capture of at least part of its mining equipment
by FAA [the Angolan army]".
UNITA's income from diamonds did drop dramatically from 1999, when
it was estimated to be at least $300 million. However, the
Mechanism's findings point out that the drop was due to UNITA's
more limited capacity to mine rather than the imposition of
The addendum points out that there was an increase in non-UNITA
smuggling during 2000, "which clearly means that illicit Angolan
diamonds are reaching diamond markets regardless of the certificate
of origin system and which also makes the tracing of UNITA diamonds
more problematic". It continues that "diamond smuggling from Angola
has been estimated to have increased to $250 million in 2000
according to industry sources".
Improvements in official diamond channel
The Mechanism gives details of the official diamond channel in
Angola, run by ASCORP since February 2000. It points out that
already the system is beginning to win the battle against tax
evasion in the industry, with $59.16 million in taxes being paid on
$746 million of diamonds bought between February and December 2000,
compared with only $21 million being raised on $650 million in
Under the single channel scheme, ASCORP is the only company allowed
to buy Angolan diamonds (except those from Catoca mine), and it now
has 23 buying offices. ...
Action against illegal traders
According to the addendum, one of the most difficult questions in
diamond control is the flow of diamonds between Angola, the
Democratic Republic of Congo and Congo-Brazaville.
The Mechanism found that "whilst there are evident possibilities
for laundering both UNITA and non-UNITA illicit diamonds, the
Mechanism also learned that most of the better-quality diamonds
that are either mined in the DRC or pass through that country from
Angola are now smuggled out". Congo-Brazzaville was named as a key
destination for illicit diamonds from Angola and the DRC.
South Africa is in the process of implementing new controls as part
of the Mineral Development Bill, which it is hoped will be passed
into law in June 2002. The South African government informed the
Mechanism that an investigation into illicit Angolan diamond
imports is underway.
The Mechanism's work on the diamond trade has been hampered by a
lack of response from several governments, including Israel,
Central African Republic, Zambia, and Mali. Rwanda and Uganda have
responded to queries from the Mechanism.
Overall, the Mechanism reaches the conclusion that "UNITA gems will
find a market as long as illicit diamonds can be traded and until
those involved in this trade are exposed and penalised, thus making
UNITA diamonds a less attractive proposition". However, "UN
sanctions have provided the impetus for world-wide controls on
diamonds - the certificate of origin scheme", but "this scheme is
unlikely to reach the implementation stage before the end of 2001".
Security Council fails to take action
On 19 April the UN Security Council met to discuss the contents of
the Monitoring Mechanism's addendum, but failed to take any action
on the recommendations of either the Fowler Report of March 2000
(see APM no.7 vol.VI) nor the Monitoring Mechanism's "Final Report"
of December 2000. Instead, it has taken the step of extending the
mandate of the Monitoring Mechanism for a further six months.
The Security Council adopted resolution 1348
http://www.un.org/Docs/scres/2001/res1348e.pdf), and expressed
"its intention to give full consideration to the written addendum
and to the final report", but effectively announced another delay
in taking any action against those who have supported sanctions
busting, particularly those states who stand accused of formally
assisting UNITA in its war preparations.
The process of investigating violations of mandatory UN sanctions
began on 7 May 1999 when the Security Council adopted resolution
1237, which set out the plan to appoint "Expert Panels". Delays due
to bureaucratic procedures, mixed with opposition from some member
states, most importantly France, have reduced the effectiveness of
the UN in taking concrete steps to implement sanctions, outside the
conflict diamonds area.
Meanwhile, President George W Bush on 29 March wrote to the US
Congress indicating that he would maintain sanctions against UNITA.
This strong signal that the US Administration is not going to
change its policy towards Angola will be a blow to UNITA who had
hoped that President Bush would be more sympathetic towards them.
UN Secretary General welcomes positive measures
The UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan, has welcomed positive
measures by the Angolan government to enhance efforts towards peace
and reconciliation, but warned that it is imperative that UNITA
abandon its military option and seek a resolution of the conflict
in the context of the Lusaka Protocol.
In his report to the UN Security Council
http://www.un.org/Docs/sc/reports/2001/351e.pdf) on 11 April, he
said that the Angolan government had reaffirmed the Lusaka Protocol
as the only valid instrument for peace in Angola, announced that
national elections will take place if possible in late 2002,
implemented an amnesty and set up a Fund for Peace and National
Reconciliation to support those benefiting from the amnesty. Annan
also welcomed the Angolan "government's willingness to recognise
the need to ensure respect for human rights".
However, he warned that despite growing pressure from civil society
for a political settlement of the conflict, fighting is continuing
in many parts of the country.
Annan stated that "there are encouraging signs of a nascent
democratic process involving broad segments of Angolans, including
civil society, on the need for the drafting of a new Constitution,
the debate over a new press law and on the need to ensure free and
fair elections in late 2002".
The Secretary General stressed the importance of the UN Office in
Angola, UNOA, and recommended that the Security Council extend the
mandate of UNOA for a further six-month period until 15 October
Annan pointed out that sanctions "seem to have contributed to
efforts aimed at eroding the military capability of UNITA. However,
there are worrying indications that some unidentified planes have
been violating Angola's air space in the Cuando Cubango province to
deliver supplies to UNITA, and that representatives of UNITA
continue to raise funds through the illicit sale of diamonds".
He warns that "the security situation throughout the country has
remained tense during the period under review. Government troops
are reported to be pursuing the residual forces of UNITA and are
taking control of the municipalities under the control of the rebel
movement. It has been reported that UNITA soldiers have been
deserting in large numbers, taking advantage of the amnesty law".
Annan states that "UNITA's systematic attacks on civilian targets
have continued. Alleged human rights violations by Government
security forces often appeared to be perpetrated by individuals or
groups of soldiers or policemen acting outside the parameters of
the official code of conduct and discipline".
Commenting on the relative weakness of state institutions, the
Secretary General stated that "government authorities still face
structural problems, such as inadequate human and material
resources, that affect law enforcement and human rights protection.
The overall justice system is weak and ineffectual in many parts of
the country, particularly in rural areas, where many
conflict-related violations occur. The prison system's lack of
adequate resources often aggravate the conditions of detention.
Pre-trial detention beyond periods established by law continues to
be a problem".
He also stated that "freedom of expression and opinion, including
the right to peacefully assemble, continued to be affected by the
climate of instability generated by the ongoing war. However,
despite some attempts to stifle their activities, particularly in
the provinces, opposition parties have been forceful in exercising
their rights, and the media have increased the space for public
expression and information flow. Angolan radio and newspapers are
covering more human rights issues and have broadcast debates on
governance performances and democratic principles".
The Secretary General was optimistic about agricultural prospects
for some of the 2.8 million people displaced since fighting resumed
in January 1998. He stated that "the drought conditions experienced
during December and January were relieved by the onset of seasonal
rains in February. Compared to previous agricultural campaigns,
significant progress has been made this year in land allocations to
displaced populations. As a result, families have greater
opportunities for engaging in agricultural activities and may be
able to improve their coping mechanisms".
Whilst the drought has been relieved, the Secretary General's
report was written before serious flooding hit Angola, leaving more
than 48 people dead and 9,500 homeless. The worst hit provinces
were Namibe, Cunene and Huila.
The report highlights the horror that 176,000 children under the
age of five died in the year 2000, with UNICEF calculating that
Angola's infant death rate is the second worst in the world.
Annan points out that the IMF staff-monitored programme has been
extended by six months until June 2001 because of the slow
implementation rate, both in its macroeconomic component and on the
structural measures. The UN Development Programme, UNDP, also
continues to work with the World Bank and IMF to support the
preparation of the national poverty reduction strategy paper, PRSP.
ANGOLA: IRIN Focus on probe into UNITA's finances
IRIN-SA - Tel: +2711 880 4633; Fax: +2711 447 5472;
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JOHANNESBURG, 26 April (IRIN) - The UN Security Council is set to
hire an American company to investigate the finances of the Angolan
rebel group UNITA. The council wants to know more about UNITA's
investment portfolio and international money laundering operations
that are fuelling the country's 26-year civil war. "This move is a
clear indication that the Security Council is serious about
enforcing sanctions against UNITA, as well as rebels in Sierra
Leone," Security Council president Ambassador Jeremy Greenstock
The council committee, which monitors sanctions against UNITA, is
drawing up a contract with New York-based Kroll Associates. The
company, which has offices in many countries, specialises in
international white-collar crime investigation and security issues.
"If anyone can unravel the complex financial web around UNITA then
it's Kroll," said Richard Cornwall of the Pretoria-based Institute
of Security Studies. "They've worked for the World Bank and the
International Monetary Fund (IMF) and are very well placed to
undertake this kind of work." Diplomatic sources told IRIN that
Kroll would have very clear terms of reference and would do no more
than investigate UNITA's financial assets.
Greenstock said that a decision was taken to bring in Kroll
Associates because the UN doesn't have the expertise to look into
such complex financial transactions. "Kroll has a particular
expertise that we're going to use in an attempt to gain more
information about where UNITA banks and how they finance
themselves," Greenstock said. Kroll is expected to start its
16-week investigation soon, he added.
Greenstock noted that the Security Council has been criticised in
the past for approving sanctions against governments and rebel
groups but not following them up. The council is expected in the
near future to discuss the broader issue of seeking outside
expertise, he said. "But there is a strong wish that the United
Nations itself should develop a core competence in following up
sanctions regimes, and I think that will be a priority for the
"Obtaining information on UNITA's financial dealings is one thing,
acting on it is quite another," Cornwall pointed out. At this stage
nobody is certain what Kroll's investigations will unearth, but
Greenstock said it's final report to the Security Council could be
used to pressure member states to enforce the law where it is being
contravened. "This information is crucial if we're going to further
tighten sanctions," Greenstock said. ...
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