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Note: 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 Please note that many outdated links in this archived document may not work.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: United Nations Security Council
Any links to other sites in this file from 1995 are not clickable,
given the difficulty in maintaining up-to-date links in old files.
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Angola: United Nations Security Council
Date Distributed (ymd): 950210

SC/5995 Resumed 3499th Meeting
8 February 1995 PM SUMMARY


Resolution 976 Approves Mission of up to 7,000 Troops,
350 Military and 260 Police Observers, for Initial
Six-Month Period

The Security Council this evening authorized the
establishment of the United Nations Angola Verification
Mission (UNAVEM III), to help the Government of Angola
and the National Union for the Total Independence of
Angola (UNITA) restore peace and achieve national
reconciliation, thereby ending that country's 20-year
civil war.

The Council took that action by unanimously adopting
resolution 976 (1995) to create the Mission, which will
replace UNAVEM II, whose mandate expires today.  With
an initial six-month mandate until 8 August and a
maximum deployment of 7,000 military personnel, 350
military observers and 260 police observers, the
Mission will assist the Angolan peace process on the
basis of the "Acordos de Paz" of 31 May 1991, the
Lusaka Protocol of 20 November 1994, and relevant
Council resolutions.  The Council urged the expeditious
deployment of military and police observes to monitor
the cease-fire.

By other terms of today's resolution, the Council
authorized the immediate deployment of the necessary
planning and support elements to prepare for the
sending of peace-keeping forces to Angola, provided the
Secretary-General remained satisfied that an effective
cease-fire and mechanisms to monitor it were in place
and that both parties in the Angolan conflict were
allowing the free and safe flow of humanitarian
assistance throughout the country.  The Council also
authorized the subsequent deployment of additional
elements needed to set up operational quartering areas
for UNITA forces.

The Council decided that infantry units would be
deployed when the Secretary-General informed the
Council that certain conditions had been met, including
the effective cessation of hostilities, the provision
of all relevant military data and the designation of
all quartering areas.

By other provisions of the resolution, the
Secretary-General is to report monthly to the Council
on the progress made in deploying UNAVEM III and the
implementation of the Lusaka Protocol, including the
maintenance of an effective cease-fire, free access by
UNAVEM III to all parts of Angola, and compliance by
both the Angolan parties with their obligations under
the Lusaka Protocol.  The Secretary-General is to
submit a complete report to the Council by 15 July.

Furthermore, the Council declared that it intended to
conclude UNAVEM III's mission when the Lusaka
Protocol's objectives were achieved in accordance with
the schedule attached to that Protocol and with the
expectation of its completion by February 1997.
Similarly, the Council stated that it intended to
review the United Nations role in Angola, should the
Secretary-General report that the cooperation from the
Angolan parties was substantially delayed or not

Today's Council resolution also called upon both the
Government and UNITA to stop acquiring arms and war
materiel during UNAVEM III's presence and to devote
their resources instead to humanitarian and social
needs.  It endorsed the Secretary-General's view that
an effective information capability, including a United
Nations radio station, should be established in
consultation with the Angolan Government.  The
Secretary-General's intention to include human rights
specialists in the Mission's political component to
observe the implementation of the provisions related to
national reconciliation was also welcomed by the

Addressing the Council after the adoption of the
resolution, Venancio de Moura, Foreign Minister of
Angola, said certain provisions of the resolution
violated the Lusaka Protocol.  None the less, he
expressed his country's support for the deployment of

Selected Excerpts from Statements (selection by APIC)

SIMBARASHE S. MUMBENGEGWI (Zimbabwe) said that even
though the success of the peace process in Angola
ultimately depended on the people of Angola, assistance
from the international community was essential. The
report of the Secretary-General had testified that the
cease-fire, which came into force in November 1994, was
holding. The parties to the conflict had demonstrated
their firm commitment to peace and, therefore,
satisfied the requirements set by previous Council

The Security Council should immediately deploy the
required peace-keeping force, in full, to oversee and
verify the implementation of the agreements reached by
the parties, he said. Since the parties had shown their
commitment to peace, it would be a serious mistake to
continue to test their patience any further. The
Security Council should deploy UNAVEM III without undue
delay and, in so doing, avoid mistakes of the past
which could risk derailing the delicate peace process.

PEDRO COMISSARIO AFONSO (Mozambique) supported the
Secretary-General's recommendation that UNAVEM III
should immediately take over from UNAVEM II.
Mozambique's experience in the deployment of the United
Nations forces on its territory showed that the sooner
a verification mission was established and deployed,
the better for the success of the peace process. ...
Peace in Angola could not be delayed any longer.  More
thanever, the United Nations and the international
community were duty bound to extend their hand of
solidarity to the people of Angola in their quest for
peace and stability.  In assisting the Angolan people,
it was critical to uphold the principles of
sovereignty, non-intervention and non-interference in
internal affairs of a Member State.  In that context,
Mozambique could not support the deployment of any
peace-keeping operation with conditionalities attached.
He supported Angola's assertion that some paragraphs in
the draft resolution should be revised to address its

IBRAHIM A. GAMBARI (Nigeria), said the indications on
the ground were that UNAVEM III was a viable prospect.
The cease-fire was generally holding, and the parties
seemed determined to pursue the cause of peace in the
higher interest of national survival, reconciliation
and reconstruction. Angola had offered to make a
substantial contribution in kind to the new
peace-keeping operation.  It was hoped that gesture
would induce similar cooperation on the part of the
international community.  "After decades of internecine
civil war, it is conceivable that the people of Angola
are now fully prepared to let go of the war psychosis
in favour of the pursuit of peace." Through the mandate
of UNAVEM III, the United Nations sought to provide a
force that could contend with the enormity and
complexity of the problem within a time-frame that
would not imply a perpetual United Nations presence in
Angola, he said.  At the core of the proposed mandate
was the flexibility which the Secretary-General must
retain to determine the course, content and timing of
the deployment of military forces and civilian
personnel as the situation on the ground in Angola

The mandate of UNAVEM III must commence no later than
31 March.  Nigeria would have preferred to see an
initial deployment period of 12 months, but it accepted
the six-month initial period proposed in the draft on
the understanding that the United Nations was not about
to terminate its presence in Angola after six months,
but was prepared to extend the operation for additional
periods, based on the Mission's performance to enable
the political process to take root.

Speaking after adoption of the resolution, MADELEINE K.
ALBRIGHT (United States) expressed hope that the Lusaka
Protocol had brought an end to the civil strife that
had plagued Angola.  It provided "concrete guarantees
of UNITA's political and physical survival", through
its participation in all sectors of the government, the
military, and the police.  And it ensured that UNITA
would voluntarily relinquish its armed forces and
assume its legitimate role as an opposition political

The Lusaka Protocol and the efforts of the Angolan
parties to fulfil their commitments were vital to peace
in Angola, and UNAVEM III would form an integral part
of that process, she said. However, there was
disturbing news today that Jonas Savimbi was casting
doubts on the Lusaka Protocol.  The Council resolution
stressed the need for a meeting between him and
President dos Santos, without delay.  That meeting had
now become more critical.

She went on to emphasize that any deployment of
infantry units in UNAVEM III could not proceed without
the Secretary-General's report that the Lusaka Protocol
was being effectively implemented.  "Our message to all
parties is very clear:  don't blow it.  Do the right
thing for your people and for the future of your
country."  The resolution represented the international
community's confidence in the Angolan people.  She
hoped that it would not be undermined by any of their
leaders. The mandate of UNAVEM III was clear:  to
monitor disarmament and demobilization of combatants;
assist military and police integration; and facilitate
the incorporation of UNITA into the Angolan Government.
When those objectives were achieved, UNAVEM III would
end its mandate.  All of that could be accomplished
within two years.  "We mean to hold the Angolan parties
to their commitment to complete the process."  The
Secretary-General would inform the Council every month
of progress in deploying UNAVEM III and in implementing
the Lusaka Protocol.  The Council intended to review
the role of the United Nations in Angola if the
cooperation required from the parties was not

Continuing, Ms. ALBRIGHT (United States) said the
Lusaka Protocol clearly set out a timetable, on which
the parties had already fallen more than a month
behind.  Both the Government and UNITA must furnish the
United Nations with details concerning their respective
forces, including number of men, composition and type
of forces, type of equipment and specific location.
But the parties were sometimes reluctant to carry out
their agreements. That recalcitrance must end for,
without the input and active cooperation of the
parties, the peace-keeping effort could have no more
success than past efforts, and it would not be
sustained by the Council.

The United Nations presence must not become an excuse
of failure to move forward, she continued.  The initial
mandate of the operation was for six months; then the
Council would be in a position to review progress
before reviewing the mandate.  The Angolan Government
had offered to help offset the cost of UNAVEM III by
providing free or at cost petroleum, aircraft, and
building, in addition to the usual waivers of customs
duties and other fees.  The resolution called for
active exploration with both parties of substantial
additional contributions to help cover the costs of
peace-keeping.  "It is fitting and fair that the rich
natural resources of Angola be made available to
support UNAVEM III", she said.

Lieutenant-General MOMPATI S. MERAFHE, Foreign Minister
of Botswana and Council President, then made a
statement on behalf of his country.  He said the
launching of UNAVEM III in the presence of African
Ministers of Foreign Affairs was a clear indication of
the importance attached to settling one of the most
brutal and destructive conflicts in Africa.  It was
hoped that the parties would leave no stone unturned to
ensure the success of UNAVEM III. No one wanted to hear
of a UNAVEM IV.  "This is Angola's last dance", he

It was painful to see the people of Angola fighting in
a region that now enjoyed peace and stability.  "We
want Angola to be another political success following
on the footsteps of South Africa, Malawi and
Mozambique." Peace-keeping operations were by nature
expensive and were prone to breakdowns.  They cold be
wasteful and consumed resources that could otherwise be
used for economic and social development.  For that
reason, the Angolans must appreciate the importance of
the operation's success. However, some members of the
United Nations were certainly as responsible as the
Angolans for the destruction endured by that country.
They should now turn to assisting that country in
reconstruction.  The operation must not be tied down by
too many conditionalities.  Restraint and flexibility
were required. Isolated and sporadic violations of the
cease-fire must not be used as a pretext for the
Mission's withdrawal.

This material is being reposted for wider distribution
by the Africa Policy Information Center (APIC). APIC's
primary objective is to widen the policy debate in the
United States around African issues and the U.S. role
in Africa, by concentrating on providing accessible
policy-relevant information and analysis usable by a
wide range of groups and individuals.  APIC is
affiliated with the Washington Office on Africa (WOA),
a not-for-profit church, trade union and civil rights
group supported organization that works with Congress
on Africa-related legislation.


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