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Angola: Peace Monitor II, 4
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Angola: Peace Monitor II, 4
Date Distributed (ymd): 951220
Angola Peace Monitor Volume II, Issue 4, 18 December 1995
UNITA suspends troop confinement
Moves are underway to get the Angolan peace process back on
track after UNITA halted quartering its troops on 4 December
following clashes with Government troops. President dos
Santos has invited UNITA leader Jonas Savimbi for talks on
20 December, but it is unclear whether the meeting will take
The incidents between Government and UNITA forces happened
around the town of Sumba, in the northern Zaire Province
(see Angola Peace Monitor no.2, vol II). During the clashes,
Government forces took over control of several towns.
However, the exact causes of the fighting are hotly
The Joint Commission described the situation as "serious,
inappropriate and to be condemned." On 5 December the Joint
Commission sent a commission to Zaire Province to
investigate the incidents.
An official communique from the UNITA Political Commission
on 4 December stated that "after the occupation of various
localities under UNITA control in the Provinces of Huila,
Benguela and the Lundas in the month of November, the forces
of the MPLA Government are now occupying by force the whole
of Zaire Province beginning from the oil-producing city of
Soyo.46rom 29 November to 4 December, the MPLA forces have
occupied the localities of Sumba, Kikandi, Quinzau, Manga
Grande, Nenga and finally Quelo". The communique points out
that as a consequence, UNITA were "ceasing at once the
cantonment of the UNITA forces".
UNITA's Radio Vorgan reported on 12 December that 12
Government troops and 5 UNITA soldiers were killed in
clashes near Pedra Feitico, 75 km east of Soyo. It also
claimed that Government troops were moving to encircle Zaire
Province's capital - M'banza Congo.
However, the Government maintains that Sumba was being used
as a base by UNITA troops to attack the strategic oil town
of Soyo. Higino Carneiro, the deputy head of the Government
delegation to the Joint Commission (the principal body
charged with the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol) said
that: "we should not just look at the final results, but
examine the causes and origins of all such disagreeable
situations. The Government's armed forces were provoked by
The Government has accused UNITA of attacking its troops,
and the Journal de Angola reported that 10 people had died
in a UNITA artillery attack on the town of Cambulo in Lunda
The Angolan ambassador in Washington, Antonio Franca dos
Santos "Ndalu", accused UNITA of causing a storm in a teacup
over the military situation in Soyo in an attempt to cast a
cloud over President dos Santos' visit to the United States.
According to the London-based journal "Southscan", President
dos Santos made a series of unilateral promises prior to
leaving for the United States, including the release of
remaining UNITA prisoners and the withdrawal of troops from
the town occupied in the recent military clashes.
The outbreak is part of a pattern of ceasefire violations
attributed to both sides, but which had been decreasing. The
Secretary-General of the United Nations, Dr Boutros
Boutros-Ghali, in his report to the UN Security Council on 7
December (S/1995/1012) pointed out that the military
situation remains calm in most regions, with a reduction in
the number of cease-fire violations from 77 in October to 71
in November. The report states that since 1 October, UNAVEM
III have investigated 201 alleged violations, 31 of which
were confirmed and attributed to the Angolan Government army
(FAA), and 38 to UNITA.
Government prepares for withdrawal of forces
The Angolan Government is preparing for the withdrawal of
some troops and riot squads to ease tension, and to fulfil
its obligations under the Lusaka Protocol. Higino
Carneiro announced that the Government is planning to
withdraw its troops from around the quartering area at Vila
Nova to allay UNITA fears of being attacked. The
Secretary-General of the UN also reported to the UN Security
Council that the Government had "provided UNAVEM III with
information on the locations, in Huambo and Uige Provinces,
to which FAA forces will withdraw".
The Government has also announced that it will be
withdrawing to barracks its Rapid Deployment Police in
Luanda and Uige. On 20 November barrack facilities in Luanda
were inspected by the Bangladeshi UNAVEM III police
commander, who found them sufficient for the purpose.
Previously concern had been raised at the poor physical
state of the proposed barracks.
UN Secretary-General warns of slow progress
Even just before UNITA withdrew from quartering its troops
the Secretary-General of the UN in his report (S/1995/1012)
had stated his concern that "for both political and
logistical reasons, this process is almost one year later
than intended and is proceeding at a very slow pace; on 1
December 1995, those who had reported for cantonment of Vila
Nova numbered only 363 and the Government complained that
they were 'boy soldiers' with unserviceable weapons".
He continued that "although it had been agreed that, on
average, 150 soldiers would be quartered daily in Vila Nova,
this target is still far from being realised".
Up until UNITA suspended the quartering of their troops,
Vila Nova was the only quartering area in operation.
Although some sources point to weaknesses in UN planning to
account for the delays, the Secretary-General pointed out
that "contrary to earlier understandings with UNITA,
however, construction has so far been done mostly by UNAVEM
III, particularly by its military component".
ANGOP, the official Angolan News Agency, reported that the
regional commander of UNAVEM III warned in late October that
the quartering proces in Uige Province could be delayed
owing to the poor participation of UNITA. Apparently UNITA
had agreed at a meeting of the Joint Commission to provide
500 men to pitch tents, but only 80 had turned up.
The United Nations Humanitarian Assistance Co-ordination
Unit in Luanda (UCAH) has reported that "it is important
that UNITA starts being fully involved in the
self-construction programmes for the families in the
quartering areas as planned for the commencement of the
Washington visit marks closer relationship
The first official visit to the United States by a Head of
State of the Republic of Angola took place in early
December, marking an enormous improvement in relations
between the two countries. Previous US administrations had
given large scale support to the anti-government UNITA
President Jose Eduardo dos Santos arrived on 7 December, and
met with congressmen and senators. On 8 December he met with
President Clinton. The South African Press Association
(SAPA) said that "President Bill Clinton was so excited by
his three hour meeting with dos Santos on Friday that he
kept Washington's Ambassador to Angola, Donald Steinberg,
behind for a long talk".
SAPA further reported that policy makers, investors and
other interested parties also turned out in large numbers to
hear the Angolan leader at the influential Centre for
Strategic and International Studies.
However, the visit to the United States was not without
controversy. The Secretary-General of the United Nations, Dr
Boutros Boutros-Ghali cancelled a planned meeting with
President dos Santos in New York because of the
UNITA general returns to Luanda
An important obstacle to the planning for the global
incorporation of UNITA military personnel into the Angolan
army, FAA, has been overcome. The Chief of Staff of UNITA
troops, General Arlindo Chenda Pena "Ben Ben", returned to
Luanda on 14 November. General Ben Ben left Luanda on 14
October following an incident in which one of his bodyguards
was shot in the foot. An official enquiry found that there
had been no attempt on the General's life.
However, the incident was also cited by UNITA as one of the
reasons for its withdrawal from quartering its troops.
UNAVEM face opposition
The Secretary-General of the United Nations reported to the
Security Council (S/1995/1012) that "a propaganda campaign
was launched against UNAVEM III in the Provinces of Uige and
Benguela, apparently with the encouragement, or at least the
connivance, of both parties. Hostile demonstrations were
held at the UNAVEM III regional headquarters in Uige and, in
a Government-controlled radio programme, the population of
the province was urged to 'prepare for war' against UNAVEM
III. In separate incidents on 24 and 25 October, UNAVEM III
and UCAH convoys were detained and subject to harassment by
In a further incident, on 12 December, a dozen Zimbabwean
blue helmets had their weapons and vehicles stolen from them
by UNITA elements. There have also been reports of UNITA
besieging Brazilian soldiers in Andulo in Bie Province.
According to the Brazilian Ambassador in Angola, one of the
complaints by UNITA which led to UNITA taking action against
the Brazilian troops was that during a religious service a
Brazilian had repeatedly referred to Judas, which UNITA saw
as a direct reference to Savimbi.
Calls for more intervention by UN troops
Despite the sharp criticism or UNAVEM by both the Government
and UNITA, both have also been the source of calls for more
intervention by the United Nations to ensure that the peace
In the aftermath of recent fighting, the Secretary-General
of UNITA, Paulo Gato, has said that "the UN -there are now
more than 6,000 UN troops - should be able to accept
responsibility. It is a peacekeeping force".
The Government has also requested more action by the UN. The
Government warned of a "bloodbath" if UN troops did not step
in to protect the civilian population from attacks by UNITA.
UNITA attacks reported in Namibia
Angola's ambassador in Namibia has warned that there have
been several incidents of assaults by UNITA on Namibians.
Ambassador Garcia Bires said on 2 December that there had
been a "wave of assaults" along the border, where UNITA were
attacking Namibians, stealing their cattle and other
belongings. UNITA troops were crossing the border by the
Cuango River, and the activities were mainly between Kuando
Kubango and Rundu in Namibia.
Oil production to increase
The State oil company, Songanol, has announced that it
intends to increase its daily output as new deposits are
opened. Two new oil wells in the Kiabo offshore project are
due on line on 12 December, increasing the projects output
from 5,000 to 10,000 barrels per day.
Songanol are also rehabilitating facilities in Soyo which
were destroyed during the war. Soyo is also to be the site
of a new Petroleum Institute.
Bretton Woods institutions meet President
During his visit to the United States, President dos Santos
met with the President of the World Bank, James Wolfensohn,
and the International Monetary Fund Managing Director Michel
Speaking to journalists, the World Bank's senior economist
for Angola, Rene Bonnel, said that "aid must be upfront and
all donors - including the UN system and NGOs - must be
The senior economist signalled that the Bretton Woods
institutions were taking a pragmatic view of the situation
in Angola, and were not demanding an orthodox structural
adjustment programme at present. Bonnel stated that
"reducing fiscal expenditure and increasing revenues cannot
work at this point", and went on to warn that a
stabilisation programme could, at this point, spark a
US Export Import
Angola has cleared its outstanding debts to the US
Export-Import Bank. This will enable the Bank to provide
further financing and guarantees which are vital for trade
between the US and Angola.
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