Central Afr. Rep.
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 Please note that many outdated links in this archived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, II, 6
Any links to other sites in this file from 1996 are not clickable,
given the difficulty in maintaining up-to-date links in old files.
However, we hope they may still provide leads for your research.
Angola: Peace Monitor, II, 6
Date Distributed (ymd): 960302
Angola Peace Monitor
Published by ACTSA on behalf of the Angola Emergency Campaign
Issue no.6, Volume II, 29 February 1996
United Nations signals impatience as it renews UNAVEM III
The United Nations Security Council on 8 February renewed the
UNAVEM III mandate, but expressed its "deep concern at the
slow pace of quartering and disarming" UNITA troops.
The Secretary General, Dr Boutros Boutros-Ghali, had asked in
his report to the Security Council (S/1996/75) for a six
month extension to the mandate. However, the Security Council
would only give a three month extension, and asked that the
Secretary General report to them monthly rather than his
preference of bi-monthly.
US Ambassador Madeleine Albright said that: "UNITA's poor
performance under the peace protocol has jeopardised the peace
process and undermined the viability of the peacekeeping
mission". According to a report in Associated Press, the
British Ambassador to the UN, John Weston, "praised the
Government's steps to withdraw troops from offensive
positions and to begin demobilising some of its forces". He
went on to say that "there will be no excuse for UNITA's
failure to quarter the 16,500 troops by 8 February".
The resolution called on UNITA to "conclude all quartering
within the limit of this mandate renewal". However, it was
not made clear what sanctions will be taken if UNITA fails to
quarter its troops by May.
Statements made at the United Nations are a clear signal that
the international community is growing increasingly
frustrated by UNITA's lacklustre performance in implementing
the Lusaka Protocol. The major stumbling block continues to be
the slow pace of the confinement of UNITA's troops, though
other substantial provisions of the Lusaka Protocol, such as
freedom of movement, also remain unfulfilled.
The important moves by the Angolan Government in January,
including the returning to base of its Rapid Intervention
Force, the ending of the contract with the South
African-based Executive Outcomes, and the withdrawal of troops
from areas of high tension, have met the concerns of some
western governments, in particular the United States.
This has put the focus onto UNITA, and in particular onto
their leader, Jonas Savimbi, who gave personal assurances to
the Chair of the UN Security Council, Madeleine Albright.
Savimbi had pledged that UNITA would confine 16,500 troops by
8 February. However, on 23 February he admitted that only
16,342 soldiers had been quartered.
Quartering: poor quality and slowing pace
The force commander of UNAVEM III, Major General Philip
Sibanda, has stated that the number of UNITA troops coming
into the confinement camps fell from 1,000 per day just before
the renewal of the UN mandate on 8 February, to just 300 per
day afterwards. According to UNAVEM, on 14 February 4,719
soldiers had been registered at Negage, 3,855 at Tchikala
Tcholohanga (formerly known as Vila Nova), 3,006 at
Londuimbali and 1,705 at Quibaxe.
While the start of quartering after the long delays was seen
as a political breakthrough, there is now growing concern at
the quality and slowing pace of those quartered. The
Secretary General of the UN, Dr Boutros-Ghali, stated in his
report to the Security Council on 31 January (S/1996/75) that
"there are reports, however, that some of the assembled
soldiers are under age, that they came without uniform and
that they were carrying old weapons".
General Joao de Matos, Chief of Staff of the Angolan Armed
Forces, stated in an interview with the Portuguese paper
Expresso on 24 February, that most of those registered in the
first phase of quartering at Vila Nova were recruited into
UNITA at the end of 1995. Those quartered at Negage, which is
in a zone controlled by UNITA, were of a superior quality. In
Quibaxe and Londuimbali the quality of the troops was mixed.
It is also reported that only a third of the armaments handed
in by UNITA is in good condition, with a third being
semi-obsolete and the remainder totally obsolete. More
seriously, the weapons have not been accompanied by
Quartering far behind schedule
Although the UN Security Council has made clear that it
expects the quartering of all of UNITA's 63,000 troops to be
either completed, or at least close to completion, by the
date for the renewal of the UNAVEM mandate in May, massive
logistical problems remain to be overcome.
The Secretary General's report to the Security Council pointed
out that four quartering camps were completed, with another 10
either close to completion or under way. However, the AFP
news agency report quotes UN sources as saying that it will
take three months to get all the confinement camps open.
There have been two main obstacles to the setting up of the
camps. First, UNAVEM have had to take up the task of
constructing the camps, because UNITA has failed in its
obligation to provide the necessary labour force. Some
sources, however, also criticise the speed of the arrangements
made by UNAVEM.
Second, UNITA has been accused of actively obstructing the
construction of the camps. Lt Col Carlos Serrazes, commander
of the Brazilian peacekeeping unit at the Andulo quartering
area, told Associated Press that UNITA was responsible for the
delay in opening up the camp. He said "we'd be at 100 per cent
here if UNITA would just give us the necessary permissions".
The main route from nearby Kuito was not open and was in
UNITA's hands. Vehicles bringing vital supplies were forced to
use alternative routes, incurring long delays.
New obstacles raised
UNITA leader Jonas Savimbi has stated that the Angolan
Government should reciprocate the "goodwill" shown by UNITA in
confining its troops. The UNITA leader linked further troop
confinements to movement in the political arena.
Speaking on UNITA's Radio Vorgan on 12 February, Jonas Savimbi
said that "we cannot continue to confine and disarm 62,000 men
without any political gesture". He then raised two points.
Firstly, "the ban on UNITA should be lifted". Secondly, he
called for a general and total amnesty.
These two points were directly addressed by President Jose
Eduardo dos Santos during his opening speech to the ordinary
session of the MPLA Central Committee on 16 February.
He said that "the principle of complete amnesty for crimes
originating from the armed conflict is contained in the
Lusaka Protocol. After approving the Lusaka Protocol, the
National Assembly approved Amnesty Law No 18/94, promulgated
by the President of the Republic on 10 November and published
in the Government Gazette No 50, Series 1. If there are
shortcomings in this law, the issue can be examined at the
On the second issue of UNITA becoming a fully fledged
political party, the President quoted at length from the
Constitution which pointed out the need for political parties
to operate within the law through democratic and peaceful
means. Thus, the President said "the sooner the general
military incorporation of UNITA soldiers into FAA forces
ends, the sooner UNITA will recover the condition of being a
According to the London-based journal Southscan Jonas Savimbi
is also calling for a transitional government of national
unity. UNITA claims that after November 1996 the Government's
mandate runs out, and states that the present Government
should be replaced by a transitional one.
The Government has responded by reaffirming its commitment to
the Lusaka Protocol, under which UNITA will be entitled to
four ministers and seven deputy-ministers, along with a number
of other posts (see APM no.5, vol II). However, the President
said on 16 February that a transitional government "would be
unconstitutional and undemocratic. In other words, a
government resulting from an elected parliament and thus
legitimate would be replaced by a non-elected government and
therefore would be illegitimate".
In his defence of carrying on after November 1996, the
President quoted the Constitution: "the deputies' mandate
begins with the National Assembly's first session after
elections and ends with the first session after subsequent
elections, regardless of the individual suspension or
cessation of the mandate".
There is a general consensus, both internally and
internationally, that conditions do not exist for elections
in November 1996. However, it is clear that this is an issue
which UNITA intends to highlight in coming months.
UNITA is also seeking much greater representation for its
officers in the Angolan army structure after the
incorporation of UNITA's troops following demobilisation. The
South African Press Association on 23 February reported that
UNITA is demanding 40 top posts, whilst the Government is
sticking by 11. Negotiations between the two sides are
Developments in United States send signals to Angola
A high ranking US military delegation visited Angola during
the middle of February, led by General James Jamerson, second
in command of American forces in Europe. In a meeting with FAA
Chief of Staff, General de Matos, on 22 February, there were
discussions on a programme of military education and training
amounting to $165 million, reports Jornal de Angola.
The high-level visit was also interpreted as a very
significant development in cementing improved relations
between the US and the Angolan Government. It was also seen
as a veiled warning from Washington for UNITA to abide by the
However, other sources maintain that further delays in
implementation by UNITA are the result of a hope that a
change in US President might bring them a return of greater
support from Washington.
Date for summit set
The Portuguese radio station TSF has reported that a meeting
between Angolan President dos Santos and UNITA leader Jonas
Savimbi has been set for 1 March in Gabon.
The previous meeting, due to take place on 20 January, was
cancelled by the UNITA leader at short notice. He is quoted
by SAPA as saying on 20 February that "I need to see the
President. I can't go on carrying out political activity from
Cease-fire violations continue
The Secretary General reported to the Security Council on 31
January that between 1 December and 25 January there had been
a total of 154 cease-fire violations. Of these 58 had been
attributed to the Angolan army, 91 to UNITA and 5 of unknown
On 27 February an Antanov aircraft on route from Luanda to
Lucapa was shot down over an area under the control of UNITA.
8 people on board died in the incident. The Joint Commission
has sent a team of experts to the area to investigate.
Dr Boutros-Ghali further reported to the Security Council that
"the International Committee of the Red Cross has confirmed
that the Government has released 350 registered prisoners.
All prisoners identified by the Government have thus been
freed. UNITA, which has so far freed only 44 prisoners, has
yet to make a similar effort".
The ICRC reported on 7 February that UNITA had released a
further 42 prisoners, from the towns of Luwia and Bailundo.
Cabinda cease-fire extended
A truce between the Government and the Cabinda Enclave
Liberation Front (FLEC-Renovada) has been extended for a
further four months.
The LUSA news agency reported on 26 February that negotiations
in Brazzaville, Congo, successfully extended the cease-fire
that was reached in September 1995. The report also said that
leaders of the other separatist groups were to meet in
Libreville, Gabon, to set up a body to talk with the
Secretary General calls for international support for Angolan
Dr Boutros-Ghali has called on the international community to
give financial support to the efforts of Angolans. In
particular, his report to the Security Council stated that
"massive quartering of the Rapid Reaction Police presents a
particular challenge to the Government and I appeal to the
donor community to provide additional resources to support
this vital undertaking".
He also drew attention to the need to support the revised
version of the Department of Humanitarian Affairs inter-agency
appeal. Angola Peace Monitor will provide an analysis of the
appeal in its next issue.
Chalker visits Angola
Baroness Lynda Chalker, Britain's Minister for Overseas
Development arrived on 19 February on a three day visit to
Angola. During her visit she met with top officials from the
Government and UNAVEM. Due to her trip coinciding with the
meeting of the Central Committee of the ruling MPLA, she was
unable to meet with President dos Santos.
She did, however, travel to Bailundo, where she met with UNITA
leader Jonas Savimbi. During her meeting she pressed him for
a "substantial advance" in the quartering of UNITA troops by
the end of March.
There was disappointment in Angola following her trip that she
did not pledge any new aid money to the war-torn country, and
help build ground-level confidence in the peace process. It
was expected that the trip would be used as a platform for a
new announcement of aid (see APM 5, Vol II). However she said
that "for the peace process to be totally successful, the
economy has to undergo major reform".
Other visitors to Angola recently have included: Brian Atwood,
administrator of the USAID, who was in the country from 3 - 6
February; Joao de Deus Pinheiro, the European Commissioner for
the ACP; Jacques Diouf of the UN Food and Agricultural
Organisation. It is expected that South African President
Nelson Mandela will visit Angola during March.
Malaria hits UN in Angola
Two Brazilian blue helmets have died in Angola as a result of
contracting cerebral malaria, according to Sylvana Foa on 6
February. Out of the 7,000 UN personnel in Angola, almost
1,000 cases of malaria have been reported.
Diamond mining to be targeted
The London-based journal Southscan has reported that the
Government has announced a new programme to stabilise the
diamond sector. At present, UNITA raises enormous funds
through the control of diamonds illegally mined in areas
under its control. The Governor of Lunda Sul, Goncalves
Muandumba, said that the provinces' official diamond industry
was almost paralysed. The Government had embarked on major
operations to clear illegal traders and miners operating in
However, the lasting impact of this on these activities is not
Financial crisis at UN
The UN Secretary General, Dr Boutros Boutros-Ghali warned on
6 February that "the financial crisis has brought the UN to
the edge of insolvency". Speaking to a UN finance committee,
he said that he would appeal to every debtor nation to
provide him with a timetable for settling its arrears.
According to a report in the Financial Times on 7 February,
the Department of Peacekeeping Operations in New York has
been told to avoid long-distance telephone calls, and to
prepare for a 15 per cent cut in staff. The UN is owed $2.3
billion, of which the United States owes $1.2 billion.
According to the Secretary General's report to the Security
Council on 31 January, the UNAVEM special account up until 31
December 1995 was owed $26.4 million.
The Angola Peace Monitor is produced every month by ACTSA -
Action for Southern Africa, the successor organisation to the
British Anti-Apartheid Movement. It is produced as our
contribution towards the work of the Angola Emergency
Campaign, which seeks to highlight the need for international
action in support of peace and democracy in Angola.
A years subscription to the Angola Peace Monitor is available
at a cost of 10 pounds sterlilng in Britain and 15 pounds
sterling elsewhere. Please indicate whether you wish to
receive the Angola Peace Monitor by post, fax, or e-mail. A
full set of back issues is available at an additional cost of
2 pounds sterling.
Payment should be made in pounds sterling. If you wish to pay
in any other currency, you must add the equivalent of 6 pound
sterling to cover our bank charges.
ACTSA, 28 Penton Street, London N1 9SA, e-mail
firstname.lastname@example.org, fax +44 171 837 3001, telephone +44
171 833 3133.
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.