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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 Please note that many outdated links in this archived document may not work.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: Peace Monitor, II, 7
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.
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Angola: Peace Monitor, II, 7
Date Distributed (ymd): 960408

Angola Peace Monitor
Published by ACTSA on behalf of the Angola Emergency Campaign
Issue no.7, Volume II, 29 March 1996

UN Secretary General questions UNITA's good faith on

The Secretary General of the United Nations, Dr Boutros
Boutros-Ghali has  given a stern warning that time is running
out for UNITA to send their  troops to bases set up by the UN.

The Secretary General, in his report to the UN Security
Council on 6 March  (S/1996/171), said that "in recent days,
the quartering of UNITA troops has  slowed dramatically.
Instances of forced recruitment and the substandard  quality
and quantity of weapons, equipment and ammunition brought to
the  quartering areas are bound to raise doubts about the good
faith of UNITA in  its approach to this process".

Eighty one individuals who registered at Tchikala Tcholohanga
/ Vila Nova  subsequently fled the camp and turned themselves
over to the Angolan  National Police, claiming that they had
been forcibly recruited by UNITA  specifically for quartering,
said the UN.

The Secretary General said that reports from UNAVEM III in
Huambo Province  confirm that this practice has indeed taken
place in some areas. UNAVEM III  has also observed that some
UNITA troops arriving in quartering areas are  "below or above
the usual age for military service".

The report also raises the concern that "30 to 40 per cent of
the personal  weapons collected are in very poor condition or
not serviceable. UNAVEM III  is actively pursuing these
matters which have a direct bearing on the  credibility of the
whole process".

According to a ministerial reply to a British Parliamentary
Question by  Robert Hughes MP, the figures for UNITA military
personnel quartered by 19  March 1996 were as follows:

Quartering area total under 17 years old

Vila Nova     4,816     954
Londuimbali   4,442     576
Negage        5,003     359
Quibaxe       2,145     237
Total         16,406    2126

Of these 957 have deserted and 12 have died. A UN source
quoted by the South African Press Association (SAPA) said that
"the UN has not been able to find any solutions to the
constant problems of medication and food".  A total of  9,176
family members - 3,147 women and 6,029 children - have gone to
the  camps.

In response to a separate Parliamentary Question by Robert
Hughes MP on  weapons handed in by UNITA personnel at the
quartering areas, the following  figures were produced for 19

        Vila Nova Londuimbali Negage Quibaxe Total

Personal   3859   3127    4455   835     13276
Infantry    437    361     211    35      1044
Artillery     8      4       7     0        19
APC/tanks     1      0       0     0         1
Other         7     17      12    18        54

The Government and UNITA have set a deadline for the
quartering of all UNITA military personnel by 8 May, which is
the day that the UN Security Council  will meet in New York to
discuss whether to extend the mandate for UNAVEM  III.

Secretary General reports some progress

Dr Boutros-Ghali did report some signs of improvement in the
situation to  the Security Council.

His report said that "among the positive developments of the
past month are  a decrease in the number of cease-fire
violations; a further reduction in  hostile propaganda; the
release of additional prisoners registered with the
International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) - while the
Government has  freed all 353 such prisoners held by it, UNITA
has so far released 139; the  disengagement of government
forces from some forward positions; and  continued quartering
of the rapid reaction police in 3 out of 10 planned
quartering areas. However the implementation of many other
elements is still behind schedule, particularly the crucial
quartering of UNITA troops. Delays in this process have
affected the implementation of other key provisions of  the
Lusaka Protocol, including the extension of State
administration  throughout the country."

President meets UNITA leader in Libreville

For the fourth time since the signing of the Lusaka Protocol,
Angola  President Jose Eduardo dos Santos met with UNITA
leader Jonas Savimbi on 1  March in Libreville, Gabon. The
main points coming from the meeting were:

- the completion of the quartering of UNITA troops in May
1996, leading to  the finalisation of the formation of FAA by
June 1996. By July a Government  of Unity and National
Reconciliation is to be formed.

- the UNITA leader handed over a list of nominees for the
government and  administrative positions reserved under the
Lusaka Protocol for UNITA. Names were also given for UNITA
nominees for the 70 seats in the National Assembly left vacant
by UNITA after they rejected the results of the 1992

- the two leaders agreed that the present National Assembly
will be extended beyond November 1996. Sources said that the
UNITA leader accepted the  principle of postponing elections
until the year 2000.

- it was agreed that further meetings between the two leaders
would be held  in Angola.

Savimbi speech sends mixed signals

There still remains considerable doubt over whether Jonas
Savimbi will take  up the position of Vice-President that was
offered to him by the Angolan  Government.

In an emotional speech to a rally in Bailundo on 13 March, the
UNITA leader  surprised many with his comments, leaving
journalists and pundits with  differing interpretations.
(Extracts of the speech available from the BBC  Summary of
World Broadcasts (AL/2563) and the Angolan Embassy in London.)

The UNITA leader said "now that we are marking the National
Union for the  Total Independence of Angola's 30th
anniversary, I would like to make it  clear that one of our
greatest errors was to sign the Bicesse Accord in  1991. It
was a major error and I am here to admit that error. UNITA had
everything to continue its unstoppable struggle. It was an
error and I fully admit it."

Turning to the issue of disarmament, he said that "to confine
soldiers is  not a problem, but disarmament is. We have been
fighting alongside these  comrades for the past 30 years. My
role is to disarm. To establish a single  army for Angola is
not only a patriotic duty, but a political one. My task  is to
disarm. For the thousands of people here today my task is to
disarm.  Soldiers in Vila Nova, Londuimbali, Quibaxe and
Negage say: Savimbi has told us to surrender our weapons. You
must understand how difficult and critical  this is for me. I
would prefer to surrender weapons and die afterwards: my  life
will become meaningless. Once weapons are surrendered, I will
not be  suitable for the vice-presidency. My task ends. I am
telling you this so  that no-one leaves this hall with doubts.
I will fulfil my duty. I have  assumed the duty to disarm
troops, but you should understand that once you  disarm I will
have nothing else to do. As UNITA leader, my biggest pain
right now is to disarm soldiers. I have not known of any
historic leader who disarmed his forces and stayed in power".

He also had some positive news on the FAA: "There has been
progress in the  establishment of a single army. Also I
believe that the President of the  Republic was sufficiently
accommodating and permitted 18 UNITA Generals to  join the
Angolan Armed Forces Supreme Command".

New conditions raised

Jonas Savimbi also revealed that he was creating new
conditions for UNITA  taking up Government positions: "I agree
to UNITA members joining a  Government of Unity and National
Reconciliation only if it is a broad  government".

Referring to Filomeno Vieira Lopes of the Front for Democracy
and Analia  Victoria Pereira from the Liberal Democratic
Party, both of whom were in the audience, and Holden Roberto
of the FNLA who was not present, Savimbi stated that "I spoke
directly to the President of the Republic and asked that
Analia and Filomeno should join, but that Holden and his group
should join  first. I won't join unless he joins, and my word
is sacred. If he doesn't  join I won't. UNITA will only join
if the opposition joins".

The UNITA leader also raised the question of whether he was
prepared to  become Vice-President. He said: "ask Angolans, do
you really need Savimbi as Vice-President of the Republic. Do
you? Perhaps I would be more useful  telling the truths I do,
rather than being gagged. I would also not like to  die of a
heart attack just because I was not received by the director
of the Office of the President. I think I would be much more
useful outside than  inside. However, what finally counts is
the opinion of my party, the views  of Angolans. Angolan
opinion is very divided. I have received hundreds of  letters
from Luanda, from all sides: 'accept the vice-presidency, it
would  be good', 'don't accept, it's a trap'. I no longer know
what you want."

UN assured after speech

On 18 March the UN Secretary General's Special Representative
in Angola,  Alioune Blondin Beye, accompanied by General
Sibanda (military commander of  UNAVEM III) and the
ambassadors from the troika observers of Portugal,  Russia and
the United States visited Bailundo to clarify the contents of
Jonas Savimbi's speech.

Following a meeting with the UNITA leader, Mr Blondin Beye
said on Televisao Popular de Angola "I am very much in a
position to give you assurances  relating to the firm
commitment - I repeat, the firm commitment - of UNITA's
political and military leadership and its president to the
Lusaka peace  process. What is more, UNITA, its political and
military leadership, and  particularly its president, firmly
reaffirmed the spirit and letter of the  Libreville agreement.
Assurances were given with regard to the resumption of the
confinement in the three new areas that we declared open -
Ngove, Qibala and Ntuko". (note: there are now seven
quartering areas open, the eighth  being at Andulo.)

Deal on armed forces reported

An agreement was reached on 9 March between representatives of
the Angolan  armed forces, FAA, and UNITA on the thorny issue
of the final make-up of FAA after UNITA's troops have been

This will complete the process of integrating UNITA troops
that was stalled  when UNITA rejected the results of the 1992
elections and returned to war.

The Chief of General Staff of FAA, General Joao Baptista de
Matos, said on  Televisao Popular de Angola that UNITA
generals would be given nine posts in the army and a further
nine in the "fourth branch" (this branch will assist  in the
nation's reconstruction). In addition, a "considerable number"
of  UNITA colonels will have positions in the FAA. A total of
26,300 UNITA  soldiers will join the FAA.

Radio Nacional de Angola reported on 5 March that a further
36,000 UNITA  troops will form part of the "fourth branch",
and that the national army is  expected to have a total of
90,000 troops.

SCF highlight need for freedom of movement

A senior official of the Save the Children Fund (UK) has
warned that a key  area of the Lusaka Protocol has not been
met, leading to serious economic  and political problems.

Don Redding, SCF's senior press officer reported, following a
visit to  Angola in late January 1996, that the issue of
freedom of movement is  essential to improve the health,
education and economic prospects of  Angolans.

He states that "although some people are moving back and forth
across the  lines there is no freedom of movement". Recent
reports also document how  UNITA taxes people's movements and
subjects them to close scrutiny, with the threat of taking
their goods and handing out beatings always implied.

Looking at the future for the country, Redding comments on the
resources  pledged at the Donors Round Table in Brussels in
September 1995, saying  that: "money or no money, development
is not possible while the population  remains divided
geographically and militarily. The lack of freedom of
movement poses a two-way problem of access: agencies will have
difficulty  getting proper access to people in UNITA zones;
but also those people will  have difficulty getting access to
services. For example, some of the health  posts and centres
SCF is helping the Ministry of Health to restart in the
Bocoio-Balombo valley are cut off from half their potential
users by front  lines".

He continues that "this problem of access also applies to
economic  security...the basic marketplace is severely
distorted because of people's  lack of freedom to move from
one zone to another to trade".

On a positive note, Don Redding points to the rapid recovery
possible. He  stated that "where trade becomes possible and
markets restart, as between  Lobito and Bocoio/Balombo, there
is a rapid increase in well-being, the  basic exchange being
agricultural produce for basic consumer goods.  Livestock also
reappears as, for example, cattle-herders return to
previously unsafe areas".

UNITA leader meets Mandela

Jonas Savimbi met with South African President, Nelson
Mandela, in Togo on 4 March. According to UNITA's Radio Vorgan
"sources close to the UNITA  presidency described the meeting,
the second in less than a year, as useful, but did not

A previous meeting between the two had been cancelled earlier
in the year  due to a health check-up on the President.

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 sterling 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 pounds
sterling to cover our bank charges.

ACTSA, 28 Penton Street, London N1 9SA, e-mail,  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.


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