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Angola: Peace Monitor, II, 7
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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
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
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
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
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