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Angola: Peace Monitor, II, 9
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Angola: Peace Monitor, II, 9
Date Distributed (ymd): 960529
Angola Peace Monitor
Issue no.9, Volume II 27 May 1996
Army amnesty moves opens path to peace
The Government of Angola and the rebel movement Uniao Nacional
para a Independencia Total de Angola, UNITA, on 21 May
completed negotiations on the important issue of the
integration of UNITA military personnel into the Angolan
national army, FAA. This is a key provision of the Lusaka
Protocol. If matched by political will from UNITA, this
agreement paves the way for the disbandment of UNITA's
military forces and the completion of the peace process.
According to reports from the Portuguese radio station RDP
Antena - 1, and the Angolan News Agency, ANGOP, an agreement
has been reached that as from 1 June the selection of military
personnel will begin, with the process ending on 30 July.
No agreement has been made yet over the fate of those UNITA
soldiers not chosen for the national army. The Government
wants them placed in a new Fourth Branch of the military, to
help with the reconstruction of the country. UNITA maintains
that they should be immediately demobilised into civilian
On 8 May the National Assembly unanimously passed the Bill
which provides for the amnesty of all crimes against military,
internal state security and related crimes committed by
Angolans since 31 May 1991. This was in response to a new
condition for the integration of UNITA forces into the FAA
raised by UNITA (see APM issue no.8, Volume II).
Last minute rush fails to win applause
At a meeting on 8 May in New York, the United Nations Security
Council unanimously passed Resolution 1055 (1996), extending
the UNAVEM III mandate for a further two months, until 11
July. This is one month less than the previous renewal, in a
sign of greater international pressure on UNITA to comply with
the Lusaka Protocol.
The resolution expressed "profound regret at the overall slow
pace which is far behind schedule" and noted "with deep
concern the failure of UNITA to complete the quartering of all
its troops by 8 May in accordance with resolution 1045 (1996)
of 8 February". It further went on to note "the recent
progress in the quartering of UNITA troops and calls upon
UNITA to fulfil by June 1996 its obligation to complete the
credible, uninterrupted and fully verifiable quartering of its
troops and to turn over to UNAVEM III all its arms, ammunition
and military equipment".
In a dash to meet its self-imposed deadline of quartering
30,000 troops by 8 May, UNITA has moved thousands of its
troops into official UN quartering areas, reaching a figure of
31,500 on 7 May.
The large scale movement of UNITA troops into the quartering
areas in the first week of May has brought a guarded response
from the UN Security Council. Speaking on 8 May during the
debate on the UN peacekeeping operation in Angola, UNAVEM III,
the US Ambassador to the UN, Karl Inderfurth spoke for many
countries when he said that "the last-minute movements of
thousands of troops to quartering areas in the final days
before the renewal of UNAVEM's mandate is typical of UNITA's
pattern of lurching forward in fits and starts towards its
goals. This pattern does not help cement faith in UNITA's
overall commitment to the peace process. It is essential that
UNITA continue the quartering process without further delay or
interruption. Unless real soldiers bearing real weapons are
quartered, the peace process will not move forward".
According to information supplied to ACTSA by the UN
Humanitarian Assistance Coordination Unite in Luanda (UCAH),
as of 15 May, a total of 33,675 UNITA soldiers were registered
at the following Quartering Areas.
Vila Nova 5,007
An eleventh quartering area was opened on 17 May at Caiundo,
Kuando Kubango Province, with a twelth due to open on 21 May
at Chitembo, in Bie. Work is still taking place on two further
sites, with the location of the last quartering area still
UNITA promises to quarter 50,000 by 15 June
The UNITA General Staff on 21 May issued a communique in which
they pledged to confine 50,000 troops by 15 June. This
clarifies a statement made by the UN Secretary General's
Special Representative, Alioune Blondin Beye, who said after
a visit to UNITA leader Jonas Savimbi in Andulo on 14 May that
"I am in a position to state firmly that UNITA will resume the
confinement process before the end of this week and it will
confine 50,000 men before 15 June".
Concern raised over those quartered
The Secretary General of the UN, Dr Boutros Boutros-Ghali has
warned that the patience of UNITA soldiers staying in the
quartering areas may be running out.
In his report to the Security Council on 30 April
(S/1996/328), he warned that "desertions from quartering sites
were reported to number about 2,100, but the actual figure is
probably higher, since, on several occasions UNITA commanders
have prevented UNAVEM III personnel from conducting roll
calls. UNITA representatives claimed that desertions were due
to the harsh living conditions in the camps but there is
reason to believe that some of them were covertly sanctioned
by commanding officers and that others involved persons who
had been forcibly recruited by UNITA for quartering. The age
of some UNITA troops and the condition of weapons surrendered
continue to be a major concern."
The Secretary General went on to state that "Complaints by
UNITA, many of which have proved to be largely unfounded, have
been carefully investigated and followed up. The [Joint]
Commission, of which UNITA is a member, has concluded that the
assistance being provided to the soldiers in the quartering
areas is generally adequate".
He continued that "It is disturbing, therefore, that UNITA's
mass media continue to disseminate allegations about
sub-standard conditions in quartering areas".
On the issue of troop morale, he stated that "The soldiers who
arrived late last year at the first quartering areas in Vila
Nova and Londiumbali have now been quartered there for five
months, which is the maximum period originally planned. Not
only is their prolonged stay rapidly depleting United Nations
resources (those allocated for first assembly will almost be
exhausted in May) but discipline in some camps has started to
deteriorate. These factors make it imperative to begin without
delay the gradual incorporation of UNITA troops into FAA and
the demobilization of those who are willing to be discharged."
Government troop quartering "positive"
The Government has received praise from both the Secretary
General and the Security Council of the UN over its withdrawal
to base of its troops.
Writing in his report to the Security Council, the Secretary
General stated that "the major positive development was the
withdrawal of the FAA to their nearest barracks in some
provinces". He also pointed out that the Civilian Police
component of UNAVEM III had "verified the quartering of the
rapid reaction police in Benguela, Huambo, Luanda, Luena,
Lubango, Uige and most recently, in Malange. As of 25 April,
3,605 of the declared strength of 3,745 personnel had been
quartered in these 7 locations. Barracking of those in Saurimo
will commence on 30 April, with those in Cabinda following in
However, this positive view is rejected by UNITA leader Jonas
Savimbi, who said in an interview in Le Figaro on 17 May that
"Government troops are only pretending to return to base.
These soldiers and the special police forces, the "Ninjas",
are still threatening our men who are now disarmed".
Meanwhile, the Government announced on 13 May that the second
stage of moving its troops to barracks was to commence,
involving the barracking of 6,000 troops over the following
UNITA leader hints at accepting vice-presidency
Jonas Savimbi has hinted that he might still accept the post
of Vice-President of Angola, if certain conditions are met, in
an important interview on 15 May in the French daily "Figaro".
The UNITA leader said that "First, the MPLA must accept
integration of UNITA's leaders into a cabinet of national
unity and the Government army. Then, if my party decides that
I ought to accept this offer, I shall do so. But Dos Santos is
both President of the Republic and President of the MPLA. If
I become Vice-President, I will be under the orders of a party
leader, although I will have renounced the presidency of
UNITA. This is barely acceptable. If UNITA decides to send me
to Luanda to take up the role of Vice-President, it should
also elect for itself a new President".
Answering a question on whether UNITA would "keep control of
the diamond producing areas in the northeast of the country,
Savimbi responded that "For UNITA, this is a question of
survival. In 1992 the Government was supposed to finance our
campaign. It did not do so. We therefore had to secure our own
means of finance, because, one day, there will be lots of new
elections, and we must finance the campaign".
The UNITA leader also called for a "transitional Government"
to be in place by November. This is seemingly in contradiction
with UNITA's agreement with the Angolan Government that a
Government of Unity and National Reconciliation should govern
the country until new elections can be held.
Military situation "calm"
The body over-seeing the peace process in Angola, the Joint
Commission, has noted that the military situation in Angola is
relatively calm with no serious military actions registered.
This analysis was confirmed by the Secretary General in his
report to the Security Council, who said that "the military
situation in most of the provinces remained calm, with no
offensives or other significant military actions by either
ACTSA calls for action
Action for Southern Africa, ACTSA, has written to the British
Government, calling for greater international action to be
taken to ensure that UNITA fulfils its obligations under the
In a letter to Baroness Chalker, the Minister of State for
Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, ACTSA Chair Robert Hughes
MP, wrote that "The Security Council must now be prepared to
spell out a set of specific measures that will be taken
against UNITA if it once again fails to comply, within the
period set for the renewal of the mandate, with a minimum set
of provisions; at the very least to include the full and
verified quartering of its troops and the surrender of all
arms, ammunition and military equipment to the UN - as agreed
in the Lusaka Protocol. If such steps are not made, the
Security Council should make it clear what new measures it
will take to ensure the full and effective implementation of
existing UN sanctions on the continuing flow of arms and
petroleum products to UNITA and to block revenues from the
international trade in illegally extracted diamonds which
finances this trade".
In her response to ACTSA, Baroness Chalker wrote that "as you
rightly suggest, further procrastination in the quartering and
disarming of UNITA troops cannot be justified". She continued
that the UN Security Council Resolution of 8 May "renews the
mandate of UNAVEM III only for a period of 2 months, until 11
July 1996, and in this period UNITA will be expected to
maintain the momentum of quartering achieved earlier this
month. If UNITA have failed to make significant progress by
the expiry of the current mandate, this will certainly
influence the Security Council when it next considers the
Government signs agreement with Cabinda rebels
The Gabonese radio station, Africa No 1, has reported that on
15 May in Libreville, Gabon, an agreement on a cease-fire was
signed between the Government and the Front for the Liberation
of the Cabinda Enclave - Cabinda Armed Forces (FLEC-FAC).
Jonas Savimbi to visit Europe
UNITA leader Jonas Savimbi is due to visit Europe at the
beginning of June. He is expected to visit London where
meetings with Government officials are anticipated.
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
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