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Angola: Peace Monitor, III, 1
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Angola: Peace Monitor, III, 1
Date Distributed (ymd): 960928
Angola Peace Monitor
Published by ACTSA on behalf of the Angola Emergency Campaign
Issue no.1 Vol III, 27 September 1996
Savimbi rejects post of vice-president
On 27 August UNITA leader Jonas Savimbi formally rejected the
offer of vice-presidency of Angola. The offer was made by
President dos Santos following a request by Jonas Savimbi
himself at a meeting between the two in Libreville on 1 March.
In response to the UNITA leader's rejection of the post the
Angolan Government called on the Joint Commission - which is
made up of the Angolan Government; UNITA; UNAVEM III; and the
troika of Russia, the United States and Portugal - to withdraw
the "special status" given to Savimbi under the Lusaka
Although this request has been rejected, the head of UNAVEM
III, the United Nations Secretary-General's Special
Representative Alioune Blondin Beye stated that "after
rejecting the Government's offer, it [UNITA] must now make a
UNITA generals arrive in Luanda, but progress is slow
Following strong pressure from the United States and the
United Nations, five generals from UNITA's army arrived in
Luanda on 9 September to rejoin the Angolan army, the FAA, and
prepare the ground for the integration of UNITA soldiers. The
delegation was led by General Arlindo Chenda "Ben Ben" Pena.
Under the Lusaka Protocol UNITA generals are to return to the
Angolan army, which they had deserted after the elections in
1992. These generals would be responsible for working out with
other officers of the FAA how to incorporate 26,500 UNITA
soldiers and officers into the army, with the rest being
The failure so far of UNITA to abide by their commitment to
provide ten top generals to lead the integration of UNITA
troops was seen by many as a sign of their lack of willingness
to stick by the Lusaka Protocol.
UNITA promised UNAVEM's Beye that a further five generals
would arrive in Luanda before 20 September - this did not
happen. Equally serious is the allegation that the generals
sent so far are not the top UNITA generals, who are said to
have remained with their fighting units in case of a
resumption of hostilities.
General Pena is officially UNITA's Chief of Staff, but is not
considered to be the most powerful of UNITA's 59 generals.
Among notable senior generals who failed to appear in Luanda
with the first contingent were General Paulo Lukamba "Gato",
General Altino Bango Sapalalo "Bock" and General Demostenes
The London-based Economist magazine on 14 September asked, "Is
Mr Savimbi using the opportunity to clear out some dead wood
and keep his best officers in the field?"
President due to meet UNITA leader
There has been a delay in plans for the Angolan President to
meet with Jonas Savimbi on Angolan soil.
According to a report from the AFP news agency, the UNITA
leader had agreed to meet with the President before 20
September, the date set by the Joint Commission for the
completion of various military tasks (see below).
The two leaders had been expected to meet, for the fifth time
since the signing of the Lusaka Protocol. This would be the
first time in Angola.
Security Council to meet to discuss future of UNAVEM
The UN Security Council will meet in New York in October to
discuss the renewal of UNAVEM III's mandate, which will run
out on 11 October.
Amongst issues to be raised will be the selection of UNITA
troops for the FAA, the demobilisation of the remaining UNITA
troops, and the "special status" of Jonas Savimbi.
One crucial issue which will be raised will be plans for
reducing UNAVEM's military component. It had been originally
planned that UNAVEM III would complete its mission in February
1997. However, due to slippage in the Lusaka Protocol's
timetable, it is expected that this mandate will be extended
beyond February in a cut-down form.
Currently UNAVEM III is the biggest and most expensive UN
peacekeeping operation. Other factors which may shape its
future include the US presidential elections and a possible
challenge for the position of UN Secretary-General currently
held by Boutros Boutros-Ghali.
Military deadline ignored by UNITA
The deadline for the completion of various military tasks, set
by the Joint Commission at 20 September has not been met.
Quartering of UNITA troops
UNITA has failed to quarter all its troops. Under the Lusaka
Protocol it was obliged to quarter 62,500 soldiers. Those
quartered still fail to make this number.
However, of those quartered, over 11,000 have since deserted.
The largest number of desertions has been at the camp in
Andulo, where 1,478 soldiers have left. Andulo is the location
of UNITA's military headquarters and the place where Jonas
According to many sources (see APM passim), a high proportion
of those quartered are not real troops. The latest available
figures from the United Nations show that 7,600 of those
quartered are under the age of 18. Others were press-ganged by
UNITA to make up the numbers. On 5 June the British newspaper,
The Guardian, stated that according to UN and aid officials,
at least half of those quartered were not real soldiers.
The London-based journal, New African, in its September issue
states that UNITA still has "regular and penetration
battalions, special force commandos and a technical and
explosives brigade, in all numbering about 25,000 men".
UNITA police force still in operation
UNITA has failed to quarter its self-proclaimed police force,
despite strong demands that it do so.
The UN Secretary General, Dr Boutros Boutros-Ghali, in his
report to the UN Security Council on 11 July, (S/1996/503)
stated that "another source of concern is the presence in
areas vacated by UNITA of persons which it claims are its
police, even though the establishment of such a force is
contrary to the provisions of the Lusaka Protocol. It is
imperative that these personnel also be quartered and their
weapons handed over to the United Nations".
The Lusaka Protocol provided for the incorporation of UNITA
members into the National Police so that it can function as a
non-partisan institution. 12 specific principles, along with
a series of modalities, were agreed on how this was to be
achieved. These included arrangements for the participation of
5,500 UNITA members, including 180 officers.
However, none of the above has been implemented. Road blocks
previously operated by UNITA soldiers are now under the
control of UNITA "police".
Estimates of the strength of this force vary. According to a
report on 23 September from the news agency Clarinet, there
are 5,000 in the force. The London based journal Southscan
puts the figure at 15,000.
On 18 September UNAVEM III put forward a proposal to the Joint
Commission concerning the disarming and quartering of the
This proposals was accepted by the Angolan Government, the
troika observers of Russia, the United States and Portugal.
However, it was vetoed by UNITA who want the issue to be dealt
with bilaterally between the two political leaders at their
UN criticises lack of weapons handed in
The United Nations has once again criticised UNITA for failing
to hand over all weapons in its possession, in particular its
heavy weapons and sophisticated ground to air missiles.
Some further weapons have been handed in during September. At
Ntuku, Zaire Province, two tanks, seven artillery pieces, two
rocket launchers, assault rifles and 14 tonnes of shells and
ammunition were handed over. A further hand-over of weapons
was cancelled on 16 September due to what UNITA describe as a
Other weapons were handed over at Muxinde in the north-east of
According to the New African magazine UNITA still possess 100
artillery pieces, multiple rocket launchers and mortars. They
also are said to have a small number of SAM-7s, SAM-14s and
Savimbi waits as Government heads towards end of fourth year
A number of media commentators have recently written that
UNITA is continuing with a policy of dragging out the peace
process in the hope of gaining more concessions or even
A report by the Clarinet news organisation states that
"diplomats say these delaying tactics, which are reminiscent
of 1992, are a way to buy time before the government mandate
expires in November". It goes on to state that UNITA "is also
aware of the potential for social unrest, with Angola's
devastated economy suffering 10,000 percent inflation".
The report goes on to quote a diplomat as saying that "Savimbi
is playing a waiting game, hoping the regime will collapse. He
is trying to wriggle out of what he signed in 1994 and is now
saying the timetable should be flexible".
The report concludes that "whether or not Savimbi plans to
resume fighting, he is getting rich by keeping Angola in
limbo. By occupying most of Angola's diamond fields, UNITA
earns around $500 million a year".
A report in the New African magazine stated that, "though
publicly UNITA says it will abide by the peace process, a
secret agenda provides for the core elements to resume full
scale guerrilla activity if the central authority in Luanda
collapses. This could be provoked by an army coup d'etat or by
serious civil unrest in the cities caused by food shortages".
In an ominous sign that the above analysis may be partially
correct, Jonas Savimbi said in an interview with Agence France
Press, AFP, that he is "waiting for the country to
implode...then I will take it".
The Angolan economy has shown some tentative signs that it has
begun to stabilise after the first 100 days of the new
government, headed by Prime Minister Franca van Dunem.
The Angolan currency, the Kwanza, had settled at around
200,000 to the dollar following severe action taken against
traders in the parallel money market, including the expulsion
of some foreign nationals from the country.
The Government also introduced new controls over imports,
requiring all foreign transactions to be carried out via the
banking system. It is hoped that this will increase customs
Reuters reported on 20 September that the Government has
halted the commercial activities of the national bank, and
transferred them to the state owned Caixa de Credito Agro-
Pecuaria e Pescas in a move to reduce corruption.
Most public workers have now received their pay arrears and
have had their average wage increased from $20 to $40 a month.
The Government crackdown on currency and customs, along with
the discovery of a massive counterfeit dollar ring, will lead
to a shortage of goods in the short term, although it is hoped
that this will stabilise the economy and take it out of the
hands of the speculators.
UN General Assembly hears of Angola's plight
The Minister for External Relations, Venancio de Moura, has
used the United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York
to highlight the problems facing his country.
Speaking in the general debate on 23 September, the Minister
called for a new Marshall Plan before the end of the century
to help Africa through its social and economic crisis.
He said that the consequences of the cycles of poor capital
and technologies, population growth and social unrest could be
avoided if Africa could rely on the understanding and goodwill
of its creditors and major international financial
institutions that imposed economic management prescriptions
without regard for each nation's realities.
Turning to Angola, he said that over 70 percent of the social
and economic infrastructure and the agro-industrial base was
destroyed during the war following the 1992 elections,
compounding the humanitarian situation in the country.
US top official to visit Angola
According to the LUSA news agency, the US Secretary of State
may make a short visit to Angola on 13 October if significant
progress has been made in the peace process.
The news agency said that Warren Christopher's visit would be
part of the preparations for a tour of Africa by Vice-
President Al Gore.
State Department spokesperson Nicholas Burns states that "this
[Angola] is a very important stop, it's meant to stimulate
further movement towards full national reconciliation in
The trip to Africa, from 7-15 October is the first extended
visit by a Secretary of State since 1987.
US sanctions against UNITA extended
President Clinton has written to the US Congress announcing
that he is extending sanctions taken against UNITA in 1993.
In the letter he said that "discontinuation of the sanctions
would have a prejudicial effect on the Angolan peace process".
It continued "I have determined that it is necessary to
maintain in force the broad authorities necessary to apply
economic pressure to UNITA, to reduce its ability to pursue
its aggressive policies of territorial acquisition".
Report documents war toll in Angola
A new report focuses on the devastation to the people and
economy of Angola following the return to war in 1992. The
organisation Saferworld's report: Angola - Conflict Resolution
and Peace-building, suggests policy responses to "end the
culture of political violence, restore social cohesion,
rebuild the economy and establish a system of governance that
provides a stake for all Angola's people".
Detailing the history of the Angolan conflict, including the
inadequacies of UNAVEM II, it concludes that whilst
responsibility for recovery and rehabilitation rests
principally with the Angolan parties themselves, external
assistance can prevent further conflict if effectively
utilised. The report considers it "crucial that substantial
aid commitments for rehabilitation and reconstruction are made
conditional on the full and timely implementation of the
Copies of the report are available from Saferworld, tel (+44)
(0)171 580 8886, e-mail email@example.com.
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.
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