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Angola: Peace Monitor, III, 3
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Angola: Peace Monitor, III, 3
Date Distributed (ymd): 961204
ANGOLA PEACE MONITOR
Published by ACTSA on behalf of the Angola Emergency Campaign
Issue no.3 Vol III
30 November 1996
Special Representative upbeat on deadline compliance
The United Nations Secretary General's Special Representative
to Angola, Alioune Blondin Beye, has hailed progress in the
peace process made in the last month. This appears to have
removed the immediate threat of sanctions on the UNITA rebel
movement and makes way for the withdrawal of UN peacekeepers.
At its last meeting, in October, the UN Security Council gave
UNITA until 20 November to complete a series of military tasks
including the full quartering and disarming of its troops. The
UN threatened sanctions if sufficient progress was not made.
However, there remains widespread concern that many elements
of the peace process have not yet been implemented.
The Joint Commission, comprised of the two signatories to the
Lusaka Protocol; UNAVEM; and the troika of the Russian
Federation, Portugal and the United States, met on 21 November
to consider to what extent the Government and UNITA had
complied with military tasks set out under a mediation
document produced by Beye (see APM no.2 vol III).
After the meeting Beye said that "it is with great happiness
that we noted that the tasks defined by the UN Security
Council have all been implemented, some 100% and others 75% or
80%. No task defined by the UN Security Council was
implemented less than 75%. Thus, the Joint Commission
expressed its satisfaction to the government and particularly
to UNITA, which had the most tasks to implement. The Joint
Commission, however, urged the government and especially UNITA
to implement as soon as possible the remaining tasks in the
next few days. I say in the next few days because soon the UN
Security Council will meet to examine the UN Secretary
General's report. Thus, it is always possible to send to the
headquarters or brief Mr [Hedi] Annebi on the recent tasks
implemented before the UN Security Council meeting."
The Joint Commission session was attended by Mr Annebi,
director for Africa of the UN Disarmament Department.
UNITA claim disarmament
UNITA have claimed that over the past month they have
disbanded their military component.
UNITA's Radio Vorgan announced on 19 November that UNAVEM III
has registered all UNITA officers and soldiers in accordance
with the Lusaka peace accord. According to the report,
registration was completed on 16 November, when the last UNITA
regional commands were registered, including senior officers
in UNITA's General Staff.
The report said that over 1,000 men who made up the regional
commands were quartered in the central, southern,
southeastern, northern and northeastern regions. However, the
report stated that they handed over only 300 weapons.
Communications equipment used during the war has been kept by
UNITA to help them in their political work .
On 20 November Brigadier Antonio Tchassanha said that UNITA
had complied with the timetable and had disarmed over 63,000
troops, lifted 35 remaining road control posts and handed in
lists of its legislators for a government of national unity.
UNAVEM III put the figures for UNITA personnel registered at
the quartering areas by 20 November at 68,310. However, of
these 12,543 had deserted, leaving only 55,013 in the camps.
7,000 of those registered were under the age of 18. In all,
according to an estimate by leading aid and UN officials, over
70% of those quartered were not combat troops. The poor
quality of arms and soldiers quartered has been consistently
stressed by the UN Secretary General in his reports to the UN
Brigadier Tchassanha said that UNITA had presented 32,633
troops for selection into the single army: All we are missing
are about 1,000 police members who are awaiting UN
transportation to assembly camps.
UNITA complain that the selection process has been slowed down
by the FAA's strict criteria for UNITA's integration into the
army. The army is insisting that the new recruits are over 18
and under 30, that they are fit, and that they have a minimum
level of schooling.
Following a meeting with UNITA leader Jonas Savimbi, Alioune
Blondin Beye pointed out a problem UNITA were having sending
its so-called policemen to quartering areas. He reported that
UNITA says it has had two difficulties. Specifically, UNAVEM
III no longer has room to accommodate the 5,011 policemen, of
whom 2,400 have been registered .
Regarding Cabinda, Beye said UNITA confirmed that its men had
been waiting to be transported by ferry since 11 November. I
admit that the ball is not in UNITA's court, but in UNAVEM
III's because we should have made aircraft available with the
On 16 November UNITA handed over a further 60 tonnes of
weapons to UNAVEM III. The weapons, including AK-47s, G-3s,
RPG-7s, machine guns and grenade launchers were handed over in
Consignment of peacekeepers homebound signals start of UN
The United Nations announced on 21 November that around 600 UN
peacekeepers will be sent home at the end of December. Two
infantry companies from Brazil and Romania and two
bridge-building companies from Korea and Ukraine will be the
first to leave Angola.
UN official Annebi told Reuters that the UN could no longer
afford to keep troops in Angola and a downscaling was
necessary ahead of a larger withdrawal in February: We don t
want to unnecessarily keep troops here...It is expensive .
The UN hopes to complete the withdrawal of troops by February,
and engineer a complete closing down of the operation by June
1997. UNAVEM III was set up by the UN Security Council on 8
February 1995, when it stated the expectation that UNAVEM III
would complete its mission by February 1997. It is expected
that UNAVEM's mandate, which runs out on 11 December will be
extended until February at the next Security Council meeting
Serious allegations of UNITA arms imports raise doubts on
Many analysts reject the notion that UNITA has disarmed -
highlighting evidence that UNITA maintains considerable
military capacity on the ground, bolstered by continued arms
In November the head of UNAVEM's military component, General
Sibanda, delivered a report to the Joint Commission stating
that UNITA had not handed over their heavy weapons. This
followed an incident at the end of October when an arms cache
was found by UNAVEM in Negage, with weapons and explosives
powerful enough to equip a 150-strong unit.
On 19 November the London-based Independent newspaper reported
that arms traders with links to old guard members of South
African military intelligence were supplying arms to UNITA via
Kinshasa airport in Zaire.
The newspaper claims that arms and ammunition are flown by
C-130 transport aircraft from Lanseria airport near
Johannesburg to Kinshasa, from where they are flown to Angola
to supply UNITA. According to the paper, the arms are shipped
as mining equipment by an Angolan company known as CMC.
The newspaper states that operations run by serving and
retired members of the South African Security Service, outside
of governmental control, are motivated by financial rewards
rather than political.
The Independent report confirms that UNITA is using Kinshasa
for sanctions busting.
There have also been allegations from reliable sources that
the large quantity of ammunition handed over by UNITA to the
UN in Jamba were in fact bought from the Botswanan army's old
stock specifically for that purpose.
On 27 July 1996, UNITA handed over 770 tonnes of weapons and
munitions in Jamba. The arms included 16 tonnes of ammunition,
anti-aircraft guns, rockets and multiple rocket launchers,
several field artillery pieces, shells and grenades, and one
The threat to the country from banditry is being taken very
seriously by both the United Nations and the Angolan
Government. In Mozambique gun-related crime has soared since
Renamo and Government troops were demobilised following the
1992 Peace Accord. This is in large part due to the failure of
the UN operation in Mozambique to disarm the rebel movement,
and the large-scale unemployment that followed the
demobilisation of troops on both sides.
Tension remains high as both sides cry foul
Jornal de Angola reported on 21 November that Special
Representative Blondin Beye has announced that the dangers of
a new war were over.
However, there have been an increased number of reports of
violations of the Lusaka Protocol - though this may be
accounted for as much by the political pressures caused by the
UN deadline, as a real increase in incidents on the ground.
Over the last month UNITA has claimed that there have been
attacks in several areas by the Government's forces, the FAA:
* on 5 November UNITA's Radio Vorgan reported troop and
munitions movements, and recruitment by FAA in Namibe and
Huila provinces. In particular, UNITA claimed that on 22
October, a plane unloaded a battalion of soldiers at Lubango
airport coming from Luanda. The report also claims that
government forces recruited 2,600 youths in Namibe and Huila
* UNITA also claim that 3,120 special FAA reconnaissance
forces were recently sent to northern Namibia. They claim that
this is to destabilise UNITA-controlled areas in southeastern
* on 29 October Reuters reported that President dos Santos had
ordered government troops in Bie province to return to
barracks after tension in the area.
* a UN official has reported that UNITA had lodged an
increased number of complaints of government cease-fire
violations in the central province in the last month.
* in Cabinda UNITA report that a helicopter carrying UNITA
soldiers from Cabinda to the Ntuco assembly area was shot at.
The Angolan Government has also alleged that UNITA has failed
to fulfil its obligations:
* on 19 November Televisao Popular Angola reported that no
significant progress has been made in implementing the peace
accord in Benguela province, and that UNITA continues to
hinder the free movement of people and goods. It also reported
continued movement of UNITA troops.
* 8 people were killed by armed men in Benguela. It is
suspected that UNITA soldiers were the culprits.
* in Andulo UNAVEM III forces were assaulted by UNITA members.
* in Lunda Norte province the Cuango traditional chief has
urged the Joint Commission to assess the situation in his
area, and in Canfunfo. He said UNITA has not quartered its
* Televisao Popular de Angola reported on 2 November that
UNITA were restricting the free movement of people and goods
in Kwanza Sul.
* UNITA angered by constitutional change
On 13 November the Angolan Parliament, the National Assembly,
amended the country's constitution, extending the life of the
parliament and revoking the decision to create the position of
The National Assembly agreed to extend its mandate for a
minimum of two further years, until when the military,
political, security and material conditions provided for in
the Constitution and other legislation in force in the
Republic of Angola have been created.
This in itself was not controversial, as both the UN and UNITA
agree that conditions do not exist for elections to be held
now, and the current mandate ran out on 26 November.
Another amendment to the constitution withdrew the change in
the constitution, made on 1 September 1995, which allowed for
two vice-presidents to be appointed. The constitution had been
amended to accommodate UNITA leader Jonas Savimbi to grant him
the special status of vice-president of Angola, which UNITA
had demanded - but which Savimbi in fact subsequently rejected
after prolonged prevarication.
The UNITA secretary-general Paulo Lukamba Gato reacted to the
constitution amendments by claiming that they represented a
constitutional coup that violates the Lusaka Protocol . Gato
said that the revision of the constitution is not the sole
responsibility of the MPLA. However, UNITA's Deputies are at
present continuing their boycott of the parliament.
Conference looks at Angolan peace
The annual Mozambique Angola Committee A Luta Continua
conference was held in London on 23 November.
Sessions were held on the UN in Angola and the economic crisis
facing the country. Amongst speakers on Angola were
journalists Chris Gordon and Chris Simpson, economist Manuel
Nunes, and Peter Hawkins of Save the Children Fund.
Secretary General report circulated prior to December renewal
The Secretary General of the United Nations has produced a
report on the situation in Angola, which is to be published on
1 December, prior to the December meeting of the UN Security
The Angola Peace Monitor will be produced in mid-December to
enable us to bring you news of this vital meeting.
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 subscription to Volume III of the Angola Peace Monitor is
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