Get AfricaFocus Bulletin by e-mail!
Print this page
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 Please note that many outdated links in this archived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, III, 5
Angola: Peace Monitor, III, 5
Date Distributed (ymd): 970131
Document reposted by APIC
ANGOLA PEACE MONITOR
Published by ACTSA on behalf of the Angola Emergency Campaign
Issue no.5 Volume III 29 January 1997
Unity Government Postponed
Plans for the creation of a Government of National Unity and
Reconciliation (GURN) have once again been postponed following
the failure of UNITA to send their representatives to Luanda
for the formation of the GURN on 25 January. This is the
second postponement, as the GURN was to have been formed at
the end of last year. The delay raises further difficulties
for the planned withdrawal of the United Nations mission,
which is to be addressed in the next UN Secretary General's
report, due out by 10 February.
Under the Lusaka Protocol, signed in November 1994, which
underpins the peace process, UNITA is to send their nominees
to take up their place in Angola's parliament, the National
Assembly, to which they were elected in 1992. Following this,
the GURN is to be formed with the inclusion of UNITA nominees
in the cabinet.
The United Nations Security Council Resolution 1087 on 11
December 1996 called for rapid movement on "the political
steps towards national reconciliation, including the
assumption by UNITA deputies and officials of their posts,
followed by establishment of a Government of National Unity
and Reconciliation (GURN) prior to 31 December 1996".
However, on 19 December the Joint Commission (comprised of the
UN, the Government, UNITA, and the three observer states--
Russia, United States and Portugal), which oversees the peace
process, agreed a new calendar, the key elements of which
- the arrival in Luanda of UNITA deputies by 16 January
- the assumption of office in the National Assembly of the
UNITA deputies on 17 January
- the taking of office of the Government of National Unity and
Reconciliation on 25 January
The Angolan Government subsequently sent out invitations to
Heads of State for the inauguration of the GURN.
The failure of UNITA to deliver their deputies to Luanda to
join the National Assembly, and their decision not to go ahead
with the inauguration of the GURN is linked to three key
issues - the future policies of the GURN, the control of the
diamond regions, and of course, most importantly, the status
of UNITA leader Jonas Savimbi.
Key Question of Status of Savimbi
Jonas Savimbi has demanded that the question of his role be at
the top of the agenda. Following his meeting in Umtata, South
Africa, with President Nelson Mandela, Dr Savimbi said on 8
January that the issue of his future status had to be resolved
prior to the new government being sworn in.
This position is irreconcilable with the public position of
the UN Security Council and others, so the tack was changed by
Isaias Samakuva, UNITA's top official on the Joint Commission,
who said on 23 January that "the resolution of Jonas Savimbi's
status is not a condition for forming the government. The two
things are unconnected".
The international community has held a firm position that
there should not be a linkage between the creation of the GURN
and the "special status" of Jonas Savimbi. In the Lusaka
Protocol, the Government of Angola and UNITA agreed that the
UNITA leader should have a "special status" but left open the
definition of what this is.
In its December resolution the UN Security Council "urges the
two parties to reach agreement on the special status of the
President of UNITA as the President of the largest opposition
party before 31 December 1996, without linkage of that issue
to the formation of the Government of National Unity and
US ambassador to Angola, Donald Steinberg, endorsed this
position in January, stating that "the international community
believe that there should be no linkage between Dr Savimbi's
special status and the government's installation on 25
However, in reality the UNITA leader holds the key to progress
over the political tasks. His infamous control over the
organisation means that there will not be any return of UNITA
deputies to the National Assembly and no GURN without his
Publicly, UNITA is pointing to two issues to be resolved prior
to the new government taking office. Firstly, it is asking for
clarification over what policies the government will be
Secondly, it wanted agreement over the pace of the extension
of government administration over the entire country. The
sub-text of this is that UNITA do not wish to cede control
over the diamond rich areas where illegal mining is the main
source of the organisations funds. Under the Lusaka Protocol,
the Government is to regain full administrative control of the
country. But UNITA is seeking a gradual handover.
Savimbi's Latest Demands
UNITA leader Jonas Savimbi has demanded a formal position of
"principal adviser" to the President in the Government of
National Unity and Reconciliation, with constitutional powers
in excess of those normally given to vice-president - the
position which was recently the subject of controversy.
In a draft law presented to the Government by UNITA, their
leader would be given executive powers to co-ordinate the
activities in the following ministries: agriculture and rural
development; social reintegration; trade; coffee; energy and
water; environment; territorial administration; social
affairs; ex-servicemen; and information.
The UNITA leader would have his main office in Luanda,
although his activities could be carried out from anywhere in
the country. He would be afforded the position of second
personality in terms of protocol and all public events, and
would have a diplomatic passport, and other trappings of
office such as a state house.
This draft law, if agreed by the Joint Commission, would be
presented to the National Assembly.
This represents another sharp twist in UNITA's position on
this issue. Originally Savimbi had been pushing for the
position of vice-president. However, when the Angolan
Government agreed to this in June 1995 (see APM no.7, vol I),
Savimbi prevaricated before eventually rejecting the
Government offer on 27 August 1996 (APM no.1 vol III),
claiming that he wanted to spend his time working as leader of
UNITA. He then went on to demand a constitutional position of
leader of the opposition.
His current wish, to have a greater role in government has
been interpreted by commentators in two ways: either a play
for greater power, or as another attempt to delay the peace
South Africa Steps up Role
Jonas Savimbi's decision to once again demand a senior role in
the GURN follows his visit to President Mandela's retreat in
Umtata from 6-8 January. President Mandela's spokesperson,
Parks Mankahlana, said that "Savimbi and President dos Santos
are in constant contact with the president and this meeting
takes place in that context".
According to Isaias Samakuva, speaking to Reuters on 17
January, "since he [Savimbi] came from South Africa he
realised for UNITA to play its role in national
reconciliation, he has to be in the government ... perhaps as
The South African Government has undertaken a more active role
in the peace process, partly as a result of President
Mandela's current role as Chair of the Southern African
Deputy President Thabo Mbeki's visited Angola on 18/19
December, where he held meetings with President Dos Santos,
Prime Minister Franca van Dunem, MPLA secretary-general Lopo
do Nascimento, Minister Faustino Muteka, UNITA's Isaias
Samakuva, and UN Special Representative Alioune Blondin Beye.
On 20 January South African Foreign Minister, Alfred Nzo, and
Deputy President Thabo Mbeki, visited Luanda and held talks
with President dos Santos.
The increased dialogue between the Angolan parties and the
South African government has been welcomed by the South
African majority party, the African National Congress. In a
statement issued on 10 January, it said that "the South
African Government's engagement with UNITA is an important
effort to ensure that an acceptable solution is found. In this
regard, the ANC notes with appreciation that the meeting [with
Savimbi] took place with the full support and blessings of the
Angolan Government as well as the UN representative in
However, the heightened activity by South Africa has not been
wholeheartedly welcomed by all in Angola. Some voices within
the Angolan Government say that they do not want UNITA to
increase delays in the peace process through revisiting issues
already agreed under the Lusaka Protocol.
Following from this, the Angolan Government has rejected
notions floated in the media that South Africa is acting as a
mediator. This led to South African Foreign Affairs
spokesperson Peter Swanepoel emphasising on 10 January that
"it is a misunderstanding.. we don't want to interfere in the
The Portuguese newspaper Diario Economico on 24 January
suggested that a new timetable has been put forward for the
return of UNITA representatives to Luanda, with the GURN to be
established on 20 February. UNITA has stated that its deputies
are expected to begin arriving in Luanda on 12 February.
The fifth meeting between President dos Santos and Dr Savimbi
is due to take place in Luanda at the beginning of February,
according to Higino Carneiro, Government spokesperson at the
Unita Provides List of Deputies
UNITA has handed over to the Government a list of its members
who will be installed as deputies in the National Assembly.
In the 1992 election UNITA won 70 seats. These seats were to
be filled using the list method, with the parties choosing
which of its members were to sit in the Angolan parliament.
Among the notable exclusions from the list are Fatima Roque,
formerly a key economic strategist who has recently been
distanced from the leadership, and UNITA secretary general
Lucamba Gato. Two UNITA members who took their seats in the
National Assembly in 1992, Onorio Van-Dunem and Norberto de
Castro, were expelled from UNITA in August 1996, and will lose
their post as deputies.
Unita Nominees for Government
UNITA has also handed over to the Government the names of its
members who are to take up positions in the Government awarded
to them under the Lusaka Protocol. The list is as follows:
Trade: Dr Vitorino Domingos Hossi Geology and Mines: Eng.
Kayaya Kahala Health: Dr Anastacio Ruben Sikato Hotels and
Tourism: Dr Jorge Alicerces Valentim
Defence: Gen. Demostenes A. Chilingutila Interior: Gen. Joao
Baptista Chindandi Finance: Dr. Fernando Heitor Agriculture:
Dario Daniel Katata Public Services: Eng. Armindo F. Kopingo
Social Reinsertion: Dra. Lizeth Satumbo Pena Social
Communication: Arlindo Chimbili
Canada: Dr. Jaime Vila-Santa Mexico: Dr. Marcos Samondo India:
Eng. Joaquim Ernesto Mulato Cabo Verde: Eng. Adalberto Costa
Junior Poland: Dr. Jorge Sanguende UNESCO: Eng. Azevedo de O.
Uige: Antonio Felix Tunga Lunda Sul: Alberto Gima Kuando
Kubango: Jose Bernardo Kambundi
Luanda: Dr. Manuel Bunjo Bengo: Campos Tomas Kwanza Sul:
Antonio Tonga Benguela: Bernardo Prata Huambo: Eng. Blanche
Vilongo Gomes Bie: Geronimo Marcolino Ngongo Huila: Dr. Junior
It is strongly suggested in Angola that the GURN will include
a further five parties that are not already part of the
present cabinet. These parties are not covered by the Lusaka
Protocol, which is a document between the Government and
UNITA, but is expected that they will still be asked to play
a role. The five parties are the Democratic Liberal Party
(PLD), Democratic Party for Progress of National Alliance of
Angola (PDP/ANA), Democratic National Party of Angola (PNDA),
Democratic Alliance (AD-coalition) and the Social Democratic
The current Minister of Justice, Paulo Tchipilica, is the
chairman of the Tendency of Democratic Reflection (TDR), who
do not have any Deputies in the Parliament. George Chicoty,
who is Deputy Minister of External Relations, is the leader of
the Democratic Forum of Angola (FDA). The Deputy Minister of
Fisheries is Joao Samuel Caholo of the Social Renewal Party
(PRS). The Deputy Minister of Transport, Amadeu Cesario dos
Santos Neves, is from the Democratic Renewal Party (PRD).
Manuel David Mendes, Secretary of State for the Environment is
from the Party of Youth, Worker and Peasant Alliance of Angola
Urgent Call for Funds
The United Nations Humanitarian Assistance Coordination Unit
in Luanda (UCAH) on 10 January issued an urgent call to the
international community to continue its support for
humanitarian programmes inside the selection and
demobilisation centres. UCAH points out that each quartering
area was envisaged to remain open for only 90 to 150 days. So
far they have been kept open for more than an extra 210 days.
UCAH warns that funds are running out, and that there is
already a shortfall of $19 million. UCAH states that it "fears
that donor support is fading at a critical moment" and that
humanitarian assistance to the quartered UNITA soldiers and
their dependants will be cut back drastically. The UCAH warns
that "this could have serious political and security
UCAH is currently putting together its Inter-Agency
Consolidated Appeal for 1997. However, it remains highly
concerned with the lack of donor support for the camps. It has
been appealing for further funds since November 1996 and has
been disappointed with response.
Army Selection and Incorporation
As of 7 January 18,901 UNITA soldiers had been selected to
join the Angolan army, FAA. These are comprised of 1,587
officers, 1,430 sergeants, and 15,884 privates.
Following the selection of these personnel, transport has been
provided to take those selected to FAA camps. By 22 January
5,536 soldiers had been integrated into FAA.
On 24 December 8 colonels, 10 lieutenant colonels and 19
majors were incorporated into the FAA from UNITA, joining the
9 generals that had been incorporated on 20 December.
Demobilisation Delays Continue
Demobilisation of UNITA personnel from their quartering areas,
now known as selection and demobilisation centres, has not yet
started in earnest. By 10 January only 1,159 underage UNITA
soldiers had been demobilised. The main contingent of soldiers
were due to be part of a rapid demobilisation on 15 January.
However this has not yet started and is scheduled to only
begin on 1 March. Sources suggest that demobilisation of those
troops disabled during the war will be stepped up in February.
Royal Visit to Angola
Diana, Princess of Wales, paid a highly publicised visit to
Angola from 13 to 16 January. During her visit, arranged by
the British Red Cross, she highlighted the tragedy facing
Angola because of the millions of landmines left in the
It is estimated that 70,000 Angolans have been maimed by
An opinion poll commissioned by the UK Working Group on
Landmines after the Princess of Wales' trip to Angola showed
that 90% of the British public were now in favour of a ban on
Further Aid for Angola
The European Commission has announced the approval of
humanitarian aid for Angola totalling over $11 million.
The priorities for 1997 will be medical aid and provision of
drinking water, supplementary food programmes and the
distribution of essential goods for the resettlement of
refugees and displaced people.
The European Union and the Angolan Government have agreed to
invest $52 million in agricultural projects in the province of
Huila, in a programme to "jump start" food production on
247,000 acres of land.
The World Bank has promised to provide Angola with $22 million
of humanitarian aid in 1997, to meet basic needs and provide
social reintegration assistance.
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
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 or e-mail. 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
+44 171 837 3001; telephone +44
171 833 3133. Back issues of the Angola Peace Monitor are
available on the World Wide Web at:
This material is being reposted for wider distribution by the
Africa Policy Information Center (APIC), the educational
affiliate of the Washington Office on Africa. 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