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Note: 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 Please note that many outdated links in this archived document may not work.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

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 were:
- 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 Reconciliation"

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 January".

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 express agreement.

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 carrying out.

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 process.

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 an adviser".

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 Development Community.

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 Angola".

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 process".

Speculative Dates

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 Joint Commission.

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 Posts

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

Deputy Ministers

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. Kangange


Uige: Antonio Felix Tunga Lunda Sul: Alberto Gima Kuando Kubango: Jose Bernardo Kambundi

Deputy Governors

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 Joao

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 Party (PSD).

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 (PAJOCA).

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 repercussions".

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 Continues

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 country.

It is estimated that 70,000 Angolans have been maimed by landmines.

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 landmines.

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; fax +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 individuals.

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