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Angola: Peace Monitor, III, 6
Angola: Peace Monitor, III, 6
Date Distributed (ymd): 970226
Document reposted by APIC
ANGOLA PEACE MONITOR
Published by ACTSA on behalf of the Angola Emergency Campaign
Issue no. 6, Vol. III, 25 February 1997
UN Security Council Pushes Ahead with Plans
The UN Security Council went into private session on 25
February, during which it will agree to a plan to
progressively cut its presence in Angola.
The UN's new Secretary General, Kofi Annan, had hoped that
improvements in the situation in Angola could lead to the
mandate of the UN's mission in Angola, UNAVEM III, to be
extended for a two month period. However, problems blamed on
UNITA (see below) will almost certainly lead to the Security
Council asking to review the situation at the end of March.
Bad Faith Gives UN Planning Difficulties
UNITA has broken its promise made to the Joint Commission (1)
on 23 January that it would ensure that all its 70 deputies to
the Angolan Parliament, the National Assembly, and its members
of the future Government of National Unity and Reconciliation
(GURN) would arrive in the Angolan capital, Luanda, by 12
February. This would have enabled the Angolan Government to
set a date for the inauguration of the GURN.
The UN Security Council on 30 January issued a Presidential
Statement (S/PRST/1997/3) in which "the Security Council calls
upon the parties to implement this agreement strictly and to
form the GURN without any linkages and without further delay.
Failure to implement this agreement could jeopardize the peace
process and lead the Security Council to consider appropriate
measures, as indicated in relevant Security Council
resolutions, against those responsible for the delays". This
is a reference to previous threats by the Security Council to
impose various sanctions upon UNITA (see APM passim).
Dignitaries Meet "Vanguard" at Airport
In the event, only 12 UNITA deputies and three nominees for
cabinet posts arrived in Luanda by air from Bailundo on 12
February. The deputies were: Junior Joao, Smart Gaston Chata,
Mateus Sousa, Arlete Chimbinda, Adelino Antonio, Almerindo
Jaka Jamba, Vitorino Nhane, Celestino Kapapelo, Antonio Pitra
Sobrinho, Aniceto Amukaya, Alberto Vasco Miguel, Sebastiao
The three nominees for cabinet posts who arrived are:
Vitorino Domingos Hossi (Minister of Commerce), Anastacio
Ruben Sicato (Minister of Health), Jorge Alicerces Valentim
(Minister of Hotels and Tourism).
UN Tussles with Problem of How to Bring UNITA into Line
Following the failure of UNITA to bring their deputies to
Luanda, it is expected that the United Nations will only renew
the United Nations Verification Mission (UNAVEM III) mandate
until 31 March, with veiled warnings of further sanctions
against UNITA after this, if they do not change their ways.
In his report to the Security Council on 7 February
(S/1997/115), Secretary General Kofi Annan stated that "the
pace of implementation of the remaining military and political
tasks, owing mainly to the lack of cooperation of UNITA, has,
once again, been painfully slow and disappointing".
The failure of UNITA to carry out the tasks under the Lusaka
Protocol has led to the Secretary General of the United
Nations to warn that "if the international community is to
maintain its involvement in Angola, it is imperative for the
parties, in particular UNITA, to take urgent and decisive
However, few observers predict that there exists in the
international community the political will to punish UNITA. At
present there is no effective implementation of the mandatory
sanctions already in place, which involves prohibiting the
selling of weapons and petroleum products to the rebel
The Chairman of the Security Council Committee established to
monitor the observance of the mandatory sanctions in place
against UNITA, on 13 January reported to the Security Council
on the Committees work in 1996. The Committee held two
meetings in 1996, and report that they "considered a case of
an alleged violation of the embargo against UNITA". However,
there is prima facie evidence that Zaire has been used as a
conduit by UNITA for importing arms and fuel. It has also been
used as a conduit for smuggling out of Angola illegally mined
Some forces in the international community would not wish to
see UNITA weakened militarily, believing that this would in
turn weaken the need for the Angolan Government to involve it
in a GURN. Other forces prefer to see negotiations with UNITA
as the way forward.
Secretary General Sets out Year Ahead
The UN is planning a phased withdrawal of UNAVEM III by the
end of August 1997, transforming itself into an observer
mission. The Secretary General estimates in his report to the
Security Council that, "in order to complete the
implementation of the provisions of the Lusaka Protocol and to
consolidate the gains made so far in the peace process, a
continued, although reduced, presence of the UN in Angola will
be required until the end of 1997".
The planned downsizing of the operation is related to the pace
of progress, and cost considerations. If progress was faster
than expected, the withdrawal of the military component would
be speeded up. However, observers of the peace process doubt
that progress will be more rapid than planned.
Secretary General Kofi Annan is under pressure to reduce costs
throughout the UN. In his report on Angola he stated that "I
am fully aware of the pressing need for economy and
cost-effectiveness. Accordingly, every effort would be made to
achieve a substantial reduction in the number of professional,
field service and local staff of the mission by August 1997".
The main activities of the mission, in addition to residual
military tasks, would focus on political, police and human
rights aspects, humanitarian activities and public information
Plans for downsizing start with the repatriation of a maximum
of 400 UNAVEM III troops by the end of February. Thereafter,
it is planned to remove one battalion per month. Military
headquarters personnel are to be repatriated in stages, aiming
to have a 45% reduction by June. It is planned to have the
rapid reaction groups, together with the most essential
medical, air, signals and other support elements in Angola
until August 1997. The number of military observers is due to
be reduced from 350 to 90 by the end of August.
UNITA Raises Further Linkages
In January 1997 the main obstacle raised to further progress
on the political front was the decision of UNITA leader Jonas
Savimbi to demand that he be granted the status of principal
adviser to the President of Angola, with a major coordinating
role over rural development and national reconciliation, along
with supervisory power over several ministries (see APM no.5,
The UN made clear that although the question of Jonas
Savimbi's status must be resolved, as agreed under the Lusaka
Protocol in 1994, it rejected any linkage between this issue
and the formation of the GURN.
However senior UNITA official Abel Chivukuvuku said in an
interview published on 16 February in Jornal de Angola that
Savimbi now only requires that he be recognised as head of the
country's main opposition party. There is speculation in
Luanda that the Government and UNITA have reached agreement
over the UNITA leader's status, which will be "leader of the
opposition" although there is varying degrees of support for
the concept among other parliamentary parties.
Now the focus has switched to the latest UNITA demand, which
is that the MPLA must agree to a Common Programme of
Governance (CPOG) for the GURN. Isaias Samavuka, head of the
UNITA delegation in the Joint Commission, said on 14 February
that "if the ruling party, the MPLA, unilaterally defines a
Programme of Governance, then what we have is a continuation
of a one-party regime no matter what it is called".
Subsequently, UNITA presented a programme to a press
conference in Luanda on 19 February. Joao Lourenco, speaking
on behalf of the MPLA on 21 February said that this was "an
attempt to divert and mislead public opinion".
In the view of the MPLA, which is the major party in the
Angolan Government, this is another attempt by UNITA to reopen
negotiations. The Angolan Government has consistently rebuffed
such moves, including attempts by UNITA to reopen negotiations
through the South African Government. This issue is now being
put forward as the major obstacle to progress in the peace
Incorporation into National Army Continues
The incorporation of UNITA's military forces into the national
army, FAA, is continuing, although at a slower pace than
According to figures from the UN, by 18 February 6,083 UNITA
soldiers had been formally integrated. These were made up of
78 officers, 451 sergeants, and 5,554 privates. The figures
show that in total, 18,700 soldiers had been selected. Under
previous agreements, UNITA was to provide a total of 26,300
The UN Secretary General, reported to the Security Council
that the "exercise is proceeding slowly because of
interference by UNITA commanders in the selection and
incorporation procedures, poor planning and the logistical
difficulties experienced by FAA".
The Secretary General also pointed out that 22,686 had
deserted or were "temporarily absent" from the 15 camps
housing UNITA's military personnel. He called for UNITA to
reverse this trend, and also urged UNITA to dismantle its four
remaining command centres.
There have been continuing rumours that UNITA have 2,000
fighters in Zaire backing President Mobuto. However, these
rumours are vehemently denied by UNITA. In particular, they
have taken the step of denying that their senior general,
Kamalata Numa, was killed in Eastern Zaire. UNITA has also
denied that General Numa is being treated in a South African
hospital for injuries sustained during fighting in Zaire.
Demobilisation Continues Slowly
Demobilisation has continued at a very slow pace, with 2,029
soldiers under 18 being returned to civilian life.
A new plan by the Technical Working Group on Demobilisation is
being put forward, which would aim to close down all the camps
housing UNITA soldiers before the withdrawal of UNAVEM
military units. Previously, it had been agreed that the
security, administrative and logistical responsibility would
be handed over to the Angolan Government. The new plan
envisages full demobilisation by July 1997.
Free Movement of People
According to the UN on 18 February, there were 125
checkpoints, 55 belonging to the Government and 70 to UNITA.
The province most affected by checkpoints is Lunda Sul.
However, Kofi Annan reported to the Security Council that "the
free movement of people and goods throughout the country has
shown improvement, although some restrictions remain in
The Secretary General also pointed out that persistent acts of
banditry in Huila and Benguela provinces has impeded the
delivery of humanitarian assistance, and that the murder in
Kwanza Norte of a senior official of the World Food Programme
dealt a serious blow to the confidence of humanitarian
UNITA Formally Expel Three Deputies
Three deputies elected under the UNITA ticket in the 1992
Angolan elections have been expelled from the party.
The senior UNITA economist, Fatima Roque was formally expelled
from the party during a meeting of their Political Commission
in Bailundo from 8 - 10 February, for "systematically
violating the party's internal discipline code". Fatima Roque
stated on Televisao Popular de Angola on 12 February that she
had not yet decided whether to take up her seat in the
National Assembly (under the constitution it is necessary for
a deputy to renounce their post before it becomes vacant).
However, she has indicated that she would not be prepared to
become an obstacle to peace.
Two sitting deputies, Honourio van Dunem and Norberto de
Castro, who took up their seats after the elections, were
expelled from UNITA in February 1995. De Castro, in an
interview in Diario de Noticias on 14 February compared Jonas
Savimbi with Idi Amin and Jean Idel Bokassa. He described
UNITA as "an orchestra with one voice".
The UNITA communique stated that "the UNITA Political
Commission hereby strenuously warns the authorities connected
with the process of bringing UNITA deputies into the National
Assembly that UNITA regards the cases of Dr Fatima Roque,
Honourio van Dunem and Norberto de Castro as internal matters
that cannot be reviewed or the entire peace process might be
jeopardized by a fistful of renegades serving alien
Fighting Breaks out in the South
According to reports from Reuters on 16 and 17 February,
around 1,700 people in southwestern Angola have fled their
villages because of unrest. The new refugees are mainly from
the village of Yambala, and are moving to the city of Cubal.
Reuters report that the aggressors are either UNITA troops or
Extension of State Administration to Begin at End of Month
The Angolan daily paper Jornal de Angola, reported on 19
February plans to begin the extension of central
administration to all of Angola's provinces, starting in the
town of Mbanza Congo, Zaire Province, on 28 February.
UNITA Police to Be Incorporated into National Police Force
Some 4,891 UNITA police personnel have been registered and
quartered prior to a portion of them being incorporated into
the Angolan National Police. However only 2,100 weapons have
been handed over to the authorities, representing less than
one weapon for every two policemen registered.
So far 743 of those registered have deserted, which represents
over 15% of the total. Only 625 were selected by 1 February
for incorporation, and UNITA has not yet provided a list of
senior officers to join the national force. President dos
Santos has promised the UN that he will issue instructions
that the educational requirements for UNITA officers be
Massive Shortfall in UNAVEM III Funding
Secretary General Kofi Annan has warned that as of 28 January
over $150 million is owed to the UN in unpaid contributions to
UNAVEM III. In all, the total debt to the UN for all
peacekeeping operations stands at $1,953.2 million.
British Government Gives Commitment on UNAVEM III
The British Government has given a clear pledge that the
reduction of UNAVEM III should not be based primarily on
In reply to a letter from Labour Party's Shadow Foreign
Minister, Tony Lloyd MP, the Minister of State at the Foreign
and Commonwealth Office, Sir Nicholas Bonsor, stated that "in
our view, the rate of withdrawal of UNAVEM III and the
composition of any follow-on UN presence should be determined
primarily by operational considerations".
- Sweden has announced that it will provide $3 million to help
repair roads and provide support for demobilised soldiers in
- A cooperation agreement between Portugal and Angola has been
signed to promote juvenile education and vocational training.
- The Angolan Government has undertaken a project to
rehabilitate 100,000 hectares of land to increase coffee
production. Angola used to be one of the worlds major coffee
producers. Twenty years ago production stood at 200,000 tons,
but last year was 8,000 tons.
- The World Food Programme has announced that it will provide
around 96,000 tons of food assistance to Angola's war
refugees, valued at $75 million.
- The Ministry of Education is planning to spend $130 million
a year on teacher training and on the repairing and rebuilding
of the education infrastructure.
- The UN Humanitarian Assistance Coordination Unit has put out
an urgent appeal for $18 million to meet the critical
shortfall of financing due to the extension of the quartering
process. These funds would last until the end of March.
(1) The Joint Commission oversees the implementation of the
peace process as outlined in the Lusaka Protocol. It is made
up of the Angolan Government, UNITA, UNAVEM III and the Troika
of Observers (Portugal, the United States and the Russian
Federation). It is chaired by Alioune Blondin Beye, the UN
Secretary General's Special Representative in Angola.
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
email@example.com, 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
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