Get AfricaFocus Bulletin by e-mail!
Print this page
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 Please note that many outdated links in this archived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, 8
Angola: Peace Monitor, III, 8
Date Distributed (ymd): 970430
Document reposted by APIC
ANGOLA PEACE MONITOR
Published by ACTSA on behalf of the Angola Emergency Campaign
Issue no.8 Volume III, 25th April 1997
UNITA takes up positions in parliament and Government
Following months of intense pressure by the international
community, Jonas Savimbi's former rebel movement, UNITA, has
sent its elected Deputies to Angola's parliament, the
National Assembly, and taken up positions in the new
Government of National Unity and Reconciliation (GURN).
On 9 April, 67 out of UNITA's 70 elected Deputies were
sworn-in at the National Assembly. The remaining three
Deputies did not attend as they were either ill or unable to
get to the capital, Luanda.
Completion of electoral process
The swearing-in ended the electoral process which began in
1992 when UNITA won 34% of the vote in the legislative
elections. At the time, UNITA rejected the results of the
election, claiming that the process was fraudulent. This
assertion was denied by the international community, whose
observers found the elections to be "generally free and fair".
In the Presidential elections, held simultaneously, Eduardo
Jose dos Santos from the MPLA gained 49% of the vote, with
Jonas Savimbi gaining 40.7%.
The rejection of the results led UNITA to return to war.
Following defeats on the battleground, UNITA agreed to accept
a new peace plan, the Lusaka Protocol, drawn-up with the help
of the United States, Russia and Portugal.
Unity Government installed
On 11 April at the Palace of Congress in Luanda, over 30 heads
of state from around the world, including President Nelson
Mandela of South Africa, President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe,
and President Sampaio of Portugal, came to witness the
installation of the Government of National Unity and
Under the terms of the 1994 Lusaka Protocol, the return of
UNITA's Deputies to the country's legislature enabled UNITA
nominees to join the Government of National Unity and
The new government is mainly composed of the same ministers,
drawn to a great extent from the majority MPLA. Seven new
ministries have been created, giving room for the addition of
the UNITA ministers without requiring the previously
anticipated major reshuffle of the Government. The Prime
Minister remains Fernando Franca van Dunem.
UNITA has four ministers and seven vice-ministers in a greatly
expanded government of 28 Ministers, 55 vice-ministers and a
Secretary of State for Coffee. Vitorino Hossi, Marcos
Samondo, Anastacio Ruben Sikato and Jorge Alicerces Valentim
are the four UNITA Ministers. Marcos Samondo replaces the
earlier UNITA nominee of Kayaya Kahala as the Minister for
Geology and Mines. Samondo began work on 14 April, stating
"right now my ministry has too much emphasis on diamonds.
Angola is a mineral-rich nation, we need to take advantage of
all our natural resources".
The Minister of Justice, Paulo Tchipilica retains his post. He
is a member of the Tendency of Democratic Reflection, who do
not have any seats in the National Assembly. Francisco
Mubengai, of the Social Renewal Party, has been made the
Minister of Science and Technology.
Bengui Pedro Joao of the Social Democratic Party (PDS) has
been made vice-minister for Ex-Combatants and Veterans of
War. Miguel Zau Puna of the Democratic Forum of Angola has
been made vice-minister for Territorial Administration.
Apart from the MPLA and UNITA, ten political parties are
represented in the GURN. The cabinet now looks as follows:
Agriculture and Rural Development: Carlos Antonio Fernandes
Assistance and Social Reintegration: Albino Malungo Commerce:
Vitorino Hossi Culture: Ana Maria de Oliveira Defence:
General Pedro Sebastiao Education: Antonio Burity da Silva
Energy and Water: Joao Moreira Pinto Saraiva Foreign Affairs:
Venancio da Silva da Moura Finance: Mario Alcantara Monteiro
Fisheries: Maria de Fatima Monteiro Jardim Geology and Mines:
Marcos Samondo Health: Anastacio Ruben Sikato Hotels and
Tourism: Jorge Alicerces Valentim Industry: Manuel Diamantino
Borges Duque Information: Pedro Hendrik Vaal Neto Interior:
Santana Andre Pitra Justice: Paulo Tchipilica Labour, Public
Administration and Social Security: Antonio Domingos Pitra
Costa Neto Petroleum: Albina Faria de Assis Pereira Africano
Planning: Emmanuel Moreira Carneiro Posts and
Telecommunications: Licinio Tavares Ribeiro Public Works and
Urban Affairs: Pedro de Castro van Dunem Loy Science and
Technology: Francisco Mubengai Territorial Administration:
Faustino Muteka Transport: Andre Luis Brandao Ex-Combatants
and Veterans Affairs: Pedro Jose Van-Dunem Women's Affairs:
Joana Lina Ramos Baptista Cristiano Youth and Sports: Jose da
Rocha Sardinha de Castro Secretary of State for Coffee:
Gilberto Buta Lutucuta
Jonas Savimbi absent despite special status
On 8 April the National Assembly conferred upon Jonas Savimbi
the special status of president of the largest opposition
party. The legislation, which can only be changed or amended
with Savimbi's personal consent, details his privileges and
immunities, including a salary, house, security contingent,
and access to the President for consultations.
The Lusaka Protocol stated that Savimbi should have a special
status, but did not lay out the form that this would take.
Over the last year the UNITA leader has demanded various
formulas. This has been seen by many as a method of delaying
the peace process. In the final event, agreeing this proved
The most noticeable absentee from the installation ceremony
was Jonas Savimbi. He remained in his stronghold of Bailundo,
claiming that it would be unsafe for him to visit the
capital. In his place he sent UNITA vice-president, Antonio
Dembo, who made a speech on his behalf.
The continued absence of Savimbi has fuelled concerns among
many commentators about the UNITA leader's commitment to this
latest phase of the peace process.
One unnamed diplomat, quoted in the London-based Daily
Telegraph on 12 April, stated that: "there is concern
everywhere that he [Savimbi] is intent on retaining his full
military option if this exercise in national unity should
The Christian Science Monitor on 14 April stated that
"diplomats and officials close to the peace process say UNITA
still maintains the bulk of its military might, having turned
over to the UN piles of unserviceable weapons. Aid workers
who run the UN-sponsored UNITA demobilisation camps say they
are filled mostly with farmers forced by UNITA into meeting UN
demobilisation targets and are not real soldiers".
The article quotes a diplomat as saying "make no mistake,
UNITA is a one-man show. If Savimbi does not get what he
wants, if things are not going his way, then he will stop the
Many leading figures in UNITA have been withheld from the
Government, Parliament and army. Concern has been raised in
particular about the following:
General Antonio Dembo, UNITA's vice-president; General Armindo
Paulo Lukamba "Gato", UNITA's Secretary General; General
Altino Bango Sapalalo "Bock", UNITA's military Chief of Staff;
General Abilio Kamalata Numa, alleged to have been seriously
injured in fighting in Zaire; Alcides Sakala Simoes, UNITA's
"minister of foreign affairs"; Snr. Dachala, UNITA's "minister
Richard Cornwell, of the Africa Institute in Pretoria, South
Africa, commented that: "Savimbi is going to try and distance
himself, to a degree, from what happens in Luanda in the hope
that Luanda will make a fist [mess] of the socio-economic
policies that it comes out with. Because they do face some
appalling problems, and it is difficult to see how they will
actually address these. So Savimbi will be sitting back and
hoping to pick up the pieces against the time when the next
Presidential elections are held".
However, Cornwell is hopeful about the peace process, saying
that: "I think the Angolans can learn a great deal from the
Mozambique experience... once you get parliament working
properly with parliamentary committees in place, the enmity
and the distrust between the two political parties tends to
reduce to a rhetorical level... so one can only hope that this
will be the case".
UN to wind up UNAVEM III, despite unfinished process
The installation of the GURN on 11 April has been warmly
welcomed by the UN Security Council, who have signalled that
UNAVEM III should be wound up, and replaced by a United
Nations Observer Mission in Angola (UNOMA).
Meeting on 16 April, the UN Security Council adopted
Resolution 1106, which extended the mandate of UNAVEM III
until 30 June 1997. The Security Council called on the
Secretary General to submit, no later than 6 June, a report
containing his recommendations regarding the structure,
specific goals, and cost implications of a follow-on observer
The Secretary General reported to the Security Council on 14
April (S/1997/304) that he intends to carry on with the
gradual withdrawal of UNAVEM's military units, having already
cut their strength by a third. His aim is to have a complete
withdrawal by 1 August. However, the Security Council makes
clear that the pace of withdrawal should take into account
"progress in the remaining relevant aspects of the peace
The creation of the GURN and the appearance of UNITA's
deputies in the National Assembly represent another large
element towards the completion of the peace process agreed in
Lusaka in 1994. However, several important issues remain to
be addressed by both the new Government and the international
Extension of state administration and freedom of movement
At the heart of the problem is the extension of the state
administration throughout the country, which contains a great
potential for conflict between the Government and UNITA. This
is because it will involve UNITA handing back authority to
the Angolan government, and would represent a major
commitment by UNITA to peace.
There is a continuing problem of the lack of freedom of
movement. Although by mid-April the Government had lifted 179
checkpoints, and UNITA 114, the Secretary General of the
United Nations, Kofi Annan, warned on 14 April that 135
illegal checkpoints remain to be lifted, of which 77 belong to
UNITA. The crucial steps noted above are due to take place at
the same time as UNAVEM is withdrawing from the country. Past
experience suggests that it is unlikely to happen peacefully
without further international pressure.
UNITA's main funding comes from the illegal sale of diamonds
mined in areas (especially in the Lundas) under their control
since the renewed fighting after the 1992 elections. The
return to government control of these areas could leave UNITA
with only a fraction of this income (derived from legal
mining concessions and security deals with the big mining
houses). This issue is the subject of continued discussion
between the state diamond company, Endiama, and UNITA.
Integration of quartered troops into FAA
The integration of UNITA troops into the Angolan Army, FAA,
has been slowed down by a lack of trust on both sides, in
part caused by delays in the peace process. The pace seems to
have sped up following the installation of the GURN.
As of 10 April, of the 18,558 UNITA troops selected, 7,949 had
been integrated into FAA. This was augmented by: 300 soldiers
from Uige and Quiteve provinces on 16 April 300 from Malanje
Operation Command on 16 April 100 from Katata and Muxinga on
16 April 99 from Katata on 15 April 105 from Muxinga and
Chitembo on 17 April
Demobilisation of excess troops
Very little progress has been made in demobilising the 100,000
UNITA and Government troops. However, the World Food
Programme reports that the Rapid Demobilisation Plan (RDP),
came into operation on 15 April.
The UN Secretary General points out in his report that the
start of the RDP "has been postponed several times, creating
additional hardship for UNITA soldiers and their families and
imposing further financial difficulties on the United
From 15 - 17 April the International Organisation for
Migration (IOM) helped 98 ex-combatants in Vila Nova, Huambo
Province. This was the start of demobilisation in Region I,
which has been targeted by the RDP as the first operational
area. The IOM plans to assist 800 ex-combatants per day. Each
beneficiary is to receive a demobilisation and reintegration
kit, consisting of household items, clothing, seeds,
agricultural tools, construction tools and other small items.
Funds are also given by the Government in the form of a
Special Subsidy for Re-insertion (SEAR). The demobilised
soldiers also receive food and transport.
By 22 April, adult UNITA soldiers had been demobilised in the
following areas: 491 in Vila Nova; 116 Quibala; 5
The majority of UNITA troops that have been demobilised are
child-soldiers, totalling 2,124 by 12 April. In addition, 272
disabled adult UNITA soldiers have been demobilised.
UNITA troops at large
Casting a shadow over the integration and demobilisation of
UNITA soldiers is the continued existence of military units
controlled by UNITA.
The threat posed by military insecurity has been recognised by
the US State Department, who on 18 April issued a travel
warning against US citizens visiting the country because of
"unsettled conditions, violent crime and the potential for
However, UNITA's military capacity is being constrained by
events in Zaire. The rapid advances made by the rebels in
Zaire have virtually ousted the Mobutu regime, for many years
the close ally of UNITA and the main conduit for arms and oil
to UNITA and diamonds from them.
Although UNITA is in possession of plenty of military
equipment, the logistics of sustaining a modern military
force does require clear supply lines. However, with a huge
fund gained from illegal diamond mining, it is likely that
UNITA can continue to receive supplies from abroad.
Deputies debate status of UNITA dissident
Two of the three UNITA Deputies who were recently expelled
from the organisation resigned from the National Assembly on
9 April. Honourio van Dunem and Fatima Roque have stepped
down from their posts. However, Norberto de Castro has taken
his seat in parliament, causing consternation in the UNITA
Norberto de Castro took his seat on 22 April, which led
UNITA's Abel Chivukuvuku to demand from the sessions Chairman
clarification over the legality of the Norberto de Castro's
The Chairman of the National Assembly, Roberto de Almeida,
replied that de Castro's status was transitory, and that the
Deputy was deciding which party to join before any decision
would be made about his ability to continue in his post.
De Castro confirmed to the Angolan News Agency, ANGOP, that he
was on the verge of joining another party. Although he did
not name the party, he talked of a large party which was
democratic and non-racist. It is widely believed that he is
in discussion with the MPLA over membership.
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
ACTSA, 28 Penton Street, London N1 9SA, e-mail
firstname.lastname@example.org, fax +44 171 837 3001, telephone +44
171 833 3133.
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