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Angola: Peace Monitor, IV, 8
Angola: Peace Monitor, IV, 8
Date Distributed (ymd): 980504
Document reposted by APIC
Region: Southern Africa
Issue Areas: +security/peace+
This posting reports the extension of the mandate of the UN Observer Mission
in Angola, with cautious optimism on completion of the peace process, despite
continued UNITA control of key areas of the countryside. If all goes as
scheduled, the UN mission will officially be completed by the end of 1998.
Angola Peace Monitor
Published by ACTSA on behalf of the Angola Emergency Campaign
Issue no. 8, Vol. IV 30th April 1998
(excerpts: the full version, containing several additional news items,
as well as back issues, can be found at http://www.anc.org.za/angola)
UN plans to withdraw by end of 1998
The United Nations Security Council, meeting on 29 April, decided to
back the plans of its Secretary General, Kofi Annan, and prepare for a
withdrawal of the UN Observer Mission in Angola (MONUA). It also chose
to extend MONUA's mandate to 30 June, by which time it intends to make
a final decision on the future of UN operations in Angola.
The Security Council adopted Resolution 1164(1998) which extends the
mandate of MONUA until 30 June 1998, and accepted the recommendations of
the Secretary General, which were to reduce the military component of MONUA
from the current 1,045 soldiers to 450 by the 1 July. It is planned that
the remaining soldiers will stay in the country until the end of 1998.
In his report to the Security Council on 16 April (S/1998/333) Kofi
Annan stated that of the twelve tasks that had remained for the completion
of the Lusaka Protocol, the agreement signed in 1994 which underpins the
present peace process, all but the extension of state administration throughout
the country have been carried out. He noted that the tasks should have
been completed by the end of March, and also warned that the improvement
in the political climate has not resulted in an improvement in the security
situation with widespread attacks by UNITA.
The significant progress made towards completing the obligations under
the Lusaka Protocol is a source of optimism amongst many international
actors in the Angolan conflict, not least the United Nations who are looking
for a successful ending to their peacekeeping operations in the country.
The optimism also stems from a belief that with UNITA members participating
in both the Angolan parliament and the Government of Unity and National
Reconciliation, and the loss of most of UNITA's international allies, UNITA
leader Jonas Savimbi would be isolated if he did try to relaunch a full-scale
However, the situation on the ground remains very dangerous, with Jonas
Savimbi continuing to use his conscript rebel army to destabilise the country.
Peacekeeping strains UN budget
In his report to the Security Council, Kofi Annan pointed out that the
operation in Angola had a budget of $175 million for the period 1 July
1997 to 30 June 1998. He proposed that the United Nations approve a budget
of $140.8 million for the period 1 July 1998 to 30 June 1999.
In a sign of the strain on UN peacekeeping operations, he revealed that
the UN is owed $94 million by member states for the operation in Angola,
and a staggering $1,547 million for all UN peacekeeping operations.
Experts on international relations have pointed out that with hostility
to the UN increasing in some quarters following Kofi Annan's successful
diffusion of the crisis in Iraq, the UN is under greater pressure to walk
out of Angola with an increased reputation.
Inside sources have revealed that at the UN Security Council meeting
on Angola there was pressure to reject the Secretary General's plans to
continue MONUA to the end of the year.
Various tasks completed
UNITA Vice-President arrives in Luanda
UNITA vice-president Antonio Dembo arrived in Luanda on 1 April, partially
fulfilling UNITA's promise to send its leadership to the capital.
Dembo is a figure seen as highly loyal to Savimbi. However, other senior
UNITA members who have moved to Luanda have drifted out of Savimbi's control
as they have worked for a political settlement in the country.
According to various sources, including the Johannesburg-based Institute
for Security Studies (ISS), there is a growing split in the organisation,
with leading UNITA members in Luanda literally too scared to travel to
UNITA leader Jonas Savimbi is currently refusing to leave Andulo and
Bailundo, where he coordinates his plans with senior confidantes, General
Kamalata "Numa", General Altino Sapalalo "Bock", Marcial
Dachala and UNITA Secretary-General Paulo Lukamba "Gato".
On his arrival, Dembo set up a UNITA Coordinating Group (UCG) for political
activities in the capital, composed of Dembo, Martires Correa Victor, Alcides
Sakala, Franco Marcolino Nhany, Isaias Henrique Ngola Samakuva, and Abel
To encourage UNITA to return to Luanda the Angolan government has spent
$600,000 refurbishing a building in Luanda's Sao Paulo Ward, which is to
be offered to UNITA for use as their headquarters. The building was badly
damaged during fighting in 1992 between UNITA and pro-government forces.
Savimbi gets special status and protection
On 31 March a law was promulgated awarding UNITA leader Jonas Savimbi
the official position of Leader of the Opposition.
On 10 April a special VIP protection unit of the national police force
was officially formed for Savimbi, making up his 400-strong personal security
unit. This number is to be gradually reduced to 150.
Radio Vorgan ceases broadcasts
UNITA's pirate radio station, Radio Vorgan, ceased broadcasting at the
beginning of April, and has now been replaced by the legal FM station Radio
UNITA continues to occupy strategic areas
Kofi Annan's report to the Security Council drew attention to the fact
that much of the country is still under military occupation by UNITA (whilst
at the same time accepting UNITA's declaration on 6 March that it has demilitarised).
During the month since his last report, only five localities were handed
over to state administration. The only notable one of these was Mussende,
which was handed over on 9 April.
The municipality of Mussende is one of six UNITA-controlled towns which
have been designated highly sensitive by the UN. A Joint Commission meeting
on 17 April failed to reach agreement on the extension of state administration
to the "sensitive" areas of Andulo, Mungo, Nharea and Bailundo.
Nor has agreement been reached on handing back Jamba to Government control.
An agreement which had been reached following a government delegation's
trip to meet UNITA leader Jonas Savimbi on 8 April was abandoned by UNITA.
When the government delegation visited Andulo and Bailundo on 16 April
to further discuss the handing over of these vital areas, they found that
UNITA had changed its mind. According to Vice-Minister for Territorial
Administration, Higino Carneiro, "if we knew UNITA had changed its
mind we would not have gone there in the first place".
Weapons handed over in Cuanza Norte
Two tons of weapons have been handed over to the police in Cuanza Norte
Province as part of the civilian disarmament process. According to police
sources, this completes the voluntary stage of disarmament, and is to be
followed by the arrest of people still holding weapons illegally. In Cutulungo
District at the beginning of April, about 2 tons of weapons, including
anti-aircraft weapons, mines, mortars, handgrenades, shells, and assorted
ammunition were discovered by the police.
Provincial Police Commander Eduardo Cerqueira commented that "from
the moment UNITA stopped being an armed party and became a political party,
it had to declare it has no more weapons. We will now have to deal with
people found with illegal possession of weapons".
Police in Cuando-Cubango have recovered more than 600 AKM assault rifles
Sanctions Committee reports fewer flights to UNITA
The number of flights violating the UN sanctions on UNITA have dropped
significantly, according to the Chair of the UN Sanctions Committee, Kenyan
Ambassador Njuguna Mahugu. A report prepared by the diplomat following
his visit to the area from 21 to 29 March, said that whilst there were
at least 186 such flights to UNITA last December, most of them from South
Africa, there were only about 40 flights in the January-February period.
In his report to the Security Council, Kofi Annan said there were few
aircraft landing in Andulo and Bailundo in March. However, he conceded
that UNITA may be diverting flights to airstrips not monitored by the UN.
Sources in the Ivory Coast have stated that in April a UN delegation
led by Mahugu, held private talks with Ivorian Presidential Affairs Minister
Faustin Kouame to complain about the country helping UNITA to circumvent
international sanctions. Among the complaints raised is the issuing of
Ivory Coast passports to UNITA officials. Those benefiting include the
UNITA representative in Britain, Mr Kandeya, who has applied to the Home
Office for leave to remain in the country, and is awaiting their decision.
South African clampdown on smugglers
The South African police have laid 200 charges related to the Civil
Aviation Act following an operation at Pietersburg airport in Northern
Province. There is speculation that military equipment such as fuel tanks
and tow trucks, clothing, food and mining equipment were being exported
to UNITA, violating UN sanctions. Several aircraft have been grounded following
the operation. The aircraft involved belonged to Russian nationals who
live in South Africa legally.
Military situation worrying
The UN Secretary General's Special Envoy to Angola Blondin Beye on 20
April described the military situation in Angola as "worrying".
Beye said that the situation in the central-southern provinces was not
stable "not because there is war but because there is military activity
beyond simple banditry". The UN and its member states have been particularly
infuriated by an attack in N'gove on 23 April by over one hundred soldiers
on a UN team site. The site was over-run, and UN officials were detained
whilst the bandits stripped the site before driving off in UN vehicles.
Diplomatic sources say off the record that there is no doubt that this
was an attack by UNITA.
This followed another large scale attack resulting in the destruction
of UN vehicles. One person was murdered in the attack on Chongoroi on 27th
March and three were wounded. No UN staff were injured.
The Joint Commission on 30 March called on the government to pursue
and thwart those responsible for the attack. Although the Joint Commission
did not name the culprits, it is widely accepted that UNITA troops were
also responsible. The Angolan army had regained control of the town by
Warnings of UNITA war preparations
On 30 March the Government sent an open letter to UN Special Representative
Alioune Blondin Beye, warning of UNITA preparations for war. Blondin Beye
subsequently stated that the letter should not have been made public as
it was inflammatory.
The letter names several UNITA military leaders said to be involved
in war preparations, including General Numa in Cambundi-Catembo, Brigadier
Apolo in the outskirts of Negage, Brigadiers Abreu and Amadeu in Milando,
and General Bock.
The Government also alleged, inter alia, that UNITA has deployed three
battalions in Negage, Uige Province, and has assembled soldiers and weapons
in Milando. The letter also warned that UNITA intends to attack in Malanje,
Uige and Lunda Norte provinces, with about 8,000 armed men equipped with
armoured vehicles, and heavy artillery including B-12, D-30, C-106 and
C-130 artillery and the 24 OT super gun.
Benguela Governor deplores UNITA attacks
Benguela's Provincial Governor, Dumilde Rangel, told UN Special Representative
Alioune Blondin Beye that "residual" UNITA forces carried out
95 attacks in the province between January and March. As a result of these
attacks, 45 civilians and soldiers were killed, 52 wounded and 67 people
Governor Rangel also commented that of the 16 communes, 620 villages
and hamlets and nine districts that had been restored to state administration,
UNITA had reoccupied 11 hamlets. It was also reported that on 12 April
30 UNITA soldiers attacked Cachiquela village in Huambo province.
Five policemen abducted
Five Rapid Intervention Police officers have been abducted by UNITA
forces who attacked the commune of Chitala, in Huambo province on 7th April.
During the attack, several civilians were killed and the commune was
abandoned. It is feared that the five police officers will be killed. In
a previous incident, 16 police officers who were kidnapped on 8 March in
Cuando-Cubango province were killed on 12 March at Base Porto, according
to two survivors who escaped.
New MONUA Commander appointed
The UN Secretary-General on 26 April appointed Major-General Seth Kofi
Obeng of Ghana as the New Force Commander of MONUA from 1 May.
New constitution planned
The MPLA Central Committee held its 12th ordinary session at the Futungo
de Belas Palace in Luanda, chaired by President Jose Eduardo dos Santos.
Opening the meeting on 23 April, President dos Santos said that the Political
Bureau has created a working group to draft the country's future Constitution.
He said that the draft's "great novelty is a proposal to change
the political system to also grant the President of the Republic administrative
and other powers, as well as the post of Head of Government. This makes
the President immediately part of the government, which is not the case
in the current system". The National Assembly on 15 April had formally
agreed to draft a new constitution.
The President also warned that "the United Nations has declared
that the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola [UNITA] is
now completely demilitarised and the relevant state organs must take the
necessary steps to repress acts of armed banditry in various parts of the
nation, and hold their perpetrators both criminally and politically liable".
US Special Envoy visits Savimbi
US President Clinton's Special Envoy, Paul Hare, visited Andulo on 2
April where he met with Jonas Savimbi. Paul Hare was part of a high level
delegation that visited Angola during President Clinton's trip to Africa.
Also on the delegation was General James Jamerson, the Deputy Commander
of US Land Forces in Europe, and Joseph Wilson, Special Assistant of the
President Mandela visits Angola
The President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, arrived in Angola on
29 April, along with Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Alfred Nzo; Minister
of Trade and Industry, Mr Alec Erwin; Minister of Health, Dr Nkosazana
Zuma; Minister of Welfare and Population Development, Ms Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi;
Minister of Mineral and Energy Affairs, Mr Penuel Maduna and the Minister
of Housing, Ms Sankie Mthembi-Mahanyele. The high level delegation visited
the country to strengthen economic and political ties.
Also in the country was a 45-strong South African business delegation,
who were attending the South African/Angola Investment Conference. The
South African President laid a wreath at the Santana Cemetery in Luanda
in honour of South African freedom fighters who died in Angola.
OAU sends envoy to Angola
The Organisation of African Unity, OAU, Secretary-General Salim Ahmed
Salim sent his Special Envoy, Daniel Antonio, to Angola on 14 April where
he met with Prime Minister Fernando Franca van Dunem
The OAU official said he thought that the peace process was going better
at this stage. Following the visit, the OAU on 19 April issued a statement
urging the world to uphold UN sanctions imposed on UNITA.
Legal diamond mining earns $120 million
Minister of Geology and Mines Marcos Samondo said on 14 April that the
country's formal mineral sector produced 432,170 carats of diamond in 1997,
earning $120 million. However, Samondo said that the diamond output of
the informal sector amounted to 882,000 carats, valued at $239 million.
Until recently when UNITA ceded control of the diamond areas in the
north-east of the country to the government, most of the informal sector
was under the control of UNITA. UNITA still continues to mine for diamonds
around its headquarters at Andulo.
ACTSA, 28 Penton Street, London N1 9SA,
fax: +44 171 837 3001, telephone +44 171 833 3133.
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