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 Please note that many outdated links in this archived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, V, 2
Angola: Peace Monitor, V, 2
Date Distributed (ymd): 981103
Document reposted by APIC
Region: Southern Africa
Issue Areas: +political/rights+ +security/peace+
This issue of the Angola Peace Monitor includes reports on new desertions
from UNITA leader Jonas Savimbi, as well as on continued fighting in northern
Angola and a notice of a new publication on Angola from the Catholic Institute
for International Relations (CIIR).
Angola Peace Monitor
Published by ACTSA on behalf of the Angola Emergency Campaign
Issue no. 2, Vol V, 28th October 1998
Jonas Savimbi's leadership under new challenge
UNITA strongman Jonas Savimbi is facing a fresh challenge to his leadership
following the decision of UNITA's parliamentary group to confirm Abel Chivukuvuku
as their leader. The parliamentary group had been suspended at the end
of August from the Angolan parliament, the National Assembly, following
UNITA's refusal to abide by its obligations under the Lusaka Protocol(1).
However, following assurances that the parliamentary group supported peace,
it was reinstated on 20 October.
Abel Chivukuvuku revealed on 26 September that he had broken links with
Jonas Savimbi and was committed to peace. The decision to confirm Chivukuvuku
as leader of the parliamentary group is a blow to both Jonas Savimbi and
the other faction fighting for the leadership of UNITA.
Jonas Savimbi is already challenged for his leadership by a group known
as UNITA-Renovada (see APM no.1 vol IV). However, the leading figure in
UNITA-R, Jorge Valentim, is unpopular among the UNITA parliamentarians,
the vast majority of whom have distanced themselves from UNITA-R.
UNITA-R had attempted to replace Chivukuvuku with the former UNITA Secretary
General, Eugenio Manuvakola. In effect, this would have been a takeover
of the parliamentary group by UNITA-R. However, in an election on 26 October,
49 deputies voted for Chivukuvuku whilst two voted for Domingos Caetano.
Manuvakola did not stand.
All seventy UNITA deputies have been reinstated, despite a move by UNITA-R
to remove fifteen deputies, and make Manuvakola a parliamentarian. UNITA-R
had put forward to the Standing Committee of the National Assembly a new
list of UNITA parliamentarians, consisting of 57 nominees to fill the 70
There is speculation that Chivukuvuku is a more credible leadership
figure in the eyes of some policy analysts in the United States administration.
However, his leadership of the UNITA parliamentary group is still being
fought over. On 27 October, the President of the National Assembly Roberto
de Almeida declared Manuvakola the leader of the parliamentary group. This
move is likely to be challenged.
UNITA deputy secretary-general defects
In a further blow to Savimbi, UNITA's deputy secretary-general, Martires
Correia Vitor, has disassociated himself from Jonas Savimbi's movement.
On 12 October, Vitor announced that he had given up his post following
UNITA's failure to abide by the Lusaka Protocol. Vitor came to Luanda in
January to prepare for the arrival of UNITA's political leadership.
Infighting isolates Savimbi
Political infighting in the UNITA movement has left Jonas Savimbi isolated
whilst his close associates fight over who should take control of the new
The Angolan government in September broke all links with Jonas Savimbi
and recognised UNITA-R as the only legitimate interlocutor for the implementation
of the Lusaka Protocol and has pressurised the United Nations to follow
suit. The UN Secretary General, in his report to the UN Security Council
on 8 October, stated that the Angolan government has warned that if the
UN Secretary General's Special Representative to Angola, Issa Diallo, does
meet with Jonas Savimbi, then the government would cease all contact with
Issa Diallo had sought to visit Savimbi on 21 September. However, the
Angolan government vetoed the trip on the grounds that it could not provide
the necessary security guarantees.
In a further restriction of contacts between the UN and Jonas Savimbi's
UNITA, the Angolan government on 15 October banned UN flights to UNITA-held
The UN has been working for a lifting of the ban, reasoning that without
air support the presence of the UN Observer Mission in Angola (MONUA) observers
in UNITA held territory was not viable. The UN Secretary General, Kofi
Annan, has taken up the issue with the Angolan Vice Minister for Territorial
Administration, Higino Carneiro.
Whilst the emergence of a second major internal opposition to Jonas
Savimbi's leadership makes the government's task of getting UNITA-R recognised
as the true representative of UNITA more difficult, it may pave the way
for further defections from Savimbi's movement.
The key issue is whether either of the new power centres, or the former
UNITA generals who are now in the government's army (see APM no.1 vol V),
can deliver on UNITA's obligations under the Lusaka Protocol. So far there
have not been any major defections from Savimbi's military wing. The United
Nations is working under the logic that unless there are large scale military
defections, then the only person who can deliver peace is Jonas Savimbi.
Moves to tighten sanctions on UNITA
The UN Security Council on 15 October called for an investigation into
allegations that Jonas Savimbi has been spotted outside Angola, and that
his military forces are receiving training abroad.
In its resolution on 15 October, the Security Council also called for
the Secretary General to report by 23 November on measures for improving
the application of sanctions already in place against UNITA.
There have been consistent rumours that Savimbi has been sighted in
Uganda and Togo. In addition, the Angolan government has accused Togo and
Burkina Faso of giving military training to UNITA forces.
Sanctions in place against UNITA are currently not taking full effect.
In Britain, the UNITA representative Anibal Kandeya is still in place contrary
to the UN sanctions imposed on 30 October 1997.
Mr Kandaya was immediately asked to leave the country following the
adoption of Security Council Resolution 1127 (1997). However, he used his
right to appeal against the decision, and has since continued his duties
as UNITA representative.
The Home Office recently denied Kandeya's application for further leave
to remain in Britain, and the Home Secretary intends to start deportation
proceedings against him. However, Kandeya is entitled to appeal against
any such move, giving him further time to remain in the country.
Angola takes action against sanctions busters
UN sanctions have also not been fully implemented in regards to the
closing of supply routes to UNITA. However, action by the Angolan government
has had some effect in reducing the supplies.
Mystery surrounds the events following the arrest of eight men who were
aboard an aircraft forced down by the Angolan air force on 20 January 1998.
Following a trial, three South Africans were sentenced on 20 October to
jail terms of 23 years for smuggling mining and other equipment to UNITA.
Four other South Africans received prison sentences, and a further foreign
national received a 23-year jail sentence. All four men given 23-year sentences
have either been released or have escaped.
UNITA MP arrested over leadership fight
A UNITA member of parliament, Sabino Sakutala, was arrested on 7 October
in connection with an incident on 2 October in which shots were fired at
the car of UNITA's parliamentary leader, Abel Chivukuvuku. His detention
was immediately condemned by the UNITA parliamentary group, who deny that
he was involved. They complain that Sakutala has been held incommunicado,
and has been denied his right to a lawyer.
Also arrested was the UNITA-appointed Deputy Governor for Bie province
Joaquim Paulo Somakesenje.
Chivukuvuku has claimed that the attack was carried out by persons unknown,
to persuade him to join UNITA-R.
China recognises UNITA-R
The People's Republic of China has recognised UNITA-R leadership as
the legitimate representative of UNITA. The recognition came as Angola's
President Jose Eduardo dos Santos visited China from 12-16 October.
China has historically been one of the major backers of UNITA, alongside
the United States. However, in recent years the relationship between China
and Angola has warmed considerably. The Chinese delegation to the UN Security
Council has been highly critical of UNITA's failure to abide by the Lusaka
MONUA mandate extended for six weeks
The UN Security Council on 15 October adopted resolution 1202, which
extended MONUA's mandate by six weeks until 3 December.
The resolution reiterated that the primary cause of the crisis was the
failure of UNITA's leadership to comply with its obligations under the
In a warning that time and patience is running out, the Security Council
emphasised that "the extension of the mandate of MONUA provides the
Special Representative of the Secretary General an additional opportunity
to revive the stalled peace process, and strongly urges UNITA to take advantage
of this period to transform itself into a genuine political party and to
secure a legitimate and constructive role in the Angolan political process".
In his report to the Security Council on 8 October (S/1998/931) the
UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan, stated that if the pattern of UNITA non-compliance
continued, and if dialogue between the parties remained elusive, he planned
from December to withdraw UN personnel to eight key bases. The implication
of this is that it would signal the withdrawal of the UN from Angola. This
would highlight the lack of political will by the members of the Security
Council to back a tougher UN stance and military presence in Angola.
The Joint Commission(2), which is supposed to oversee the peace process,
has not met properly for several months. It did meet for consultations
on 7 October, but without any UNITA representation. It has so far not taken
any decision over who should represent UNITA on the commission. The previous
incumbent, Isaias Samakuva left for Europe on 2 September. Prior to the
creation of UNITA-R, he had been absent from the Joint Commission for several
months, leaving the commission unable to make any firm decisions in his
UNITA-R wants to replace Samakuva with Eugenio Manuvakola. However,
at the moment such a move is unlikely, especially in the light of the failure
of UNITA-R to take control of the UNITA parliamentary group.
Fierce fighting continues in north
The UN Secretary General in his report to the Security Council warned
that the security situation has continued to deteriorate, "primarily
as a result of persistent UNITA attacks on strategic locations". Fierce
fighting is reported to be continuing in the north and north-east of Angola,
particularly in Uige, Malanje and Lunda Norte provinces. Reports suggest
that UNITA has surrounded the provincial capital of Uige city, and that
government forces are countering with air assaults.
Fighting over the Maquela do Zombo, Uige province, has reportedly left
most of it in rubble. Fighting and insecurity in the province has led to
12,000 new refugees flooding into Uige city. Nationally, there are now
1.3 million internally displaced people, which is ten per cent of the total
population. There have also been reports that government forces have been
halted in an offensive against the UNITA stronghold of Andulo.
The fighting up until now has not amounted to an all-out war. Regional
analysts suggest that the presence of around 7,000 Angolan troops in the
Democratic Republic of Congo, where they have been involved in heavy fighting
against forces seeking to oust President Laurent Kabila, has seriously
limited the capacity of the Angolan government to strike a major blow against
UNITA. Further Angolan troops are stationed in Congo-Brazzaville.
However, the fighting in Congo is related to the conflict in Angola.
The Pan African News Agency reported on 8 October that 50 UNITA troops
were captured whilst supporting anti-Kabila forces in Bas-Congo province
The report also states that 28 Congolese rebels were seen supporting
UNITA troops in an attack on the town of Damba, Uige province.
Senior US officials visit Angola
Two senior US officials are to visit Angola from 28 October. Under Secretary
of State Susan Rice will be making her fifth visit to Angola, and will
be accompanied by President Clinton's Special Assistant, Gayle Smith.
It is understood that the two will be discussing the current impasse
in the peace process and the situation in Congo.
According to a report in the Washington Post, the United States, Russia
and Portugal have given an implicit nod to the Angolan government for an
offensive against UNITA. The report states that a source warned that, "the
troika is not pushing for a government offensive, but see one as a natural
byproduct of the stalemate". The report links this to the letter sent
by the troika to Savimbi on 25 September.
Senior UNITA general dies in South Africa
The most senior UNITA general to join the government's army under the
Lusaka Protocol, General Arlindo Pena "Ben Ben" died in a Johannesburg
clinic on 19 October. General Pena was the Deputy Chief of Staff of the
Angolan Armed Forces (FAA).
General Pena, the nephew of Jonas Savimbi, was flown to the clinic following
a serious bout of malaria. Both the UNITA movement in Andulo and UNITA-R
claimed that the other was responsible for the death of the general. However,
a post mortem revealed that General Pena had indeed died of cerebral malaria.
On 10 September the general was one of the former UNITA generals who
called upon UNITA combatants to lay down their arms.
Major oil find
A major oil find has been discovered in Block 14 off the coast of Angola.
Named "Belize" initial estimates suggest that it might produce
10,000 barrels per day.
Total, Sonangol and Agip have 20 per cent stakes in Block 14, whilst
Chevron have a 31 per cent interest and Petrogal a 9 per cent stake.
A large find in Block 15, named Bikanza, with a predicted output of
4,400 barrels per day, was announced on 15 October.
There have also been allegations, printed in the London-based Southscan,
that the Angolan national oil company, Sonangol, will be given access to
offshore oil fields in return for Angolan support for President Kabila.
According to Etienne Ngangura, spokesman for the anti-Kabila rebels, the
Muanda area has been earmarked for Sonangol. The area was previously held
by US oil companies.
Angola on way to IMF programme
The London-based journal, Africa Analysis, states that the Angolan cabinet
is on the verge of agreeing a stringent recovery agreement with the International
The government lost a third of its planned income when the price of
oil dropped from $18 a barrel to $12 at the beginning of the year. The
report states that the drop in revenue has left the country struggling
to meet its debt service payments. The country is therefore turning to
high interest commercial loans, secured by future oil revenue.
The first step would be for an IMF "staff monitored programme"
which if successful would lead to a full structural adjustment programme
next year. This would open the door for the rescheduling of debt and access
to official credit on more favourable conditions than on the commercial
International conference calls for tighter implementation of sanctions
An international conference in Vienna, ahead of the scheduled EU-SADC
Foreign Ministers meeting on 2-3 November, has called on international
action against UNITA.
The Chair of the conference in his conclusions "called upon the
international community to implement international measures decided upon
by the UN Security Council, such as sanctions against Jonas Savimbi's UNITA,
since there is little use of having anti-conflict measures if they are
The meeting, held on 12 - 14 October, hosted by the Austrian Parliament
in cooperation with the European Network for Information and Action on
Southern Africa, brought together 300 parliamentarians and NGO representatives
from Southern Africa and the European Union.
CIIR briefing points out role of civil society in peace
The Catholic Institute for International Relations has published a briefing
entitled "Peace Postponed - Angola since the Lusaka Protocol".
The pamphlet argues that "if Angola is to achieve lasting peace,
its people need economic, social and political freedom. They need to be
able to move around freely, and to be free to associate and express themselves
as they wish. This kind of reconstruction requires cooperation between
national, local and provincial governments, NGOs, private enterprise and
It points out that "human rights practice has improved little in
Angola since the Lusaka Protocol. A culture of human rights is unlikely
to take root as long as there is such acute insecurity and suspicion".
It continues that "building confidence in the peace process requires
measures that will inform ordinary Angolans about their rights, and how
to complain if these rights are violated. Both the media and non-governmental
organisations have an important role to play in promoting an awareness
of human rights".
The pamphlet concludes that, "the cycle of impunity in Angola needs
to be broken. If peace lasts and peace and reconciliation are really to
take root, the truth about the past needs to be exposed, and measures must
be taken to deal with those responsible".
The pamphlet, costing 3.50 pounds sterling, is available from CIIR,
Unit 3, Canonbury Yard, 190a New North Road, London N1 7BJ, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org,
tel +44 (0) 171 354 0883, fax +44 (0) 171 359 0017.
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.
ACTSA, 28 Penton Street, London N1 9SA
fax: +44 171 837 3001 telephone: +44 171 833 3133.
Back issues of the Angola Peace Monitor are available on the World Wide
This material is being reposted for wider distribution by the Africa
Policy Information Center (APIC). 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.