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Angola: Peace Monitor, V, 12
Angola: Peace Monitor, V, 12
Date Distributed (ymd): 990905
Document reposted by APIC
Region: Southern Africa
Issue Areas: +security/peace+
This issue of the Angolan Peace Monitor reports on the ongoing
war and humanitarian crisis which the Food and Agriculture
Organization characterizes as the worst crisis of the 16
African countries currently receiving emergency food aid.
Angola Peace Monitor
Published by ACTSA on behalf of the Angola Emergency Campaign
Issue no.12, Vol. V 3 September 1999
Two hundred people die every day, says UN
The United Nations has warned of the critical condition of the
two million Angolans who have fled their homes and who are
now suffering from a lack of food, medicines, shelter and
arable land. The UN continues to hold the rebel movement UNITA
responsible for the war, and is calling on the international
community to provide aid to meet the crisis.
The President of the UN Security Council on 24 August released
a statement (S/PRST/1999/26) in which the Security Council
"reiterates that the primary cause of the current crisis in
Angola is the failure of the leadership of UNITA to comply
with its obligations under the Lusaka Protocol, and again
demands that UNITA comply immediately and without conditions
with its obligations to demilitarise and permit the extension
of State administration to areas under its control".
The statement urged "both parties to ensure full respect for
human rights and international humanitarian law. In this
connection, the Council urges UNITA to cease committing
atrocities, including killing civilians and attacking
humanitarian aid workers".
Humanitarian conditions in Angola have continued to
deteriorate, with estimates from the United Nations that two
hundred people are dying every day as a result of hunger,
sickness and war. Little is known of what is happening in
UNITA-held areas, but the focus remains on getting supplies
through to the major cities of Huambo, Cuito and Malanje.
Figures released on 17 August from the UN Office for the
Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UCAH) show that in
Huambo there are now more than 175,000 displaced people, in
Cuito 72,810, and in Malanje 134,724.
Malanje is considered the worst-hit, and the Angolan
government has declared it a "humanitarian disaster area".
Malnutrition in the city is estimated by the United Nations
to have reached 30 per cent. Local residents are suffering as
severely as the displaced people. Humanitarian agencies have
been struggling to get their emergency aid into the city,
which is sporadically under fire from UNITA's heavy
artillery. According to Jane Standley, filing a rare
television report from Malanje for the BBC on 24 August, the
city has been shelled nearly every day this year.
On 28 July UNITA fired ten shells on Malanje, killing four and
wounding six. Another four people died on 27 July when a car
belonging to the respected Angolan NGO ADRA was ambushed on
the road linking Malanje with Cacuso.
According to the Bishop of Malanje, Luis Maria de Onraita,
quoted on 14 August in the British newspaper, The
Independent, "local food stocks are exhausted. People cannot
get out of the city to their fields. If international donors
do not help these people they are all condemned to death". In
the same article, Medecins sans Frontieres estimates that half
of Malanje's 100,000 children are malnourished, with a quarter
of these suffering from severe malnutrition.
On 31 July the UN's World Food Programme managed to get 240
tonnes of food into the city. The supplies were brought by
seven trucks, and the drivers received a heroes welcome for
risking their lives. This was the first delivery since the
end of May. The WFP planned to transport a further 2,200
tonnes of food by the end of August. During the week 6-13
August they delivered a further 800 tonnes. Approximately
2,200 tonnes of food are required monthly to meet Malanje's
The planting season for the next harvest is due to take place
in September and October. However, hundreds of thousands of
small-scale farmers have been forced to flee their land due to
UNITA attacks. There is a severe shortage of land in secure
areas, and a lack of seeds and tools. A poor harvest will
intensify the problems faced by Angola.
Three million Angolans remain inaccessible to the humanitarian
agencies, many of these living in areas under the control of
UNITA. Many thousands of these continue to flee to
International community responds to worst crisis in Africa
The international humanitarian organisations active in Angola
have been striving to meet the ever increasing demands. The
UN Food and Agricultural Organisation has stated that Angola
has the worst problems of 16 countries receiving emergency
On 22 July in Geneva the United Nations relaunched its 1999
Consolidated Inter-Agency Appeal for Angola in response to
the worsening situation (see APM no.11 vol.V). The appeal was
increased from $66 million to just under $106 million, split
between nine different UN organisations as follows (in US$):
Organisation Original Revised Pledges % needs
FAO 1,692,5 00 6,414,000 0 0.0
IOM 3,807,000 0 0 0.0
OHCHR 1,100,200 550,000 0 0.0
UNDP 4,785,250 2,650,500 476,191 18.0
UNHCR 4,830,732 4,830,732 996,662 41.3
UNICEF 14,900,000 17,800,000 3,900,226 21.9
WHO 943,400 943,000 142,653 15.1
WFP 31,162,250 69,344,938 30,444,814 43.9
Total 66,665,852 105,978,190 39,070,506 37.8%
By mid-July total humanitarian assistance to Angola in 1999 by
donor was as follows:
Donor Total US$ % of funding
USA 20,178,986 33.89
Sweden 9,191,161 15.44
Netherlands 4,839,964 8.13
Germany 4,594,236 7.72
France 3,223,788 5.41
Switzerland 2,564,245 4.31
Britain 1,989,378 3.34
Norway 1,640,875 2.76
Canada 1,636,802 2.75
Denmark 1,610,797 2.71
Others 8,075,487 13.56
The WFP announced on 20 August that the US had promised a
further donation of $13.5 million for its work in Angola, to
pay for the delivery and transportation of 19,000 tonnes of
food. This donation will make up more than a third of the
total needed by the WFP in 1999.
According to the WFP Representative in Angola, Francesco
Strippoli, "this is the first substantial response to the new
appeal and we hope that it will encourage other donors to
contribute the remaining two-thirds of the requirement within
the next few weeks".
ICRC launches appeal
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on 11
August launched an appeal to raise US $28 million for Angola.
When added to its other Angola programmes, the total budget
is over $36 million, making it their third largest programme
The British NGO Oxfam has announced that it needs to triple
its water and sanitation projects in Huambo, Malanje and
Cuito, which will cost a further 1.2 million. Oxfam hopes to
raise the funds from institutional donors such as the
European Union or the British government's Department for
A spokesperson for Oxfam, Matthew Granger, praised the
international community for "moving mountains" in its relief
efforts in Kosovo, but called for a similar response for
His view was echoed in Angola by the UN Under
Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency
Relief Coordinator, Sergio Vieira de Mello, who said on 16
August that, "I was concerned that the very high level of
attention and solidarity towards Kosovo inevitably would
distract capitals, ministries of finance, and therefore
resources, from crises elsewhere in the world. I hope I was
wrong, but we will tell in the next few months."
Congo peace deal signed
On 31 August the main rebel movements in the Democratic
Republic of Congo signed the peace accord aimed at ending
that country's war.
The peace accord states that observers from the Organisation
of African Unity will be deployed within 30 days, with a UN
peacekeeping mission following within months.
There are still major doubts as to whether the peace agreement
will hold, but one of the key elements in the accord is the
disarming of all armed militias in the country. This may pose
a threat to rebel soldiers from UNITA, who operate over the
porous border with Angola. Another key element of the accord
is the withdrawal of foreign troops, which should end the
Angolan army's role in the country.
Oil price rises boost government finances
The recent increases in oil prices, which at their worst
dropped to around $9 a barrel, have given the Angolan
government a huge boost in income. The vast majority of the
government's income comes from oil revenues, and with prices
now around $20 a barrel the Angolan government has substantial
extra resources to boost its military capacity.
On 6 August the Angolan Council of Ministers met and announced
an increase in the national budget of 31.1 percent. It was
also announced that $20 million was to be made available for
humanitarian relief, half of which was earmarked for food.
The first tranche of money will be $3 million for the
purchase of farming equipment. The meeting also approved the
purchase of two IL-76 cargo aircraft for the national airline
The Council of Ministers has also agreed to create a social
and economic development fund in an attempt to relaunch the
economy, with $150 million at its disposal.
Military situation boils
During the month of August UNITA stepped up its attacks on
small towns and villages throughout the country, resulting in
many deaths and thousands of people fleeing to the provincial
capitals. However, there is no sign that the government army
has been able to respond to the attacks.
UNITA has claimed that it is holding territory within 50
kilometers of Luanda. In recent weeks there have been reports
of attacks by UNITA on the towns of Caxito and Catete.
Fighting is increasing in Benguela province, and around 30,000
people have recently fled to the town of Cubal. It was
reported that UNITA had shelled the town of Balombo on 16
August and destroyed a strategic bridge, cutting road access
from Benguela to Cubal and Ganda, and to Huambo. Thirteen
people were reported to have been killed and 12 injured on the
Reports state that heavy fighting in Uige Province has led to
thousands of people fleeing to Uige city. The UN reports that
a large number of people are fleeing fighting around Sanza
In Huila province, a road bridge linking Matala and Kuvango
was destroyed. There have also been recent reports of
guerilla units moving towards Lubango from the UNITA held
towns of Kubango, Chipido and Chicomba. Rebels are also said
to have seized the town of Jamba in the same province.
The Namibian government has confirmed that it has arrested
seven UNITA soldiers in the Caprivi Strip, where they are
alleged to have been fighting with a local separatist
Another suspected UNITA atrocity was uncovered in Angola in
August. About 100 bodies were found dumped in four wells in
the Chipeta region of Bie province near Cuito. The area had
reportedly been under the control of UNITA until a couple of
months ago when the Angolan army retook the area.
There is still no sign of the expected dry-season offensive by
government forces. With the rains due to start in
September/October, it is clear that the government has not
yet prepared itself for large scale battles with UNITA's
forces. Military supplies are still being flown into Huambo,
IMF visits Angola again
An International Monetary Fund mission arrived in Angola on 31
August to assess the implementation of the latest economic
reforms. The ten-day trip by a technical mission is led by
Paul Newhouse, who visited Angola in April. Negotiations are
underway to create a staff-monitored macro-economic programme
which could, if successful, open the door for IMF-sponsored
Particular problems have stood in the way of previous attempts
to get international backing for restructuring Angola's debt
- now standing at an estimated $13 billion. In particular,
exchange rate policy and transparency in oil revenues have
posed obstacles to IMF participation in the country. However,
the current Finance Minister, Joaquim David, and the Governor
of the Bank of Angola, Aguinaldo Jaime, have an increasingly
high reputation in financial circles for their handling of the
recent financial crisis which saw the government's budget
shrink by a third in a short space of time as oil prices
plummeted. The two visited the World Bank and the IMF in
Washington in May.
Civil society initiatives continue
One of the leading supporters of the "peace manifesto"
launched on 15 July (see APM no.11 vol.V) spoke at a meeting
organised by the British-Angola Forum at the Royal Institute
of International Affairs on 26 August at Chatham House.
Marques is one of the founding members of the Angolan Group
of Reflection for Peace - GARP.
During his address, Marques claimed that "the Lusaka Peace
Protocol was drafted by Alioune Blondin Beye and the
Portuguese Ambassador, and was a pre-arranged deal by
foreigners". He spoke of the need for Angolan civil society
to open dialogue with the Government and Jonas Savimbi's
UN to open new office in Angola
The UN has announced that it is to open a liaison office in
Luanda comprised of 30 people. In a letter to the UN Security
Council on 11 August the UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan,
wrote that the new office is being established "with a view
to exploring effective measures for restoring peace".
A Security Council resolution authorising the mission is
expected to be approved after 23 September.
SADC offers non-military support
Leaders of the Southern African Development Community (SADC)
on 19 August pledged greater political and non-military
support to the government of Angola, but stopped short of the
fuller military intervention predicted by some.
SADC leaders denounced Jonas Savimbi and declared that he had
"ceased to be a viable interlocutor to the solution of the
Angolan conflict", backing the Angolan government position
that there is nothing left to negotiate with Savimbi. The
Angolan president's spokesperson, Aldemiro Vas da Conceicao
expressed this view on 27 August, stating the government's
resolve to keep to the Lusaka Protocol but "with the
exclusion of Jonas Savimbi".
Jonas Savimbi offers negotiations
Jonas Savimbi has given his first interviews in several months
to reporters from the BBC and Voice of America on 16 August,
during which he called for new negotiations with the
During the BBC World Service interview he claimed that "there
is no humanitarian catastrophe in Angola, it has all been
invented by the Luanda government to extort food out of the
UNITA's position on the Lusaka Protocol was expanded on during
an interview given by Alcides Sakala to Reuters on 31 August.
He said that "UNITA is ready to talk to Dos Santos so that we
can discuss our differences. But Lusaka is dead, completely
dead. We would have to begin from a new reality according to
the situation on the ground today."
Sanctions panels created
The two expert panels appointed to look at UN sanctions
against UNITA met for the first time on 26 August in New
York. The Chairman of the UN Sanctions Committee, Ambassador
Robert Fowler, said that the creation of the panels would
significantly improve the committee's ability to limit UNITA's
capacity to make war.
The UN has estimated that UNITA has sold between $3 and $4
billion worth of diamonds since it returned to war in 1992,
and has bought sophisticated weaponry with the income.
The first panel will be made up of six experts investigating
UNITA's revenue and their source of petroleum supplies. The
second panel, with four experts, will look at sources of
military support for UNITA.
The Swedish Ambassador to the UN, Anders Mollander, will chair
both panels, whilst Botswana's Colonel Otisitswe Broza
Tiroyamodimo will be the vice-chair.
Panel members include Stanlake Samkange of Zimbabwe; George
McKay, Namibia's chief detective inspector with the Ministry
of Mines and Energy; Olivier Valles from France; Benny
Lombard, a small arms expert from South Africa; and Melvin
Holt, an Interpol agent from the United States.
The panel is to submit its first report to the Security
Council by the end of September.
Aircraft impounded in Zambia
There have been conflicting reports over a cargo plane
impounded at Lusaka Airport, with allegations that it was
part of a UNITA smuggling operation. The crew of nine
Ukrainians and one South African is being questioned over the
allegations that the plane was breaking UN sanctions.
Some reports emanating from the Zambian authorities state that
the plane was empty and en route to South Africa to pick up
oil products for UNITA. However, other sources have claimed
that the aircraft was laden with arms from the Ukraine, and
suggest that the crew have not been arrested.
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 Web at: http://www.anc.org.za/angola
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