7. UNAVEM's Mandate Adjusted

 

1. Background

The Government of Angola and the opposition, the União Nacional para a Independência Total de Angola (UNITA), have been engaged in an intermittent yet devastating civil war since the countryís independence from Portugal in 1975. By the 1980s, UNITA controlled large parts of the country with help from the minority regime in South Africa and the United States. The Government, for its part, was supported by the Soviet Union and assisted by Cuban forces.

In December 1988, a complex international diplomatic process aimed at achieving peace and stability in the region resulted in agreements on both the implementation of Security Council resolution 435 (1978), leading to the independence of Namibia, and the withdrawal of Cuban troops from Angola. Under the latter agreement, the first United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM I) was dispatched to Angola to monitor the Cuban troop withdrawal, which was completed in May 1991.

Once foreign troops were withdrawn from the country, the international community also saw a chance to end the long-standing conflict between the Angolan Government and UNITA. In April 1990, the Government of Angola and UNITA began a series of talks with participation by Portugal as mediator and by the United States and the Soviet Union as observers. The negotiations eventually resulted in the Peace Accords for Angola (also known as the Bicesse Accords or "Acordos de Paz para Angola"), which were initialled on 1 May 1991 at Estoril, Portugal, and signed by the President of Angola, Mr. José Eduardo dos Santos, and the President of UNITA, Mr. Jonas Savimbi, in Lisbon on 31 May 1991.

The Peace Accords for Angola included four documents: a ceasefire agreement; fundamental principles for the establishment of peace in Angola; concepts for resolving the issues still pending between the Government and UNITA; and the Protocol of Estoril.

2. Establishment of UNAVEM II

A de facto suspension of hostilities came into effect on 15 May 1991. Two days later, the Secretary-General received a letter from the Government of Angola requesting the United Nations participation in verifying the implementation of the Peace Accords. On 20 May 1991, the Secretary-General recommended that the Security Council entrust to UNAVEM the verification tasks attributed to the United Nations in the Accords. Under the agreement, UNAVEM II was to verify the ceasefire arrangements throughout the country and monitor neutrality of the Angolan police. The strength of the Mission would comprise a group of up to 350 unarmed military observers who would work closely with the Angolan monitoring teams but would remain separate from them. The same procedure would apply in the case of up to 90 UNAVEM police observers.

On 30 May, the Council adopted its resolution 696 (1991) giving a new mandate to UNAVEM (thereafter UNAVEM II) and establishing the Mission for a period of 17 months, until the day following the completion of presidential and legislative elections, scheduled for the fall of 1992.

3. Verification of Ceasefire

The United Nations verification operation began as soon as the Angolan Peace Accords were formally signed on 31 May 1991. Advance parties of United Nations military observers were deployed to five of UNAVEM II's six regional headquarters on 2 June 1991, three days after the Mission was established. Subsequently, UNAVEM II teams of military observers were deployed at some 46 locations ("assembly areas") where the troops of the two sides were assembled during the ceasefire, as well as at several "critical points" (certain seaports, airports and border posts).

In essence, their task was to verify that joint monitoring groups, composed in equal numbers of representatives of the Angolan Government and of UNITA and responsible for monitoring on the spot the observance of the ceasefire, carried out their responsibilities. Working closely with these monitoring groups, UNAVEM II verification teams provided support in the investigation and resolution of alleged violations of the cease-fire. They responded to requests for assistance and used their good offices to resolve problems within monitoring groups. The neutrality of the Angolan police was to be verified by monitoring teams also composed of members designated by the Government of Angola and by UNITA. Their work was to be verified by UNAVEM II police observers. The monitoring teams and UNAVEM II observers were to visit police facilities, examine activities of the police and, if necessary, investigate alleged violations of political rights. UNAVEM II police observers had been deployed in all 18 Angolan provinces by October 1991.

As of 25 October 1991, the Mission included 350 military observers, 89 police monitors, 14 military medical personnel, 54 international civilian staff and 41 local civilian staff. UNAVEM II was also equipped with a civilian air unit, made up of one fixed-wing cargo aircraft and 12 utility helicopters, supplemented when necessary by hiring a heavy cargo aircraft and a small passenger aircraft. With the agreement of the parties, UNAVEM II took the lead in monitoring some aspects of the Accords, including regular counting of troops and of weapons in all assembly areas and communicating relevant information to Luanda, and offered advice on ways to overcome practical difficulties in the assembly process. In addition, United Nations humanitarian agencies and programmes were heavily involved in the provision of food and other assistance to cantoned troops.

As for the partiesí compliance with the Peace Accords, there was considerable room for improvement. Although there were no major violations of the ceasefire, observance of the its provisions was affected by antagonisms and misunderstandings, as well as logistical difficulties, especially in the provision of logistical support in troop assembly areas, which had to be established and maintained by the parties. By October 1991, troop assembly had fallen seriously behind schedule, and the two sides had failed to create joint police monitoring groups. These delays further undermined confidence and trust between the parties. While they chose to defuse many incidents through the joint monitoring and verification bodies established by the Peace Accords, the political and security atmosphere remained tense and fragile, with reports of violent incidents as well as of intimidation and provocation by both Government and UNITA supporters.

4. Observation of Electoral Process

The Peace Accords provided for "free and fair elections for a new Government" under "the supervision of international election observers". In December 1991, the Government of Angola requested United Nations technical assistance to help prepare for and conduct the elections, as well as the dispatch of United Nations observers to follow the entire electoral process until its completion in the fall of 1992. An agreement on technical assistance was signed with the Angolan Government in January 1992.

On 6 February 1992, the Secretary-General informed the Security Council of his decision to appoint Miss Margaret Joan Anstee (United Kingdom), as his Special Representative to coordinate all United Nations activities in connection with the Angola Peace Accords, and as Chief of Mission of UNAVEM II. On 3 March, following the Special Representative's visit to Angola, the Secretary-General submitted to the Council his report with recommendations concerning the United Nations role in observing the forthcoming elections. On 24 March, the Council, by its resolution 747 (1992) , decided to enlarge UNAVEM IIís mandate to include election observation in Angola.

The office of the Special Representative was established in Luanda in March 1992. In addition to its deployed military and police observers and civilian staff, UNAVEM II was enlarged to include an Electoral Division, headed by a Chief Electoral Officer. Offices of the Electoral Division were established in Luanda, in the six Angolan regions and in the capitals of all 18 provinces. Approximately 100 international staff and the requisite number of local staff were deployed in the regional and provincial electoral offices.

The United Nations role was to observe and verify the elections, not to organize them. The electoral process was organized and directed by the National Electoral Council (NEC), on which all legalized political parties in Angola were represented, and supported by technical assistance provided by experts and consultants from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The electoral process comprised four phases: the registration of voters from 20 May to 10 August; the electoral campaign from 29 August to 28 September; the presidential and legislative elections on 29 and 30 September; and the counting of the votes, investigation of complaints and announcement of the final results by the President of NEC on 17 October.

In his report to the Security Council dated 9 September 1992, the Secretary-General stated that the results of the registration exercise had surpassed expectations, with NEC reporting the registration of 4.8 million eligible voters, representing some 92 per cent of an estimated voting population of 5.3 million. The electoral campaign was conducted without major violence, although there were reports of intimidation by some political parties, notably UNITA and the Movimento Popular para a Libertaçao de Angola (MPLA), as well as difficulties of access to certain areas, particularly those controlled by UNITA. The 18 political parties which had presented candidates campaigned actively. There were complaints, especially from the smaller parties, about the continued existence of the Government and UNITA armies, the slow progress in demobilization and in forming the new Angolan Armed Forces, and lack of access to the Government-controlled radio and television, whose alleged partiality was criticized.

UNAVEM II electoral observers monitored the campaign, contributed to civic education programmes and provided information on UNAVEM IIís role. In addition, UNAVEM II and UNDP organized the air support operation, consisting of 45 helicopters and 15 fixed-wing aircraft, to overcome the logistical difficulties in reaching the more inaccessible polling stations. For the observation and verification of the voting on 29 and 30 September 1992, UNAVEM II deployed 400 electoral observers. Operating largely as two-person mobile teams, the observers covered all 18 provinces and most of the 164 municipalities, and visited about 4,000 of some 6,000 polling stations.

As regards its mandate in military matters, UNAVEM II continued to carry out its verification functions at the assembly areas up to and after the announced disbandment of the two former armies of FAPLA (Government) and FALA (UNITA) on 27 September 1992. As the elections drew near, demobilization formally accelerated. By 7 October, a total of 96,620 Government troops had been demobilized, representing 80 per cent of the projected figure. However, a much lower proportion of ex-FALA troops were demobilized.

United Nations police observers continued their verification of police neutrality, with the Angolan joint monitoring groups being almost entirely dependent on UNAVEM II for transport and communications. Little progress was made in developing a representative national police force.

5. UNITA Rejects Election Results

On 1 October 1992, the Secretary-Generalís Special Representative issued a statement in which she noted that the great majority of the registered voters had cast their ballots in peaceful and orderly conditions, despite organizational and logistical difficulties.

However, complaints were raised on 3 October and thereafter by UNITA and some other parties of widespread, massive and systematic irregularities and fraud during the elections. The Secretary-General urged the leader of UNITA, Mr. Jonas Savimbi, not to reject the results of the elections, pending investigation of UNITAís complaints, and emphasized the urgency of a meeting between him and President José Eduardo dos Santos. The complaints were investigated by NEC, with the active assistance of UNAVEM II. Investigative commissions were sent to all 18 provinces, but found no conclusive evidence of systematic and massive fraud which would offset the overall results of the elections.

Meanwhile, a major violation of the Peace Accords occurred early in October, when 11 former UNITA generals, including the commander of UNITAís army, withdrew from the new, unified Angolan Armed Forces, in protest at what they called "fraud and cheating" in the elections.

In view of these developments, the Security Council sent to Angola, from 11 to 14 October, an ad hoc Commission, composed of the representatives of Cape Verde, Morocco, the Russian Federation and the United States, to support implementation of the Peace Accords. Notwithstanding all diplomatic efforts, the political and military situation in the country continued to deteriorate.

On 17 October 1992, the President of NEC announced the official election results. More than 91 per cent of those registered had voted. MPLA had won the legislative elections, with 53.74 per cent of the votes, against UNITAís 34.1 per cent. In the presidential elections, President dos Santos had received 49.57 per cent, against Mr. Savimbiís 40.07 per cent; since neither had achieved 50 per cent, the Electoral Law required a second round. The Secretary-Generalís Special Representative issued a statement on 17 October, saying "there was no conclusive evidence of major systematic or widespread fraud, or that the irregularities were of magnitude to have a significant effect on the results officially announced on 17 October". She emphasized that, "with all deficiencies taken into account, the elections held on 29 and 30 September 1992 can be considered to have been generally free and fair".

After the election results were announced, UNITA launched a nationwide operation to occupy municipalities by force and remove the Governmentís local administrative structures. On 27 October, the Secretary-General conveyed to the Security Council his serious concern at the rising tension. The Council once again called upon both parties to abide by all their commitments under the Peace Accords, in particular the confinement of their troops and collection of weapons, demobilization and the formation of the unified Angolan Armed Forces. It requested UNITA to respect the results of the elections and urged the leaders of the two parties to engage in immediate dialogue to enable the second round of the presidential elections to be held.

On 30 October, the Security Council, faced with further alarming reports of resumed hostilities in many parts of the country, adopted resolution 785 (1992) , extending the mandate of UNAVEM II until 30 November 1992, and endorsing the statement by the Secretary-Generalís Special Representative on the elections having been generally free and fair.

Barely 23 hours later, on 31 October, heavy fighting broke out between the Government and UNITA forces, especially in Luanda. The Secretary-Generalís efforts, supported by a number of Member States, resulted in a ceasefire which came officially into effect on 2 November. UNAVEM II, which kept its military, police and civilian presence intact at 67 locations throughout the country, worked to maintain the ceasefire, patrolling trouble spots and using its good offices to foster dialogue between the parties.

6. Secretary-General Evaluates Situation

On 25 November 1992, the Secretary-General submitted to the Security Council a detailed report on the situation in Angola, and recommended extension of the mandate of UNAVEM II for a two-month period, until 31 January 1993. The Secretary-General stated that although it was too soon to analyze the causes of the deteriorating situation in Angola, it was already clear that a root cause was the incomplete fulfilment of key provisions in the Peace Accords. Among those failings were the less than effective demobilization and storage of weapons; the delay in creating the unified Angolan Armed Forces (FAA), which only formally came into being two days before the elections; the failure to re-establish effective central administration in many parts of the country; and the delay in setting up a neutral police force. It had also been difficult to create in 16 months, after as many years of civil war, an atmosphere of mutual confidence, tolerance and respect.

Yet, the Secretary-General emphasized, "it is also too soon to despair of the Angolan peace process", noting the renewed commitment to the process by both parties. On 30 November, the Security Council, by its resolution 793 (1992), extended UNAVEM IIís mandate until 31 January 1993. Meanwhile, the efforts of the Secretary-Generalís Special Representative resulted in a meeting on 26 November 1992 in the southern provincial capital of Namibe between senior delegations from the two sides, where they pledged themselves to full acceptance of the validity of the Peace Accords, to an effective ceasefire throughout the country and the immediate cessation of all offensive movements, and to the need for a larger United Nations involvement. However, almost immediately, this progress was followed by a set-back when, on 29 November, UNITA forces took the northern provincial capital of Uige and an important airbase nearby, Negage. Attempts to restore dialogue between the two sides, including the Secretary-Generalís personal invitation to President dos Santos and Mr. Savimbi to meet with him at an agreed location, failed. The situation further deteriorated with outbreaks of heavy fighting in at least 10 provincial capitals and other population centres, with each side blaming the other for initiating those hostilities.

Reporting to the Council on 21 January 1993, the Secretary-General stated that "to all intents and purposes, Angola has returned to civil war, and is probably in an even worse situation than that which prevailed before the Peace Accords were signed in May 1991". The conflict engulfed towns and population centres in a way unprecedented during the previous 16 years, and there were "disturbing but unconfirmed reports" that new supplies of arms might be entering the country. In addition, the widespread fighting and the absence of government administration in much of the countryside led to widespread hunger and the flight of large numbers of people from the towns involved in the conflict. "An already serious humanitarian situation has become catastrophic in many areas", the Secretary-General stated, and the capacity of international humanitarian agencies to provide assistance had been severely disrupted.

7. UNAVEM's Mandate Adjusted

According to the 21 January report, the crisis in Angola thrust UNAVEM II into a central mediating role. However, the Secretary-General noted, with the outbreak of violent and widespread hostilities, and the total collapse of the joint monitoring mechanisms, "UNAVEM IIís original mandate has become less and less relevant". Even its mediating role had been increasingly limited by the deteriorating security situation. At the same time, UNAVEM II teams in the field faced mounting dangers, which became so extensive that 45 of UNAVEMís 67 locations had to be evacuated.

The Secretary-General outlined three options for the future of UNAVEM II. The first option was to maintain the mission at its existing strength; the second was to reduce UNAVEM II's provincial deployment to approximately six locations. The Secretary-Generalís preferred option was to confine UNAVEM II's deployment to the capital, Luanda, and to one or two outstations but with the capability to deploy to six provincial sites if needed, to support his Special Representativeís peacemaking efforts. On 29 January, the Security Council, by its resolution 804 (1993) , extended the mandate of UNAVEM II for a period of three months, until 30 April 1993. As a provisional measure based on security considerations, the Secretary-General was authorized to concentrate UNAVEM IIís deployment in Luanda and, at his discretion, in other provincial locations, with the levels of personnel and equipment he deemed appropriate to allow for the subsequent expeditious redeployment of UNAVEM II as soon as this became feasible. By other provisions of the resolution, the Council demanded, inter alia, that the two parties establish a ceasefire immediately, restore continued and meaningful dialogue and agree on a clear timetable for the full implementation of the Peace Accords.

Subsequently, the Secretary-General decided to temporarily decrease the strength of the Mission. In the following months, the mandate of UNAVEM II was extended by the Security Council on several occasions to allow the Mission to help the two sides reach agreement on modalities for completing the peace process and, at the same time, to broker and help implement ceasefires at the national or local level.

8. Further Efforts to Restore Peace

As Angola plunged back into civil war, the Secretary-General and his Special Representative renewed their mediation. Talks were held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to discuss prerequisites for the effective re-launching of the peace process in Angola. During the first round of the talks, which was held from 27 to 30 January 1993, the Government and UNITA reached agreement on a number of questions, but some key issues remained to be resolved before a ceasefire could be arranged. The second round in Addis Ababa had to be cancelled, due to the failure of UNITA to send its delegation there. Following a demand by the Security Council for the resumption of dialogue and after repeated efforts by the Secretary-Generalís Special Representative to arrange a meeting between the two sides, peace talks resumed in April in Abidjan, Côte díIvoire, but broke down again in May.

On 15 September 1993, the Security Council, by resolution 864 (1993) , further extended the existing mandate of UNAVEM II for a period of three months. It reiterated its readiness to consider expanding substantially the United Nations presence in Angola in the event of significant progress in the peace process. At that time, UNAVEM II was deployed at five locations, with its military and police observers patrolling the areas, maintaining liaison with the respective local authorities, rendering support to humanitarian assistance operations, conducting investigations and other activities

By the same resolution, the Council condemned UNITA for its continuing military actions, and, acting under Chapter VII of the Charter, imposed an embargo on the supply of arms and petroleum products to UNITA. The Council insisted that UNITA respect the 1991 Peace Accords, and that the parties make every effort to restart negotiations.

The United Nations continued its efforts to facilitate the resumption of the peace process in consultation with the Angolan parties and interested countries, including, in particular, the observer States to the Peace Accords -- Portugal, the Russian Federation and the United States. On 15 November 1993, following extensive consultations and exploratory talks, the Government of Angola and UNITA began talks in Lusaka, Zambia, chaired by the Secretary-Generalís Special Representative, Alioune Blondin Beye (Mali). [Mr. Beye succeeded Ms. Anstee on 28 June 1993]. Agreement on the military questions on the agenda was reached in December 1993. Agreement on the police was reached in January 1994; on the completion of the electoral process in May; on the new United Nations mandate and the role of the three observer States (Portugal, the Russian Federation and the United States) in October. The question of national reconciliation proved to be the most difficult, since it involved matters such as the allocation of senior government posts to UNITA, including the governorships of provinces. After laborious negotiations, agreement was reached in October 1994.

In the meantime, in early September 1994, the Secretary-General sent a special mission to Angola, headed by former Under-Secretary-General James O. C. Jonah. The mission assessed United Nations efforts in peacemaking, peacekeeping and humanitarian relief at a time when the Lusaka peace talks were in their final phase, with the parties negotiating the last item on their agenda, namely, the new mechanism for implementing the Peace Accords and the forthcoming Lusaka Protocol. The United Nations was to provide an important element of that mechanism.

On 20 October 1994, in the expectation that an agreement would be concluded by 31 October, the Secretary-General recommended to the Security Council that the existing mandate of UNAVEM II be extended until 31 November 1994. He also suggested that the Council might wish to consider authorizing the restoration of UNAVEM II to its previous strength so as to enable the Mission to consolidate implementation of the peace agreement in its initial and most critical stage. On 27 October, the Security Council, by resolution 952 (1994) , extended the mandate of UNAVEM II to 8 December 1994, and authorized the restoration of the Mission's strength to its previous level of 350 military and 126 police observers, once the Secretary-General reported that a peace agreement had been initialled and an effective ceasefire was in place. The Council also reaffirmed its readiness to consider promptly, once the Lusaka Protocol had been formally signed, any recommendation from the Secretary-General for an expanded United Nations presence in Angola.

9. Lusaka Protocol

A comprehensive peace agreement, the Lusaka Protocol, was initialled on 31 October and signed on 20 November 1994 in Lusaka by the Minister for External Relations of Angola, Mr. Venâncio de Moura, and by the Secretary-General of UNITA and its chief negotiator at Lusaka, Mr. Eugénio Manuvakola, in the presence of President dos Santos. The ceremony was witnessed by several heads of State, a number of foreign ministers and other dignitaries. Citing security concerns, Mr. Savimbi did not travel to the Zambian capital.

The Lusaka Protocol consisted of 10 annexes, each relating to a particular issue on the agenda of the peace talks, covering legal, military and political issues. The main military issues centred on the re-establishment of the ceasefire; the withdrawal, quartering and demilitarization of all UNITA military forces; the disarming of civilians; and the completion of the formation of FAA. The major political issues included the neutrality of the national police and the integration of UNITA elements into its ranks; the mandate of the United Nations and the role of the observers of the Peace Accords; the completion of the electoral process; and the question of national reconciliation.

10. UNAVEM III Established

Even after the ceasefire formally went into effect on 22 November, the military situation in many parts of Angola remained tense, with some fighting reported between Government forces and UNITA. In order to enhance the verification capabilities of UNAVEM II and as an additional confidence-building measure, the Special Representative decided to deploy to the countryside small teams of military and police personnel already serving with the Mission. Accordingly, on 27-29 November, UNAVEM II regional headquarters were established in the cities of Huambo, Luena, Menongue, Saurimo and Uíge, in addition to one already existing in Lubango. The Secretary-General also dispatched a small group of specialists from the United Nations Secretariat to Angola to conduct a technical survey. On the basis of the team's proposals, he intended subsequently to present to the Security Council comprehensive recommendations for the overall role of the United Nations in the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol.

In his progress report submitted to the Security Council on 4 December 1994, the Secretary-General reiterated that once his Special Representative had reported to him that the ceasefire was effective, he would proceed with the expansion of UNAVEM II to its previous level. In the meantime, the Secretary-General recommended that the mandate of the Mission be extended for a further period, until 31 January 1995. At the same time, he would continue to prepare recommendations to the Council on the possible mandate for an expanded United Nations operation in Angola. On 7 December, the Secretary-General reported that the Special Representative had informed him that the ceasefire was generally holding, despite some initial difficulties. The Secretary-General, therefore, intended to proceed with the restoration of the strength of UNAVEM to its previous level and the deployment of the mission throughout the country. In addition to existing tasks, the mission would monitor and verify all major elements of the Lusaka Protocol and provide good offices to the parties, including at the local level.

On 8 December, the Security Council, by its resolution 966 (1994) , decided to extend the mandate of UNAVEM II until 8 February 1995 to enable it to monitor the ceasefire established by the Protocol, and welcomed the Secretary-General's intention to restore UNAVEM II to its previous level, contingent on strict observance of an effective ceasefire and on guarantees of security for United Nations personnel. The Council noted the intention of the Secretary-General to submit a report on the possible mandate for a new United Nations operation in Angola, and welcomed the continued planning in this regard.

On 1 February 1995, the Secretary-General presented to the Security Council the possible mandate for a new United Nations operation in the country, UNAVEM III. At the same time, he reported that UNAVEM II had been steadily increased in strength. As of 31 January, the number of military observers had increased from 50 to 171, and civilian police observers had increased from 18 to 122. On 8 February 1995, by its resolution 976 (1995), the Council authorized the establishment of UNAVEM III to assist the parties to restore peace and achieve national reconciliation on the basis of the Peace Accords, the Lusaka Protocol and relevant Security Council resolutions.

11. Humanitarian Situation

A particularly harsh element of the situation in Angola was the severe toll of the conflict on the civilian population. It was estimated that during 1993 close to 1,000 persons died every day from the direct or indirect effects of the war. Children, women and the elderly were among the worst hit. In spite of the difficulties created by the war, the United Nations intensified its humanitarian action to reach some 2 million people severely affected by the conflict. To this end, a United Nations Humanitarian Assistance Coordination Unit (UCAH), headed by a senior official with extensive operational experience, was set up in Luanda in late April 1993, under the overall authority of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General.

United Nations agencies and programmes made intensive efforts to provide humanitarian assistance to those in need, but it was often impossible to reach those in the interior of the country. Only in October 1993, following intensive negotiations with the two parties on humanitarian access and a general decrease in the level of fighting country-wide, were relief flights able to reach besieged cities such as Kuito and Huambo, whose populations had been cut off from international assistance for many months. In many of these previously inaccessible communities, people were found to be starving to death, and the malnutrition rates in many cases were higher than 35 per cent. The United Nations started a massive programme of humanitarian assistance. WFP spearheaded the effort by providing air transport of relief supplies for other United Nations agencies, such as the United Nations Children's Fund and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

Six months of relative stability and steady progress in relief efforts between November 1993 and April 1994 were followed by intensified conflict and a near standstill in humanitarian assistance to critical areas of the country. United Nations officials negotiated with both sides in the conflict in order to secure access to people in need. But between mid-May and mid-August 1994, the delivery of humanitarian relief dropped sharply, due to increased security risks and curtailment or suspension of relief flights.

In June 1994, the Secretary-General drew the Security Councilís attention to the dramatic escalation in the number of serious violations of humanitarian law in Angola, the rapid deterioration in the humanitarian situation in places where access was being denied, and threats to the safety of relief workers. The Council deplored the worsening of the humanitarian situation and urged the parties to grant all necessary security guarantees and to refrain from actions endangering relief personnel or disrupting humanitarian assistance.

Despite major logistical difficulties, United Nations relief programmes did manage to provide relief to accessible populations in need. In the coastal provinces and other areas considered secure, national and international NGOs worked with the United Nations to provide food and other emergency assistance to large numbers of Angolans displaced by the war or affected by the country-wide economic decline. UCAH played a major role in that process. On 21 May 1993, the United Nations Department of Humanitarian Affairs launched an inter-agency appeal for Angola, seeking some $226 million in emergency humanitarian assistance for 2 million Angolans in need. Donors provided nearly 50 per cent of that figure by the end of January 1994.

Between February and September 1994, the Department of Humanitarian Affairs twice revised and updated the consolidated inter-agency appeals to support humanitarian action in Angola. An appeal for the period February to June initially sought $179 million. By mid-August, donors had pledged nearly 70 per cent of that amount and had responded particularly well with commitments in the agricultural sector. Funds for basic non-food relief and survival items were not forthcoming, however, and the affected population receiving assistance was 10 per cent larger than the figure anticipated in February. In September, the Department of Humanitarian Affairs further updated the appeal, seeking $61 million to cover the estimated shortfall in funding for relief activities until the end of the year and estimated at $188 million the total requirements for humanitarian assistance in Angola for the period February to December 1994. Most of that sum was for food aid, followed by assistance particularly targeted at children and mothers. Pledges towards this overall total remained at roughly 70 per cent of requirements at the end of 1994.

In early 1995, some 3.5 million Angolans living in accessible areas were receiving humanitarian aid. Supplies went by air and road to an average of 15 cities every week. Approximately 112,000 returnees and other vulnerable groups living near resettlement areas were receiving aid from UNHCR. Some 280,000 Angolan refugees in the Congo, Namibia, Zaire and Zambia were expected to begin returning as conditions improved in Angola. A particular problem was posed by land- mines. Angola, a country with an estimated population of 11 million, was reported to be the "most mine-polluted country in the world", with an estimated 10 million unexploded pieces of ordnance distributed throughout the territory. On 1 February 1995, the Department of Humanitarian Affairs issued a consolidated inter-agency appeal for Angola in the amount of $213 million. Of that, $55.8 million was for demobilization and reintegration and $12.4 million for mine action.

12. Conclusion

UNAVEM II operated in a dangerous and complex conflict situation requiring flexibility and innovation. While the scope of its mandate was limited by the Peace Accords, UNAVEM II, from its very inception, had to take the lead in actively assisting the parties in overcoming obstacles to the implementation of the Accords. Its political role, however, remained restricted. UNAVEM II also made a major contribution to the impressive achievement represented by the successful, internationally monitored conduct of elections in a war-torn country. In the period after the renewal of hostilities, UNAVEM II maintained its political and military presence and became an essential factor in a continuous United Nations effort to facilitate the resumption of negotiations to advance the peace process as well as in monitoring the dramatically evolving situation in the country. As a neutral body, UNAVEM II was an indispensable channel for communications and repeatedly drew the warring parties back to the negotiating process while fulfilling other vital functions, such as its support for humanitarian activities. To some extent, the Mission became important as a preventive measure to check further escalation.

At the same time, the setbacks experienced by UNAVEM II show the risks faced by the United Nations when its mandate and resources are inadequate in relation to the complexities of the task, especially in circumstances where the parties do not demonstrate the necessary political will for peace. The short time-frame allotted for the cantonment and the demobilization of troops and for national reconciliation, and the narrow scope of United Nations activities in assuring compliance with major provisions of the Peace Accords, had a negative impact on the overall situation. Following the aftermath of the elections, the Secretary-General observed that the deliberately limited role assigned by the two parties and the observers in the Peace Accords to UNAVEM II in military matters, which was only to verify the efficient working of joint monitoring mechanisms to be established and chaired by the parties themselves, hampered its ability to correct the drift towards non-compliance".

 

 

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