The Security Council this afternoon extended the mandate of the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III) until 30 June 1997, with the understanding that the Mission would proceed with the transition towards an observer mission that would focus on political, police and human rights aspects, as well as on humanitarian and public information programmes in support of the national reconciliation process.
Following two meetings and statements by 29 speakers on the situation in Angola, the Council unanimously adopted resolution 1106 (1997) by which it also requested the Secretary-General to complete the withdrawal of UNAVEM III military units as scheduled, taking into account progress in the remaining relevant aspects of the peace process.
The Council expressed its intention to consider the establishment of a follow-on United Nations presence to succeed UNAVEM III and requested the Secretary-General to submit a report, no later than 6 June, containing recommendations regarding the structure, specific goals and cost implications of such a mission.
Reiterating the importance of full implementation by the Government of Angola and the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) of their commitments to the peace process, the Council strongly urged them to complete without delay the remaining military aspects of the process, including the incorporation of UNITA soldiers into the Angolan Armed Forces and demobilization, and the selection and incorporation of UNITA personnel into the Angolan National Police. The Council also urged the parties to complete the normalization of State administration throughout the national territory.
The Council also expressed its hope for a meeting between the President of Angola and the leader of UNITA.
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The representative of Angola said the formation of a government of national unity did not mean that the peace process was finished. None the less, Angolans could now turn to the establishment of the rule of law under which individual and collective rights were respected and in which political differences could be resolved in parliament. Although national reconstruction was a challenge requiring continued international support, the future of Angola was now in the hands of Angolans.
Expressing the concern voiced by most speakers over the need to complete the political and military aspects of the Lusaka Protocol, the representative of the Russian Federation said failure to resolve those issues could lead to new difficulties. He called on the parties to fulfil the remaining aspects of the peace process.
The representative of the United States expressed concern over persistent reports of Angolan involvement in the conflict in Zaire. He called upon all Angolans to put an immediate halt to such actions and to give their full support to the international effort to reach a negotiated settlement to the conflict on the basis of the United Nations five-point peace plan.
In response, the representative of Angola denied allegations that the Angolan Government had participated in the conflict in Zaire. Angola had never been involved in another country's internal affairs, although Zaire had assisted UNITA in fighting against the Angolan Government ever since independence, he said.
Speaking as a representative of his country, the President of the Council, Antonio Monteiro (Portugal), said "Peace, prosperity and democracy are the separate threads that will unite Angola in a joint destiny". National reconciliation must mean national unity in a democracy. He called on the parties to proceed in such a way as to contribute always to regional peace and stability.
Statements were also made by the representatives of China, Japan, Republic of Korea, United Kingdom, Poland, France, Guinea-Bissau, Egypt, Kenya, Sweden, Costa Rica, Malawi, Brazil, South Africa, Uruguay, Mozambique, Cameroon, Argentina, Lesotho, Netherlands, Zimbabwe, Qatar, Peru, Botswana and Chile.
The first meeting on the item began at 11:30 a.m. and was adjourned at 12:46 p.m. The second meeting, which began at 3:40 p.m., was adjourned at 5:26 p.m.
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The Security Council met this morning to consider the situation in Angola.
The Council had before it two progress reports of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III).
In a 14 April report (document S/1997/304), the Secretary-General recommends the extension of the mandate of the Mission until 30 June, on the understanding that the operation will gradually proceed with the transition towards an observer mission. The Council last extended the mandate until 16 April in its resolution 1102 (1997) of 31 March. Further extension was predicated on the status of the installation of the Government of Unity and National Reconciliation.
In that regard, the Secretary-General reports that the new Government was inaugurated during a 11 April ceremony attended by heads of State and government and other dignitaries from other countries. Previously, on 8 April, the National Assembly had enacted a law on the special status of Jonas Savimbi as the president of the largest opposition party, the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA). The following day 67 of 70 UNITA members were sworn in as members of the National Assembly.
The Secretary-General is of the view that the international community should remain engaged in Angola until the Lusaka Protocol is fully implemented. Should the UNAVEM III extension be granted, he further recommends that the observer mission, to be known as the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (UNOMA), be formally established on 1 July. He intends to submit the financial implications for that Mission well in advance of that date. The main activities of the observer mission would focus on political, police and human rights aspects, as well as on humanitarian and public information programmes aimed at supporting and consolidating the national reconciliation process, in order to create conditions conducive to political stability, economic and social recovery and sustainable development.
Overall, the Secretary-General states that the developments of the last two weeks have been very encouraging. He expresses the hope that rapid progress could now be made in completing the implementation of other aspects of the 1994 Lusaka Protocol (the comprehensive peace agreement between the Angolan Government and UNITA) in a spirit of cooperation and mutual accommodation. The long-awaited meeting between President Eduardo dos Santos and Mr. Savimbi should now take place in order to consolidate the progress which has been achieved towards national reconciliation.
The report indicates that the Joint Commission monitoring the Lusaka Protocol -- with representatives from the Angolan Government, UNITA, the
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United Nations and the observer countries of the United States, Russian Federation and Portugal -- held an extraordinary meeting on 31 March. At that meeting particular concern was expressed about the slow pace of incorporation of selected UNITA soldiers into the Armed Forces and the National Police. Four special groups were then dispatched to quartering areas/selection and demobilization centres to assess the situation and to identify steps which have been taken to accelerate the process. The groups' recommendations, which included the need to improve coordination, logistic support and instructions to UNITA commanders, will be considered shortly by the Joint Commission.
The Secretary-General reports that the gradual withdrawal of the formed military units of UNAVEM III was proceeding, with the next withdrawal scheduled for 20 April. The phased drawdown will continue and, in light of the situation on the ground, the process should be completed by the end of August. He expresses serious concern, however, about reports of involvement by the Angolan parties in the Zairian conflict. Both parties have denied any support for the warring parties in Zaire, but any such interference would have serious consequences for the efforts to end the current crisis, he adds.
The other report (document S/1997/115 of 7 February), was first considered by the Council on 27 February, when, by adopting resolution 1098 (1997), the Council extended the Mission's mandate for one month, until 31 March. By that text, the Council also expressed deep concern at delays in the formation of a unified government because of the failure of UNITA to meet an agreed-upon timetable.
In that report, the Secretary-General states that the expeditious and unequivocal implementation of all remaining aspects of the Lusaka Protocol, which was agreed upon by the Government of Angola and UNITA in the Zambian capital in November 1994, involves such crucial tasks as incorporating UNITA troops into the Angolan Armed Forces (FAA) and the Angolan National Police (ANP), demobilizing and extending the State administration throughout Angola. The status of UNITA's leader, Jonas Savimbi, should be resolved quickly, while other political steps should be taken towards genuine national reconciliation. The Secretary-General urges Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos and Mr. Savimbi to meet inside the country at the earliest opportunity.
Emphasizing the need for a continued, but reduced, presence of the United Nations in Angola until the end of 1997, the Secretary-General states that the transition phase towards a follow-on mission will require a substantial reconfiguration of United Nations activities in Angola. The Mission's main emphasis should be on peace consolidation, confidence-building and national reconciliation, with a view to creating an environment conducive to long-term stability in the country. The main activities should focus on political, police and human rights aspects, humanitarian activities and public information programmes.
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In addition, the good offices, mediation and verification functions of the Secretary-General's Special Representative remain essential, the report states. The Special Representative should continue to maintain headquarters in Luanda, at a reduced level, to coordinate all United Nations activities related to the peace process and national reconciliation and to chair the Joint Commission. The Public Information and the Interpretation/Translation Sections of the Mission would remain at their present levels, at least during the initial stages of the transition period.
The report notes the need to maintain and enhance the Political Affairs Division of the Mission to about 30 professionals and support staff, which would be deployed in Luanda and in all 18 provinces. Additional recommendations on the Organization's involvement for the next presidential and legislative elections would be provided to the Security Council in due course.
Reviewing the police aspects, human rights issues and the military and humanitarian aspects of the transition mission, the report states that with the progressive reduction of the United Nations military personnel, it is envisaged that the United Nations civilian police will have expanded tasks. Therefore, the Secretary-General recommends that the civilian police be increased by 96 observers (from 260 to 356) who should be inducted in three stages (March, May and July).
In support of the Joint Commission's appeal to reinforce the Mission's human and technical resources for investigating human rights, the Secretary- General proposes that the human rights staff be increased to include a total of 32 professionals and 26 United Nations volunteers. The increase would allow two human rights officers to be deployed in each of Angola's 18 provinces.
Regarding the reduction of UNAVEM troops, it was envisaged that a maximum of 400 UNAVEM III troops would be repatriated by the end of February, so as not to put at risk the completion of the outstanding tasks. Thereafter, one infantry battalion would be withdrawn from the Mission each month. Military headquarters personnel would be repatriated in stages, achieving a 45 per cent reduction by June. As currently planned, the rapid reaction groups, together with the most essential medical, air, signal and other support elements, would remain in Angola until August.
As of the end of May, the number of military observers would be reduced gradually from the present authorized level of 350. Should the establishment of the Government of National Unity and Reconciliation and the integration of the FAA proceed as currently planned, the Mission would retain up to 90 military observers by the end of August. However, in the event of less positive developments, the pace of the withdrawal of the military observers would be reconsidered. The parties in Angola would continue to be responsible
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for the safety and security of all United Nations personnel and property and those of other international organizations operating in the country. The status and role of the Humanitarian Assistance Coordination Unit is also outlined in the report.
The Council also had before it a draft resolution (document S/1997/316) sponsored by Portugal, Russian Federation and the United States, which reads as follows:
"The Security Council,
"Reaffirming its resolutin 696 (1991) of 30 May 1991 and all subsequent resolutions,
"Reaffirming its commitment to preserve the unity and territorial integrity of Angola,
"Reiterating the importance it attaches to full implementation by the Government of Angola and the Uniao nacional para a Independencia Total de Angola (UNITA) of the "Acordos de Paz" (S/22609, annex), the Lusaka Protocol (S/1994/1441, annex) and the relevant Security Council resolutions,
"Expressing its satisfaction with the recent progress in the peace process, including the approval by the Angolan National Assembly of the special status for the leader of UNITA as the Leader of the Largest Opposition Party and the seating of the UNITA deputies in the National Assembly on 9 April 1997,
"Reiterating that the ultimate responsibility for the completion of the peace process rests with the Angolans themselves,
"Having considered the reports of the Secretary-General of 7 February 1997 (S/1997/115) and 14 April 1997 (S/1997/304),
"1. Warmly welcomes the inauguration on 11 April 1997 of the Government of Unity and National Reconciliation (GURN);
"2. Strongly urges the parties, acting through the GURN and with the continued support of the Joint Commission, to complete without delay the remaining military aspects of the peace process, including the incorporation of UNITA soldiers into the Angolan Armed Forces and demobilization, and the selection and incorporation of UNITA personnel into the Angolan National Police, as well as to move ahead with the political tasks, in particular the normalization of State administration throughout the national territory. In this context, it considers that a meeting between the President of Angola and the leader of UNITA within the territory of Angola would contribute to this process of national reconciliation, and expresses its hope that such a meeting
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"3. Welcomes the recommendations contained in the report of the Secretary-General of 14 April 1997;
"4. Decides to extend the mandate of UNAVEM III until 30 June 1997 to assist in the implementation of these remaining tasks, with the understanding that UNAVEM III will begin, as appropriate, to proceed with the transition towards an observer mission as described in section VII of the report of the Secretary-General of 7 February 1997 (S/1997/115) using resources already provided or allocated to the mission for the period ending 30 June 1997;
"5. Requests the Secretary-General to complete the withdrawal of UNAVEM III military units as scheduled, taking into account progress in the remaining relevant aspects of the peace process;
6. Expresses its intention to consider the establishment of a follow-on United Nations presence, bearing in mind the reports of the Secretary-General of 7 February 1997 and 14 April 1997, which would succeed UNAVEM III, and requests the Secretary-General to submit for its consideration, no later than 6 June 1997, a report containing his recommendations regarding the structure, specific goals, and cost implications of such a mission;
"7. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter."
AFONSO VAN DUNEM "MBINDA" (Angola) said just a few days ago the international community had witnessed an important turning point in the history of Angola -- the inauguration of a Government of National Unity and Reconciliation and the return of UNITA members to parliament. Angola could now turn to its main objective -- the establishment of the rule of law under which individual and collective rights were respected and in which political differences could be resolved in parliament.
The formation of a Government of national unity in Angola did not mean that the peace process was finished, he said. Much needed to be done, including the return of refugees and the formation of the new national armed forces. He hoped that all aspects of the Lusaka Protocol would soon be fulfilled. National reconstruction was a new challenge that would require continued support from the international community. He appreciated the launching of the international consolidated appeal by the Secretary-General, the goal of which was to meet the most pressing needs of the Angolan population.
The phased, gradual withdrawal of UNAVEM III was proof of the sincerity of the Angolan peace process, he continued. The Security Council had played
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an essential role in that regard. The future of Angola was now in the hands of Angolans and their courage, tenacity and spirit of sacrifice would someday bring peace and prosperity. Angola and southern Africa had fought bloody wars in the years following the colonial period. South Africa had overcome apartheid. Angola, ending its civil war, would now join the southern Africa region in peace and development.
SERGEY V. LAVROV (Russian Federation) said that just two weeks ago it had appeared that the peace process had been locked in stalemate. But the solidarity of the international community and the visit to Angola by the Secretary-General had set things moving once again, culminating in the Government of Unity and National Reconciliation. The peace process had ascended to a new level. He was concerned over the need to complete the political and military aspects of the Lusaka Protocol. Failure to resolve the military issues could lead to new difficulties. The parties should fulfil all remaining aspects of the peace process.
As remaining questions were resolved, transitional measures would be required to provide for a United Nations presence in Angola beyond 30 June, he added. His country, as a member of the troika of observers of the Lusaka Protocol, would continue to work to restore stability in Angola.
WANG XUEXIAN (China) said China had consistently held that the international community must promote the Angolan peace process and help bring peace to Angola. At the final critical juncture of the peace process, it was still necessary for the international community, including the United Nations, to give further support. Based on that consideration, he supported the extension of the mandate of UNAVEM III. At the same time, he supported further adjustment of UNAVEM along with the gradual development of the situation in Angola and sincerely hoped that the two parties would continue to cooperate with UNAVEM to fully implement the Lusaka Protocol.
He said Angolan reconciliation, coming 30 months after the signing of the Lusaka Protocol, was another successful example of African countries, following sierra Leone and Liberia, in resolving conflicts and achieving national reconciliation through political negotiations. He was delighted that the whole of southern Africa had become a land of peace and harmony, that hot spots had been removed one after another on the African continent and that more and more African countries were moving towards peace and development. The international community, including the United Nations, should assist Angola in every possible way with its repaid rehabilitation and development. The Chinese Government and people were ready to make their contributions to that end.
HISASHI OWADA (Japan) said the parties to the Angolan peace process owed it to the international community, as well as to the people of Angola, to solidify the progress that had been made and to reaffirm their commitment to
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nation-building. If they were to carry out the difficult tasks that lay ahead, they would need to develop relations of mutual trust. He hoped that President dos Santos and Mr. Savimbi would find it possible to meet in the near future to consolidate the basis for genuine national reconciliation.
He said Japan would contribute to the follow-on mission, the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola, once the details regarding its mandate, modalities, and time-frame were worked out. Now that the impasse in the political situation had been overcome, his Government was ready to consider how it might best contribute to that effort based on the further recommendations of the Secretary-General and in accordance with actions taken by the Security Council. Moreover, his Government was ready to assist Angola in its endeavour to reach true peace and national reconciliation. Japan was studying the consolidated inter-agency appeal which contained humanitarian projects in order to determine how it might most appropriately contribute to it.
It was time to convene an international conference to consider the most effective ways and means of assisting Angola in developing its great potential, in terms of both natural resources and human resources, and rebuild its economy, he said. Japan would be ready to participate actively in it.
SUNG HONG CHOI (Republic of Korea) said that the formation of the Government of Unity and National Reconciliation was an historic triumph for the Angolan people. The new Government was also a triumph for the international community and for the United Nations, which had invested its scarce resources to the largest peace-keeping mission in the world. Angola had become another instructive model of success in the annals of peace- keeping.
There were still unfinished political and military tasks in Angola, he said. He trusted that the commitment of the Angolan people and their leaders to peace and reconciliation would overcome the remaining obstacles. He looked forward to speedy progress in the normalization of State administration throughout Angola, the formation of a unified armed forces and national police and the demobilization of ex-combatants. A continued United Nations presence was necessary until peace took root.
The future of Angola now lay in the hands of the Angolan people, he said. He looked forward to seeing the Angolan leaders dedicate their energy and wisdom to rebuilding their country, making it prosperous and ensuring that the Angolan people enjoyed the benefits of peace.
Sir JOHN WESTON (United Kingdom) said the new government deserved the international community's full support. Former adversaries must learn to work together and come to grips with the responsibilities of government. He trusted UNITA would now play a full and constructive part at all levels of the
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new government, and in the wider process of national reconciliation. A meeting between President dos Santos and Mr. Savimbi would be a welcome and visible signal of both leaders' commitment to making the new government work for the benefit of all Angolans.
He said programmes to incorporate UNITA personnel into the Angolan army and the national police, or to demobilize them, should be accelerated. Getting state administration in place throughout the country was also a priority. It was also important that the people of Angola be able to move around their country freely, and that the exchange of goods was not impeded. He hoped that rapid progress would be made on all of those outstanding issues, and that they were not allowed to become new obstacles in the peace process.
He hoped that the reported delays to the mine-clearance programme would be resolved soon, he said. He agreed that UNAVEM III should continue to provide operational support to the mine-clearance programme on a cost- reimbursable basis from the Department of Humanitarian Affairs until the end of June 1997. He also shared the Secretary-General's concern at reports of Angolan involvement in the conflict in Zaire. The people of Angola knew all too well the price of armed conflict. They must refrain from any action that would exacerbate the conflict in Zaire.
The international community must remain engaged in Angola until the goal of full implementation of the peace agreements was reached, he said. He supported extending the mandate of UNAVEM III and deployment of a United Nations observer mission in Angola thereafter. It was essential that the mandate of the observer mission be strong enough to enable it to be effective. He attached particular importance to the human rights element of it, and to the mission having powers to investigate alleged abuses, as well as to the civilian police and public information programmes.
To those who would question the value of the United Nations, and the resources devoted to it, he said the work of UNAVEM III was a remainder of the critical role which the United Nations could and did play in bringing conflicts to a peaceful resolution. To be able to continue to do that effectively, both the resources and the ability were needed to take timely decisions and prompt action when required.
ZBIGNIEW MATUSZEWSKI (Poland) said that such recent developments as the adoption of legislation concerning a special status for the leader of UNITA, the incorporation of UNITA deputies into parliament and the inauguration of a Government of Unity and National Reconciliation were significant and overdue. But important tasks remained unfulfilled. With the new Government enjoying the support of all political parties, the time had come to normalize State administration, complete formation of a unified armed forces and police, and to conclude the demobilization of UNITA military personnel.
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He was concerned over the slow pace of demining in Angola, he said. The new Government should resolve to overcome the difficulties that might be encountered on their way to peace and security in Angola. He hoped that a long-awaited meeting between President dos Santos and Mr. Savimbi would take place within Angolan territory, giving impetus to prompt resolution of outstanding issues.
The international community had invested substantial resources in Angola, he said. The Government and people of that country should take the final steps in their common quest for a peaceful future. The Council could not afford to lose sight of further developments in Angola, which happened to be located in a region prone to social, economic, political and military crises. Angola had never before been so close to resolving its conflict and attaining peace.
ALAIN DEJAMMET (France) said that in February of this year, his Government had pointed out that it had principally been UNITA that had delayed implementation of the Lusaka Protocol. But today, the world was witnessing a settlement. He welcomed the formation of the national unity Government on 11 April. That event had marked a crucial stage in the process of peace and reconciliation which had begun at Lusaka. A new era in Angola's history was dawning.
His Government had always supported the efforts of the United Nations in Angola. It was still determined to help Angola as it undertook reconstruction and development. While the new Government and the Angolan people must determine their own future, the intentional community must remain in Angola to facilitate full implementation of the Lusaka Protocol.
ALFREDO LOPES CABRAL (Guinea-Bissau) said that the prospect of peace in Angola had importance far beyond the borders of that country. The international community had played an indispensable role in bringing peace to Angola. The visit of the Secretary-General to Angola had been essential. The men and women of UNAVEM III had perfectly completed their mission. Unfortunately, he said, "many of them are no longer with us".
The United Nations in Angola had undertaken the largest peace-keeping mission in history. Much remained to be done, particularly the integration of UNITA into the national armed forces and the training of a national police force. Every citizen in Angola must be made to feel as though they belonged to a single country. Extension of the mandate of UNAVEM III would be essential for ensuring the culmination of the Lusaka Protocol. He hoped that the timetable for the military reduction would not affect the peace process. The proposed United Nations observer mission for Angola would help create necessary conditions for the Angolan people to fulfil the promise of peace.
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NABIL ELARABY (Egypt) said that the promulgation of a new law on the status of Mr. Savimbi in the political life of Angola, and the presence of UNITA deputies in the Angolan parliament, could help put an end to two decades of civil war in Angola. The hopes of the Angolan people had been fulfilled. Those people could not exercise their right to development. The events of today in Angola would have been impossible without the essential role played by the United Nations and by the troika of concerned States.
The positive political developments in Angola had not been mirrored by commensurate progress as regards the military aspects of the Lusaka Protocol, he said. Integration of UNITA into the national armed forces and the disarmament of civilians still needed to be completed. Perhaps a meeting between President dos Santos and Mr. Savimbi would facilitate those goals. The creation of an observer mission as a successor to UNAVEM III would help ensure completion of the military components of the peace process. Angola needed the support of the international community now more than ever before. The war had destroyed the infrastructure and had spawned some 10 million land- mines. There were still some 1 million displaced Angolans and 300,000 Angolan refugees in neighbouring States.
NJUGUNA M. MAHUGU (Kenya) reviewed Kenya's involvement in the peace process, which went back to the period before Angola's independence and said the formation of a Government of Unity and National Reconciliation represented the hope, faith and aspirations of the Angolan people for a durable peace in their country. The important agreements reached between the parties, including the swearing in of UNITA deputies were a critical step towards the full realization of the Lusaka Accord and a momentous milestone in the Angolan peace process. He hoped that the leaders of Angola would now give something back to their people, by moving decisively away from the era of confrontation and manoeuvring, into that of tolerance, compromise and brotherhood. He urged all interested parties not to relent in their efforts to ensure the complete resolution of the conflict.
Much more needed to be done, he said. The speedy incorporation of selected UNITA soldiers into the Angolan armed forces and the Angolan national police would soon be considered by the Joint Commission. He was concerned that the proposed rapid demobilization programme of excess UNITA personnel in the central and southern regions had not been quickly implemented and had resulted in even more hardship for UNITA soldiers and their families.
The resumption of the exercise of disarming the civilian population should be carried out in tandem, he continued. The large number of absentees and deserters from the selection and demobilization centres continued to be of concern because of the potential for random flare-ups. The removal of all the illegal checkpoints maintained by both parties, taken together with the other measures, would help in the normalization and extension of State administration throughout the country. A meeting between President dos Santos
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and Mr. Savimbi in Angola would represent an important confidence-building measure towards further strengthening national reconciliation.
He said the peace that had been woven so delicately must be supported, and he encouraged those in a position to do so to be generous. The United Nations must continue to play an active role in Angola. He supported the extension of UNAVEM III and the recommendation for a follow-on arrangement.
BILL RICHARDSON (United States) said the formation of the unity government was not an end in itself and alone did not guarantee the success of the peace process. Nevertheless, it was an essential step forward and represented a commitment to political pluralism and reconciliation. The parties must stay the course and work together to build on the foundation they established last week.
Of the highest priority was the rapid induction of selected former UNITA personnel into the armed forces and police, and demobilization of the others, he said. The parties must work closely together to ensure that the people in the areas not yet under government control were given the legal protections and humane treatment afforded other Angolan citizens. A special responsibility fell upon the largest party, the Movimento Popular de Libertašao de Angola (MPLA), to ensure that UNITA was taken on as a true partner, that it was given meaningful roles to perform in the Government and that it was provided with sufficient resources to carry them out.
He said that UNITA also bore a major responsibility for ensuring success of the unity government. He encouraged Mr. Savimbi to meet frequently with President dos Santos in Angola to share his views. He hoped that Mr. Savimbi would meet with President dos Santos at the earliest opportunity.
He said the international community still had an important role to play in supporting the process of national reconciliation and reconstruction. Today, the Council was renewing the mandate of UNAVEM III and signalling its intention to consider a follow-on observer mission to assist the parties to complete the remaining tasks of the peace process. Demobilization and resettlement, refugee assistance, demining, strengthening of democracy and governance, economic reform and management development were other areas in which Angola needed international support. The United Sates was committed to providing over $90 million in assistance this year. He called upon other Member States to make a substantial commitment. He expressed concern over persistent reports of Angolan involvement in the conflict in Zaire. He called upon all Angolans to put an immediate halt to such actions and to give their full support to the international effort to reach a negotiated settlement to the conflict on the basis of the United Nations five-point peace plan.
The meeting adjourned at 12:46 p.m.
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When the second meeting began at 3:40 p.m., PETER OSVALD (Sweden) said a stable political environment was essential for social and economic rehabilitation and long-term reconciliation. An exchange between the Swedish and Angolan parliaments had been initiated to support further strengthening the democratic process in Angola.
He said it was imperative that the incorporation of selected UNITA soldiers into the Angolan armed forces and the implementation of the demobilization plan be completed without further delay. The normalization of the State administration throughout the country was another important issue and required cooperation between the parties on a national, regional and local level. All efforts should be made to complete that process while the military units of UNAVEM III remained in Angola. United Nations involvement was needed to see the peace process through to its conclusion and to help consolidate the progress achieved.
He said the reduction of UNAVEM III's military units must adapt to developments on the ground, bearing in mind the continued need for the security of all United Nations personnel. His country had contributed military observers, civilian police and demining experts to UNAVEM III and Angola remained a major recipient of Swedish assistance in the development, demining and humanitarian fields. His country would respond positively to the consolidated appeal for Angola and urged other States to do the same.
MELVIN SAENZ BIOLLEY (Costa Rica) said that the inauguration of the Government of National Unity and Reconciliation had put an end to a fratricidal war and opened the door to peace and progress. There were still things to be done in Angola, particularly the formation of national military and police forces, the dismantling of illegal checkpoints, disarmament and the situation of Radio UNITA. His Government believed that reported involvement by Angolans in the conflict in Zaire had serious implications for Africa.
The establishment of State authority throughout Angola would be essential to such diverse challenges as the national immunization programme and the demobilization of child soldiers, he said. The international community and international financial organizations should adopt a comprehensive and constructive attitude in Angola.
DAVID RUBADIRI (Malawi) urged the parties to continue being magnanimous and to take the necessary vital steps in the implementation of the remaining and outstanding aspects of the Lusaka Protocol. Fortunately, the essential components were not insurmountable. All that was required was the necessary will, particularly on the part of UNITA. It was imperative that all the military and police aspects of the process were addressed resolutely. He enjoined the Joint Commission to continue playing the positive role it had assumed, especially on the question of the incorporation of UNITA soldiers into the Angolan armed forces and the Angolan national police. A meeting
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between President dos Santos and Mr. Savimbi would add fresh impetus towards a firm and final solution, building confidence, trust and honourable commission to the building of a new nation on the continent.
He said the international community must continue to play an important part in ensuring that Angola returned to full normalcy. He supported the extension of the mandate of UNAVEM III on the understanding that the operation would gradually proceed with the transition towards an observer mission. He also supported the Secretary-General's previous calls for financial and other assistance to Angola and invited the international community to fulfil the pledges made at the 1995 Brussels Round Table Conference.
CELSO AMORIM (Brazil) said while the frequent setbacks in Angola did not allow him to welcome the latest developments without a degree of caution, the establishment of the new Government should be hailed as a milestone. He hoped that a successful transition to democratic pluralism would replace, once and for all, the violence and mistrust which had marked relations between the Government and UNITA.
He said the extension of the administration of the Government to all areas of the country, the demobilization of UNITA personnel, the completion of the formation of the unified armed forces and the national police were still challenges to be dealt with. He welcomed the Secretary-General's proposal for the renewal of UNAVEM III's mandate and its replacement as of 1 July by an observer mission, in the firm expectation that the political scenario in Angola would continue to improve. The international community must persevere in showing its readiness to help Angolans. The arguments in favour of the replacement of UNAVEM III by an observer mission were persuasive in light of present trends.
FREDERICK O. BERGH (South Africa) said that the efforts of the United Nations in Angola had been rewarded by the promulgation of legislation on the status of Mr. Savimbi, the swearing in of UNITA deputies, and the inauguration of the Government of Unity and National Reconciliation. He welcomed the decision of the Joint Commission to dispatch special groups to quartering and demobilization centres to assess the situation. His Government urged cooperation with the Joint Commission, as the slow pace of the incorporation of UNITA soldiers and their desertion from the demobilization centres remained a cause of concern.
He hoped the parties would zealously dismantle the remaining illegal command posts and checkpoints and disarm the civilian population. Cooperation in good faith and mutual trust would facilitate the implementation of all the agreements contained in the Lusaka Protocol. His Government wished to underscore the urgency of a meeting between President dos Santos and Mr. Savimbi. That long-awaited meeting would provide an opportune moment for both parties to address the outstanding issues and chart the way forward.
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Difficult challenges lay ahead. Angola would need the continued generous support of the donor community.
JULIO BENITEZ SAENZ (Uruguay) said that his Government appreciated the sensitivity and responsibility demonstrated by the Secretary-General and his Special Representative in Angola. While today was an exciting time, Angola still needed to extend State authority to all regions of the country. Close monitoring of the disarming of the population was essential. He was also concerned by the slow rate of integration of the new armed forces in Angola, and the threat that the parties in Angola might intervene in Zaire.
Greater cooperation and assistance for demobilization from developed countries was essential, he said. He appreciated the necessary preparation for the observer mission in Angola, but believed that the United Nations could not remain in Angola forever. His country was ready to continue playing a role in the reconstruction of Angola, and was ready to provide more police observers on the ground.
CARLOS DOS SANTOS (Mozambique) said the establishment of the Government of Unity and National Reconciliation was an important step, but not the end itself. Much more should be done to implement other aspects of the Lusaka Protocol. He stressed the need to move expeditiously to normalize State administration throughout the country, to complete the formation of the unified armed forces and the national police and demobilize the excess UNITA military personnel. Since the large number of deserters and absentees from the selection and demobilization centres might cause problems and endanger the peace process, the continued commitment and the determination of the Government of Angola and UNITA were required, so as to bring the peace process to a successful conclusion.
He said the United Nations and the international community at large should remain engaged in supporting the people of Angola to overcome the challenges they faced. He supported the extension of the mandate of UNAVEM III and the establishment of the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola. The observer mission would help the people of Angola to consolidate national reconciliation, with a view to creating conditions conducive to political stability and economic and social recovery.
JEAN-MARC MPAY (Cameroon), speaking also on behalf of the current Chairman of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), said that the approval by the National Assembly of legislation conferring special status on the leader of UNITA and the presence of UNITA deputies in the national parliament were essential steps in the history of Angola. The door to peace had been opened. The OAU congratulated both the Government of Angola and UNITA.
The OAU believed that much more needed to be done to consolidate peace in Angola, he said. The international community had a moral obligation to
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stay engaged. It was imperative that Angola should be secure, because "if there is a fire in your neighbour's house, there was danger that it could spread to your house". If there was a time to stay engaged, it was now. The OAU enjoined the Security Council to stay engaged.
ANA MARIA RAMIREZ (Argentina) said that the inauguration of the Government of Unity and National Reconciliation, the swearing-in of 67 of the 72 UNITA deputies in parliament and the establishment of special status for the leader of UNITA promised peace after 20 years of war. Lasting peace demanded mutual sacrifice and concession. He urged the Angolan parties to work together to build peace through resolution of the remaining issues of the Lusaka Protocol. The national armed forces and police should be united, and disarmament should be completed. President dos Santos and Mr. Savimbi should meet as soon as possible.
The UNAVEM III had played an essential role in the peace process, and he endorsed the extension of its mandate. He profoundly appreciated the decision of the Security Council to hold open, formal meetings on the topic of Angola. Those open meetings had made an essential contribution to the transparency and legitimacy of its decision-making.
PERCY M. MANGOAELA (Lesotho) said while he was encouraged by some of the steps which both parties had taken to restore the momentum for the peace process, he remained pessimistic over the delays in implementing the outstanding political and military issues. He commended all the parties for showing commitment and rededicating themselves to peace, stability and prosperity in Angola. In particular, he congratulated the women and men of Angola for their sacrifices and efforts. Despite various obstacles that threatened the fragile peace process, they never faltered in their quest for peaceful national reconciliation. He shared the hope that tangible and rapid progress could now be made towards completing the implementation of the other aspects of the Lusaka Protocol, in the spirit of cooperation and mutual accommodation which both parties had so far demonstrated. He was confident that the Angolan peace process would never again be threatened by procrastination on the part of either party.
He said the international community should sustain its support for the people of Angola. An extension of the mandate of UNAVEM III was necessary to ensure that Angola established one army and one police force for one united Angola. He also urged all parties to continue to display the political will to cooperate in the remaining tasks leading to a free Angola. Their greatest challenge was to pave the way for free and fair elections by creating the necessary political conditions and infrastructure for free and democratic choice. The continued presence of the international community in Angola in the form of an observer mission after the expiration of UNAVEM III was thus necessary for post-conflict peace-building purposes.
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NICOLAAS H. BIEGMAN (Netherlands), speaking on behalf of the European Union, said the Movimento Popular de Libertašao de Angola (MPLA), UNITA and the other opposition parties "must now walk the last mile to the full implementation of the Lusaka accords and national reconciliation together". In view of the difficult road which led to the Government of Unity and National Reconciliation, continued confidence-building between its components would be necessary. An early meeting between President dos Santos and Mr. Savimbi would be an important step. Much also remained to be done to achieve the same unity of administration at provincial and national level that had been achieved at the central level.
He said the way was now open for the full completion of important tasks, like the normalization of the State administration throughout the national territory and policy discussion with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. Rapid progress was called for in the incorporation of UNITA troops into the Angolan army and in the national police, as well as in the area of demobilization. The outstanding political tasks must also be completed.
He expressed the hope that the planned transfer of the responsibility for support of the national mine-clearance programme from UNAVEM III to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) would take place soon, in order to secure the future of the programme. He looked forward to the early signing of the project document concerning the development of a national mine-clearance capacity in Angola. He supported the extension of the mandate of UNAVEM III on the establishment of the observer mission. He attached particular importance to the deployment of human rights officers and of police observers, who would monitor compliance with the peace accords, including freedom of movement throughout the country. The European Union would cooperate actively with efforts in the reconstruction of a reconciled Angola in the framework of the peace process. With international assistance, a successful consolidation of the peace process and good governance could be achieved.
MACHIVENYIKA T. MAPURANGA (Zimbabwe) said the dramatic events of the past two weeks clearly demonstrated that the people of Angola held their destiny in their own hands. He congratulated the people of Angola on their remarkable steps forward in the peace process and called upon them to ride the tide of success, goodwill and great expectations, and move expeditiously to conclude the political, military and administrative assignments to which they had committed themselves, in order to make lasting peace an irreversible reality in their country.
He looked forward to more progress, such as the normalization of State administration throughout the whole country, the completion of the formation of the unified armed forces and the national police and the demobilization of the remainder of UNITA's military personnel. He said that southern Africa would continue to put its full weight begin all efforts to promote that
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process. Zimbabwe, as chairman of the OAU ad hoc Committee on Angola and the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) Organ for Politics, Defence and Security, would continue to use its good offices to widen the frontiers of peace.
It was also of crucial importance that the international community undergird the peace-building efforts that must now commence, he said. Those should include the post-war reconstruction of the shattered infrastructure, the resettlement of refugees and internally displaced persons, as well as the daunting challenge of land-mine clearance.
NASSER BIN HAMAD AL-KHALIFA (Qatar), speaking on behalf of the Asian Group of Countries, said that the people of Angola had come together to establish peace in their country. The international community should remain in Angola until the Lusaka Protocol was fully complied with. The Secretary- General and his staff had spared no effort in achieving the present accord in Angola. They deserved the full support of the international community.
FERNANDO GUILLEN (Peru), speaking on behalf of the Latin American and Caribbean Group of States, welcomed the inauguration of the Government of Unity and National Reconciliation in Angola. He welcomed the recent visit of the Secretary-General to Lusaka, which had been essential to achieving the final agreement. The present transitional phase would be complicated and highly sensitive. The parties had a responsibility to guarantee the peace. Angola urgently needed rehabilitation and reconstruction, which could only be achieved through the well organized efforts of the international community. He hoped the example of Angola would inspire other parts of the African continent to resolve their differences.
LEGWAILA J.M.J. LEGWAILA (Botswana) said the peace in Angola was the peace of southern Africa. Like a human body, southern Africa could not function or act like one, when a part of it was at war with itself. However, one should not lose sight of the fact that the Lusaka Protocol had not yet been completely implemented nor that it would take a long time to heal the wounds of war and mutual suspicion. The absence of Mr. Savimbi from the inauguration ceremony left much to be desired in connection with the new Government. It could only be deduced that the UNITA leader was suspicious of a government of which he was now an integral part. His absence could lead to different interpretations and could affect the relative peace and tranquillity of the country.
The fact that the Government of Unity and National Reconciliation was not operational throughout the national territory of Angola must be redressed without delay, he said. He called on the new government to speedily incorporate and integrate UNITA soldiers into the Angola armed forces and for the demobilization of excess combatants. The remaining political and military problems should not be allowed to stand in the way of the people of Angola's
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enjoyment of their natural heritage in peace and harmony. The provision in the present resolution for a follow-on United Nations presence after the withdrawal of UNAVEM III was a clear indication that the international community would continue to be ready to help the Angolans to live with one another as good neighbours. The onus was on the people of Angola to lessen the period of mistrust and mutual suspicion, lest the international community's resolve to assist Angola weakened before peace was achieved.
JUAN SOMAVIA (Chile) said that the people of Angola had triumphed, but a great deal remained to be done. The success of the past few weeks should not blind anyone to the realities facing Angola in fulfilment of the Lusaka Protocol. National reconciliation was the most crucial task at hand. It would be the primary source of stability for the future. Close cooperation between President dos Santos and Mr. Savimbi was essential.
The future lay in the hands of the Angolan people, but the international community should not leave Angola alone, he said. While UNAVEM III was ending, the United Nations should continue to pursue peace through the dispatch of an observer mission. His country had frequently expressed concern over what happened when peace-keeping missions ended. Often, when peace was achieved, the international community seemed to say "good-bye and good luck". He suggested that the Economic and Social Council be used to concentrate political interest on those countries that had been the subject of Security Council scrutiny. The United Nations could actively contribute to social and economic development in the difficult period of national reconstruction in Angola.
Council President ANTONIO MONTEIRO (Portugal), speaking as a representative of his country, said the Government of Unity and National Reconciliation was a fundamental political confidence-building measure and essential to the implementation of the remaining tasks of the peace process. The remains of the past, however, still persisted and it was crucial to learn from mistakes. All Angolans must believe in the process and act accordingly, with an open heart and mind. A meeting within Angola between President dos Santos and Mr. Savimbi would show that the political situation in that country was changing for the better.
"Peace, prosperity and democracy are the separate threads that will unite Angola in a joint destiny", he said. National reconciliation must mean national unity in a democracy. His country would maintain its assistance programmes in the political, social, economic and humanitarian fields, as long as it was the will of the Angolan people. Portugal would cooperate actively in the reconstruction of a reconciled Angola. He supported the United Nations inter-agency appeal for Angola. He also supported the extension of UNAVEM's mandate until 30 June, on the understanding that the operation would proceed gradually towards an observer mission that focused on political, humanitarian
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and human rights. The United Nations would remain engaged in Angola until there was full implementation of the Lusaka Protocol.
He stressed that Portugal was against direct and indirect military intervention in Angola and said that the respect for the sovereignty of States was a cardinal principle of Portuguese foreign policy. He called on the parties to proceed in such a way so as to contribute always to regional peace and stability.
Mr. VAN DUNEM "MBINDA" (Angola) said that there had been some "speculation" in the Council regarding alleged participation by the Angolan Government in the conflict in Zaire. Ever since that conflict began, his Government had urged the parties to resolve their differences through dialogue. Further, his Government had always taken part in regional efforts to prevent and resolve conflicts. It had never been involved in another country's internal affairs, although Zaire had assisted UNITA in fighting against the Angolan Government ever since independence.
Action on Draft
The draft resolution before the Council was adopted unanimously as Security Council resolution 1106 (1997).
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