The Security Council this morning decided to establish, as of 1 July, the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (MONUA) to assist the Angolan parties in consolidating peace and national reconciliation, enhancing confidence-building and creating an environment conducive to long-term stability, democratic development and rehabilitation of the country.
The Council took that action by unanimously adopting resolution 1118 (1997). Also by the text, the Council decided that the initial mandate of MONUA should extend to 31 October 1997, with the expectation that it would be completed by 1 February 1998.
Further by the resolution, the Council called upon the Government of Angola and, in particular, the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) to cooperate fully with MONUA. It strongly urged the Government of Angola and UNITA to complete the remaining political aspects of the peace process, including the normalization of State administration throughout the country in accordance with a timetable and procedures to be agreed upon by the parties within the context of the Joint Commission, the transformation of UNITA into a political party and the conversion of its radio station into a non-partisan facility.
The Council also strongly urged the Government of Angola and in particular UNITA to complete without delay the remaining military aspects of the peace process, including the registration and demobilization of all remaining military elements, the elimination of all obstacles to the free circulation of people and goods, and the disarmament of the civilian population. Also by the resolution, the Council appealed in the strongest terms to both parties to refrain from the use of force and called upon the Government of Angola to notify MONUA of troop movements. It demanded that UNITA provide the Joint Commission complete information with regard to its military forces, including the security detachment of the leader of the largest opposition party, the so-called "mining police", armed UNITA personnel returning from outside the national boundaries, and any other armed UNITA personnel not previously reported to the United Nations, in order for them to be disarmed and demobilized.
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The Council expressed the hope that issues now delaying the full implementation of the Lusaka Protocol may be resolved through a meeting on Angolan national territory of the President of Angola and the leader of the largest opposition party. It urged the international community to provide assistance to the demobilization of combatants and their social reintegration and the reconstruction of the national economy in order to consolidate the gains in the peace process.
Statements were made by the representatives of the Netherlands (speaking on behalf of the European Union and associated States), Brazil, Angola, Mozambique, Lesotho, Argentina, Mauritius, Portugal, France, United Kingdom, Kenya, Republic of Korea, Chile, Poland, Guinea-Bissau, Japan, Sweden, Egypt, Costa Rica, China, United States, Russian Federation, Zimbabwe and Zambia.
The meeting, which was called to order at 10:15 a.m., adjourned at 12:30 p.m.
Council Work Programme
The Security Council met this morning to consider the situation in Angola.
It had before it a report of the Secretary-General (documents S/1997/438 and Add.1) on the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III), in which he recommends the establishment of a successor operation to be called the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola/Missão de Observação das Nações Unidas em Angola (MONUA). The mission would be set up for seven months, from 1 July to 1 February 1998, after which, depending on developments on the ground, it would be gradually drawn down in accordance with plans to be submitted to the Council by the end of the year.
The Secretary-General says that the mission's overall mandate would be to help the Angolan parties consolidate peace and national reconciliation and create an environment conducive to long-term stability, democratic development and rehabilitation. Special attention would be given to the need to bridge the deep political, psychological and regional divisions in the country and to foster mutual trust undermined by one of Africa's longest-running conflicts.
The mission's performance, he adds, will be measured against specific indicators such as the completion of the demobilization process, the incorporation of ex-combatants of the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) into the Angolan Armed Forces (FAA) and the Angolan National Police, the integration of UNITA personnel in all levels of State administration, elimination of all the impediments to free circulation of people and goods, as well as the disarmament of the civilian population.
The Secretary-General spells out in greater detail the mission's mandate, organizational structure and costs. As to its political aspects, he recommends that his Special Representative should continue to chair the Joint Commission, which has been a vital conflict resolution and implementation mechanism. Also, a strengthened Division of Political Affairs would help the Special Representative implement the mission's political mandate. It would monitor the normalization of State administration throughout Angola, provide good offices and mediation at provincial and local levels, as well as verify the integration of UNITA elements into State structures.
With the withdrawal of United Nations military personnel and the gradual normalization of State administration over the country, the report states, the mission's civilian police component would continue to verify the neutrality of the Angolan National Police, the incorporation of UNITA personnel into the national police, as well as the quartering and occasional deployment of the rapid reaction police. The unit would monitor the collection of weapons from civilians, supervise their proper storage or destruction and oversee security arrangements for UNITA leaders. After the withdrawal of the main infantry
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units by August/September, a reduced number of military observers would be retained in Angola to investigate allegations of offensive troop movements, the presence of any UNITA armed elements and the existence of weapons caches.
Turning to its organizational structure, the Secretary-General says that the Luanda-based mission would be led by the Special Representative, assisted by a Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General and a reduced staff. It would have a Political Division, as well a civilian police, human rights, administrative and military components. After the withdrawal of most of UNAVEM's soldiers, MONUA's military component would be led, as from October, by a Chief Military Observer with the rank of a Brigadier-General. It would have fewer observers: 86 compared to the current 350.
The Secretary-General estimates the mission's cost at some $64.5 million, which would provide for 193 military contingent personnel, 86 military observers and 345 civilian police monitors, supported by some 310 international civilian staff, 250 locally recruited staff, and 60 United Nations volunteers.
Commenting broadly on developments in Angola in the period under review, the Secretary-General says that the formation of the Government of Unity and National Reconciliation, the return of UNITA deputies to the National Assembly, the beginning of the normalization of State administration and the demobilization of ex-combatants are important steps towards the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol. But the road towards lasting peace in Angola remains difficult, with recent tensions in its northern parts underscoring the unsettled situation in some areas. The process of extending State administration to the areas formerly controlled by UNITA is slow and sometimes gives rise to incidents such as those which took place in the central region on 30 May. On that occasion, government and UNITA officials who had arrived from Luanda for a normalization ceremony were attacked by a local UNITA crowd in what looked like an organized protest.
Given the wide psychological and political barriers between the parties, the Secretary-General says that an early meeting between President Jose Eduardo dos Santos and Jonas Savimbi would help the normalization of State administration, speed up the peace process and help resolve the precarious situation in the border area between Angola and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Also before the Council is a draft resolution (document S/1997/498) which reads as follows:
"The Security Council,
"Reaffirming its resolution 696 (1991) of 30 May 1991 and all subsequent resolutions,
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"Reaffirming also its commitment to the unity and territorial integrity of Angola, "Recognizing the successful contribution of UNAVEM III to the restoration of peace and the process of national reconciliation on the basis of the "Acordos de Paz" (S/22609, annex), the Lusaka Protocol (S/1994/1441, annex) and relevant Security Council resolutions,
"Recognizing also that the formation of the Government of National Unity and Reconciliation (GURN) provides a strong basis for the process of national reconciliation,
"Emphasizing the need for the Government of Angola and the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) to implement without further delay the remaining political and military tasks of the peace process,
"Expressing its concern about the recent increase in tensions, especially in the north-eastern provinces, and the attacks by UNITA on UNAVEM III posts and personnel,
"Reiterating that the ultimate responsibility for the completion of the peace process rests with the Angola and people themselves,
"Having considered the report of the Secretary-General of 5 June 1997 (S/1997/438),
"1. Welcomes the recommendations contained in the report of the Secretary-General of 5 June 1997,
"2. Decides to establish, as 1 July, the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (MONUA) with the objectives, mandate and organizational structure recommended by the Secretary-General in section VII of his report of 5 June 1997;
"3. Also decides, with the expectation of full completion of the mission by 1 February 1998, that the initial mandate of MONUA will extend until 31 October 1997, and requests the Secretary-General to report on the situation by 15 August 1997;
"4. Further decides that MONUA will assume responsibility for all components and assets of UNAVEM III remaining in Angola, including formed military units, to deploy as appropriate until they are withdrawn;
"5. Requests the Secretary-General to continue to take into account the situation on the ground and progress in completing the remaining relevant aspects of the peace process in implementing the scheduled withdrawal of United Nations military units, and to report thereon in the context of the review requested in paragraph 3;
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"6. Calls upon the Government of Angola to apply mutatis mutandis to MONUA and its members the Agreement concluded on 3 May 1995 between the United Nations and the Government of Angola on the Status of the United Nations Peace-keeping Operation in Angola (UNAVEM III) and requests the Secretary- General to confirm urgently that this has been done;
"7. Endorses the recommendation of the Secretary-General that the Special Representative continue to chair the Joint Commission, as established under the Lusaka Protocol, which has proved to be a vital conflict resolution and implementation mechanism;
"8. Calls upon the Government of Angola and in particular UNITA to cooperate fully with MONUA and to ensure the freedom of movement and the safety of its personnel;
"9. Strongly urges the Government of Angola and in particular UNITA to complete the remaining political aspects of the peace process, including the normalization of State administration throughout the national territory according to a timetable and procedures agreed upon by both parties within the context of the Joint Commission, the transformation of the UNITA radio station into a non-partisan broadcasting facility, and the transformation of UNITA into a political party;
"10. Also strongly urges the Government of Angola and in particular UNITA to complete without delay the remaining military aspects of the peace process, including the registration and demobilization of all remaining military elements, the elimination of all obstacles to the free circulation of people and goods, and the disarmament of the civilian population;
"11. Appeals in the strongest terms to both parties to refrain from any use of force which could obstruct the full implementation of the peace process;
"12. Calls upon the Government of Angola to notify MONUA of any troop movements, in accordance with the provisions of the Lusaka Protocol;
"13. Demands that UNITA provide to the Joint Commission without delay complete information regarding all armed personnel under its control, including the security detachment of the Leader of the Largest Opposition Party, the so-called "mining police", armed UNITA personnel returning from outside the national boundaries, and any other armed UNITA personnel not previously reported to the United Nations, in order for them to be verified, disarmed and demobilized in accordance with the Lusaka Protocol and agreements between the parties in the context of the Joint Commission;
"14. Expresses its hope that the issues now delaying the full implementation of the Lusaka Protocol may be resolved through a meeting,
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within the national territory, between the President of Angola and the Leader of the Largest Opposition Party;
"15. Urges the international community to provide assistance to facilitate the demobilization and social reintegration of ex-combatants, the resettlement of displaced persons, and the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the Angolan national economy in order to consolidate the gains in the peace process;
"16. Expresses its appreciation to the Secretary-General, his Special Representative, and the UNAVEM III personnel for assisting the parties in Angola to implement the peace process;
"17. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter."
Statements NICOLAAS H. BIEGMAN (Netherlands), speaking on behalf of the European Union, as well as Lithuania, Poland and Slovenia, said the new mission -- MONUA -- was the result of positive developments during the past few months. The formation of a Government of National Unity and Reconciliation and the beginning of the normalization of government administration were important steps towards the full implementation of the Lusaka Protocol. While some problems remained, the European Union was optimistic for a positive outcome.
He said the new mission could make a positive contribution to the return of peace in Angola, adding that the situation there remained fragile. He expressed concern over reports of serious clashes in north-east Angola, and called on UNITA to end attacks against United Nations staff. Noting that the pace of demobilization of UNITA was still slow, he urged UNITA to cooperate fully with the United Nations in all military tasks, including the free circulation of goods and people and the disarmament of the civilian population. An early meeting between the President of Angola and the leader of the largest opposition party would ease the political tension and help in the normalization of State administration in the territories under UNITA control. It could also help to resolve the precarious situation in the border area of Angola and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The human rights situation in Angola was still cause for concern, he said. The promotion of good governance, including abiding by the rule of law and the protection of human rights, should be an integral part of the normalization of State administration. The MONUA would have an important part to play in the field of human rights. The conditions for the return of refugees, as well as the demobilization of soldiers, were also cause for concern. It was important to make more funds available for demobilization and for the repatriation programme of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). He praised the personnel of UNAVEM III for a job well done.
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HENRIQUE VALLE (Brazil) said that since 1995, UNAVEM III had invested considerable time and money to help Angolans along the path of peace and reconciliation. Five Brazilian peace-keepers had lost their lives while serving with UNAVEM III. The mission had been largely successful; there is peace in Angola and UNITA has been demobilized. Since April, the Government of Unity and National Reconciliation was ruling.
The main political task in Angola remained the normalization of State administration throughout Angola, he said. On the military side, the selection of UNITA members for incorporation into the Angolan National Police, the incorporation of selected UNITA military personnel into the Angolan Armed Forces (FAA), provision of information on the strength of Mr. Savimbi's security detachment and the demobilization and disarming of the civilian population were unfulfilled tasks. The recent clashes in Lundas Norte were cause for concern regarding the prospects for peace.
The involvement of the United Nations in Angola should not end with the end of UNAVEM III, he said. A comprehensive new mission was indispensable and the Organization should spare no effort to ensure that the progress thus far achieved would not suffer setbacks. The international community must continue to assist in the rebuilding of Angola after three decades of war.
AFONSO VAN DUNEM "MBINDA" (Angola) said that recent military actions may create dangers for peace and regional stability. The recent collapse of a regime that for many decades had supported the destabilization of many central African States constituted an important factor for peace and stability in Africa. The Angolan peace process would benefit from that new environment. Respect for sovereignty and non-interference in Angola's internal affairs were crucial factors for peace. The Lusaka Protocol had entered its final stages. While much remained to be done, its effects were so apparent that Angola felt confident about the future.
The Government of Unity and National Reconciliation had been installed and was operating normally. The new Government should be seen as a demonstration of goodwill and transparency. The swearing-in of the Government and Parliament had not fulfilled all of the requirements for peace, however. Angola regrets that not all pending issues have been implemented due to the lack of cooperation of UNITA, which still held significant amounts of forces and had weapons which were never reported to UNAVEM III. Not long ago, those units had been supporting the regime in the former Zaire. Some 2,000 soldiers were still in Pointe-Noire, Republic of Congo. Those forces should be disarmed as soon as possible; they should received the same treatment accorded to UNITA troops currently in the areas of assembly.
The UNITA had not yet dismantled a 4,000-man "Personal Guard" of its leader despite the privileges and immunities provided to it as the primary opposition party, he said. Soldiers of the regime of the former Zaire and of
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the Hutu militias of Rwanda had recently crossed into north-east Angola. The Government had felt compelled to take appropriate measures to keep the country's borders from being violated. The authority of the Angolan State had regrettably been extended to only 10 of the 145 areas agreed upon; the deliberate orchestration of efforts in that process had raised serious questions about the seriousness of the UNITA leadership. The Security Council should continue to press UNITA to comply with its obligations. The cooperation of UNITA, as an integral part of the Government of National Unity and Reconciliation, was essential. It was important that deadlines be established for the extension of State administration.
Angolans did not wish to lose the fruits of their efforts toward peace, he said. The Security Council should be vigilant with regard to all those who would hold the future of Angola "hostage". "Peace is fragile", he stressed. But its benefits to Angola would be innumerable. Today, the widespread climate of fear had been mitigated; infrastructure had been rebuilt; inflation had been checked; combatants had been demobilized; and demining had allowed the rebuilding of roads and the recommencement of agricultural production.
The creation of MONUA was not a technical formality, he said. It meant that the basic foundations of peace in Angola had been laid down. But given the remaining tasks, the Government of Angola believed that the withdrawal of the Blue Helmets should be delayed. Angola pledged its full cooperation and support to the new mission.
CARLOS DOS SANTOS (Mozambique) said the establishment of the Government of National Unity and Reconciliation in Angola had been a major step, but it was not an end in itself. The formation of the new Government, and the return of UNITA deputies to the National Assembly had established a strong foundation for the normalization of national life in Angola. Mozambique hoped that all the Angolan parties would work closely together in the new phase by resolving outstanding tensions. Confidence-building should allow the parties to accelerated the normalization of State administration, the demobilization of non-combatants and the creation of a consolidated national army.
Post-conflict peace-building was essential, he said. It should build a bridge from emergency to national reconstruction and development. The United Nations and the international community at large should allow the people of Angola to overcome remaining challenges in a climate of trust. Upon the expiry of the UNAVEM III mandate, Mozambique paid tribute to its efforts, and to those of the "troika countries". The mission had played a crucial role in the creation of an atmosphere conducive to peaceful development throughout southern Africa.
BEN T. NTESO (Lesotho) said the people in southern Africa continued to attach great importance to the full implementation of the Lusaka Protocol, the preservation of unity and territorial integrity of Angola as well as lasting
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peace for its people. While the international community applauded the inauguration of the Government of National Unity and Reconciliation, it was keenly aware that much still needed to be done before lasting peace could be achieved in Angola. The establishment of the Government was not an end in itself. The latest developments in Angola were disturbing. Of particular concern was the report of skirmishes between the Government forces and UNITA. Those military tensions in the north-east had an impact on the general situation in Angola.
He stressed the importance of the meeting between the President of Angola and Mr. Savimbi, which would be a catalyst for the normalization of State administration and for building trust in the interest of national reconciliation. He called on UNITA to desist from interference and obstruction of the activities of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and on the donor community to contribute generously to IOM efforts.
Expressing support for the Secretary General's recommendations for the observer mission, he said the international community had come too far and invested too much in the Angolan peace process and could not afford to let the achievements gained so far be wasted. Some form of military presence should be an important part of the follow-up mission. Other activities of the mission should include human rights. Humanitarian and public information programmes would also be necessary to create conditions conducive to political stability, economic and social recovery and sustainable development. He was encouraged to see the increasing willingness of both parties to work together and hoped that a spirit of cooperation would prevail, so that progress could be made in completing the implementation of other aspects of the Lusaka Protocol. Tribute must be paid to the men and women of UNAVEM III as well as the international donor community and the countries of the troika.
FERNANDO PETRELLA (Argentina) said that Angola was an integral part of the Iberian-Lusitanian community. Angola had geographical links with Argentina via cooperation with the Zone of Security and Cooperation of the South Atlantic. The Government of Angola and UNITA should complete extension of State administration throughout the country and should complete demobilization. A meeting between President dos Santos and Mr. Savimbi would be conducive to peace. Argentina supported the creation of the observer mission as a successor to UNAVEM III. The police, human rights and military aspects of the MONUA should make an importance contribution to peace.
TAYE WAH MICHEL WAN CHAT KWONG (Mauritius) said that while relative calm seemed to have prevailed in Angola, peace had not yet been settled in the mind of all Angolans. His Government strongly endorsed the call by the Secretary-General for a meeting between President dos Santos and Mr. Savimbi at the earliest possible opportunity, on Angolan soil. In Mauritius, a fiercely fought electoral campaign preceding independence had been followed by peace and cooperation, thanks to the good offices of a friendly Government
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which was a permanent member of the Security Council. That was why Mauritius strongly supported the creation of the observer mission to create an environment conducive to stability, democracy and development.
Both Angolan parties should respect the terms of the peace process, he said. Events in the former Zaire had made clear that UNITA had not surrendered the bulk of its armaments and had not yet disbanded all its armed elements, as previously claimed. The vigilance of the Council must continue to be exercised. The international community should support peace with generous humanitarian, economic and social assistance.
ANTONIO MONTEIRO (Portugal) said that the formation of the Government of National Unity and Reconciliation, the return of UNITA deputies to the National Assembly, and the establishment of a special status for UNITA had all been milestones of the peace process. Portugal paid tribute to UNAVEM III, which had overcome countless obstacles. The United Nations should be proud of the mission's work. But problems persisted. The MONUA would permit the United Nations to remain in the fragile peace process, but Angolans must seize the opportunity to achieve peace. The long-awaited meeting between President dos Santos and Mr. Savimbi, in Angola, would contribute enormously to the peace process.
In recent weeks, the Government of National Unity and Reconciliation and UNITA appear to have learned something of the importance of a peaceful dialogue, he said. The international monitoring of human rights would encourage that trend. Demobilization and social integration programmes were critical and required international support. The MONUA could play an essential part in re-establishing the rule of law and laying the foundation for economic recovery.
Portugal agreed with the Secretary-General that the pace of withdrawal of United Nations peace-keepers should be calibrated in accordance with the demands of the peace process, not simply in accord with international financial constraints, he said. The United Nations must be ready to "stay the course". The international community should support the conclusion of peace in Angola; the establishment of the MONUA was an important example of that.
ALAIN DEJAMMET (France) said that the formation of the Government of National Unity and Reconciliation and the integration into the Parliament of UNITA deputies had been essential elements of national integration. The events in the former Zaire had had repercussions in Angola. A "shock wave" had pushed the Angolan parties towards conflict, although those clashes had not apparently accelerated. Recent tensions demonstrated that the Lusaka Protocol was being flouted by UNITA, which retains substantial military strength. The UNITA must understand that its future lay in political cooperation. He said the Government of Angola could turn to France to assist it with reconstructing a reconciled Angola.
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STEPHEN GOMERSALL (United Kingdom) said his Government shared the Secretary-General's assessment of the situation in Angola and supported his recommendation to withdraw UNAVEM III and to establish a follow-on United Nations observer mission. The operation should retain a military element while demobilization continued to provide stability. The move from a peace- keeping operation to an observer mission was, in itself, recognition of that important moment in the Angola peace process. A new Government of Unity and National Reconciliation had been formed, and UNITA Deputies had joined the National Assembly. The United Kingdom commended the spirit of cooperation and tolerance in which those events took place.
Yet the slow pace of extending State administration and the continuing mood of mistrust between the parties were causes for concern, he said. Recently, military clashes had jeopardized the peace process, and the build-up of military forces in northern Angola had increased. While tensions clearly remained high, the United Kingdom hoped that the remaining United Nations military presence would help to prevent renewed hostilities and be given full access to areas which they wished to investigate. The initial positive momentum must be regained and maintained to ensure long-term peace and stability. Both parties needed to pursue a constructive dialogue to achieve those ends, and his Government urged President dos Santos and Mr. Savimbi to meet as soon as possible.
NJUGUNA M. MAHUGU (Kenya) said he supported the draft resolution that would establish MONUA. Since 1989 the United Nations had played a lead role in the search for peace in Angola beginning with UNAVEM I. Kenya was proud to have contributed to the success of that and subsequent missions by providing personnel, financial contributions and political support. When UNAVEM III expired today, it would leave certain political and military aspects of the peace process incomplete, including the normalization of State administration throughout the territory, the regularization of UNITA radio station into a non-partisan broadcasting facility and the transformation of UNITA into a political party. The military aspects include the demobilization of ex-UNITA combatants and their re-integration into the society, the dismantling of illegal check points and the disarmament of the civilian population. The implementation of those tasks in the shortest time were of great importance and depended on the political will and commitment of the Angolan leaders.
The general situation in the country remained worrisome and was related to the reinforcement of Government troops in Lunda Norte and Lunda Sul to control the flow of armed elements infiltrating from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, he said. There was cause for concern that such military activity might affect the fragile balance that maintained the cease-fire. He called on the Government and UNITA to cooperate in resolving the security situation that had emerged. The convening of a meeting between President dos Santos and Mr. Savimbi was important to resolve those and other issues. Such a meeting and similar ones in the future were vital in the formative stage of
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the peace process. He expressed the hope that MONUA would be as successful as UNAVEM III and paid tribute to the troika of observer States (Portugal, United States and the Russian Federation) and all those States that had remained committed to the peace process.
PARK SOO GIL (Republic of Korea) said that, with many difficult tasks uncompleted, the Angolan peace process was suffering from political and psychological problems. The cooperation of UNITA in military matters was urgently needed in light of the recent developments which showed that it retained a significant armed capacity. Unless those problems were addressed, they might hamper the peace process. Since in those circumstances the United Nations presence in Angola should be maintained to ensure progress in the peace process, he would vote for the draft resolution to establish MONUA.
While the international community could help Angolans achieve their well-being, he said, it could not replace the Angolan people's firm determination to build their nation. The consolidation of peace in a country torn by more than 20 years of civil war, while arduous, was not impossible. "We urge the Angolan parties not try to win the war with weapons but to win peace through dialogue", he said, stressing the importance of a prompt meeting between President dos Santos and Mr. Savimbi, as mentioned in operative paragraph 14 of the draft text.
JUAN LARRAIN (Chile) said that the establishment of the Government of National Unity and Reconciliation in Angola constituted a "turning point". While quiet had largely prevailed, it was regrettable that clashes were taking place in the northern part of the country. Chile was concerned about the unfulfilled tasks of the Lusaka Protocol. The integration of UNITA into the national armed forces, demobilization, the legalization of UNITA as a political party and a prompt meeting between President dos Santos and Mr. Savimbi were all necessary. Angolans and the international community should make all necessary efforts to support peace in Angola and the creation of MONUA.
ZBIGNIEW M. WLOSOWICZ (Poland) said that the expansion of State administration in Angola was a "first priority" for the future of the peace process. The members of UNITA should desist from obstructing the installation of governmental structures throughout the country. Poland was also anxious about the continuing dissemination by UNITA of hostile information which negatively influenced the political atmosphere in the country. Poland regretted having to observe that UNITA had failed to provide information about the strength of Mr. Savimbi's security guards, including their weaponry. That was important in light of the numerous indications that, contrary to obligations under the Lusaka Protocol, UNITA is preserving its military potential. The UNITA should get rid of its armed potential and transform itself into a political party.
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The negative impact of the situation in the neighbouring Democratic Republic of the Congo on the parties in Angola was cause for concern, he said. Poland believed that the best way to eliminate those problems would be to implement relevant agreements to the letter. The Government of Angola should notify the United Nations of the movement of it troops. President dos Santos and Mr. Savimbi should get together soon to talk directly, without intermediaries, and without using "propaganda tools". Such a meeting would be indispensable to easing tensions and speeding the peace process.
MARIO LOPES DA ROSA (Guinea-Bissau) said that a "decisive stage" had come to a close in Angola. Achievements in the peace process thus far would not have been possible without the efforts of the United Nations and of the troika countries. The international community had made substantial contributions to the peace process in Angola. It was critical that the Angolan situation be rapidly resolved. The international community could not support the peace process indefinitely. The normalization of State administration, the transformation of the UNITA radio station, the integration of UNITA forces into the national police and demining were only some of the areas to which the Security Council should pay urgent attention.
Angola was advancing towards peace, step by step, he said. But he was concerned over the recent events of 27 June and over the repeated actions which had sought to impede the completion of the UNAVEM III mandate. Only a willingness to complete the entire peace process would allow irreversible progress. Peace required the contribution of all Angolans and their skills. The assistance of the international community would be required for some time to come. The new observer mission merited full consideration. President dos Santos and Mr. Savimbi should meet as soon as possible.
HISASHI OWADA (Japan) said Japan was convinced that the Angolan people needed the international community's encouragement for the full implementation of the Lusaka Protocol and for the completion of the peace process. It, therefore, supported the draft resolution, which would have MONUA take over the mission of helping to complete the peace process after UNAVEM's withdrawal. The departure of UNAVEM's military units should be carefully determined in accordance with the remaining tasks concerning the peace process and the situation on the ground.
To enable the peace process move to the next stage, he said, the political will of both parties, as well as the international community's support, would continue to be needed. With that in mind, Japan had decided on 27 June to contribute an additional $1.3 million to the demobilization work of the IOM. The sum was an addition to what it had provided for the removal of land-mines and the repatriation and resettlement of Angolan refugees. Other nations should offer similar help.
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PETER OSVALD (Sweden) said the establishment of MONUA marked the beginning of an important and challenging phase in the involvement of the United Nations in support of the Angolan peace process. The new mission would play an important role in ensuring a more secure and stable political environment in Angola, and his Government welcomed that its main focus would be the civilian aspects of the peace process. It was important to the process of national reconciliation that MONUA's mandate complied with the parties' request for an enhanced presence of human rights observers in the country. His Government committed itself to continue to provide assistance to Angola and urged the parties to seize the opportunity before them and implement fully their remaining obligations under the Lusaka Protocol.
The security situation was still far from satisfactory in many parts of Angola, he said. The Council's decision today underlined the need to ensure that developments on the ground and progress in the peace process were taken into account when the scheduled withdrawal of the United Nations formed military units was implemented. That aspect would be important to the success of MONUA. Sweden welcomed the review of the situation, scheduled for August. The parties must guarantee the freedom of movement and safety of the personnel of the new mission, as well as of other United Nations staff, and the recent harassment of United Nations personnel by UNITA must cease.
NABIL ELARABY (Egypt) said that the peace process in Angola had entered its final stages. A meeting between President dos Santos and Mr. Savimbi should resolve any remaining military aspects of peace. The UNITA should abandon its military operations and become a political party. That transformation would be unlikely unless the international community brought pressure to bear on the UNITA leadership. The expansion of Angolan Government control over all administrative and military aspects of the entire country was essential. The United Nations should monitor the demobilizing of the "body guard" contingent of UNITA's military forces. The mandate of MONUA should embrace completion of all outstanding aspects of peace, he said. The demobilization of some 100,000 soldiers by the parties and their integration into a peaceful society would be a major challenge. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) should implement training and employment projects to absorb demobilized soldiers in Angola, a country with 45 per cent unemployment. Egypt fully endorsed the efforts of the UNDP and of the Department of Humanitarian Affairs for the development of national capacities for demining, adding that assistance for demining had been one of the major achievements of UNAVEM III.
MELVIN SAENZ BIOLLEY (Costa Rica) said his Government was concerned at the continuing military clashes under way in northern Angola between the Government and unidentified armed groups. The UNITA must hand over complete information regarding its armed forces and its military capabilities. Angola should have conflict of ideas, not conflicts of arms. President dos Santos and Mr. Savimbi should meet on Angolan soil as soon as possible.
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If demobilization in Angola were to fail, it would place peace at risk, he said. The conclusion of UNAVEM III should not mean the end of the United Nations mission. The establishment of an observer mission deserved resolute support in the certainty that it would continue the important work of UNAVEM III. With the peace process opening up in Angola, a future of prosperity should begin for the Angolan people.
WANG XUEXIAN (China) said that his Government was pleased at the positive momentum of the Angolan peace process, but was concerned at the failure of UNITA to demobilize and at the recent outbreaks of violence in northern Angola. Years of war had devastated Angola, a richly endowed country with a vast territory. The dawn of peace was on the horizon; the Angolan Government and UNITA should seize the opportunity of achieving the remaining tasks in the political field. The settlement of the Angolan people would rest with the Angolan people themselves.
China supported the establishment of the observer mission in the belief that it would promote national reconciliation, he said. But, as a principle, the Security Council should not get involved in those activities which fall under the terms of reference of other United Nations bodies. China had reservations on certain elements of the draft resolution and on aspects of the observer mission's mandate. China hoped that the Angolan Government would cooperate to smoothly complete the peace process.
CAMERON HUME (United States) said that the observer mission should oversee the normalization of State administration throughout national territory. The new mission was testimony to the success of UNAVEM III, which had overseen the demobilization of combatants and restoration of peace in much of Angola. The United States called on the Government of Angola and on UNITA to complete the process of national reconciliation. The Government should exercise restraint. He was concerned at reports of conflict in northern Angola and urged the Government to refrain from unilateral action. An agreement on national symbols would further the peace process, he added.
The UNITA should complete the military agreements it made at Lusaka, he said. Both sides should abide by mutual security guarantees, but it was long overdue that UNITA disarm and enter the mainstream political process. President dos Santos and Mr. Savimbi should meet in Angola often in the pursuit of peace. The international community wanted to redirect its resources to the construction of Angola's roads and other infrastructure.
SERGEY LAVROV (Russian Federation) said the draft resolution on the creation of MONUA was of significance towards achieving the goals of the Angolan peace process. Of concern, however, was the tense situation in the north-east region of the country. It was important that the Government had unimpeded control of the entire territory and that UNITA provide information on its forces in accordance with the Lusaka Protocol. The peace process in
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Angola could have reached an end a long time ago if UNITA had fulfilled its obligations. He called on UNITA to honour those obligations, including those related to its forces.
The Council then unanimously adopted the draft text as resolution 1118 (1997).
MACHIVENYIKA MAPURANGA (Zimbabwe) said he had been greatly encouraged by the formation of the Government of National Unity and Reconciliation and the holding of the first meeting of the Council of Ministers and a plenary session of the National Assembly. Despite the recent apprehensions over tensions caused by developments both inside Angola and in the neighbouring region, he remained optimistic that the peace process would not only remain on course, but also eventually bring tranquillity and stability to that country.
He appealed to the Government of Angola and UNITA to resolve all lingering threats to the peace process with the same selfless spirit of cooperation and tolerance which characterized the initial steps of the Government of Unity and National Reconciliation and the National Assembly. In that connection, he looked forward to more progress in the normalization of State administration in all areas, the demobilization of ex-combatants and the formation of the unified Angolan armed forces. He hoped for a pursuit of an intensive and relentless public awareness campaign towards the effective narrowing and eventual elimination of the psychological and political barriers which still existed within the Angolan community.
He unreservedly supported the creation of MONUA, he continued. Zimbabwe was confident that the careful and systematic transition in the United Nations involvement in Angola would afford the people of that country the political, moral and even psychological support they needed as they incrementally tightened their own grip on the reigns of peace. He, therefore, urged the Angolan Government and, in particular UNITA, to hurry and complete the remaining military and political aspects of the peace process. The international community should continue the provision of humanitarian assistance and other forms of assistance to facilitate the social reintegration of ex-combatants, the resettlement of displaced persons, and the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the Angolan national economy to consolidate the gains of the peace process.
PETER L. KASANDA (Zambia), welcoming the Secretary-General's report, said it could not be denied that the formation of the Government of Unity and National Reconciliation in April had gone a long way in facilitating the progress that had been registered in the report. Stressing that the road of the Angolan peace process had been long and hazardous, he said those who had helped in preparing the way towards the progress achieved so far deserved to be congratulated. They included the Secretary-General, whose visit to Angola in March had been a catalyst towards peace and progress in Angola, his Special
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Representative and the three observer States -- Portugal, Russian Federation and the United States.
None the less, the progress would remain fragile as long as UNITA continued its intransigence, he continued. He was greatly disturbed by the fact that UNITA had not been fully forthcoming in honouring its side of the bargain in the political and military aspects. He, therefore, urged UNITA to remove the obstacles that it had consistently placed on the road to peace. It should immediately provide information relative to its forces, including those attached to its leader, Mr. Savimbi.
Angola had reached a critical stage where all parties concerned must do their best to sustain the momentum towards total peace, he said. Welcoming MONUA, he said it would go a long way to assist the Angolan parties in consolidating peace and national reconciliation. Peace in Angola would also go a long way in enlarging the parameters of peace and stability in the entire southern African region. "We all, therefore, stand to gain immeasurably from Angola's well-being as a country", he concluded.
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