The Security Council this afternoon decided to extend the mandate of the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (MONUA) until 30 April, including the military task force, as outlined in the Secretary-General's report of 12 January.
The MONUA was established by Council resolution 1118 (1997) to assist the parties -- the Government of Angola and the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) -- in consolidating peace and national reconciliation. In his report, the Secretary-General recommends reducing the military task force to no more than four infantry companies, whose total strength, including support troops, would not exceed 910 personnel. In addition, 45 military staff officers would be deployed at force/regional headquarters, and 90 military observers would be retained in the Mission.
Unanimously adopting resolution 1149 (1998), the Council stressed the urgent need for the Government of Angola and in particular UNITA to complete, in accordance with the timetable (document S/1998/56, annex) approved by the Joint Commission on 9 January, the implementation of their obligations under the Lusaka Protocol. The Joint Commission was established under the Protocol to monitor the implementation of the Peace Accords signed on 31 May 1991 by the parties, and the Protocol itself, signed on 20 November 1994.
The Council demanded that the Government of Angola and in particular UNITA cooperate fully with MONUA, including by providing full access for its verification activities. It reiterated its call on the Government of Angola to notify MONUA of its troop movements, in accordance with the 1994 Lusaka Protocol and established procedures.
The final timetable for the implementation of the remaining tasks under the 1994 Lusaka Protocol lists deadlines for 10 aspects of the peace process, including the full normalization of State adminnistration throughout the country by 27 January; declaration on the demobilization of UNITA troops on 31 January; and installation of UNITA leadership in Luanda by 28 February.
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The Council also called on the Government of Angola and in particular UNITA to refrain from any action which might undermine the process of normalization of State administration or lead to renewed tensions. It requested the Angolan Government, in cooperation with MONUA, to take appropriate steps, including through its integrated National Police and Armed Forces, to ensure an environment of confidence and safety in which the United Nations and humanitarian personnel might carry out their activities.
Also by the resolution, the Council requested the Secretary-General to submit no later than 13 March a comprehensive report on the situation in Angola, especially regarding the implementation of the timetable approved by the Joint Commission. That report would also include recommendations regarding the possible reconfiguration before 30 April of the components of MONUA, referred to in the Secretary-General's report of 12 January, as well as preliminary recommendations regarding the United Nations presence in Angola after 30 April.
The Council urged the international community to provide assistance to facilitate the demobilization and social reintegration of ex-combatants, demining, the resettlement of displaced persons and the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the Angolan economy in order to consolidate the gains in the peace process.
Statements were made by the representatives of Angola, Mozambique, United Kingdom (on behalf of the European Union and associated States), Zimbabwe, Namibia, Cape Verde, Costa Rica, Brazil, China, Sweden, Japan, Russian Federation, Slovenia, Portugal, Kenya, Gambia, Bahrain, Gabon, United States and France.
The meeting, which was called to order at 3:40 p.m., adjourned at 5:40 p.m.
Council Work Programme
The Security Council met this afternoon to consider the situation in Angola. A report of the Secretary-General (document S/1998/17) before it recommends a three-month extension of the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (MONUA) until 30 April 1998.
The extension is to enable MONUA to continue enhancing confidence- building and creating an environment conducive to Angola's long-term stability, democratic development and rehabilitation. Those tasks, according to the report, remain as vital and urgent today as they were six months ago when MONUA was established by the Council in its resolution 1118 (1997) of 1 July 1997.
Should the Council authorize the continuation of the United Nations operation in Angola, the Secretary-General proposes that MONUA carry out its activities on the basis of the mandate and organizational structure approved under Council resolution 1118 (1997), with some adjustments. He recommends retaining a reduced military task force composed of up to four infantry companies, whose total strength, including support troops, would not exceed 910 personnel. Those companies would be deployed in strategically important regions and would be adequately equipped to respond to security needs. In addition, 45 military staff officers would be deployed at force and regional headquarters, and 90 military observers would be retained in the Mission. The remaining personnel of MONUA's military component would be withdrawn from Angola by the beginning of February.
In view of the United Nations involvement in Angola, the Secretary- General continues, it would be important for his Special Representative, Alioune Blondin Beye, to continue to provide good offices to the parties -- the Government of Angola and the Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) -- and to chair the Joint Commission.
[The Joint Commission was established under the Lusaka Protocol to monitor the implementation of the Peace Accords, signed by the Angolan parties in 1991, and the Protocol itself, which was signed in November 1994.]
The report was issued in response to Security Council resolution 1135 (1997) of 29 October, in which the Council, inter alia, requested the Secretary-General to present recommendations on the United Nations presence in Angola after 30 January 1998. It also covers developments there since his last report of 4 December 1997 (S/1997/959).
The Secretary-General believes that in the present circumstances the continued United Nations presence in Angola would be necessary, although at a reduced level. "Not only would such a presence be indispensable for the completion of all the mandated tasks of MONUA, but it would also be essential
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for the promotion of stability, as well as the protection of individual rights in Angola, in order to create the conditions required for the future elections."
The extension of MONUA's mandate should take into account the real commitment of the parties to respect their obligations under the Lusaka Protocol and to expedite the peace process, the Secretary-General observes. "There is an urgent need for both parties, but in particular UNITA, to display a greater sense of urgency in carrying out the Lusaka agreements and the relevant Security Council resolutions", he asserts. Additional effort should be made to complete without procrastination the key aspects of the peace process -- full normalization of State administration throughout the country, including UNITA strongholds of Andulo and Bailundo; demobilization of UNITA troops; and transformation of the UNITA radio into a non-partisan facility. As of 8 January, central government authority had been established in 239 out of a total of 344 localities envisaged in the peace plan.
The Secretary-General states that UNITA has to take decisive steps towards its transformation into a purely political party, declare that it has no more armed personnel or weapons under its control, and move its leadership to Luanda. Equally, he asserts that the international community expect that the Government will foster a climate of confidence so that the peace process could continue in an atmosphere of trust and security.
On the military and police aspects of the Mission, the report indicates that registration and disarmament of the residual UNITA military personnel was formally concluded on 22 December 1997. A total of 7,877 UNITA soldiers had been registered, while 7,234 weapons, including cannons and air defence guns, as well as ammunition of various calibres amounting to more than 57,000 rounds, had been handed over. Demobilization in situ was in progress, and, as of 9 January, 1,223 residual UNITA troops had been demobilized, the report notes. It draws attention to persistent reports that UNITA continues to regroup its military elements in some areas of Angola, and that their presence was still visible in and around the towns of Andulo and Bailundo.
The plan for the downsizing of the MONUA military component and for the repatriation of United Nations formed units was being implemented by the Mission, as approved by the Security Council. The repatriation of formed units and staff officers commenced on 3 December 1997, and their strength had been reduced to 1,604 as at 9 January. According to the report, eight military observer team sites had, since November 1997, been handed over to the MONUA civilian police component. The present drawdown plan envisaged the closure of an additional three team sites and withdrawal from seven team sites by 31 January. The overall strength of military observers was expected to be reduced to 90 officers by then.
In his report, the Secretary-General states that the scope of the mine problem in Angola remained a serious impediment to the resettlement of
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internally displaced persons, the reintegration of ex-combatants, and the resumption of normal agricultural and commercial activities in many areas of the country. By the end of 1997, almost half of Angola's territory had been surveyed for mines, covering the areas where about 80 per cent of the population lived. Out of an estimated 2,000 to 2,500 minefields, 1,800 had been identified.
The Secretary-General welcomes the ongoing contacts between the two parties concerning the meeting inside Angola of President Jose Eduardo dos Santos and UNITA leader Jonas Savimbi. He observes that such a meeting should be held in the near future, as it could enhance mutual confidence and contribute significantly to the prospects of national reconciliation, reconstruction of the country and movement towards democracy.
An addendum to the present report is to be issued separately, containing the cost implications for the mission as a result of the delays in the peace process, the increase in the responsibilities of MONUA, and the additional requirements for its operation.
Also before the Council is a letter from the Secretary-General dated 21 January 1998 (document S/1998/56), containing the final timetable for the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol, approved by the Joint Commission, at Luanda on 9 January.
Under the timetable, the personal security detachment for UNITA President Jonas Savimbi was to be defined by 21 January 1998; conclusion of the extension of State administration throughout the country is to be concluded by 27 January, while demobilization of UNITA residual forces, including the future of its general officers within the framework of the retirement plan, is to be completed by 28 January. The deadline of 31 January is set for a declaration on the demilitarization of UNITA.
The timetable also sets 2 February for the resumption of the disarming of the civilian population; 4 February, for the total and complete legalization of UNITA (as a political party); 6 February, for the nomination of governors, vice-governors and ambassadors designated by UNITA; and 9 February by which the special status of the UNITA President is to be promulgated.
The UNITA leadership is to be installed in Luanda by 28 February and, by the same date, State administration extended to UNITA stronghold of Andulo and Bailundo. Finally, UNITA is to cease broadcasts from its Radio Vorgan by 28 February. The Joint Commission has not formally approved the deadline for the cessation of the broadcasts which has been agreed by UNITA and the Government of Angola, according to the Secretary-General's letter.
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The Council has before it a draft resolution (document S/1998/62), the text of which reads as follows:
"The Security Council,
"Reaffirming its resolution 696 (1991) of 30 May 1991 and all subsequent relevant resolutions,
"Expressing its firm commitment to preserve the unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Angola,
"Having considered with appreciation the report of the Secretary-General of 12 January 1998 (S/1998/17),
"Welcoming the timetable approved by the Joint Commission on 9 January 1998 (S/1998/56), according to which the Government of Angola and the Uniao Nacional para a IndependÍncia Total de Angola (UNITA) agreed to complete the remaining tasks of the Lusaka Protocol (S/1994/1441, annex) by the end of February 1998,
"Recognizing the important role of the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (MONUA) at this critical stage of the peace process,
"1. Stresses the urgent need for the Government of Angola and in particular UNITA to complete in accordance with the timetable approved by the Joint Commission on 9 January 1998 the implementation of their obligations under the Lusaka Protocol, as well as to complete the implementation of their obligations under the "Acordos de Paz" (S/22609, annex) and relevant Security Council resolutions;
"2. Decides to extend the mandate of MONUA, including the military task force as outlined in paragraphs 35 and 36 of the report of the Secretary- General of 12 January 1998, until 30 April 1998;
"3. Requests the Secretary-General to submit no later than 13 March 1998 a comprehensive report, which would also incorporate the report requested in paragraph 7 of resolution 1135 (1997), on the situation in Angola, especially in regard to the implementation of the timetable approved by the Joint Commission, with recommendations regarding the possible reconfiguration before 30 April 1998 of the components of MONUA, referred to in section VII of the report of the Secretary-General of 12 January 1998,, as well as preliminary recommendations regarding the United Nations presence in Angola after 30 April 1998;
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"4. Stresses the importance of strengthening the rule of law, including the full protection of all Angolan citizens throughout the national territory;
"5. Requests the Government of Angola, inc cooperation with MONUA, to take appropriate steps, including through its integrated National Police and Armed Forces, to ensure an environment of confidence and safety in which the United Nations and humanitarian personnel may carry out their activities;
"6. Calls upon the Government of Angola and in particular UNITA to refrain from any action which might undermine the process of normalization of State administration or lead to renewed tensions;
"7. Demands that the Government of Angola and in particular UNITA cooperate fully with MONUA, including by providing full access for its verification activities, and reiterates its call on the Government of Angola to notify MONUA in a timely manner of its troop movements, in accordance with the troop provisions of the Lusaka Protocol and established procedures;
"8. Reaffirms its readiness to review the measures specified in paragraph 4 of resolution 1127 (1997) or to consider the imposition of additional measures in accordance with paragraphs 8 and 9 of resolution 1127 (1997) and on the basis of the report referred to in paragraph 3 above;
"9. Reiterates its belief that a meeting between the President of the Republic of Angola and the leader of UNITA could facilitate the process of peace and national reconciliation;
"10. Urges the international community to provide assistance to facilitate the demobilization and social reintegration of ex-combatants, demining, the resettlement of displaced persons and the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the Angolan economy in order to consolidate the gains in the peace process;
"11. Endorses the recommendation of the Secretary-General that his Special Representative continue to chair the Joint Commission, as established under the Lusaka Protocol, which has proved to be a vital mechanism for the advancement of the peace process;
"12. Expresses its appreciation to the Secretary-General, his Special Representative and the personnel of MONUA for assisting the Government of Angola and UNITA to implement the peace process;
"13. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter."
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AFONSO VAN DUNEM "MBINDA" (Angola), the first speaker this afternoon, said in the fourth year of the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol, the transition from war to a long and lasting peace in Angola, despite being a difficult and complex task, was an achievable goal, provided all those involved in the peace process complied fully and in good faith with their obligations. A cohesive and firm stand by the international community was an appropriate instrument against attempts to reverse the path to peace and stability through derailment of the peace process. The peace process had made important and substantial process. The risks of a return to hostility had been significantly reduced and a general climate of relative peace was still prevailing.
Angola, he continued, welcomed the recent positive developments, particularly the advance in the normalization of State administration. However, that should not be a motive for relaxing international pressure, particularly by the Council, on the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA). Otherwise, there was a risk of new delays and even setbacks. All restrictive and mandatory measures, particularly those in resolutions 864 (1994), 1127 (1997) and 1135 (1997), must be observed and strictly monitored by all Member States. He drew attention to a recent incident in the south of the country in which the Angolan airforce intercepted a DC-4 cargo aircraft carrying supplies to UNITA-controlled areas. The aircraft was owned by a South African national. The incident violated Council resolutions on the sanctions against UNITA, as well as Angolan airspace.
Efforts should now concentrate on the mobilization of the resources necessary to implement the Lusaka Protocol, he continued. Angola had made 402 billion Kuanzas, 240 million re-adjusted, for the demobilization of more than 1,400 UNITA military members and the payment of subsidies. It had also delivered food to demobilized residents. Another important initiative included the professional reintegration of demobilized personnel to the health and educational sectors. Angola's social and humanitarian crisis required continued international assistance. The implementation of the "community rehabilitation programme", approved at the Brussels International Donors Conference for Angola, would help lay the groundwork for the country's development.
CARLOS DOS SANTOS (Mozambique) said the Secretary-General's report and the statement by the representative of Angola give reasons for cautious optimism regarding the peace process in that country. The approval of a new timetable, committing the Government of Angola and UNITA to the completion of the remaining tasks in the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol, might represent a turning point towards the conclusion of the peace process. Mozambique was equally encouraged by the information contained in the Secretary-General's report regarding the decrease in tensions between the
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parties throughout the country, and that registration and disarmament of residual military personnel had been formally concluded and demobilization was in progress. Therefore, Mozambique urged the Government and, in particular, UNITA to complete the implementation of the remaining tasks of the Lusaka Protocol by the end of February 1998.
The international community should continue to persevere in its efforts to provide the necessary support to the peace process, he said. The reintegration of the demobilized soldiers is of paramount importance in order to ensure that the return to hostilities was not an alternative. Demining was also an area of equal importance, for it would allow for the resettlement of people in those areas. Angola was endowed with rich natural resources which would allow its people to develop and prosper. His Government supported the extension of MONUA's mandate, which would enhance confidence-building and help create a conducive environment to long-term stability, democracy, reconstruction and development.
JOHN WESTON (United Kingdom), speaking on behalf of the European Union and Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Cyprus, Iceland and Norway, said the European Union urged both parties to complete their tasks in the agreed-upon timetable for the completion of the outstanding provisions of the Lusaka Protocol by the end of February. It also welcomed the conclusion of the registration and disarmament of residual UNITA military personnel. The UNITA must now declare itself completely demilitarized. That would open the way for UNITA's formal transition to a political party and allow it to participate fully and constructively in the democratic process and in the future development of Angola.
The European Union was concerned that human rights observers were present in only seven of Angola's 18 provinces, he said. It supported the Secretary- General's intention to increase the number of observers to the mandated strength, and international efforts to increase the respect for human rights and to improve the free movement of people and goods in Angola. Of particular importance was the work of the United Nations Civilian Police in promoting respect for human rights and in building a climate of trust in Angola.
He went on to say that the European Union was the largest contributor to Angola's rehabilitation and a leading provider of humanitarian assistance. Yet, Angola's recovery depended not only on continued international assistance but also on the willingness of both parties to bring the peace process to a successful conclusion. The United Nations had a valuable role to play in overcoming the difficulties that lay ahead and in fostering an atmosphere of stability and national reconciliation, he said. The European Union welcomed the decision to extend MONUA's presence in Angola for a further three months.
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MACHIVENYIKA T. MAPURANGA (Zimbabwe) said, while peace in Angola was in sight, his Government was seriously concerned with the persistent delays in the actual and full implementation of the Lusaka Protocol. There was an urgent need, particularly for UNITA, to display a greater sense of urgency in implementing the Lusaka Protocol and relevant Security Council resolutions. The 10-point agreement on the new implementation timetable reached on 9 January was a new ray of hope. The timetable addressed the remaining key aspects of the peace process: full normalization of State administration throughout the country, including the areas of Andulo and Bailundo; demobilization of UNITA troops; and the transformation of the UNITA radio into a non-partisan facility.
He said that, whereas the latest agreement affirmed the commitment of the Government and UNITA to the peace process, its implementation without further procrastination would actually give Angola an unprecedented opportunity to stand firmly and irrevocably on the threshold of peace. He appealed to the Angolan Government and UNITA to adhere to and make good their commitments in the interest of peace and progress. His country had contributed some of its best resources to support peace in Angola. Although it would be withdrawing its battalion, Zimbabwean military observers would remain. His Government fully supported extension of the MONUA mandate for another three months. Such an extension accorded fully with the wishes of the Organization of African Unity (OAU).
MARTIN ANDJABA (Namibia) said peace and stability could only come to Angola if and when both parties equally demonstrated the necessary political will to see beyond their differences and work towards the common goal of peace. While Namibia recognized the obstacles encountered in the normalization process, as indicated in the Secretary-General's report, it would continue to encourage the Government of Angola and UNITA to continue to seek a peaceful resolution to that problem. The recent talks between the two parties were, therefore, a source of hope.
Namibia was particularly concerned about recently laid mines, which would affect future development efforts by the Angolan people, he said. It urged the international community to continue to support the emergency and humanitarian assistance programmes for Angola, which were prerequisites for the consolidation of peace, stability and development in that country. The people of Angola would only value peace and stability when their socio- economic conditions improved. Thus, the Government's economic stabilization and economic recovery programme warranted technical, financial and other assistance.
The significant presence of the United Nations in Angola remained valid and was now more critical than ever, he said. Namibia, therefore, supported the extension of MONUA's mandate, and hoped that in the duration of that extension the remaining issues would be resolved.
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JOSE LUIS BARBOSA LEAO MONTEIRO (Cape Verde) said the report of the Secretary-General stressed the important progress that had been made in the Angolan peace process since last December. Encouraging signs included the new timetable for implementing the remaining elements of the Lusaka Protocol, contacts between President Jose Eduardo dos Santos and UNITA leader Jonas Savimbi regarding a future meeting. The country had reached a new stage of political will. However, efforts were needed to resolve all remaining problems, such as delays in extending State administration to all areas of the country. The establishment of joint operational groups in the provinces were effective machinery for building confidence. The atmosphere would be further improved with the transformation of UNITA's Radio Vorgan into a non-partisan facility.
He said it was also essential for the peace process to extend human rights monitors and speed up demobilization. His Government was struck by the magnitude of the demining task which the country still faced. Demining was vital for reviving the economy and rural life, and efforts in that area must be intensified and resources increased. The extension of MONUA's mandate was welcome. Despite the problems, which should not be underestimated, the Secretary-General's interim report due in March would confirm the march to peace which the Angolan people deserved.
MELVIN SAENZ BOILLEY (Costa Rica) said a solution was emerging in the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol. His Government welcomed the adoption of the new timetable for the implementation of remaining elements, including demilitarization of UNITA forces, extension of State administration throughout the country, and transformation of Radio Vorgan into a non-partisan facility. Those elements were all vital for the peace process. His Government also attached great importance to a meeting in the near future between President dos Santos and Jonas Savimbi.
He expressed concern at continued armed clashes between the authorities of local government bodies and militant UNITA elements, particularly in the areas of Andulo and Bailundo. He also expressed concern at the increase in human rights violations and the lack of resources and personnel for promoting those rights. Currently, there were United Nations monitors in only seven of Angola's provinces. Hopefully, the situation would be resolved in the manner outlined in the Secretary-General's report. It was important to extend MONUA's mandate for a further three months. He urged the two parties to cooperate fully with MONUA and appealed to UNITA to move to Luanda and transform itself into a political party.
CELSO L.N. AMORIM (Brazil) said Angola had been ravaged by one of the longest wars in Africa, but now national peace and reconciliation seemed possible. At this crucial moment, it was important to consider political principles that would assure that MONUA was able to successfully fulfil its mandate. The timetable agreement concerning the fulfilment of the remaining
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aspects of the Lusaka Protocol was welcome, but there were supplementary efforts that were needed, including the normalization of the State administration; the demobilization of UNITA forces; and the transformation of the UNITA radio station, among others. With the completion of the 10 activities listed in the timetable, UNITA would be able to effectively contribute to national reconciliation and the consolidation of democracy in Angola.
Brazil supported the Secretary-General's proposals contained in his report on the proposed reduction of the military component in MONUA, he said. It decided to support the proposals after being assured that the structure in place would be able to be achieved on schedule and would include the surveillance and demobilization of UNITA troops. The resolution before the Security Council would ask the Secretary-General to submit a report on the specific information regarding the issue of sanctions. Brazil hoped the report would present an accurate picture of the situation and not present a general stocktaking of the situation.
CUI TIANKAI (China) said that since the latter half of last year, the peace process in Angola had stagnated and, in certain areas, had even come to a halt. Some elements of the Lusaka Protocol had not been implemented. Genuine and lasting peace required political will and practical efforts by both the Angolan Government and UNITA. He appealed to them to complete their agreed tasks, including the demilitarization of UNITA military personnel and normalization of State administration throughout the country. China was pleased that the Joint Commission had approved the new timetable for implementing the Lusaka Protocol and that President Jose Eduardo dos Santos and UNITA leader Jonas Savimbi planned to meet. Hopefully, that meeting would take place soon.
He said that, in view of the fact that the peace process was at an important juncture and the request of the parties to extend the presence of MONUA, China was in favour of extending the Mission's mandate. At an earlier Council meeting, China had stated its reservations regarding certain MONUA functions and its position remained unchanged. The parties should increase their efforts so genuine and lasting peace in Angola would be achieved.
HANS DAHLGREN (Sweden) said the recent agreement between the Government of Angola and UNITA on a timetable for the finalization of the peace process was a most welcome sign of progress, raising the hope that the parties were now ready to complete the remaining tasks in the Lusaka Protocol.
The responsibility for achieving sustainable peace in Angola remained primarily with the Angolan parties themselves, he said. Nevertheless, there was an important role for the United Nations in assisting in the completion of the peace process.
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Sweden supported an extension of the mandate of MONUA for another three months, he said. The continued presence of the Mission will contribute to paving the way for a more secure and stable political environment in Angola. It also supported the retention of a military task force in Angola, as proposed by the Secretary-General.
Sweden hoped that the peace process was now irreversibly moving into a peace-building phase, he said. In order to achieve the remaining goals, there was the need for a strong civilian police presence in Angola. MONUA's civilian police performed essential tasks in the human rights field, including efforts to strengthen the rule of law and measures to support and assist the Angolan National Police. Sweden also welcomed ongoing efforts to strengthen MONUA's human rights component.
HISASHI OWADA (Japan) said it was essential for the Government of Angola and UNITA to complete the implementation of all their obligations under the Lusaka Protocol and to fulfil all remaining obligations under the "Acordos de Paz", as well as relevant Security Council resolutions. It was also incumbent upon UNITA, in particular, to bear in mind the Council's readiness to review the sanctions imposed by Security Council resolution 1127 or to consider additional sanctions, depending on UNITA's implementation of its obligations according to the new timetable. In that respect, Japan noted with grave concern that aircraft were landing in territory controlled by UNITA in violation of the sanctions imposed by resolution 1127. It called upon all Member States, particularly Angola's neighbouring countries, to abide strictly by those sanctions.
In view of the commitment of both parties to adhere to the timetable, Japan supported the extension of MONUA's mandate, including its military task force, he said. It was essential for the successful completion of MONUA's tasks that the Government of Angola and particularly UNITA cooperate fully with MONUA. Therefore, his Government hoped that President dos Santos and Mr. Savimbi would meet in the near future to further promote peace and national reconciliation.
Japan, he went on, also noted with grave concern that despite repeated calls by the Security Council for the withdrawal of all foreign forces from the Republic of the Congo, Angolan government troops had not yet withdrawn. That situation was unacceptable, and those Angolan troops should be removed immediately from the Republic of the Congo.
SERGEY LAVROV (Russian Federation) said there had been recent encouraging signs regarding the peace process in Angola. The approval of the new timetable for implementing remaining key provisions of the Lusaka Protocol included extension of State administration over all regions of the country; demobilization (UNITA) troops; legalization of UNITA as a political party; and transformation of the UNITA radio into a non-partisan facility.
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He said the coming months would be vital in securing the peace process. There were considerable hopes resting on the planned upcoming meeting between President Jose Eduardo dos Santos and UNITA leader Jonas Savimbi. The draft resolution before the Security Council correctly reflected that the final stages of implementation of the Lusaka Protocol would be an effective verification of the peace process, depending on the course of events. Depending on the results in March, the Security Council would determine the lifting of the sanctions against UNITA leaders and the future of the United Nations presence. It was important to protect the large-scale efforts over many years to bring peace to Angola. His Government would, therefore, vote in favour of the draft resolution.
DANILO T‹RK (Slovenia) said his Government looked forward to the fulfilment of the obligations stemming from the new timetable, particularly the promises made by UNITA concerning the relocation of its headquarters to the Angolan capital by the end of February. Slovenia expected that the accompanying relinquishment of control over its strongholds in Andulo and Bailundo would finally conclude the otherwise slow process of consolidation of State administration throughout Angola. His Government also placed the highest importance to the legalization of UNITA as a political party and hoped that the necessary conditions would be met in accordance with the timetable.
While the progress towards peace in Angola was encouraging, there were obstacles which still impeded the implementation of some important aspects of the Lusaka Protocol, he said. His Government was particularly disquieted by the allegations that UNITA continued to regroup its military elements in some parts of the country. It was also concerned by the reported desertion from the quartering areas of approximately 25,000 former troops. It was imperative that the deserters take advantage of the opportunity to be demobilized under different arrangement by next June. Slovenia also supported the Secretary- General's recommendations regarding the expansion of the number of human rights observers and the increase in the overall strength of the civilian police component of MONUA.
The signing of the Lusaka Protocol resulted in a period of relative peace in Angola, he continued. Yet, it was obvious that sustained efforts of the international community were indispensable to make the peace process irreversible. Therefore, Slovenia supported the extension of MONUA's mandate.
ANTONIO MONTEIRO (Portugal) said the new timetable for the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol should be a meaningful step towards the normalization of the political and military situation in Angola. While the Angolan peace process had proceeded far more slowly than had been expected three years ago when the Lusaka Protocol was signed, the new timetable was the best chance at trying to reinvigorate it. Without the speedy completion of the remaining tasks, peace in Angola would not become a reality.
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The establishment of peace in Angola still depended, to a large extent, on the support of the international community, he said. It was. therefore, disappointing to note that the response of the 1997 consolidated inter-agency appeal for Angola generated only 44 per cent of the required funds. In addition, only seven out of the 18 Angolan demining brigades were now operational, due to shortages in both equipment and funds from national and international sources. Demobilization had also been negatively affected by the lack of international support. Additional international assistance was required in order to enable the Angolan Government and UNITA to walk the last mile for peace. The international community should provide assistance for demobilization and the social reintegration of ex-combatants, demining, the resettlement of displaced persons and the rehabilitation of the Angolan economy. Full cooperation with the 1998 consolidated inter-agency appeal for Angola, currently being finalized, would be equally important.
Extending MONUA's mandate along the lines proposed by the Secretary-General was a step in the right direction, he continued. The comprehensive report requested by the Security Council would be instrumental in assessing the implementation of the new timetable. The proposed continuation of the United Nations presence in Angola after 30 April fully deserved the Council's agreement, and his Government looked forward to studying the preliminary recommendations that the Secretary-General would include in his report.
NJUGUNA M. MAHUGU (Kenya) said ongoing contacts between President dos Santos and Jonas Savimbi were encouraging. He also welcomed the recent agreement on a new timetable of tasks to be implemented, which were a step in the right direction. Normalization of State administration over 100 localities in Angola still had to be achieved. Transformation of Radio Vorgan into a non- partisan facility has to be completed along with the complete transformation of UNITA into a political party. The UNITA leadership still needed to be installed in Luanda and a host of other important tasks were also waiting completion. Already, there was light at the end of the tunnel, but the pressure on the parties must be maintained.
He called on the parties to remain steadfastly committed to fulfilling their obligations. Genuine political will was an important element in the peace process and should be carefully cultivated. The MONUA continued to play a key role in the full implementation of the parties' undertakings. It was the only focal point in consolidating international efforts to assist the parties in their path to reconciliation. His Government was in favour of the resolution and the extension of MONUA's mandate for a further three months. The present resolution was an important element in encouraging the parties to remain committed to implementing the remaining tasks without delay.
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ABDOULIE MOMODOU SALLAH (Gambia) said his Government was dismayed by the recent discovery of re-mining activities by UNITA personnel and the reported increase in the movement of unregistered UNITA troops. Gambia hailed the action by six ministers of the member States of the South African Development Community (SADC) in a communique warning UNITA supporters of the negative consequences of their continued support of the Movement.
Gambia believed that both the Government of Angola and UNITA must be urged to safeguard their obligation as well as give their honest and resolute support in accomplishing the remaining tasks of the Lusaka Protocol, he said. While it was important to successfully accomplish the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol, it was equally important to consolidate and sustain the gains realized. Those major tasks required the continued presence and involvement of MONUA, and therefore Gambia supported the extension of the mandate of MONUA and also beyond.
As a result of the protracted war in Angola, the security covenant that should exist between the Angolan people and their Government could remain fragile for a long time, he said. Therefore, it was vital to offer assistance in fostering a culture of respect for human rights and fundamental freedom. MONUA's military task force should continue to enforce the cease-fire, while the civilian police should provide monitoring and training of the Angolan National Police to ensure that democratic principles could finally take root. The continued presence of MONUA in Angola should not be limited by time; rather, it should be measured by the impact made in the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol.
JASSIM MOHAMMED BUALLAY (Bahrain) said it was important to bring to end the long-standing conflict in Angola so that the peace process could move forward. The presence of the United Nations hinged on achieving a final and positive conclusion to the tragic situation in that country. Unless the conflict ended, it would be difficult to resettle the displaced persons and provide essential services to them, not withstanding efforts of the United Nations specialized agencies working in Angola. Therefore, his Government would vote in favour of the resolution due to the need to support peace and security in Angola. The genuine commitment of both parties was needed to fulfil obligations contained in the recently agreed upon timetable to implement the Lusaka Protocol.
CHARLES ESSONGHE (Gabon), said that MONUA's mission was vital and it must be given all the means necessary for its success. It was essential to strengthen its military and administrative personnel. There had been several calls for UNITA and the Angolan Government to observe the new timetable for implementing the remaining tasks of the Lusaka Protocol and to cooperate with
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MONUA. The long-awaited meeting between President dos Santos and Mr. Savimbi would help the peace process. The resolution before the Council highlighted the need for demining efforts to continue and for the integration of combatants into civilian life, without which peace would not be secured,
NANCY SODERBERG (United States), welcomed the new timetable for completing the remaining tasks of the Lusaka Protocol by 28 February. That and the upcoming summit between President dos Santos and Mr. Savimbi signalled a renewed commitment by the Angolan Government and UNITA to end the decades- long conflict and to work towards national reconciliation and reconstruction. The fulfillment of the peace process was now in sight. She urged the parties to comply strictly with the timetable and, in the spirit of national reconciliation, to exercise restraint and protect the rights of all Angolan citizens as the peace process proceeded. If UNITA moved rapidly to complete the remaining tasks in the peace process, the United States stood ready to reconsider the need for sanctions. The burden was on UNITA.
She said UNITA and the Government would be able to count on continued international support during the current critical stage of the peace process. The United States would vote in favour of a three-month extension of MONUA, including the retention of 1,045 military personnel. The resolution provided the needed flexibility by requesting a mid-term report in March by the Secretary-General. At that time, the Council would be able to review the peace process and consider whether and how the international community could further assist in a post-MONUA context.
On a related issue, she urged the Angolan Government to withdraw its forces expeditiously from Congo-Brazzaville. The Government's integrated police and armed forces should protect United Nations and other international personnel as MONUA phased out of Angola. In addition, she called on all States to respond to the consolidated inter-agency appeal for Angola in 1998. The United States was concerned that only about 10,000 of an estimated 6 to 8 million landmines had been cleared from Angola and asked all countries to join its efforts to increase demining in Angola and globally, so that all landmines which threatened citizens could be cleared by the year 2010.
ALAIN DEJAMMET (France) said he associated himself fully with the statement made by the representative of the United Kingdom on behalf of the European Union. He confirmed his Government's support for the draft resolution before the Council. The situation in Angola had shown positive developments, particularly the agreement on the implementation of the timetable of the Lusaka Protocol. France encouraged the Angolan Government and UNITA to attain the goals set in the agreed timetable, and particularly hoped that the plans for a meeting between President dos Santos and Dr.
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Savembi would come about. On the basis of the recommendations to be submitted by the Secretary-General in March, the Security Council should consider the ways and means that MONUA could be reconstructed to meet existing circumstances. In the present situation, the recommendations in the Secretary-General's report would help to build on the favourable developments in Angola.
Action on Draft
The draft resolution before the Council was adopted unanimously as Council resolution 1149 (1998).
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