12 January 1999


Press Release
SC/6625



SECURITY COUNCIL REITERATES DEMAND THAT UNITA LEADER COOPERATE IMMEDIATELY IN SEARCH FOR SURVIVORS OF RECENT PLANE CRASHES

19990112
Unanimously Adopting Resolution 1221 (1999), Council Condemns Downing Of Two United Nations Planes and Deplores Loss of Other Commercial Aircraft

Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter, the Security Council this afternoon reiterated its demand that the leader of the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), Jonas Savimbi, cooperate immediately and in good faith in the search for survivors of recent crashes of United Nations and other commercial aircraft in UNITA-controlled territory.

Unanimously adopting resolution 1221 (1999), the Council concluded that Mr. Savimbi had not complied with its demands, contained in resolution 1219 (1998) of 31 December 1998, that he immediately respond to United Nations appeals and guarantee security and access in the search and rescue efforts. (The United Nations lost two chartered planes on 26 December 1998 and 2 January respectively, while four other commercial aircraft are missing.)

The Council condemned the downing of the two United Nations planes, deplored the loss under suspicious circumstances of the other commercial aircraft and demanded that all such attacks cease immediately.

It reaffirmed its resolve to establish the truth about the circumstances of the tragic incidents and to determine responsibility for them through an immediate and objective international investigation. It reiterated its call upon all concerned, especially UNITA, to cooperate fully and to facilitate the investigation.

The Council also asked the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to support the investigation as soon as conditions on the ground permitted. Member States with investigative capability and expertise were also urged to similarly assist the United Nations.

By other terms of the resolution, the Council expressed its readiness to pursue reports of violations of the measures previously imposed against UNITA and to take steps to reinforce their implementation. It would consider


additional measures, including in the area of telecommunications on the basis of a report to be prepared by the Council's Sanctions Committee on Angola.

The Council encouraged the Chairman of the Committee to consult with the Organization of African Unity (OAU) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) on ways to strengthen the implementation of the measures against UNITA. (Those sanctions include oil and arms embargoes and travel restrictions on senior UNITA officials).

Speaking in explanation of position, the representative of the United States said his country would vote in favour of the resolution because of its deep concern about the fate of the crews and passengers on the two United Nations aircraft. However, it questioned the reference to Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, since the text did not seek to authorize new international enforcement action. Also, the United States doubted the wisdom of considering sanctions against communications with UNITA, as the importance of such communications had been clearly demonstrated in recent weeks. The conflict could only be resolved through negotiations, not through military action, he stressed.

The meeting, which began at 12:56 p.m., was adjourned at 1:05 p.m.

Text of Resolution

The full text of resolution 1221 (1999) (document S/1999/27), which was sponsored by Brazil, Canada, France, Gabon, Malaysia, Namibia, Portugal and the Russian Federation, reads as follows:

"The Security Council,

"Reaffirming its resolution 696 (1991) of 30 May 1991 and all subsequent relevant resolutions, in particular resolutions 1196 (1998) of 16 September 1998 and 1219 (1998) of 31 December 1998,

"Recalling the statement of its President of 23 December 1998 (S/PRST/1998/37),

"Expressing its outrage at the downing on 2 January 1999 of a second United Nations-chartered aircraft over territory controlled by the União Nacional para a Independência Total de Angola (UNITA), which brings to six the number of aircraft lost in this area in recent months,

"Expressing its deep concern regarding the fate of the passengers and crews of the above-mentioned aircraft, and its deep regret at the loss of life in these incidents,


Security Council - 3 - Press Release SC/6625 3965th Meeting (PM) 12 January 1999

"Stressing that attacks against personnel who act on behalf of the United Nations are unacceptable and unjustifiable by whomsoever committed,

"Deploring the lack of cooperation by UNITA in clarifying the circumstances of these tragic incidents which occurred over territory under its control and in permitting the prompt dispatch of the United Nations search and rescue mission,

"Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,

"1. Condemns the downing of the two aircraft chartered by the United Nations, deplores the loss under suspicious circumstances of other commercial aircraft, and demands that all such attacks cease immediately;

"2. Reaffirms its resolve to establish the truth about the circumstances of and to determine the responsibility for the downing of the two aircraft chartered by the United Nations and the loss under suspicious circumstances of other commercial aircraft over UNITA controlled territory through an immediate and objective international investigation of these tragic incidents, and reiterates its call upon all concerned, especially UNITA, to cooperate fully with and to facilitate such an investigation;

"3. Concludes that the leader of UNITA, Mr. Jonas Savimbi, has not complied with the demands contained in its resolution 1219 (1998) of 31 December 1998;

"4. Reiterates its demand that the leader of UNITA, Mr. Jonas Savimbi, cooperate immediately and in good faith in the search for and rescue of possible survivors of the above-mentioned incidents;

"5. Welcomes the concrete actions undertaken by the Government of Angola to follow up the commitment made by the President of Angola to the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General on 5 January 1999 regarding the cooperation to be extended to the United Nations search and rescue efforts, and encourages it to continue to extend such cooperation;

"6. Requests the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to provide all possible support to the investigation of those incidents as soon as conditions on the ground permit, and urges Member States with investigative capability and expertise to assist the United Nations upon request in the investigation of those incidents;

"7. Stresses the obligation of Member States to comply with the measures imposed against UNITA contained in resolutions 864 (1993) of 15 September 1993, 1127 (1997) of 28 August 1997 and 1173 (1998) of 12 June 1998;


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"8. Expresses its readiness to pursue reports of violations of the measures referred to in paragraph 7 above, to take steps to reinforce the implementation of these measures and to consider the imposition of additional measures, including in the area of telecommunications, on the basis of a report to be prepared by the Committee established pursuant to resolution 864 (1993) by 15 February 1999 drawing on the expertise of relevant bodies and organizations, including the International Telecommunication Union;

"9. Encourages the Chairman of the Committee referred to in paragraph 8 above to consult with the Organization of African Unity (OAU) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) on ways to strengthen the implementation of the measures referred to in paragraph 7 above;

"10. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter."

Explanation of Vote

PETER BURLEIGH (United States) said his country would vote in favour of the resolution because of its deep concern about the fate of the crews and passengers on the two United Nations aircraft which had been recently downed over Angola. The United States urgently called on the Government of Angola and UNITA to cooperate fully with the search and rescue mission, and the investigation of the two tragic incidents.

However, his Government was concerned about two aspects of the resolution, he said. It questioned the appropriateness of the reference to Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, since the resolution did not seek to authorize new international enforcement action. Such a reference might be misunderstood as a step in that direction.

Also, the United States doubted the wisdom of considering imposition of sanctions against communications with UNITA, he continued. The past three weeks had demonstrated the importance of being able to communicate quickly with UNITA on search and rescue operations and other humanitarian concerns.

The conflict could only be resolved through negotiations, and not through military action, he said. A negotiated settlement could not be achieved without communication with all parties. The study requested by the present resolution must address how such communications could be maintained with all parties.

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