Angola UNAVEM III

Prepared by the Department of Public Information, United Nations
Not an official document of the United Nations

UNITED NATIONS ANGOLA VERIFICATION MISSION


RECENT DEVELOPMENTS

(Recent news releases related to UNAVEM III up to 30 June 1997)

Daily Highlights - 30 June 1997

Recognizing the successful contribution of the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III) to the restoration of peace and the process of national reconciliation in country, the Security Council on Monday decided to establish, as of 1 July, the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (MONUA). The new follow-on mission would replace UNAVEM III.

In a unanimous vote on Monday, the Council also decided that the initial mandate of the new mission would end on 31 October 1997.

The Council strongly urged the Government of Angola and, in particular, the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) to complete without delay the remaining political and military aspects of the peace process, including, among other things, the normalization of State administration throughout the territory of Angola, the transformation of the UNITA radio station into a non-partisan broadcasting facility, and the transformation of UNITA into a political party.

Appealing to both parties to refrain from any use of force which could obstruct the full implementation of the peace process, the Council "strongly urged the parties to complete the registration and demobilization of all remaining military elements, the elimination of all obstacles to free circulation of people and goods, and the disarmament of the civilian population".

The Council demanded that UNITA provide to the Joint Commission without delay complete information regarding all armed personnel under its control in order for them to be verified, disarmed and demobilized in accordance with the Lusaka Protocol and other agreements between the parties.

It urged the international community to provide assistance to facilitate the demobilization and social reintegration of ex-combatants and the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the Angolan national economy in order to consolidate the gains in the peace process.

* * *

Daily Press Briefing - 10 June 1997

Fred Eckhard, Spokesman for the Secretary-General, began today's press briefing by announcing that the Secretary-General's Special Representative for Angola, Alioune Blondin Beye, had met today with the President of the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), Jonas Savimbi, in Bailundo. Mr. Savimbi had given Mr. Beye renewed assurance of cooperation which had become necessary because of the recent events in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the disputes over the diamond-producing areas. Those events had contributed to a serious escalation of tensions in the Lunda Norte and Lunda Sul provinces on the Angola-Congo border. The Secretary-General had seen Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos during the recent Organization of African Unity (OAU) summit in Harare, Mr. Eckhard said. United Nations efforts were now focused on keeping the peace process active and in preventing the tensions in the north from escalating into serious military conflict. Mr. Eckhard said the Secretary-General was in the process of briefing the Security Council on his attendance at the OAU summit and also on developments in Africa. In his briefing on Angola, Mr. Eckhard said, the Secretary-General should mention that the Force Commander of the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III), Major-General Philip V. Sibanda, had visited Andrada, which was about 50 kilometres from the Congo border in the Lunda Norte province, on 6 June. The Force Commander's observations confirmed that heavy fighting had occurred in the area. He had received witnesses' accounts of casualties and the types of forces that were in the area. On 8 June, United Nations military observers had received reports of continued hostilities around Andrada and heard the sound of artillery fire. Fighting was continuing in the area. At the end of the Secretary-General's briefing of the Security Council, he would respond to questions from correspondents at the stake-out position outside the Security Council Chamber, Mr. Eckhard said.

Daily Press Briefing - 5 - 6 June 1997

What was the status of the reconciliation process in Angola? a correspondent asked. Mr. Eckhard said the peace process continued to move along at a relatively slow pace, but it was going in the right direction. The United Nations effort was now focusing more on reconstruction, although events in the Democratic Republic of the Congo had created a refugee situation which caused the mobilization of Angolan Government troops and fighting in northern Angola. During that time, the Secretary-General's Special Representative for Angola, Alioune Blondin Beye, had spoken to both sides and they had assured him they would not let events in the north disrupt the peace process. President dos Santos had given the Secretary-General further assurances during the OAU summit. The United Nations was watching the situation closely, but "it was not blowing the whistle yet". What did the leader of UNITA, Jonas Savimbi, say to the Secretary- General? a correspondent asked, adding that there were reports that he was pulling out. Mr. Eckhard said he had not heard those reports. Mr. Beye had contact with Mr. Savimbi when events first developed and he had given the same assurances as the Government that he would not let those events scuttle the peace process. The parties were in the middle of negotiating the terms of the transition of administrative authority to the entire country by the new Government of National Unity and Reconciliation. Mr. Beye was expected to report some time today on further developments.

***

Daily Press Briefing - 3 May 1997

The Spokesman's Office had received several questions concerning Angola, Mr. Eckhard said, because of press reports of fighting in the northern part of the country. There was some concern at Headquarters about those reports. While firsthand information was unavailable because access to the area of the fighting had been restricted, to his knowledge the recent fighting was not as serious or intense as some of the press reports indicated, particularly those that described it as the biggest offensive in two years. The Security Council had been briefed on Tuesday, 27 May, that there had been significant troop movements in the north, which had been an area of tension for a long time because of the diamond mines located there, he continued. Areas of the north had been controlled by the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), and under the peace agreement the entire country was to come under the administrative control of the new Government of National Unity and Reconciliation. The events in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, to the north, had changed the strategic equation and had added to the tensions. The United Nations was watching the situation very closely, and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Angola, Alioune Blondin Beye, had approached both sides about the fighting and had received their assurances of commitment to the peace process. The Council would also continue to be briefed on developments there.

***

Adopting Resolution 1106 (1997) Unanimously, Council Requests Report by 6 June on Continued UN Presence

Security Council Press Release SC/6359 - 3767th and 3769th Meetings (AM & PM) 16 April 1997

The Security Council this afternoon extended the mandate of the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III) until 30 June 1997, with the understanding that the Mission would proceed with the transition towards an observer mission that would focus on political, police and human rights aspects, as well as on humanitarian and public information programmes in support of the national reconciliation process.

Following two meetings and statements by 29 speakers on the situation in Angola, the Council unanimously adopted resolution 1106 (1997) by which it also requested the Secretary-General to complete the withdrawal of UNAVEM III military units as scheduled, taking into account progress in the remaining relevant aspects of the peace process.

The Council expressed its intention to consider the establishment of a follow-on United Nations presence to succeed UNAVEM III and requested the Secretary-General to submit a report, no later than 6 June, containing recommendations regarding the structure, specific goals and cost implications of such a mission.

Reiterating the importance of full implementation by the Government of Angola and the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) of their commitments to the peace process, the Council strongly urged them to complete without delay the remaining military aspects of the process, including the incorporation of UNITA soldiers into the Angolan Armed Forces and demobilization, and the selection and incorporation of UNITA personnel into the Angolan National Police. The Council also urged the parties to complete the normalization of State administration throughout the national territory.

The Council also expressed its hope for a meeting between the President of Angola and the leader of UNITA.

The representative of Angola said the formation of a government of national unity did not mean that the peace process was finished. None the less, Angolans could now turn to the establishment of the rule of law under which individual and collective rights were respected and in which political differences could be resolved in parliament. Although national reconstruction was a challenge requiring continued international support, the future of Angola was now in the hands of Angolans.

Expressing the concern voiced by most speakers over the need to complete the political and military aspects of the Lusaka Protocol, the representative of the Russian Federation said failure to resolve those issues could lead to new difficulties. He called on the parties to fulfil the remaining aspects of the peace process.

The representative of the United States expressed concern over persistent reports of Angolan involvement in the conflict in Zaire. He called upon all Angolans to put an immediate halt to such actions and to give their full support to the international effort to reach a negotiated settlement to the conflict on the basis of the United Nations five-point peace plan.

***


Resolution 1102 (1997), Adopted Unanimously, Requests Report on Status of New Government by 14 April

Security Council Press Release - SC/6349 3759th Meeting (Night) 31 March 1997

Welcoming the decision of the Government of Angola to install the Government of Unity and National Reconciliation on 11 April, the Security Council this evening extended the mandate of the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III) until 16 April and requested the Secretary- General to report by 14 April on the status of the installation of the new Government.

With its unanimous adoption of resolution 1102 (1997), the Council commended the Secretary-General's efforts to move the peace process forward during his recent visit to Angola and called upon the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) and the Angolan Government to form the new Government by 11 April. That date for formation of the new Government was recently announced by the Joint Commission that monitors the 1994 Lusaka Protocol, a comprehensive peace agrement signed between the Government of Angola and UNITA. The Joint Commission includes the Angolan Government, UNITA, the United Nations and the observer countries of the United States, Russian Federation and Portugal.

By other terms of the draft resolution, the Council welcomed the arrival in Luanda, after considerable delay in the implementation of the provisions of the Lusaka Protocol, of the UNITA deputies and future officials of the new Government, in accordance with subsequent agreements between the two parties.

The Council called upon both parties to remove all remaining obstacles to the peace process and to implement without further delay its remaining military and political aspects, in particular, incorporating UNITA soldiers into the Angolan Armed Forces, demobilization, and normalization of State administration throughout the national territory.

Also by the draft, the Council decided that it remained ready to consider the imposition of measures, including, among others, trade and travel restrictions on UNITA personnel, as stated in paragraph 26 of resolution 864 (1993) of 15 September 1993, if the Government of Unity and National Reconciliation was not installed by 11 April.

The Council's action followed a briefing earlier today by the Secretary- General on the status of the Angolan peace process and the installation of the new Government, particularly his 22 to 25 March visit to Angola and his meetings with Angolan President Josť Eduardo dos Santos and the leader of UNITA, Jonas Savimbi.

The UNAVEM III was established in 1995 to assist the parties in Angola in restoring peace and achieving national reconciliation on the basis of the 1991 "Acordos de Paz" and the Lusaka Protocol. The mandate includes: providing good offices and mediation to the parties; monitoring and verifying the extension of State administration throughout the country and of national reconciliation; and supervising the control and verification of the disengagement of forces.

The Council's meeting began at 6:15 p.m. and adjourned at 6:18 p.m.

Report of Secretary-General

In his report of 25 March on UNAVEM III (document S/1997/248), the Secretary-General recommends that the Security Council extend the Mission's mandate for two weeks only, until 15 April, given the uncertainty concerning the exact date for the inauguration of the Government of Unity and National Reconciliation

He states that, while there has been little progress towards implementation of the remaining aspects of the 1994 Lusaka Protocol, the meetings he held during his Angola visit of 22 to 25 March with President Josť Eduardo dos Santos and the leader of UNITA, Jonas Savimbi, had given rise to positive expectations for the peace process. If the promise made by Mr. Savimbi to send to Luanda the rest of the UNITA National Assembly deputies and other designated officials, then the Government of Unity and National Reconciliation could be established in the very near future. "Final and courageous steps need to be taken by the two parties and their leaders in order to complete the peace process expeditiously", he stresses.

During the period covered by the report, the Secretary-General's Special Representative, Alioune Blondin Beye, in collaboration with the representatives of the three observer States (Portugal, Russian Federation and the United States), held intensive consultations on the implementation of Council resolution 1098 (1997). The consultations focused on the formation of the Government of Unity and National Reconciliation under the agreed timetable. That timetable concerned such things as the incorporation of UNITA members into the Angola Armed Forces and the arrival of UNITA members in Luanda for participation in the National Assembly.

The timetable was established by the Joint Commission (Angolan Government, UNITA, United Nations and the three observer States), which was created to monitor the comprehensive peace agreement between the two parties - - the Lusaka Protocol. According to resolution 1098 (1997), the Council will consider the imposition of measures, including trade and travel restrictions on UNITA personnel, if there is a continued delay in the timetable.

The Secretary-General points out that on 21 March the Joint Commission adopted a draft law on the special status of Mr. Savimbi as the leader of the largest opposition party. That draft is to be presented to the National Assembly for action. The Joint Commission also adopted an updated timetable for the implementation of the outstanding provisions of the Lusaka Protocol.

The UNAVEM III was established in 1995 to assist the parties in Angola in restoring peace and achieving national reconciliation on the basis of the 1991 "Accordos de Paz" and the Lusaka Protocol. The mandate includes providing good offices and mediation to the parties; monitoring and verifying the extension of State administration throughout the country and of national reconciliation; and supervising the control and verification of the disengagement of forces.

As of 20 March, 5,297 United Nations troops, 396 military observers and 258 police observers were deployed throughout Angola, according to the report. In the Secretary-General's 2 December 1996 withdrawal plan, the strength of the Mission will have been reduced by approximately 30 per cent in April. The Special Representative and the Force Commander have recommended that the further withdrawal of infantry units be slightly delayed, although the overall process should be completed by the end of August.

The Secretary-General notes that Mr. Savimbi had promised during their recent meetings that all remaining UNITA National Assembly deputies would be sent to Luanda by 25 March. The rest of the designated officials would, according to the UNITA leader, proceed to Luanda not later than 26 March.

The text of resolution 1102 (1997) reads as follows:

"The Security Council,

"Reaffirming its resolution 696 (1991) of 30 May 1991 and all subsequent relevant resolutions,

"Recalling the statements of its President of 30 January 1997 (S/PRST/1997/3) and of 21 March 1997 (S/PRST/1997/17),

"Reaffirming its commitment to preserve the unity and territorial integrity of Angola,

"Reiterating the importance it attaches to full implementation by the Government of Angola and the Uniao Nacional para a IndependÍncia Total de Angola (UNITA) of the "Acordos de Paz" (S/22609, annex), the Lusaka Protocol (S/1994/1441, annex) and the relevant Security Council resolutions,

"Stressing that it is imperative for the parties to take urgent and decisive steps to fulfil their commitments in order to ensure the continued involvement of the international community in the peace process in Angola,

"Having considered the report of the Secretary-General of 25 March 1997 (S/1997/248),

"1. Commends the efforts of the Secretary-General during his recent visit to Angola to move the peace process forward;

"2. Welcomes the arrival in Luanda, although after considerable delay in the implementation of the provisions of the Lusaka Protocol, of the UNITA deputies and future officials of the Government of Unity and National Reconciliation (GURN), in accordance with subsequent agreements between the two parties;

"3. Also welcomes the decision of the Government of Angola, as announced by the Joint Commission, to install the GURN on 11 April 1997;

"4. Calls upon both parties to form the GURN on that date

"5. Also calls upon both parties to remove all remaining obstacles to the peace process and to implement without further delay the remaining military and political aspects of the peace process, in particular the incorporation of UNITA soldiers into the Angolan Armed Forces, demobilization, and normalization of State administration throughout the national territory;

"6. Decides to extend the mandate of UNAVEM III until 16 April 1997, and requests the Secretary-General to report by 14 April 1997 on the status of the installation of the GURN;

"7. Further decides that, in accordance with resolution 1098 (1997) of 27 February 1997, it remains ready to consider the imposition of measures, including, inter alia, those specifically mentioned in paragraph 26 of resolution 864 (1993) of 15 September 1993, if the GURN is not formed by 11 April 1997;

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



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