ANGOLA MISSION MUST NOT BE UNDERMINED BY FAILED PROMISES OF LEADERS, UNITED STATES TELLS SECURITY COUNCIL
ANGOLA MISSION MUST NOT BE UNDERMINED BY FAILED PROMISES OF LEADERS, UNITED STATES TELLS SECURITY COUNCIL
ANGOLA MISSION MUST NOT BE UNDERMINED BY FAILED PROMISES OF LEADERS, UNITED STATES TELLS SECURITY COUNCIL19960206 Twenty-five Speakers Address Situation in Angola, Extension of Mission; Military Units Will Be Rapidly Quartered, UNITA Leader Assures United States
"The United States will not allow a sound peace-keeping operation -- which spends nearly $1 million per day -- to be slowly undermined by the failure of the leaders to fulfil their promises", the representative of the United States told the Security Council this morning, during an orientation debate on the situation in Angola and possible extension of the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III). If the Secretary-General reported insufficient progress, she said the Council would reevaluate the merit of continuing that mission to February 1997.
During a second intervention today, the United States representative said that during the two-hour suspension of today's meeting the leader of the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), Jonas Savimbi, had told her by telephone that he felt personally responsible for ensuring the quartering of UNITA military units. Delays in that process had been a cause for concern, but he foresaw the successful cantonment of 14,500 troops by Thursday and another 2,000 by Saturday, 10 February.
Twenty-five speakers addressed the Council today, expressing widespread support for the Angolan Government's withdrawal of troops from offensive positions in proximity to the quartering areas designated for UNITA units, the release of prisoners of war, the quartering of its rapid-reaction police and the repatriation of foreign military personnel. Speakers also urged UNITA to begin quartering its forces, cooperate with UNAVEM III and provide security guarantees for humanitarian workers in zones under its control.
The representative of Angola told the Council that major progress had been made in the peace process, notably the maintenance of the cease-fire one year after its signing. But his Government was concerned over the continuing military activities of UNITA forces. He called on the Security Council to take effective measures against the Government of Zaire, which he said continued to serve as a base for UNITA planes transporting supplies of lethal material. Leadership positions in the Angolan Armed Forces had been reserved for re-integrated soldiers of UNITA, he said.
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The representative of Portugal said that he looked forward to a meeting between President Jose Eduardo dos Santos and Mr. Savimbi of UNITA, the return of UNITA members of Parliament, the assumption by UNITA of Angola's Vice Presidency and the participation of UNITA at all levels of Government.
The representative of the Russian Federation said that it was time for the international community to stop accepting the endless manoeuvres of UNITA. The present UNITA policy recalled its actions at the end of 1992, which had resulted in the breakdown of peace and the resumption of civil war.
The representative of Italy, speaking on behalf of the European Union, stressed the importance of international support for the Angolan peace process. Expressing concern over the deterioration of the Angolan economy, he said that without a strong stabilization policy, it would not be possible to establish reconstruction and social development.
At the outset of the meeting this morning, the representative of the United States, in her capacity as President of the Security Council, expressed sympathy to the Government and people of China for the loss of life and property suffered in the recent earthquake in that country.
Also speaking in today's orientation debate were the representatives of Honduras, Germany, China, Republic of Korea, United Kingdom, France, Poland, Egypt, Guinea-Bissau, Indonesia, Botswana, Chile, Norway, Zimbabwe, Brazil, Lesotho, South Africa, Tunisia, New Zealand and Zambia.
The meeting convened at 11 a.m. and adjourned at 4:35 p.m.
The Security Council meets this morning to consider the situation in Angola. Noting that failure of past attempts to bring peace to Angola underscores the need for active international involvement and encouragement, the Secretary-General recommends, in his report to the Council (document S/1996/75), that the mandate of the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III) be extended for a further six months, until 8 August. The General Assembly has authorized commitments at a monthly rate of not more than $28,229,100 gross for the maintenance of UNAVEM III from 9 February to 30 June, subject to the extension of its mandate.
The UNAVEM III was established last February to help the Government of Angola and the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) restore peace and achieve national reconciliation. The mission is to be concluded with achievement of the objectives of the 1994 Lusaka Protocol. The Protocol consist of eight annexes, which cover all military, legal and political issues agreed to at the peace talks which preceded it and contains a schedule that envisions completion by February 1997. One of the main military issues concerns the withdrawal, quartering and demilitarization of the military forces of UNITA.
The latest report of the Secretary-General is submitted pursuant to Security Council resolution 1008 (1995) of 7 August 1995, by which the Council decided to extend the mandate of the Mission until 8 February. It reviews major events from 8 August 1995 and covers developments since the Secretary- General's last report of 7 December 1995 (S/1995/1012). In particular, it covers political and military matters, including observance of the cease-fire, the quartering process, demining and road rehabilitation, as well as UNAVEM III's strength and development. Police, human rights, as well as humanitarian and economic and social, issues are also dealt with in the report.
The Secretary-General states that the peace process in Angola has been proceeding at a disappointingly slow pace. Since August 1995, recurring impasses alternated with brief periods of cooperation between the Government and UNITA, and the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol is still woefully behind schedule. The United Nations has spared no effort to create the environment necessary for the implementation of the Protocol. However, a deep-seated mistrust and a lack of political will to take decisive measures have prevented the parties from honouring their commitments.
The report notes that, recently, both the Government of Angola and UNITA agreed on a new timetable to move the peace process forward. The agreement is a welcome development, but that major steps need to be taken to dispel the international community's growing impatience and scepticism about the peace process. "The time has come to match promises with concrete action", the Secretary-General says, adding that the parties will be doing great disservice
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to the people of Angola, the future of their country and their own credibility if they continue to fail to honour their commitments. The latest assurances about the implementation of the new timetable should be strictly adhered to, he urges.
According to the report, the Government has taken some significant steps, including the start of quartering of its rapid reaction police, and the release of 350 registered prisoners. All prisoners identified by the Government have thus been freed. The Government also announced that it was terminating its contract with the South African firm, Executive Outcomes, which has provided it with military and security support.
The Secretary-General urges UNITA to also respond positively by a large- scale and fully verifiable movement of its troops to quartering areas. He says there is no excuse for further delays in the release of all prisoners or in providing the United Nations with the information required by the Lusaka Protocol. He urges the parties to take bold measures to make the peace process irreversible. The talks on military matters should be concluded as a matter of urgency, with workable and fair agreements concerning the incorporation of UNITA troops in the Angolan Armed Forces and the gradual demobilization of its other forces. The assembly of UNITA soldiers has to be accompanied by an accelerated withdrawal of the Angolan Armed Forces to the nearest barracks and the completion of the quartering of the Government's rapid reaction police.
The Secretary-General urges Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos and UNITA leader Jonas Savimbi to meet as soon as possible to promote mutual confidence and resolve outstanding issues. He says the success of the peace process lies in the hands of the Angolan parties and that he is convinced that the international community will continue to respond positively to all constructive initiatives taken by them.
On demining and road rehabilitation, the report says that, after a review, the Secretariat approved an accelerated implementation of the mine action plan for Angola as of 1 January, aimed at developing a sustainable national mine-clearance capacity. The Central Mine Action Training School, organized by UNAVEM III, had commenced its first course for 25 Angolan instructors, to be followed by a demining course in Kuito for 66 students. Mine awareness training, in which the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and several non-governmental organizations were involved, continued in several parts of the country.
The report says the humanitarian situation in the country had improved somewhat. However, large segments of the population still required massive emergency assistance. This month (February), the Department of Humanitarian Affairs would issue a revised version of the current inter-agency appeal, extending the existing humanitarian programme through 1996. The Angolan
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economy during the past six months deteriorated further, resulting in a budget deficit of $600 million. The financing of the deficit fuelled inflation which reached 2,000 per cent for 1995.
As of 25 January, the strength of UNAVEM III military personnel was 6,384, including 342 military observers, deployed at 54 sites. United Nations troops are present in all quartering areas and storage sites for weapons collected from UNITA. The UNAVEM III civilian police observers, composed of 225 officers, have been deployed to 33 team sites and have stepped up monitoring the neutrality of the Angolan National Police, security arrangements for UNITA leaders in Luanda, quartering of the Government's rapid reaction police, free circulation of people and goods, as well as the general law and order situation in the country. The report says there is an urgent need for the Government and UNITA to agree on a comprehensive security plan for UNITA leaders. The disarmament of the civilian population, an essential element of the Lusaka Protocol, has not commenced, the report says, adding that the increasing number of acts of banditry and the deterioration of law and order throughout Angola calls for its expeditious start.
The report notes that, as of 22 January, unpaid assessed contributions to the UNAVEM special account for the period since the inception of the Mission to 31 December 1995 amounted to $26.4 million. The total outstanding assessed contributions for all peace-keeping operations as of 22 January 1996 was $1,680.3 million.
AFONSO VAN DUNEM "MBINDA" (Angola) said that the Lusaka Protocol had entered its most decisive and defining stage, not without difficulties. Some problems had been caused by non-compliance on the part of UNITA; others had resulted from the very complexity of implementing the agreement. The Lusaka Protocol had a broad scope. It aimed to cease military hostilities and called for genuine national reconciliation.
Major progress had been made, notably the maintenance of the cease-fire one year after its signing, he continued. The main issue now was the quartering of UNITA forces, disarmament and demobilization. Delays in that process had affected the formation of a national army. The repeated arguments presented by UNITA to justify delays in the quartering of its troops were unfounded.
Angola was concerned about continuing military activities on the part of UNITA forces, including attacks against both military and civilian targets, he said. The UNITA should end those activities which were violations of the cease-fire and which undermined the whole process.
In UNITA-controlled areas, people were suffering human rights abuses, he said. His Government could not remain indifferent to that situation. The Security Council should encourage the use of appropriate means to make all the
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parties fulfil their responsibilities under the peace process. Recent disruptions in the process had increased the impatience of the international community.
He said his Government had sent national army units back to their closest barracks; had confined the rapid reaction police to their barracks; had ended its agreement with Executive Outcomes, the South African company which had been training specialists in the national army; and had unconditionally released 350 UNITA prisoners, although UNITA had not responded in kind.
There were leadership positions in the Angolan Armed Forces guaranteed for UNITA as soon as the quartering and subsequent integration of 30,000 UNITA military personal in the Angolan Armed Forces was complete, he continued. His Government had endeavoured to reinforce political dialogue with the UNITA leadership, including at the highest level, with some encouraging results. It would continue to make as much effort as possible to reaffirm the irreversible character of the pacification process in Angola.
He said he would interpret the extension of the UNAVEM mandate as a vote of confidence by the international community. The term of that mandate should be reasonable, and appropriate to the accomplishment of the tasks required by the Protocol. In Angola, the United Nations was carrying out one of the largest peace operations in its history. The Secretary-General had been clear in blaming UNITA for the difficulties raised regarding the distribution of emergency humanitarian aid.
The Government of Angola had repeatedly stated before the Council that there continued to be violations of its resolutions prohibiting the supply of military assistance, by the Government of Zaire. That Government continued to serve as a base for UNITA planes that violated the air space of Angola and clandestinely landed in territory under its control to obtain supplies of lethal material. The Council and the Sanctions Committee should adopt urgent and effective measures in order to discourage Zaire from engaging in such behaviour, which could only contribute to increasing obstacles to the implementation of the Accords.
FRANCESCO PAOLO FULCI (Italy), speaking on behalf of the European Union, said Poland, Romania, Slovak Republic, Lithuania, Latvia, Malta and Cyprus associated themselves with the statement. He said the peace process was at a turning point, and it was up to the Angolan parties to demonstrate whether the new direction would be a positive one. Faithful cooperation between the parties would be the primary ingredient to strengthen the peace process and make it irreversible.
He said the European Union welcomed the commitment recently made both by the Government and by UNITA on a new timetable to move the peace process
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forward. It was also encouraged by the steps taken so far in that direction, especially by the Government of Angola, and urged both parties to increase cooperation on important aspects of the peace agrement, such as the information of the joint armed forces.
It now appeared essential, he said, that UNITA confirmed its recent pledge to accelerate the quartering of its troops, which had not yet reached significant levels. The European Union had learned yesterday that only 3,659 soldiers -- out of the 16,500 to be demobilized by 8 February -- were present in the quartering areas. Failure in that essential task could jeopardize the entire peace process and have an adverse effect on the support the international community had shown so far. Noting the steps taken by the Government of Angola in the implementation of the peace process, he said it should now speed up compliance with those commitments.
He said delays in the demining activities raised serious concerns as did reports that efforts of the Angolan parties in that area continued to be minimal. Demining had a strong humanitarian significance because of the intense suffering land mines imposed on civilian populations, especially children. Demining would also allow the resumption of productive activities, thus, increasing the gradual return to normal conditions of life throughout the country.
Expressing concern over the further deterioration of the Angolan economy, he said without a strong stabilization policy it would not be possible to establish the basis for reconstruction and social economic development. Both parties should facilitate and ensure the safety of the delivery of humanitarian assistance. The European Union and its member States would continue to make assistance available to the Angolan population, provided that security conditions improved.
The European Union stressed the importance of international support for the peace process in Angola, and underlined the stabilizing role of UNAVEM III in the current fragile situation. It reaffirmed its strong support for the operation. It was crucial that UNAVEM III operated as efficiently as possible, and that due consideration was given to the security of its personnel. A number of initiatives had recently been undertaken to signal to the parties the growing impatience of the international community, which had responded generously to the appeals for financing the rehabilitation of that country, and the need to make concrete progress in the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol. The European Union remained committed to the Angolan peace process, and was working with both the Government and UNITA to urge them to make rapid progress in the implementation of the Lusaka protocol, and towards peace.
GERARDO MARTINEZ BLANCO (Honduras) said that the peace process in Angola continued at a slow pace. Commitments entered into by the Government --
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notably the release of prisoners, the repatriation of mercenaries and the withdrawal of their forces from the zones where UNITA was being quartered -- had not been met by equivalent steps from UNITA. The UNITA had not yet taken concrete measures, notably the quartering of its troops, which could advance the peace process.
It was an important step that the parties had agreed in January to establish a high-level conflict prevention group, he continued. At the same time, he regretted that the parties were not cooperating with mine clearance and the repair of access roads and bridges. It was imperative that the parties fulfil the provisions of the Lusaka Protocol. They should resume quartering their troops as soon as possible and refrain from military action. Negotiations on the structure of a joint armed forces should continue. They should also apply the UNAVEM plan for the demobilization of forces and cooperate with humanitarian organizations and provide for the security of their staff.
Many tasks remained uncompleted in Angola, he said. But peace and security in Angola were ultimately the responsibility of Angolans themselves. The international community should assist them in that task. The UNAVEM III should support the parties so long as they demonstrated the will to peace.
TONO EITEL (Germany) said his Government associated itself fully with the statement Italy had made on behalf of the European Union. He said both parties in Angola had to be reminded that the inconsistent pace of the peace process in recent months had given rise to some doubts as to their will for peace. The parties should know that the international community expected them to do their utmost to consolidate peace in Angola. There would be no United Nations peace-keeping operation in Angola after February 1997.
At the same time, he recognized that the Angolan Government in recent months had made greater efforts to fulfil its obligations arising from the Lusaka Protocol. He welcomed, in particular, the withdrawal of government forces from advanced positions, the beginning of the quartering of its rapid reaction police, as well as the release of all registered prisoners. He called on the Angolan Government to continue in that vein, and appealed to UNITA to renew its efforts to meet its obligations as well. Following recent setbacks and the deterioration of mutual trust, any confidence-building measures that might restore the climate of confidence must be supported. A further meeting between President Jose Eduardo dos Santos and Jonas Savimbi, UNITA leader, in the near future might be first step towards renewed trust.
He called on the Angolan Government and UNITA to adhere to the Lusaka Protocol and the timetable agreed upon on 12 January by both parties regarding the implementation of their respective obligations. Those included, in particular, the strict adherence to the cease-fire agreement, ending all hostile actions and human rights violations, beginning coordinated demining
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activities, and refraining from obstructing or endangering the safety of UNAVEM troops, as well as humanitarian deliveries. In that context, it was very important, he said, that UNAVEM Radio was given access to the air waves. Further efforts should be made, as well, to integrate UNITA contingents into the national army. UNITA personnel should also participate in the country's administration, he said.
It was important for UNITA to understand, he said, that any further progress would depend on its willingness to keep step with the Government and to make efforts accordingly in implementing the Lusaka Protocol. The international community would not understand any further delay in the quartering process. The UNITA had promised to quarter 16,500 troops by 8 February. Mr. Savimbi had repeated that pledge during the visit to Angola of the President of the Council. Fulfilment of the quartering at the promised date would prove UNITA's political will to move towards peace. That was a cornerstone of the peace process, he said, adding that UNITA should release all prisoners.
He said it should be clear that international assistance for the rehabilitation and construction of Angola's national economy would only be forthcoming if both parties provided concrete proof of their will for peace. They had to meet their obligations under the Lusaka agreement and respect the agreed timetable for its implementation. He expressed Germany's concern about the financial situation of UNAVEM, which constituted a serious threat to its ability to carry out its mandate. It was of the utmost importance that all Member States pay their assessed contributions in full and on time.
QIN HUASUN (China) said the meeting demonstrated the determination of the Council to further support the peace process in Angola, as well as the readiness of the international community to make further efforts for the restoration of peace and stability in that country. The Chinese Government fully endorsed that objective.
He said the Angolan peace process was at a critical moment. The Angolan Government and UNITA had agreed upon a new timetable, and the Government had taken encouraging initiatives in the quartering of forces and release of prisoners of war. At the same time, however, the Angolan peace process was still making slow progress. The implementation of the Lusaka Protocol had been repeatedly postponed. The two sides still lacked mutual trust and political will. No further meeting had yet been held between President Jose Eduardo dos Santos and Jonas Savimbi to date. It was necessary for the two sides, particularly UNITA, to make concerted efforts so that "boat of peace process will steer clear of rapids and sail to success".
He said the Chinese delegation was of the view that negotiation and dialogue remained the only way for Angola to remove differences and achieve national reconciliation. He hoped that the two sides, particularly UNITA,
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would honour their commitment and, taking into account their national interests, cooperate with UNAVEM III and implement in a comprehensive manner the Lusaka Protocol and the relevant resolutions of the Council so as to create conditions to advance the peace process and achieve national reconciliation. In settling the question of Angola, it was also necessary to attach importance to and support the role of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) and the neighbouring countries of Angola.
The Chinese Government had been firmly supporting the peace process in Angola and deeply sympathized with the Angolan people in their sufferings from the war, he said. It was in that spirit that it had provided that country with some humanitarian assistance and production facilities. It would continue to contribute, together with the international community, to peace and stability in Angola.
CHOI SUNG HONG (Republic of Korea) said that the Mission had played an indispensable role in consolidating peace and stability in Angola. The Republic of Korea was strongly committed to achieving lasting peace and reconstruction in Angola, as testified by the participation of an army engineering unit of the Republic of Korea in UNAVEM III.
He said the initial jubilation at the conclusion of the Lusaka Protocol had given way to a more sober mood as the parties grappled with the practical difficulties of implementing the Protocol. The frequent breaches of the cease-fire, delays in the quartering and disarming of troops and many other problems had set the peace process back. The lack of progress in the implementation of the Protocol was disappointing, but positive new developments portended a chance of moving the peace process forward. The steps taken by the Angolan Government in the last few weeks were encouraging. He welcomed the start of the quartering of the rapid reaction police and the release of all registered prisoners by the Government.
The future of the peace process hinged on the successful completion of the most immediate task of quartering UNITA troops, he said. In that regard, he noted Mr. Savimbi's commitment to complete the quartering of 16,500 UNITA troops by 8 February. The sincerity of UNITA and its political will would be tested by the fulfilment of Mr. Savimbi's pledge. He also called on UNITA to release all remaining prisoners without further delay.
Stressing the importance of demining and road rehabilitation, he said those tasks were as crucial to the security of international humanitarian personnel and to the safe operations of UNAVEM III, as well as to the reconstruction of the war-ravaged nation. He urged the Angolan parties to expedite them and to cooperate fully with UNAVEM III.
He went on to say that deep-rooted mutual mistrust lay at the heart of the impediments to the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol. In that
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context, he urged the Government and UNITA to engage in serious political dialogue with a view to achieving national reconciliation based on mutual confidence, respect and tolerance. The ultimate responsibility to bring a lasting peace and stability to Angola rested with the Angolan parties themselves.
SERGEY V. LAVROV (Russian Federation) said that he was concerned that the peace process in Angola was proceeding at a slow pace. As a member of the troika of observer States, he felt that the main problem was the evasion by UNITA in implementing provisions of the Lusaka Protocol, notably the timetable for quartering their troops. The UNITA had even unleashed a propaganda campaign against UNAVEM III. It was time for the international community to draw the appropriate conclusions and stop accepting UNITA"s endless manoeuvres.
The present policy of the UNITA leadership recalled its actions at the end of 1992 when it prompted the breakdown of peace and the resumption of civil war, he continued. The leadership of UNITA must be forced to comply with its commitments under the Lusaka Protocol. He agreed with the Secretary- General that the process should must be implemented on a large scale and with appropriate monitoring by UNAVEM III.
The leadership of UNITA could not justify procrastination in the release of prisoners or its refusal to cooperate with UNAVEM, he said. Concrete action and cooperation was needed. Otherwise, UNITA would lose the confidence of the international community. The Russian Federation had noted the actions undertaken by the Government of Angola and hoped that they would be rewarded by the international community. The international community was rendering great assistance and support to Angola. As a donor to UNAVEM and a member of the troika, the Russian Federation was doing its part. The Deputy Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation had even travelled to Angola with a message from President Boris Yeltsin.
Sir JOHN WESTON (United Kingdom) said UNAVEM III had been a truly international effort. His Government had contributed a logistics battalion to assist in the establishment of the infrastructure for the mission and had provided humanitarian assistance. Over the last three years, the total value of such assistance was 40 million pounds.
But Angolans must help themselves, he continued. Both parties must stand by the commitments they had entered into. He was concerned that one year into the mission of UNAVEM III there were still major elements of the Lusaka Protocol that had yet to be implemented. The international community could not indefinitely support a peace process that was not fully supported by the parties themselves. He expressed concern about the slow pace in the quartering of UNITA troops. Quartering, a crucial component of the peace process, had yet to begin in earnest. There could be no excuse for UNITA's
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failure to quarter 16,500 troops by 8 February, which had been promised by Jonas Savimbi to the Permanent Representative of the United States on her visit to Angola in January.
He said he welcomed the new timetable for implementing the peace process, as well as the steps taken by the Government, such as its withdrawal from offensive positions and the commencement of the quartering of its rapid reaction police. It was also encouraging that the Government had reportedly released all prisoners. The UNITA must follow suit. Furthermore, peace- keeping operations must have their own broadcasting capability and he was disappointed that UNAVEM III radio was not yet properly established. He hoped that the Angolan Government would grant the necessary facilities to allow it to operate. Finally, if peace-keeping operations were to fulfil their mandates, they must receive funds in full and on time.
HERVE LADSOUS (France) said that two years ago the Secretary-General had warned that 1,000 people were dying every day in the Angolan war and that the country had become the most mined territory on earth. The Security Council had given continuous attention to the situation in that country and had supported the peace process with the biggest peace-keeping operation in Africa -- comprised of nearly 7,000 men and women. Donor countries had committed significant assistance as well.
There was good reason for concern over the lack of progress in the peace process, he said. After 20 years of war, however, distrust persisted. He hoped that the Government and UNITA would implement their outstanding obligations under the Lusaka Protocols. His Government had noted positive initiatives by the Government, notably the withdrawal of troops from offensive positions near the quartering areas of UNITA, the liberation of prisoners, the quartering of the rapid reaction police, the cessation of hostile propaganda and the repatriation of expatriate personnel.
He had noted positive action in the quartering of UNITA troops over the last 24 hours, but that process must be concluded as rapidly as possible, he continued. It was not acceptable for UNITA to refuse cooperation with UNAVEM III. The agreement to provide UNITA with a presence in the national army would have no effect if the UNITA troops were not quartered and the Government did not withdraw from those quartering areas.
The United Nations had carried out a successful operation in Mozambique, he said. In Somalia it had failed. In both cases, however, disarmament of the parties had been critical to the process. The reintegration of military personnel into civilian life and the establishment of a new national army were essential to success. The parties must re-establish confidence, demonstrate maturity and lay down a stable basis for their future in agreement with democratic principles. The international community must remain vigilant. A six-month extension of UNAVEM III might not be a clear enough signal. France
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would have preferred an extension of only 3 months. In that way, the Council could review progress in disarmament and the quartering of troops.
ZBIGNIEW M. WLOSOWICZ (Poland) said the January agreement of the parties on a new timetable was a welcome development, although, given the parties' past performance, much more than mere declarations were needed now. He said the future of the peace process as well as the continuing involvement of the international community were contingent upon the parties' willingness and ability to resume the implementation of their obligations.
The serious delay in the process of troops quartering had to be made up for and the relevant agreements fully implemented, he said. Since the quartering of UNITA troops constituted one of the central elements of the peace process, his delegation was particularly concerned at the protracted delays of UNITA to seriously embark on conducting a large-scale, uninterrupted and verifiable quartering of its troops in accordance with the newly agreed timetable. It was alarmed by the failure of UNITA to extend its full cooperation to UNAVEM III in its task of assisting the quartering process. The reported illegal removal by UNITA of 800 tents from the quartering centres only added to that picture. The credibility of UNITA wold not be enhanced by its providing to the quartering areas of unarmed civilians instead of soldiers.
The UNITA had failed to release all prisoners registered by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), as stipulated by relevant agreements. Falling so significantly behind the agreed schedule, UNITA actually jeopardized the whole peace process in Angola and in fact the future of that country.
He said the enduring tensions in Angola had been increasingly threatening the civilian population and had seriously limited the possibilities of humanitarian assistance.
Poland expected the Security Council to closely monitor the implementation of the understandings reached at the meeting of a government delegation with UNITA leaders in Bailundo on 21 December 1995 as well as the fulfilment of the promises to resume UNITA troops quartering, made recently by UNITA leader Jonas Savimbi. Further delay in taking appropriate action would affect the position of the international community and might lead to the consideration of the United Nations withdrawal from that country. The international community should continue its support for the peace process in Angola, the outcome of which depended on the Angolans themselves, and particularly UNITA members. The outside world could only facilitate their endeavours.
SOLIMAN AWAAD (Egypt) expressed concern about the tensions, and lack of trust among the parties, which had led to a delay in the implementation of the
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agreements. The UNITA's failure to fulfil its commitments had not helped push forward the peace process. The new agreement of 12 January, was encouraging. In that agreement the parties again pledged to fulfil their commitments, release prisoners, halt hostile propaganda and resume the quartering of UNITA troops and government rapid reaction police.
He said the parties should honour those commitments. He saluted the Angolan Government for its release of prisoners and decision to terminate its contract with a security firm which had provided it with military and security support. He described those actions as a goodwill gesture and urged the Government to provide security guarantees for the delivery of humanitarian assistance.
He expected UNITA to honour its commitments and to quarter its forces, release prisoners and remove restrictions on the delivery of humanitarian assistance. Furthermore, the parties should cooperate with UNAVEM in its demining activities. He hoped the establishment of peace would be the first step in the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the country.
MARIO LOPES DA ROSA (Guinea-Bissau), reviewing the history of his country and of Angola from the fifteenth century, he said 30 years after rising to struggle for independence, Angola still found itself in conflict.
The slow pace of implementing the Lusaka Protocol was of concern to Guinea-Bissau, he said. His Government had noted with satisfaction that the Government of Angola had liberated prisoners, repatriated military experts, withdrawn forces near the UNITA quartering zone and begun to quarter its rapid reaction police. He called on UNITA to quarter 16,500 soldiers by the target date of 8 February.
The parties had shown their determination to undertake concerted action for peace, he continued. Those initiative deserved the support of the international community. The establishment of a high-ranking conflict prevention group was also a positive sign. Given the complexity of the process in Angola, his Government called on the parties to refrain from conflict and to speed up the demining process to allow the return of displaced persons.
Guinea-Bissau noted that the humanitarian situation in the zones controlled by UNITA had deteriorated, as a result of the persecution and detention of some humanitarian personnel. He said he was pleased to see that UNITA had reconsidered its situation and was determined to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance.
MAKARIM WIBISONO (Indonesia) said that his Government regretted the continuing conflict in Angola, which persisted despite the efforts of the international community. The parties were hard pressed to provide a rationale
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for their continued fighting. He had been disappointed by the continued hesitation of the parties to implement the Lusaka Protocol, which was indispensable to the achievement of a political settlement. The leadership of both parties should put personal differences aside and exercise the political will necessary to put the process back on track.
Important steps had recently been taken to redress the situation and revive the peace process, he continued. In particular, he encouraged the parties to fulfil their mutual obligations based on the agreement reached on 21 December 1995 in establishing a new timetable for the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol. He welcomed the steps taken by Government forces to cease offensive military operations, withdraw troops from the vicinity of UNITA quartering areas, release all prisoners registered by the ICRC, begin quartering its rapid reaction police and terminate the use of expatriate personnel.
On the other hand, his Government had noted the stated intention of UNITA to quarter 16,500 of its troops in an expeditious manner. It was incumbent upon the leadership of UNITA to implement that commitment and immediately release remaining prisoners. He had also noted the decision of the parties to establish a conflict prevention group aimed at deterring cease- fire violations. He was, however, cautious of such assertions, because of the gap between the statements made by the parties and the reality of their commitment to peace. He therefore attached great importance to the Council monitoring compliance with their pledges.
The parties could improve the prospects for peace if they would negotiate in good faith, he said. That would establish their credibility and promote an environment conducive to confidence-building. No long-term peace could be achieved without accelerating the quartering and disarming process. The parties should institute processes and procedures that would facilitate the implementation of those elements.
Angola would require a continued international presence including peace- keepers, assistance from international organizations and other support, he said. But assistance should be forthcoming only if the parties meet their obligations under the Lusaka Protocol. The rebuilding of Angola would require hard work and perseverance.
LEGWAILA JOSEPH LEGWAILA (Botswana) said he was concerned that the Lusaka Protocol remained unimplemented in a number of key areas. The international community must bring pressure on UNITA to demonstrate, in deeds rather than words, its commitment to the peace process. No further delays in quartering should be countenanced. The Council must be united in sending a strong message to UNITA that procrastination and prevarication could not be accepted.
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He welcomed the steps taken by the Government of Angola to implement the Lusaka Protocol and stated that the Angolans themselves must make the effort to eliminate the possibilities for the resumption of hostilities. They must realize that the international community would not judge them by the agreements they made but rather on whether they delivered on their commitments and in a timely fashion. The assassinations, abductions, looting and extortions should not be allowed to continue with impunity lest they become a permanent feature of life in Angola. It was unacceptable that the vulnerable groups of society be subjected to those inhumane acts even in conditions of relative peace.
He said the unhindered delivery of humanitarian assistance was essential to peace. He condemned the confiscation of relief supplies, vehicles and radios by UNITA and its imposition on the movement of relief flights and road convoys. The Council should call upon UNITA to desist from creating obstacles to humanitarian assistance and to honour its promise to facilitate the work of humanitarian organizations.
JUAN LARRAIN (Chile) called on the Angolan parties to undertake the commitments undertaken in the Lusaka Protocol. The quartering of troops should be resumed immediately and the cease-fire strictly respected. The parties should give assurances to the United Nations that it will not take hostile action against UNAVEM III troops. The political leaders of Angola -- especially UNITA -- should direct their energy towards the development of their nation.
The parties should heed the will of the people of Angola as expressed through democratic elections, he said. Angola had great opportunities in the new global economy, but taking advantage of those opportunities would require greater creativity than that required for waging war.
The President of the Council, MADELEINE K. ALBRIGHT (United States), speaking as her country's representative, said that UNAVEM III was the largest United Nations peace-keeping operation in the world, with some 6,500 soldiers from over 30 countries. Those peace-keepers were critical to the peace process in Angola.
She said that when she had met with President dos Santos and Mr. Savimbi in January, they had professed to want peace and to be willing to take the necessary steps. She had challenged them to match deeds with words and to a large extent, the Government had been moving in the right direction. It must continue to integrate UNITA into the political and military institutions and to help them make the transition into either civilian life or a reconstituted Angolan army. There could be no reconciliation unless that was accomplished.
The poor performance of UNITA had jeopardized the peace process and undermined the viability of UNAVEM III, she said. Despite Mr. Savimbi's
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promise to her that 16,500 UNITA troops would be quartered in four sites by 8 February, only 5,150 soldiers, many of them unarmed, had arrived in the quartering sites as of this morning. Approximately another 2,000 were reportedly moving towards the quartering sites. The opportunity for peace would be lost unless UNITA followed through on schedule. It would also be lost unless the Government of Angola integrated UNITA soldiers into the new army. Both leaders must make their promises of peace stick.
"I have seen what Angolans are capable of doing to each other, and nobody in his right mind can possibly wish it upon his own people", she said. The humanitarian challenge was daunting. Demining alone would take decades to accomplish, while Angolan children continued to lose limbs to an unseen enemy.
If the Secretary-General reported insufficient progress, she said, the Council would reevaluate the merit of continuing UNAVEM's mandate to February 1997. "The United States will not allow a sound peace-keeping operation -- which spends nearly $1 million dollars per day -- to be slowly undermined by the failure of the leaders to fulfil their promises", she said. She planned to speak with Mr. Savimbi this afternoon to report on today's discussion and the expectations of the international community. She hoped that in the next few weeks the Lusaka Protocol would be back on track and that UNAVEM III would be able to fulfil its mandate.
SVEIN ANDREASSEN (Norway) said that Norway had provided military observers to both UNAVEM II and III. His Government supported the renewal of the mandate and would continued to participate in the operation. Norway had noted with appreciation the Secretary-General's observations concerning the positive steps taken by the Angolan Government during the last few weeks. However, numerous delays in implementing the Lusaka Protocol remained a matter of grave concern. It was now important to avoid further delays in troop disengagement and the quartering of former combatants. Norway urged the parties to the Protocol, particularly UNITA, to continue to commit themselves to implementing its provisions and to maintain the cease-fire.
Norway had provided substantial humanitarian and long-term development assistance. The planned contribution for 1996 was $16 million, which equalled the 1995 contribution. Long-term development assistance should be designed with a view to reinforcing the peace process. Continued support for the reconstruction of Angola was contingent on the commitment of the Angolan parties to resolve their differences peacefully. Mine-clearance would remain a priority; reports of deteriorating security for humanitarian activities, especially in UNITA-controlled areas, were disturbing.
NGONI SENGWE (Zimbabwe) welcomed the progress made by the Government of Angola in implementing its commitments to the peace process. That Government should build on the momentum. The UNITA should hasten the process of
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quartering and disarming its troops. It should live up to its own public commitment and proceed with the orderly and large-scale movement of its troops to the quartering areas without further delay or interruption, in strict adherence to the new timetable agreed upon on 21 January and in full cooperation with UNAVEM III. His delegation was convinced that the quartering of UNITA troops, as a first step, was a crucial component of the peace process.
The attainment of political and economic stability in the southern Africa region could only be realized when the people of Angola turned their swords into ploughshares, and when peace was restored in that country.
Pursuant to its commitment to the United Nations peace-keeping effort, and its confidence in the resolve of the people of Angola to seek peace, his Government had committed troops and civilian police to UNAVEM III. The extension of the mandate of UNAVEM III was a prerequisite for the success of the peace process in Angola.
He said the success of the peace process in Angola ultimately depended on the people of Angola themselves. He urged both the Government of Angola and UNITA to resist the temptation to seek comparative advantage over each other and, instead, seize the opportune moment and make a lasting investment in peace.
CELSO L.N. AMORIM (Brazil) said his country was fully committed to the peace process in Angola, with an involvement that dated back to the creation of the mission when Brazil was member of the Council. As the largest troop contributor to the mission, Brazil had an engineering company, two medical units, an infantry battalion and military and police observers in the force. That participation reflected its long-term commitment, based on common cultural and historical roots, as well as similar aspirations. All Angolans, regardless of what side they may have fought for, were tired of war and ready for reconciliation.
He said government and UNITA efforts to implement the Lusaka Protocol had been very different. After the military movements of last December, the Government had undertaken a series of actions that had demonstrated its commitment to the peace process. On the UNITA side, unfortunately, the picture was less encouraging. However, despite the differences in compliance, the international community should continue to respond positively to the construction of a peaceful environment in Angola.
His Government intended to maintain its involvement, he said. In that light, it supported the Secretary-General's proposal for an extension of UNAVEM III's mandate. That was not incompatible with sending strong signals
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to UNITA regarding the need for full cooperation and compliance with previously agreed to military and political objectives. The Council, however, must continue to keep a watchful eye on events in Angola and renew efforts to persuade the less cooperative to commit to the consolidation of peace.
The meeting was suspended at 1:25 p.m.
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When the meeting resumed at 3:45 p.m., the President of the Council Ms. ALBRIGHT (United States) said she had, in her capacity as the representative of the United States, spoken with UNITA leader Jonas Savimbi by telephone at approximately 2 p.m. today. She said she had expressed to Mr. Savimbi the concern of the United States that the quartering process was seriously behind schedule and that UNITA would not be able to honour its commitment to quarter 16,500 troops by 8 February. Mr. Savimbi had acknowledged that the quartering was behind schedule, but stated that he was working around the clock to fulfil his commitment. Mr. Savimbi had then provided the following figures on soldiers quartered, as of today: In the south, 3,902 in Vila Nova and 2,139 in Lunduimbale. In the north, 843 in Negage and 250 in Quibaxe.
She said Mr. Savimbi had claimed that there would be 5,000 each in Vila Nova and Lundiumbale by Thursday. He had also said that there would be 4,000 troops quartered in Negage and 1,500 in Quibaxe by Thursday, 8 February. If completed, that would mean that 14,500 troops would be quartered by Thursday. The remaining balance of 2,000 troops would be quartered by Saturday, 10 February, he had said.
Mr. Savimbi had claimed that the northern quartering sites presented certain difficulties due to the great distances, she continued. She had also reminded Mr. Savimbi that the troops were required to bring their weapons and that there had been reports that troops were arriving without them. She said Mr. Savimbi had replied that the UNITA troops were bringing their weapons. He had also confirmed that there had been at least one instance in which UNAVEM had sent transport for UNITA troops, but when the transport arrived the UNITA troops had not been at the appointed location.
She said she had informed Mr. Savimbi about today's meeting of the Security Council and had reminded him that the international community was following developments closely. Mr. Savimbi had closed by saying to her that he was aware of his commitment and felt personally responsible for ensuring that it was fulfilled.
PERCY MANGOAELA (Lesotho) said Angola's tragedy had resulted from cold war rivalries and destabilization. The demise of apartheid had raised hopes for an end to Angola's agony, but that was not to be. He was pleased that the Government of Angola had demonstrated a willingness to begin the quartering of its rapid reaction police, and terminating the contract of the firm Executive Outcomes. He hoped that UNITA would respond in kind by quartering its troops.
Angola was a country generously endowed with natural resources, he continued. Exploitation of those resources could go a long way towards improving the conditions of its people and towards the economic development of its subregion. Lesotho supported the extension of the mandate of UNAVEM III for six months to give international efforts a chance to succeed.
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PEDRO CATARINO (Portugal) said that his Government was concerned over the slow pace of the quartering of UNITA troops. He was looking forward to fulfilment of the commitment made by the leader of UNITA to quarter 16,500 troops by 8 February. He was concerned that a high percentage of the fighters presenting themselves at quartering areas were not carrying their armaments. The UNAVEM III was not a buffer force between the parties. It had been deployed to monitor compliance with the Acordos de Paz and the Lusaka Protocol.
Full cooperation with UNAVEM III was required to achieve the peace and stability that the Angolan people deserved, he said. His Government agreed with the Secretary-General that there was no excuse for delays in the release of all prisoners or in the provision to the United Nations of required information. The pursuit of dialogue between the parties was extremely important. A meeting between President dos Santos and Mr. Savimbi, as soon as possible, would be an important sign of political will. He looked forward to the return of UNITA members of Parliament, the assumption of the Vice- Presidency by UNITA, and the participation of UNITA at all levels of government.
Using the UNAVEM III mandate as a form of pressure in order to obtain implementation of the Lusaka Protocol was not the best solution for the Security Council, he said. The Council's resolution on Angola should include a paragraph establishing a monthly review of the implementation of the provisions of the Lusaka Protocol. The Angolan parties must assume their share of responsibility. They held the key. The international community had responded to the appeal of the Angolans. Now, they must show that they were ready to live together in peace.
K.J. JELE (South Africa) commended the collective efforts by all concerned that had resulted in the Government of Angola and UNITA agreeing on 12 January to a new timetable for the implementation of agreements reached by their representatives on 21 December 1995. He said the time had come for both parties to translate those agreements into tangible action.
He said he believed that it was vital that President dos Santos and Mr. Savimbi should be encouraged to meet as soon as possible. The confidence- building mechanism should revolve and evolve around the process of dialogue between them. Those in southern Africa who had lived under the pain of apartheid and war had witnessed the dawn of a new day. The foundations of peace and stability had been laid for the region. It behoved the Angolan parties, therefore, to create a climate conductive to finding a solution, so that they did not draw a curtain of mistrust on the promise of a better life.
He concurred with the Secretary-General's view that the international community should continue to respond to all constructive initiatives taken by both parties to make the peace process irreversible. The pace, however,
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needed to be accelerated vigorously in order to sustain the patience and goodwill of the international community. It would indeed be tragic if UNAVEM's mandate were to cease because of lack of progress. To facilitate and expedite the peace process in Angola, South Africa reiterated its willingness to continue its assistance in a tangible way for the realization of that objective. It was, therefore, wholly supportive of the Secretary-General's recommendation that the mandate of UNAVEM III be renewed for a further six months, until 8 August.
SLAHEDDINE ABDELLAH (Tunisia) said that the present orientation debate had allowed the Council to make its decisions cognizant of many varied points of view. The efforts made thus far in Angola needed to be reinforced so as to prevent a lapse back into civil war. The application of the Lusaka Protocol required a resolute political will on the part of all Angolans. It was essential that negotiations between the Government and UNITA be resumed, and that the cantonment of troops proceed.
His Government had been encouraged at the recent agreement of a new timetable for the peace process. That positive step deserved to be encouraged and supported. He was gratified that UNAVEM III had been involved in that process. The role of UNAVEM III would be essential to fulfilling the Lusaka Protocol. He hoped that 16,500 troops of UNITA would be quartered by 10 February. The cooperation of all the parties and the establishment of a climate of confidence would be essential to a continuation of the activities of UNAVEM III. Efforts to consolidate peace in Angola should be reinforced by the support of the international community.
COLIN KEATING (New Zealand) said that New Zealand had been the first country to support the proposal of France that the Council hold open orientation meetings. All too often in the past, the only opportunity for such debate had been after decisions had already been agreed upon in private consultations. He hoped that the Council would be able to draw useful suggestions from the debate.
The extension of the mandate of UNAVEM III was no easy prospect, he said. The process had been seriously set back in 1995 by a government offensive and the withdrawal of support for UNAVEM III by UNITA. Since then, limited positive progress had been registered, and UNITA-troop quartering was severely behind schedule. Many of the quartering troops were under age and unarmed. It was essential that the Security Council maintain its policy of vigilance and active involvement, so as to halt the "cat and mouse game" under way in Angola.
New Zealand had made a serious commitment to mine clearance in Angola, believing that effort to be essential to future security, he continued. His Government's military personnel had played a practical role. The key to the future would be the integration of the mine-clearance programme into UNAVEM
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III. The structure was now in place for a national programme to reduce the danger of mines in the country.
He said there would be no national reconciliation in Angola unless there was a reasonable presumption by all the parties that they could safely lay down their arms. Establishing an artificially short mandate for UNAVEM III would not effectively pressure the Angolan parties. In the end, it only impeded planning and proper financial planning. The mission should move forward for a full six months, while undertaking periodic reviews within the mandate. The resolution should take a firm and even-handed approach to both the parties in Angola. The Council should find a way in the resolution to reinforce the human rights component of the United Nations effort in Angola.
PETER L. KASANDA (Zambia) said his delegation remained optimistic about the achievement of a lasting and peaceful solution to the Angolan conflict, although slow progress had been reported in the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol. He believed that the parties were still committed to the Lusaka Protocol as a fundamental basis for the peaceful solution of the Angolan conflict. The people of Angola were more weary of the continuing conflict than ever before.
He said he had taken note of the many positive achievements on the part of the Angolan Government consolidating the Lusaka Protocol and in the process of confidence-building. He hoped that UNITA, too, would adhere to its commitments. Indeed, he said, both parties should remove the remaining obstacles to full implementation of the Lusaka Protocol. For peace to return to Angola, however, it was incumbent upon the Government and UNITA to have the political will to reconcile with each other. The onus of establishing lasting peace rested with the people of Angola and their leaders, as peace could not be imposed from the outside.
He supported the establishment of a "conflict prevention group" composed of high-ranking military representatives of the two parties and the return to Luanda on 11 January, of the UNITA military delegation to resume bilateral negotiations on the completion of the formation of the joint armed forces. He said the meetings were important, as they contributed positively to confidence-building. He urged President Eduardo dos Santos and UNITA leader Jonas Savimbi to meet on a regular basis to resolve their differences.
He supported the view that all States, in particular those neighbouring Angola, should facilitate the process of national reconciliation in Angola and should take steps to ensure that no actions contrary to the provisions of the Lusaka Protocol were committed on their territory. He appealed to the Government of Angola and UNITA to remove all obstacles that obstructed the free movement of relief workers and humanitarian aid. The Angolan people and the international community should ensure that food reached the people in need on time and on a regular basis.
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He said demining, mine verification and reconstruction of access roads and bridges were an essential component, not only of the peace process, but of the overall economic and social development in Angola. In that regard, he welcomed the United Nations Secretariat mine action plan for Angola aimed at developing a sustainable national mine-clearance capability. He said no effort should be spared in allowing the South Africa Mine Verification Company to resume its operations and to guarantee security for the company's personnel. His delegation supported the extension of UNAVEM's mandate as recommended by the Secretary-General.
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