SECURITY COUNCIL EXTENDS ANGOLA MISSION UNTIL 31 MARCH, EXPRESSES DEEP CONCERN AT DELAYS IN FORMING GOVERNMENT19970227 Resolution 1098 (1997), Adopted Unanimously, Cites Failure of UNITA to Meet Agreed-upon Timetable
The Security Council this afternoon extended the mandate of the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III) for one month -- until 31 March -- while expressing deep concern at delays in the formation of a unified government because of the failure of the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) to meet an agreed-upon timetable.
Adopting resolution 1098 (1997) unanimously, the Council requested the Secretary-General to report by 20 March on the status of the formation of the unified government -- the Government of National Unity and Reconciliation. Based on his report, the Council will 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.
The timetable in question concerns 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. It was established by the Joint Commission, which was created to monitor the comprehensive peace agreement signed between the Government of Angola and UNITA -- the Lusaka Protocol. The Commission includes the Angolan Government, UNITA, the United Nations and the observer countries of the United States, the Russian Federation and Portugal.
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.
Also by today's resolution, the Council stressed that the good offices, mediation and verification functions of the Secretary-General's Special Representative, in close collaboration with the Joint Commission,
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remained essential for the successful completion of the Angolan peace process. It also stressed, however, that it was imperative for the parties, in particular UNITA, to take urgent and decisive steps to fulfil their commitments to ensure the international community's continued involvement in the country's peace process.
Addressing the Council this afternoon, Angola's representative said UNITA's objective seemed to be to block the country's normal functioning, create an unsustainable situation for its government, exhaust the international community's patience and provoke renegotiation of the Lusaka Protocol. The Angolan Government continued to hope that UNITA would cooperate by not hampering the implementation of the Protocol's important objectives.
Statements were made by the Russian Federation, Japan, United Kingdom, Egypt, Republic of Korea, Portugal, Sweden, Chile, China, Guinea-Bissau, Costa Rica, United States, Kenya, France, Malawi, Mozambique, Cape Verde, Namibia, Lesotho, South Africa, Algeria, Brazil, Tunisia, the Netherlands and Mali.
The meeting began at 12.25 p.m and, after a suspension, adjourned at 5.14 p.m.
Council Work Programme
The Security Council met this afternoon to consider the situation in Angola.
In a progress report on the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III) (document S/1997/115) the Secretary-General recommends the extension of the Mission's mandate for a two-month period if the Government of National Unity and Reconciliation is formed before the current mandate expires on 28 February, with the understanding that the Mission would proceed with the transition towards an observer mission.
Alternatively, the Secretary-General recommends that the Council extend the Mission's mandate for one month -- to 31 March -- if the Government is not formed before the end of February. In that event, the Security Council might also wish to consider appropriate steps to address the situation.
The report states that despite some encouraging developments in the peace process during the last months of 1996, the pace of implementing the remaining military and political tasks has once again been painfully slow and disappointing, owing mainly to the lack of cooperation on the part of the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA). "Attempts to introduce linkages or conditions for moving the peace process forward will not be supported by the international community and must be abandoned immediately", the Secretary-General states.
The expeditious and unequivocal implementation of all remaining aspects of the Lusaka Protocol, which was agreed upon by the Government of Angola and UNITA in the Zambian capital in November 1994, involves such crucial tasks as incorporating UNITA troops into the Angolan Armed Forces (FAA) and the Angolan National Police (ANP), demobilizing and extending the State administration throughout Angola, the report states. The status of UNITA's leader, Jonas Savimbi, should be resolved quickly, while other political steps should be taken towards genuine national reconciliation. The Secretary-General urges Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos and Mr. Savimbi to meet inside the country at the earliest opportunity.
According to the report, negotiations continued on Mr. Savimbi's proposal that he be granted the status of principal adviser to the Angolan President with a substantive coordinating role in the spheres of rural development and national reconciliation, as well as supervisory powers over several ministries. After protracted discussions, the Joint Commission -- established under the Lusaka Protocol and including the Government of Angola, UNITA, the United Nations and the observer countries of the United States, the Russian Federation and Portugal -- approved, on 30 January, a comprehensive document defining the methodology and procedures for extending State
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administration throughout Angola. Also, negotiations continued on the long- standing issue of transforming UNITA's Radio "Vorgan" into a non-partisan radio.
Emphasizing the need for a continued, but reduced, presence of the United Nations in Angola until the end of 1997, the Secretary-General states that the transition phase towards a follow-on mission will require a substantial reconfiguration of United Nations activities in Angola. The Mission's main emphasis should be on peace consolidation, confidence-building and national reconciliation, with a view to creating an environment conducive to long-term stability in the country. The main activities should focus on political, police and human rights aspects, humanitarian activities and public information programmes.
In addition, the good offices, mediation and verification functions of the Secretary-General's Special Representative remains essential, the report states. The Special Representative should continue to maintain headquarters in Luanda, at a reduced level, to coordinate all United Nations activities related to the peace process and national reconciliation and to chair the Joint Commission. The Public Information and the Interpretation/Translation Sections of the Mission would remain at their present levels, at least during the initial stages of the transition period.
The report notes the need to maintain and enhance the Political Affairs Division of the Mission to about 30 professionals and support staff, which would be deployed in Luanda and in all 18 provinces. Additional recommendations on the Organization's involvement for the next presidential and legislative elections would be provided to the Security Council in due course.
Reviewing the police aspects, human rights issues and the military and humanitarian aspects of the transition mission, the report states that with the progressive reduction of the United Nations military personnel, it is envisaged that the United Nations civilian police will have expanded tasks. Therefore, the Secretary-General recommends that the civilian police be increased by 96 observers (from 260 to 356) who should be inducted in three stages (March, May and July).
In support of the Joint Commission's appeal to reinforce the Mission's human and technical resources for investigating human rights, the Secretary- General proposes that the human rights staff be increased to include a total of 32 professionals and 26 United Nations volunteers. The increase would allow two human rights officers to be deployed in each of Angola's 18 provinces.
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Regarding the reduction of UNAVEM troops, it is envisaged that a maximum of 400 UNAVEM III troops will be repatriated by the end of February, so as not to put at risk the completion of the outstanding tasks. Thereafter, one infantry battalion would be withdrawn from the Mission each month. Military headquarters personnel would be repatriated in stages, achieving a 45 per cent reduction by June. As currently planned, the rapid reaction groups, together with the most essential medical, air, signal and other support elements, would remain in Angola until August.
As of the end of May, the number of military observers would be reduced gradually from the present authorized level of 350. Should the establishment of the Government of National Unity and Reconciliation and the integration of the FAA proceed as currently planned, the Mission would retain up to 90 military observers by the end of August. However, in the event of less positive developments, the pace of the withdrawal of the military observers would be reconsidered. The parties in Angola would continue to be responsible for the safety and security of all United Nations personnel and property and those of other international organizations operating in the country. The status and role of the Humanitarian Assistance Coordination Unit is also outlined in the report.
Text of Draft Resolution
The Council also has before it a draft resolution (document S/1997/162), which reads as follows:
"The Security Council,
"Reaffirming its resolution 696 (1991) of 30 May 1991 and all subsequent relevant resolutions,
"Recalling the statement of its President on 30 January 1997 (S/PRST/1997/3),
"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 Independencia 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,
"Deeply concerned at the second delay in the formation of the Government of Unity and National Reconciliation, as a result of the failure of UNITA to meet the timetable established by the Joint Commission, in the context of the Lusaka Protocol,
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"Also concerned at the continued delay in the implementation of the remaining political and military aspects of the peace process, including the selection and incorporation of UNITA soldiers into the Angolan Armed Forces, and demobilization,
"Stressing that it is imperative for the parties, in particular UNITA, 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 dated 7 February 1997 (S/1997/115),
"1. Welcomes the recommendations contained in the report of the Secretary-General dated 7 February 1997;
"2. Decides to extend the mandate of UNAVEM III until 31 March 1997;
"3. Urges the Government of Angola and in particular UNITA to solve the remaining military and other issues and to establish, without further delay, the Government of Unity and National Reconciliation, and requests the Secretary-General to report by 20 March 1997 on the status of the formation of this Government,
"4. Expresses its readiness, in the light of the report referred to in paragraph 3 above, to consider the imposition of measures, including, inter alia, those specifically mentioned in paragraph 26 of resolution 864 (1993) of 15 September 1993;
"5. Stresses that the good offices, mediation, and verification functions of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, in close collaboration with the Joint Commission, remain essential for the successful completion of the Angolan peace process;
"6. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter."
HIGINO CARNEIRO, Vice-Minister without Portfolio of Angola, said the Secretary-General's forthcoming trip to Angola would convey the international community's firm support to the peace process and would constitute a gesture of encouragement to its members. The developments of the past two years indicated that the path to peace seemed irreversible. Despite its slow implementation, the Lusaka Protocol had substantially altered the Angolan situation.
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The advances made so far would not have been possible without the action taken by the international community, and in particular, by the Security Council, which had resorted to various means of pressure, including coercive measures against UNITA, he continued. Exerting more pressure over UNITA continued to be necessary, because of the excessive delays in the application of the Lusaka accord caused by the systematic obstacles raised by UNITA. The new elements that UNITA was now attempting to introduce to condition its participation in the government and the parliament violated the spirit and the letter of the Lusaka Protocol. Acceptance of conditions would mean the renegotiation of the accord.
Stressing that such action by UNITA should be made unconditionally, without any "linkages" and within the accords and other agreements valid to the peace process, he said the failure to expand the State administration was completely attributable to UNITA. The quick compliance of the pending tasks of the peace accords was crucial. "UNITA must be clear about its intentions, must cease raising new obstacles and must show by means of practical deeds if, in fact, it is motivated by good faith and political will", he said.
He said UNITA's objective seemed to be to block the country's normal functioning, create an unsustainable situation for its government, exhaust the international community's patience and provoke renegotiation of the Lusaka Protocol. The Angolan Government continued to hope that UNITA would cooperate by not insisting on hampering the implementation of the Protocols' important objectives. At the same time, given the prospects for success of the accords, the Council should begin to study the United Nations future role in the Angola in relation to the tasks that were yet to be completed and which would guarantee the country's political and military stability.
He appealed to those countries that had promised to provide funds to Angola during the round table in Brussels in 1994 to honour their commitments, so that Angola could enter a new era of economic and social progress.
SERGEY LAVROV (Russian Federation) said his country, as a member of the troika of countries supporting the peace process -- the Russian Federation, Portugal and the United States -- was sparing no effort to achieve peace in Angola. Peace in that troubled area would be a major achievement for the region in particular and for the international community as a whole. While progress had been made in the process, it had been slowed by UNITA and mistrust had been created by linkages and delays. Those tactics must be ended.
At the current complex phase of the peace process, the Angolan people must receive an unequivocal message of support for peace, he said. He expressed support for the one-month extension of the mandate. If the new
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Government of National Unity and Reconciliation had not been formed by 31 March, then the Council would have to take additional measures.
MASAKI KONISHI (Japan) said it was profoundly regrettable that it was the failure once again of the parties concerned to establish a Government of National Unity and Reconciliation that had compelled the Council to take its decision. He called upon UNITA, in particular, to cooperate in efforts to advance the peace process without linkages and further delay. He expressed concern over the issue of the quartering and demobilization of UNITA troops and their integration into the joint Angolan armed forces.
He expressed support for the maintenance and enhancement of the Political Affairs Division of UNAVEM III as the transition to the follow-on mission proceeded. Japan had been making various contributions to expedite the peace process, particularly in the area of demining and the return and resettlement of Angolan refugees.
STEPHEN GOMERSALL (United Kingdom) urged both parties in Angola, particularly UNITA, to put an end to brinkmanship, to drop the linkages and conditions that created an atmosphere of mistrust and to show flexibility and commitment. The UNITA must stop its delaying tactics and send its deputies to the National Assembly and its nominated members of the future Government of National Unity and Reconciliation to Luanda. The new government must be established by the end of March and the outstanding political and military aspects of the peace process must be completed.
He supported the extension of the mandate of UNAVEM III until 31 March, but he cautioned that the situation would be watched closely. He hoped that it would not be necessary for the Council to consider appropriate steps should the new government not be formed by 31 March. He also supported the Secretary-General's recommendation on a follow-on observer mission, including the increased number of human rights monitors. A continued United Nations presence was necessary, but that role should be complete by the end of 1997.
NABIL ELARABY (Egypt) said the Council's last presidential statement on Angola had asked, among other things, the parties in Angola to achieve the formation of the Government of National Unity and Reconciliation and to settle the role of Mr. Savimbi. Those actions had only been partially achieved, despite the attempts by the international community. The peace accords depended on the clear political will by UNITA to be transformed into a political party.
Much progress had been achieved by the United Nations, including the quartering of forces, he continued. However, progress in that area was hampered by the lack of funds. In that connection, the unpaid contributions to UNAVEM III deserved special attention by the Security Council. He
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supported the Secretary-General's recommendations on the future of UNAVEM III. Its continued presence in Angola was important. He, therefore, supported the draft resolution.
PARK SOO GIL (Republic of Korea) said the peace process was at a critical juncture. A push must be made to help establish a unified government and speed up the consolidation of peace and national reconciliation. Any further procrastination would not be acceptable. The international community must send an unequivocal message to the Angolan parties. The continued presence of UNAVEM III was linked to progress in the peace process, and the Council would continue further measures beyond the one-month extension of the mandate.
He said the question of a post-UNAVEM III presence should be carefully scrutinized, in light of progress in the peace process. The Angolan parties had the ultimate responsibility for peace and reconciliation. He stressed the importance of the expeditious implementation of the remaining tasks under the Lusaka Protocol.
ANTONIO MONTEIRO (Portugal) said that although the process was slow, there had been signs of progress in certain areas in Angola. The cease-fire was for the most part holding and both sides remained committed to a dialogue. However, both parties must clearly indicate their willingness to abide by the agreements to which they had freely subscribed. Significant tasks in both political and military areas remained unfulfilled. In the last two weeks, since the Secretary-General issued his report, no significant moves had been made in the selection and incorporation of UNITA personnel into the Angolan Armed Forces. The UNITA bore a special responsibility to demonstrate commitment to full implementation of the "Acordos de Paz" and the Lusaka Protocol.
The complexity of the issues in the Angolan peace process required some flexibility from the international community, he continued. The pace of the planned withdrawal of former military units should be dictated by the situation on the ground. The United Nations played a vital role in bringing peace to Angola. The peace process had reached a crossroads and the current resolution clearly indicated the way to proceed.
PETER OSVALD (Sweden) said the failure by UNITA to implement fully the conclusions of the meeting of the Joint Commission on 23 January was cause for deep concern. The completion of the process of selection and incorporation of UNITA troops into the Angolan Armed Forces was another essential component in the process. The international community must continue to support the demobilization process, not the least of which were efforts directed at the demobilization and reintegration of child soldiers.
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He said the pace of the planned withdrawal of United-Nations-formed military units must take into account both the short extension of the mandate and the situation on the ground. Sweden's long-standing commitment to the peace process in Angola stood firm.
CECILIA MACKENNA (Chile) said two years after the approval of UNAVEM III, the Council should be considering the follow-up to the Mission. Unfortunately, that was not possible since the Government of National Unity and Reconciliation had not been formed and the military and other issues were still to be implemented. The resolution called for the implementation of the peace accords. It gave a concise and clear message, which Chile supported. She hoped that it would be received by those to whom it was addressed.
The problems of Angola had not yet ended, she continued. There was still more to be achieved. The parties must seek peace and lead their people on the path to development. In the period ahead, the Council would be very attentive to development in that country.
LIU JIEYI (China) said he was concerned by reversals in the peace process and the repeated delays in the formation of the Government of National Unity and Reconciliation. The implementation of the Lusaka Protocol had been stalled, even though there had been some progress. He was concerned by delays in the process. The resolution of the problems rested with the Angolan people themselves. Angolans were in dire need of a stable and tranquil life.
He appealed to the two partes to recognize the aspirations of the Angolan people and resolve their differences through consultation. He called for effective action to complete the outstanding tasks of the Lusaka Protocol and successfully complete the peace process. The UNAVEM III, the largest peace-keeping operation, had made much progress in support of the Lusaka Protocol and the realization of national reconciliation. At such a crucial stage, Angola needed the support of the international community. Therefore, he supported extension of the Mission's mandate. The two parties, however, should seize the opportunity to cooperate and to bring the peace process to fruition.
ALFREDO LOPES CABRAL (Guinea-Bissau) said that with the mandate of UNAVEM III coming to an end, it was time to take stock. It was not an easy task, as the situation was complex. Any such evaluation should be objective and should take into account imponderables, which were difficult to quantify. There was nothing wrong in identifying areas of dissatisfaction. The goal of the Council was to encourage and to support people of good will in the search for peace. While the timetable had not been met, there was still momentum and the peace process was making progress.
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The promotion of confidence between the parties remained a major task, he continued. Many resources had been mobilized by the international community in the cause of peace in Angola and the results had validated the United Nations mission. After so many efforts by the international community, the expectation should be for peace and national reconciliation. The new Government of National Unity and Reconciliation represented a special forum for sharing future political responsibilities in Angola.
FERNANDO BERROCAL SOTO (Costa Rica) said the resolution before the Council reflected the concerns expressed about the delays in the forming of the new government in Angola. He appealed to the leaders of UNITA to incorporate themselves into the peace process. That was the clear message of the draft resolution. The unilateral desire of any of the parties in Angola to dominate must be left behind. The people of Angola had the paramount responsibility for achieving peace. The new government must ensure that the people could freely express their will. He fully supported extension of the mandate for one month.
BILL RICHARDSON (United States) said the new government had not been formed on 25 January and the demobilization of UNITA had not proceeded as agreed. The delays were of great concern and have led the Council to extend the UNAVEM III mandate by only one month. The UNITA role in delaying the timetable was a major concern. Too much time had already been wasted and too many people continued to suffer in Angola. The people sought only an end to conflict. He also urged all parties to refrain from any involvement in the conflict in Zaire.
The United States remained a strong friend of Angola, as a member of the troika of observer nations, he stressed. The United States had committed $104.7 million in 1996 to the peace process and would be committing more in the year ahead. He urged the parties to understand the message of the resolution. The international community had done its part and the parties must now meet their commitments. It was time to clear the camps and form the new government.
The President of the Council, NJUGUNA MAHUGU (Kenya), speaking as his country's representative, said it was noteworthy that the Secretary-General had made concrete recommendations to have a reconstituted United Nations presence in the form of an observer mission in Angola. He regretted that, despite the numerous opportunities afforded to the parties of the conflict in Angola to ensure the successful implementation of the peace accord, they had failed to fulfil their obligations. There had been a lack of progress and the formation of the Government of National Unity and Reconciliation had been postponed on two occasions. That wasted opportunity was cause for concern.
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Reiterating the importance of the full implementation of the peace accords and the relevant Security Council resolutions, he said he was disappointed at the continued postponement of the formation of the Government of National Unity and Reconciliation. Its formation would be the culmination of the current efforts in the search for peace and would mark the beginning of the consolidation of that peace. He called on UNITA to cooperate with the Angolan Government in the remaining tasks leading to the formation of the unified government and in implementing the remaining stages of the peace process.
The Council then unanimously adopted the draft resolution as resolution 1098 (1997).
Speaking after the vote, HERVE LADSOUS (France) said UNITA had been responsible for the many delays that had compelled the Council to extend the mandate of UNAVEM III. Although much had been achieved, UNITA must make efforts to comply with its obligations regarding the Lusaka Protocol and the formation of the Government of National Unity and Reconciliation. The formation of the unified government would be the culmination of the peace process. It should be established immediately.
He expressed hope that the continued demobilization of soldiers would be carried out promptly and with the support of the international community. The resolution called for new measures to be taken, he said, although he hoped that the Council would not have to go to that extreme. The Angolan people aspired to peace and security. They deserved to benefit from the recent changes and enjoy democracy and development.
The meeting suspended at 1:50 p.m.
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The meeting resumed at 3:35 p.m.
DAVID RUBADIRI (Malawi) said that Angola had suffered too long and the love of its people for peace and tranquillity could no longer be denied. He was concerned by UNITA's delays that prevented formation of the Government of National Unity and Reconciliation. Those actions were against the tide of international public opinion. The Southern African Development Community (SADC), the rest of Africa and the international community prayed for peace in Angola.
Further delays in the political and military aspects of the whole process would be a major set-back to the peace process, he continued. Malawi was, therefore, appealing to all parties, particularly UNITA, to exert extra efforts that would meaningfully translate into practical results the aspirations of the Angolan people. The African vision, as in its leadership of the United Nations into the twenty-first century, held dear the resolution of "this bleeding conflict in historic Angola".
The international community could not abandon Angola now, he said. It was gratifying to see that the Security Council was ready to meet the challenge. He expressed support for the extension of UNAVEM III and for the activation of the relevant provisions of resolution 864 (1993), if UNITA continued its intransigent ways. Paying special tribute to UNAVEM's personnel, particularly those who had lost their lives in Angola, he said that the international community must send a strong message to UNITA's leadership that "it is a living Angola that must be born", not a carcass with a mutilated citizenry of orphaned children and old men.
CARLOS DOS SANTOS (Mozambique) expressed a desire to see greater commitment translated into concrete action, particularly on the part of UNITA. Instead of celebrating the formation of the Government of National Unity and Reconciliation, the Council was faced with the lack of full implementation of the crucial aspects of the Lusaka Protocol, particularly the incorporation of UNITA troops into the Angolan Armed Forces, demobilization and the extension of State administration throughout Angola. New elements were constantly being introduced to delay or postpone actions upon which agreement had already been reached. That situation could not continue.
He went on to say that UNITA had to make urgent and decisive steps towards implementation of all aspects of the Lusaka Protocol. The Angolan Government had shown commitment and had made efforts to comply with obligations and to accommodate UNITA. The support of the international community for the process of reintegrating demobilized soldiers and demining was of paramount importance. He supported the Secretary-General's proposed phased withdrawal of UNAVEM III and arrangements for a transition period.
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JOSE LUIS BARBOSA LEAO MONTEIRO (Cape Verde) acknowledged the progress made by the Government and UNITA. A lack of confidence had led to a number of set-backs in the long process in the cause of peace. A decisive turning point had been reached at which two parties must become one government, one army, one police force and one nation. The progress, however, could not obscure the slow process of the integration of the forces of UNITA into the Angolan Armed Forces and the police. The demining programme had seen notable progress, and economic progress had also been achieved by the Government.
He said all eyes were on the establishment of the new Angolan government. It embodied the final test of confidence between the parties and the point of no return. It would seem unreasonable to make the establishment of the new government dependent on future agreements and other conditions. The resolution guaranteed a close follow-up on the progress in establishing the new government. He hoped the Council would be spared the need to impose measures established by its resolution 864 (1993), should the parties fail to form the government. The new phase of the peace process placed special emphasis on humanitarian matters. Significant resources would be required to deal with nearly 500,000 former soldiers and large numbers of refugees and displaced persons.
MARTIN ANDJABA (Namibia) said the delay by UNITA raised serious doubts about their commitment to the implementation of the letter and spirit of the Lusaka Protocol. In that regard, he called upon the parties, particularly UNITA, to consider above all else the interests of the people of Angola who had seen no peace in their lifetime. Peace and development were the primary responsibility of all the leaders in Angola. They should form the Government of National Unity and Reconciliation without further delay.
Should the Angolan leaders fail to form the new government and resolve the problems of demobilization, the Council must consider taking appropriate measures, including the imposition of sanctions against UNITA in accordance with its relevant resolutions on Angola, he said. The United Nations should maintain its presence in Angola until the end of 1997, in order to ensure the consolidation of achievements made thus far.
PERCY M. MANGOAELA (Lesotho) said the establishment of the Government of National Unity and Reconciliation, which was the crucial next step towards an Angola free of the divisions that had characterized the country over the last three decades, remained elusive. The recent delays undermined the fragile peace process. It was disappointing that the Council had to ensure again that UNITA complied with its obligations in a timely fashion and without conditions and linkages, so as to bring about the long-awaited peace and stability in Angola and southern Africa. Peace in Angola should be given a chance. Therefore, he supported the resolution.
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Despite the progress on the quartering of troops, the departure of large numbers of them posed problems and ensured further delays in the incorporation of UNITA troops into the Angolan Armed Forces. He urged the parties to show real political will and complete the outstanding military tasks towards the formation of a national army. The support of the international community to the Angolan peace process remained unshaken. It had to be matched by commensurate political will, measured through concrete and plausible actions by the parties.
The crisis in Angola had a negative impact on the security, stability and economies within the SADC region. It was for that reason that the SADC countries required the parties to demonstrate the necessary flexibility in order to establish a new era of peace and cooperation in southern Africa. The international community must continue to provide material support to the peace process at its crucial stage, in order to facilitate the establishment of the Government of National Unity and Reconciliation.
KHIPHUSIZI J. JELE (South Africa) said it was disappointing that the Government of National Unity and Reconciliation had not been formed. Expressing concern about the sporadic incidents of violence involving both parties in Angola, he said it was important that both parties strictly observe the cease-fire and refrain from maintaining illegal check-points. Also, UNITA's remaining command structures must be dismantled. The installation of the Government of National Unity and Reconciliation would contribute to greater optimism.
He agreed with the Secretary General that, as the peace process entered a new phase, it would be essential that the United Nations maintain its presence to ensure completion of the process. He called on the international community to provide more and general assistance to promote and sustain peace and stability. He also reiterated the plea for an urgent meeting between President dos Santos and Mr. Savimbi. Such a meeting would provide the opportunity to address the issue of Mr. Savimbi's status and other outstanding matters.
In view of recent developments, he supported the extension of UNAVEM until 31 March and urged the parties to expedite the establishment of the Government of National Unity and Reconciliation. He agreed that the Secretary-General should report on developments in Angola by 20 March. The time had come for the Council to act decisively and consider implementing appropriate measures against UNITA, if it did not comply with its commitments.
ABDALLAH BAALI (Algeria) said the peace process in Angola had once again reached a serious impasse. Information provided by the Secretary-General did not inspire optimism. The process of implementation of the Lusaka Protocol had been somewhat eroded. The desertion by UNITA forces from quartering areas was a matter of concern. Much of the blame for the delay in the peace process had been attributed to UNITA, and its obstructionist attitude had been a major
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obstacle in the formation of the new government. The positive attitude of the Angolan Government had contributed to the progress achieved thus far.
He said the Council could not allow the peace process to be held hostage by UNITA. The Council must take the necessary steps to make UNITA carry out its commitments. Events had shown that the leadership of UNITA appeared to be counting on its ability to wear down the will of the international community. The international community must adopt a firm attitude towards the peace process and not falter in its commitment.
CELSO LUIZ NUNES AMORIM (Brazil) said the United Nations, which had continuously striven for a lasting solution, could not be faulted for the delays in the peace process. The main responsibility for the restoration of peace lay with the Angolans themselves. In particular, UNITA was required to take urgent and decisive steps to enable the peace process to be finalized. The international community had invested a great deal of resources in Angola in the past two years. The UNAVEM III continued to be the largest United Nations peace-keeping operation currently in place.
Although the international community would not be able to maintain that level of involvement much longer, the Council must take care not to withdraw the operation from the country before the peace process became irreversible, he continued. The establishment of a Government of National Unity and Reconciliation was one of the major objectives in that regard. The extension of the UNAVEM III mandate for just one month might not be the ideal solution. It was, however, a way of exerting additional pressure, particularly on UNITA, whose lack of cooperation had continued to cause unjustified delays in the peace process.
SLAHEDDINE ABDELLAH (Tunisia) said a critical stage had been reached in the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol. While progress had been made in a number of areas, there were still delays in the completion of the process. The situation was more disturbing, given the increase in the number of deserters from the quartering camps. The delays in the formation of the Government of National Unity and Reconciliation contributed to doubts and mistrust in people's minds and would further delay the peace process.
The Angolan parties must demonstrate the political will to move forward and overcome the obstacles to progress, he continued. In that regard, the meeting of President dos Santos and UNITA leader Mr. Savimbi was important. It was essential for UNITA to honour its commitments without delay. It must cooperate fully to facilitate the extension of the State administration to the entire country and to ensure that the entire population had the benefit of public services.
He supported extension of the UNAVEM mandate. It was now up to UNITA to comply unconditionally with its obligations under the Lusaka Protocol, he said. If not, the Security Council would consider appropriate measures. The
Security Council - 16 - Press Release SC/6328 Resumed 3743rd Meeting (PM) 27 February 1997
international community must continue to support Angola's economic recovery. He commended all the countries that had contributed to Angola's reconstruction and expressed the hope that their commitment would grow in strength and allow Angola to find peace and prosperity.
NICHOLAAS H. BIEGMAN (Netherlands), speaking on behalf of the European Union, as well as Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Iceland and Norway, said the Angolan peace process had shown some signs of progress, but was far from complete. The UNITA had yet to demonstrate its unequivocal commitment to the terms of the Lusaka Protocol, and the slow pace of implementation of several aspects of the process was cause for concern. The disarmament of the civilian population, as well as the overall human rights situation, remained unsatisfactory.
Referring to UNITA's lack of cooperation, he stressed that linkages between the establishment of the Government of National Unity and Reconciliation and other outstanding or newly raised issues were not acceptable. It was imperative for the parties, in particular UNITA, to take urgent steps to fulfil their commitments. The Union shared the view that continued pressure should be applied until compliance with the commitments undertaken in the Lusaka Protocol was assured. He, therefore, supported the Council's decision to extend UNAVEM's mandate for one month and the Council's readiness to consider the imposition of appropriate measures, if the Government of National Unity and Reconciliation was not formed by that date.
The Union had already provided substantial support for humanitarian, reconstruction and development activities in Angola and continued to respond to specific needs, he continued. There was still a need for security guarantees for international personnel, as the security situation in some regions continued to hamper the delivery of humanitarian assistance. He called on the Angolan Government to take urgent action to approve the development of a national mine-clearance capacity in Angola in support of demining activities. He also expressed concern about recent reports that mine-clearing activities were being hampered. He called on all parties, particularly UNITA, to cooperate in those activities.
MOCTAR OUANE (Mali) said considerable progress had been made in Angola and the peace process had reached a decisive turning point, but the process must be brought to its final phase. The considerable commitment of the international community must bear fruit. The Government of Angola had upheld its commitments. Now, UNITA honour its commitments and cease its delaying tactics. The extension of the mandate was welcome. The clear message was that UNITA must play a more active and positive role in the peace process or face the imposition of sanctions.
LIU JIEYI (China) expressed the gratitude of his delegation for the expressions of condolences from the speakers during the prior meeting. He said the messages would be conveyed to the people of China and to the family of Deng Xiaoping.
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