COUNCIL EXTENDS MANDATE OF ANGOLA OBSERVER MISSION UNTIL 3 DECEMBER

15 October 1998
SC/6586

COUNCIL EXTENDS MANDATE OF ANGOLA OBSERVER MISSION UNTIL 3 DECEMBER

15 October 1998

Press ReleaseSC/6586

COUNCIL EXTENDS MANDATE OF ANGOLA OBSERVER MISSION UNTIL 3 DECEMBER

19981015

The Security Council this morning extended the mandate of the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (MONUA) until 3 December. It requested that the Secretary-General adjust the Mission's deployment and force structure according to security conditions and its ability to implement the mandate in support of the peace process.

The Council took that action when it unanimously adopted resolution 1202 (1998), by which it also asked the Secretary-General to prepare further contingency plans.

The primary cause of the current impasse in the peace process, the Council reiterated, was the failure of the leadership of the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) to comply with its obligations under the "Acordos de Paz", the Lusaka Protocol and relevant Council resolutions. The Council demanded that UNITA comply immediately and unconditionally with its obligations and withdraw immediately from territories occupied through military action.

The Council emphasized that the extension of MONUA's mandate provided the Secretary-General's Special Representative with another opportunity to revive the stalled peace process. It strongly urged UNITA to transform itself into a genuine political party and secure a legitimate and constructive role in the Angolan political process. The Council called on the Government and UNITA to cooperate fully with the Special Representative.

Also by the resolution, the Council demanded that the Angolan Government and UNITA guarantee unconditionally the safety and freedom of movement of the Special Representative and all United Nations and international humanitarian personnel throughout the territory of Angola.

The Council stressed the importance of strengthening the rule of law and respect for human rights. It expressed deep concern at the continued deterioration of the humanitarian situation, especially the significant

* Pages 2-5 of this release should indicate AM Meeting.

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increase in the number of internally displaced persons and the lack of access by humanitarian organizations to vulnerable groups.

The Council asked the Committee established to monitor the implementation of sanctions against UNITA to investigate reports that the leader of UNITA had travelled outside Angola in violation of those restrictions. The Committee was also asked to investigate reports that UNITA forces had received military training, assistance and arms from outside Angola, in violation of Council resolution 864 (1993).

Further, the Council asked the Secretary-General to submit a comprehensive report by 23 November to enable it to consider the future role of the United Nations in Angola and to make recommendations on how to improve the implementation of travel restrictions on UNITA officials.

Higano Carneiro, the Vice Minister for Territorial Administration of Angola, said his Government had broken off dialogue with Jonas Savimbi, and consequently he was no longer the UNITA interlocutor. Member States should adopt sanctions designed to curtail his travels, particularly to certain African countries.

He said it was important for the international community to encourage the UNITA Renovation Committee by strengthening its leadership role, not only to detract from Mr. Savimbi's influence on his military forces, but also to de-escalate the state of war in Angola.

The meeting was called to order at 11:54 a.m. and adjourned at 12:10 p.m.

Secretary-General's Report

When the Council met this morning it had before it the report of the Secretary-General on the situation in Angola (document S/1998/931). He recommends that the Council extend the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (MONUA) for another short period of up to six weeks in order to give his Special Representative, Issa B.Y. Diallo, an additional opportunity to revive the stalled peace process.

The Secretary-General states that he might propose that the United Nations proceed with the immediate readjustment of its presence throughout the country. If after the expiration of the extension, the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) pattern of non-compliance with its obligations continues, if dialogue between the parties remains elusive, the Special Representative is unable to maintain meaningful contacts and MONUA remains obstructed in its verification activities, the reconfiguration, which would start at the beginning of December, would be conducted gradually, so as to fully protect United Nations personnel and property, and would be completed by the end of January 1999.

In the report, the Secretary-General expresses concern about the unravelling of the peace process in Angola, noting that UNITA and its leadership in Bailundo bear the primary responsibility for the present crisis in Angola. Only the unconditional implementation of all the crucial elements of the Lusaka Protocol, particularly the full demilitarization and the extension of State administration throughout the whole country, can rescue the peace process.

(The Lusaka Protocol, signed on 20 November 1994, covers the re- establishment of the ceasefire in Angola; the demobilization of military forces of UNITA; the disarming of civilians; and the formation of the Angolan Armed Forces. The major political issues include the police, the United Nations mandate and the role of observers, the completion of the electoral process and national reconciliation.)

During the period under review, the most significant development was the breaking of all contacts by the Government with UNITA and the Government's recognition of the UNITA Renovation Committee as the legitimate interlocutor for the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol. Although the UNITA leadership in Andulo insists that it is the legitimate partner in the peace process, President Jose Eduardo dos Santos said he saw no utility in future contacts with UNITA leader Jonas Savimbi. The President also requested that MONUA support the efforts of the Government and those of the States of the sub- region, and that it work with the Renovation Committee to conclude the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol. The Government declined to provide security guarantees for a proposed trip by the Secretary-General's Special

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Representative to meet with Mr. Savimbi and warned that it would cease all contacts with the Special Representative if the trip took place.

Meanwhile, the Renovation Committee has been active in many provinces of the country appealing to UNITA members to join its ranks and give up their weapons, the report stated. The Government has been assisting the Committee in setting up provincial offices and holding political rallies. The report notes that at their Summit in Mauritius on 14 September, the leaders of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) expressed support to the new UNITA group. They characterized Mr. Savimbi's behaviour as that of a "war criminal".

The Secretary-General stated that the security situation in Angola continued to deteriorate primarily because of persistent UNITA attacks on strategic locations. The Government launched counter-attacks in several parts of the country. In the North, UNITA forces, allegedly assisted by armed elements from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, occupied several locations in the first half of September. It is widely assumed that the Angolan Armed Forces are preparing for a major military action in several areas in the country. The UNITA still controls the diamond mining areas in Lunda Norte and Malange.

The Secretary-General reports that on 16 September a United Nations convoy was ambushed by attackers dressed in Angolan Armed Forces uniforms. The attack resulted in the death of one MONUA employee and injury to three others. The MONUA road convoys were temporarily suspended but have resumed on routes that are relatively safe. The widespread hostilities continued to exert a heavy toll on law and order, and the attitude of some Angolan National Police personnel towards the civilian population in formerly UNITA-controlled areas cannot be described as neutral. The disarming of the civilian population has virtually ceased and there are increasing reports of Government recruitment of civilians into local "defense brigades" which are not closely controlled by the authorities.

With regard to human rights, the report states that despite reports of indiscriminate abuses over the past few months, the number of violations appear to have decreased slightly in September. Still, MONUA has been concerned about the safety of UNITA Members and party officials in Government controlled areas who have not declared their support for the UNITA Renovation Committee.

Because of the pervasive insecurity and instability in Angola, the Secretary-General states that the humanitarian situation continues to deteriorate, resulting in widespread lawlessness and the displacement of 1.3 million people -- over 10 per cent of the population. Access by relief workers to vulnerable groups is restricted by the insecurity and suspension of escorts. There is a lack of national or community-based social services and local support mechanisms. Almost 30 per cent of Angolan children do not

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survive beyond the age of five. According to the Secretary-General, the humanitarian situation will continue to deteriorate unless there is an early resolution to the crisis.

Although the Government and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have agreed that the suspension of the demining programme throughout the country should be avoided at all costs, the worsening of administrative and logistical support to the demining brigades in the provinces has led to the cessation of operation by all but two national brigades out of seven established earlier.

The Secretary-General goes on to state that the Angolan economy continues to show signs of deep stagnation: foreign receipts from oil have been declining, public budget allocations revised downwards and public domestic debt increasing. With a further reduction of planned expenditure for the social sector, some social infrastructure rehabilitation projects launched early this year could be halted.

Pending a decision by the Council on the mandate of MONUA beyond 15 October, the Secretary-General requests the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ) to commit $10.9 million gross for the maintenance of MONUA for the month of November. As at 30 September, unpaid assessed contributions to the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III)/MONUA special account, for the period since the inception of the mission to 15 October, amounted to $137.8 million.

To keep the door to dialogue open, the Secretary-General has instructed his Special Representative to maintain contacts with all concerned, and in particular to visit Mr. Savimbi to deliver the strong message of the international community and to ascertain his intentions concerning the speediest implementation of the Lusaka Protocol. The Government should facilitate that contact.

HIGINO CARNEIRO, the Vice Minister for Territorial Administration of Angola, said his Government had encouraged and supported the provisional leadership of UNITA in their campaign for peace and their party's internal democratization. The Angolan Government had broken off dialogue with Jonas Savimbi, and consequently he was no longer the UNITA interlocutor. The time had come to restore to Angolans what they wanted most -- peace. Mr. Savimbi had wasted all opportunities afforded him, because he had deluded and deceived all those who were for peace and security in Angola. He was isolated and was no longer part of the process. Member States should adopt sanctions designed to curtail his travels, particularly to certain African countries.

The Council could not remain aloof to non-compliance of its pertinent resolutions by certain Member States, he said. It should adopt severe sanctions against all States which failed to honour its decisions. It was equally important to move for more expeditious and proactive measures by the

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Sanctions Committee, so as to discourage those who tried to render United Nations sanctions a dead letter.

To encourage the UNITA Renovation Committee, he continued, it was important that the Council and the international community support the Committee's provisional leadership, by strengthening its leadership role, not only to detract from Mr. Savimbi's influence on his military forces, but also to de-escalate the state of war in Angola. Those efforts would only bear fruit if the Joint Commission set up to monitor compliance with the Lusaka Protocols would operate regularly and adopt decisions on the pending issues, disposition of which should have occurred a long time ago. It was essential that the Commission be urgently reactivated. The Angolan Government supported the extension of MONUA's mandate until December and then its gradual phasing out and total withdrawal.

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For information media. Not an official record.