SECURITY COUNCIL, THROUGH PRESIDENTIAL STATEMENT, STRONGLY CONDEMNS CRIMINAL ACT OF UNITA -- 12 MAY SHOOTING DOWN OF ANTONOV-26 NEAR LUZAMBA, ANGOLA

19 May 1999
SC/6681

SECURITY COUNCIL, THROUGH PRESIDENTIAL STATEMENT, STRONGLY CONDEMNS CRIMINAL ACT OF UNITA -- 12 MAY SHOOTING DOWN OF ANTONOV-26 NEAR LUZAMBA, ANGOLA

19/05/1999
Press ReleaseSC/6681

Security Council

4007th Meeting (PM)

SECURITY COUNCIL, THROUGH PRESIDENTIAL STATEMENT, STRONGLY CONDEMNS CRIMINAL

    ACT OF UNITA -- 12 MAY SHOOTING DOWN OF ANTONOV-26 NEAR LUZAMBA, ANGOLA

The Security Council this morning strongly condemned the criminal act

by the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) against commercial aircraft -- namely, the shooting down of an Antonov-26 aircraft on 12 May near Luzamba, Angola, the taking hostage of its Russian crew, and the unknown fate of its Angolan passengers.

Through a presidential statement, read out by its President, Denis Dangue Rewaka (Gabon), the Council also expressed its grave concern at the fate of those who were onboard the downed aircraft, demanded the immediate

and unconditional release of the Russian crew members and all other foreign nationals that might be held hostage by UNITA in Angola, and demanded information on the fate of the Angolan passengers, as well.  The Council stressed that UNITA and its leader, Jonas Savimbi, carry full responsibility for their security.

Also by the statement, the Council called upon the Government of Angola and all other concerned parties to cooperate in obtaining the release of the Russian crew members, as well as in ascertaining the fate of the passengers and crew members of other commercial aircraft lost under suspicious circumstances over UNITA-controlled territory.  The Council decided to remain actively seized of the matter.

The meeting, which began at 1:42 p.m., was adjourned at 1:44 p.m.

Presidential Statement

The full text of the statement, to be issued as document S/PRST/1999/14, reads as follows:

"The Security Council strongly condemns the criminal act by the Uniao Nacional para a Independência Total de Angola (UNITA) against commercial aircraft, namely, the shooting down of an Antonov-26 aircraft on 12 May 1999 near Luzamba and the taking hostage of its Russian crew, while the fate of its Angolan passengers remains unknown.

"The Security Council expresses its grave concern at the fate of those who were onboard the downed aircraft, demands the immediate and unconditional release of the Russian crew members and all other foreign nationals that may be held hostage by UNITA in Angola, and demands also information on the fate of the Angolan passengers.  It stresses that UNITA and its leader Mr. Jonas Savimbi carry full responsibility for their security.

"The Security Council calls upon the Government of Angola and all other concerned parties to cooperate in obtaining the release of the Russian crew members, as well as in ascertaining the fate of passengers and crew members of other commercial aircraft lost under suspicious circumstances over UNITA-controlled territory.

"The Security Council will remain actively seized of the matter."

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For information media. Not an official record.