IN PRESIDENTIAL STATEMENT ON ANGOLA, SECURITY COUNCIL STRONGLY CONDEMNS TERRORIST ATTACKS BY UNITA

20 September 2001
SC/7149

IN PRESIDENTIAL STATEMENT ON ANGOLA, SECURITY COUNCIL STRONGLY CONDEMNS TERRORIST ATTACKS BY UNITA

20/09/2001
Press ReleaseSC/7149

Security Council

4377th Meeting (PM)

IN PRESIDENTIAL STATEMENT ON ANGOLA, SECURITY COUNCIL

STRONGLY CONDEMNS TERRORIST ATTACKS BY UNITA

The Security Council this afternoon strongly condemned terrorist attacks by the forces of the União Nacional para a Independência Total de Angola (UNITA), stressing that such attacks were unacceptable and could not be justified by any political goals.

In a statement read out by its President, Jean-David Levitte (France), the Council reminded perpetrators that such acts violated international law and might have further implications.

In view of the Government of Angola's stated intention to hold elections, the Council requested the Secretary-General to provide appropriate support in preparation of elections, including through the work of the ongoing United Nations technical assistance mission.

The Council also expressed concern with the plight of the Angolan population, particularly the internally displaced persons, and called again on all parties concerned to facilitate the delivery of emergency relief assistance.  The work of United Nations agencies and other international aid organizations must continue unobstructed with the financial support of the international community.

The Council reaffirmed that UNITA's failure to implement its obligations under the "Accordos de Paz", the Lusaka Protocol and its relevant resolutions remained the reason for Council sanctions against UNITA.  It expressed determination to keep the sanctions in place until the conditions in its relevant resolutions were met.  The Council reiterated its call on all States to implement strictly the sanctions regime and urged them to strengthen internal legislation related to the application of sanctions measures.  The Council also reaffirmed its intention to keep sanctions under close monitoring and periodic review.

Noting with satisfaction that the countries of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) had undertaken to prepare a report on how the SADC countries implemented Council resolution 1295 (2000), the Council encouraged the SADC countries to cooperate fully in their efforts to implement the Council's measures against UNITA.

The Council also encouraged the Government of Angola to promote the peace process and welcomed the initiatives of the Government, civil society and churches.  It called on Angolan authorities to continue efforts aimed at national

reconciliation and stabilization in consultation with all segments of Angolan society.  Those should focus on re-establishment of the State administration, improvement of the social and economic situation of the population, promotion of the rule of law, protection of human rights, the activity of the Interagency Committee and of the Peace and Reconciliation Fund.

The meeting, which began at 5:25 p.m., was adjourned at 5:30 p.m.

Presidential Statement

The statement, which will be issued as document S/PRST/2001/24, reads as follows:

     “The Security Council remains concerned at the continuing conflict in Angola.  It reiterates its position that the primary responsibility for the continued fighting lies with the leadership of the armed faction of the União Nacional para a Independência Total de Angola (UNITA) headed by Mr. J. Savimbi which is refusing to fulfil its obligations under the “Accordos de Paz” (S/22609, annex), the Lusaka Protocol (S/1994/1441, annex) and relevant resolutions of the Security Council, which remain the only viable basis for political settlement of the conflict in Angola. 

The Council considers the four-point agenda for peace proposed by the Government of Angola a useful indication of areas where an agreement or progress should be reached.  It calls on UNITA armed faction headed by Mr. J. Savimbi to cease all military action and to enter into a dialogue with the Government of Angola on how to conclude the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol on this basis.

     “The Security Council condemns in the strongest terms the terrorist attacks by UNITA forces on the civilian population of Angola.  It stresses that such attacks are unacceptable and cannot be justified by any political goals.  The Council reminds their perpetrators that such acts are in violation of international law and may have further implications.

     “The Security Council reaffirms that the failure by the armed faction of UNITA to implement its obligations under the “Accordos de Paz”, the Lusaka Protocol, and its relevant resolutions remains the reason for the Security Council sanctions against UNITA.  The Council is determined to keep sanctions in place until it is convinced that the conditions in its relevant resolutions are met.  It reiterates its call on all States to implement strictly the sanctions regime against UNITA and urges them to strengthen, where appropriate, their internal legislation related to application of sanction measures imposed by the Council. The Council reaffirms its intention to keep sanctions under close monitoring and periodic review in order to raise their effectiveness, including as they relate to UNITA activity abroad.

     “The Security Council notes with satisfaction that, at their recent summit, the heads of States and governments of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries undertook to prepare a report on how SADC countries implement

Security Council resolution 1295.  The Council encourages SADC countries to cooperate fully in their efforts to implement the Security Council’s measures against UNITA.

     “The Security Council encourages the Government of Angola to promote the peace process and in this regard welcomes the initiatives by the Government of Angola, as well as by the Angolan people, including the civil society and the churches. It calls on the Angolan authorities to continue efforts aimed at national reconciliation and stabilization of the situation in the country in consultation with all segments of the Angolan society, including the civil society and the churches.  These should focus on re-establishment of the State administration, improvement of the social and economic situation of the population, promotion of the rule of law, protection of human rights, the activity of the Interagency Committee and of the Peace and Reconciliation Fund.

     “The Security Council supports the intention of the Government of Angola to hold elections as a part of the ongoing democratization process in Angola in conformity with the universally accepted democratic principles and standards.  It stresses the need to create the necessary conditions for elections to be free and fair.  The Council requests the Secretary-General to provide appropriate support, in coordination with the Government of Angola, in preparation of elections, including through the work of the ongoing United Nations technical assistance mission.

“The Security Council notes the positive contribution that the United Nations Office in Angola (UNOA) is making towards finding the solution to the Angolan conflict.  It reiterates its full support for the work of UNOA and the Representative of the Secretary-General.

“The Security Council is seriously concerned with the plight of the Angolan population particularly the internally displaced persons and, in order to alleviate its suffering, calls again on all parties concerned to facilitate the delivery of emergency relief assistance.  The work of the United Nations agencies and other international organizations delivering assistance to those in the affected areas is of the utmost importance and must continue unobstructed with the financial support of the international community.”

Background

The Government of Angola and UNITA have been engaged in an intermittent yet devastating civil war since the country's independence in 1975.  Over the years the United Nations has been actively involved in helping to find a peaceful solution to the conflict.  Those efforts have included mediation by the Secretary-General and his envoys, the organization of peace talks, the imposition of a Security Council arms and oil embargo against UNITA forces, and the monitoring of national elections. 

The Council has established four successive peacekeeping missions in Angola.  UNAVEM I, established in 1989, was followed by UNAVEM II, UNAVEM III and the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (MONUA).  Despite all efforts to restore

peace and achieve national reconciliation, however, the situation began to deteriorate again in May 1998 when UNITA refused to proceed with the implementation of the “Accordos de Paz” and the Lusaka Protocol.  At the beginning of 1999, the Government informed the United Nations that it did not intend to support extension of the mandate of MONUA beyond 26 February 1999.  The Secretary-General nonetheless indicated that the United Nations stood ready to play a political role, if requested, to assist in reaching a peaceful solution to the crisis.

In May 1999, the Council established an independent Panel of Experts "to trace violations in arms trafficking, oil supplies and the diamond trade, as well as the movement of UNITA funds".  In April 2000, after considering the final report of the Panel, covering violations of the sanctions against UNITA and containing recommendations aimed at making those sanctions more effective, the Council adopted resolution 1295 (2000) tightening existing sanctions, establishing a new monitoring mechanism and putting into place a process whereby the Council would consider appropriate action in relation to States suspected of violating the sanctions.  Five experts were appointed to serve on the Monitoring Mechanism.  The mandate of the Monitoring Mechanism has been extended several times, most recently until 19 October 2001.

In the addendum of April 2001 to its final report of 21 December 2000, the Monitoring Mechanism concluded that the rebel movement is still conducting guerilla warfare, attacking mostly civilian targets, destroying infrastructure, killing innocent people and laying landmines.  It stressed the urgent need to tighten regulations governing the activities of arms brokering companies and suggested that the Council consider the establishment of an international registry of dubious companies involved in sanctions–busting.

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For information media. Not an official record.