19 May 1999: Security Council demands information on and release of
passengers of Antonov-26 aircraft, shot down by UNITA on 12 May 1999
In Presidential Statement S/PRST/1999/14 by the Security Council issued on 19 May 1999, Members of the Council strongly condemned the criminal act by the União 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 remained unknown. The Council expressed grave concern at the fate of those who were on board 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 also information on the fate of the Angolan passengers. It stressed that UNITA and its leader Mr. Jonas Savimbi carried full responsibility for their security. The Security 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
passengers and crew members of other commercial aircraft lost under suspicious ircumstances over UNITA-controlled territory.
7 May 1999: Security Council, alarmed at humanitarian crisis in Angola, establishes
expert panels relating to violations of measures imposed against UNITA
Adopting resolution 1237(1999) on 7 May 1999, the Security Council, expressed its alarm at the humanitarian effects of the
.crisis on the civilian population of Angola, stressed that lasting peace and national reconciliation in Angola could only be achieved through a political settlement of the conflict. The Council deplored the deteriorating situation in Angola, which was primarily due to the refusal of UNITA, under the leadership of Mr. Jonas Savimbi, to comply with its obligations under the "Acordos de Paz", the Lusaka Protocol and relevant Security Council resolutions. It condemned the continued, indiscriminate attacks by UNITA against the civilian population of Angola, particularly in the cities of Huambo, Kuito and Malange; and decided to establish expert panels for a period of six months with the mandate to:
- collect information and investigate reports, including through visits to the countries concerned, relating to the violation of the measures imposed against UNITA with respect to arms and related matériel, petroleum and petroleum products, diamonds and the movement of UNITA funds and information on military assistance, including mercenaries;
- identify parties aiding and abetting the violations of the above-mentioned measures; and
- recommend measures to end such violations and to improve the implementation of the
The resolution reiterated the Council's call upon all concerned to cooperate with the United Nations humanitarian assistance activities on the basis of the principles of neutrality and non-discrimination, to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance to all those in need throughout the territory of Angola, and to guarantee unconditionally the security and freedom of movement of humanitarian personnel.
26 February 1999: Security Council takes note of expiration of MONUA's
mandate that day; endorses technical liquidation of the mission
On 26 February 1999, the Security Council adopted resolution 1229(1999) , whereby the Council took note that the mandate of MONUA expired on 26 February 1999. It endorsed recommendations of the Secretary-General of 24 February 1999 (S/1999/202) regarding the technical liquidation of MONUA. The Council affirmed that notwithstanding the expiration of the mandate of MONUA, the Status of Forces Agreement applicable to MONUA remained in force until the departure of the final elements of MONUA from Angola. It decided that the the human rights component of MONUA would continue its activities during the liquidation period. Deep concern was expressed at the lack of progress in investigating the downing of the two aircraft chartered by the United Nations and the loss, under suspicious circumstances, of other commercial aircraft over UNITA controlled areas. The Council called upon all concerned, especially UNITA, to cooperate with and facilitate an immediate and objective international investigation of these incidents.
24 February 1999: Pursuant to Angolan Government assessment that continued
multidisciplinary UN presence in the country was no longer necessary,
Secretary-General reports to Security Council on technical liquidation of MONUA
In a report S/1999/202 submitted to the Council on 24 February 1999, the Secretary-General stated that the situation in Angola remained grave, with heavy fighting continuing to rage in several parts of the
country. Deep animosity and distrust persisted between the Government of Angola and the
União Nacional para a Independência Total de Angola (UNITA) - led by Mr. Jonas Savimbi.
On 27 January 1999, the Angolan Government informed the Special Representative of the Secretary-General that, in its view, a continued multidisciplinary presence of the United Nations in Angola was not necessary. The Government expressed the view that the United Nations should continue its activities through the specialized agencies, under the coordination of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The Angolan Government indicated to continue to deal with representatives of United Nations agencies and programmes on issues related to humanitarian assistance, human rights and other matters of interest to the people of Angola. As for MONUA, the Government considered that conditions for maintaining a MONUA presence had ceased to exist. In his letter, President dos Santos further emphasized that his Government was not opposed to the appointment of a representative of the Secretary-General who, from New York, could maintain contact with the Government of Angola in monitoring the evolution of the situation in the country. The Secretary-General stated that he would continue consultations with the Government concerning the modalities of the future presence of the United Nations and to inform the Security Council of the outcome of these consultations.
The relocation of United Nations personnel and equipment proceeded smoothly and,
generally, according to the existing plans, despite the shortages of air assets at MONUA's disposal. All United Nations team sites and regional headquarters were relocated to Luanda by 23 February. As of 24 February 1999 and since the beginning of 1999, a total of 325 MONUA military and civilian police observers have been repatriated. With regard to the formed units, the Namibian contingent was repatriated on 22 February, while the Portuguese signal unit is expected to leave Angola by the end of February 1999. The Russian helicopter unit is scheduled to depart soon after the expiration of MONUA's mandate. The technical liquidation of MONUA and its predecessors, whose combined presence in Angola spanned a period of almost 10 years, presented a significant challenge to the Organization and might take over six months to complete, demanding the presence in Angola of a substantial number of administrative, logistical and other personnel, as well as a small medical unit. Most of the
remaining military, police and civilian personnel would be repatriated by the end of March 1999.
21 January 1999: Security Council, concerned at humanitarian impact of Angolan
conflict, urges generous funding of 1999 Consolidated Humanitarian Appeal
In a Statement by its President made on 21 January 1999 S/PRST/1999/3 , the Security Council
noted with alarm the serious deterioration in the political and military situation in Angola and expressed profound concern at the humanitarian impact of the conflict on the Angolan people. The Council urged the international community to support the Government of Angola in fulfilling its primary responsibility for the humanitarian needs of the Angolan people and. Thus, it urged Member States to fund generously the 1999 Consolidated Humanitarian Appeal for
17 January 1999: With peace process in Angola collapsed, Secretary-General
recommends termination of MONUA folowing expiration of mandate on 26 February
Observing that the peace process in Angola has collapsed and the country found itself in a state of war, Secretary-General Kofi Annan stated in his 17 January 1999 report to the Security Council (S/1999/49), that MONUA had no other option but to continue to reduce its presence and proceed with the orderly repatriation of UN personnel and property. Upon expiration of MONUA's mandate on 26 February, the United Nations would then proceed with the mission's technical liquidation. Citing the determination of the parties in Angola to test their fortunes on the battlefield, the steady worsening security situation and MONUA's inability to carry out its mandate, the Secretary-General assessed that the conditions for a meaningful United Nations peacekeeping role have ceased to exist. He noted that the Angolan Government did not support the extension of MONUA beyond its current mandate, which was to expire on 26 February 1999. All MONUA team sites and regional headquarters were to be withdrawn to the capital Luanda by mid-February and most of UN peacekeeping personnel repatriated by 20 March. The Secretary-General suggested retaining an infantry company of up to 200 personnel to protect UN property during the first months of liquidation.
The Secretary-General stressed, however, that the international community and the United Nations must not turn its back on the Angolan people. The humanitarian situation in the country, already critical, had the potential to develop into a full-scale catastrophe, and heavy fighting caused dire consequences for the civilian population. Thus, he intended to designate a New York-based Special Envoy for Angola and, to the extent possible, continue United Nations human rights and humanitarian activities in the country.
12 January 1999: Security Council condemns downing of two UN aircraft; demands
that UNITA cooperate immediately in search and rescue of possible survivors
After the downing on 2 January 1999 of a second United Nations-chartered
aircraft over territory controlled by UNITA, bringing to six the number of aircraft lost in this area in recent months, the Council - acting under Chapter VII of the Charter - demanded in resolution
1221(1999) of 12 January 1999, that all such attacks cease immediately; reaffirming its resolve to establish the truth about the circumstances of and to determine the responsibility for the downing of the two UN aircraft and the loss under suspicious circumstances of other commercial aircraft over UNITA controlled territory through an immediate and objective international investigation, and called especially on UNITA to cooperate fully with and to facilitate such an investigation. The Council concluded that the leader of UNITA, Mr. Jonas Savimbi, has not complied with the demands contained in its resolution 1219(1998) of 31 December 1998, and reiterated its demand that he cooperate immediately and in good faith in the search for and rescue of possible survivors of the aircraft crashes. The Council also requested the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to provide all possible support to the investigation of those incidents as soon as conditions on the ground permitted.