29 June 1998


29 June 1998

Press Release


19980629 Tributes Are Paid to Secretary-General's Special Envoy and Colleagues Who Died in Weekend Air Crash

The Security Council this evening decided to extend the mandate of the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (MONUA) and demanded that the Government of Unity and National Reconciliation (GURN) and, in particular, the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) cooperate fully with MONUA in its verification activities.

Unanimously adopting resolution 1180 (1998), the Council called upon the GURN and, in particular, UNITA to refrain from laying new mines. It reiterated its call on the GURN to notify MONUA in a timely manner of its troop movements, in accordance with the provisions of the Lusaka Protocol and established procedures.

The Council reiterated its demand that UNITA immediately stop any attacks by its members on the MONUA personnel, international personnel, GURN authorities, including the police and the civilian population. The Council called upon the, GURN and, in particular, UNITA to guarantee unconditionally the safety and freedom of movement of all United Nations and international personnel.

At the outset of the meeting, a minute of silence was observed in the memory of the Secretary-General's Special Representative for Angola, Alioune Blondin Beye, and colleagues and crew who were killed when their aircraft crashed in Côte d'Ivoire on Friday, 26 June.

Statements were made by the Foreign Minister of Portugal, Jaime Gama, President of the Council, and the representatives of Angola and Mali. The Deputy Secretary-General, Louise Fréchette, also made a statement. (For full text of statement, see Press Release DSG/SM/11-SC/6540-AFR/81.)

The meeting, which was called to order at 6:20 p.m., was adjourned at 6:38 p.m.

Council Work Programme

The Council met this evening to consider the situation in Angola. It had before it a report of the Secretary-General on the status of the

implementation of the peace process in Angola (document S/1998/524). The report, which covers the period from 16 April to 17 June, also contains information regarding MONUA or a follow-on United Nations presence in Angola after 30 June, pursuant to Council resolution 1164 (1998).

The Secretary-General recommends that the United Nations should continue to assist the Angolan people in restoring peace and national reconciliation. Therefore, if the demands contained in Council resolution 1173 (1998) were implemented, the mandate of MONUA should be extended for two months, until 31 August. The strength of MONUA should be maintained at the present level: 414 troops belonging to three infantry companies; 302 military support personnel; 39 staff officers; 90 military observers; and 336 police observers. The MONUA would also continue to operate on the basis of its current mandate and organizational structure as outlined in the Secretary-General's previous reports of 13 March and 16 April (documents S/1998/236 and S/1998/333, respectively). In addition, the Mission would be prepared to support the full extension of State administration, including Andulo, Bailundo, Mungo and N'Harêa.

Should the Council decide to extend the Mission's mandate to 31 August, the additional costs would be limited to an initial bridging appropriation of $43.6 million gross, equivalent to a monthly rate of $10.9 million gross, for the period from 1 July to 31 October. The Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ) and the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budget) have completed reviews of the request for that appropriation, and the General Assembly was expected to adopt the financing resolution.

Should it become clear that there is no political will to complete the peace process expeditiously, the report recommends that the Secretary-General state that the withdrawal of United Nations troop should be resumed in accordance with resolution 1164 (1998) of 29 April. The deployment to Angola of the additional police observers should also cease. In addition, it would become necessary to review the United Nations involvement in Angola.

According to the report, the situation in Angola has become critical. That status is attributable, for the most part, to the failure of UNITA to fulfil its obligations under the Lusaka Protocol and to implement the "crisis resolution plan" offered to the parties by the Secretary-General's Special Representative, Alioune Blondin Beye, on 15 May. The Secretary-General appeals to UNITA to cooperate in the immediate extension of State administration through the national territory.

The peace process also will not be possible without full demilitarization of the large number of troops being retained by UNITA, the report says. The GURN should exercise restraint and avoid any action which might further undermine the peace process. The Secretary-General deplored the acts of violence committed against United Nations personnel and property and other international organizations which were providing assistance to the Angolan people.

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No progress had been achieved during the reporting period in the implementation of one of the last major pending tasks under the Lusaka Protocol (S/1994/1441, annex), the report states. That task, the normalization of State administration throughout the country, including in the four strategic areas of Andulo, Bailundo, Mungo and N'Harêa, remained under UNITA control. To date, State administration has been normalized in 272 of the total of 335 localities envisaged. Delays in the normalization process in many localities are due to logistical difficulties, including poor infrastructure and the presence of mines.

On 19 May, the Government and UNITA endorsed Mr. Beye's crisis resolution plan, which is aimed at overcoming the current impasse, the report says. The plan envisaged full normalization of State administration by 31 May in the four strategic areas, strict verification of the alleged presence of UNITA elements throughout the country, the cessation of hostile propaganda in the government mass media and an end to the harassment of UNITA members by the Angolan National Police. The plan also stipulated that, if either party failed to implement it, the Council would be requested to consider taking appropriate measures.

On 31 May, Jonas Savimbi sent a message to Mr. Beye in which the UNITA leader indicated his general support for the plan, but presented new proposals which contained additional conditions, the report states. Those proposals envisaged that the joint government and UNITA technical teams would conduct their work in the four localities between 17 and 21 June, and that the full normalization of State administration would take place by 25 June. Government representatives publicly rejected those new delays and warned of possible action unless UNITA immediately disbanded the military structure it had maintained in defiance of the Lusaka Protocol.

According to the report, armed attacks against villages, local government authorities and United Nations and other international personnel, have become commonplace in the reports received from MONUA. Acts of banditry, new mine-laying activities, and troop movements have also increased. Some localities where State administration had been recently established have been abandoned by the local population and government authorities for fear of attacks by UNITA elements. The normalization of State administration had been reversed in over 30 localities, and the Government acknowledged that 17 localities had been re-occupied by elements allegedly belonging to UNITA. On 26 May, the Force Commander of MONUA presented to the Joint Commission a report on the verification of the demilitarization of UNITA forces, in which he concluded that a large number of UNITA cadres continue to be armed.

The repatriation of United Nations military personnel from Angola was resumed, as requested by Council resolution 1164 (1998), the report says. The Zambian infantry company, together with a small number from the formed units and some military support elements, have already been withdrawn. In view of

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the dangerous security situation, the drawdown of formed units was postponed until the end of June. The remaining three infantry companies and small support units will provide minimum security to United Nations personnel and assist in verification functions conducted by unarmed military and police observers.

The civilian police component of MONUA continued to monitor the neutrality of the Angolan National Police, investigate human rights violations and visit prisons and detention centres, the report says. It has also been monitoring the security arrangements for UNITA leaders, particularly in Luanda. In addition, the civilian police has been urging the Government to disarm the civilian population in accordance with the Lusaka Protocol. Although the Government claims that it is conducting disarmament exercises, its cooperation with MONUA remains inadequate. The MONUA is not always informed of disarmament operations, which seem to focus mainly on areas formerly controlled by UNITA. Civilian police's verification of acts of banditry is often impeded by restrictions and lack of cooperation from both the Government and UNITA.

Recent military actions launched by UNITA elements have worsened the human rights environment in the country, the report states. In addition, some elements of the Angolan National Police continued to commit serious human rights violations, especially in areas where State administration was established recently, and during the disarmament of the civilian population. The abuses include extrajudicial executions, torture, rape, arbitrary arrest and detention. As a result of widespread impunity, most UNITA and government perpetrators of human rights violations are not brought to justice. The lack of access has also made it difficult to further investigate reports of extrajudicial executions and torture in areas under UNITA's control, especially in the Malange and Uige Provinces.

Humanitarian organizations continued to register an increase in the number of newly displaced persons, the report says. Despite the return of some newly displaced persons earlier in the year, it is estimated that there are about 1 million displaced persons in Angola. Some humanitarian organizations had to suspend their activities temporarily and withdraw some of their personnel to provincial capitals. The Humanitarian Assistance Coordination Unit is assisting humanitarian organizations in building capacity to respond to the high level of insecurity. Until the situation improves, priority humanitarian assistance in support of the returnees will be temporarily suspended.

The report states that urgent funding is required for the activities of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). If no additional funds are received by the end of June, those organizations will have to reduce their activities in the country. Additional resources are also urgently needed for the air transportation

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service managed by the World Food Programme (WFP) on behalf of the humanitarian agencies operating in Angola.

Surveys of 12 of Angola's 18 provinces have been carried out by international demining non-governmental organizations, the report says. Yet, success in mine marking and clearance have been limited, due to the size of the country, the security situation, the severity of the mine problem and shortage of financial and human resources. The project of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), which is supported by the National Mine Action Institute, is being carried out to develop maps covering minefields identified for future marking and clearance. Voluntary contributions from the donor community are urgently needed to pursue all demining programmes in Angola.

Regarding the country's socio-economic situation, the report lists Angola's numerous macroeconomic problems, which include a recession, an increased inflation rate, and high and fluctuating foreign exchange rates. Those factors have been compounded by a persistent budget deficit. The Government has only been able to reduce the high rates of monthly inflation through the non-payment of the Government's internal debt. Prices of consumer goods and services have reached very high levels, and the country may once again be on the threshold of a new spiral of inflation. The current economic difficulties have been compounded by the low price of oil on the world market. With the current situation, the budget deficit for the first half of the year is likely to rise considerably.

Draft Resolution

The Security Council had before it a draft resolution (document S/1998/577), the text of which reads as follows:

"The Security Council,

"Reaffirming its resolution 696 (1991) of 30 May 1991 and all subsequent relevant resolutions, in particular resolution 1173 (1998) of 12 June 1998 and resolution 1176 (1998) of 24 June 1998,

"Reaffirming its firm commitment to preserve the unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Angola,

"Having considered the report of the Secretary-General of 17 June 1998 (S/1998/524),

"Expressing in the strongest terms its concern at the critical situation in the peace process, which is the result of the failure by the União Nacional para a Independência Total de Angola (UNITA) to complete its obligations under the "Acordos de Paz" (S/22609, annex), the Lusaka Protocol (S/1994/1441, annex), and relevant Security Council resolutions, including in particular its obligation

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to cooperate fully and without conditions in the immediate extension of State administration throughout the national territory,

"Expressing its grave concern at the deterioration of the security situation in Angola as a result of the reoccupation by UNITA of localities where State administration was recently established, attacks by armed elements of UNITA, new minelaying activities, and banditry,

"Noting with deep concern cases of serious abuse by some elements of the Angolan National Police, and stressing the importance of strengthening the rule of law, including the full protection of all Angolan citizens throughout the national territory,

"Recognizing the important role of the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (MONUA) at this critical stage of the peace process,

"1. Welcomes the recommendations of the Secretary-General in paragraph 44 of his report of 17 June 1998, and decides to extend the mandate of MONUA until 15 August 1998;

"2. Decides also to resume the withdrawal of the military component of MONUA in accordance with paragraph 9 of resolution 1164 (1998) of 29 April 1998 as soon as conditions permit;

"3. Requests the Secretary-General to reconsider the deployment of the additional civilian police observers authorized under paragraph 10 of resolution 1164 (1998), taking into account conditions on the ground and progress in the peace process;

"4. Requests the Secretary-General to submit a report, as necessary, but no later than 7 August 1998, with recommendations regarding the United Nations involvement in Angola, taking into account the safety and freedom of movement of MONUA personnel and the status of the peace process;

"5. Reiterates its demand that UNITA immediately stop any attacks by its members on the personnel of MONUA, international personnel, the authorities of the Government of Unity and National Reconciliation (GURN), including the police, and the civilian population, and calls again upon the GURN and in particular UNITA to guarantee unconditionally the safety and freedom of movement of all United Nations and international personnel;

"6. Demands that the GURN and in particular UNITA cooperate fully with MONUA in providing full access for its verification activities, including the verification of the full demilitarization of UNITA, and reiterates its call on the GURN to notify MONUA in a timely manner of its troop movements, in accordance with the provisions of the Lusaka Protocol and established procedures;

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"7. Calls upon the GURN and in particular UNITA to refrain from the laying of new mines;

"8. Expresses its appreciation to the Secretary-General, his Special Representative and the personnel of MONUA for assisting the GURN and UNITA to implement the peace process;

"9. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter."


LOUISE FRÉCHETTE, Deputy Secretary-General, said all those assembled had gathered to mourn an irreplaceable colleague, Maître Alioune Beye. Mr. Beye and the seven members of his team paid the highest price possible for peace in Angola. The other members of the team included: Koffie Adjoyi, Beandegar Dessande, Amadou Moctar Gueye, Ibikunle Williams, Alvaro Costa, Jason Hunter and Andrew McCurrach. She said all present prayed that their mission of peace was not in vain.

There would always be those who said that the mission in Angola was not making enough process and that the Lusaka Protocol already should have been implemented in full, she said. To them, Mr. Beye would simply state that when the process started, Angola's war took more than 1,000 lives every day. His legacy and his name would live on in Angola. Recently, he used the funds of a prize awarded to him to endow a school in the Malange province. That school now bore his name. No one could can replace Maître Beye, but his work must be carried on. There could be no more fitting conclusion to his life than a timely completion of the Lusaka Protocol.

JAIME GAMA, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Portugal and President of the Security Council, said Council members expressed their deepest condolences to the family of Maître Beye and to the families of the colleagues and crew accompanying him. Over the past several years, the Council had relied on the wise counsel of Mr. Beye in guiding the peace process in Angola. He dedicated himself to peace and maintained his optimism under the most adverse circumstances. Hopefully, his efforts would not be in vain, and his vision of a peaceful and prosperous Angola would soon triumph.

AFONSO VAN-DUNEM (Angola) said his Government expressed the deepest sorrow for the unexpected death of Maître Blondin Beye. The death of Mr. Beye occurred under very sad circumstances and at a crucial phase of the peace process. It was undoubtedly a tremendous and irreparable loss. Mr. Beye's dedication for peace in Angola had been demonstrated during his mission to various African countries in search for support for the effective conclusion of the Lusaka Protocol. His humanism was without precedent in the history of African diplomacy. During his five years as Special Representative, Mr. Beye had been a dedicated friend to Angola and to all Angolans. His death was a

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loss for the Angolan peace process, for Africa and for the entire world. Let his sacrifice, spirit and dedication stay in the memory of the Angolan people.

MOCTAR OUANE (Mali) thanked the Council President for the minute of silence in the memory of Mr. Beye, who was the pride of the Mali people. It was a great loss for Mali, Africa and the international community. Mr. Beye's mission had not been completed, and his Government hoped that his achievements in bringing peace to Angola would be pursued.

The draft resolution on the situation in Angola was then adopted unanimously as resolution 1180 (1998).

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For information media. Not an official record.