19 April 2001


Press Release

Security Council

4311th Meeting (PM)



The Security Council this afternoon extended the mandate of the Monitoring Mechanism on Angola Sanctions until 19 October and requested it to provide a supplementary report by that date.

The Mechanism was originally established by the Council in April 2000 for six months to investigate violations of the sanctions imposed by the Council against the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA).  The Mechanism, which has five members, issued its original report 21 December 2000.  On 23 January 2001, the Council extended the Mechanism’s mandate for three months and requested a written addendum, which was issued yesterday, 18 April.

As it unanimously adopted orally revised resolution 1348 (2001) today, the Council also requested the Secretary-General, acting in consultation with the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 864 (1993) concerning Angola, to appoint up to five experts to serve on the Monitoring Mechanism and to make the necessary arrangements to support its work.

The Council discussed the Mechanism’s original report in open session on

22 February, hearing from 30 speakers.

The meeting, which began at 4:10 p.m., was adjourned at 4:15 p.m.


The Security Council had before it the addendum to the final report of the Monitoring Mechanism on Sanctions against the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), which concludes that the rebel movement is still conducting guerrilla warfare, attacking mostly civilian targets, destroying infrastructure, killing innocent people and laying landmines.

The final report (document S/2000/1225, annex) was issued on 21 December 2000 following a six-month investigation.  On 23 February 2001, the Council extended the mandate for three months and requested the addendum.  On 22 February, the Council discussed the report, hearing 30 speakers (see Press Release SC/7018).

The addendum (document S/2001/363) notes that the Council's firm commitment to monitoring sanctions has had a positive effect on thwarting UNITA's military lifelines.  Governments that violated sanctions in the past are now taking steps to implement the measures.  However, despite a lessening of the attitude of impunity, the intention of sanctions-busters to continue to derive profit from Angola's cruel war remain firmly intact.  The Mechanism would send a very bad signal if its work was left unfinished, the addendum concludes.

Regarding political and military developments in the context of sanctions implementation, the Mechanism reports that the situation along Angola's border with Namibia and Zambia remains militarized and unstable, with UNITA elements occasionally raiding civilians on the Namibian and Zambian sides.  Continued fighting in Angola's Moxico Province has increased the number of refugees fleeing into western Zambia.

The Mechanism also reports that it was informed by Angolan authorities that the response to the amnesty law announced by President José Eduardo dos Santos in 2000 has generally been positive, and that recent and increasing calls by UNITA for the lifting of sanctions indicate that the measures are effective.  However, in view of the significant arms caches uncovered by Namibian armed forces in southern Angola, UNITA very probably still has vast quantities of arms hidden all over Angola, enough for it to pursue guerrilla warfare for a long time.

On sanctions-busting, the Mechanism reports overwhelming evidence of the central role played by identified arms brokering companies in UNITA's procurement of weapons.  Their method of operation, acting as contractors/buyers of military equipment, has introduced an element of diversion designed to make it difficult to establish a direct link between suppliers and UNITA.  Similarly, the financial transactions related to arms sales have revealed a complex pattern that needs to be exposed by the continuing investigation of UNITA's financial assets.

In light of these developments, the Mechanism stresses the urgent need to tighten the regulations governing the activities and operations of arms brokering companies.  Similarly, the establishment of an international register of the dubious companies involved in sanctions-busting should be given due consideration.

Regarding the diamond trade, the Mechanism notes that many countries have not passed national laws enacting the implementation of Security Council resolution 1173 (1998) on UNITA diamond trading.  Several States claim that existing national laws are sufficient for that purpose, which is patently not the case, although the problem may lie more in flouting of local controls than in the laws themselves.

Where governments have both enacted laws and strengthened diamond-trading controls, illicit diamonds are still reaching the market, the report states.  There are clear and major weaknesses in systems for controlling diamond trading, which no single country can address effectively because of the many alternative routes available to illicit diamond traders.  Sanctions have driven UNITA diamond trading deeper underground and made it seek new routes.

According to the report, sanctions have brought about reform of official Angolan diamond-trading structures, producing a novel approach to resolving problems on the ground, which should be considered as an option for application in other African diamond-mining countries.  The sanctions have also provided the impetus for worldwide controls on diamonds -- the certificate of origin.  However, this scheme is unlikely to reach the implementation stage before the end of 2001.

The report also provides details of UNITA representation abroad, as well as travel arrangements and residences of senior officials and their adult family members in Africa, the Americas and Europe.  The placement of senior officials abroad is essential to the organization's survival, it concludes, adding that besides carrying out pubic relations activities and political lobbying, representatives are also essential to UNITA's supply lines, diamond sales and logistics.

Draft Resolution

The Council also had before it a draft resolution (document S/2001/379), which read as follows:

“The Security Council,

“Reaffirming its resolution 864 (1993) of 15 September 1993 and all subsequent relevant resolutions, in particular resolutions 1127 (1997) of

28 August 1997, 1173 (1998) of 12 June 1998, 1237 (1999) of 7 May 1999,

1295 (2000) of 18 April 2000 and 1336 (2001) of 23 January 2001,

Reaffirming also its commitment to preserve the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Angola,

Expressing once again its concern regarding the humanitarian effects of the present situation on the civilian population of Angola,

Recognizing the importance attached to the continued monitoring of the implementation of the provisions contained in resolutions 864 (1993), 1127 (1997) and 1173 (1998),

Determining that the situation in Angola continues to constitute a threat to international peace and security in the region,

Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,

“1.   Takes note of the written addendum (S/2001/363) provided pursuant to paragraph 4 of resolution 1336 (2001) to the final report (S/2000/1225) of the monitoring mechanism established pursuant to resolution 1295 (2000);

“2.   Expresses its intention to give full consideration to the written addendum and to the final report, pursuant to paragraph 5 of resolution 1295 (2000);

“3.   Decides to extend the mandate of the monitoring mechanism for a further period of six months, ending on 19 October 2001;

“4.   Requests the monitoring mechanism to report periodically to the Committee established pursuant to resolution 864 (1993), and to provide a supplementary report by 19 October 2001;

“5.   Requests the Secretary-General, upon adoption of this resolution and acting in consultation with the Committee, to appoint up to five experts to serve on the monitoring mechanism, and further requests the Secretary-General to make the necessary financial arrangements to support the work of the monitoring mechanism;

“6.   Requests the Chairman of the Committee established pursuant to resolution 864 (1993) to submit the supplementary report to the Council by 19 October 2001;

“7.   Calls upon all States to cooperate fully with the monitoring mechanism in the discharge of its mandate;

“8.   Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.”

Adoption of Resolution

RICHARD RYAN (Ireland) read out the following revision to the fourth preambular paragraph:

“Recognizing the importance attached, inter alia, to the monitoring, for as long as it is necessary, of the provisions contained in resolutions 864 (1993), 1127 (1997), and 1173 (1998),”

The Council then unanimously adopted the orally revised resolution, as Security Council resolution 1348 (2001).

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For information media. Not an official record.