Security Council meeting 3350

Date16 March 1994
S-PV-3350 1994-03-16 18:45 16 March 1994 [[16 March]] [[1994]] /

The situation in Angola Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM II) (S/1994/282 and Add.1)

The meeting was called to order at 6.45 p.m.

Adoption of the agenda

The agenda was adopted.

The situation in Angola Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM II) (S/1994/282 and Add.1)

The President

I should like to inform the Council that I have received a letter from the representative of Angola, in which he requests to be invited to participate in the discussion of the item on the Council’s agenda. In conformity with the usual practice, I propose, with the consent of the Council, to invite that representative to participate in the discussion without the right to vote, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Charter and rule 37 of the Council’s provisional rules of procedure.

There being no objection, it is so decided.

At the invitation of the President, Mr. Van Dunem "Mbinda" (Angola) took a place at the Council table.
The President

The Security Council will now begin its consideration of the item on its agenda.

The Council is meeting in accordance with the understanding reached in its prior consultations.

Members of the Council have before them the report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM II), documents S/1994/282 and Addendum 1.

Members of the Council also have before them document S/1994/298, which contains the text of a draft resolution prepared in the course of the Council’s prior consultations.

I should like to draw the attention of the members of the Council to document S/1994/263, which contains the text of a letter dated 2 March 1994 from the representatives of Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Portugal and Sao Tome and Principe to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General.

Members of the Council have received photocopies of a letter dated 16 March 1994 from the Permanent Representative of Angola to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General, which will be issued as document S/1994/299.

The first speaker is the representative of Angola, on whom I now call.

Mr. Van Dunem Mbinda (Angola)

Allow me first of all, Sir, to congratulate you, on behalf of the Government of the Republic of Angola and on my own behalf, on your assumption of the presidency of the Security Council for this month.

We are aware that yours is a hard task, especially at a time when the Security Council is scheduled to address matters as difficult and complex as the conflict which is ravaging my country. But we are confident that, thanks to your diplomatic skills and your personal commitment, this month’s proceedings of the Council will be crowned with success.

To your predecessor, His Excellency Mr. Roble Olhaye, let me express our appreciation for the positive way he conducted the Council’s work.

I should like also to express to the Secretary-General, Mr. Boutros Boutros-Ghali, the Angolan Government’s gratitude for his dedication to peace and reconciliation in Angola. We express particular gratitude for the tireless efforts of his Special Representative, Mr. Alioune Beye, to ensure a lasting solution to the Angolan crisis.

My Government finds the comprehensive report on Angola submitted by the Secretary-General very valuable; it is realistic and reflects the current political and military situation on the ground. We strongly support its recommendations, which are pertinent and give us a broad perspective of the factors that affect the peace and the tranquillity of the Angolan populations.

To the Government of Zambia and particularly to its President, His Excellency Mr. Frederick Chiluba, we reiterate the gratitude of the people of Angola for hosting the peace talks between the Government of Angola and UNITA; we recognize that this is a great contribution to the restoration of peace and stability in Angola.

Approximately three years have passed since the peace agreements were signed in Angola, and almost two years have passed since the first general and democratic elections took place – and there is still no solution to the crisis in which the Angolan nation has been engulfed since UNITA resumed the war. This long and bloody conflict is still going on, without a firm and decisive position by the international community to make UNITA stop its war machine and follow the path of democracy.

This passive stand by the international community seems to be ambiguous: the Angolan conflict is currently the most deadly, the most brutal and the most devastating in the world, and yet the international community’s reaction to other crises has been prompt and decisive.

During the last two years the Security Council has adopted 10 resolutions and various declarations on the situation in Angola in which it has set forth mandatory measures, with which UNITA has never complied – instead, defying in an arrogant fashion the authority of this Council. This posture jeopardizes the reputation of this body, which has demonstrated many times that it has adequate mechanisms available for the implementation of its decisions.

It is imperative that the international community use all the means provided by international law to ensure that the Angolan people do not continue to be penalized by the ambitions of an organization and by the obsession with power of its leader, Jonas Savimbi.

UNITA is primarily responsible for the derailment of the peace process in Angola, by its gross violation of the peace accords, by its failure to demobilize its troops, by its continued occupation of several areas where it has kept the local populations in a real kind of captivity, in violation of human rights, by its impeding of the free movement of people and goods, by its withdrawal of its troops from the unified national army, and by its resumption of hostilities after its defeat in the general elections of 1992 – alleging that there had been fraud.

UNITA’s behaviour since the resumption of hostilities has demonstrated that that organization is bent on the conquest of power at any price and on forcing the implementation of illegitimate and unfair political formulas unacceptable in any form of democracy. This uncompromising attitude led to the failure of previous rounds of negotiations and is delaying the conclusion of the current talks in Lusaka, where UNITA has been raising ever more obstacles to the conclusion of a final agreement.

Notwithstanding that, the Lusaka talks have already yielded a few important results, which gives grounds for some hope. A consensus has been reached on the subject of UNITA’s withdrawal from the zones under military occupation and the respective living quarters as well as on the establishment of a national police force. A consensus has also been reached on the general principles for national reconciliation.

Discussions are going on about the specific principles for national reconciliation and the future mandate of the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM) and of the three observer countries in the Angolan peace process – the United States, Russia and Portugal.

However, there is still a long way to go before the Angolan crisis is completely resolved. The determining factor will be the support which the international community, and the United Nations in particular, provides to pave the way for the conclusion of the implementation of the Bicesse Accords and for the complete democratization of the country.

The results obtained so far in Lusaka are the product of, on the one hand, the flexible approach adopted by the Government, and, on the other, the international pressure upon UNITA, particularly through the imposition by the Security Council of a first package of sanctions as well as the threat of other restrictive measures if UNITA persists in its posture of favouring the war.

The Angolan Government has always demonstrated a deep commitment to the restoration of peace, to national reconciliation and to the democratization of the country. That has been proved by its fulfilment of the peace agreements for Angola and of all the elements of the Angolan peace process and by the flexibility it has always shown in all the rounds of negotiations with UNITA, notwithstanding UNITA’s gross violations of all the agreements entered into, particularly the Bicesse Accords and the Angola Constitution, and its resort to illegitimate and unconstitutional means to overthrow democratically elected institutions by violence.

My Government often reiterates its willingness to broaden UNITA’s participation, in conditions of peace, in the government and in all other sectors of national life. My Government has shown its willingness to implement the necessary conditions for true national reconciliation. Accordingly, we recently presented to UNITA in Lusaka an offer in which we provided for four ministerial portfolios and five deputy ministries, including defence, at the central, provincial and local government levels, and in which we also included the assignment of UNITA staff to foreign-affairs positions in embassies and missions.

But, unfortunately, UNITA responded to that offer with an unrealistic proposal, whose objective is power-sharing, asking to head the provincial governments of the central, southern and south-eastern areas – Huambo, Bié and Kuando Kubango – and to head various key ministries.

If implemented, those absurd demands for equal power-sharing would cast a shadow over the Angolan democratic process and over the elections. It would create a unique situation, setting a precedent that would have tragic political consequences for the country and for the entire region, especially for the new democracies, by encouraging the losers to wage war to achieve a similar solution.

Hence, it is imperative for the international community, and the Security Council in particular, to bring UNITA to its senses and continue to pressure that organization to accept the Angolan Government’s gesture of good faith and move towards the speedy conclusion of an agreement in Lusaka, and to give up its double game of appearing to be ready to sit down for talks while actually intensifying its military offensive.

Indeed, as the Lusaka talks continue, UNITA is increasing its military pressure and intensifying its armed attacks all over the country, especially in the central region, in an attempt to strengthen its bargaining position and obtain concessions from the Government. Let me recall some instances of UNITA’s offensive military operations in recent days: intensive shelling of the city of Kuito, in Bié province, and, since 5 February, attempts to take the city by force; since 12 February, intensive shelling of the city, airport and outskirts of Malange; and movements of troops and heavy weapons in Cabinda province in northern Angola. There are many other examples I shall not cite today.

All this shows that UNITA’s alleged willingness to seek a peaceful, negotiated outcome of the Angolan conflict and the so-called unilateral cease-fire it announced last September are merely intended to conceal its militaristic purposes and to avoid the imposition of sanctions by the Security Council.

The Angolan Government cannot stand idly by in the face of the belligerence of UNITA, which continues to ravage the country and which to date has caused the death of some 100,000 civilians, the displacement of some 3 million refugees, and the destruction of a major part of our economic and social infrastructure; it continues to cause a thousand deaths a day. At stake are the safety of the Angolan people and the Government’s responsibility towards the nation.

We want to alert international public opinion to the threat that UNITA’s attitude poses to the current talks in Lusaka, talks that are a beacon of hope for peace and reconciliation, which is why my Government has repeatedly stated its determination to continue until a final solution to the conflict is found. The Angolan Government continues to believe that negotiations are the only viable way to resolve the crisis affecting my country, provided that the Bicesse Accords, the Abidjan understandings and all relevant Security Council resolutions are respected.

Nevertheless, the Angolan Government believes that the time has come to consider a second package of sanctions under paragraph 26 of resolution 864 (1993) since UNITA has not shown that it is serious and that it has the political will to resolve the conflict – a conflict that it initiated and continues to fuel – but, rather, is engaging in delaying tactics as it attempts to strengthen its position in the military theatre of operations.

It is important to stress that it might be important for the Security Council now to set a deadline for the conclusion of negotiations to prevent them from dragging on indefinitely as a result of the many subterfuges UNITA may employ.

UNITA’s armed operations are made possible only by continued military support from conservative circles in South Africa and from the neighbouring Republic of Zaire, in clear and open violation of the embargo imposed by the Security Council. The territory of Zaire continues to be a transit point for South African assistance and a base from which UNITA’s rebel forces launch their armed operations against Angolan territory. We therefore strongly appeal to the Security Council to bolster its supervisory and monitoring machinery and to adopt effective measures to impede the flow of arms and other means used by UNITA to make war.

The war which has devastated my country has caused a serious deterioration in the already precarious social conditions of our people. The shipment and distribution of humanitarian aid by the United Nations and by non-governmental organizations has been systematically obstructed by UNITA, which regularly targets World Food Programme aircraft and attacks trains carrying goods for the needy population. This has caused the suspension of deliveries to many parts of the country where people continue to die of hunger and a lack of medical attention.

I take this opportunity on behalf of the Angolan Government to express our thanks for the generous help to our needy people from the international community, in particular by the World Food Programme and other specialized agencies, by non-governmental organizations and by the Governments of Japan and the United Kingdom. I reiterate the need for an urgent answer to the United Nations appeal made on 28 Feburary for $179 million in emergency assistance to the Angolan people.

The Angolan Government remains firmly determined to do everything in its power to restore peace. But it will not accept the principle of an equal division of power in Angola, for this would betray the will of the electors and make a hollow mockery of the young Angolan democracy.

I conclude by commending the efforts of the members of the Security Council in arriving at the draft resolution before them today. As we praise that draft resolution, my delegation expresses the wish that its contents may correspond with the realities facing the Angolan people.

The President

I thank the representative of Angola for the kind words he addressed to me.

It is my understanding that the Council is ready to proceed to the vote on the draft resolution before it. Unless I hear any objection, I shall put the draft resolution to the vote.

There being no objection, it is so decided.

I shall first call on those members of the Council who wish to make statements before the voting.

Mr. Bizimana (Rwanda)

My delegation was most happy, Sir, to see you assume the presidency of the Council for this month. Your experience and diplomatic skill, and your country’s unswerving commitment to the promotion of international peace and security, guarantee the success of the Council’s work under your wise leadership.

I want also to express our sincere congratulations and well deserved tribute to Ambassador Olhaye of Djibouti for the remarkable and admirable way in which he guided the work of the Council last month.

My delegation is grateful for the report of the Secretary-General, and we hail his efforts, in conjunction with his Special Representative and the countries of the region, to help the parties move the peace process forward and resolve the Angolan crisis through negotiations in the framework of the "Acordos de Paz" and the relevant resolutions of the Security Council. I wish in that connection to recall that those negotiations have reached a critical phase with respect to the scope and nature of the items on the agenda of the talks.

It is vital to do everything to ensure that the ongoing process leads to a comprehensive peace agreement; this requires a complete cessation of hostilities to create a climate of trust that can give rise to the decisive impetus needed to overcome all the obstacles.

Apart from the will of the parties to end the hostilities and show the utmost restraint, improving the military situation on the ground also requires that the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM II) be able to monitor the situation.

In view of its limited numbers, we believe that current requirements justify not only renewing the mandate of UNAVEM II but also expanding it, increasing its strengthen, as the Secretary-General has indicated, to the previous level. Strengthen UNAVEM II at this stage would also be likely to improve the delivery of emergency humanitarian assistance.

Our concern for the success of the peace process prompts us to congratulate the Secretary-General on the preparations and urgent planning activities he has undertaken to establish an appropriate United Nations presence in Angola once an overall peace settlement has been concluded.

My delegation believes that any lasting solution to the Angolan conflict requires the implementation of the peace agreements already signed and the honouring of the results of the free elections held on 30 September 1992 under United Nations auspices. It is within that well-defined political framework that the Lusaka talks should be viewed. The talks must lead to a comprehensive peace settlement aimed at national reconciliation, which is indispensable for the reconstruction of Angola, a brotherly country that has been destroyed by a deadly war that has lasted far too long.

Progress in the current negotiations and a breakthrough in the peace process under way depend, however, on the commitment and good will of the parties. Any failure in this common undertaking would have serious consequences and could not be ignored by the international community. In this context, we fully subscribe to the guidelines in paragraphs 9 and 10 of the draft resolution, which reaffirm the obligation of all States fully to respect the embargo imposed against UNITA by resolution 864 (1993) and the Council’s readiness to consider additional measures, in the light of a recommendation by the Secretary-General, in view of developments in the situation.

The message sent by the Council at this stage seems to us an appropriate one, and my delegation will vote in favour of the draft resolution.

The President

I thank the representative of Rwanda for his kind words addressed to me.

Mr. Gambari (Nigeria)

My delegation commends the Secretary-General’s report. We also wish to commend the tireless efforts of the Secretary-General’s Special Representative in Angola, Mr. Blondin Beye; the representatives of the three Observer States – the United States, the Russian Federation and Portugal; and the Governments of some of the neighbouring States, in particular Zimbabwe and Zambia, for their important support for the peace process. We also thank members of the international community, including private and non-governmental organizations, whose assistance has been especially critical in coping with the vast humanitarian and relief needs of the people of Angola.

We are delighted that the parties in Angola adopted a mediation document on the general principles of national reconciliation on 17 February. We are pleased, too, that despite existing difficulties, both the Government and UNITA have sustained their participation in the Lusaka talks aimed at working out an overall political settlement of the protracted Angolan dispute.

In spite of these positive indications, however, my delegation remains deeply concerned on the political front that several issues critical to the peace process – such as the allocation of high-level posts to UNITA, the conclusion of the electoral process and the establishment of a national administration throughout the country, and, perhaps not least, the building of confidence, trust and good faith between the parties – have not yet been resolved. On the military side, too, despite the relative reduction in combat incidents lately, the situation continues to be most worrisome and, to use the term in the Secretary-General’s report, "volatile". Air and ground military activities have intensified in several parts of the country, a situation which has not only seriously overstretched the resources of the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM II), but also casts shadows on the ongoing Lusaka talks. Consequently, the impression is being conveyed that the parties to the conflict seem to be nowhere near exhaustion nor sufficiently disposed to reach an early political settlement of their conflict. In particular, UNITA needs to respond promptly and seriously to the latest offer by the Angolan Government aimed at promoting power-sharing as a means of paving the way to an early conclusion of the peace process in Lusaka. The Council may need to consider establishing a deadline for the conclusion of those talks.

Meanwhile, the humanitarian situation continues to be undermined by the continuation of war and the deliberate obstacles sometimes put in the way of relief workers by one party or the other. Relief stocks available for distribution are being depleted in some cases, and the need for their replenishment is urgent.

The humanitarian needs of the Angolans must be watched very closely to ensure that the agony inflicted on the people by the ravages of war are not exacerbated through deliberate obstructionist activities of the parties in conflict. In this connection, we support the condemnation of all actions that threaten the unimpeded delivery of humanitarian assistance and put at risk the lives of humanitarian relief workers in Angola. We therefore join in the appeal to members of the international community to respond generously to the 1994 revised inter-agency appeal for Angola.

Nigeria believes that the draft resolution is a positive step on the part of the international community to nudge the peace process forward in Angola. We strongly believe that, while the people of Angola must bear the ultimate responsibility for the destiny of their country, the international community has a responsibility to support and encourage them towards the realization of that goal sooner rather than later. It is therefore appropriate to extend the mandate of UNAVEM II, including a readiness in principle to authorize the deployment of additional personnel as soon as agreement is reached between the parties to the conflict.

Finally, my delegation would like to join in urging both the Government of Angola and UNITA to take the maximum advantage of the opportunity created by their common agreement on the revised text of general principles concerning the question of national reconciliation. We believe that, given the political will and the sustained support of the international community, the Lusaka talks may well hold the key to achieving a peaceful political settlement of the Angolan conflict. We therefore call upon them, and in particular upon UNITA, to choose the path of cooperation with the United Nations to bring the talks to a successful end, because failure by the latter may indeed invite the imposition by this Council of new, effective measures against it.

We are all eager to see the good people of Angola resume normal life after nearly two decades of fruitless and destructive war. We are anxious, as a country which has close historical and fraternal ties with Angola, to see that country, like many other members of the international community, enjoy the relative peace and stability which are so essential to socio-political and economic development.

My delegation therefore supports the draft resolution and intends to vote in favour.

Mr. Sardenberg (Brazil)

My delegation will vote in favour of the draft resolution because we strongly support the continued United Nations presence in Angola, as it contributes to the advancement of the peace process currently under negotiation. The extension of the mandate of the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM II) to the end of May reflects the international community’s endorsement of the ongoing process and its commitment to continue supporting efforts finally to bring peace to that sister nation, to which we Brazilians feel very attached.

This draft resolution places the necessary emphasis on enhancing the chances of making the political settlement an expeditious and successful process. It also seeks to point the way towards a future of peace for this war-torn country, a future based on the recognition that it is the Angolans – the people, the parties and their leadership – who bear the ultimate responsibility for creating the political basis for a viable national reconciliation.

My delegation was very actively involved in the deliberations that resulted in the text of the draft resolution. The Council conducted a thorough and careful review of the relevant aspects of the situation in Angola. It benefited from an informative and thoughtful report presented by the Secretary-General, for which we are grateful.

I should also like to take this opportunity to express our satisfaction at the very commendable efforts undertaken by the Secretary-General himself and by his Special Representative, Mr. Alioune Blondin Beye, in order to facilitate and promote the peace talks in Lusaka, talks which are indeed crucial for the future of Angola.

I wish to express gratitude to the Government of Zambia also for supporting and hosting those talks. I should like to stress the appreciation of my Government for the role played by the African countries, particularly those in the sub-region, in promoting the Angolan peace process.

My delegation would also like to thank the Permanent Representative of Angola, Ambassador Afonso van Dunem "Mbinda", for his statement, which underlines the need for this Council to take directly into account the views of the Government concerned. We are very grateful to him.

The current assessment of the situation in Angola has certain positive aspects. There has been an improvement in the delivery of much-needed humanitarian assistance, and although the military situation remains volatile, the intensity of hostilities has generally diminished. The peace talks continue to take place in Lusaka.

We recognize and welcome the progress achieved to date, but we are deeply concerned that negotiations appear again to begin to defy the logic of peace and to go against the will of the international community on account of the persistent delays in their successful completion. My Government has consistently maintained that good faith and political will are indispensable prerequisites for true negotiations. We earnestly hope that it will be possible to keep the Lusaka talks on track and to reach soon a satisfactory conclusion.

This morning we received a copy of the letter Mr. José Eduardo Dos Santos, President of the Republic of Angola, sent to the Secretary-General on 15 March last. We note once again the firm commitment of the Government of Angola to the quest for peace and to the implementation of the resolutions of the Security Council. This reinforces our conviction that Luanda is unequivocally engaged in the process that will ultimately lead to a peaceful settlement of the conflict in Angola.

In this connection, we continue to encourage the Secretary-General to proceed with the necessary contingency planning and to make his recommendations to the Council as soon as the peace process reaches its final stages. We support an adequate and continuing United Nations presence to foster peace in Angola.

The prompt and successful conclusion of the Lusaka talks will represent the beginning of a process of reconstruction for the entire country. We very much look forward to the moment when Angola will enter the path of peace, stability and economic and social development. Brazil is confident that we are close to that moment. We remain cautiously optimistic. We hope that a much-needed breakthrough in the peace negotiations is within reach. No party should lose sight of the fact that the grandeur of an entire people is at stake.

Mr. Olhaye (Djibouti)

Sir, at the outset I wish to congratulate you most warmly on your assumption of the presidency of the Council for this month. I have no doubt that your consummate diplomatic skills, vast experience and, of course, your congeniality, will serve the Council well during your stewardship.

My delegation welcomes the customary high-level update of the Secretary-General on the persistently conflicting patterns in Angola, which the draft resolution before us attempts to address. While peace talks continue in Lusaka with some discernible progress, on the ground in Angola fighting continues, and often intensifies, in no less than nine provinces.

As the Secretary-General’s report of 9 March 1994 notes, the suspended Lusaka talks, which resumed a few months ago, were welcomed with a sense of optimism. Unfortunately, the delay in achieving a political settlement is providing a cover under which military hostilities continue in an attempt to strengthen negotiating positions by way of the battlefield. That the fighting is so widespread is discouraging, to say the least, and the ramifications of that fact are even more so. Primary among these is the impact on the delivery of desperately-needed humanitarian aid. Although this has improved overall in selected enclaves, cities and provinces, there are again early indications of mounting emergencies, particularly in such cities as Kuito/Bié, Huambo and Malange, where fighting has severely hampered the delivery of aid.

It goes without saying, of course, that this continuation and intensification of fighting has caused more casualties and suffering among the civilian population. As the Secretary-General’s report also notes, the sheer breadth of the hostilities has overwhelmed the manpower and resources of UNAVEM II. With only 50 Military Observers, 18 police officers and 11 military medical personnel, there are clearly limits to what the United Nations can do. This does not bode well.

My delegation is also mindful of the fact that, since resolution 864 (1993) of 15 September 1993 comes under Chapter VII of the Charter, all States were to refrain from and prevent the sale and supply of weapons and military equipment, as well as petroleum products, to Angola, except through ports approved by the Government. For this reason, we are alarmed at the level of military resupplying which is taking place in Angola in clear violation of paragraph 19 of resolution 864 (1993). These violations are feeding the fighting and bolstering the ability of everyone, particularly UNITA, to withhold agreement. We feel this may be a matter requiring the Council’s attention in more depth should the violations continue at their present levels.

Overall, my delegation notes the continued optimism of the Secretary-General for a negotiated settlement, which would consequently hold implications for us. Should his optimism be justified, he is clearly correct in maintaining that the United Nations must be prepared to act immediately by deploying cease-fire monitors so as to avoid a situation similar to that of Mozambique, where a potentially dangerous period of time elapsed prior to the arrival on the scene of the mandated United Nations observer force. Moreover, in view of the relatively small number of personnel requested, namely, the restoration of UNAVEM to its previous level of 350 military and 126 police observers, we concur with the Secretary-General’s request. This number could be raised in the period following the peace agreement as the situation warrants.

At this point in the process, perhaps the most urgent step the Council can take is to stress once again the need for both parties to move with all deliberate speed towards reaching an agreement consistent with the "Acordos de Paz". The continued destruction of the country, the loss of life, the strains imposed on its neighbours, the limitations on the patience and goodwill of the international community and their own future viability are all urgent reasons to hasten this process. According to the Secretary-General’s report, the intensity of hostilities has generally diminished in recent weeks. This may provide an opening we cannot afford to let close again.

The President

I thank the representative of Djibouti for his kind words addressed to me.

I now put to the vote the draft resolution contained in document S/1994/298.

favour against
abstain absent

favour=15 against=0 abstain=0 absent=0

Argentina, Brazil, China, Czech Republic, Djibouti, France, New Zealand, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Russia, Rwanda, Spain, United Kingdom, United States

The President

The draft resolution received 15 votes in favour. The draft resolution has been adopted unanimously as resolution 903 (1994).

I shall now call on those members of the Council who wish to make statements following the voting.

Mrs. Albright (United States)

The United States believes that there is nothing more important in Angola than reaching peace. No other objective, no hope for military or political gain, can take precedence over reaching a lasting settlement to Angola’s brutal civil war.

We have worked closely in Lusaka with the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and our Troika partners, Russia and Portugal, to advance the peace process to the point where an accord is clearly within reach. Now is the moment of opportunity. The parties should choose a political solution, because it is clear from years of killing that there can be no military answer. This has been a war with countless victims, but no victors.

The peace process now under way in Lusaka offers the Government and UNITA the chance to start a new chapter in the life of their country, to begin the process of reconstruction, reconciliation and re-orientation towards democracy. But that chance will not last forever. The United States Government does not accept current efforts to delay essential decisions.

As this resolution clearly demonstrates, the United States is prepared to join the international community to assist in the implementation of a peace accord. To reach an accord, however, Angolans must first demonstrate political will. They will need to demonstrate flexibility in Lusaka and the courage to make peace a reality. It is the earnest hope of the United States that they do so now.

Sir David Hannay (United Kingdom)

The resolution which we have just adopted reflects the strong desire of all members of the Council that the negotiations in Lusaka for a comprehensive political settlement in Angola, the establishment of an effective and sustainable cease-fire, and an end to the terrible suffering of the Angolan people be brought to an early and successful conclusion.

We are encouraged that, since the Council last discussed Angola, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General has been able to report further progress in Lusaka and we wish to pay tribute to his determination, patience and skill in chairing the negotiations. We also pay tribute to the personnel of the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM II).

It is not for the international community to try, on its own, to define the details of a settlement between the Government of Angola and UNITA. The settlement must be determined by Angolans, with the assistance of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General. That is the only way to achieve a settlement which will be viable in the long term.

We do, however, expect any settlement to be based firmly on the Bicesse Accords and to reflect broadly the political reality that in the 1992 legislative elections the MPLA won an overall majority with 54 per cent of the vote and that UNITA secured 34 per cent of the vote. We welcome the readiness of the Government of Angola to agree to UNITA’s participation in government.

The key point is that any agreement must be comprehensive and viable. The need for time to achieve this should not be used as an excuse to prolong the Lusaka talks unreasonably. The resolution that the Council has just adopted makes it very clear that members of the Council expect the parties to redouble their efforts to achieve an early solution.

My Government is gravely concerned at the resumption of fighting in Angola since early February. A twin-track approach of negotiating while continuing to engage in offensive military actions is not acceptable. Both parties must heed the Council’s demand that they stop, immediately, all offensive military action.

We now look to both parties to fulfil their commitment to a peaceful settlement in Angola. UNITA in particular must be aware of the Council’s willingness to envisage further measures if it does not cooperate fully with the negotiating process.

The Council has declared its readiness to consider the expansion of UNAVEM to its previously mandated level if an agreement is reached and the conditions for the deployment of these additional personnel are judged right. But the parties should also be aware that the international community’s patience, and its funds, are not limitless.

Mr. Vorontsov (Russia)

The Russian Federation voted in favour of the resolution just adopted because it sends a clear signal to the Angolan parties – and first and foremost to UNITA – that they must redouble their efforts at the Lusaka negotiations in order to conclude their work on the remaining items on the agenda and arrive at a peace agreement without delay.

The resolution adopted today reflects the great importance that the Security Council attaches to achieving an end to all military actions and an effective and lasting cease-fire. This is all the more important now that the negotiating process is in its decisive final phase and, as the Secretary-General emphasizes in his report, the negotiations

"… are proceeding towards the conclusion of a comprehensive peace agreement". (S/1994/282, para. 31)

In this connection, the Russian delegation expresses its satisfaction that the Angolan Government, in a letter dated 15 March from the President of the Republic of Angola, Mr. Eduardo Dos Santos, to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, has confirmed its readiness to do everything possible to restore peace.

Nevertheless, the latest news from the Lusaka talks is not reassuring. We are greatly concerned that the UNITA delegation to the talks is once again showing inflexibility on extremely important issues. We consider it inadmissible that UNITA should continue to pursue this kind of obstructionist tactic. The UNITA leadership must take very seriously indeed the Council’s readiness, as expressed in the resolution it adopted today, to consider at any time further steps to impose additional measures against UNITA.

Given the crucial and complex nature of the present stage of the negotiations, we believe it important for the Secretary-General to submit to the Security Council, during the first few days of next month, a report on the progress of the Lusaka talks so that the Council might take timely action in keeping with the existing situation and, in case UNITA should delay the negotiations, adopt additional sanctions against it.

We are convinced that, despite all the difficulties, the parties must not only continue but expedite their negotiations, without interruption or delay and, above all, with no attempts to strengthen their negotiating positions through the use of force.

Once again, at this most important time for the fate of the Angolan people, we ardently urge the Angolan parties to demonstrate a full measure of restraint, flexibility and political will and to dedicate themselves to the resolute search for a comprehensive, peaceful settlement based on the Bicesse Accords and on the relevant Security Council resolutions.

Mr. Yañez Barnuevo (Spain)

My delegation has carefully studied the Secretary-General’s report of 9 March and has also followed with interest the latest news provided to members by the Secretariat on the advances made and also the difficulties encountered in the talks between the Government of Angola and UNITA in Lusaka, under United Nations auspices and with the valuable cooperation of the three observer States and of neighbouring countries.

Spain welcomes the Security Council’s adoption of resolution 903 (1994) extending the mandate of the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM II) until 31 May 1994 and declaring the Council’s readiness to authorize an increase in the strength of UNAVEM II to its previous level once the Secretary-General has reported that the parties have reached an agreement and that the conditions are ripe for deployment. In so doing, the Council is reaffirming the international community’s commitment towards Angola while stressing the need for the Lusaka talks between the Angolan Government and UNITA to be speeded up so that they can come to a prompt and positive conclusion.

While we should note the progress made in Lusaka since 15 November last – notably, on general and specific principles concerning military and police matters, and on general principles for national reconciliation – it is none the less true that we do not yet have an overall agreement that would enable us to restart the Angolan peace process effectively. We hope that, in the next few days or weeks, the Security Council will be able to consider this issue again in the light of a definitive agreement, to be reached by the parties within the framework of the "Acordos de Paz" and of the relevant resolutions of the Security Council.

On previous occasions Spain has issued appeals for moderation and flexibility by the parties to resolve a conflict that has lasted all too long. Today more than ever, we reiterate that appeal: the parties, and above all UNITA, should abandon their maximalist positions and find common ground for the sake of the future of Angola and the well-being of its population.

The Security Council will follow closely the development of the Lusaka peace talks and will have to weigh implementation of appropriate measures in the light of the results of those talks and of the attitude evinced by each of the parties.

The patience of the international community with regard to the extension of the talks in Lusaka is being put to the test. The resumption and intensification of hostilities throughout a large part of Angola’s territory, as described in the report of the Secretary-General, is a very disturbing factor that cannot be viewed as an isolated event. The hostilities should cease as soon as possible, given their implications for the work of the United Nations in the field and their negative consequences upon the civilian population and the supply of humanitarian aid.

The present situation in Angola makes it necessary to stress, as we have been doing with other peace-keeping operations, that the peacemaking work of the United Nations depends, in the final analysis, on the cooperation and will of the parties. My country trusts that the Angolan parties will show that will by taking concrete actions that will soon enable the Security Council to reaffirm its renewed and future commitment towards Angola.

The President

I shall now make a statement in my capacity as representative of France.

Since the resumption of talks between the parties on 15 November 1993, France has greeted with satisfaction the progress achieved between the Government of Angola and UNITA on the implementation of the Bicesse agreements.

This success in due in large measure to the decisive action of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Mr. Blondin Beye. My Government takes this opportunity to praise his work.

My country also expresses the wish that the talks, which have reached a crucial point, will rapidly be concluded, thus enabling Angola to return to peace and stability.

By voting for this resolution, France wishes once again to support the current negotiations. However, it considers that the fate of Angola is in the hands of the Angolans, who must prove that they are firmly decided to put an end to almost 20 years of conflict.

By this resolution, the Security Council is affirming that it is ready to participate once again in the building of peace in Angola. It must be made clear, however, that this does not mean that the international community will endlessly support Angola if the efforts made so far do not lead to the national reconciliation of all the Angolans.

I now resume my functions as President of the Security Council.

There being no further speakers, the Security Council has thus concluded the present stage of its consideration of the item on its agenda.

The meeting rose at 7.45 p.m.
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