The situation in Angola Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM II) (S/1994/611)
|(The Presidency changes each month to the next member in alphabetical order)|
|Mr. Li Zhaoxing
|Mr. Yañez Barnuevo
|Sir David Hannay
Adoption of the agenda
The situation in Angola Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM II) (S/1994/611)
I should like to inform the Council that I have received letters from the representatives of Angola and Portugal, in which they request 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 those representatives 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.
The Security Council will now begin its consideration of the item on its agenda. The Security 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), document S/1994/611. Members of the Council also have before them document S/1994/628, which contains the text of a draft resolution prepared in the course of the Council’s prior consultations.
Members of the Council have received photocopies of a letter dated 31 May 1994 from the Permanent Representative of Angola to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council, which will be issued as a document of the Security Council under the symbol S/1994/637.
I should also like to draw the attention of members of the Council to the following revisions to be made to the text of the draft resolution contained in document S/1994/628 in its provisional form.
At the beginning of the draft resolution, the words "The Security Council" should be inserted.
In the second line of the eleventh preambular paragraph, the word "the" should be replaced by "their".
In the first line of operative paragraph four, the word "unconditional" should be replaced by "formal".
Finally, in the penultimate line of operative paragraph four, the word "prevarication" should be replaced by "procrastination".
The first speaker is the representative of Angola, on whom I now call.
Mr. President, on behalf of the Government of the Republic of Angola and on my own behalf, I should like to begin by congratulating you on your assumption of the presidency of the Security Council for the current month. We are certain that your vast diplomatic experience and intellectual skills, which you have demonstrated on numerous occasions, will ensure the success of the work of this important body.
I would also like to congratulate the outgoing President, Ambassador Colin Keating, on the wise and dynamic way in which he steered the work of the Council during the past month.
I cannot fail the express the Angolan Government’s appreciation for the efforts towards peace and understanding in Angola made by the Secretary-General, Mr. Boutros Boutros-Ghali, particularly through his Special Representative, Mr. Alioune Blondin Beye, who has been playing the difficult role of mediator in an effective and dedicated manner – a factor that has contributed to the advance of the talks. My Government has reiterated its confidence in the performance of the mediation team and will continue to extend its best cooperation in the ongoing efforts.
I would like to point out the high quality of the report on Angola submitted by the Secretary-General; it clearly reflects the development of the situation in the political, military and humanitarian fields and underscores the additional efforts carried out to speed up the peace process. However, my Government welcomes with reservation the reference made in the report about the future of the United Nations mission in Angola.
I would also like to take this opportunity to express our appreciation to the Government of Zambia and to His Excellency Frederick Chiluba for continuing to make himself and his country available to host the peace talks, and to thank the countries members of the troika of observers – Portugal, the Russian Federation and the United States of America – and the countries members of the Ad Hoc Committee of the Organization of African Unity for their commitment to the search for a rapid, negotiated solution to the conflict.
The situation in Angola has for a long time now retained the attention of the Council, which in the past had the opportunity to identify its main cause, that is, the unilateral violation of the "Acordos de Paz" for Angola, and stated that the only path to a definitive and lasting solution is the negotiation of a formula based on the "Acordos de Paz" for Angola and other platforms agreed upon on the outcome of the September 1992 elections and on the relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions.
It was within that framework that the Angolan Government has committed itself, since the beginning of the post-electoral crisis, to find a rapid, fair and lasting solution, having taken the initiative to negotiate with UNITA, despite the fact that that organization had violated the "Acordos de Paz" and broken the rules of the legal constitutional system of the Republic of Angola by resorting to unconstitutional means to overthrow the Government and the democratic institutions legitimately put in place by the elections, and by persisting in intensifying the war in order to expand the areas of the territory under its control.
This willingness on the part of the Government notwithstanding, we have during the course of the past two years witnessed an escalation of the conflict and an excessive and premeditated delay on the part of UNITA to proceed with the negotiations; we have also realized the incapacity of the international community, in particular the United Nations, to curtain bellicose goals and encourage the peace process in Angola.
The successive resolutions adopted in this Council containing mandatory measures have not been fully implemented; at the same time, there is lack of international pressure to make UNITA show more flexibility and demonstrate in practice that it is in fact interested in a just peace.
These factors have contributed to the failure of the previous rounds, when, each time, more obstacles were being raised that lacked any kind of political, legal or moral foundation in the light of the negotiating platforms unanimously accepted as valid for the peace process.
In every round of talks held until then, my Government demonstrated maximum flexibility and made numerous concessions.
We realize, however, that each time the Government makes a concession aimed at achieving results, new demands for flexibility are place upon it without any corresponding gesture by the other party which, on the contrary, takes an increasingly inflexible and aggressive stand in the military field, causing a generalized feeling of frustration and distrust.
On the other hand, the Angolan Government regards as bad faith and an unconstructive attitude the lobbying in which UNITA is engaging to persuade the United Nations to withdraw its forces from Angola – this at a time when the United Nations is playing a crucial role in reaching an understanding in re-establishing peace in Lusaka.
The Angolan Government calls attention to this danger and stresses the need for the Security Council to take measures to counter immediately UNITA’s intentions.
In a spirit of good faith and national reconciliation the Government accepted at the time it was formed, immediately after the first elections, to integrate members of the opposition, including members of UNITA, assigning them cabinet posts in the ministries of culture, agriculture, public works and social reintegration, as well as the posts of deputy minister of defence and deputy chief of staff of the armed forces, among other positions in the State hierarchy.
Later on in the course of the talks the Government accepted the principle of broadening UNITA’s participation at the central, provincial, municipal and local community levels. In this regard it offered UNITA an additional number of Government portfolios, including the post of cabinet minister in the ministries of commerce, health, tourism and hotel industry, construction materials, the posts of deputy minister of geology and mines and deputy minister of the media – in other words, information – in addition to eight posts of governor and deputy governor, as well as head of government in dozens of municipal and local community governments. In addition to that, the Government decided to relinquish to UNITA six posts of head of diplomatic mission or ambassador.
On 25 May 1994, in one more gesture of flexibility, the Angolan Government, in a spirit of national reconciliation and with the purpose of joining efforts towards the reconstruction of the country and the re-establishment of peace and unity, decided to reply to the 17 March proposal submitted by the mediation team by including in the cabinet personalities from the opposition – an attitude that demonstrates its willingness to consider the broadening of UNITA’s participation in the Government.
This is clear evidence that the Government has already gone too far in its concessions and its flexibility. It thinks that it is now incumbent upon UNITA to take serious steps and to demonstrate through its actions that it is interested in a negotiated solution of the conflict created by itself. It is therefore important that the international community show more consistent firmness in its solidarity with the Government so that the different political groups in the country, as well as the population in general, have a better acceptance of the kind of flexibility shown so far and understand the usefulness of the flexibility demanded from the other party.
This crucial opportunity for lasting peace in Angola is on the table and should not be jeopardized or serve as an excuse to delay the peace process further. The moment is ripe for constructive attitudes and positions on the part of UNITA. Although the Lusaka talks, which have been taking place for more than six months, have resulted in significant progress – I stress "significant progress" – they still have some way to go because UNITA sometimes assumes positions that are contrary to Angolan constitutional law. If those positions were accepted, they would defeat the purpose of the establishment in Angola of a multi-party democracy free of any ethnic, regional or racial limitations or discrimination.
It would be unfair to establish a parallel between the solution to the South African conflict and that of Angola, as some would advocate. The only lesson that the Angolans themselves could draw from the elections that took place in South Africa is that all the rival parties have abandoned violence and war in order to participate in politics. The known Bantustans have been destroyed and order has been restored, while in the case of Angola UNITA has rejected the election results and resorted to, and continues to engage in, violence as a political means to attain its objectives. When UNITA decides to follow the good example of South Africa by stopping the violence and the war, then there will be peace and tranquillity in my country, Angola.
The South African political scenario is radically different from that of Angola. Therefore, the international community should force UNITA to stop the war, face the facts and follow the path of democracy, which is the only political solution to the Angolan conflict.
As clearly stated in the Secretary-General’s report (S/1994/611), the military situation in Angola continues to deteriorate because UNITA has, in the past months, increased its offensives with the objective of occupying more stretches of territory and hindering the course of the country’s economic development. In the face of this war campaign, which has resulted in a true genocide of the Angolan people and in the destruction of their country, the Government feels that it has to assume its constitutional responsibilities and defend the people, national sovereignty and territorial integrity of Angola whenever and wherever they are threatened.
The stepping-up of military activity by UNITA in Angola is possible only because of the continued support that it keeps receiving from the neighbouring country of Zaire, which serves as a transit zone for the re-supply of the UNITA forces and as a base from which military offensives are launched. The Angolan Government is in possession of evidence that shows the involvement of the current Zairian regime in supporting UNITA, in flagrant violation of the arms and fuel embargo imposed by the Security Council against that organization.
Given the seriousness of the situation and the involvement of Zaire, as described in the memorandum sent for the Council’s attention and the latest reports on logistics flights from Zaire that we will submit to the Council, the Angolan Government strongly requests that the Council instruct the sanctions Committee, a very important body established by resolution 864 (1993), to send an investigating team to Zaire to verify the charges and recommend measures to stop such operations.
The aircraft involved in this violation of the embargo, aircraft which fly from Zaire, are associated with a number of private companies. They include the following: Viscount V744, Nordatlas N2501, Electra L188, Britannia-31 (BR31), Douglas DC6, Ilyushin Il76, TSA (Trans Service Airlift), BAL (Blue Air Line), Guila Air, TAC (Trans Air Cargo), UTAIR and PAE, just to mention some. They have used the Ndjili airport in Kinshasa and the airstrips G652D and UG652D, and have then proceeded to other airstrips to gain access to Kafunfo in the Angolan mining-province of Lunda-Norte and other towns in the interior of Angola. I refer to just some of the reports we have received on the basis of which my Government can offer evidence of Zairian involvement.
Zaire’s involvement in the Angolan conflict is known, given the implications of the use of Zairian territory by UNITA to facilitate its movements and the launching of attacks in Angola. This blatantly direct involvement of Zaire in the destabilization of Angola constitutes an act of aggression against my country, in the light of the definition of aggression given by the United Nations in 1974. Besides, this act is a serious violation of the embargo on the supply of weapons to UNITA imposed by the Security Council in its resolution 864 (1993), in view of which we request that special attention of the Security Council be given to this matter.
The prolonging and escalation of the war by UNITA have made the humanitarian situation in Angola increasingly dramatic, and its consequences are currently affecting a great portion of the population. I remind the Council that since UNITA resumed the war more than 3 million people have been displaced and several thousand have fled and are now refugees in neighbouring countries, while thousands more have been crippled for the rest of their lives, particularly the victims of indiscriminately scattered land-mines – a group now estimated to number between 10,000 and 15,000 throughout the country. Entire cities, such as Kuito and Huambo, have been completely ravaged and many others have seen their economic and social infrastructures totally or partially destroyed.
As a result of this situation, the already precarious social and economic conditions under which the majority of Angolan families live have further deteriorated, accounting for the extremely high rates of poverty and malnutrition and, consequently, for the increasing mortality levels. It is critical that an end be put to this dramatic situation of the people of Angola, who had believed that the September 1992 elections heralded a future of peace, security and development.
As if that were not enough, the delivery of relief supplies is being hampered by UNITA, which regularly and systematically attacks the World Food Programme (WFP) planes, as recently happened in Malange Province, where WFP aircraft were attacked on 16, 18, 19 and 20 May while on a mission to deliver humanitarian aid to the population of this area. In addition, UNITA has taken to attacking storage facilities to steal relief supplies, which are then distributed to its troops.
As a result of this kind of incident, the Government decided on 21 May 1994 to halt temporarily the humanitarian aid flights until UNITA gave assurances that it would take action to prevent further loss of life and the destruction of assets used for the delivery of humanitarian aid to Angola.
The Angolan Government expresses its deepest appreciation to the international community for its generous support, in particular the organizations of the United Nations system, the non-governmental organizations, and the member countries of the European Union and other Governments, which did not hesitate to respond promptly to the appeal launched by the Angolan Government and the United Nations for humanitarian aid to the Angolan people.
I should like, on behalf of my Government, to praise the efforts made by the members of this Council in the preparation of the draft resolution to be adopted today, even if we would have preferred a wording that better reflected the Angolan situation.
Finally, we have learned with much sorrow that the UNITA negotiating team has withdrawn from the negotiating table alleging that the government forces were carrying out offensive operations against its positions.
We would like to draw the attention of the Council and the international community to this attitude, which is an attempt to bring about the failure of the Lusaka talks at a time when we are about to reach an agreement, and when the Government has accepted the enlargement proposal on national reconciliation by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and the three observer States to the Angolan peace process.
I thank the representative of Angola for the very generous words of kindness he expressed to me and to my predecessor.
The next speaker is the representative of Portugal. I invite him to take a place at the Council table and to make his statement.
Before addressing the very important question that is before the Council today, please allow me first to compliment you, Mr. President, on the very able manner in which you have conducted the deliberations of the Council during this month of May. I should also like to congratulate your predecessor, Ambassador Keating of New Zealand, for his very successful efforts at the helm of this august body.
I believe it is well known to all that Portugal and Angola have very special and very strong ties that unite the peoples of our countries across the distance that separates us only geographically. These ties are at the root of Portugal’s efforts to help bring about the end of the war in Angola. We have been involved in the Angolan peace process from the very beginning, from Bicesse to Lusaka. As a mediator first, and now as a member of the "troika" of observer countries, Portugal labours alongside the Russian Federation and the United States to help the United Nations negotiate a peaceful settlement to the conflict that unfortunately still ravages Angola.
We unequivocally condemn the persistent fighting in Angola, which not only continues to disrupt humanitarian attempts to alleviate the suffering of the population, but also has a very negative impact on the current negotiations. It is for the people as a whole that we must continue to endeavor to bring about a peaceful settlement of the conflict.
We must also recognize the importance that a united and peaceful Angola represents for the development of the region and for the entire African continent. We have recently witnessed the emergence of a newly democratic South Africa, and this very positive development, like others in the region, is most promising. But let there be no doubt that the development and progress of southern Africa will be dependent on the successful conclusion of the peace processes in Angola and Mozambique. Only then can we perhaps look forward to a brighter future for that part of our world. We in the international community have a responsibility to help this come about.
The role of the United Nations in this process is crucial. The Organization and, in particular, the Security Council, have a special responsibility, and we must be aware of the importance of today’s meeting of the Council and of its decisions. The end of the Lusaka negotiations is within reach. Peace is possible. We must help to make it a certainty.
The Lusaka talks between the Government of Angola and UNITA have been protracted and very delicate, but thanks to the efforts of many, they have come very far and real progress has been achieved. We can say with a certain amount of hope, if not confidence, that the final global settlement is very near. In this respect, we welcome the Angolan Government’s acceptance of the mediator’s proposal on national reconciliation and we strongly urge UNITA to respond equally positively to the same proposal.
At the centre of all the coordinated efforts to bring peace to Angola is undoubtedly Maître Beye, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, whose untiring energy and inspired leadership have kept the parties talking and negotiating despite all the difficulties and obstacles. We believe that a very special tribute is owed to Maître Beye.
At this point we would like to stress the importance for all the neighbouring countries and others with interests in the area to muster their endeavors in support of the Angolan peace process, and we would urge them to continue to contribute positively to the mediation efforts which are being carried out by the United Nations.
The Security Council must remain acutely aware of the Angolan question, for it is one that requires special attention at this crucial point.
The international community, through the decisions of this very body, has made it perfectly clear that the only possible solution to the conflict in Angola is through negotiations. It is important that both parties have recognized this and that they have been involved in talks to that end. It is, however, essential that the process be seen through to its conclusion, and that what has already been achieved should not have been in vain.
But the negotiations cannot be prolonged indefinitely. The Security Council must send a clear and powerful signal to the parties that the international community expects them to reach an agreement within a reasonable time period in order that the peace process be implemented as soon as possible.
If necessary, the Council must be ready to consider adopting further measures in the event that the situation so demands it. In this context, the Council must not allow to escape its attention the need for rigorous compliance with the measures it has already decreed. The current infractions of these measures must not be permitted to continue since, apart from flouting the authority of the Council, they negatively affect the peace process.
It is also true, on the other hand, that if and when an agreement is reached, the Council must be prepared to increase, from day one, the role and presence of the United Nations in Angola in order to ensure that what is gained at the negotiating table is not then lost on the ground for lack of means or commitment on the part of the international community.
The United Nations cannot abdicate its responsibilities with regard to any agreements that may be reached in Lusaka, and must therefore ensure that the necessary means are made available to effectively oversee and guarantee, from the very beginning, the implementation of a comprehensive peace settlement reached in Lusaka.
In this context, we would urge the United Nations and its Member States to ensure that once peace is achieved in Angola it will be nurtured and supported by the international community in such a way that the reconstruction of Angola becomes the next task of that country and its people.
I thank the representative of Portugal for the kind words he addressed to me and to my predecessor.
It is my understanding that the Council is ready to proceed to the vote on the draft resolution before it, as orally revised in its provisional form. If I hear no 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.
The world yearns for peace. Peoples everywhere want to enrich life, not take it; they wish to build, not destroy. We in the Council, under your able leadership, Mr. President, have worked long hours to serve these aspirations and to advance the cause of peace. And where there is hope, none of us stint; all are ready to strengthen the peacemakers. But, unfortunately, we have learned that not all share our common purpose. Beyond this Chamber there are those who would paint their native soil with the blood of its sons and daughters. It is time for them to see the light.
Despite the promise of peace offered by the Lusaka talks, fighting has intensified, and new military offensives have been launched. As the responsible parties pursue their violent and ultimately meaningless attempt to secure minor tactical advantages, millions of Angolans suffer the constant threat of hunger, injury and death. This outrage will continue until Angola’s leaders have the courage and the sense of responsibility to choose peace over war.
We are heartened by reports that the Government of Angola has accepted the proposal put forward by the mediation. We join others in urging UNITA to do likewise, and we would underscore the words in the draft resolution now before the Council which call on both parties to take the next steps now to finalize any details still outstanding. The decision before them is clear; the correct choice is obvious.
This Security Council draft resolution puts the leaders of Angola on notice that the patience of the international community is wearing thin. We trust they will understand and respond appropriately to this message. But I wish today to end on a positive note. The United States stands ready to join the international community in implementing a peace accord. We look to the leaders of Angola to give us this opportunity to work together for the future of the people of Angola.
Mr. President, as your tenure as the Council’s Chair draws to a close, know how much we esteem your efforts during this month of May. Your responsibilities have been grave and honourably discharged.
We will vote today in favour of the present draft resolution as a means to spur both parties to successfully conclude their negotiations and bring an end to the violence that has torn Angola apart.
I thank the representative of the United States for the kind words he addressed to me.
This is a momentous time for the people and Government of Angola and for all those others concerned with the tragic situation prevailing in that sister African country, to which Brazil is closely linked.
My Government welcomes wholeheartedly the positive response of the Government of Angola to the proposals on national reconciliation by the mediation. We strongly urge UNITA to act likewise. We are encouraged by this development and hope that by the end of June the Government of Angola and UNITA will be in a position to finalize the agreement that will put an end to the civil war which has ravaged that country for almost two decades.
I should like to take this opportunity to thank Ambassador Afonso Van Dunem "Mbinda" of Angola for his important statement. His words constitute additional evidence of his Government’s commitment to the goal of national reconciliation and, ultimately, that of peace.
During last week’s deliberations members of the Security Council had the privilege of receiving the visit of the representatives of the three observer countries and were given firsthand information on the Lusaka talks. Their tireless efforts to bring about peace are very commendable. We also fully acknowledge the role of Maître Beye, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, in facilitating these negotiations. Maître Beye has shown tremendous dedication. His work in Lusaka has been crucial in fostering the peace process in Angola, and his performance should receive the fullest recognition.
I wish to renew my delegation’s expression of gratitude to the Government of Zambia for its continued support for the talks being held in Lusaka. The efforts of African countries, particularly those of the subregion, continue to be essential in the promotion of peace in Angola.
We have particularly welcomed the recent statement of President Nelson Mandela pledging his country’s intention to seek ways to contribute to the Angolan peace process. His position was reiterated here last week by the South African First Deputy Executive President, Mr. Thabo Mbeki. On that occasion my delegation expressed its hope that the inauguration of the first multiracial and democratically elected Government in South Africa would have a highly beneficial impact on the entire continent, especially in Angola and Mozambique.
The draft resolution before us has a very special meaning. It is not merely a routine renewal of the mandate of the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM II). My delegation has supported a limited extension of the mandate on the assumption that the Lusaka peace talks are indeed in their final stretch and that peace is finally at hand. This one-month extension, at this particular moment, clearly reflects the firm desire of the international community for an expeditious conclusion of the ongoing negotiations.
We could not agree more with the Secretary-General’s position that the remaining issues relating to national reconciliation can be promptly resolved if realism, political will and good faith prevail. The Security Council, however, has not lost sight of the fact that Angola could have been living in peace for quite some time. Since the resumption of the direct negotiations the Government of Angola has repeatedly displayed its continued resolve to reach a peaceful settlement.
In this draft resolution the Council is about to decide to keep open its options of reinforcing current sanctions should UNITA fail to cooperate for the implementation of the "Acordos de Paz" and the successful conclusion of the Lusaka peace talks.
We earnestly hope, however, that UNITA will play a constructive role. The interest of the Angolan people in the cause of peace will be best served if UNITA becomes decisively engaged in the peace process.
It is clear to the delegation of Brazil that the draft resolution before us this afternoon constitutes another crucial attempt to enhance the prospects for a prompt and successful political settlement for Angola. For my delegation, an essential element in this draft resolution is the reiteration of the Council’s support for a continued and effective United Nations presence in Angola to foster the peace process and advance the full implementation of the "Acordos de Paz". In this connection, we strongly encourage the Secretary-General to proceed with his contingency planning for prompt action, to be taken as soon as a peace settlement is agreed upon.
My delegation will vote in favour of the draft resolution in the real expectation that when we return to the issue of Angola we shall be turning our attention to determining how an expanded United Nations presence can best contribute to a comprehensive peace settlement.
The Security Council is once again considering the situation in Angola. Generally speaking, the Lusaka peace talks appear to be on the right track and, according to the very detailed report submitted to us by the Secretary-General, the outstanding issues concerning national reconciliation can be resolved if the Government of Angola and UNITA approach them realistically and with the necessary political will.
However, we note with concern the re-emergence of military operations throughout Angola, which will not only affect the negotiations, but will exacerbate the grave humanitarian situation of the people there. We therefore share the Secretary-General’s concern about the high number of civilian victims, the population’s suffering and the destruction of property and infrastructure, all of which are devastating for Angolan society.
It is therefore essential for the parties to bear in mind that the only viable way out of the conflict is by peaceful means and through negotiation. We therefore urge the Government of Angola and UNITA to cease hostilities immediately.
The Argentine Republic, as a country that is contributing military observers and civilian police to the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM II), is following this situation very closely, and is pleased that, as the draft resolution demonstrates, the international community is not failing in its commitment towards Angola. However, the continuation and strengthening of this support are conditional upon a clear demonstration of the parties’ sincere determination to achieve a lasting peace. In the absence of any such determination, any effort on the part of the international community will be in vain because the responsibility for the success of this process lies with the parties themselves.
This is why the Security Council, in the draft resolution, requests the Secretary-General to report – before the mandate of UNAVEM II, which we are extending today for one month, runs out – on the continued will of the parties to achieve agreement, and that will be taken into account in any future decisions on Angola.
The willingness of the United Nations to increase its presence through an increase in UNAVEM II’s strength is clear. However, any such increase must be preceded by a successful conclusion to the Lusaka peace talks.
My delegation commends the efforts of the Secretary-General’s Special Representative, of the three States observers to the peace process in Angola, of the Organization of African Unity and of some neighbouring States, in particular, Zambia, to try to find a solution, as soon as possible, to the Angolan crisis.
We also acknowledge the humanitarian efforts that have been made, and we urge States, United Nations bodies and non-governmental organizations to go on providing assistance, particularly now, when the need for humanitarian assistance of various kinds is increasing.
Before I conclude, once again my delegation appeals to the parties to conclude the negotiations towards achieving peace and justice in a united Angola.
My delegation expresses its deep gratitude to the Secretary-General, Mr. Boutros Boutros-Ghali, for his tireless efforts and his thorough report on the progress achieved in the Lusaka talks and on the military and humanitarian situation in Angola.
The Rwandese delegation also pays tribute to the Government of Zambia, to the three observer States, to the countries in the subregion and to the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Angola, as well as the staff of the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM II), for their constant efforts to bring about a settlement of the situation in Angola.
We extend our special thanks to the representatives of the three observer States who kindly agreed to meet with the members of the Council and helped us in our consideration of the current situation.
My delegation reiterates the importance it attaches to the ongoing peace process in Angola. In this respect, we note with satisfaction that since the publication of the latest report of the Secretary-General major progress has been made in the Lusaka talks on outstanding issues, particularly those involving the electoral process.
My delegation, however, is still concerned by the slow pace of progress on the other issues, particularly those to do with national reconciliation and the future mandate of the United Nations in Angola, matters on which no consensus has yet been reached.
In this context, we hope that the two parties will display the necessary flexibility, and a heightened sense of their responsibilities, to arrive at a speedy settlement that will make it possible for the current crisis to be resolved.
In this regard, we appreciate the efforts made by the Government of the Republic of Angola, which has accepted the proposals put forward through the mediation – that is, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and the States observers of the peace process in Angola – and urge UNITA to act similarly, without delay, to ensure that the ongoing peace talks come to a successful conclusion soon.
My delegation, which welcomes the progress made in the Lusaka talks, is still, however, concerned about the continuing fighting throughout Angola and the heavy losses it has caused in both human and material terms.
Since the continuing hostilities affect the delivery and distribution of humanitarian assistance, my delegation joins in the appeal to the parties to put an end to their military operations. The parties to the conflict should also desist from any action that might impede the provision of humanitarian aid and hinder the free movement of humanitarian assistance personnel. We believe that the cooperation of the parties in this respect is necessary because in some places the civilian population is on the brink of famine as a result of the prevailing lack of security.
My delegation therefore calls on the international community to increase its assistance of all kinds in order to come to grips with the enormous need for humanitarian assistance. My delegation, which has always supported the peace process in Angola, welcomes the fact that the Council has once again come out in favour of expanding the United Nations presence in Angola, as soon as a comprehensive peace settlement has been agreed, and notes with satisfaction the planning activities undertaken by the Secretary-General and by UNAVEM II in anticipation of such a settlement.
In this light, my delegation will join the other members of the Council in adopting the draft resolution, extending the mandate of UNAVEM II until 30 June 1994. In supporting the draft resolution, we would stress that this extension of UNAVEM II’s mandate by one month should not be interpreted as a disengagement by the United Nations from Angola, but, rather, as a step designed to bring the negotiating process to a successful conclusion as soon as possible.
The draft resolution before the Security Council, which the Spanish delegation supports, extends the mandate of the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM II) only to 30 June 1994. The significance of the decision the Council is about to take should be stressed: it means that the international community is running out of patience over the prolongation of the Lusaka peace talks and the resumption of hostilities in different parts of Angolan territory.
In fact, confidence is dwindling among Council members that the pending issues in the Lusaka talks can be resolved, issues having to do with national reconciliation on the basis of the proposals made by the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and the three observer States to the Angolan peace process. We welcome the Government of Angola’s formal acceptance of those proposals, and we urge UNITA to do the same as soon as possible.
A month from now the Council will once again consider, on the basis of a report of the Secretary-General, the state of the Lusaka peace talks and the political will displayed by the parties, with a view to achieving lasting peace. The Council’s consideration on that occasion must be exhaustive and, if warranted, must assign responsibility to the party whose attitude is delaying a process that should have been concluded long ago.
The renewed and future commitment of the international community to Angola depends, now more than ever before, on the attitude and the will of the Angolan parties, and this opportunity given them in the home stretch of the peace process is a test of that attitude and that will.
Spain is particularly concerned about the military situation on the ground, given the spread of fighting throughout the territory of Angola, which is worsening the humanitarian situation, to the detriment of civilians and the delivery of relief assistance. Let us not forget that as a direct or indirect result of the prolongation of the conflict, hundreds of people continue to die each day in Angola. This is one more reason to recall, as does the draft resolution on which we are about to vote, the obligation of all States to comply strictly with the measures imposed on UNITA by resolution 864 (1993). We also hope that the relevant Sanctions Committee will duly investigate the allegations made here today by the representative of Angola.
The Angolan people need the efforts of the international community to heal the wounds of war. We therefore consider especially important the mediating work carried out by the Secretary-General’s Special Representative, Mr. Beye, by the three observer States to the Peace Process – Portugal, the United States and the Russian Federation – and also by the Organization of African Unity and by neighbouring countries – Zambia in particular. We encourage them to continue on this path, redoubling their efforts at this culminating point in the Lusaka talks, so that Angola can finally come into the current that is carrying the entire southern African region into the stream of peace, reconciliation, reconstruction and development.
I now put to the vote the draft resolution contained in document S/1994/628, as orally revised, in its provisional form.
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
There were 15 votes in favour. The draft resolution, as orally revised, in its provisional form, has thus been adopted unanimously as resolution 922 (1994).
I shall now call on those members of the Council who wish to make statements following the voting.
My delegation voted in favour of resolution 922 (1994), which extends the mandate of the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM II) for one month, until 30 June 1994.
My delegation wishes to express the urgency it attaches to the parties’ conclusion of the negotiations between the Government of Angola and UNITA, which began more than six months ago. We understand that those negotiations are nearing an end. We also understand that the last remaining points of discussion are of particular difficulty, since they concern UNITA’s participation in the government and administration of the country. We are pleased that the Government of Angola has decided today to accept the proposals of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in order that an agreement can soon be reached.
France wishes to congratulate Mr. Blondin Beye and the three States observers to the negotiations for their unwavering efforts to achieve this result. We now hope that the proposals will be considered by UNITA in a spirit of openness and with a desire for conclusion. We await with interest the report on this subject to be submitted by the Secretary-General by the end of June.
My country hopes that the Government of Angola and UNITA will now, at this decisive moment, prove their responsibility by reaching a complete and definitive agreement that can be speedily implemented. For this reason we call upon the parties to put an end, as soon as possible, to the hostilities that have been resumed in different parts of the country, seriously impeding the delivery of humanitarian assistance.
In adopting resolution 903 (1994) on 16 March last, the Council showed its readiness to accompany the peace process in its initial phase if there was a solid agreement between the Government of Angola and UNITA, and that readiness is reaffirmed in today’s resolution. My country, for its part, will not hesitate to reconsider the United Nations presence and the deployment of supplemental "Blue Helmets" if the parties cannot manage to agree.
Last week the Council adopted a resolution lifting sanctions against South Africa. Years ago it assisted Namibia in its accession to independence. In Mozambique, there will soon be elections that we hope will put a definitive end to the division of that country so long torn by war. Southern Africa, thus, has in recent years seen significant developments that will consolidate its stability and progress. France therefore calls on Angola, which is of the same region, not to shun this historic process.
The resolution we have just adopted on extension of the mandate of the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM II) shows that the international community wishes to continue its efforts for an early restoration of peace and stability in Angola so that the Angolan people will enjoy happiness again.
Since the Lusaka peace talks on 15 November last year, the two Angolan parties have reached agreements on a number of complicated military matters and have partially resolved the issue of national reconciliation. These are encouraging developments. The Angolan question has long remained unsolved, and six months have passed since the Lusaka peace talks started. Yet the two parties, for various reasons, are unable to remove the last obstacle and bring the man-made disaster in Angola to an end.
The Chinese delegation is of the view that the key to an early and appropriate solution to the Angolan question lies in the hands of the Angolan parties themselves, which should understand that their conflict can never be resolved by military means and that they must therefore show the necessary political will and adopt a practical and flexible attitude in their negotiations so as to realize national reconciliation at an early date and settle the related questions.
The favourable vote by the Chinese delegation shows that we will, as always, continue to support the Angolan peace process with profound sympathy for the sufferings of the Angolan people. Meanwhile, we also hope that this resolution will send a clear message to the parties concerned that time is running out and that they should, in full cooperation with UNAVEM II, act in their national interest, cease forthwith all military actions and comprehensively implement the "Acordos de Paz" and the relevant Security Council resolutions so as to create favourable conditions for an early and comprehensive agreement on national reconciliation and restoration of peace and stability in Angola.
The resolution we have just adopted extends the mandate of UNAVEM II for just one month. This unusual step reflects the firm and unanimous view of the Council that it is now urgent for the parties to finalize a comprehensive settlement of the Angolan crisis. Much progress has been made to date, and we commend the parties, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and the three Observer States for their efforts.
The one major issue outstanding, that of national reconciliation, has already been under discussion for several months. The Special Representative and the representatives of the Observer States have the full backing of this Council in their efforts to resolve it. We warmly welcome the acceptance without reservation by the Government of Angola of the proposals they have put to them. We call upon UNITA quickly to follow suit so that a comprehensive settlement plan can be agreed before the end of June.
We remind the parties that, although the Council has once again stated its readiness in principle to consider the expansion of UNAVEM II to its previous level if an agreement is reached in Lusaka, the patience of the international community is not limitless. If no settlement is reached by the end of June the Council will be compelled to reconsider the future role of the United Nations in Angola. And UNITA, in considering its response to this resolution must bear in mind that the Council, in the resolution, has reiterated its readiness to consider at any time further measures against UNITA if it is not cooperating in efforts to achieve a peaceful solution in good faith.
We share the concern expressed by the Secretary-General about the resurgence of fighting throughout Angola which has resulted in continued heavy loss of life and destruction of property, made more difficult the distribution of much-needed humanitarian relief and had a negative impact on the talks in Lusaka. Reports indicate that fighting has continued over the weekend in Kuito, Malange and Huambo, resulting in further casualties and suspension of aid flights. The Council, in its resolution 903 (1994), adopted two months ago, demanded the cessation of all offensive military actions. Regrettably, the parties have not complied, which is why the Council has repeated that demand in the resolution just adopted. It really must now be heeded. Continued fighting would not bode well for the Council’s consideration of the United Nations future role in underpinning the comprehensive settlement plan we hope the Special Representative will achieve before the end of June.
The Russian Federation is deeply concerned by the complex military, political and humanitarian situation in Angola. We were alarmed by the fact that at the negotiations in Lusaka agreement on questions linked to national reconciliation dragged on for more than two months; this delayed progress towards concluding a comprehensive peace agreement.
This is why Russia would now like to express great satisfaction in connection with the positive answer of the Government of the Republic of Angola to the compromise proposal of the mediator. We believe that this step creates the necessary basis for a solution in the now rather short time period of the remaining issues on the agenda and for a successful conclusion of a political settlement to the Angolan crisis.
It is important that this positive example now be followed by UNITA as well.
The Russian Federation supported the resolution on Angola just adopted by the Security Council which provides for a one-month extension of the mandate of the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM II). We believe that the resolution sends to the Angolan parties a very clear signal concerning the need immediately to demonstrate at the negotiations in Lusaka, which have now entered upon a critical stage, the necessary political will and maximum flexibility for the speedy achievement of a comprehensive peace agreement.
This would allow the Security Council in a timely manner to prepare an adequate course of further action. We cannot allow the process of a peaceful settlement in Angola to mark time, let alone deteriorate. It is also important that the Security Council in its resolution unequivocally reaffirmed the possibility of the adoption of additional measures against UNITA since its actions now will to a great extent determine the rapid and successful conclusion of the negotiating process and the establishment of lasting peace and harmony in Angola.
In the light of the reports that are being received concerning violations of the embargo established by the Security Council on delivery of weapons to UNITA – and facts here that have been cited in the statement of the representative of Angola at this meeting are of greatest concern to us – we believe there is a need to step up the work of the Committee of the Security Council established under resolution 864 (1993) and the facts cited by the representative of Angola must become the subject of careful consideration by that Committee.
For its part Russia, acting together with the other observer countries of the negotiations and with the Secretary-General’s Special Representative, intends to do all in its power to ensure the speedy success of negotiations in Lusaka and a political settlement to the Angolan conflict on the basis of the Bicesse agreements and the relevant resolutions of the Security Council.
I shall now make a statement in my capacity as the representative of Nigeria.
The situation in Angola as it relates to the ongoing peace process now stands at the crossroads. The time for decision has indeed come and cannot be further postponed. At no time has it become more obvious than now that for the peace process to move forward both parties in Angola – but particularly UNITA – must demonstrate greater flexibility, realism and political will at the Lusaka talks.
This is essential in order that all the issues relating to national reconciliation – the last of the remaining core issues impeding the conclusion of a general peace agreement – can be successfully concluded. The human and material costs of procrastination and delay because of differences over the spoils of office and the distribution of portfolios can no longer be justified. It is time that the ordinary people of Angola are allowed by their leaders to enjoy their legitimate rights to peace and development.
While we welcome the latest report of the Secretary-General (S/1994/611), the Government of Nigeria is gravely concerned at the resurgence of military operations throughout the territory of Angola which has not helped to build the confidence and the goodwill needed to speed up the process of political settlement. In our view, decades of military confrontation ought to be sufficient to persuade the parties in Angola that it is indeed futile to continue to seek military solutions to this conflict. The dreadful spectacle of 19 April, referred to in the Secretary-General’s report, where the Malange Airport was continuously shelled while a World Food Programme aircraft was unloading humanitarian supplies was not only an affront to the noble humanitarian efforts in Angola but also an attempt to escalate the tempo of general insecurity and increase the hardships and suffering of the people in that country.
The current report of the Secretary-General duly reflects the precarious humanitarian situations in Angola as three-fold. First, while the humanitarian situation continues to improve in those areas which have been receiving food, medical and other types of relief assistance over the past four to six months, regular and substantial relief deliveries are still needed to sustain the improvement. Secondly, the momentum has to be further increased to respond to the needs of areas where humanitarian activities are ongoing but are greatly hampered by lack of access by road and by other logistical constraints. Thirdly, the humanitarian needs of recently assessed areas must be urgently met to avert starvation in these new areas.
The resolution we have just adopted and of which my delegation voted in favour represents a constructive effort on the part of the international community to respond to the need on the ground in Angola and to facilitate the peace process. Three points in the resolution are worth noting. First, by renewing the mandate of UNAVEM II, the United Nations underlines the abiding concern of the international community for Angola, but by extending it for a one-month period only, rather than the three months recommended by the Secretary-General, the international community underscores the fact that time is running out on the parties in Angola and that it is therefore time that they act constructively and decisively to achieve a prompt political settlement of their conflict.
Secondly, while reaffirming its readiness to consider promptly any recommendation from the Secretary-General for an expanded United Nations presence in Angola in the event a comprehensive peace settlement is reached at the Lusaka talks, the resolution underscores the Security Council’s intention to reconsider the role of the United Nations in Angola in the event that a peace agreement is not reached in Lusaka by the time of the expiration of the extended mandate.
Thirdly, in addition to deploring the worsening humanitarian situation in Angola and those acts that imperil humanitarian relief efforts and inhibit the free and unrestricted movement of humanitarian relief and humanitarian relief workers, the Security Council strongly appeals to States, United Nations agencies and non-governmental organizations to provide rapidly further assistance to Angola to meet the growing humanitarian needs.
We cannot end this statement without joining the Secretary-General, who, in his report, pays tribute to and commended the untiring efforts of the three observer States, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative, Mr. Blondin Beye, and to the Chief Military Observer, Major-General Chris Garba. Their efforts have contributed significantly to the promise, although not yet the reality, of peace in Angola.
Finally, my delegation commends the Government of Angola for the bold new concessions and offers which it has made to UNITA and about which the Permanent Representative of Angola has just extensively briefed this Council. We hope that UNITA will respond favourably to these latest offers by the Government and thereby facilitate the prompt conclusion of the Lusaka peace talks. As a brotherly country in which Nigeria places considerable confidence, Angola desperately needs to achieve peace and to begin as soon as possible its programme of reconstruction, rehabilitation and development. My country stands ready now as we have done in the past to assist Angola’s return to the path of nation-building.
I now resume my function as President of the Council.
There are no further speakers on my list. The Security Council has thus concluded the present stage of its consideration of the item on the agenda.