|Date||8 May 1996|
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The situation in Angola Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III) (S/1996/328)
|President:||Mr. Qin Huasun
|(The Presidency changes each month to the next member in alphabetical order)|
|Mr. Martínez Blanco
Republic of Korea
|Sir John Weston
Adoption of the agenda
The situation in Angola
Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III) (S/1996/328)
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.
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 III), document S/1996/328.
Members of the Council also have before them document S/1996/336, 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 8 May 1996 from the Permanent Representative of Angola addressed to the President of the Security Council, which will be issued as document S/1996/340.
The first speaker on my list is the representative of Angola, on whom I now call.
Allow me to begin by congratulating you, Sir, on behalf of the Government of the Republic of Angola and my delegation on your assumption of the presidency of the Security Council for this month.
I would also like to congratulate your predecessor, Ambassador Juan Somavía, for the positive work he accomplished during his tenure.
For five years now, with the help of the United Nations, my Government has been trying to end a war that has devastated my country for almost 30 years. This war is now moving towards an end, but the special attention of the international community is still necessary to help our common efforts to bring lasting peace to Angola. When this goal is met, we are also counting on the international community’s help in an even larger effort to reconstruct our country.
The Government of Angola wishes to reiterate on this occasion its full and unconditional commitment to peace and reconciliation and its support for the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III) and the Lusaka Protocol. Although the peace process outlined in the Lusaka agreement has moved too slowly, I believe that the parameters for peace and national reconciliation have been established.
What we seek now is to begin to differentiate clearly between rhetoric and concrete action. Only the latter will permit the full implementation of the Lusaka Protocol and of the understandings reached in Libreville between the President of the Republic of Angola and Mr. Jonas Savimbi, the leader of UNITA.
On this occasion, I would have liked to be able to announce that my Government is pleased with the way the peace process is being implemented. Unfortunately, this is not the case. The expectations created by the Security Council meeting of 8 February and during the meeting in Libreville on 1 March this year have not yet been translated into reality. We were convinced in February that, once three months had passed, a more positive review could be made of the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol and that we would be able to announce here the completion of the quartering and disarming of UNITA troops. At the current pace, and if no additional measures are taken to convince UNITA to accelerate the demobilization, quartering will not be completed on schedule. This would be regrettable, primarily because the endurance of the Angolan people and the patience of the international community are reaching their limits.
At all costs, the Government wants to preserve the hope for a positive outcome of the peace process. That is why we now come to the United Nations, and to the Security Council in particular, to request that diplomatic measures be taken to persuade UNITA to live up to its commitments so that we may jointly move towards peace, progress, democracy and the well-being of all Angolans.
We are convinced that UNITA can do much more than it has done so far. A clear demonstration of this is that, on the eve of each Security Council meeting, within just 8 or 10 days UNITA quarters about 10 times more men than it has in months before. From this very fact we can infer that, if it is confronted by a more forceful demand by the Security Council in the coming 60 days, UNITA will at last complete the quartering of all its forces, as prescribed in the Lusaka agreement and at the meetings in Libreville. Thus will all the basic conditions be established for pursuing all the political objectives — national reconciliation and national unity — prescribed in the Lusaka Protocol.
As the Council’s members are aware, the Government of Angola has fulfilled the monthly tasks established by the Joint Commission. The Government of Angola has completed many essential tasks and has also accomplished others on its own initiative with the aim of creating an environment of confidence in order to fulfil the obligations that should rightly fall to UNITA. We have pulled back our military personnel from the areas close to the quartering sites of UNITA forces. We are completing the quartering of the rapid reaction police. We have suspended weapons acquisitions and have made it clear that we are willing to cooperate with UNAVEM III in the verification of this matter.
We have released all prisoners of war.
We have rescinded all contracts with the “Executive Outcomes”, and repatriated their personnel. The Joint Commission was invited to verify this action.
The Government of Angola, together with UNITA, has produced a revised text of the law of amnesty. I have the honour to announce today that the national Parliament has approved this law of general amnesty and that it has been promulgated by the President.
We continue to provide logistic and material support to the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III).
Even though UNITA has not met the deadlines or troop-level goals for demobilization, we are ready to move forward with the immediate integration of UNITA troops into the Angolan armed forces (FAA).
We have undertaken joint military missions with UNAVEM III and with UNITA personnel to verify that FAA forces have not occupied areas vacated by UNITA.
We have found solutions to the concerns expressed by UNITA related to its presence in the Lundas, the country’s diamond region.
We have reiterated our invitation to Dr. Jonas Savimbi to join the Government as a Vice-President. We understood from the talks in Libreville on 1 March that Dr. Savimbi would accept a post as Vice-President, but we very much look forward to receiving an official response from him in order to send a clear and unambiguous signal of support for reconciliation.
The Government of Angola has announced its full support for the initiative promoted by the United States and 30 additional Governments with a view to banning the use of land mines. Our support for this initiative was demonstrated in a practical way in a ceremony on 7 May in Huambo, when we destroyed a number of mines and other explosive devices. This was the beginning of a wider operation to destroy stockpiles of landmines.
These steps demonstrate the Government of Angola’s commitment to peace and national reconciliation. This commitment was restated by President dos Santos in his most recent letter to the members of the Security Council.
If there is any doubt about our commitment to the peace process, we are willing to work with UNAVEM III with a view to clearing up any questions, issues or events that may appear less than fully transparent. The Security Council’s verification of our full compliance will contribute to maintaining its trust in our peaceful intentions and further encourage it to maintain the invaluable support that it is providing to the Angolan people in our search for peace and prosperity.
The Government of Angola believes that UNITA must be persuaded to understand that we are at a crucial moment in the peace process. The Government of Angola does not want to return to war. The Government of Angola will not — I repeat: will not — be the cause of a breakdown in the peace process. While some would suggest that only military pressure will succeed in convincing UNITA to accelerate the demobilization and demilitarization process, we believe that there are other options which must be considered, and, if necessary, implemented. We refer specifically to the measures contained in Security Council resolution 864 (1993).
The draft resolution to be approved will meet the minimum requirements for speeding up the peace process if its provisions are implemented in a responsible manner. It will lead to the development of the peace process. The Government commends the efforts of the Security Council and the good work of its members.
With regard to a time-limit, we urge the Security Council to agree that if UNITA has not met the targets for the conclusion of the national armed forces and the demobilization of UNITA, the timing and numbers for which have been established by the draft resolution, the United Nations should move quickly to review the situation, to meet directly with Dr. Savimbi, to emphasize the urgency of the situation, and to implement the measures contained in resolution 864 (1993).
The peace process is not dead in the water, but it is moving too slowly. The existing momentum must not be lost; nor can we afford to lose the goodwill that has been developing between our Government and UNITA through negotiations in recent months. The Government of Angola cannot, however, continue to sit idly by, meeting its own commitments unilaterally and making individual concessions, without the other party’s making any significant attempt to implement the Lusaka Protocol.
At this crucial stage of the peace process, it is important to underline the need for UNAVEM III to make every effort to guarantee security and safety in all areas given up by UNITA in order to ensure a smooth extension of State administration and to avoid any pretext that could endanger the peace process.
We cannot fail to express our deep sorrow over the tragic deaths of the observers and the Oxfam worker in the Catengue region.
Further, we want to thank the international community for the support it has given to the peace process. We specifically thank the Secretary-General, Mr. Boutros Boutros-Ghali, his Special Representative in Angola and the Troika of observer nations.
Finally, we thank the United Nations for the humanitarian assistance demining aid we have been provided with. Both are essential in stabilizing Angola.
At the outset, Sir, allow me to express my deep satisfaction at seeing you presiding over the work of the Security Council for the month of May. We are sure that under your skilful guidance, and thanks to your well-known qualities, our work will be most effective.
At the same time, I would like to express our appreciation to Ambassador Juan Somavía and the entire Chilean delegation for the excellent work they did leading the Council’s activities in April.
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union. The following countries associated with the Union join in this statement: Bulgaria, Cyprus, Hungary, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Romania and Slovakia.
In the period since the previous renewal of the mandate of the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III) the general situation in Angola has improved, and the peace process is showing signs of progress. The most encouraging aspects are the meetings between the two leaders and the regular political contacts between the parties in the framework of the Joint Commission. The decrease in violations of the cease-fire and the gradual stabilization of the military situation also give cause for cautious optimism for the future.
But the peace process is far from being completed, and the parties, the União Nacional para a Independência Total de Angola (UNITA) in particular, have yet to demonstrate an unreserved commitment to the peaceful settlement of the civil war which has ravaged the country for so long.
The European Union is deeply concerned by the slow pace of the quartering of UNITA troops, which has accelerated only in the past few days on the eve of the expiration of the UNAVEM III mandate. A crucial problem in this context is the fact that so many of the troops being quartered either lack arms or hand in weapons of poor quality. Only two weeks ago, in a presidential statement, the Security Council declared that
“the quartering process is a crucial component of the peace process and [stressed] the need for quartering to be credible and fully verifiable”. (S/PRST/1996/19)
The Secretary-General’s report has cast new doubts on UNITA’s will to comply fully with the commitments it undertook in the Lusaka Protocol, and this only adds to our concerns. The Council today must send a clear message that at this crucial stage in the peace process, no hesitation or delaying tactics will be tolerated or remain without consequences.
The Government of Angola should fully comply with its own obligations under the Lusaka Protocol by continuing the withdrawal of its forces to the nearest barracks and by completing the quartering of the rapid reaction police under UNAVEM monitoring.
We welcome the promulgation today by the President of the Republic of Angola of the amnesty law.
The European Union appeals to both parties to undertake without delay the disarmament of the civilian population and to show better cooperation with the civilian police component of UNAVEM III.
The Joint Commission calendar of the tasks to be accomplished in May by the parties, either jointly or individually, and by UNAVEM III must be promptly and thoroughly implemented. The commitments provided for in that document, freely undertaken by the parties, are indispensable to creating the conditions for the next two fundamental steps in the peace process: the incorporation of UNITA personnel in the joint armed forces, and the formation of the Government of National Unity and Reconciliation.
The slow progress in demining activities is also of great concern. The parties must cooperate fully, in the first place by destroying their stockpiles of landmines, by allowing UNAVEM III and the demining companies to operate unhindered and by transmitting all the information they have available on the location of minefields. Graduates of the demining courses run by the United Nations should be promptly employed in operations in the field. The demining activity is of vital importance — naturally for the safety of the population, but also for the economic recovery of the country.
The Secretary-General’s report mentions various acts of aggression on United Nations personnel and other international officials. The most serious one took place in Catengue, in the province of Benguela, causing three deaths and the serious wounding of a fourth person. The parties must renew their commitment to guarantee the security of such personnel, who are working on behalf of the entire country.
As the peace process gains strength. The need grows to focus on human rights as an essential component of a democratic society. The European Union welcomes the decision of the Secretary-General to instruct his Special Representative to give priority to human rights issues. Moreover, the numerous displaced persons in the country are increasingly expressing the desire to return to their places of origin. Certainty that their rights will be better safeguarded, together with a minimum of economic resources through the gradual resumption of productive activities, can only facilitate this process.
Today the Security Council is renewing the mandate of UNAVEM III for two months. This is an unusually brief mandate for the largest peace-keeping operation of the United Nations, but many uncertainties still exist, particularly in relation to the pledges made by UNITA’s leadership. We believe that compliance with the commitments undertaken in the Lusaka Protocol will be ensured only by constant international pressure. The European Union fully backs all diplomatic efforts aimed at preserving the spirit of Lusaka, and is itself directly committed to the objective of a long-lasting peace in Angola.
Finally, let me express the heartfelt thanks of the European Union to all those who have contributed to this peace-keeping operation, which after far too long is beginning to show signs of success: the Secretary-General and his Special Representative, Maître Alioune Blondin Beye, the personnel of UNAVEM, the troika of observer States, and the neighbouring States.
I thank the representative of Italy 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.
The delegation of Egypt congratulates you, Sir, on your assumption of the presidency of the Security Council for the month of May. We are confident that your experience and diplomatic skill will enable you to fulfil your difficult task and lead the Council’s work to a successful outcome. I wish also to pay tribute to the fine diplomatic performance of your predecessor, Ambassador Somavía, who guided the work of the Council last month.
The Security Council is meeting today to discuss the situation in Angola. This reflects the international community’s concern about the situation and its interest in peace efforts in that brother African country. The concern arises because of the slow pace of the peace process. The international community wishes to see the uneasy relations between the parties concerned replaced by constructive relations based on mutual trust, coexistence and reconciliation and giving pride of place to the interests of the country, so as to realize the hope of the international community that Angolans will be able now to put an end to the tragedy that has persisted for more than two decades.
The delegation of Egypt has studied the report of the Secretary-General on the situation in Angola, and we would like to express our appreciation for his efforts and those of his Special Representative and the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III), particularly since they all carry out their tasks efficiently under difficult circumstances, lacking the full cooperation of one party or another.
The report of the Secretary-General dealt with some of the negative aspects of the settlement in Angola, foremost being the failure to complete the quartering of UNITA troops during the previous UNAVEM mandate, as provided for in operative paragraph 8 of Security Council resolution 1045 (1996), and the fact that the Government and UNITA have been unable to reach agreement on extremely important questions, on the conclusion of which both parties had made pledges in the last meeting between President Dos Santos and Mr. Savimbi in Libreville on 1 March last.
These questions included, first, integration of the UNITA forces into the unified Angolan Armed Forces (FAA), a basic step to be completed as soon as possible; secondly, the description of posts for the military leaders of UNITA in a way that would guarantee leadership posts for them in the new Angolan Armed Forces; thirdly, the beginning of participation by representatives of UNITA begin in the Angolan Parliament, so that UNITA would transform itself into a political party, a process on which the new stage of parliamentary life will be based; fourthly, arrangements for the UNITA leadership to assume two vice-presidential posts, and for all parties to support a general amnesty, which was promulgated by the Angolan Parliament today. This will bolster confidence among the parties.
We were also concerned that the report mentions stalled United Nations demining efforts. The normal Angolan citizen daily faces the evil and risks of landmines, for reasons that cannot be justified at this crucial stage of the settlement. We agree with the Secretary-General’s demand that the two parties should promptly commit themselves fully to cooperate with international efforts. Without this, no real development or reconstruction can begin.
The delegation of Egypt would like to pay tribute to the Angolan Government for taking some of the steps that will lead to confidence-building, particularly the quartering of the rapid reaction police. We appeal to it to adopt constructive and positive policies that will lead the other party to follow suit and result in the implementation of all the items in the Lusaka Protocol. All the parties in Angola should understand that the opportunity they have today through the deployment of the largest United Nations Mission on their territory should not be wasted. There are other crises in Africa and elsewhere, and other areas of tension and conflict. The United Nations has not sent other missions or forces to these areas; it would be very difficult to take such a decision now, particularly because of the financial crisis facing our Organization, of whose consequences we are all aware. This places an additional responsibility on the parties in Angola to use the international presence on their territory to the best effect, thus encouraging the international community to continue providing economic, technical and humanitarian assistance over the next few years. It is time Africans proved that theirs is not a case of lost opportunity, as some would like to describe it.
The Egyptian delegation supports the extension of the UNAVEM III mandate to 11 July. Hopefully, this period will see important accomplishments towards a successful settlement in Angola. Consequently, we will vote in favour of the draft resolution before the Council.
It is with great pleasure that my delegation joins previous speakers in congratulating you, Sir, on your assumption of the presidency of the Council for this month of May. We are confident that you will provide the Council with effective leadership during this month. My delegation would also like to assure you of its wholehearted cooperation in the discharge of your important responsibilities.
My delegation would also like to express its sincere appreciation to Ambassador Somavía, the Permanent Representative of Chile, for his excellent stewardship during the month of April, when he presided over the Council’s activities.
Today the Council’s discussion is focused on the future of the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III), the largest United Nations peace-keeping operation, as its mandate terminates today. We are therefore most appreciative to the co-sponsors for having produced a draft resolution now before the Council for its consideration. My delegation also welcomes the comprehensive report (S/1996/328) of the Secretary-General of 30 April 1996 on the situation in Angola. We wish also to express our gratitude to Mr. Beye for his commendable efforts in the pursuit of peace in that country.
Having carefully examined the report on the situation in Angola, my delegation cannot but express its regret at the disappointingly slow pace at which the peace process is progressing, despite the efforts of the international community in laying the groundwork for a political settlement. It is indeed a source of great concern to my delegation that the quartering and disarming of UNITA troops in a fully verifiable manner has not yet been completed as scheduled. We fully share the view reflected in operative paragraph 5 of the draft resolution, that this aspect is crucial as well as fundamental to the success of the peace process. We equally believe that the complete return of the rapid reaction police to barracks under the monitoring of UNAVEM III, as called for in operative paragraph 14, is essential for advancing the peace process.
Much still needs to be done. The tasks which need to be resolved by the parties and UNAVEM III are indeed many and wide-ranging, from the turning over of arms, ammunition and military equipment to UNAVEM III to the disarmament of the civilian population; from the unconditional release of all prisoners to the destruction of landmines; from the demobilization of troops and their social reintegration to the integration of UNITA troops into the Angolan Armed Forces (FAA) and the formation of unified armed forces.
Considering the magnitude of these undertakings, my delegation is gratified to note that the Joint Commission — the principal body charged with monitoring the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol — has agreed to a calendar of actions detailing the various tasks to be implemented by the parties and UNAVEM III during the month of May. It is essential to emphasize, in this context, the need for the parties to take the necessary measures to ensure the safety of United Nations and international personnel, as provided for in paragraph 21 of the draft resolution. It is our earnest hope that this new timetable will be faithfully adhered to.
Any further delay in its implementation, in our opinion, would not only be detrimental to, but even bring about, the collapse of the peace process as a whole, thus hindering the formation of the Government of Unity and National Reconciliation, envisaged in paragraph 11 of the draft resolution. It is therefore imperative for the parties to show real political will by continuing negotiations on all outstanding issues.
My delegation believes that the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol should be facilitated by the conducive atmosphere which can only be achieved through the parties’ firm commitment to peace. In this regard, the parties concerned should do their utmost to cease hostile propaganda, destroy their stockpiles of land mines and demobilize and reintegrate ex-combatants into civilian life.
We are keenly aware that these various aspects are closely interlinked. For a durable peace to take hold in Angola it is essential that the root causes of insecurity be addressed adequately. My delegation firmly believes that it is of the utmost importance to resolve the military aspect of the conflict, but equally important is the creation of job opportunities, the provision of sufficient food and shelter and the revitalization of the national economy of Angola.
In that regard, we fully endorse operative paragraph 25 of the draft resolution, urging the international community to provide the necessary assistance in order to rehabilitate and reconstruct the Angolan economy. We believe that an improved economic environment would provide the necessary conditions conducive to the development of war-torn Angola. Consequently, this would allow for the peace process to move forwards towards national reconciliation. In that context, we welcome the convening of the informal meeting of donors by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), which provided the opportunity to conduct an exchange of views regarding the need for the Government to adopt an adequate macroeconomic framework. As such, a wide ranging and well coordinated response by the international community must be promoted.
Having said that, my delegation considers that the draft resolution clearly spells out in detail all measures which are expected to be implemented by the parties based on the Lusaka Protocol and the agreed new timetable. Though the Indonesian delegation and others fully understand the growing frustration of the international community, it would be appropriate given the alternative, to persevere in the pursuit of peace by extending the mandate of UNAVEM III for another two months, until 11 July 1996. A perpetual prolongation of the conflict would, in our opinion, be a disservice to the people of Angola, who have been deprived of peace for far to long. It is now incumbent upon the parties to fulfil their obligations.
In view of those considerations, my delegation will vote in favour of the draft resolution.
I congratulate you, Sir, on your assumption of the presidency of the Security Council for the month of May. I pledge the full support and cooperation of my delegation during your tenure of office. I also wish to pay a warm tribute to your predecessor, Ambassador Somavía, for the charismatic way in which he guided the work of the Council last month.
Nine months ago, the peace process in Angola was moving at an encouraging pace, and this led the Security Council to draw the conclusion, in preambular paragraph seven of resolution 1008 (1995), that the peace process had
“… entered a new and promising phase”.
Since then there has been no accelerated and consistent forward movement to consolidate the gains of the earlier period. The latest report of the Secretary-General (S/1996/328) contains a thorough and realistic analysis of the situation in Angola and the status of progress, or lack of it, concerning the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol. We agree with the Secretary-General when he points out in paragraph 33 of his report that UNITA’s procrastination
“if continued, could bring about the collapse of the whole peace process”.
My Government is extremely concerned about the dangerously slow pace of implementation of the Lusaka Protocol. The peace process in Angola remains fragile and reversible. It requires the commitment of the Government of Angola and UNITA not only to stay the course, but to hurry the pace of implementation. In that respect, we welcome the calendar of tasks to be accomplished in May 1996, to which the Government of Angola and UNITA agreed on 2 May 1996. The tasks to be completed during the month, as shown in the calendar agreed to by the two parties, are so vital that their fulfilment would have a profound and positive impact on the outcome of the negotiations on the rest of the outstanding issues. We commend the Government of Angola for the efforts it has made to fulfil its obligations under the Lusaka Protocol. These efforts have made it possible to advance the peace process and for the international community to identify the real obstacles to the attainment of peace in Angola and determine how best to address them.
We encourage the Government of Angola to continue its exemplary work by completing the withdrawal of the armed forces to barracks, by the integration of UNITA soldiers into the Angolan Armed Forces and by commencing the disarmament of the civilian population.
The grudging pace at which UNITA has been quartering its troops represents the greatest obstacle to the peace process in Angola. It is a matter of grave concern that nine months before the expiry of the mandate of the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III), half of UNITA’s troops are still to be quartered. It is alarming that more than 2,000 UNITA troops have deserted the quartering areas, and yet UNITA commanders find it appropriate to prevent UNAVEM III personnel from conducting rollcalls.
UNITA’s dissemination of negative information about conditions in the quartering areas is also unhelpful, as it can only serve to discourage its troops from going to the quartering areas or encourage them to desert. The quartering of baby soldiers and old men in the twilight of their lives is another serious indictment against UNITA. So is the surrendering of antiquated weapons and the obvious concealment of its real weapons by UNITA. We call upon UNITA to emulate the good example of its compatriots, the Government of Angola, to have courage and the necessary political will to move the peace process forward — and rapidly. The next few days will be crucial. The credibility of UNITA’s commitment to the peace process is at stake, and the international community cannot understand or tolerate the party’s apparent reluctance to bring about concrete progress in the quartering of its troops.
The draft resolution which the Security Council is about to adopt is one of the longest resolutions that the Security Council has adopted on the situation in Angola.The draft represents the concern of the international community about the need for the Angolan parties to abide by the timetable for the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol. The draft correctly outlines in paragraphs 10 and 11, specific tasks and goals which must be achieved if crucial deadlines are to be met. This is the essence — the very heart of the draft resolution. The prospects for peace in Angola are very much dependent on what can be achieved in these crucial areas. The mandate of UNAVEM III is being extended for a period of two months, and we strongly believe that substantial progress can be achieved within this period. What is really needed in abundance is the political will on the part of the Government of Angola and UNITA at the highest level to remove any and all obstacles to the implementation of what is, in a very real sense, the last hope for peace in Angola — the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol, timeously.
My delegation wishes to join others in congratulating you, Sir, on your assumption of the presidency of the Security Council for this month. I am convinced that under your leadership the work of the Security Council will be most productive. You have our full confidence and support in carrying out the responsibilities of the presidency for the month of May.
I should like to thank your predecessor, Ambassador Somavía of Chile, for the wisdom and efficiency with which he conducted the Council’s business during the month of April.
My delegation also expresses its appreciation to the Secretary-General for his comprehensive report (S/1996/328) on the situation in Angola.
We note some positive developments since the last extension of the UNAVEM III mandate on 8 February, including the near completion of the quartering of the rapid reaction police, progress in the withdrawal of the Angolan Armed Forces (FAA) from the quartering areas and a relative calm in the military situation, with diminishing cease-fire violations. However, the overall progress to date in the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol falls far short of our expectations.
There are three vital tasks to be accomplished if the peace process is to be assured of success: the timely completion of the quartering of UNITA troops, the integration of UNITA troops into the Angolan Armed Forces and the national police, and the establishment of the Government of Unity and National Reconciliation. According to the new timetables agreed upon between President Dos Santos and Mr. Savimbi on 1 March in Libreville, the first two tasks are to be completed by June and the third by mid-July.
On the crucial front of quartering, progress has been slow and uneven. Although the accelerated quartering of UNITA troops in the past several days is a welcome development, we regret UNITA’s failure to complete the quartering of all its troops by today in compliance with resolution 1045 (1996). The new deadline for the completion of quartering is less than two months away, and yet we are barely half way through. We share the Secretary General’s concern, expressed in paragraph 33 of his report, that any further procrastination in the quartering of UNITA troops could bring about the collapse of the whole peace process. We call on Mr. Savimbi to fulfil his commitment to complete the quartering by June.
Progress is also long overdue in the negotiations on the integration of UNITA troops into the FAA. Inasmuch as the conclusion of these negotiations is crucial in making the peace process irreversible, it is a testing ground for the political will and commitment of the Angolan parties to the peace process. Progress in this area is essential to the establishment of the Government of Unity and National Reconciliation. It will also provide strong incentives to the quartering process. In this respect, we call on both sides to rise above their narrow parochial interests and work out necessary arrangements for the formation of unified armed forces by 15 May, as agreed in the Joint Commission’s calendar of actions for May. We look forward to the success of the good offices undertaken by the Secretary-General’s Special Representative, Mr. Alioune Blondin Beye, to bring the Angolan Government and UNITA to terms for the formation of the unified armed forces.
The establishment of the Government of Unity and National Reconciliation will come as the culmination of the peace process. This involves a constitutional reform providing for power-sharing arrangements, including the description of the post to be assumed by Mr. Savimbi in the new Government. Progress in this area will be meaningful only when it is based on mutual confidence between the Angolan parties. In this respect, we urge President Dos Santos and Mr. Savimbi to meet at the earliest opportunity in Angola to resolve all outstanding issues.
We also attach great importance to road rehabilitation and demining as a prerequisite for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of Angola. UNAVEM III deserves our commendation and encouragement for the excellent job it has done in this area, as referred to in paragraph 16 of the Secretary General’s report. We agree about the urgent need to accelerate the demining efforts, and call for active cooperation from the Angolan parties to this end.
The Angolan peace process stands at a critical juncture now. In the coming days and weeks the political will and commitment of the Angolan parties to carry forward the peace process will be rigorously tested. UNAVEM III is currently the largest United Nations peace-keeping operation in the world, with 7,200 troops, drawn from 36 Member States, including Korea. Given the commitment of the United Nations, as symbolized by the level of resources it has devoted to Angola, the Council cannot afford to let the Angolan peace process stall.
In the expectation that the Government of Angola and UNITA will honour their commitments under the Lusaka Protocol and the Libreville agreement without delay, my Government supports the extension of the UNAVEM III mandate until 11 July 1996. We therefore will vote in favour of the draft resolution before the Council.
The international community can be helpful only when the parties concerned try to help themselves by searching for mutual reconciliation. It must be borne in mind that lasting peace will remain elusive unless it is firmly rooted in the political will and the good faith of the parties to come to terms and make peace with each other.
Finally, my delegation pays tribute to the men and women of UNAVEM III for their sacrifice and indispensable contribution to the consolidation of peace and stability in Angola under extremely difficult conditions.
I thank the representative of the Republic of Korea for his kind words addressed to me.
My delegation would like first of all, Sir, to offer you our congratulations on the assumption of the presidency of the Security Council. We look forward to a serene month under your guidance. We thank the previous Chilean presidency for its outstanding chairmanship during what was certainly not a serene month.
The Security Council has, rightly in our view, made a heavy commitment to supporting the peace process in Angola. The draft resolution before us represents a further effort in this regard, and we shall vote in favour of it.
There have been some positive developments in the peace process since the mandate of UNAVEM III was renewed in February. We welcome the general reduction in the level of violence in Angola. The military situation in the country has remained stable, and there has been a reduction in the number of cease-fire violations.
But overall achievements in the peace process still fall far short of our expectations, and we are deeply concerned that these continued delays to the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol commitments could put the whole peace process at risk.
A mandate of only two months for UNAVEM III, which is now the largest United Nations peace-keeping operation, is exceptional and presents obvious administrative difficulties for the United Nations. But we are supporting this unusual step because we believe the peace process has reached a critical stage and it is necessary to put pressure on both parties to accelerate progress in the peace process.
This extension should give both parties the opportunity to demonstrate the political will to implement their often voiced commitments to the peace process. The draft resolution is comprehensive about the obligations of both parties over this intervening period. There are various tasks which have to be achieved by them, in particular the quartering of UNITA troops and their demobilization and integration into the Angolan army, the disarming of the civilian population, demining, and the formation of a Government of Unity and National Reconciliation. We look to both parties to carry out their individual tasks and to stick to the deadlines which they have agreed.
The key point is that in order to achieve these tasks both parties will have to demonstrate the necessary political will. We attach importance, therefore, to President Dos Santos and Mr. Savimbi remaining in contact, in addition to the work undertaken in the Joint Commission.
Finally, during our discussions on the draft resolution my delegation suggested that the Council might have an open debate on Angola in four or five weeks time. We hope to see real progress on the ground by the time of that debate, in accordance with the tasks which both parties have committed themselves to.
May I first of all congratulate you, Sir, on your assumption of the presidency of the Security Council for this month. My delegation, aware of your vast diplomatic experience and of your intellectual acumen, is convinced that under your presidency the work of the Council this month will be successful. We offer our complete cooperation to you and to the delegation of China.
I also wish to express to Ambassador Juan Somavía and the Chilean delegation our sincerest congratulations on the excellent work done during the month of April, testifying to the talent and professional skills characteristic of Chilean diplomacy.
In his report of 30 April 1996 on the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III), the Secretary-General notes that the progress achieved by the Government of Angola and UNITA towards the implementation of the provisions of the Lusaka Protocol is disappointing, and that the parties had not yet fulfilled many of the tasks that they had agreed to carry out in April to consolidate the peace process.
In fact, although it is positive that the dialogue between the parties has been maintained, that the military situation remains stable, and that the Government of Angola is moving forward with the quartering of the rapid reaction police and the withdrawal of its forces from points near the UNITA quartering areas, in general the political situation in Angola is characterized by slowness in the implementation of a number of elements fundamental to the success of the peace process in that country.
While in the past two months there has been some progress in the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol, that progress does not live up to the hopes raised by the commitments undertaken by the parties at the meeting in Libreville, Gabon, on 1 March 1996. There are clear delays in meeting the successive timetables agreed by the parties, particularly as regards the full quartering of all the UNITA troops, their disarmament, negotiations for their integration into the Angolan Armed Forces and the establishment of a joint military command.
My delegation considers that UNITA must accelerate the quartering of its troops, in accordance with the provisions of Security Council resolution 1045 (1996), and turn over to UNAVEM III all its weapons and military equipment, since further delays in the accomplishment of these important tasks greatly affect the peace process and, as is rightly indicated by the Secretary-General in his report, lead to a decline in discipline among the UNITA soldiers and a rapid depletion of United Nations resources if the stay of the troops already quartered there is further prolonged. It is also necessary that the parties conclude military talks on outstanding issues during this month of May, in accordance with the timetable of tasks of the Joint Commission.
The present situation of Angola requires that the parties take concrete measures to speed the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol, the fulfilment of the relevant resolutions of the Security Council and the commitments undertaken in Libreville, reiterating their decision to form a Government of Unity and National Reconciliation by the month of July in order to avoid affecting the peace process.
My delegation also considers it necessary that the parties show their firm will for peace by cooperating in demining activities, in order to allow the free circulation of persons and goods, destroying existing mines and their stockpiles, disarming the civilian population and adopting measures that ensure the safety and security of UNAVEM personnel and the personnel of the humanitarian organizations working in Angola.
Furthermore, it is necessary that an end be put to hostile propaganda. In this respect, we consider it of vital importance that the Government of Angola facilitate the establishment of a United Nations radio to help in confidence-building and in national reconciliation.
With regard to the United Nations Angola Verification Mission, my delegation considers that it not only helps in observing the cease-fire and is an important factor in bringing stability to Angola, but it also plays an important role in the rehabilitation of roads and in mine clearance. In addition, it conducts activities related to promoting respect for human rights and related to the voluntary implementation of humanitarian projects. Its presence is therefore a necessity, and no matter how unsatisfactory the level of implementation of the Lusaka Protocol may be now, my delegation agrees to an extension of its mandate for two months. We will vote in favour of the draft resolution, although, taking into account the fact that many tasks remain pending in the peace process in Angola, we would have preferred a longer period of time to make it possible for UNAVEM to fully accomplish its mission.
As this is the first official statement of the Russian Federation in the Security Council this month, I should like to congratulate you, Sir, on your assumption of the presidency. We are particularly pleased to see presiding the representative of friendly China, a country with which Russia is developing intensive good-neighbourly cooperation. We hope that the Council’s work will be successful under your able guidance.
I should also like to ask the delegation of Chile to convey our gratitude to the Permanent Representative of their country, Ambassador Juan Somavía, for the titanic amount of work accomplished by him and his colleagues last month.
It also gives me sincere pleasure to welcome to the Security Council Chamber the head of the Angolan governmental delegation, Minister Carneiro, and to thank him for his comprehensive statement.
As a member of the troika of observers of the Angola settlement, the Russian Federation is sincerely interested in seeing the success of the Angolan peace process, the speedy cessation of the lengthy conflict there and the establishment of lasting peace and stability, and has spared no efforts to attain those goals.
Unfortunately, we are far from that situation, as demonstrated by the depressingly slow pace of the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol. Of particular concern is the obstructionist policy of UNITA in quartering and disarming its troops — a key element of the settlement. The UNITA leadership has again failed to comply with its obligations and to quarter its troops by 8 May, in accordance with Security Council resolution 1045 (1996).
The situation has been exacerbated by the poor quality and quantity of the weapons surrendered, by UNITA’s impulse not to quarter the most efficient fighting units and by the mass desertions of servicemen from the quartering sites. UNITA’s hasty quartering of additional soldiers, literally within the past days and hours, does not alter the generally unsatisfactory situation in this area.
No decision has yet been made in respect of UNITA representation in the integrated command of the Angolan Armed Forces, which has hampered the creation of a unified army and the demobilization of those soldiers who would like to return to a normal life. All these and other facts suggest a deliberately dishonest position on the part of UNITA, which threatens the peace process.
We demand that the leadership of UNITA stop testing the patience of the international community once and for all and that it meet fully its obligations to quarter and disarm its troops in accordance with the May timetable approved by the Joint Commission. Given the security guarantees offered to UNITA, we deem inadmissible any linkage between the quartering and disarming process and other matters that are sometimes pushed artificially to the fore. We expect that the Government of Angola will likewise fulfil the tasks incumbent on it in this plan of action.
One important component of the peace process requiring complementary efforts from both Angolan parties is their speedy completion of negotiations on the entire complex of military questions. This would significantly stabilize the situation and open the way to the establishment of a unified army, the transformation of UNITA into a political party and the solution of other aspects of the settlement, culminating in the establishment of a Government of unity and national reconciliation.
We welcome the amnesty announced by the Government of Angola in accordance with the Libreville agreement and consider it to be an important contribution to the strengthening of mutual trust. We must also praise other steps taken by the Government aimed at completing the quartering of the rapid reaction police, the ongoing withdrawal of troops from areas near the UNITA quartering sites, the implementation of a plan for the gradual disarmament of the civilian population and the undertaking of measures to speed up mine clearance and the destruction of landmine stockpiles.
The Government of Angola must consistently continue to implement that policy, to which the leadership of UNITA will respond with practical and constructive measures of its own. We call upon the Government of Angola and UNITA to demonstrate an unwavering commitment to peace and to comply in good faith with the obligations undertaken under the Lusaka Protocol and the Libreville agreement.
In our opinion, the draft resolution before the Security Council today objectively reflects the most acute problems of the current stage of the Angolan settlement. It is extremely concrete and targeted, clearly assessing the actions of both parties and presenting them with the practical tasks to be completed in the next two months. It establishes the appropriate controls for monitoring the compliance of the Angolan parties with the agreed plans and contains a stern warning on the inadmissibility of delay in the peace process, which is already far behind schedule.
We believe that the adoption of the draft resolution will help lend additional dynamism to the peace process and will ensure its irreversibility.
I thank the representative of the Russian Federation for his kind words addressed to me.
On behalf of the delegation of Guinea-Bissau, we wish to join other speakers in congratulating you most sincerely, Sir, on your assumption of the presidency of the Council this month. Your personal experience, skills and pragmatism guarantee the accomplishment of your task. Our delegation therefore wishes to assure you and your delegation of its full cooperation.
Through you, we also wish to thank Ambassador Somavía of Chile and his delegation most sincerely for the outstanding manner and wisdom with which they led the work of our Council in April.
I further wish to welcome and congratulate Minister Carneiro of Angola, who is honouring us with his presence in this formal meeting of the Council.
Fifteen days ago, when the Council last considered the situation in Angola, we felt that the peace process was moving slowly. Unfortunately, we must note that the situation has changed little. Progress in the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol continues to be slow, despite the commendable efforts of the Secretary-General, his Special Representative in Angola, the observers of the Angolan peace process — Portugal, the Russian Federation and the United States of America — and the Organization of African Unity to promote peace in that country. In this respect, we wish to pay them all a tribute for their dedication to the Angolan cause.
Despite the progress which has taken place recently, according to the report given today by Ambassador Gharekhan, the quartering and disarmament of UNITA troops, which is one of the key elements of the peace process, has not yet been completed. The desertion of a considerable number of UNITA troops from the quartering areas gives further cause for concern.
Guinea-Bissau again calls upon UNITA to discharge by June 1996 its obligations to proceed, without interruption, fully to quarter its troops, under the verification of UNAVEM III, and to hand over to UNAVEM III all arms, munitions and military equipment possessed by its troops. It must also unconditionally release all prisoners, in keeping with its obligations under the Lusaka Protocol.
Guinea-Bissau welcomes the progress made by the Angolan Government in quartering the rapid reaction police, and we encourage it to complete this process and to continue to withdraw forces from positions they hold close to the quartering areas of UNITA.
We also hope that the Angolan Government will take steps for the establishment of an independent United Nations radio station.
More than ever, the Government of Angola, and UNITA in particular, should redouble their efforts to commit themselves to the peace process by scrupulously complying with their obligations under the Lusaka Protocol, as well as their commitments made in Libreville on 1 March 1996 — in particular, the rapid formation of unified Angolan armed forces and the creation of a Government of Unity and National Reconciliation; steps to ensure that UNITA deputies can take their seats in the National Assembly; the cessation of hostile propaganda; public measures to destroy the stockpiles of landmines and to demine the whole country to enable the free circulation of people and goods; and concrete measures to guarantee the safety of all United Nations personnel and other categories of international personnel, so that incidents such as those which caused the death of two military observers and a representative of Oxfam on 3 April 1996 during an ambush by armed assailants are not repeated.
Despite the delays in the peace process in general, we have also noted some progress in Angola in recent months, which makes it incumbent upon us again to encourage the international community to continue to provide the necessary assistance to this fraternal country to facilitate the revival and reconstruction of the Angolan economy, in the hope that the two parties will honour their commitments, which they are obliged to do under the Lusaka Protocol.
In the light of these observations, we will vote in favour of the draft resolution before us.
I thank the representative of Guinea-Bissau for the kind words he addressed to me.
I now put to the vote the draft resolution contained in document S/1996/336.
favour=15 against=0 abstain=0 absent=0
Botswana, Chile, China, Egypt, France, Germany, Guinea-Bissau, Honduras, Indonesia, Italy, Poland, Republic of Korea, Russia, United Kingdom, United States
There were 15 votes in favour. The draft resolution has been adopted unanimously as resolution 1055 (1996).
I shall now call on those members of the Council who wish to make statements following the voting.
First, may I congratulate you, Sir, on your assumption of the presidency for the month of May. You will have our full cooperation. I also express our great appreciation and admiration to Ambassador Somavía and his delegation for Chile’s stewardship of the Council during the month of April, often accomplishing a week’s worth of work in three-fifths of the time. Congratulations are in order to Ambassador Somavía and his team.
I also extend our welcome to the Minister of Angola who has joined the Council’s proceedings today.
Throughout the peace process, the United States has fulfilled its commitment to be Angola’s partner for peace. We have steadfastly condemned all violations of the Lusaka Protocol, and insisted that both sides honour their commitments in a comprehensive and transparent fashion. We have also acknowledged actions, taken by either side, that advance the cause of peace and national reconciliation. This course of action, we believe, increases the credibility of the Lusaka process in the eyes of the parties, the Angolan people, and the international community.
In this spirit, we must criticize delays in quartering, yet at the same time welcome recent progress in the process of quartering UNITA troops. As of 6 May more than 30,000 UNITA soldiers had officially registered, with the total expected to rise to 35,000 by the end of this week, which would represent more than half of UNITA’s declared troop levels. The last-minute movement of thousands of troops to quartering areas in the final days before the renewal of the mandate of the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III) is typical of UNITA’s pattern of lurching forward in fits and starts towards its goals. This pattern does not help cement faith in UNITA’s overall commitment to the peace process. It is essential that UNITA continue the quartering process without further delay or interruption. Unless real soldiers bearing real weapons are quartered, the peace process will not move forward. It is also essential that the Angolan Government complete its obligations to pull back its forces and barrack the anti-riot police, under UNAVEM’s supervision, without delay or subterfuge.
The two sides must work together to finalize arrangements for military integration, including reaching agreement on the 18 UNITA generals who are to be a part of the joint military command. The deadline for their completion is now 15 May — far beyond the date initially forecast for the conclusion of the military talks. The delay has meant that some of the UNITA troops have now been in quartering areas for several months. They are eager to be either demobilized or integrated into the joint army. The two sides must work together to ensure that UNITA personnel move quickly out of the temporary quartering areas.
This resolution reflects the Security Council’s continuing impatience with the overall slow pace of the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol. We expect the parties to live up to the agreements they reached in Libreville, and to the May calendar of actions they freely adopted. During the next two months we expect to see the formation of a joint military command and the commencement of the integration of UNITA forces into the Angolan Armed Forces, which is the essential foundation for the Government of Unity and National Reconciliation.
During the next two months we also expect to see the two parties take decisive action on one of the most urgent problems facing Angola — the threat posed by landmines. The United Nations estimates that there are between 9 million and 15 million landmines in Angola. It estimates that 8 million Angolans, of a total population of just under 13 million, live in mine-infested areas of the country. Exact numbers of mine casualties in Angola are impossible to obtain, but current estimates of amputees range from 40,000 to 70,000, with an additional 70,000 killed by landmines. The suffering of Angolans as a result of this plague of landmines will not end with the coming of peace. These hidden killers will continue to haunt Angola for years to come, adding to the number of casualties every week, destroying lives, hopes and dreams, and slowing economic recovery. It is for that reason that the Council, in its presidential statement of 24 April 1996 and in today’s resolution, has called for the Government and UNITA to destroy their stockpiles of landmines and to begin this process by joint public action to underscore the commitment of both parties to get rid of these horrific weapons.
We are hopeful that such an action, in the form of a joint public ceremony involving Government and UNITA officials, can be scheduled in the near future. We would also like to acknowledge the step taken yesterday by the Government, in which 300 landmines held in the central military zone were destroyed, and the commitment made by the leadership of UNITA to take similar steps.
We wish to commend the Secretary-General’s Special Representative, Maître Alioune Blondin Beye, the Force Commander of UNAVEM, and all the personnel of UNAVEM III for their dedicated and courageous service in the cause of peace. We also wish to acknowledge the generosity of the troop-contributing countries, eight of which are members of this Council.
In closing, the United States wishes to remind the parties once again of the urgent need to take advantage of this window of opportunity to bring peace, reconciliation and recovery to their country. The Angolan people have suffered enough.
I thank the representative of the United States for the kind words he addressed to me.
I wish, Sir, to express my delegation’s pleasure at seeing you presiding over the work of the Security Council; we wish you every success as you discharge your important responsibilities and once again offer you and your delegation our full support. I wish also to express thanks for the very generous words addressed to Ambassador Somavía in connection with his work as President of the Council last month.
We are grateful to the Secretary-General for the report he has submitted. We agree with its assessment that there is an overall situation of progress in the process and believe that this should be duly acknowledged. Yet it is a source of deep concern that there are delays in meeting the objectives agreed upon in the Lusaka Protocol, particularly with respect to demobilization. This is a problem that the Council must emphasize and that obliges it to request that urgent measures be adopted, particularly by the União Nacional para a Independência Total de Angola (UNITA), to accelerate the process, consolidate the progress achieved thus far, and move towards the results to which the international community and the people of Angola aspire.
We deplore in particular the death of two peace-keepers, from Jordan and Zimbabwe, and of a British representative of OXFAM, which occurred during an ambush. We call upon both the Government of Angola and UNITA to inform the Security Council of the identity of those responsible for that attack.
The important agreements reached by the Government and UNITA in the course of talks between their top leaders, which the Council welcomed enthusiastically, have regrettably been repudiated in practice. The first signs that agreements were being obstructed were statements that it had been a mistake to accept those agreements. Such attitudes seriously affect the process and gravely undermine belief that negotiations were carried out in good faith. We urge Angolan leaders to avoid making statements that engender such uncertainty about what has been agreed.
UNITA must shoulder its responsibilities in key areas such as the timely quartering of its troops and the speedy incorporation of its forces into the joint armed forces; it should, as soon as possible, provide personnel to act as bodyguards for UNITA leaders.
Qualitative aspects of the demobilization process, especially relating to the type of weapons being handed over, signal a lack of good will in the fulfillment of commitments. This is another source of legitimate concern for the international community. We believe that the leaders have displayed insufficient political will to make progress in the peace progress. We consider that, if the Council is to continue its support for Angola, this lack of political will must be reversed through genuine demonstrations of a readiness to fulfil agreements that have been reached in the course of the long process of negotiating peace in Angola. One concrete demonstration of change towards a willingness to meet commitments would be the establishment without further delay of the independent United Nations radio for which this Council has so often called.
We have supported the further extension for two months of the mandate of the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III) because we are optimistic enough to trust that Angolan leaders will make fresh and greater efforts to consolidate the peace process in their country and to ensure that the United Nations can maintain its stabilizing presence in support of the integrity of Angola. It is time for those leaders to recognize that, after so much suffering, what is most important is not the leaders themselves, or their own interests, but rather the people of Angola as a whole, who want peace and tranquility for their families. That is what the world expects of Angola.
It gives me pleasure, Sir, to convey to you the compliments of the French delegation on your assumption of the presidency of the Security Council for May. I wish also to convey to Ambassador Somavía and his delegation our very sincere thanks for the manner in which they conducted the presidency of the Council in April.
Permit me also to welcome His Excellency the Vice-Minister without portfolio of the Republic of Angola.
The French delegation voted in favour of the resolution just adopted unanimously by the Security Council. As the Secretary-General has noted, there have been some satisfactory developments in the situation in Angola since the signature of the Lusaka Protocol. We note that the peace agreements have led to a lasting cease-fire throughout the country. Likewise, the former belligerents have begun and are continuing a dialogue. The President of Angola, Mr. Dos Santos, and the leader of the União Nacional para a Independência Total de Angola (UNITA), Mr. Savimbi, met again at Libreville on 1 March. Both parties are working to implement the agreements by participating together in the Joint Commission, which is playing an active role in ensuring the implementation of the peace agreements. For all those reasons, we believe that the situation in Angola is moving in the right direction and that this deserves to be acknowledged.
However, we are obliged to say that this movement has not been as speedy as we might have wished. The Lusaka agreements, the resolutions of the Security Council and the recent commitments undertaken at Libreville by the Angolan Government and UNITA have not been fully implemented. The peace process still seems to be stalled on a number of fundamental points. Yet the people of Angola must be enabled to see that the promises made by their leaders are being reflected in concrete changes in their daily lives.
The beginnings of such changes have been made possible by the arrival in Angola of 7,200 Blue Helmets, who have begun demining many roads, and by the work of humanitarian agencies and non-governmental organizations. But these changes can take root only if the Angolan parties manifest a determination to implement all the commitments they have undertaken. Unfortunately, there is much evidence that this is not altogether the case.
The main sticking point arises out of the stance taken by UNITA. This situation has been described to us many times, and the Council has expressed its views on it, as it has done today. We understand that, after 20 years of war, there remains a certain lack of trust between those who fought against each other for so long. UNITA, however, must understand that the reestablishment of a State must include the demobilization of combatants. Mr. Savimbi must unhesitatingly agree to the quartering of every last one of his troops.
This quartering is a crucial stage for the success of the peace process in Angola. UNITA will bear a very heavy responsibility if in this task, which it must carry out, it were to fail now. We welcome recent news that UNITA has quartered more than 32,000 men. Now it must continue its efforts in this area to enable the speedy implementation of the remainder of the Lusaka agreement.
For its part, the Government, whose efforts to implement the peace agreements we salute, must continue to do all it can to restore trust and make possible the reconciliation of all Angolans. It is incumbent upon it, in particular, to ensure security within the country. To this end, it will have a new army and a new police force into which certain UNITA elements will have been integrated. Above all, it must ensure the demilitarization of Angolan society, which means disarming the civilian population. We call on it to commence this job as soon as possible, pursuant to the accords.
We hope that Angola is now close to its goal. Many obstacles have already been overcome. Many others could easily be overcome if gestures of goodwill were made by both sides. We are pleased here that the Angolan Government has recently taken some amnesty steps to make it possible to resolve the last problems relating to the creation of the Angolan national forces.
We have also taken note of the timetable drawn up by the Joint Commission, concerning actions to be taken during May. We hope that the commitments undertaken by the parties will be respected.
The Security Council has today renewed UNAVEM’s mandate for two months. We hope that on 11 July the Council will not have to deal with problems raised by the resolution that we have just adopted and that Angola will by that date have established institutions enabling the country to regain democracy and renew its development.
Like other delegations, we would like to express our pleasure at seeing you in the chair of the President of the Security Council, Sir, the Council needs good Presidents, if it wants to do its work properly. You have already demonstrated that we are in good hands, and I pledge full cooperation.
At the same time, we would like to thank Ambassador Somavía and his collaborators for the excellent work they did in the presidency of the Council for the month of April. Ambassador Somavía’s negotiating skills and persuasive force were already well-known. He confirmed them in his work as President of the Council.
I would also like to welcome the Minister who has come to the Council to present the views of the Government of Angola.
Germany voted in favour of extending the mandate of the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III) for two months. In this context, Germany associates itself fully with the statement Italy made on behalf of the European Union.
By extending the mandate, the international community underlines its readiness to promote the peace process. However, both parties in Angola have to be reminded that the lack of progress since the last extension of UNAVEM’s mandate has given rise to serious doubts as to the will for peace. These doubts will have to be dispelled by a full implementation of the calendar of actions for the month of May, as agreed within the framework of the Joint Commission. The parties must know that the international community expects them to do their utmost to consolidate peace in Angola. Therefore, all means should be deployed to make clear to both parties to the conflict what would be the consequences in the event of a further stagnation of the peace process. There will be no United Nations peace-keeping operation in Angola after February 1997.
We recognize the efforts made by the Angolan Government to fulfil its obligations arising from the Lusaka Protocol. We welcome, in particular, that the withdrawal of Government forces from advanced positions has made considerable progress and that the quartering of its rapid reaction police is almost completed. We call on the Angolan Government to continue in this vein.
At the same time, we appeal to UNITA to renew its efforts to meet its obligations as well. In this context, we deplore the fact that the quartering of UNITA’s troops has come to a virtual standstill. This could put in question the entire peace process. UNITA will have to increase considerably the quartering of its actual fighting units, not just underage youths, and turn in the entire spectrum of its arms. To facilitate this process, the German Government has provided shelters and water treatment equipment for the assembly sites. In this context, both sides have to be reminded that in the Lunda provinces the withdrawal of Government troops and the quartering of UNITA’s units has not begun at all. This is not acceptable.
We welcome the fact that the dialogue between President Dos Santos and the Chairman of UNITA, Mr. Savimbi, is continuing. Concrete results, however, have to be brought about in the near future.
The formation of the Government of Unity and National Reconciliation should take place as scheduled. In order to allow for this, UNITA’s deputies should rejoin the National Assembly, and the participation of UNITA in the country’s Government, especially the question concerning the post of the Vice-President and its competences, should be resolved.
The ongoing military talks should be successfully completed. This is particularly important since the incorporation of UNITA personnel into the joint armed forces should stabilize the relative calm in the military situation and prevent further defections from the assembly sites.
The integration of UNITA personnel into the administrative structure should make rapid progress to prove that there will be a solid basis for power-sharing in the country.
The German Government attaches particular importance to the question of mine clearance. We very much deplore the fact that UNAVEM’s efforts to free the country from that curse, which especially hurts innocent civilians, still encounters obstruction, especially by UNITA. The Angolan Government should, furthermore, continue to invite qualified international organizations to participate in these efforts. They are essential for the return of refugees and the normalization of economic life in Angola. Concrete progress in this field will condition the readiness of the international community to assist in the reconstruction of the Angolan economy. In recognition of its essential importance, the German Government has contributed to UNAVEM’s mine-clearing activities by providing quality control personnel. We see this in the framework of our humanitarian assistance to the people of Angola, which, including the German share of aid given by the European Union, adds up to $90 million over the last five years.
There is reason to call again for a complete end of arms deliveries to Angola. These arms have a very destabilizing effect and stand in the way of confidence-building. Any further purchases of arms can only raise suspicion concerning the respective commitment in the peace process.
Finally, the question of good governance and economic reform has to be addressed. Unless the legitimate interests of a large part of the population are properly considered, widespread discontent and delays in the return of internally displaced persons threaten to be a serious obstacle to the political and economic recovery of Angola.
Let me conclude by thanking the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Maître Beye, and the members of UNAVEM for the good work they are doing under difficult conditions. We also want to express condolences to the families of those who lost their lives in the effort to bring about a peaceful development in Angola.
On behalf of the Polish delegation, I would like to congratulate you, Sir, on your assumption of the presidency of the Security Council for this month.
May I also pay tribute to your predecessor, Ambassador Somavía of Chile, for the outstanding way in which he conducted the business of the Security Council during the month of April. My delegation thanks the entire delegation of Chile.
I wish to thank the Chairman of the delegation of Angola for his intervention this afternoon.
We wish to express our gratitude to the Secretary-General for his excellent report on the situation in Angola and on the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III), whose mandate has just been extended.
Since the Polish delegation associated itself with the statement made by the representative of Italy on behalf of the European Union, I would like to take this opportunity to highlight only some issues which are of particular importance for my delegation.
We are encouraged by the parties’ willingness to maintain political dialogue, including contacts on the highest level, although, in our opinion, they have to become more frequent. The military situation remains stable and the cease-fire is respected. Those are also positive elements in the present Angolan picture.
The rest, however, is not that optimistic. The pace of the peace process is, as the Secretary-General put it, disappointingly slow. With three months having passed after the Security Council decided to extend the mandate of UNAVEM III, the parties in Angola remain well behind their agreed schedule in implementing the Lusaka Protocol, and an overall assessment of the current situation in Angola is far from satisfactory.
We are anxious, in particular, about the degree of UNITA’s compliance with the obligation to quarter its troops. The large number of desertions from the quartering camps, as well as the condition of weapons handed over to UNAVEM III, raise serious doubts as to intentions of that party to fulfil its commitments.
Another disquieting factor is the lack of final agreement between the two parties on the formation of the Angolan Armed Forces. We concur with the opinion of the Secretary-General that this could affect the peace process as a whole. The same seems to be true of another crucial element of the process of stabilization in Angola, namely, the formation of the Government of Unity and National Reconciliation, which should be completed by July.
Demining continues to draw our attention. We welcome the progress already made in that respect. The pace of demining, however, has to be accelerated. Any restrictions imposed by UNITA that hinder that process are totally unacceptable.
The Polish delegation believes that the parties concerned still have, as they continue to declare, the will and potential to advance the peace process, and that they — UNITA in the first place — will speed up fulfilment of their obligations.
With that in mind, we voted for the resolution the Security Council has just adopted. UNAVEM is still, in our view, an indispensable element for securing as favourable conditions for peaceful developments in Angola as the international community can afford at this crucial juncture. We expect the parties to take full advantage of this, yet further, proof of the United Nations commitment to the peace and prosperity of Angola. We also expect them to respect the UNAVEM III mandate and to guarantee the security and safety of its personnel, as well as of all the international personnel working in their country.
Finally, the Polish delegation supports the idea of holding an open debate on the situation in Angola before the current UNAVEM III mandate expires, in order to assess the progress made by the parties and to discuss related issues, including the future of the United Nations Angola Verification Mission.
I thank the representative of Poland for his kind words addressed to me.
I shall now make a statement in my capacity as the representative of China.
The Chinese Government has been following very closely the peace process in Angola. The Angolan people, who have suffered greatly from the scourge of war, are looking forward to the final arrival of peace. To achieve national reconciliation and peace in Angola represents not only the strong desire of the Angolan people, but also the common aspiration of the international community.
We are pleased to note that since the meeting between President Jose Eduardo Dos Santos and Chairman Jonas Savimbi in early March in Libreville, Gabon, there has been some improvement in Angola’s political atmosphere. Particularly, progress has been made in the military aspects of the peace process. We appreciate and encourage any move that will help create a favourable atmosphere for Angola’s peace process, for peace will benefit, while fighting will hurt, all. A final settlement of the Angolan question will, in the final analysis, rely on the political decision to be made by the parties in Angola out of the fundamental interests of the Angolan people.
Meanwhile, we are deeply worried about the repeated delay in implementing the Lusaka Protocol. The current slow progress in the Angolan peace process is inconsistent with the spirit of the Protocol reached by the parties concerned, nor is it what the international community would like to see. The quartering of forces in accordance with the Protocol is one of the key links in the Angolan peace process. Any delay on the question will seriously affect the whole peace process and will not be conducive to mutual trust between the two sides in Angola. Therefore, we urge UNITA to fulfil its commitment as soon as possible by quartering its forces within the fixed timetable.
UNAVEM III has since its establishment made important contributions in supervising the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol and promoting and consolidating the peace process in Angola. Today, UNAVEM III has become the largest United Nations peace-keeping operation, whose ultimate success or failure will be a major test for the United Nations. The Chinese delegation is very much concerned about its deployment environment and the implementation of its mandate. We call on the parties concerned in Angola to earnestly ensure the safety of UNAVEM III personnel, and hope that they will closely cooperate and work together with UNAVEM III to bring peace to Angola.
The Angolan question has now become the last hot spot to be settled in southern Africa. We are in favour of continued vigorous support for the Angolan peace process by the international community in order to bring about peace and tranquillity in the whole of southern Africa.
It was on the basis of those considerations that the Chinese delegation voted in favour of the resolution just adopted.
The Chinese Government and people have always been concerned about the destiny of the African people and sympathized with and supported the peace cause of the African countries. It is a cornerstone of China’s foreign policy to attach importance to developing friendly relations and cooperation with the African countries. Chinese President Jiang Zemin is starting his visit to six African countries today. This once again shows that the traditional friendship between China and the African continent is being further consolidated and strengthened.
I now resume my capacity as President of the Security Council.
There are no further speakers on my list. The Security Council has thus concluded the present stage of the item on the agenda. The Security Council will remain seized of the matter.