|Date||11 July 1996|
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The situation in Angola Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III) (S/1996/503)
|(The Presidency changes each month to the next member in alphabetical order)|
|Mr. Wang Xuexian
|Mr. Martínez Blanco
Republic of Korea
|Sir John Weston
Expression of sympathy to the Government and people of China in connection with the recent floods in the country
Adoption of the agenda
The situation in Angola
Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III) (S/1996/503)
I should like to inform the Council that I have received letters from the representatives of Algeria, Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Malawi, Mozambique, Portugal, Tunisia, South Africa, the United Republic of Tanzania and Zimbabwe, 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 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/1996/503. Members of the Council also have before them document S/1996/536, which contains the text of a draft resolution prepared in the course of the Council’s prior consultations.
I should like to draw the attention of the members of the Council to document S/1996/494, which contains the text of a note verbale dated 26 June 1996 from the Permanent Mission of Angola to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General, transmitting a letter dated 17 June 1996 from the President of the Republic of Angola addressed to the Secretary-General.
The first speaker is the Vice-Minister without Portfolio of Angola, His Excellency General Higino Carneiro, whom I welcome and on whom I now call.
First and foremost, I should like to thank you, Sir, for this opportunity to address the members of the Security Council in order to present the views of the Government of the Republic of Angola on the current stage of the development of and the prospects for the peace process under way in my country, which has now reached its most crucial and decisive phase.
Allow me to congratulate you, Sir, on behalf of the Government of the Republic of Angola, on your assumption of the presidency of the Security Council for this month. I also bring our greetings to your predecessor, Ambassador Nabil Elaraby, for the dynamic manner in which he led the activities of this organ during his term of office. I should also like to take this opportunity to reiterate our gratitude for the work of the Secretary-General, Mr. Boutros Boutros-Ghali; his Special Representative for Angola, Mr. Alioune Blondin Beye; and the troika of observers — the United States of America, Russia and Portugal — and for their efforts towards peace in Angola.
Approximately two years ago, as we undertook the process of implementation of the Lusaka Protocol, we were aware of its complexities, and of the obstacles and difficulties that lay ahead. Nevertheless, we had hoped and prayed that by this point in time we would be much further advanced in the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol. We had thought that by now peace would have been restored and that national reconciliation would be my Government’s most pressing priority. Consequently, from the very start we concentrated all of our efforts towards that goal.
In spite of those efforts, the process has moved forward slowly; the reasons for this are well known to the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III) and to the members of this Council, which, repeatedly and in a variety of resolutions and declarations, have addressed those who have been hampering progress towards a definite and lasting peace.
After the last meeting in Libreville between His Excellency the President of the Republic and the leader of the União Nacional para a Independência Total de Angola (UNITA), significant progress was achieved in the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol, aside from the effective cessation of hostilities, particularly regarding military actions and the strengthening of the political dialogue between my Government and UNITA.
At the risk of being excessively detailed, I would like to underscore some of those achievements so far. All stages of the withdrawal of the Angolan Armed Forces (FAA) to the nearest quartering areas have been completed and troop movements considered unreasonable by UNAVEM III have been corrected. The process of selecting and inducting UNITA troops into the Angolan Armed Forces is already under way. This process started with the incorporation of 60 UNITA officers, who participated in training seminars for the selection and induction of UNITA forces, many of whom are already working in quartering areas, including Negaje, Ngove, Conduimbala and Vila Nova. The confining to quarters of the rapid reaction police is already concluded. The national police is now training personnel appointed by UNITA who, in the framework of the Lusaka Protocol, will provide physical security for the leaders of that organization. Amnesty legislation has been adopted and promulgated for all crimes committed in the armed conflict after 31 May 1991. The President of the Republic has already made a public statement to that effect, as requested by the leadership of UNITA. The Meehens Corporation has been hired to remove mines along roads and thus provide security for the free circulation of goods and people. This company has been working along the country’s main roads and railways. The Government has agreed to the opening of 15 quartering areas for UNITA forces in the province of in Lunda Sul. The joint tasks between the Government and UNITA teams have not yet been completed. Their aim is to revise provisions of Angolan constitutional law. Implementation of the programme to disarm the civilian population has already begun. Although this is not the Government’s responsibility, it has supported the transportation of UNITA forces to the quartering areas in many ways.
These and other achievements could have been more significant with greater cooperation from UNITA. We are looking forward to 15 July, when generals who had left the armed forces to join UNITA will return to their units.
In spite of these positive steps, the peace process is still hampered by obstacles which, if they continue, might entail further delays and even backsliding. We are referring specifically to the quality of UNITA forces and of the matériel sent to the quartering areas. After successive appeals and procedures used by the UNITA leadership, we came to realize that the quantity and quality of weapons and war matériel delivered so far are just a small part of what is available to UNITA’s military branch. We cannot conceive, for example, that only 1,721 kilogrammes of ammunition were available in the four quartering areas already closed by the Joint Commission.
As a result, this exercise under UNAVEM’s supervision lacks credibility and is not tolerable. In addition to being unacceptable, it breeds mistrust between the two parties and weakens the peace process. The lack of transparency of this process is reflected not only in the slow pace of its implementation but also in the large number of deserters and the quality of the men sent to the quartering areas. According to figures provided by UNAVEM III, of the 52,850 men confined to quarters by 10 July, more than 6,000 had already deserted. Thousands are children, and more than 18,000 have not surrendered any weapons.
Those members who have monitored the issue of the domestic Angolan conflict for some time will easily realize that the types and weights of the weapons and the quality of the troops that UNITA has delivered raise questions about the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol, which calls for the withdrawal, quartering and disarmament of all UNITA military forces. Accordingly, it is incumbent upon the Council and UNAVEM III to take action that will help improve performance in the quartering process, which UNAVEM itself considers unacceptable, thereby ensuring that the peace process will become irreversible. In keeping with the Lusaka agreements, we must underscore that the effective and full quartering of the UNITA forces, including the laying down of arms and technical means of war, is a sine qua non condition for the smooth unification of the Angolan Armed Forces and consequently for the implementation of the political provisions relating to national reconciliation. As a consequence, full transparency of this verification process must be assured.
We are also concerned by the proliferation of armed elements under UNITA command performing alleged law enforcement roles in areas already vacated by UNITA forces. This is a flagrant violation of the Lusaka Protocol. Part II of annex 5 of the Protocol bans any means of surveillance or law enforcement which is not specifically allowed by law and by the relevant provisions of the Bicesse Accords and the Lusaka Protocol.
As I stated at the outset, we are now reaching the decisive juncture in the peace process of a country that has not known peace for over 30 years. Today we have the basic foundations for the creation of a democratic, united and prosperous society where all political forces, regardless of their differences, must play an important role. Creation in the near future of the Government of Unity and National Reconciliation, including the invitation extended to the UNITA leader by His Excellency the President, is undeniably an expression of this principle and this desire.
By 30 July 1996, we should conclude the induction of UNITA forces into the Angolan Armed Forces, followed by the re-establishment of Government control over areas currently controlled by UNITA and by the free and unimpeded circulation of goods and persons throughout the territory. At that point, UNITA will have regained its political status as a legal political party; its members will occupy seats at the National Assembly and it will participate in the Government of Unity and National Reconciliation.
The accomplishment of these tasks requires further strengthening of the climate of trust between the two parties. I take this opportunity to reiterate the appeal made to UNITA by His Excellency President José Eduardo dos Santos:
“Trust the Government as an honest partner and emulate with rigour and seriousness the positions adopted thus far by the Government, strictly honouring all the commitments from Bicesse and Lusaka”.
At this crucial stage of the peace process, it is also essential for Angola’s neighbouring States to suspend any negative actions that might reduce the chances of success. The constant violations of Angolan territory by illegal aliens and by foreign enterprises is an issue that must be considered by the sanctions Committee of the Security Council. Paragraph 19 of resolution 864 (1993) clearly calls on all Member States, and particularly Angola’s neighbours, to maintain a posture conducive to peace in our country, refraining from actions that may violate the most elementary precepts of security of any nation. Consequently, we appeal to the Security Council also to act in accordance with its high responsibilities in this area.
Social and economic stability in Angola requires the social reintegration of the thousands of soldiers to be demobilized beginning this month. This will prevent them from turning to weapons again as a means to ensure their survival, thus endangering peace and stability in our nation. In view of the current economic crisis in our country, my Government is not in a position to rise to this challenge on its own. We therefore appeal to the international community for assistance. Allow me here to express our appreciation to the many Governments that have shown their willingness to support these social reintegration programmes, and to request that they start their implementation in coordination with the Government.
This year, 20,000 soldiers will be demobilized out of a total of 67,000. Let me remind the Council that 40,000 soldiers are already demobilized as a result of the Bicesse process and have not yet received any help in their reintegration into civilian life. This large number of military men will require major assistance from the Government of Angola. We cannot allow all efforts invested in the peace process to fail because we have not been able to provide minimal assistance to those who, for many years, were raised in a culture of war.
At the same time, the launching of economic rehabilitation in the regions that have been hardest hit by war will go far towards bringing about a climate of peace and confidence for the thousands upon thousands of refugees and displaced persons who were compelled to leave their homes during the hostilities, but who will be ready to go back as soon as the situation normalizes. In this connection, special mention should be made of the implementation of the demining programmes, many of which are already under way, and of the efforts under the community rehabilitation programme submitted last year at Brussels. We would like to appeal to the Governments and institutions that have pledged their financial support to honour their commitments in order to ensure the full accomplishment of the programme.
Allow me also to express the profound gratitude of the people and Government of Angola to all nations that have provided troops, personnel and matériel to UNAVEM III, and also to pay tribute to those who lost their lives to the cause of peace in Angola. A particular word of recognition goes to the members of the demining team from Uruguay and Pakistan, who sustained injuries on 17 June in the fulfilment of their mission.
As this process nears its conclusion, UNAVEM III will have to issue statements, as called for by its mandate. We call upon the Security Council to send a special mission to Angola as soon as possible, to assess the peace process and to recommend measures appropriate to the situation, before declaring the Lusaka Protocol fully implemented.
The draft resolution on which the Council is about to vote today meets the requirements of the internal situation on the ground. My Government will have no further objection to agreeing to the extension of the mandate of UNAVEM III for another three months. My delegation feels that this period is a reasonable one and will make it possible to fulfil all the remaining tasks of the Lusaka Protocol.
Finally, allow me to refer to the letter addressed to the President of the Security Council, and through him, to its members, by the Mission of Angola. It expresses the concern of my Government regarding UNITA’s performance in incorporating its troops into the Angolan Armed Forces. We see this as related to the military situation and to the revision of some elements of Angola’s constitution: it is a last-minute attempt to use delaying tactics to slow the peace process. The Council should give particular attention to this matter, and should urge UNITA to assume a truly constructive position.
I thank the Vice-Minister without Portfolio of Angola for the kind words he addressed to me.
The next speaker is the representative of Portugal. I invite him to take a seat at the Council table and to make his statement.
Allow me first of all to congratulate you, Sir, on your assumption of the presidency of the Council for the month of July. I have no doubts regarding the effectiveness with which you will be conducting the work of the Council. Let me also take this opportunity to congratulate the Permanent Representative of Egypt, Ambassador Elaraby, and his delegation for the remarkable manner in which they guided the deliberations of the Council during the month of June.
On the occasion of the renewal of the mandate of the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III) by the Security Council, Portugal is pleased to note some positive developments which have taken place in the past two months.
It is a fact that the overall military situation in Angola remains calm, and one cannot really talk about any serious violations of the cease-fire. The conclusion of the military talks between the parties and the beginning of the incorporation of UNITA military personnel into the Angolan Armed Forces, together with the progress achieved in the quartering of UNITA troops and the quartering of the rapid reaction police, are all positive signs that the peace process in Angola is moving forward.
Nevertheless, we must also note that the pace of the implementation of the process is still too slow; time is becoming more and more pressing for the parties, and especially UNITA, to give a clear indication that they are willing to fulfil their commitments to make peace irreversible in Angola.
Both the Government of Angola and UNITA are the parties mainly responsible for the achievement of peace and, of course, those who should be most interested in that goal. We appeal to them here, and strongly encourage them to take the necessary steps to finally make possible the achievement of the lasting peace to which all Angolans aspire.
We must also stress, however, that some of the recent positive developments should have been brought about earlier and more expeditiously, which would have boosted the confidence needed to consolidate the peace process and to make the Lusaka Protocol a reality.
My delegation is pleased to note the progress achieved so far in the registration of UNITA personnel in quartering areas, and the closing of eight out of the 15 such areas to the induction of additional troops. It is now urgent that this process be completed in a credible way, in accordance with the timetable established by the Joint Commission, and by the handing over of heavy military equipment to UNAVEM III. At the same time, it is important to continue the withdrawal of Angolan armed forces to barracks in accordance with the procedures agreed with UNAVEM regarding such operations.
All of these are crucial steps, on the one hand, to move forward with the completion of the national armed forces of Angola, and, on the other, to implement a programme of the demobilization and social reintegration of former combatants.
Parallel to these provisions, it is also of utmost importance that the efforts regarding the demining of the country be intensified. We are pleased to note that in the past two months some progress has been registered in this area.
Angolan roads free of mines, along with a commitment from both parties on total freedom of movement, will contribute in a significant way to an effective flow of humanitarian assistance, and will make possible the free circulation of people and goods. These are also key elements for improving the atmosphere of trust that is still so sorely needed.
Turning to political issues, Portugal, as a member of the troika of observer countries of the peace process, can only describe as encouraging and positive the possibility of a meeting at the earliest opportunity and in Angolan territory between President Eduardo dos Santos and Mr. Jonas Savimbi in order to seek solutions for all outstanding issues concerning the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol, and mainly its provisions on national reconciliation. It is also important that such a political dialogue be pursued at all levels, between both parties, in order to consolidate mutual trust in a spirit of tolerance. In this regard, we also note as a positive element the reports of a reduction in the intensity and frequency of hostile propaganda.
While Portugal encourages all efforts aimed at transforming UNITA into a political party, we also look forward to concrete measures leading to the formation of a Government of Unity and National Reconciliation. A fully functioning Parliament of Angola, with all elected members occupying their seats, and the incorporation of UNITA personnel into the State administration at all levels — national, provincial and local — are also crucial to fostering a true spirit of national reconciliation.
The resolution of all military issues, followed by an appropriate and duly supported programme of the demobilization and social reintegration of former combatants, together with the creation of political conditions for national reconciliation, will pave the way to lasting peace in Angola. At the same time, the effective rehabilitation and reconstruction of the infrastructures and economy of Angola is essential.
By fulfilling the commitments assumed under the Lusaka Protocol, both the Government of Angola and UNITA will be showing the international community and the donor countries that they are worthy of the pledges of assistance aimed at rebuilding the economy of Angola and increasing the well-being of its people. In this context, funds must be provided also so that Angola can integrate former soldiers into civilian life, while dealing at the same time with the flow of refugees and displaced persons.
As a member of the troika of observer States, as a troop contributing country to UNAVEM III, as a donor nation, and through enhanced bilateral cooperation, Portugal continues to be fully committed to the successful completion of the Angolan peace process. We believe that national reconciliation can only be achieved through the full implementation of the “Acordos de Paz” and of the Lusaka Protocol.
In this context, we fully support the continuing commitment of the Security Council to bringing peace to Angola.
In conclusion, I would like to pay tribute to the efforts of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Maître Alioune Blondin Beye, and to the personnel of UNAVEM III, the largest current peace-keeping operation, as well as to the work of United Nations agencies and non-governmental organizations.
I thank the representative of Portugal for the kind words he addressed to me.
The next speaker is the representative of Algeria. I invite him to take a seat at the Council table and to make his statement.
It gives me great pleasure, Sir, to convey to you the congratulations of my delegation on your assumption of the presidency of the Security Council. I am convinced that your professional and human qualities will ensure the success of its work. My delegation’s congratulations go also to Ambassador Nabil Elaraby, who so wisely conducted the work of the Council last month.
The participation of my delegation, as Chairman of the African Group, in the Council’s deliberations on the situation in Angola, is testimony to the abiding interest of the whole of Africa in developments in that fraternal country. As spokesman for Africa in its collective solidarity with Angola, I feel a special honour as the representative of Algeria, which has always maintained with Angola a relationship full of reciprocal esteem and understanding, which goes back to our exemplary relationship as comrades in arms in the struggle for the completion of the liberation of Africa.
Angola, which waged an armed struggle for its national independence, has not been spared by destiny. Since 1975, this country has been caught in a fratricidal conflict which has caused thousands of deaths and which resulted in considerable material damage which has sapped the fragile economy and diverted energy from economic and social development.
Endowed with a variety of natural resources, Angola has never had the respite necessary to develop them to fulfil its people’s aspirations to well-being. The post-independence history of that country is a cycle of human tragedy and material destruction, the result of which the international community has had ample opportunity to see: a country so rich in human and material resources which is now devastated.
The developments of recent years in Angola, with the commendable support of the United Nations, establish the conditions for resolving the crisis. The Lusaka Protocol of 4 November 1994 has created promising opportunities for establishing lasting peace in Angola. Along with the subsequent arrangements — in particular those concluded in Libreville between the President of the Republic of Angola, Mr. Dos Santos, and the leader of the União Nacional para a Independência Total de Angola (UNITA), Mr. Savimbi — the Protocol contributes to a framework conducive to a peace that will enable the Angolan people finally to devote themselves to the task of national reconciliation.
The international community has backed its efforts to find a solution with the laudable work of the Secretary-General’s Special Representative, Mr. Alioune Blondin Beye, and the deployment of the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III), which has carried out its tasks with efficiency and altruism.
The earliest achievements on the ground show that the peace process is an irreversible reality. The Secretary-General’s report mentions progress in the observance of the cease-fire, the quartering of the Angolan Armed Forces, the deployment of UNAVEM III, the promulgation of the Amnesty Law, the process of incorporating the military elements of UNITA into the Angolan Armed Forces, as well as in the economic and humanitarian areas, where we have seen an improvement in food aid programmes, an increase in agricultural production, greater storage capacities and improved conditions in merchandise transportation.
The Angolan Government’s contribution to this progress should be stressed, in particular the steps it has taken to establish a climate of trust in the quartering of the rapid reaction police and the efforts it has made to establish an integrated national military institution.
Further progress would have been possible if the other party, UNITA, had demonstrated the same constructive will instead of adopting the dilatory attitude it continues to nurture. This attitude is manifest in particular in the dubious conditions surrounding the quartering and disarming of its troops. It would seem, indeed, that UNITA has not proceeded to the quartering of its best-trained troops or given up its heavy weapons, troop transports or communications and engineering equipment. Here, we must stress the responsibility of the UNITA leadership for the slowness of the peace process. It is of great importance that the Security Council send a clear, firm message to UNITA that it must abide by the time-frames to which it agreed, in particular those leading to the establishment of the Government of Unity and National Reconciliation. At the same time, it would be particularly appropriate for countries that have any influence on UNITA to exert the pressure necessary to discourage it from using delaying tactics to compromise the timetable established in UNAVEM III’s mandate.
The situation in Angola poses a challenge to the international community for several reasons. Political and military stabilization is important, but it is not enough. Other, equally decisive questions will determine the long-term success of the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol and the establishment of lasting peace in the country. The demobilization and socio-economic reintegration of former combatants, the demining and rebuiliding of roads and the rehabilitation of economic and social activity are all factors that should help to establish this peace. Hence, assistance by the international community must be forthcoming in support of the recovery programme launched by the Government of Angola, because this is the only way in which Angola can look with any optimism towards the period following 8 February 1997.
That is also why, on behalf of the African Group, my delegation supports, in the same spirit as the Vice-Minister without Portfolio of Angola, the Secretary-General’s recommendation to extend the mandate of UNAVEM III, in the profound hope that this new period will see significant progress in the peace process.
I thank the representative of Algeria for his kind words addressed to me.
The next speaker is the representative of Malawi. I invite him to take a seat at the Council table and to make his statement.
My delegation would like to thank you, Sir, and the other members of the Security Council for giving us this opportunity to contribute to this very important discussion on Angola. I find it a little bit difficult to be able to say much more in thanking the previous President and yourself with respect to meetings that were closed to us, but I am sure they were done with a lot of wisdom as well.
As members know, Malawi lies deep in the southern part of Africa in which the Republic of Angola also lies. The brotherhood of this region, so dear to us, has been shared in a history that has been as stormy as the Cape of Good Hope and as dark and tragic as the causes that mothered it.
We speak, therefore, with feelings of great hope and conviction that the ray of light in the tunnel will soon be seen. Miracles have happened in southern Africa. Angola will not be the exception.
We thank the Secretary-General for his report on the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III), contained in document S/1996/503 of 27 June 1996. We pay particular tribute to him for his continuing efforts and those of his Special Representative, Mr. Alioune Blondin Beye, UNAVEM III personnel and of all others too many to mention here, in the search for a peace that we also cherish and yearn for in Angola.
We have seen the development of many positive advances towards peace. These have been acknowledged in the Secretary-General’s report, and we welcome these developments. Like other nations that have spoken before us, however, we must say that we remain deeply concerned by the pace at which some of the agreed measures have been and continue to be implemented.
In this regard, while acknowledging the positive developments — such as the adoption of the framework agreement on military matters, the promulgation of the Amnesty Law, the beginning of the process of incorporating UNITA military personnel into the Angolan Armed Forces and the completion of the quartering of the rapid reaction police — we continue to have many anxious moments. We must take notice of the sporadic skirmishes that have been reported in some provinces. We hear of delayed quartering, desertions and, above all, UNITA’s reluctance to hand over better-quality weapons and other equipment used for military purposes.
These are disturbing developments portending a spirit of irritating reluctance, a simple lack of faith or perhaps a deliberate refusal to come out openly for peace and national reconstruction. As I said before, we cry for Angola. Our region cries for Angola. We in Africa know that our tragedies cannot be played out in an arena of wasted time. The world tends to be impatient with us for some reason or other. This is an appeal to the brothers who are players in all this to realize that, after the popping of bullets, we have to uproot the mushrooms of mines that form the carpet on which humanity walks in dear Angola, maiming women, children, old fathers and mothers. These fields did not come from villages of Africa, and that is why the international community must take note of our appeal to help us to demine them.
A wholesome peace cannot be achieved in Angola and the region if no corrective measures are taken to address these concerns and many others so succinctly outlined in the Secretary-General’s report. We urge all the parties concerned, particularly UNITA, to continue abiding by the agreements reached in the Lusaka Protocol. We appeal specifically to UNITA to adhere strictly to the agreed time-frame for carrying out all measures aimed at a successful outcome for the Lusaka Protocol. The people of Angola and the region have waited so long for peace and tranquility; delay, even in terms of months, only prolongs the misery and the suffering.
The peace process in Angola has reached a critical stage. It requires a concerted effort and the continued support of the international community. We therefore support the Secretary-General’s recommendation for the extension of the mandate of UNAVEM III. We also appeal for donor support for the many needs arising from demobilization and reintegration, and in order to alleviate the socio-economic hardships that Angola is currently facing. This region knows that if South Africa was able to solve problems that touched us all, Angola too will be able to solve problems critical to the whole of Africa but also to the international community and the Security Council: problems of peace and security.
I thank the representative of Malawi for the kind words he addressed to me.
The next speaker is the representative of Brazil. I invite him to take a seat at the Council table and to make his statement.
First of all, let me congratulate you, Ambassador Dejammet, on your assumption of the presidency of the Security Council for the month of July. Under your able and wise guidance the work of the Security Council will be conducted in a highly effective way. I would like also to take this opportunity to express appreciation to your predecessor, Ambassador Nabil Elaraby, for the competence with which he presided over the Council during the month of June.
We would like to pay tribute to the key role Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali and his Special Representative, Maître Alioune Blondin Beye, continue to play in the consolidation of the peace process in Angola. The multiple efforts deployed by the troika of observer States in helping the peace process should also be highlighted.
I wish to thank the Secretary-General for his report on UNAVEM III (S/1996/503), which in our view presents an objective picture of the latest developments in the situation in Angola. In his assessment, the Secretary-General points out that during the last two months the pace of implementation of the Lusaka Protocol has improved somewhat. He also notes, however, that the coming weeks will be critical.
The quartering of troops of the União Nacional para a Independência Total de Angola (UNITA) — one of the key elements of the Lusaka Protocol — remains subject to delays. Some of the problems in this area, according to the report, are the
“high number of desertions, the unsatisfactory quality and quantity of weapons and ammunition handed over, [and] the failure to quarter UNITA police personnel”. (S/1996/503, para. 37)
It is noteworthy that UNITA’s leader has promised to hand over weapons of “better quality” (para. 12). However, it is mentioned in the report that, up to now, UNITA has not handed over
“any of its heavy weapons, rocket launchers, anti-aircraft artillery, armoured personnel carriers and tanks, communications and engineering equipment or vehicles used for military purposes”. (para. 13)
Brazil is in agreement with the report when it states that
“Without such equipment, the quartering process will not be complete” and that “the United Nations will not be in a position to declare that it is complete unless convincing evidence is provided that all regular, commando, engineer, support and other units of UNITA have been effectively cantoned or otherwise accounted for”. (Ibid.)
On the political level, the prospects are still not reassuring. Up to now, Mr. Savimbi has not formally accepted the post of Vice-President. Most of the UNITA members of Parliament have not taken their seats in the National Assembly. Officials from UNITA have not yet joined the State administration at the national, provincial and local levels. Therefore, the coming meeting of President José Eduardo dos Santos and Mr. Savimbi should indeed provide an opportunity to reach agreement on these critical questions.
Brazil, as the Council is aware, remains fully committed to the peace process in Angola. Our very substantial participation in UNAVEM III reflects a long-term involvement with Angola and its people, based on common cultural and historical roots, as well as on shared aspirations to social and economic development. We firmly believe that all Angolans are now tired of war and ready for reconciliation.
In this light, the Secretary-General recommends the extension of UNAVEM III’s mandate for three months. The suggestion for a renewal of a short duration reflects the sense of the international community, which we share, that further procrastination within the peace process is unjustifiable.
The mild improvement in the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol should not distract us from the fact that the coming weeks will be critical. The Security Council, while closely monitoring the events in Angola, should concentrate efforts in assuring that concrete steps required for the consolidation of the peace process are taken without further delay.
I thank the representative of Brazil for the kind words he addressed to me.
The next speaker is the representative of South Africa. I invite him to take a seat at the Council table and to make his statement.
My delegation wishes to congratulate you, Sir, on your assumption of the presidency of the Council for the month of July. May I also extend a word of congratulations and appreciation to Ambassador Elaraby of Egypt for the efficient manner in which he presided over the deliberations of the Council last month.
My delegation would like to thank the Secretary-General for his current report on the situation in Angola. We are pleased to note from the report that there are positive developments in the implementation of some aspects of the Lusaka Protocol. We welcome in particular the promulgation of the Amnesty Law on 8 May 1996, the completion of the quartering of the rapid reaction police, and the beginning of the process of incorporating UNITA troops into the Angola Armed Forces.
However, the information in the report that over 18,000 troops have arrived in the camps without weapons, and that UNITA has not yet surrendered all of its arsenal and military equipment, is of grave concern to my Government.
My Government will not relent in its efforts to ensure that the peace process in Angola is well on track. In this connection, a meeting was held recently in South Africa between my Deputy President and Mr. Savimbi, at which Mr. Savimbi reiterated UNITA’s commitment to the peace process. At that meeting, the Deputy President emphasized to Mr. Savimbi the urgent need for UNITA to translate that commitment into meaningful, tangible actions.
We consider it essential that both President dos Santos and Mr. Savimbi should meet again, as a matter of urgency, in order to address all problem areas. The main focus of that meeting should be to expedite the issue of the establishment of the Government of Unity and National Reconciliation, which we believe is crucial to fostering the spirit of reconciliation as well as to enabling both parties to adopt a common approach on key issues.
My delegation would also like to echo the Secretary-General’s plea to the donor community to respond generously to the needs created by demobilization and reintegration. In this regard, my Government has already contributed 28 million Rand to UNAVEM III for the quartering of troops prior to demobilization.
The men, women and children of Angola are crying out for peace in their country, and they deserve it. Both parties are called upon to fulfil this dream. The international community can accept no further delays in the full implementation of the peace process. It is essential that this process not be held hostage by any of the parties concerned.
Finally, my delegation wishes to register its full support for the Secretary-General’s recommendation that the mandate of UNAVEM III be extended for three months, to 11 October 1996.
I thank the representative of South Africa for the kind words he addressed to me.
The next speaker is the representative of the United Republic of Tanzania. I invite him to take a seat at the Council table and to make his statement.
My delegation extends hearty congratulations to you, Sir, on your assumption of the presidency of the Security Council for the month of July. I also wish to use this opportunity to express my delegation’s appreciation to Ambassador Nabil Elaraby for his excellent stewardship of the Council in the month of June.
It is an honour and privilege for me personally to be granted this opportunity to address the Security Council for the first time. The honour to my country is doubly significant when the issue under consideration is an African issue, specifically, the fraternal country of Angola. Allow me to join others in addressing the Security Council as it considers yet again in a matter of two months, a report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III).
We need not belabour the point that Angola, a country so devastated by war and internecine conflict, now deserves peace, peace-building, conflict resolution and national reconciliation. It is on the basis of that conviction, backed by the Bicesse Accords, the Lusaka Protocol and the relevant Security Council resolutions, that the international community remains and must continue to remain seized of the Angolan situation until peace arrives in this otherwise abundantly endowed African country.
Progress on the ground must primarily be predicated on the imperative that the Angolans themselves must first and foremost commit themselves fully to efforts aimed at restoring peace and stability in their country. The role of the international community must not be more than to complement the demonstrable political will of all the parties to the conflict, in particular the Government of the Republic of Angola and UNITA, to bury the old hatchet and give peace a chance at last.
Indeed, the very signing of the lengthily and arduously negotiated Lusaka Protocol on 20 November 1994 symbolized the resolve of both the main parties to settle the Angola question by peaceful means. Furthermore, it is at the request of Angolans that the international community, through UNAVEM III, maintains an important presence in that country to help facilitate the implementation of the peace process.
Despite the many hurdles surrounding the painfully slow peace process, it is an undeniable fact that the presence of UNAVEM III in Angola has contributed enormously towards the return of relative calm in that country. It is also through UNAVEM III that the concerns of the international community continue to be articulated, daily goading the Government and UNITA to expedite the peace process by fully honouring their undertakings to implement all provisions of the Lusaka Protocol. The current report of the Secretary-General points to some positive achievements made on the ground. The cease-fire is generally holding. These achievements should provide more room for energizing and consolidating the peace efforts of the Angolan people backed by UNAVEM III.
It is most encouraging to read in the report that, during the period under review, the pace of implementation of the Lusaka Protocol has been improving. A few of the high points are the Government’s promulgation of the Amnesty Law on 8 May, completion of the quartering of the rapid reaction police, and the second phase of the withdrawal of the Angolan Armed Forces from forward positions. Some progress has also been made on the part of UNITA in the quartering of its troops, and a start has been made to the incorporation of UNITA military personnel into the national army.
Apart from the Government’s responsibility to fully deliver on its obligations with regard to the peace process, UNITA too clearly owes it to itself to do a lot to better the pace of its current performance. It must cooperate more with the Government and UNAVEM III in expediting the process of incorporating its troops into the national army by the agreed deadline of the end of July, and in facilitating the return of its generals to Luanda. At the same time, UNITA must complete the quartering of its remaining troops in a transparent manner. Last but not least, UNITA must hand in heavy weapons and related matériel to complete the quartering process.
Delayed action on whatever pretext or hidden agenda will not be tolerated by the international community at this critical stage in the Angolan peace process, especially when the Secretary-General is working to recommend additional resources to assist the incorporation process and help Angola to recover from decades of war.
In commending these positive developments, the Secretary-General points to the many as yet unfulfilled tasks that should have been completed well before yesterday. The process, which ought to have progressed from a cease-fire through the demobilization of ex-combatants and the formation of a new army, to national reconciliation, still remains far behind schedule.
Time is running out. The agony and suffering of the Angolan people continue. My delegation would like to make a strong appeal to UNITA to give peace a chance. A national effort is urgently required to address the serious problems of reconciliation, mine clearance and economic development.
The Secretary-General has warned that for the peace process to succeed in Angola all the parties, and UNITA in particular, must demonstrate greater readiness to implement, without delay or prevarication, all the commitments they have entered into. It is on this basis that the international community will continue to support the efforts of the Angolan people to restore peace and stability to their country.
In conclusion, allow me to associate the Government of Tanzania with the appreciation expressed to the Secretary-General’s Special Representative, to the personnel of UNAVEM III and to the various agencies and non-governmental organizations which are doing invaluable work in Angola in many fields under very difficult conditions. Tanzania hopes that the international community will remain steadfast in support of peace in Angola without showing the least signs of indifference or insufficient concern for Africa’s longest civil war, which is steeped in internal conflicts and sometimes fuelled by continuing external interests.
In making these comments, Tanzania associates itself with the draft resolution before the Security Council at this meeting.
I thank the representative of the United Republic of Tanzania for the kind words he addressed to me.
The next speaker is the representative of Tunisia. I invite him to take a seat at the Council table and to make his statement.
Allow me at the outset, Sir, to say how pleased the Tunisian delegation is to see you presiding over the Security Council. Your ability and experience, combined with an in-depth knowledge of international problems, particularly in Africa and the Middle East, are guarantees of effective action in support of peace and security in the world. My congratulations go equally to your predecessor, Ambassador Nabil Elaraby of Egypt, who did excellent work in the Council last month.
The implementation of the Lusaka Protocol has today reached a crucial stage, which calls for intensified efforts with a view to ensuring the success of the peace process in Angola. It is true that progress has been achieved. The cease-fire is generally being respected. However, we cannot fail to note that difficulties persist in the implementation of that Protocol. The operations for the quartering of troops unfortunately continue to encounter delays which can have only negative implications for the peace process, thereby prolonging the suffering of the population. At the present stage, the aim should be to strengthen trust between the parties and encourage a climate of cooperation and national reconciliation.
New measures have been a taken to that end, such as the adoption of a framework agreement on military matters; the promulgation on 8 May of the Amnesty Law; the beginning of the process of incorporating military elements of UNITA into the Angolan Armed Forces; the completion of the quartering of the rapid reaction police; and the second phase of withdrawal of the Angolan Armed Forces from advanced positions. All these measures, set out in the Secretary-General’s report of 27 June 1996, should inspire UNITA to extend its full cooperation in the implementation of the agreements reached.
The effective and complete quartering of combatants and the unification of the armed forces are all the more important because the pursuit of other operations, including the demobilization of troops and their incorporation into civil society, as well as demining, depend upon them.
In that respect, we welcome the action pursued by the United Nations to resolve the problems posed by the demobilization of troops, whose repercussions on security and the economic and social situation are clear. Likewise, we cannot fail to express our deep satisfaction at efforts to accelerate the demining process in Angola.
The role of UNAVEM III in the peace process is of the greatest importance. My delegation would like on this occasion to pay tribute to the personnel of the United Nations Mission, who are working under difficult and often dangerous conditions.
We hope that the Angolan parties will make further process on the road to peace, thereby enabling the United Nations forces to discharge their tasks under better conditions in order to fulfil their mandate as scheduled by February 1997. It is clear that the reconstruction of the country and the improvement of the living standards of the population are essential elements in the peace process.
In this context, the reforms which the Government of Angola is striving to introduce to remedy the economic problems of the country deserve effective support from the international community. In that respect, accelerating the peace process calls for a sustained commitment by investors and donors to continue and increase their contributions.
For all these reasons my delegation supports the recommendation of the Secretary-General to extend the mandate of UNAVEM III for three months, until 11 October 1996.
I thank the representative of Tunisia for the kind words he addressed to me.
The next speaker is the representative of Zimbabwe. I invite him to take a seat at the Council table and to make his statement.
My delegation wishes to congratulate you, Sir, on your assumption of the presidency of the Security Council for the month of July. We are sure that the Council’s business will benefit tremendously from your wisdom and experience. May I also extend our warmest congratulations to Ambassador Nabil Elaraby of Egypt on his excellent stewardship of the work of the Council last month.
The Zimbabwean delegation is most grateful to you, Sir, for convening this meeting on the situation in Angola. We are also thankful to the Secretary-General, Mr. Boutros Boutros-Ghali, for his most informative report on the peace process in that country.
The Government and the people of Zimbabwe have continued to watch and witness developments in the brotherly country of Angola with immense interest and deep concern, as well as with boundless good will. Whilst we are fully convinced that the Bicesse and Lusaka accords, together with other subsequent frameworks of understanding, provide a sound basis for a solution in Angola, we cannot help getting worried at the pace at which the overall peace process has been evolving. Taking into consideration the readiness of the people of Angola to return to peace, the current and prolonged no-war-no-peace situation in that country is no cause for comfort.
In this regard, we are encouraged to note recent commendable measures, such as the promulgation of the Amnesty Law; the completion of the quartering of the rapid reaction police; the adoption of the framework agreement on military matters; the beginning of the process of incorporating UNITA military personnel into the Angolan Armed Forces; the second phase of the withdrawal of the Angolan Armed Forces from forward positions; some progress in the quartering of UNITA troops; and UNITA’s submission of proposals to change the status of its radio station.
On the other hand, we are informed in the Secretary-General’s report that the pace of the already much-delayed quartering of UNITA troops has decreased significantly; that significant numbers of UNITA troops arrive at the quartering camps with hardly any weapons at all; that there is a high number of desertions from the quartering areas; and that UNITA has not yet handed over to UNAVEM III personnel its heavy weapons, rocket launchers, anti-aircraft artillery, armoured personnel carriers and tanks, communications and engineering equipment or vehicles used for military purposes. The Secretary-General makes it clear in his report that there will be no quartering exercise to talk about until those important parts of the UNITA arsenal are brought in and all regular, commando, engineer, support and other units of UNITA are cantoned or otherwise accounted for.
The Secretary-General’s report also states that:
“If the peace process is to succeed, the parties, especially UNITA, must show greater readiness to implement, in good time, the commitments they have entered into”. (S/1996/503, para. 39)
We call upon the international community in general, and the troika of observers in particular, to use their good offices to add impetus to the peace process, in the interests of the people of Angola.
We agree with the Secretary-General’s observation that the demobilization and socio-economic integration of former combatants is an essential precondition for lasting peace in Angola. We therefore look forward to his recommendations on this issue, as promised in his report.
The Government of Zimbabwe recognizes with great appreciation the commendable efforts of all those Governments, non-governmental organizations and other agencies that have come to the assistance of the people of Angola in their hour of need through the provision of humanitarian aid in its multifarious forms. We can only encourage them to continue doing everything possible to sustain their current and future efforts.
Finally, my delegation supports the Secretary-General’s recommendation with regard to the extension of the mandate of UNAVEM III.
I thank the representative of Zimbabwe for the kind words he addressed to me.
The next speaker is the representative of Mozambique. I invite him to take a seat at the Council table and to make his statement.
My delegation joins preceding speakers in extending to you, Sir, sincere congratulations on your assumption of the presidency of the Security Council for the current month. We have no doubt that your presidency is an assurance of the successful outcome of the Security Council’s work this month.
I would also like to pay special tribute to your predecessor, Ambassador Elaraby, for the brilliant manner in which he presided over the Council’s work last month.
We come to this House humbled by the decisive role that the Council played in bringing peace and stability to Mozambique. We come, therefore, with a great sense of duty and responsibility to make our modest contribution to consideration of the issue before the Council today.
The Council is meeting once again in order to discharge its responsibilities at an important time in the history of the people of Angola, when peace and stability are within their grasp. My delegation has carefully examined both the report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III) and the draft resolution before the Council. We have also listened with keen attention and interest to the statement made by Mr. Higino Carneiro, Vice-Minister without Portfolio of Angola. We thank Vice-Minister Carneiro for giving us once again the real picture of the situation prevailing in that sister country. His statement underscores the urgency and determination with which the international community at large and the Council in particular must address the issue before it today.
My delegation wishes to welcome the positive developments in the peace process, particularly those described in paragraphs 6 and 36 of the Secretary-General’s report, namely the promulgation of the Amnesty Law; the completion of the quartering of the rapid reaction police; the partial withdrawal of the Angolan Armed Forces (FAA) to barracks; some progress in the quartering of União Nacional para a Independência Total de Angola (UNITA) troops; and a small beginning of the incorporation of UNITA military personnel into the armed forces. These are significant steps towards implementation of the Lusaka Protocol.
However, my delegation would like to express concern over the fact that the steps towards the formation of the Government of Unity and National Reconciliation are not being implemented, mainly because UNITA is not showing readiness, despite high-level consultations between the Government and UNITA on constitutional amendments. Furthermore, UNITA delays in the quartering of troops and its significantly reduced hand-over of its real military equipment to the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III) continue to be one of my delegation’s concerns. Having all these developments in mind, my delegation concurs with the Secretary-General’s recommendation that the mandate of UNAVEM III be extended for a further period of three months, until 11 October 1996.
My Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, speaking before the Council on 27 January 1995, stressed the importance of these issues and underlined the importance we attached to the early implementation of the mandate of UNAVEM III. Our experience in the deployment of United Nations forces and the implementation of Security Council resolutions and presidential statements in our country shows that the sooner such a verification mission is established, deployed and implemented, the better for the success of the peace process.
The relevance and urgency of this action by the Council should not be underestimated. The signing of the Lusaka Protocol represented the culmination of a long and delicate process of negotiations to address the war situation in Angola and to contribute to bringing about peace and stability not only in that country but also in the entire region of southern Africa. We strongly believe that there is no real reason for peace in Angola to be delayed any longer.
No one should be allowed to hold the Angolan people hostage to motives alien to their desire for peace and prosperity. I would like, therefore, to urge the Council to look into these matters even more diligently and expeditiously, clearly identifying at every stage the detractors of the peace process.
The United Nations and the international community at large are duty-bound to extend their hand of solidarity to the people of Angola and their legitimate Government in their quest for peace and stability. In assisting the Angolan people, we consider of utmost importance observance of the principles and purposes of the Charter as well as of the principles of sovereignty, non-intervention and non-interference in the internal affairs of the Republic of Angola, in line also with the peace accords.
So long as peace is not an irreversible reality in Angola, the success achieved in Mozambique can be considered neither complete nor solid. We wish to reaffirm our unconditional support for and solidarity with the people and the Government Of Angola. We reiterate our readiness to do our best to assist in efforts aimed at bringing about peace, harmony and national reconciliation in that sister country.
We urge every State Member of the United Nations, and in particular the members of the Security Council, to continue to render support to the peace process in Angola and to use all means at their disposal for the successful conclusion of the mandate of UNAVEM III.
I thank the representative of Mozambique for the kind words he addressed to me.
The next speaker is the representative of Cape Verde. I invite him to take a seat at the Council table and to make his statement.
May I extend our congratulations to you, Sir, on your assumption of the presidency of the Security Council for this month. We are confident that the Council will benefit greatly from your recognized skill and experience. We also thank your predecessor, Ambassador Elaraby, for the excellent work and the dedication that he showed in guiding the work of the Council last month.
As shown in the report of the Secretary-General issued two weeks ago, there has been some movement over the last two months in the process of implementing the agreed framework to advance the final settlement of the Angolan conflict. We welcome this and congratulate the parties on their many achievements.
It is particularly gratifying to note that the military situation is now calm, despite some isolated difficulties, and that political dialogue is being consolidated, reinforcing a climate of peace. The draft resolution before the Council will go far towards crowning United Nations efforts in conducting the peace process to a successful conclusion in Angola. We hope that these recommendations will have a positive fruitful impact upon all involved, including the international community. This is necessary because the positive developments so far have been insufficient and are still slow. Persistent delays may unfortunately have consequences that would go beyond a mere waste of time. Precious though time may be, they could contribute to eroding the most essential factor of the peace process, namely mutual trust. Without going into details, we should note that some failings brought to light in the Secretary-General’s report and in the draft resolution, are raising questions that need to be promptly answered, lest serious fears arise as to the future.
If, despite everything, the implementation of the agreements is pursued and the light at the end of the tunnel can be seen by the Angolans, we should still have no illusions about any rapid achievement of happiness for this fraternal people. The time can be considerably shortened, however, if the international community does provide persistent and consistent aid to the national efforts of the Angolan people. Here too, time is of the essence. We believe that inadequacies and slowness in the keeping of promises must be quickly overcome. Support must precede and catalyze the process, and must not come forward a posteriori. Useful and beneficial social activity that can reintegrate combatants into a new national fabric is of an importance and urgency that must not ever be underestimated.
We thank the Council for this opportunity to join in the many expressions of solidarity towards the Angolan people and to offer encouragement and support to the parties in the peace process in that African country with a view to its successful conclusion in the shortest possible time. The tireless efforts of the Secretary-General, of his Special Representative, of UNAVEM III and of the three observer countries are deeply deserving of praise. The success of the mission will undoubtedly be realized thanks to those efforts. We also state our support for the extension of the mandate of UNAVEM III, as recommended by the Secretary-General.
I thank the representative of Cape Verde for the kind words he addressed to me.
It is my understanding that the Council is ready to proceed to vote on the draft resolution contained in document S/1996/536. 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.
Allow me at the beginning of my statement to congratulate you, Sir, on your assumption of the presidency of the Security Council and to wish you every success in your work. Naturally, you can count on our close cooperation with you. It is in a feeble effort to express our feelings of great friendship and respect that I shall try to make my brief statement in French.
Germany will vote in favour of the extension for three months of the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III). This three-month extension of the mandate of UNAVEM III, which has become the largest United Nations peace-keeping operation, will show the parties in Angola that we remain determined to support the peace process in that country, which has started to recover from the aftermath of a long civil war.
We have noted with satisfaction the progress made in recent weeks in the attainment of the goals and the application of the timetable agreed between the Government of Angola and UNITA. We encourage the parties to continue on this path.
The job that remains to be done is not an easy one. Although the timetable agreed between the Angolan Government and UNITA provides for the carrying out of several initiatives in the weeks to come, it seems to me that two elements in particular should be at the forefront of our concerns.
From the military standpoint, it is essential that the quartering of all UNITA troops and their integration into the Angolan Armed Forces, as well as the handing over of all weapons, in particular UNITA’s heavy weapons, should be completed as soon as possible.
From the political standpoint, the establishment of the Government of Unity and National Reconciliation as well as the speedy solution to the question of the post of Vice-President offered to UNITA remain essential.
I deem it important to stress that the international community cannot fail to support the peace process in Angola. To make the process a success, the parties, in particular UNITA, must show greater determination to discharge their commitments in timely fashion.
I take this opportunity to recall that UNAVEM must complete its mission by February 1997. We call upon the Angolan parties to make every effort to consolidate the peace process and to promote lasting national reconciliation in Angola.
The German Government will continue to support the peace process in Angola. In the area of demining in particular, the German Government intends to keep its deminers in the country to continue to give Angola assistance given the importance of finding a solution to this question. This assistance is just part of the humanitarian aid provided to Angola. In all, if contributions made by my country to the European Union are taken into account, Germany will have contributed $100 million in assistance to Angola over the last five years.
I should like to conclude by paying tribute to the personnel of UNAVEM, the personnel of United Nations programmes and bodies, and non-governmental organizations for the laudable job they have been doing in difficult conditions.
I should like at the outset, Sir, to express my great pleasure at seeing you preside over the Council this month. We are fully confident that your well-known diplomatic skills and experience will be a great asset to the Council in its work.
I should also like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude for all the kind words addressed to Ambassador Nabil Elaraby, President of the Council for June.
I should also like to welcome His Excellency, the Vice-Minister without Portfolio of Angola, who takes a keen interest in participating in the public meetings of the Council devoted to the situation in his country.
The Council’s consideration of the situation in Angola takes place today in a climate that differs greatly from that which prevailed at the time of our last meeting on the subject two months ago. The steps taken by the Government of Angola and UNITA during the last two months are, in our view, extremely positive developments. The existence of some negative aspects does not detract from their positive nature. These negative aspects are attributed to the suspicion and mistrust that are the result of more than two decades of devastating civil war.
The delegation of Egypt has read the report of the Secretary-General on the situation in Angola. We should like to express our appreciation to the Secretary-General and his Special Representative, and to the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III) for their efforts, particularly in view of the fact that they are carrying out their tasks under very trying circumstances.
The report of the Secretary-General makes it clear that the challenges currently facing the peace process in Angola can be summed up in two main factors. First is the need for UNITA to complete the quartering of all its combatants and to hand over all its weapons and military equipment and ammunition to the United Nations in a manner that would allow movement towards the subsequent stages of the peace process. The second factor is the need for the reintegration of the demobilized military personnel of UNITA and the Angolan Armed Forces into civilian life. This is an extremely difficult task, particularly since such personnel number nearly 90,000.
We believe that facing these challenges constitutes an important basis for the achievement of national peace in Angola. If those challenges are not faced, the political solution will remain fragile. We also believe that failure to implement the provisions of the Lusaka Protocol within the agreed time-frame will erode the credibility of the whole peace process and will not help create a political climate favourable to beginning a new stage for the Angolan people, to bring them closer to national reconciliation, and to achieving rehabilitation, reconstruction and sustainable social, economic and human development.
The Angolan Government has recently taken praiseworthy steps, foremost among them beginning the disarmament of the civilian population, completing the quartering of the rapid reaction police, and the partial withdrawal of UNITA troops to the quartering areas, in addition to the beginning of the induction and reincorporation of some UNITA military personnel into the Angolan Armed Forces. All these are positive steps that reinforce mutual trust, and they deserve reciprocal positive steps from UNITA.
The eyes of the world are today on UNITA and its leader, Mr. Savimbi. He is being urged to take bold steps and initiatives in the right direction. We are confident that he will give the supreme interests of his people precedence over any other consideration. The people of Angola have the right to live in peace and harmony. They have the right to start the real battle to achieve human, social and economic development. The negative ramifications of the civil war are no secret. The unemployment rate in Angola, which has climbed higher than 50 per cent, and the country’s severe financial deficit and external debt burden are all clear proof of the deterioration of the economic situation in this sisterly African country.
We hope that the August meeting between President dos Santos and Mr. Savimbi will lead to definitive solutions to all outstanding political matters, foremost among which are, first, the question of the post of Vice-President, which is to be occupied by UNITA; secondly, the assumption by some UNITA leaders of ministerial posts in the new Government; and, thirdly, the occupation by UNITA of seats reserved for it in the Parliament and in the civilian administration at the local, provincial and national levels. This, naturally, would mean that UNITA would be transformed into a political party acting within the framework of Angolan legitimacy.
We share the Secretary-General’s assessment that Angola today needs the support and assistance of the international community more than ever. The war has destroyed the basic facilities of the State, including the educational and health systems. According to United Nations statistics, the mortality rate of children under five has reached 320 per 1,000. The rate of registration of children in primary schools is 45 per cent of the target. These figures speak for themselves; they do not need any explanation.
On another level, one result of the war is 10 million land-mines — the highest rate in the world. Every citizen in Angola has a land-mine waiting for him or her. In addition to the presence of 1.25 million displaced persons within the boundaries of Angola, there are almost 300,000 refugees in neighbouring countries. This, in brief, is the situation for the coming stage, which makes it incumbent on the international community and the relevant United Nations organs to extend all possible support and assistance to realize the Angolan people’s legitimate hope for and aspiration to a better life. Egypt, for its part, will hold back no possible support or assistance to the brotherly Angolan people.
The Egyptian delegation supports the extension of the mandate of UNAVEM III for a further three months, until 11 October. My delegation will vote in favour of the draft resolution before the Council. It is our hope that we will periodically receive from the Secretary-General reports and information on developments in that sisterly country.
Mr. President, your great country, France, is well known for its contribution to refining the art of diplomacy. You therefore have the full confidence and support of my delegation as you discharge the responsibilities of President of the Council for this month. I also wish to thank your predecessor, Ambassador Elaraby of Egypt, for the excellent manner in which he deployed a combination of ancient and contemporary Egyptian political skills to guide the work of the Council last month.
Every single day that goes by matters a great deal to the people of Angola, and for the prospects for durable peace in that country. The dawn of a new day without cease-fire violations and innocent lives lost reinforces the hope of a war-weary people for a better tomorrow. The Government of Angola and UNITA have a historic opportunity to put an end to the civil war that has brought their country to the brink of self-destruction. Botswana is satisfied with the progress made by the Government of Angola in the implementation of its commitments. We encourage the Government to continue to take decisive steps and exercise exemplary leadership in the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol.
The time has come for UNITA to recognize that as a party to the “Acordos de Paz” and the Lusaka Protocol it has a duty and an obligation to implement its own commitments expeditiously and in full. The peace process requires partnership, trust and good faith. UNITA took great risks in waging war against the Government of Angola, and it almost destroyed the country; it must now faithfully and constructively take risks to participate vigorously in establishing peace in Angola. We therefore call upon UNITA expeditiously to quarter the remaining troops and hand over to the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III), without further delay, all arms and ammunition, especially the heavy military equipment which has been so obviously absent from the items handed over to UNAVEM III to date. We fully share the Secretary-General’s view that unless the heavy weapons are handed over, the quartering will not be complete. The recent successful conclusion of the military talks should make it easier for UNITA to find its way, and should enable it to exercise greater flexibility in the resolution of the remaining issues.
The next few weeks will be crucial in the consolidation of the peace process and in making sure it becomes irreversible. Botswana attaches the utmost importance to the formation of a Government of Unity and National Reconciliation. We strongly believe that such a Government would have a salutary effect on the overall peace process. In this respect, UNITA members of Parliament should take their rightful places in the National Assembly, as this would have a positive effect on the talks on constitutional issues. In the same vein, we support the Secretary-General’s observation that the question of the post of Vice-President for Mr. Savimbi should be resolved at the earliest possible opportunity. A meeting between President dos Santos and the leader of UNITA therefore has the full encouragement of my delegation, as such a meeting may speed up Mr. Savimbi’s decision finally to assume his responsibilities in the national Government.
While the international community continues to apply pressure on the Government of Angola and UNITA to meet the obligations they have freely entered into, it is necessary for us all to bear in mind the desperate need for the provision to the Government and people of Angola of financial resources necessary to support, buttress and sustain the peace process in that war-ravaged country. The reconstruction and rehabilitation of the Angolan economy is a key element in underpinning the peace process. Assistance is urgently needed now as the process of demobilization and social reintegration gets under way. It is essential that the demobilized ex-combatants be assisted in becoming productive members of Angolan society. It is important to give particular attention to this aspect of the Angolan peace process, as it has the potential to haunt the country in the years ahead if neglected.
As we extend the mandate of UNAVEM III to 11 October 1996, I wish to conclude by expressing the strong desire of my country to see the next three months used productively to establish a solid foundation for lasting peace in Angola so that, when the Council considers the next report of the Secretary-General in October, which will be the beginning of the rainy season in southern Africa, the people of Angola will be looking forward to tilling the soil of their land and planting their crops without fear of resumed warfare under the cover of the sprouting bushes.
At the outset, on behalf of Chile I wish to congratulate you, Sir, on the very effective and experienced way in which you have guided the Council’s work. You, and the French team assisting you, may rely on Chile’s full support in the exercise of your important functions.
I also wish cordially to thank Egypt for its excellent and effective conduct of the presidency last month. Once again, Ambassador Elaraby demonstrated the personal and professional abilities that we all admire and which have earned such prestige for his country and himself. I congratulate the outstanding team that helped him in his work and thank them for the consideration they showed us during Egypt’s exercise of the presidency.
The excellent report submitted by the Secretary-General on the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III) reveals an improvement in the political situation in that country. The encouraging news in that document has been supplemented by other information provided orally by the Secretariat and other parties during discussion of this item.
Like others who have spoken before me, I wish very briefly to emphasize some of the achievements made in the peace process, including such fundamental aspects as the maintenance of the cease-fire; the ongoing quartering of troops of the União Nacional para a Independência Total de Angola (UNITA) and the incorporation of some of its personnel into the Angolan Armed Forces; the quartering of the rapid reaction police; the promulgation of the Amnesty Law; the demining of roads; and the expansion of humanitarian assistance coverage.
All of this is cause for satisfaction and should provide an important incentive to the international community for maintaining and increasing its support for Angola. However, and unfortunately, this progress is unfolding against a general background of delay in the fulfillment of commitments assumed by the Government and UNITA. This would explain the occasional tendency of some analysts to underrate the importance of these achievements.
As we have heard in the course of this debate, the peace process has reached a critical stage. The Council and the United Nations as a whole should therefore insist on respect for the agreed timetables for achieving the objectives.
That is why the parties, and UNITA in particular, must show clear proof of their willingness successfully to complete the peace process and to begin the reconstruction of Angola. Accordingly, there are certain steps that are indispensable in creating a climate of confidence in the political resolve to strengthen peace and give the Angolan people hope for a safe life. These steps include the handing over of the heavy weapons, including munitions, that UNITA still possesses; the formation of the Government of Unity and National Reconciliation; and the incorporation of UNITA members into State administration, Parliament and the Armed Forces. I would also mention the need to make progress towards the complete demining of the existing 10 million mines, which instil a deep sense of insecurity in anyone travelling through Angolan territory.
It is important for the parties to bear in mind the approaching end of UNAVEM III and the beginning of its personnel reduction so that they can act to establish a climate conducive to moving from the final cessation of hostilities to a new stage of consolidating peace through development to improve the living conditions of those who have suffered most in this civil war: the people of Angola.
The economic and social challenges facing Angola are of such magnitude that they require the efforts of all the country’s inhabitants, especially its leaders. The Secretary-General’s report calls attention to the country’s critical economic situation and the large sums that will be required to support Angola’s rehabilitation. According to this report, the amount of aid already committed — much less the quantities actually contributed — is insufficient to cover the implementation of the most urgent rehabilitation programmes, especially as regards the demobilization and socio-economic reintegration of former combatants.
A climate of political stability and civil calm is therefore indispensable for attracting private capital and the support of the international community. Delays and postponements of political agreements also set back the implementation of the urgent and necessary international support so sorely needed by Angola. We all know that true peace will come when there is true development to the primary benefit of the disadvantaged sectors.
We believe that the draft resolution before us contains a balanced text that recognizes the progress achieved in Angola but that also emphasizes the priority, at this stage of the process, of the timely and complete fulfillment of outstanding commitments.
The Government, and especially UNITA, should step up efforts to consolidate peace, because that alone will encourage the international community to provide the support necessary to overcome the massive crisis in Angola.
I wish to convey my thanks for the efforts made by the United Nations personnel in the field and the workers of humanitarian organizations and for the work done by the United States of America, the Russian Federation and Portugal towards a solution of the problems afflicting Angola.
In conclusion, I would say that, despite the tragedies of the past, despite the slow progress towards peace, and despite all that remains to be done, Chile is firmly convinced that, given time, the leaders and people of Angola will have set the world an example of sensible and stable reconciliation. This is the time to think only of the needs and interests of the families of Angola and the communities in which they live. This process will succeed only when it has brought peace to the hearts of the people and fearlessness in looking forward to a new life of security for all.
I congratulate you, Sir, on your assumption of the presidency of the Security Council for the month of July. I pledge the full support and close cooperation of my delegation as you carry out your important responsibilities. I also pay warm tribute to your predecessor, Ambassador Elaraby of Egypt, for the effective way in which he guided the work of the Council last month.
Since the last extension of the mandate of the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III) two months ago, there have been encouraging developments in the Angolan peace process. We welcome in particular the impressive progress in the quartering of troops of the União Nacional para a Independência Total de Angola (UNITA), with more than 20,000 additional UNITA soldiers registered in the quartering areas. We are also gratified to note the completion of the quartering of the rapid reaction police; the adoption of the framework agreement on military matters, which made possible the beginning of the long-awaited process of incorporating UNITA military personnel into the Angolan Armed Forces; the promulgation of the Amnesty Law; and the start of talks between the Angolan Government and UNITA on constitutional amendments necessary for the formation of the Government of Unity and National Reconciliation.
Although overall progress to date has been positive enough to warrant cautious optimism for the future, my delegation shares disappointment at the slow pace at which the peace process has been moving forward. The unsatisfactory quantity and quality of UNITA weapons handed over to UNAVEM III also remains a matter of concern. It must be recalled that the quartering process will not be complete until all UNITA troops are quartered in a credible and verifiable manner and all UNITA weapons, in particular heavy weapons, are handed over to UNAVEM III.
The Angolan peace process is now moving into its most critical stage. The three key tasks of the Lusaka Protocol — the quartering of UNITA troops, the formation of the unified armed forces, and the establishment of the Government of Unity and National Reconciliation — should be completed in the coming days or weeks. The peace process will remain incomplete unless these crucial tasks are successfully achieved in good time. The draft resolution on which the Council is about to vote correctly outlines, in paragraphs 6, 8, 12 and 13, the nature of these tasks and specific steps to be taken by the Angolan parties. We urge the Angolan parties to implement their commitments without further delay.
In overcoming the remaining obstacles to the peace process, there is no substitute for the political will of the parties themselves. Mutual trust between President dos Santos and Mr. Savimbi is central to the commitment and political will of the parties. In this respect, we attach great importance to arriving at a clear understanding between the two leaders regarding their respective roles and the nature of the posts to be allocated to UNITA leaders in the Government of Unity and National Reconciliation. Problems of this nature can best be resolved in a meeting between the two leaders. We view the relevance of paragraph 14 of the draft resolution in this context.
One daunting challenge that comes with the progress of the peace process is the demobilization and social reintegration of ex-combatants. Much has been said about the inseparable linkage between peace and development. The presence of a large number of demobilized ex-combatants in an economically precarious country such as Angola will most likely generate additional social tension, hindering the consolidation of hard-won peace. Hence the urgent need for professional training and the creation of employment opportunities, which go hand in hand with economic reconstruction and development. While the Angolan Government is to play a central role, we emphasize the support of international financial institutions as well as the generosity of major donor countries. It is in this light that we view the merit of paragraphs 11 and 22 of the draft resolution.
Finally, we support the extension of the UNAVEM III mandate for three months, as recommended by the Secretary-General.
In that light, my delegation will vote in favour of the draft resolution before the Council.
I thank the representative of the Republic of Korea for the kind words he addressed to me.
Please allow me at the outset, Sir, to congratulate you on your assumption of the presidency of the Security Council for this month. I am convinced that under your guidance the Council’s work this month will be successful.
At the beginning of our meeting today, Sir, you expressed sympathy on behalf of the Council for the heavy losses suffered by China in the recent serious floods. I will faithfully convey your words of sympathy to the Government and the people of China. I am sure that your expression of sympathy will provide strong support to the people of China, who are at this moment fighting the floods. On behalf of the Chinese people, I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to you and through you, Sir, to the other members of the Council.
I wish also to pay tribute to Ambassador Elaraby, President of the Council last month, and to the Egyptian delegation. The excellent job they did fully demonstrates the skills of the ancient civilization of Egypt and the intelligence and wisdom of the Egyptian people.
I take this opportunity also to extend a warm welcome to His Excellency the Vice-Minister without Portfolio of Angola and to thank him for coming to the Council and making a statement, which we greatly appreciate.
The Chinese delegation will vote in favour of the draft resolution before us. This draft resolution decides to extend the mandate of the largest current United Nations peace-keeping operation by a further three months. This demonstrates the strong support of the international community for the Angolan peace process. We sincerely hope that both parties in Angola, particularly the União Nacional para a Independência Total de Angola (UNITA), will seize this opportunity and make full use of the favorable conditions created by the extension of the mandate of the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III) to accelerate the peace process with a view to ultimately achieving national reconciliation.
Developments during the past two months show that the parties concerned in Angola have taken a number of concrete steps to accelerate the process of national reconciliation and that some substantive progress has been made in the peace process.
We appreciate the Angolan Government’s enactment of an Amnesty Law and its completion of the quartering of the rapid reaction police force. These are necessary measures to build mutual trust and we would like to express our appreciation.
However, we are deeply concerned at the failure to achieve the anticipated objectives in implementing the Lusaka Protocol and the relevant agreements reached by the two Angolan parties. We call on the two parties, particularly UNITA, to demonstrate greater political will and a sense of national responsibility, to refrain from further delaying the implementation of the provisions of the Lusaka Protocol and the timetable reached by the two sides, to complete the quartering of forces and to take part in real earnest in the establishment of a Government of Unity and National Reconciliation and of joint national armed forces. The Chinese delegation wishes emphatically to point out once again that stagnation in the Angolan peace process is inconsistent with the spirit of the agreements reached by the parties concerned and is not what the international community would like to see.
The Angolan peace process is now at a critical historical juncture. If the two parties in Angola, proceeding from their overall national interests, can truly remove past grievances, bury the hatchet, build mutual trust and firmly advance the peace process, the future of Angola is bound to take a turn for the better, and the Angolan people will be able to embark on the broad road of national rejuvenation and development. Conversely, continued stagnation, or even retrogression, in the peace process will let slip the peace and tranquility long desired by the Angolan people and thrust the Angolan nation into further chaos and misery. We expect the two parties, particularly UNITA, to live up to the wishes of the Angolan people and the international community by making a choice in line with the historical requirements and by taking a political decision in the interests of Angolan nation.
The Chinese Government and people have always been very much concerned about the destiny of African peoples and have sympathized with and supported the cause of peace in African countries. During his visit to Africa last May, Chinese President Jiang Zemin pointed out that most African countries are moving towards political stability and entering a new historical period of seeking peace, stability and development. We are most gratified by the advent of such a period.
Now, the question of Angola has become the last hot issue in southern Africa to be resolved. We are in favour of continued strong support for the Angola peace process by the international community, so as to bring peace and tranquility to southern Africa as a whole.
Full-scale reconstruction remains to be undertaken in the post-war Angola. Economic recovery and reconstruction will be an arduous task for Angola, but this is the key to lasting peace. The international community should attach great importance to this question and give it effective support. China will continue to do its best to contribute to Angola’s economic reconstruction. We are confident that once peace comes to Angola, the great and industrious Angolan people will overcome their difficulties and build Angola into a prosperous and beautiful country.
Allow me first, Sir, to convey to you heartfelt congratulations on your assumption of the presidency of the Council for July. I have no doubt that your experience and great diplomatic skills will provide firm, effective guidance in our work. To that end, you can count on the full cooperation of the Italian delegation.
I should also like very warmly to thank Ambassador Nabil Elaraby and the entire delegation of Egypt for their excellent and very effective guidance of the Council’s work during the month of June.
The most recent report of the Secretary-General on the situation in Angola confirms a number of positive developments. Albeit with persisting hesitations, the Lusaka Protocol is being implemented, and, in this connection, it is particularly important that a framework agreement on military matters has been achieved; that the quartering of the UNITA troops, although not complete, is under way; and that the process of their incorporation into the Angolan Armed Forces has begun. Over the last few days new information has reached the Security Council concerning the speeding up of the quartering process for the remaining UNITA contingents also. It is our hope that after far too many unwarranted delays, the UNITA leadership will make good on the commitment undertaken with the signing of the Lusaka Protocol.
The progress achieved so far is still very fragile. The draft resolution on which the Council is about to vote clearly indicates areas in which further steps have to be taken quickly by the parties to consolidate a peace process which, as emphasized by the Secretary-General, has reached a critical juncture. On the political level, substantial progress has yet to be achieved. It is high time for a coalition Government to be formed and for the UNITA members of Parliament to take their seats in the National Assembly. Such a development would not only mark a turning point in the crisis, but would also allow the depleted energies of the country to be focused on the crucial emergency of the looming economic disaster.
The disquieting information provided in this respect by the Secretary-General’s report shows quite clearly that the prospects for peace in Angola might be disrupted if an upturn in the economic and social situation is not quickly achieved. International assistance to Angola, though insufficient, is already under way, and all the relevant entities of the United Nations system are also active in the country. Let me here recall that for the period 1990-1995, the Italian Government provided assistance in various forms to a total of $109 million. For the year 1996 additional funds totalling approximately $12.5 million have been allotted. Moreover, Italy is participating with a team of instructors in the demining activities being conducted by the parties with the assistance of the United Nations and the international community.
Mine clearance and road rehabilitation are essential for the safety of the population, as well as for the economic recovery of Angola. Progress in both areas is being reported as a result of the good work carried out by specialized units of the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III) and by non-governmental organizations. We note that, after extensive delays, UNITA is also showing greater cooperation in the demining activities.
To maximize the impact of the assistance provided and to allow a resumption in earnest of economic activity, a more effective handling of the situation in Luanda and the extension of State administration throughout the country are absolutely necessary. The post-conflict peace-building phase which Angola is now entering will require a determined effort by all, inside and outside the country, to recreate conditions allowing the population to benefit from the rich natural resources of the country.
Although the peace process now seems to be well established, the enduring commitment of the parties remains of critical importance. Both parties — but in particular UNITA — should show an even stronger determination to pursue in good faith the full implementation of the Lusaka Protocol. Let us not forget that the many delays of the last few months have resulted in new and even more unjustified suffering for the people of Angola.
Finally, let me express once again our heartfelt thanks to all those who have contributed to this peace-keeping operation: the Secretary-General and his Special Representative, Maître Alioune Blondin Beye, the UNAVEM III personnel and the troika of observer nations.
For the reasons explained above, Italy will vote in favour of the draft resolution before the Council.
Allow me first, Sir, to say how very pleased we are to see you presiding over the work of the Security Council for the month of July. We are sure that, thanks to your skills and well-known qualities, our work will be successful. At the same time I should like to express our gratitude to Ambassador Elaraby and the entire delegation of Egypt for their excellent work in conducting the business of the Council in June.
I should also like to take this opportunity to welcome His Excellency General Higino Carneiro, Vice-Minister without Portfolio of the Government of Angola.
Since 8 May, the date of the last extension of the mandate of UNAVEM III, the situation in Angola with regard to the consolidation of the peace process has improved in an encouraging way, despite certain delays. In fact, the adoption by the two parties of the framework agreement on military matters, the beginning of the incorporation of the military personnel of UNITA into the Angolan Armed Forces, the agreement between the President of Angola and Mr. Savimbi on the establishment of a Government of Unity and National Reconciliation by the second week of August, and the progress made in demining and lifting checkpoints are all positive developments, which we applaud.
Accordingly, my delegation encourages the parties to continue to show their commitment to peace by destroying stocks of land-mines and by lifting all checkpoints so as to guarantee the free circulation of people and goods throughout all the territory of Angola.
The quartering and disarmament of all UNITA forces — another essential element of the peace process — and the handing over of all their weapons, should be completed without further delay.
We welcome the measures taken by the Government of Angola towards peace, such as the amnesty proclaimed in keeping with the Libreville accord, the completion of the quartering of the rapid reaction police and the adoption of the programme for the disarmament of the civilian population. These important measures adopted by the Government of Angola will, we are sure, help to consolidate peace in this fraternal country.
Despite continuing delays, my delegation believes that the process that has been started is on the right track. We therefore encourage the President of Angola and the head of UNITA to meet as soon as possible in Angola to resolve all outstanding issues. In fact, only political will and the determination of the parties can help to bring about a lasting peace, stability and security in Angola.
As for security, the two parties and others interested in Angola should take all necessary steps to guarantee the security of United Nations personnel and the personnel of other international organizations, as well as the premises that they occupy, in addition to freedom of circulation for humanitarian relief. This could encourage the international community to continue to provide Angola with aid.
In the current stage of the process, the demobilization of ex-combatants, their reintegration into civil society and the recovery and reconstruction of the Angolan economy are of the greatest importance. Accordingly, my delegation encourages the international community to provide the necessary financial resources within the joint United Nations Appeal for Angola, in the certain belief that the two parties will honour their obligations under the Lusaka Protocol.
We will support the draft resolution before us to extend the mandate of UNAVEM III because we are optimistic enough to believe that the Angolan leaders, particularly the head of UNITA, will renew their commitment to the peace process that we have hoped for.
In conclusion, my delegation wishes to pay tribute to the efforts of the observer countries, the United States of America, the Russian Federation and Portugal, to those of the Secretary-General and his Special Representative, and to the entire personnel of UNAVEM III for their commitment to the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol.
I congratulate you, Sir, on your assumption of the duties of President of the Council, and wish you, and the entire French delegation, every success in that post. We express our gratitude to your predecessor, the Permanent Representative of Egypt, Ambassador Elaraby, for the work carried out by him and the Egyptian delegation last month.
It also gives me sincere pleasure to thank the head of the Angolan Government delegation, General Carneiro, Vice-Minister without Portfolio, for his comprehensive statement. As one of the troika of observer nations of the Angolan settlement process, the Russian Federation is keenly interested in the successful advancement of the peace process and the speedy establishment in that country of lasting peace and stability, and is sparing no effort to attain those goals. Resolving the years-long conflict in Angola would not merely be a great boon for that friendly country and other countries in southern Africa, but would be a major success story for the peace-keeping activities of the United Nations and the international community as a whole.
We are pleased to note that the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol has recently been proceeding at a faster pace. The completion of the talks on military questions has opened the way to the establishment of a unified armed force. Agreement has been reached on the creation by the middle of August of a Government of Unity and National Reconciliation. Several important steps have been taken to consolidate the peace process, including the quartering of the rapid reaction police, the continuation of the withdrawal of troops to defensive positions, and the start of the operation to disarm the civilian population. Progress has been made in the area of demining and ensuring freedom of circulation of people and goods, and the level of hostile propaganda has dropped. At the same time, we are concerned that the implementation of key elements of the peace process is still very much behind schedule. Again, we must say that the primary responsibility for this lies with UNITA.
Recently, under pressure from the international community, UNITA has taken certain positive steps, notably by bringing the overall number of its servicemen registered in the quartering areas to 53,000. Nevertheless, the commitments it undertook in this area have not been fully met. We agree with the conclusion of the Secretary-General’s report, that until UNITA quarters all of its troops and hands over to UNAVEM III all of its weapons, including heavy weapons, the quartering cannot be deemed complete. A component of this process must be the quartering of the so-called police forces set up by UNITA in several regions in violation of the Lusaka Protocol.
It is also important for the leadership of UNITA immediately to comply with the agreements to return the generals assigned to them to the Angolan Armed Forces, ensure that UNITA Members of Parliament take their seats in the National Assembly, and take steps speedily to incorporate its designated representatives into the work of the country’s State administration at various levels. Of great importance is a constructive solution to the question of the post of the Vice-President of the country.
The coming weeks will be decisive for the fate of the peace process as a whole, as important decisions of a military and political nature are taken. In this regard, we feel it is appropriate that the international community not relax its justified, targeted and carefully measured pressure on the participants in the settlement, encouraging them scrupulously to abide by the Lusaka Protocol.
It is important that this policy be combined with purposeful support of the peace process, including material assistance for the implementation of the painstakingly planned and phased demobilization of former combatants and their integration into civilian life. Very active support is also necessary in establishing greater trust between the parties. We have high hopes for the meeting scheduled for early August between President dos Santos and the leader of UNITA, Mr. Savimbi.
The Russian delegation feels that the draft resolution on Angola before the Council today is adequate to the tasks of this stage of the Angolan settlement. We believe that the Security Council’s new resolution will send a serious signal to the participants in the settlement, primarily UNITA, to show good faith in fulfilling the obligations they have assumed. The Russian delegation, together with other members of the Security Council, will vote in favour of this draft resolution.
I thank the representative of the Russian Federation for the kind words he addressed to me.
Our congratulations go to you, Sir, on your assumption of office and our thanks to the Egyptian delegation for guiding us so successfully through June.
The draft resolution before us correctly identifies the steps which are necessary for a lasting peace in Angola and we will vote in favour of it. The draft resolution extends the mandate of the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III) to 11 October 1996. While we do not generally favour short mandates, we believe a three-month mandate is necessary to keep pressure on the parties at this crucial stage in the peace process.
Angola is moving closer towards a secure and peaceful future. We are pleased that an Amnesty Law has now been promulgated and that the quartering of the rapid reaction police has been completed. We welcome the continuing withdrawal of the Angolan Armed Forces to barracks and the recent reports that UNITA has released all remaining prisoners. We are also encouraged that preparations have now been made to quarter more UNITA troops.
These and other developments are, rightly in our view, acknowledged in the draft resolution as positive steps in the peace process. We urge both parties to ensure that these efforts are not set back by a failure to follow through on the remaining Lusaka Protocol commitments. It is important, therefore, that the extension of the mandate of UNAVEM III to 11 October 1996 be used constructively.
Much remains to be done. In particular, we need to see UNITA complete the quartering of its troops and hand over its arms, heavy weapons, ammunition and other equipment. This has to be matched by the incorporation of UNITA military personnel into the Angolan Armed Forces and of its civilian personnel into the State administration and the national police. The broader process of demobilization and reintegration also needs to be stepped up, and it is essential that both parties agree soon on the formation of a Government of Unity and National Reconciliation. We urge President dos Santos and Mr. Savimbi to meet as soon as possible to discuss the outstanding issues.
We are concerned at recent reports that the integration of UNITA into the Angolan Armed Forces may have been suspended. We have commended the integration process in paragraph 4 of the draft resolution. It is clearly important, therefore, that the Government clarify the situation so that the process can be resumed without delay.
We hope that the Secretary-General will be able to report by 1 October that these tasks have been completed. They should be concluded promptly — delays in one area risk undermining progress in other areas and could put the entire peace process in jeopardy. It is worth noting that UNAVEM III is the largest United Nations peace-keeping operation. As such, it remains an important test for the United Nations as a whole.
Finally, I should like to pay tribute to the achievements of the Secretary-General’s Special Representative, Mr. Beye, and to the men and women of UNAVEM III, who are working actively on behalf of the international community to achieve a stable and peaceful future for the people of Angola.
I thank the representative of the United Kingdom for the kind words he addressed to me.
Allow me to convey to you, Sir, our sincere congratulations on your assumption of the presidency of the Security Council for this month. Your vast diplomatic experience and your distinguished personal and professional abilities ensure the success of our work. We offer you and the entire French delegation our full cooperation.
We also congratulate Ambassador Nabil Elaraby and the delegation of Egypt for their outstanding handling of the Council presidency in June.
The current situation in Angola and the state of the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol and the timetable agreed by the parties indicate that the Government of Angola and the União Nacional para a Independência Total de Angola (UNITA) are not doing everything necessary to accelerate the peace process in that country.
There have been some positive developments in the peace process in Angola, such as the promulgation of the Amnesty Law; the completion of the quartering of the rapid reaction police; the ongoing withdrawal to barracks of the Angolan Armed Forces; the beginning of the incorporation of UNITA troops into those forces; the adoption of a programme for disarming the civilian population; and a gradual of the improvement of the humanitarian situation. We must recognize that aspects that are fundamental to the pacification of the country have yet to be fully carried out. The quartering of UNITA troops within the time-frame set out in Security Council resolution 1055 (1996) and the timetable set by the Joint Commission has not been completed, nor has UNAVEM III received all the arms, munitions and military equipment. Moreover, in the political sphere, there is as yet no tangible progress with regard to the prompt formation of the Government of Unity and National Reconciliation.
Overall, for my delegation, the political, military, economic and social outlook in Angola continues to be discouraging. So long as the parties have not fully implemented the “Acordos de Paz”, the Lusaka Protocol and the relevant Security Council resolutions, and have not observed the commitments undertaken at Libreville, Gabon, we believe that there will be no lasting solution to the Angolan problem. We believe that the parties, especially UNITA, must show greater interest in promptly carrying out their commitments in order not to further delay the peace process. We therefore urge them speedily to fulfil their obligations and to take the necessary corrective steps.
Angola is experiencing a serious economic and social crisis that requires the immediate assistance of the international financial institutions and the support of the donor countries. The rehabilitation of communities devastated by war, the reconstruction of the Angolan national economy and the process of the demobilization and social reintegration of ex-combatants are essential conditions for the restoration of peace in Angola. My country therefore appeals to the international community and to donor countries to continue their support for the peace process and for the needs arising from the demobilization and reintegration process.
With regard to UNAVEM III, my delegation recognizes that the Mission has pursued all its activities in monitoring and verification, assistance to humanitarian convoys, the work of demining and road repair, as well as human rights training for UNITA soldiers in the quartering areas. My delegation therefore believes that, at the present phase of the peace process, the presence of UNAVEM III is necessary. We will vote in favour of the draft resolution extending its mandate for three additional months.
It is indeed a great pleasure for my delegation to associate itself with previous speakers in congratulating you, Sir, on your assumption of the presidency of the Council for the month of July. We are confident that given your vast experience and leadership we can be assured of substantial progress in the work of the Council. Let me pledge my delegation’s full cooperation to you and your delegation as you discharge your tasks. I should also like to congratulate your predecessor, Ambassador Nabil Elaraby, and the delegation of Egypt, for their skillful stewardship of the Council’s activities last month.
We also wish to extend a sincere welcome to the Vice-Minister without Portfolio of Angola, General Higino Carneiro, and to express our appreciation for his lucid statement on the situation in Angola.
Like others, the Indonesian delegation is most grateful to the Secretary-General for his comprehensive and informative report on the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III) submitted pursuant to Security Council resolution 1055 (1996) of 8 May 1996. My delegation is gratified to note that UNAVEM III has greatly contributed to the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol and continues to play an exemplary role not only in the realm of peace-keeping, but also in peace-building and post-conflict management. In this regard, we would like to pay tribute to the personnel of UNAVEM III for their highly commendable work under difficult circumstances, as well as to the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Mr. Alioune Blondin Beye, for his dedication to furthering a comprehensive and sustainable peace in the country. Similarly, we welcome the efforts of the observer States in promoting peace and security in Angola.
Substantial progress has been made towards the establishment of a lasting peace in Angola, as is clearly reflected in the various paragraphs of the draft resolution now before us. We are pleased to note that steps are being taken in accordance with the Lusaka Protocol. This is reflected in the promulgation of the Amnesty Law, the completion of the quartering of the rapid reaction police, and the partial withdrawal of the Angolan Armed Forces (FAA) to barracks. The agreement reached between the President of Angola and the leader of UNITA on the establishment of a Government of Unity and National Reconciliation will capitalize on the positive achievements made previously. Throughout this process, the presence of UNAVEM III has contributed significantly to advancing the restoration of peace to Angola by a multitude of tasks: the monitoring and verification of the cease-fire; the withdrawal and quartering of troops and police; the guarding of collected weapons; the patrolling of major routes; escorting humanitarian convoys; and other essential tasks. It is therefore clear that UNAVEM III has had to devote as much attention to alleviating the misery of the civilian population as to efforts to control and resolve the conflict.
But given the considerable role UNAVEM III plays in Angola, my delegation feels that the task at hand is far from complete and that much remains to be done. We are seriously concerned at the slowness of the pace in the implementation of some aspects of the Lusaka Protocol, which has already fallen behind schedule. The quartering and disarming of União Nacional para a Independência Total de Angola (UNITA) troops constitute critical components for the success of the peace process. The Indonesian delegation urges the parties to capitalize on the positive momentum of the peace process before a new series of concerns emerges to confront the nascent Angolan State. In this regard, we would like to remind both parties that UNAVEM III is expected to complete its mission by February 1997. We therefore call on the parties to accelerate the pace in the areas of the disarmament of the civilian population and the incorporation of UNITA forces into the FAA, and to complete the withdrawal of the FAA from forward positions. It is also essential that the quality of weapons handed over by UNITA be improved, particularly the heavy weapons, and that a solution be found to address the high desertion rate.
It is the view of my delegation that disarming the population, building a national army and reintegrating the ex-combatants are crucial steps for a lasting and comprehensive peace in Angola. There are already alarming indications regarding the breakdown of law and order. In regions where UNITA troops are withdrawing, banditry, looting and killing are threatening the return to normalcy. Such a situation only highlights the need to extend State administration throughout the country, as referred to in paragraph 5 of the draft resolution. It is therefore essential for the political leaders to achieve a Government of Unity and National Reconciliation as soon as possible in order to avoid any serious deterioration in Angola.
In this regard, my delegation underlines the importance of paragraph 13 of the draft resolution, urging the Government of Angola and UNITA to take all necessary steps for all elected members of Parliament to take their seats in the National Assembly. This will generate the functioning of democratic mechanisms in the country, which could bring about a climate conducive to political stability and genuine peace. In this context, it is clearly discernable that hostile propaganda broadcasts can indeed adversely affect the spirit of national reconciliation and reconstruction in Angola. My delegation therefore calls upon the parties concerned to put an end to this exercise, which not only hinders the implementation of the peace process as a whole but also damages it.
The need for Angola to reconstruct its national fabric is essential. This, in our opinion, is a multifaceted endeavour. It is therefore imperative that the Lusaka Protocol be implemented in full and in a timely manner, which in turn will establish peace between the parties. Moreover, we are aware of the threat that mine pollution poses; hence, mine-clearance is fundamental if the Angolan people are to return to the fields and move freely in their own country. Needless to say, the reconstruction of the country’s infrastructure will undoubtedly enable the people of Angola to resume a semblance of normal life. The many woes that confront Angola, compounded by the deep economic crisis, can be solved only through the full implementation of the Protocol. It is therefore necessary for the international community to continue to respond positively to the rehabilitation efforts of Angola, for this would constitute a vital contribution to a durable peace.
None the less, it must be emphasized that genuine peace can be attained only if the parties themselves show greater readiness to implement their commitment and to act in a spirit of flexibility and compromise. We look forward to the meeting between President dos Santos and Mr. Savimbi in the territory of Angola, as this will provide the opportunity for them to resolve all remaining issues and to promote confidence-building between the parties.
In the light of these considerations and given the fundamental role UNAVEM III plays in contributing to the implementation of the peace process, my delegation supports the extension of the Mission’s mandate for another three months, and therefore will vote in favour of the draft resolution now before us. Not only will this extension consolidate the gains achieved in the peace process; it ought to be seen as an opportunity for the parties faithfully to implement all relevant agreements they themselves have entered into. It is our sincere hope that during this period the parties will be afforded a significant opportunity to demonstrate their willingness to resolve their own problems and to respect the role of international and regional organizations.
Let me begin, Sir, by extending to you our most sincere congratulations on your assumption of the presidency of the Security Council for the month of July. We have full confidence in your leadership. I also wish to thank your predecessor, Ambassador Nabil Elaraby of Egypt, for his efficient and — let me stress — pleasant conduct of the business of the Council during the month of June.
The civil war that has ravaged Angola for the last 20 years is one of the most bloody and long-lasting internal conflicts in Africa. It has devastated that beautiful, rich country. Almost half a million Angolans have perished in its wake and three million people remain internally displaced today.
A ray of hope, none the less, shone on Angola in November 1994 at the signing of the Lusaka Protocol between the leaders of the warring parties. The international community in general had good reason to be satisfied — above all the United Nations and, particularly, this body. It was, after all, very much as a result of the active, strong and unanimous position of the Security Council that the parties to the conflict in Angola began the difficult task of national reconciliation. There is no doubt that the Lusaka Protocol represented a turning-point and, at the same time, an auspicious start for the building of a peaceful, prosperous and, most important, unified Angola.
Following the signing of the Lusaka Protocal, it has clearly emerged from the Security Council debates on Angola that the process of national reconciliation is a far more complex undertaking than could have been predicted.
The report of the Secretary-General presenting developments in the situation in Angola since May 1996, contained in document S/1996/503, is slightly more optimistic in tone than previous reports. Unfortunately, it does not contain significantly different observations. We are encouraged to note positive elements such as the promulgation of the Amnesty Law, completion of the quartering of the rapid reaction police, some progress in the quartering of UNITA troops and the beginning of the incorporation of UNITA military personnel into the Angolan Armed Forces.
At the same time, we are disappointed to note negative elements such as the high number of desertions from the quartering areas, the unsatisfactory quality and quantity of weapons handed over by UNITA, the failure to quarter UNITA police personnel, delays in the quartering of all UNITA troops, and the incomplete withdrawal of Government troops from forward positions. Factors such as these do not allow us to claim that the peace process in Angola has already reached that critical point from which we need fear no return to a state of war.
We fully share the opinion of the Secretary-General that the coming weeks will be crucial for the future of Angola. The first important task to be accomplished during this time is the integration of Government and UNITA troops into the joint Angolan Armed Forces. This should be accompanied by the demobilization of the remaining troops and the demilitarization of the civilian population. The next step in national reconciliation, we believe, should be to establish a new political dimension, the most important feature of which will be a fully inclusive Government and State administration in which both parties are properly represented.
Good will and the full engagement of all parties concerned are needed now more than ever. We call upon the Government of Angola, and in particular upon UNITA, to ensure that all their declarations and commitments are put into effect and that the schedules adopted are fulfilled in appropriate and timely fashion.
Angola is now confronted with enormous economic and social challenges such as reconstruction of the national economy, preparation for a possible food shortfall, reintegration of the demobilized troops into the social life of Angola and, last but certainly not least, the clearance of the mines that continue to endanger the life and health of civilians. The international community will certainly continue to offer its assistance, provided that the people of Angola demonstrate their willingness to cooperate actively to restore long-lasting peace and stability to their country.
The international community has made a concerted effort to help Angola in the best way it can. The proof is embodied in UNAVEM in all its phases. UNAVEM, already in phase III, is the largest United Nations peace-keeping operation anywhere in the world. However, it must be clear that the presence of UNAVEM in Angola can be justified only if there is visible progress in the process of national reconciliation.
Today we are going to extend the mandate of UNAVEM III for a further three months. Our delegation very much hopes that the presence of UNAVEM III will be properly and effectively utilized by the leaders and the people of Angola, who have been given a great opportunity to return promptly to a state of normalcy. That opportunity must not be missed.
I thank the representative of Poland for the kind words he addressed to me.
I shall now put to the vote the draft resolution contained in document S/1996/536.
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 1064 (1996).
I shall now call on those members of the Council who wish to make statements following the voting.
May I first express my delegation’s congratulations to you, Sir, on your assumption of the presidency during the month of July and pledge our full cooperation, and also express my delegation’s appreciation to Ambassador Elaraby and the Egyptian delegation for their excellent stewardship of the Council during the month of June.
Finally, may I express our welcome to the Angolan delegation that has joined us in the Council today led by Minister Carneiro.
The United States is strongly committed to the Angolan peace process, a process that we believe will give Angolans the opportunity to build a strong, prosperous, united, democratic and peaceful nation. The resolution we have just adopted demonstrates that the Security Council shares that commitment. We welcome the progress that has been made to date, and we are encouraged that the process is moving forward. Yet, sharing the view of other Council members, we regret that implementation is still behind schedule, leaving important steps still to be taken. Rapid progress is essential, including in such vital areas as demobilization, reintegration and demining.
There has been real movement since the renewal of the mandate on 8 May. In these eight weeks, we have seen passage of an Amnesty Law; an accord between the Angolan Armed Forces and UNITA on military integration; entry of the vanguard of UNITA officers into the Angolan Armed Forces; the quartering of another 17,000 troops, bringing the numbers to over 50,000 registered; three ceremonies to destroy landmines; quartering of the Government’s rapid reaction police; further withdrawals of the Angolan Armed Forces to barracks; launching of a plan to disarm the civilian population; good progress in bilateral Government-UNITA discussions on constitutional reform; closing of eight UNITA quartering sites; and lifting of some checkpoints. Clearly, some of these actions have been incomplete, but movement has been substantial and in the right direction. These are important steps toward peace for the people of Angola.
Let me focus for a moment on a key phase of the peace process, namely demobilization. Quartering of UNITA troops must conclude soon — this month — and a rapid and orderly demobilization of those who will not enter the integrated military must begin in order to sustain confidence in the peace process. Some 67,000 Government and UNITA soldiers are scheduled to be demobilized: soldiers who are understandably uncertain and anxious about their future. These soldiers have much to contribute to Angola’s massive reconstruction process.
Angolan authorities and the international community must ensure that the considerable energy and talent of these demobilized soldiers are properly developed and channelled. International support is essential to ensure that demobilization and reintegration of former combatants is rapid. We and our partners in the international donor community are committed to assisting the successful demobilization of Government and UNITA troops, but only $10 million of the $42 million required for the first year of the demobilization and reintegration process has been received. We call on other Member States to give this urgent requirement their fullest attention. Demobilized combatants must have a real stake in peacetime Angola; they must be convinced that there is indeed “life after Lusaka”.
Today’s resolution rightly calls attention to the urgent task of demining. Demining is essential to enable the free circulation of people and goods throughout Angola, and thus crucial to demobilization and reconstruction efforts. We encourage the parties to exert an even greater effort in all phases of the demining process. We also commend the three land-mine destruction ceremonies that have been held, one by the Government and two by UNITA. We continue to believe a joint land-mine destruction ceremony would have a tremendous impact on the psychology of Angolans, providing further assurances that after two decades of war a new era of peace and national reconciliation is dawning.
The coming few months are of critical importance for the peace process. As the peace process moves forward, and with UNAVEM’s expected completion date of February 1997 drawing closer, the tasks become harder, the stakes get higher, and the political will required of both parties must not waver. The Government and UNITA have, in the Joint Commission, agreed upon a calendar of actions for July. The Security Council will be following the actions of the parties closely to see that each side is living up to its obligations. The UNITA troops which will enter into the unified armed forces must be selected, and they, along with UNITA officers, must enter into the new, joint military. We were distressed to learn this morning that there seems to be some disruption in the selection process which had just started in the past few days. We trust that both sides will show the utmost commitment, political will and necessary flexibility to get the process of incorporating UNITA troops into the Angolan Armed Forces back on track without further delay.
Creation of the joint military, and demobilization of those troops not selected for its ranks, will be an important cornerstone in building the trust and confidence that are key to the future of Angola. Another pivotal step will be the establishment of a Government of Unity and National Reconciliation. We fully understand that these steps are not easy ones to take, but they must be taken, not only to fulfil formal obligations, but to cement the confidence and trust the parties have been building over the past year and a half. Differences of opinion may arise and actions may be questioned, but any difficulties must be worked out through peaceful means and dialogue. With the requisite political will, in the current climate of growing cooperation, the necessary steps can be taken within the time-frame agreed to by the two parties. We fully expect to hail the formation of a new Government of Unity and National Reconciliation, and the irreversibility of the peace process, within the current mandate period covered by today’s Security Council resolution.
I conclude by commending the Secretary-General’s Special Representative, Maître Beye, the Force Commander of UNAVEM, and all personnel of UNAVEM III for their dedication and courageous service in the cause of peace. The peace process would not be where it is today without them. We are also grateful for the generosity of countries that have contributed troops to the UNAVEM force.
I thank the representative of the United States of America for the kind words he addressed to me.
I shall now make a statement in my capacity as the representative of France.
The Security Council regularly takes up the question of Angola. For the first time, we note that, as the Secretary-General has stressed in his report, real progress has been made in implementing the peace process. Peace in Angola is becoming truly credible.
First, we should congratulate the Angolan Government, which has made swift progress in implementing its obligations, especially with regard to the Amnesty Law, the release of prisoners, the quartering of the rapid reaction police and the recent launch of the disarmament programme for the civilian population. We also warmly welcome the efforts made by UNITA with regard to the quartering of its troops. The resolution that we have just adopted takes account of these positive developments, and that is why we voted in favour of it.
However, much remains to be done. First, it is absolutely essential that the quartering of UNITA troops be completed as soon as possible. Quartering will become truly credible only when UNITA has handed over its heavy weapons and all troops have been demobilized. At the same time, it is clear that that quartering makes sense only if there is a real possibility for former combatants to be integrated into the Angolan Armed Forces or to be rapidly and effectively reintegrated into civilian life. That is why it is essential that integration and reintegration of demobilized combatants be carried out promptly.
It is equally essential that national reconciliation be gradually consolidated and that, in that spirit, a Government of unity be rapidly formed. We understand that the question of the vice-presidency which should fall to Mr. Savimbi is the keystone of all of these negotiations. We therefore hope that the meeting between President dos Santos and Mr. Savimbi, which should be held in Angola in early August, will bear fruit.
It is important that the parties understand that the United Nations will not be present in Angola indefinitely. It is clear that UNAVEM III will have to begin leaving the country as scheduled in February 1997. For that reason it is necessary for the former warring parties to overcome their remaining problems as soon as possible and in the general interest, and for the international community to support the efforts towards economic rehabilitation that are needed in Angola to ensure stability and lasting development in that country.
I now resume my functions as President of the Council.
There are no further speakers for this meeting. The Security Council has thus concluded the present stage of its consideration of the item on its agenda.