The situation in Angola Progress report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III) (S/1996/1000)
|(The Presidency changes each month to the next member in alphabetical order)|
|Mr. Qin Huasun
|Mr. Lopes da Rosa
|Mr. Martínez Blanco
Republic of Korea
Adoption of the agenda
The situation in Angola
Progress report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III) (S/1996/1000)
I should like to inform the Council that I have received letters from the representatives of Angola, Brazil, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Portugal, Sao Tome and Principe, South Africa, the United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia 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 Security Council is meeting in accordance with the understanding reached in its prior consultations.
Members of the Council have before them the progress report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III), document S/1996/1000. Members of the Council also have before them document S/1996/1026, which contains the text of a draft resolution prepared in the course of the Council’s prior consultations, on the basis of the draft resolution submitted by Portugal, the Russian Federation and the United States of America.
Members of the Council have received photocopies of the letter dated 11 December 1996 from the Permanent Representative of Angola to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council, which will be issued as a document of the Security Council under the symbol S/1996/1029.
The first speaker is the Permanent Representative of Angola, on whom I now call.
The Vice-Minister without Portfolio of Angola, Mr. Higino Carneiro, cannot address the Council, and he has asked me to do so in his stead. With his permission, therefore, allow me to express our pleasure at addressing the Security Council at a moment in which the peace process in my country is reaching a decisive stage.
Allow me also to congratulate you, Mr. President, on behalf of the Republic of Angola and my own, on your election to preside over the activities of this body in the month of December.
Allow me also to extend our congratulations to your predecessor, His Excellency Nugroho Wisnumurti, Permanent Representative of Indonesia, for the efficient manner in which he presided over our activities last month.
This meeting has been convened to review the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol and to consider measures that will lead to a successful conclusion of the Angolan peace process within a reasonable period of time.
Despite well-known difficulties, there has been substantial progress in the implementation of key provisions of the Lusaka Protocol. That leads the Government of Angola to believe that we are now very close to its conclusion.
Obviously, this step, as well as the incorporation of UNITA generals into the Angolan Armed Forces, is heavily dependent upon the statement expected from the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III).
We are now awaiting most sincerely and anxiously this moment in the peace process. His Excellency the President of Angola has instructed the Vice-Minister without Portfolio to inform the members of the Security Council that hours ago he signed the official appointment orders of the nine UNITA generals, incorporating them into the Armed Forces. The Security Council has received for its consideration the communiqué of the coordination body of the peace process.
We are all very concerned with the reintegration of the demobilized soldiers into civilian society, and it could not be otherwise, because the success of that task is essential to the future stability of Angola.
On the basis of its present capabilities, the Government of Angola is making an enormous financial effort to ensure not only the reintegration of the demobilized soldiers but also to finance the costs of transporting them, their weapons and the UNITA soldiers to the quartering areas.
On behalf of peace, we have been shouldering alone these expenditures, which should be shared by UNITA itself and by UNAVEM III. We hereby appeal to all donor nations to honour their commitments resulting from the September 1995 Brussels Round Table Conference.
Please allow me again to thank the Governments, United Nations organizations and governmental and non-governmental humanitarian organizations for the assistance they have provided to the Angolan people.
The Government of Angola also wishes to express its gratitude to His Excellency Mr. Boutros Boutros-Ghali, the Secretary-General of the United Nations; to his Special Representative in Angola, Mr. Beye; and to the troika of observer States for the contributions they have made and are making to the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol.
I thank the Permanent Representative of Angola for his kind words addressed to me.
The next speaker inscribed on my list is the representative of Portugal. I invite him to take a seat at the Council table and to make his statement.
Steps have been taken recently in Angola by both the Government and UNITA towards the fulfilment of important military tasks under the Lusaka Protocol. We welcome the fact that UNITA has made a formal declaration on the quartering of its troops and the delivery of its armaments and other matériel and that the Government of Angola has incorporated the nine generals provided by UNITA into the Angolan Armed Forces. They are indeed crucial steps for the further progress of the peace process.
Nevertheless, we consider that the overall pace of the peace process is still very slow. Several important provisions of the Lusaka Protocol remain unfulfilled, and both parties should implement fully and as soon as possible the following tasks: first, the integration of selected personnel into the Angolan Armed Forces; secondly, the effective conclusion of the demobilization process; thirdly, the dismantlement of all illegal checkpoints; and, lastly, the extension of the State administration throughout the territory of Angola.
Only a few days ago, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Portugal, Mr. José Lamego, during his recent trip to Angola, strongly urged both parties to fulfil those tasks.
We now look forward to firm initiatives from the Government of Angola and UNITA towards national reconciliation, and we hope to see very soon the assumption by UNITA deputies of their seats in the National Assembly, the establishment of a Government of National Unity and Reconciliation and the determination of a special status for the President of UNITA. Those measures will lead to the reinforcement of mutual confidence between the parties, which is essential for a lasting peace in Angola.
It is also urgent and imperative that freedom of movement of people and goods be guaranteed throughout Angola in order to boost confidence among the population and foster national reconciliation. We are therefore concerned by reports we have received of increasing acts of banditry in the country.
Portugal favours the phased withdrawal of the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III) by the Security Council following the recommendation of the Secretary-General. We believe the Government of Angola and UNITA must realize that they are responsible for the successful implementation of the peace process and that the presence of UNAVEM III cannot continue indefinitely.
However, it is crucial that the pace of withdrawal be determined by the progress achieved in the different phases of the peace process. A strong presence of UNAVEM III in Angola has shown itself to be of key importance to the implementation of the process, which indicates a need to take a cautious approach to the withdrawal of United Nations forces.
The good work of the men and women of UNAVEM III, currently the largest United Nations peacekeeping operation, has been, and will continue to be, vital to the success of the international community’s efforts to bring peace to Angola.
Portugal, one of the troika of observer States to the peace process, fully supports the work of UNAVEM III, and wishes here to praise heartily the efforts of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Mr. Blondin Beye.
The international community has shown, as it is showing today, its confidence in the Angolan peace process and, as we have said before, the Angolan parties, who are ultimately responsible for the successful implementation of the peace process, must show clear signs that they are worthy of such confidence.
We want to believe that after so many positive achievements towards the consolidation of peace, the signatories of the Lusaka Protocol will honour the efforts of the international community and the commitments they themselves have made, and place above all the interests of Angola and its people.
We wish to renew here our appeal to the international community to continue to support the peace process in Angola. In particular, we would like to stress the urgency of making the necessary financial resources available for the demobilization and social reintegration of ex-combatants.
Let us hope that the draft resolution to be adopted today will constitute an encouragement for the Government of Angola and UNITA to accelerate their fulfilment of all the tasks necessary for a long-lasting peace and national reconciliation, so much desired and deserved by the Angolan people.
It is my understanding that the Council is ready to proceed to the vote on the draft resolution before it. Unless I hear any objection, I shall put the draft resolution to the vote.
There being no objection, it is so decided.
I shall first call on those members of the Council who wish to make statements before the vote.
For almost two years now, the international community has been assisting the people of Angola, through the instrumentality of the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III), to carry out the process of rebuilding and transforming a country ravaged by war into one committed to beating swords into ploughshares. UNAVEM III has played and continues to play an important role in making it possible for the people of Angola to realize that peace is not an option, not a matter of life or death, but rather a question of live and let live. We firmly believe that the acceptance by the Government of Angola and UNITA of the fact that there can be no military solution to the conflict in their country was an important first step on the road to peace and democracy in Angola. Today, the international community can bear witness to the long and difficult road which the two parties have travelled together so far. There can be no doubt that while the peace process remains fragile and reversible, the fact remains that never before in the history of the Angolan conflict has so much been achieved to establish a lasting political solution. Botswana therefore strongly hopes that the Government of Angola and UNITA will not waste this historic opportunity to make peace for their country and people a living reality.
The implementation of the Lusaka Protocol was never intended to be an unending process. There are greater challenges which await the people of Angola, such as the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the national economy. Some of the urgent tasks which have to be tackled expeditiously are the resettlement of the more than one million internally displaced persons, demining and road rehabilitation, demobilization and social reintegration of the ex-combatants and the disarming of the civilian population, to mention but a few. These are monumental tasks which must be addressed adequately as they have a direct bearing on the sustainability of the peace process.
Botswana fully supports the Secretary-General’s appeal to the Government of Angola and UNITA to establish the Government of National Unity and Reconciliation before 1 January 1997. We are convinced that the formation of the Government would enable the Government of Angola and UNITA to focus their attention on the issues that unite rather than divide them. The socio-economic aspects of the situation in Angola, as outlined in the report of the Secretary-General, clearly indicate that the parties have no choice but to seek common ground in addressing the problems which confront their country. This is the basis of our optimism that the Government of Unity and National Reconciliation would serve as a catalyst in resolving outstanding political issues.
My delegation is satisfied with the understanding that the withdrawal of UNAVEM III formed military units should not be carried out in a manner that might endanger the peace process. The draft resolution also makes it sufficiently clear to the parties that the international community expects them to honour and to complete the implementation of their commitments under the Lusaka Protocol. In this respect, the commencement of the withdrawal of UNAVEM III should not be misinterpreted as an opportunity to slow down the implementation of the outstanding issues and ultimately to renege on commitments and obligations already agreed. The Security Council is united in its determination to ensure that the peace process is not put in jeopardy. A follow-on United Nations presence, as set out in operative paragraph 20 of the draft resolution, would therefore play a crucial role to this end. Clearly, the international community has no intention to abandon the people of Angola.
In conclusion, I reaffirm Botswana’s strong support for the proposal to send a Security Council mission to Angola before the expiry of the mandate of UNAVEM III. The mission would offer members of the Council a rare opportunity to observe at first hand and on the ground the peace process in action and to make specific recommendations on the support necessary for post-conflict peace-building.
The French delegation will vote in favour of the draft resolution now before us for action. This draft resolution provides first of all for further extension of the mandate of the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III) until 28 February 1997. It will also mark the agreement of the Security Council regarding the plan for phased withdrawal of the United Nations force after the expiry of its mandate in accordance with the Secretary-General’s proposals.
Above all, the draft resolution will once again recall to the Angolan parties, and in particular to UNITA, that they have a responsibility to make the final essential efforts to implement the Lusaka Protocol. Indeed, two years have now passed since this Agreement was signed. The attitude of UNITA has resulted in the loss of a great deal of time. However, progress has been made thanks to the continued pressure exerted by the Council and to the tenacity of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Mr. Blondin Beye. France shares the view expressed by the Secretary-General in his report of 2 December 1996 that the accords as a whole could be implemented before the end of December.
A long road still lies ahead for Angola after the 20 years of war which have destroyed the economy of the country, despite its unquestionable potential for success. France is ready to provide assistance to the Angolan people to regain the road of development and progress. At the meeting in Brussels in September 1995, France stated that it was ready to make available 570 million francs — that is, more than $110 million — for programmes for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of Angola. Discussions are now under way within a bilateral framework with the Angolan authorities so that this promised aid can rapidly take concrete form. The French aid will be focused on reconstruction projects, but it will also obviously have an impact on the reintegration of demobilized combatants.
The French Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Hervé de Charette, went to Angola less than two weeks ago. As a result of the contacts he was able to establish in Luanda with President Dos Santos, he was able to assure the Government of Angola of Frances full support in the pursuit of the peace process.
It is now up to the Security Council to see to it that all the efforts that we have made for nearly four years towards the restoration of peace bear fruit soon. We also hope that the institutions for national reconciliation will be able to begin to function as soon as possible. These necessary stages will allow Angola fully to resume its place in southern Africa and to rejoin the group of democratic African countries of that part of the continent which have undergone radical and exemplary changes since 1989.
The question of Angola, having dragged on for so long, has finally entered into a phase of positive change that is worthy of celebration. We have always believed that at the core of the question of Angola is the lack of mutual trust between the parties concerned, particularly on the part of UNITA. This requires the two parties, especially UNITA, to make unremitting efforts to achieve genuine national reconciliation.
We note with satisfaction that, in recent days, the Angola Government and UNITA have at last made important progress in implementing the Lusaka Protocol and in fulfilling the tasks enumerated in the consolidated timetable. We note in particular that the goals set in the military area are gradually being realized. We hope that both parties will consolidate and maintain the positive momentum in the peace process and eliminate their differences through candid consultations.
We are pleased to learn that UNITA has completed the quartering of its troops. We hope that the work of demobilization will start as soon as possible. We hope to see a fifth meeting between President Dos Santos and Mr. Savimbi and expect the Angolan Government of National Unity and Reconciliation and a single parliament to be established soon, allowing Angola finally to embark upon the path towards peace and reconciliation.
Since its establishment, the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III) has made important contributions to the monitoring of the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol and to assistance in the restoration of peace and the realization of national reconciliation in Angola. We believe that, as the Angolan peace process develops and UNAVEM III gradually fulfils its tasks, it will be necessary to make appropriate adjustments to this Mission, which is currently the largest United Nations peacekeeping operation. In the meantime, at this critical juncture in the Angolan peace process, the continued presence of UNAVEM III is essential to the complete fulfilment of various tasks set out in the Lusaka Protocol and to the final realization of peace in Angola.
In view of this, the Chinese delegation supports the extension of the mandate of UNAVEM III and will vote in favour of the draft resolution before us.
In accordance with Security Council resolution 976 (1995), the mission of UNAVEM III will be concluded next February. After that, whether and how to maintain a United Nations presence in Angola is a question of concern. Years of war and conflict have left Angola in ruins and the task of reconstruction is very arduous. The Chinese delegation believes that the international community, including the United Nations, should continue to focus on and support the cause of peace and reconstruction in Angola.
The Chinese Government recently donated a cargo of goods to the Government of Angola in support of the peace process in that country. In the future we shall, within the limit of our capabilities and together with the rest of the international community, continue to make our contribution to the peace and reconstruction of Angola.
The United Kingdom welcomes the draft resolution and intends to vote in favour of it. We pay tribute to the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III), to the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and to all the others who have helped the parties in Angola to get to this point in the realization of the Lusaka Protocol.
The Council, in agreeing to a further final period for UNAVEM III, makes it as clear as ever that the responsibility for consolidating the peace rests on the shoulders of the Government of Angola and of UNITA themselves. Both parties must work to form a Government of National Unity and Reconciliation. We welcome the fact that UNITA has taken the final, symbolic step of declaring the quartering of all its troops and given up its weapons.
We also welcome reports that the Government will proceed immediately to incorporate the nine UNITA generals currently in Luanda into the Angolan Armed Forces. Both sides must now complete the process of demobilization of former combatants.
If these two tasks are completed, the international community and my Government will continue to help Angola to secure its future within the community of southern African nations. There is much the United Nations can and should do to assist Angola in dealing with the challenges of reconstruction, rehabilitation and national reconciliation. A continuing United Nations presence following the departure of UNAVEM III, as the Secretary-General has proposed, will also probably have an important role to play.
Finally, despite the slow progress in getting to this point, we believe that this is a good example of why the maintenance and, indeed, the strengthening of the political and material resources of the United Nations conflict-resolution and peacekeeping capabilities are vitally important.
Germany welcomes the recent progress made by the parties to the Angolan peace process in implementing the relevant provisions of the Lusaka Protocol. The international community has invested significant resources in the Angolan peace process during the last couple of years and has a strong vested interest to see it concluded successfully. In his latest report, however, the Secretary-General rightly points out that the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol proceeds only “in fits and starts” (S/1996/1000, para. 28).
We note with great satisfaction that UNITA today issued a formal written declaration that all UNITA soldiers, with the exception of 453 police officers, have been quartered. Thus, one of the major military aspects of the Lusaka Protocol has been successfully implemented.
We also welcome the letter of the Permanent Representative of Angola, Ambassador Van Dunem “Mbinda”, and the communiqué stating that the nine UNITA generals have received their commissions and specific assignments in the regular Angolan Armed Forces. We very much hope that the integration of the regular UNITA soldiers will now start and be accomplished soon.
The political issues still have to be addressed. We urge the Angolan Government and the leadership of UNITA to resolve before the beginning of next year, as requested in the draft resolution being put to a vote today, the outstanding issues and to arrange a meeting between President Dos Santos and Mr. Savimbi in Angola to determine the special status of the President of UNITA, to extend State administration throughout the territory of Angola, to return all elected Deputies to the National Assembly, to form a Government of National Unity and Reconciliation and to establish the free circulation of people and goods.
Time is short. The mandate of UNAVEM III will finally expire in February 1997.
I wish to underline the importance my Government attaches to the problem of successfully demobilizing ex-combatants and reintegrating them, along with internally displaced persons, into civil society. I agree with the report of the Secretary-General that this is one of the most critical challenges under the Lusaka Protocol. Germany, as a major donor country, feels a particular responsibility in this field. By this summer, my Government had already launched a pilot project for the demobilization and socio-economic reintegration of ex-combatants and internally displaced persons, in cooperation with the Angolan Government, local authorities and United Nations agencies. Germany has already pledged DM 1 million, about $650,000, for this project. The success of this pilot project has encouraged my Government to initiate concrete planning for the launching of this major project for the demobilization and socio-economic reintegration of ex-combatants and internally displaced persons as of 1 January next year. The German Government stands ready in principle to pledge additional funds, amounting to DM 6 million, or approximately $4 million. Furthermore, my Government has contributed significantly to the efforts made by the international community in the field of humanitarian assistance, and will continue to do so.
We are also continuing to pay particular attention to the grave problem of landmines in Angola and to the need for effective demining. Germany has provided up to nine demining experts as inspectors for demining activities within UNAVEM III to support the United Nations-contracted demining company MECHEM in its efforts, which have resulted in the clearing of more than 4,000 kilometres of roads of landmines. In addition, two German non-governmental organizations are carrying out mine-clearing activities in the field. Assistance to the Voluntary Trust Fund for Assistance in Mine Clearance of the Department of Humanitarian Affairs is another aspect of our activities in Angola.
In concluding I wish to reiterate that despite all the efforts made by the international community to assist the peace process in Angola, the ultimate responsibility for peace and tranquillity in that country lies with the parties to the Angolan peace process themselves. The fate of the people of Angola is in their hands. It is our hope that they will act in accordance with that responsibility.
In the light of those considerations, Germany will vote in favour of the draft resolution on Angola before the Council today.
The Polish delegation supports the Secretary-General’s recommendation to extend the mandate of the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III) until 28 February 1997, and will vote in favour of the draft resolution before the Security Council to that effect.
We are fully aware of the mixed experiences that the peace process in Angola has brought to all involved in promoting it, including the Security Council. However, we take some courage from the latest report of the Secretary-General, in which he points to the recent progress in the situation in Angola and stresses the fact that, despite all the obstacles it is faced with, the peace process is moving ahead.
With most of the objectives achieved, a number of important issues remain to be properly attended to and resolved. That is the case with the demobilization of quartered UNITA troops, the disarmament of the civilian population and the completion of the selection of the UNITA troops to be incorporated into the Angolan Armed Forces. There is a clear link between the successful fulfilment of these tasks and the creation of the favourable climate necessary for taking up outstanding political problems, including the return of UNITA deputies to the National Assembly, the founding of a constitutional basis for the transitional plan in Angola, the establishment of the Government of National Unity and Reconciliation and the achievement of an agreement on the special status of Mr. Savimbi as the leader of the largest opposition party.
We expect each party not to make their compliance with their obligations conditional upon the performance of the other side. This is important if the peace process in Angola is to advance further. It is also important from the point of view of the international community, the continuing involvement of which in Angolan affairs will be feasible only with both parties faithfully fulfilling their commitments.
Speaking today, as the Security Council meets to consider the extension of the mandate of UNAVEM III, currently the largest United Nations peacekeeping operation, I would like to pay tribute to the personnel of the Mission for having contributed significantly to peace, stabilization and security in Angola.
Let me also express my delegation’s gratitude to the States observers of the Angolan peace process for their efforts, including those that they made to prepare the draft resolution before us.
On the basis of the report of the Secretary-General and the debate in the Security Council, we can conclude that there are two main challenges facing the Angolan peace process: a UNITA announcement regarding the quartering and disarmament of its troops in line with the timetable adopted by the Joint Commission on 31 October 1996, and agreement by all parties regarding major pending political tasks. We believe that meeting these challenges will make it possible to bring peace to Angola. If they are not met, the political situation will remain fragile.
Further, we believe that any delay in implementing the Lusaka Protocol and the agreed timetable will diminish the credibility of the peace process and will make it impossible to achieve the necessary confidence for the new phase on which the people of Angola are embarking. Military questions must be settled, and this requires the cooperation of both parties. These questions include the incorporation of some 26,300 UNITA troops into the Angolan Armed Forces and the re-establishment of Government authority over the whole national territory. We hope that President Dos Santos and Mr. Savimbi will meet inside Angola and that such a meeting will lead to a solution of pending questions including Mr. Savimbi’s special status as the leader of the largest opposition party, the inclusion of UNITA leaders in the new Cabinet, and participation by UNITA in the legislature and national, regional and local administration. This requires that UNITA become a political party that functions with complete legitimacy and legality.
My delegation remains convinced that the demobilization of some 100,000 soldiers from both sides and their reintegration into civil society is one of the major challenges under the Lusaka Protocol. We support the Secretary-General’s comments in paragraph 20 of his report regarding participation by the United Nations Development Programme in the rehabilitation of ex-combatants with a view to facilitating their reintegration.
These programmes are particularly vital in a country where, according to the report, the unemployment rate is 45 per cent and the inflation rate is more than 3,000 per cent. We hope that the donor countries will continue to provide financial and technical assistance to implement these programmes without delay in this fraternal country.
Egypt supports the recommendation of the Secretary-General to continue the phased withdrawal of UNAVEM III military units through August 1997. We are convinced that in the coming period the political aspects of the settlements will be emphasized more than the military aspects, which have almost been settled between the two parties.
Angola will surely continue to need the United Nations, but the importance and nature of the United Nations presence will of course be different. The opportunities now available to the Angolan parties because of the presence of the largest United Nations Mission should not be lost. Extending the Mission’s mandate in the absence of real progress in the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol would be difficult to agree to, in view of the United Nations financial crisis.
The responsibility incumbent on the parties in Angola is twofold: they must avail themselves of the international presence in Angolan territory in order to encourage the international community to continue to provide humanitarian, economic and technical assistance to the Angolan people in the future.
The Egyptian delegation supports the extension of the mandate of the Mission in Angola until 28 February 1997. We support the draft resolution before the Council.
I should like to begin by extending the Indonesian delegation’s appreciation to the Secretary-General for his report on the latest developments in the implementation of the peace accords in Angola and on the operation of the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III). The report clearly shows that the process of implementation of most of the military tasks set out in the peace accords has begun. However, they have not yet been finalized. While my delegation welcomes the positive developments and the initiatives taken by the parties, as well as their willingness to work cooperatively, the pace of the peace process remains slow. It is in this respect that my delegation reaffirms how important it is for the Government of Angola and UNITA to fulfil promptly their obligations in accordance with the “Acordos de Paz”, the Lusaka Protocol and all relevant Security Council resolutions.
My delegation is furthermore cognizant of the close links between the military and political aspects of the peace process. It is therefore imperative for both parties to make progress in the military aspects, in order to provide the necessary impetus for the political aspect to move forward. We are of the opinion that, once the first stages of the military tasks have been implemented, the parties concerned should faithfully begin the process of demobilizing former combatants, vacating them from the quartering areas and reintegrating them into civilian society. Those steps, which are prerequisites for ensuring stability and consolidation of the peace process, require close cooperation between the parties and assistance from the international community.
My delegation has taken note that ceasefire violations have declined. Nonetheless, we also note that the security situation in the country remains volatile, and many areas are still unsafe. In this context, we would like to urge both parties, particularly UNITA, to remove all illegal checkpoints that obstruct the free circulation of people and goods throughout the country. The report attests that over 1 million internally displaced persons continue to rely on humanitarian assistance instead of being able to return to their homes to lead productive and independent lives. Moreover, my delegation considers it very important and necessary to ensure the safety of United Nations and other international personnel and premises, as well as to guarantee the safety and freedom of movement of humanitarian supplies throughout the country.
The completion of the military tasks will allow the peace process to focus on the key outstanding political issues. My delegation continues to encourage direct talks between President Dos Santos and Mr. Savimbi, which, in our view, would promote confidence and mutual understanding between the parties in order to move towards achieving national reconciliation. Thus, my delegation hopes that the parties will resolve the problem of the return to Luanda of UNITA deputies to the National Assembly, the establishment of a Government of National Unity and Reconciliation, the reaching of an agreement on the status of the President of UNITA before 31 December 1996 and the extension of the State administration throughout the country. In this regard, my delegation is pleased to note that these have already been reflected in operative paragraphs 9 and 10 of the draft resolution now before the Council.
Parallel to the political initiatives necessary to reconcile the country, much still needs to be done on the economic front to reconstruct Angola. In this respect, my delegation is cognizant of the work carried out by UNAVEM III and other United Nations agencies in establishing programmes to permit Angola to rid itself of the remnants of war and to rebuild itself. My delegation is of the view that the international community should fulfil expeditiously its pledges in providing assistance for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the country’s economy in order to consolidate the gains achieved in the peace process, as expressed in paragraph 19.
The issue of mine clearance in Angola is, indeed, an important matter. The impact of mines affects all facets of national life and hinders society’s return to normal life. The disastrous effects of landmines can be curbed through technical and financial assistance. In this regard, we fully support operative paragraph 17 of the draft resolution. This demining programme, which includes mine clearance and road rehabilitation efforts, human rights education campaigns, the formation of a national police force and the Community Rehabilitation Programme, are all testimony to the United Nation’s dedication to seeing peace last in Angola.
Finally, with regard to the future role of the United Nations, we fully share the Secretary-General’s observation, contained in paragraph 33 of the report, that the withdrawal of UNAVEM III’s formed military units should be conducted gradually, commensurate with the progress achieved in the peace process. This is precisely because of UNAVEM III’s positive influence on the military and political situation in the country. We take note of the Secretary-General’s recommendation for a new form of mandate, focused more on political, police, human rights and humanitarian activities, including mine clearance, once the military components are no longer needed. This mandate would permit follow-up and continuity, with the United Nations presence, to consolidate the gains made in the peace process, thus ensuring a lasting peace in Angola.
On the basis of these observations, my delegation will vote in favour of the draft resolution extending the mandate of UNAVEM III until 28 February 1997.
The second anniversary of the signing of the Lusaka Protocol was commemorated on 20 November 1996. This Protocol became the basis of the peace process in Angola, opening up real prospects to the people of Angola for the restoration of long-awaited peace, stability and national reconciliation.
The Russian Federation, one of the troika of observers to the Angolan settlement, is sincerely interested in the successful development and speedy conclusion of the peace process and is sparing no effort to achieve that goal. Ending the conflict in Angola, which has lasted for many years, would be not only the greatest boon to the people of that friendly country, but also a major success for the peacekeeping activities of the United Nations and of the international community as a whole.
Unfortunately, the peace process in Angola, despite considerable achievements, is developing very unevenly and often requires pressure on the sides; in particular, on UNITA, to overcome the obstacles that arise. Nevertheless, the Angolan settlement is moving forward step by step, bringing us closer to the desired threshold where the peace process will become irreversible.
Today a major success was achieved in this regard. The leadership of UNITA has finally made an official statement that it has concluded the quartering of all its military personnel and police, with the exception of 453 persons to be quartered in the next few days. It has also handed over all of its weapons to the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III). In turn, the Government of Angola has announced its decision to incorporate nine UNITA generals into the Angolan Armed Forces.
These important steps open up the opportunity to finalize the settlement of the core military issues and to focus on the outstanding political questions. Of high priority here are the return to Luanda of the UNITA deputies of the National Assembly, the formation of the Government of National Unity and Reconciliation, and an agreement on the status of the President of UNITA. These tasks must be resolved by the end of the year and should allow for the establishment of effective structures of State administration throughout the territory of the country, which could ensure the political and social stability without which the restoration of peace and normal life for Angolans is impossible.
Procrastination in the implementation of these aspects of the settlement is unacceptable and could have a very negative impact on the peace process as a whole. It is important to strengthen the political base in every possible way in order to hasten the peace process, which, in our view, would be promoted by the speedy convening of a fifth meeting in Angola between President Dos Santos and Mr. Savimbi.
Of exceptional importance, too, are the issues of establishing unified armed forces and the Angolan National Police and accelerated demobilization of ex-combatants. Although quite a few complex and large-scale tasks lie ahead, the peace process in Angola is moving unswervingly into its final phase: the expiry of UNAVEM III’s mandate in little more than a month and a half.
It is obvious that what is now the largest United Nations peacekeeping operation cannot be shut down overnight. We are in favour of this process being thought through carefully, implemented gradually and sufficiently flexibly, without unjustified delays, but also on the basis of the real status of the peace process. In that context, we believe it would be useful for the Security Council, before the end of February 1997, to send its mission to Angola, which would allow us to draft an adjusted strategy and tactics for UNAVEM III in its final phase and to define a position on the basic parameters for a continued United Nations presence in that country.
In the view of the Russian delegation, the draft resolution on Angola submitted for consideration today by the Security Council is up to the key tasks of the current stage of the peace settlement. We believe that this draft resolution will send a serious signal to the Angolan parties on the need to speed up implementation of the commitments they have undertaken and to take the peace process to the finish line.
The international community is very interested in seeing real progress in the political process in Angola, recognizing the fact that Angola is working for the social and economic development of its population, which has suffered the ravages of war.
To this end, Government and UNITA leaders must continue to implement the commitments entered into at Lusaka two years ago as well as the consolidated timetable for all outstanding tasks that was approved on 31 October by the Joint Commission.
As stated in the report of the Secretary-General, the situation in Angola has remained stable, although tense. The ceasefire violations and the harassment of the troops of the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III) are causes for regret. However, the Secretary-General’s report gives us hope that the parties are finally managing to create a climate that will allow the country to secure peace and to begin the tremendous development tasks ahead of it.
The formal announcement by UNITA that it has concluded the quartering of its troops and the declaration by the Angolan Government that nine UNITA Generals are joining the Angolan Armed Forces are very encouraging and important developments and which will contribute to increased confidence between the parties at this crucial time.
As regards the current situation, we agree with the Secretary-General that the mandate of UNAVEM III must be extended to 28 February of next year. Therefore, my delegation supports the draft resolution before us.
I should like to avail myself of this opportunity to pay a tribute, on behalf of Chile, to all of the civilian, military and police personnel of UNAVEM III, as well as to the staff of the humanitarian programmes and agencies of the United Nations and of non-governmental organizations. They all have something in common — they are fighting to consolidate peace in Angola.
Angola has trodden the rocky road of peacemaking for the past two years, following the signing of the Lusaka Protocol in November 1994. Although we cannot be totally satisfied with the slow pace of the peace process during this period, or with its pattern of intermittent fits and starts, we believe that the efforts made by the Angolan parties and the international community have indeed been necessary and worthwhile.
Among recent developments, we welcome the fact that today UNITA formally declared the completion of the ever-pressing task of quartering all its troops and that the Government has initiated the actual incorporation of UNITA troops, beginning with the nine generals currently residing in Luanda.
We would like to underline, however, that the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol and other commitments between the Angolan parties have yet to be finalized. With the completion of the mission of the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III) two months away, as envisaged in Security Council resolution 976 (1995), it is time for the Angolan parties to build on past achievements and further accelerate efforts to complete the final stages of the peace process. We sincerely hope that the implementation of crucial military tasks will mark the initiation of genuine reconciliation through political negotiation between the Angolan parties.
As the military commitments are being fulfilled, the political aspects of the peace process will loom larger in the coming months. The establishment of a Government of National Unity and Reconciliation is the next crucial step in the long- overdue peace process. Needless to say, success can be guaranteed only when the Government and UNITA mutually cooperate and compromise.
While the establishment of a Government of National Unity and Reconciliation is not to be linked with other political issues, we believe that all outstanding political issues can be best and most expeditiously settled through a tête-à-tête between the President of Angola and the leader of UNITA. We urge both parties to show a spirit of maximum cooperation and flexibility for the realization of this meeting and the settlement of all outstanding political issues. In this regard, we place special emphasis on paragraphs 10 through 12 of the draft resolution before the Council.
At the same time, we are not oblivious to the ever-increasing need for socio-economic stability in Angola. The pressing and costly tasks of demobilizing and reintegrating the 10,000 ex-combatants, and relieving and rehabilitating over a million displaced persons, will have to be addressed through hard work by the Government, with the help of the international community. Angola is also facing many other challenges in the areas of State governance, public accountability, and law and order. The consolidation of peace in Angola cannot be forthcoming without the Government and the international community continuing to make their best efforts to tackle these issues. We believe, therefore, that close scrutiny of the situation on the ground will be necessary to help consolidate peace in Angola with the adequately restructured presence and assistance of the international community. We wholeheartedly welcome, in this regard, the idea of sending a Security Council mission to Angola at an appropriate time to assess the situation and better decide on the pace of withdrawal of UNAVEM III and the modalities of a follow-on United Nations presence.
In conclusion, we support the extension of the mandate of UNAVEM III until the end of February 1997 and its subsequent reduction, as suggested in the draft resolution on the basis of the Secretary-General’s recommendation. Therefore, my delegation will vote in favour of the draft resolution before the Council.
The fact that the Security Council is once again considering the situation in Angola attests to the sustained interest the international community is taking in the crisis in that country. Over the past 20 years, the international community has supported efforts aimed at restoring peace in this fraternal country, and replacing mistrust and lack of cooperation, which have marked relations between the parties concerned, with coexistence, reconciliation and the determination to make sacrifices so as to build a unified homeland.
In this regard, my delegation wishes to express again its gratitude to the Secretary-General for the exhaustive and very enlightening report that he has submitted, which highlights the latest events concerning the peace process that is under way. We also thank the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, who is continuing to coordinate and encourage the process of dialogue with an unmatched optimism. I should also like to reiterate the appreciation of my country for the important role played by the troika of observer States in the quest for peace in Angola.
Guinea-Bissau recognizes that much remains to be done to achieve all the objectives laid down in the Lusaka Protocol and to meet the obligations stemming from the relevant Security Council resolutions in order fully to implement, and to give real meaning to, the peace process in Angola. However, we have noted, with great satisfaction, the observations of the Secretary-General in his latest report with regard to the steps taken by the Angolan parties over recent weeks to strengthen the peace process, which we believe to be extremely positive. Just a few hours ago the Security Council received a letter from the Permanent Representative of Angola transmitting a communiqué from his Government announcing the incorporation of a UNITA general into the Angolan Armed Forces. We believe that these actions deserve to be fully encouraged by the international community. At this crucial stage in negotiations, Angola needs more than ever the support and contributions of all in order to consolidate the achievements that have been made. The many delays in the full implementation of the Lusaka obligations remain a source of concern.
As we have said repeatedly, it cannot be denied that important and substantial progress has been achieved, the most important aspect being the maintenance of the ceasefire. Other obstacles, without which it will not be possible to achieve further progress, must be overcome. The main issue concerns the complete quartering of UNITA troops and their disarming and demobilization within the framework of the Lusaka Protocol. The delays that have occurred in this regard are affecting the formation of a single military force, the integration of UNITA officials into the Government of National Unity and Reconciliation, and other activities linked to the implementation of the Protocol. Once again, we call on our Angolan brothers to continue to pursue their efforts with greater political determination, in the same constructive spirit shown recently, so as to give priority to the settlement of all obligations of a military character. Indeed, in order for the outstanding political issues to be settled, it is imperative that the parties demonstrate firm political will by adopting concrete steps aimed at helping the peace process.
As my country has stated many times, we believe that peace, security and prosperity in Angola is possible, and that the Angolan people, with whom we have shared many years of fraternal history in common, deserves to enjoy the wealth of its country in peace and to participate in its reconstruction and socio-economic development. For all those reasons, Guinea-Bissau believes that the international community should continue to follow the situation in Angola closely, while continuing to provide economic and humanitarian assistance.
With regard to the draft resolution, we are convinced that the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III) still has a role to play in Angola, and that it must continue to support the peace efforts of the two parties to the extent that a real will for peace exists. That is why we approve the extension of its mandate, as recommended by the Secretary-General in his report. In so doing, my delegation will vote in favour of the draft resolution.
My delegation views with concern the delays in the implementation of the provisions of the Lusaka Protocol and the commitments undertaken by the Government of Angola and by the União Nacional para a Independência Total de Angola (UNITA).
Although we recognize that certain positive developments have taken place in Angola in relation to the peace process, such as the maintenance of the ceasefire, the dismantling of the illegal checkpoints, improvements in the freedom of movement of persons, continuation of the programme of disarming the civilian population, and the completion of the quartering of UNITA troops, there has as yet been no swift action on matters that are essential for the peace of the country. In the political sphere, there has not yet been any tangible progress with respect to the prompt establishment of the Government of Unity and National Reconciliation, or to reaching an agreement on the special status of the leader of the largest opposition party, in accordance with the provisions of the Lusaka Protocol.
We believe that the parties should make greater efforts to attain these objectives, and should strictly comply with their obligations under the Lusaka Protocol, the relevant resolutions of the Security Council and the commitments undertaken in Libreville and Franceville. That is why we urge them to meet as soon as possible, and to adopt measures that will enable significant progress to be made towards peace and national reconciliation.
My delegation believes that the achievements so far in Angola must be consolidated through the assistance of the international community for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the Angolan economy, which continues to be in a critical condition. We appeal to the international community and to donor countries to continue to lend their support to the peace process in Angola.
My delegation also recognizes that, in order to complete the tasks provided for in the Lusaka Protocol and to consolidate the progress achieved, it will be necessary to maintain a limited United Nations presence in Angola after the withdrawal of UNAVEM III’s units.
My delegation feels that the presence of UNAVEM III is necessary at this stage of the peace process in Angola, and will vote in favour of the draft resolution extending the Mission’s mandate until 28 February 1997.
A short two months ago, the members of the Security Council adopted a resolution containing a stern warning to the parties to break through the mindset that was preventing them from completing the military tasks agreed to in the Lusaka Protocol and to get on with the business of establishing a Government of National Unity and Reconciliation. We can now be gratified that our message was heeded and that we have seen significant progress in identifying UNITA members for integration into the Angolan Armed Forces (FAA), in quartering UNITA forces in Cabinda, in dissolving UNITA’s military command structure and in completing many of the other tasks we specified in resolution 1075 (1996). Today, we received word that UNITA has made a formal declaration on the completion of the quartering process and that the Government of Angola has made an announcement on the integration into the FAA of the nine generals provided by UNITA.
Despite these advances, as of today the military tasks remain incomplete and we find ourselves once again considering how to urge or compel the parties to act swiftly in meeting the obligations they took upon themselves in Lusaka two years ago. In particular, we are concerned that the quartering camps remain full of UNITA troops, even though many have been selected for integration into the Angolan Armed Forces and many others are ready to be demobilized and returned to civilian life.
These quartering camps, guarded by United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III) forces, have played a central role in the peace process. They have permitted UNITA’s armed forces to stand down gradually from a state of combat readiness and to begin the transformation to membership in the Angolan Armed Forces or the return to civilian life. The success of the quartering process is owed in large measure to the presence of the neutral international military forces of UNAVEM III at the camps.
However, neither the quartering camps nor UNAVEM III were intended to be permanent. Both were to be temporary measures, stepping stones from a state of armed conflict to one of reunification and reconciliation. The time has come for the camps to close and for UNAVEM to begin withdrawing. The Government must work with UNITA to empty the camps rapidly and move on to the political tasks in order to reintegrate UNITA into a process in which problems are resolved through negotiation and compromise, rather than through violence. The Government and UNITA must take great strides to train, equip and deploy integrated units to the areas of the country formerly occupied by UNITA forces so that the civilian populace in those areas will have the confidence to move about freely while attending to their daily affairs.
UNAVEM III itself must now begin to withdraw. The two years projected for the duration of UNAVEM III are coming to an end — two years of relative peace for Angola. The withdrawal of UNAVEM III means not that the international community is turning its back on Angola, but that the time has come for formed military units to be replaced by a follow-on international presence focused on assisting Angola in the reconciliation and reconstruction process that lies ahead.
The draft resolution we are adopting today takes into account all of these issues. It calls on the parties to complete the military tasks and move on to the political tasks. It authorizes the Secretary-General to begin the withdrawal of UNAVEM III and to plan for a follow-on United Nations presence. We expect that the Government and UNITA have received the message the draft resolution conveys: that rapid action on their part to integrate UNITA personnel into the Armed Forces at all levels and to demobilize those remaining in the camps is of the essence.
The resolution is not directed only at the parties and UNAVEM III. It contains an urgent message for other Member States as well. This critical stage of the peace process cannot succeed without immediate funding. The generosity of donor States has made possible the success of the peace process to date, but the peace process itself is being put at risk at this critical moment. The immediate unmet needs for quartering areas and demobilization exceed $19 million, according to the Humanitarian Assistance Coordination Unit (UCAH) projections. The international community must act urgently to subscribe the required funds so that demobilization can be completed within the three months programmed by UCAH. Further delays will only undermine and undercut the peace process and delay the drawdown of the UNAVEM III force, increasing the drain on United Nations and donor resources.
Therefore, in order to strengthen the peace process and set the stage for the new Government of National Unity and Reconciliation, the United States announces today its intention to contribute an additional $3,350,000 to United Nations and bilateral programmes which support demobilization and reconciliation in Angola. Furthermore, the United States plans to contribute in the near future a further $2,500,000 towards such efforts, if the parties demonstrate adequate commitment to the peace process. Additionally, the United States intends to provide, in 1997, $1 million in demining equipment and services to be used by the United Nations Central Mine Action Office, the Angolan demining Institute and the UNAVEM demining School.
We urge others seriously to consider committing additional funding for this critical stage of the peace process. The representatives of the troika of observers convened a meeting of potential donor countries in New York last week to underline the serious need for funding for the demobilization process, and received positive responses from the United Kingdom, Sweden and Finland.
The international community, including this Council, has devoted years of its attention to helping the Angolans themselves put the hostilities of the past behind them. United Nations personnel on the ground have shown great devotion to this goal, some even giving their lives during their service in UNAVEM III. We honour their service. We also wish to convey our appreciation to Mr. Beye, to the Force Commander and to all the troops and staff of UNAVEM III for their hard work and unstinting dedication. We hope the Angolans will seize the opportunity for cementing a lasting peace, which is so nearly in their grasp.
I shall now make a statement in my capacity as the representative of Italy.
Let me begin by saying that the number of speakers who have spoken or will speak this evening is a genuine testimony to the international community’s attention to the situation in Angola and its developments.
I take this opportunity to address my heartfelt thanks to the Secretary-General and his special representative, Mr. Blondin Beye, whose unwavering commitment and diplomatic skills have enabled him to play a crucial and successful role. The troika of observers of the peace process, the countries contributing troops to the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III) and the countries of the region have all joined in the search for a political settlement in Angola. I wish also to pay tribute to the Permanent Representative of Angola, Ambassador Afonso van Dunem “Mbinda”, who from New York has acted untiringly for the cause of peace and national reconciliation in his country.
As the Deputy Foreign Minister of Italy, Senator Rino Serri, observed on his very recent mission to Angola, the peace process has indeed reached a turning point. The implementation of the military dimension of the Lusaka Protocol is nearing completion. Today, UNITA issued a formal declaration confirming the termination of the quartering of its troops — except for a limited number of policemen, who will soon also be quartered — and the handing over of its weapons to the United Nations.
The next step is the integration of selected UNITA troops into the Angolan Armed Forces. We welcome the acceleration of this very delicate operation. Today, the Luanda Government has taken another major step by announcing the incorporation into the Angolan Armed Forces of the nine UNITA generals residing in Luanda, a decision widely expected by the international community.
Now, priority is shifting towards the demobilization and social reintegration of combatants. I would like to recall here that, to this end, my Government has provided a financial contribution of approximately $4 million to the Humanitarian Assistance Coordination Unit for Angola. Italian instructors also participate in training the demining teams that will fight what is not only a scourge of war, but a continuous threat to the lives of innocent people, including children, and to the reconstruction of Angola for years to come.
The Angolan parties should now focus on the speedy implementation of the political aspects of the Lusaka Protocol. The draft resolution before the Council clearly outlines what needs to be done. The steps to be taken have so far been postponed, pending a settlement of the military issues. Now there can be no more procrastination and they have to be put into effect quickly.
The Italian Government fully supports the paragraphs of the draft resolution that provide for the drawdown of the military units of UNAVEM III on the basis of the proposal made by the Secretary-General. They strike a delicate balance between the need to ensure the successful conclusion of the peace process and to avoid prolonging excessively this most expensive peacekeeping operation.
I conclude by recalling the concern of the Italian Government and people at the hardship endured by the innocent Angolan civilians throughout this endless civil war. In the past five years, Italy has provided approximately $110 million in assistance. Now that the prospects for peace are brighter, we will remain steadfast in our commitment.
For all these reasons, I will vote in favour of the draft resolution before the Council.
I now resume my functions as President of the Security Council.
I now put to the vote the draft resolution contained in document S/1996/1026.
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 1087 (1996).
The Council has thus concluded its voting procedure and shall hear further statements under rule 37 of its provisional rules of procedure.
The next speaker is the Permanent Representative of Zimbabwe. I invite him to take a seat at the Council table and to make his statement.
Mr. President, I wish to congratulate you on your assumption of the presidency of the Security Council for the month of December 1996. My delegation is confident that the Council will benefit immensely from your wide experience and able leadership.
Allow me also to express my delegation’s gratitude and appreciation to your predecessor, Ambassador Wisnumurti of Indonesia, for the manner in which he presided over the affairs of the Council last month.
My delegation wishes to express its appreciation to the Secretary-General, Mr. Boutros Boutros-Ghali, for his two most informative reports on the situation in Angola, dated 19 November and 2 December 1996.
My delegation notes with regret and disappointment that two years have come and gone since the signing of the Lusaka Protocol and that we still lack the requisite measure of progress to show that the peace process in Angola has come of age. When this Council met last time to consider the situation in Angola, it expressed in strong terms its concern over the dangerously slow pace of implementation of the Lusaka Protocol and enumerated a series of requirements which UNITA had promptly to fulfil.
We fully share the critical observation of the Secretary-General that the peace process in Angola has continued to progress in “fits and starts”. We remain particularly disturbed by the fact that, even at this late stage in the peace process, progress has often come only in response to increased pressure applied by the international community, particularly on UNITA.
The peace process in Angola has reached a critical stage for both the people of that country and the international community as a whole. Statistics on cantonment, demobilization and reintegration alone, important as these processes are, can no longer impress either the people of Angola or the international community. Progress in those areas alone, even if it were more resounding and more satisfactory than it is today, could no longer serve as an adequate measure or reflection of progress for the peace process as a whole.
Time is marching on and, at this very critical moment, we join the people of Angola in demanding and expecting no less than landmark decisions and measures on the part of the Government of Angola and UNITA. For the people of Angola, the disquieting news of the final expiry of the initial mandate of the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III) on 28 February 1997 must be counterbalanced by unprecedented breakthroughs in the peace process.
In this regard, my delegation joins the Secretary-General in appealing to all who can make a contribution to facilitating the return to Luanda of UNITA deputies to the National Assembly, the establishment of the Government of National Unity and Reconciliation, and the cooperation of UNITA in the search for an agreement on the special status of its leader. We also wish to reiterate our strong view that a meeting in Angola between President José Eduardo dos Santos and Mr. Savimbi would be most timely and appropriate at this stage.
Above all, until today we were going to demand that UNITA be pressured to make the formal and written declaration required of it in paragraph 12 (e) of Security Council resolution 1075 (1996), stating that all UNITA soldiers had been quartered and that UNITA had no more weapons and military equipment in its possession, in order to remove any obstacles to the extension of State administration throughout Angola.
We now understand that that declaration has been belatedly made by UNITA, a typical example of UNITA’s now-well-known tactic of making a meaningful move only when the Security Council meets to consider further steps to be taken to give impetus to the peace process. We warmly welcome the news of the incorporation of the nine UNITA generals into the Angolan Army.
My delegation could not agree more with the Secretary-General that as we approach the end of the two-year period foreseen in the initial mandate of UNAVEM III, the countdown towards the completion of that operation can only be gradual and progressive. We also agree, and most unreservedly so, that several crucial tasks of the peace process are far from complete and that Angola will continue to need the stabilizing presence of the United Nations forces.
The peace-loving people of Angola will remain restless until the respite offered under the Lusaka Protocol transforms itself into a lasting peace. We in Zimbabwe and in southern Africa in general join the people of Angola in holding fast to the dream that led to the commitments of the Lusaka accord, and in demanding that those commitments be implemented in order to normalize the situation in Angola and in the entire subregion, in the interest of international peace and security.
In conclusion, my delegation welcomes the unanimous adoption of the latest resolution, 1087 (1996), and particularly the extension of the mandate of UNAVEM III to 28 February 1997.
I thank the Permanent Representative of Zimbabwe for his kind words addressed to me.
The next speaker is the Permanent Representative of Namibia. I invite him to take a seat at the Council table and to make his statement.
At the outset, may I extend to you, Sir, my delegation’s warm congratulations on your assumption of the presidency of the Council for the month. Your experience and diplomatic skill will no doubt guarantee the success of the Council’s work under your wise leadership. We also extend our sincere congratulations to your predecessor, Ambassador Wisnumurti of Indonesia, for the remarkable and admirable way in which he guided the affairs of the Council for the month of November.
Allow me also to express our gratitude to the Secretary-General, Mr. Boutros Boutros-Ghali, for the comprehensive report before us today and for his efforts to further the cause of peace and reconciliation in Angola. The same sentiments are extended to his Special Representative, Mr. Alioune Blondin Beye, and to the entire personnel of the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III). They are carrying out their mandate with determination under difficult conditions.
We note with satisfaction the initiatives and the intensive efforts of the Secretary-General’s Special Representative, in collaboration with the troika — Portugal, the Russian Federation and the United States of America — in the search for peace in Angola, which have resulted in positive developments, as stated in the Secretary-General’s report. We are encouraged that substantial progress has been made thus far. In this connection, we need to encourage the Government and UNITA to make additional efforts and to speed up the pace of implementation of the Lusaka Protocol.
We warmly welcome the announcement by the Government of Angola regarding the incorporation of UNITA generals into the national Army. We are also pleased to note that UNITA has just made a declaration regarding the assembling of its troops and the handing over of its weapons.
Namibia is fully committed to ensuring that lasting peace and stability are restored in Angola. In his statement before the fifty-first session of the General Assembly on 30 September 1996, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Namibia said the following:
“Namibia is bound by blood and common destiny to stand with Angola. That is why our military contingent attached to UNAVEM III will remain in Angola until the Mission is satisfactorily concluded.” (Official Records of the General Assembly, Fifty-first Session, Plenary Meetings, 14th meeting, p. 8)
Of grave concern to my Government is the desertion of UNITA troops from the quartering areas and the delay in settling the outstanding political issues, namely, the return to Luanda of UNITA deputies to the National Assembly, the agreement on the status of the leader of UNITA and the establishment of the Government of National Unity and Reconciliation. Those issues, among others, are of paramount importance to the whole peace process. We trust, therefore, that the parties will continue to negotiate seriously and reach an agreement. In this connection, we agree with the recommendation of the Secretary-General to extend the present mandate of UNAVEM III to 28 February 1997.
Although we recognize that it is the Angolan people who bear the ultimate responsibility for their own destiny, it is imperative for the international community, and the Security Council in particular, to demonstrate greater commitment and determination to help the people of Angola to resolve the outstanding political issues. The Council must send a clear message to the parties and to UNITA in particular, bringing to its attention the consequences of obstructing the peace process in the country. The time has now come for the UNITA leadership to know that the people of Angola, especially the children, need peace, and the country needs development.
The Secretary-General’s report also states that Angola continues to be confronted with severe economic conditions and a serious budget deficit. To address such economic challenges the country requires the efforts of all its people, the parties concerned and their leadership. However, this is not an easy task. Therefore, we call upon the international community to mobilize all the necessary resources for the rehabilitation of the economy and the reintegration of ex-combatants into civilian life. That is why, despite the severe drought situation confronting Namibia, we contributed in August of this year $5,000 to the United Nations consolidated inter-agency appeal for Angola. We will continue to make our humble contribution to that fund. In this connection, we join the Secretary-General at this critical stage to urge the donor community to fulfil the pledges undertaken at the 1995 Brussels Round Table Conference on Angola.
We warmly welcome the unanimous adoption of resolution 1087 (1996).
I thank the Permanent Representative of Namibia for his kind words addressed to me.
The next speaker inscribed on my list is the Permanent Representative of Brazil. I invite him to take a seat at the Council table and to make his statement.
May I first of all congratulate you, Ambassador Fulci, on your assumption of the presidency of the Security Council for the month of December. Under your able and wise guidance the particularly complex agenda of the Security Council in the last month of the year will be dealt with with competence and effectiveness. I wish you success.
I should also like to take this opportunity to express sincere appreciation to your predecessor, Ambassador Wisnumurti of Indonesia, for his very skilful conduct of the Council’s business during November.
We would like, once more, to pay tribute to the role played by the Secretary-General, Mr.Boutros Boutros-Ghali, and by his Special Representative, Mr. Blondin Beye. We commend the continued endeavours by the troika of observer States.
We are now approaching the end of the two-year period foreseen in resolution 976 (1995) for the completion of the mandate of the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III). Though substantial progress has been made in the peace progress since the beginning of this operation, a lot remains to be done.
In the quartering process, many UNITA troops have deserted. The quantity and quality of weapons handed over to UNAVEM III was unsatisfactory. Some of the tasks enumerated in resolution 1075 (1996) and in the consolidated timetable approved by the Joint Commission were not fulfilled by the 15 November deadline.
However, we very much welcome today’s news to the effect that UNITA has declared that it has completed the quartering of its troops and that the Government has proceeded to the integration of nine UNITA generals into the Angola armed forces. This is a breakthrough that should lead to progress on all fronts.
In a demonstration of Brazil’s firm commitment to the peace process, President Fernando Henrique Cardoso visited Angola last November, having travelled to Cuíto to meet with the Brazilian troops serving in UNAVEM III. President Cardozo went to Luanda to confirm that Brazil is ready to cooperate with Angolans and their Government in the reconstruction of the country and in the consolidation of a fair and free society where reconciliation and integration are the cornerstones of prosperity.
The situation in Angola is at a crucial stage. Unless serious progress continues to be made in key areas, in the short term UNAVEM III will not be able to fulfil all the tasks assigned to it.
In his report, the Secretary-General outlines a plan for the withdrawal of UNAVEM’s contingent with which we agree in principle. However, we should bear in mind the responsibility of the international community towards Angola. We believe that the complete withdrawal of the force should take place only after it becomes clear that the peace process is irreversible.
The extension of UNAVEM’s mandate until 28 February 1997 will provide the Angolans with an additional chance to accomplish the remaining military and political tasks foreseen in the Lusaka Protocol and to establish the basis for a peaceful, united and prosperous Angola.
I thank the Permanent Representative of Brazil for his kind words addressed to me.
The next speaker on my list is the Permanent Representative of Zambia. I invite him to take a seat at the Council table and to make his statement.
I would like to join my colleagues who have spoken before me in congratulating you, Mr President, on the magnificent leadership you are providing the Council for the month of December. Permit me also to acknowledge the able manner in which your predecessor, the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Indonesia, presided over the work of the Security Council last month.
My delegation further thanks the Secretary-General, Mr. Boutros Boutros-Ghali, for his detailed report on the situation in Angola contained in document S/1996/1000 of 2 December 1996.
We are pleased to note the positive assessment by the Secretary-General of the situation in Angola since the signing of the Lusaka Protocol on 20 November 1994 — positive, of course, in the sense that relative peace has since characterized the situation in that country. The Government of Angola must, in large measure, be credited for its considerable patience in the face of intransigence on the part of UNITA in the peace process. We also recognize and applaud the work of all the men and women involved in the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III), without whose presence Angola would have sunk deeper and deeper into its fratricidal conflict.
When the Lusaka Protocol was signed on 20 November 1994, it was the fervent hope of the international community that a framework for an effective peace process had been put in place which, through the implementation of the Protocol’s provisions, would at last end the war in Angola and usher in an era of peaceful reconstruction of the country, thereby opening the way to the consolidation of peace and stability.
Regrettably, the obligations contained in the Lusaka Protocol have not been fulfilled on time and in accordance with the timetable originally envisioned. A lot of the remaining business should have been finished by now. In the meantime, the time for the phasing out of UNAVEM III in February 1997 is fast approaching. The international community cannot continue to breathe life into the peace process to sustain an unending situation of conflict in Angola. The people of Angola urgently require a complete break with the prevailing situation of “no war, no peace”. The people of Angola have suffered enough and they want an opportunity to rebuild their lives in conditions of peace and stability. While the onus is on both sides, it must be pointed out that UNITA and its leader, Mr. Jonas Savimbi, bear a special responsibility in carrying out their obligations under the Lusaka Protocol in a timely fashion and without having to wait for international pressure before fulfilling these obligations.
There is a lot of unfinished business that has yet to be addressed. There must be concerted efforts to resolve the problem of deserters from quartering areas; the tide of deserting troops must be stemmed immediately. The incorporation of UNITA forces into the Angolan national army must be accelerated and other vexing problems referred to by the Secretary-General in his report also need urgent attention. These include, of course, the need for UNITA deputies to return to the National Assembly in Luanda and the need to resolve the status of the UNITA leader in the national Government.
However, my delegation is pleased to have learned this afternoon that UNITA has finally issued the long-awaited declaration on completion of the quartering of its troops and the handing over of their weapons. We are also pleased to learn of the incorporation of the UNITA generals into the Angolan national army. What is required now, or part of what is required now, is for the Government of Angola and UNITA to seize the opportunity that is presented to address seriously and resolve their many political problems in the peace process.
The people of the southern African region put a high premium on the success of the peace process in Angola, for we believe that such a peace will bring benefits to the entire region. Angola will be able to concentrate on rebuilding its economy so that it can make a better contribution to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) as coordinator for the energy sector in the region. If Angola is to make a meaningful contribution to the SADC region, it will have to strengthen its own economy first and foremost. It is in the light of that that my delegation wishes to applaud the Government of Angola for initiating last June the “New Life Programme”, aimed at resuscitating the economy.
We are pleased also that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is taking a keen interest in assisting Angola to revive its economy. The visit to Angola this year by the IMF Managing Director, Mr. Michel Camdessus, is a concrete expression of that interest. This is a timely intervention by the IMF, which we believe the rest of the donor community should support.
Finally, my delegation wishes to appeal to the international community not to lose patience with the peace process in Angola. Angola is the only country in southern Africa which is still grappling with an internal conflict situation. It should be helped to rejoin the rest of the countries of the region, which are enjoying peace and stability through good governance.
I thank the Permanent Representative of Zambia for his kind words addressed to me.
The next speaker is the Permanent Representative of Mauritius. I invite him to take a seat at the Council table and to make his statement.
I would like to join previous speakers in congratulating you, Sir, on your assumption of the presidency of the Council and to commend you for your very able leadership. My delegation’s appreciation also goes to your predecessor, Ambassador Wisnumurti, for his excellent stewardship of the Council last month.
The Secretary-General has noted in his report that substantial progress has recently been made in the implementation of resolution 1075 (1996). Angola continues to enjoy relative peace since the signing of the Lusaka Protocol. All of this should have been welcome news, but unfortunately implementation of the Protocol has proceeded quite laboriously and any notable progress has been recorded only when pressure has been brought to bear on the parties.
There is no doubt who is the main responsible party in this protracted process. UNITA can only be induced to take some significant measures when the situation is due to be reviewed by the Security Council. The report of the Secretary-General makes this clear when it is states that, after several weeks of procrastination, UNITA finally allowed the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III) to remove weapons discovered in an arms cache in Negage.
At last count, more than 69,000 UNITA troops had been registered in quartering areas, up from 63,000 last September. The Council may recall that UNITA had initially declared only 62,500 troops. At the same time, some 13,000 of these troops subsequently deserted, up from less than 11,500 last September. Two steps forward and one step backward. This appears to be another tactic employed by UNITA to delay or evade the complete respect of its commitments.
While my delegation welcomes the adoption a few moments ago of the resolution by the Council, my delegation holds the view that the Council should perhaps, at some point, seriously consider applying some of the measures against UNITA envisaged in its resolution 1075 (1996), notwithstanding UNITA’s declaration today — which needs to be verified — to the effect that it has quartered all its troops and surrendered all the weapons and military equipment in its possession. True, UNITA has made some positive gestures, but we have to ask ourselves if its efforts are genuine. The past does not seem, unfortunately, to vindicate UNITA’s apparent sincerity.
Angola will continue to need the firm support of the international community during its peace process and long after it finally achieves normalcy. The tasks enumerated in the Secretary-General’s report are daunting, including such challenges as the demobilization of tens of thousands of troops and their reintegration into civilian society, the rehabilitation of rural communities and assistance to large numbers of refugees, displaced persons and ex-soldiers in resettlement areas. My delegation earnestly hopes that the donor community will respond generously to the appeal for continued assistance, in accordance with the pledges made at the 1995 Brussels Round Table Conference.
Finally, my delegation would like to pay a warm tribute to Mr. Alioune Blondin Beye for his dedication and tireless efforts in the peace process. I would like to associate this homage to all the members — military, police and civilian components — of UNAVEM III for their tremendous devotion to the cause of peace in Angola.
I thank the Permanent Representative of Mauritius for his kind words addressed to me.
The next speaker is the Permanent Representative of Mozambique. I invite him to take a seat at the Council table and to make his statement.
Allow me to start by congratulating you, Sir, on your assumption of the presidency of the Security Council for the particularly important month of December. My delegation remains ready to collaborate with you as you discharge your noble duties.
I wish to commend His Excellency Ambassador Wisnumurti of Indonesia for his outstanding performance last month.
The Secretary-General deserves our appreciation for his continued commitment to maintaining international peace and security. His reports on developments in Angola bear testimony to this fact.
Two months ago, a team of Foreign Ministers from southern Africa came to this body, mandated by the heads of State of the region to voice their concern over the slow progress in the peace process in Angola. They urged the Council to take appropriate action in order to encourage a speedy implementation of the “Acordos de Paz”.
After clearly identifying the major obstacles and their source, the Council, in its wisdom, adopted resolution 1075 (1996) of 11 October, in which it expressed deep disappointment with UNITA for delaying the full implementation of the Lusaka Protocol. The Council called upon UNITA immediately to fulfil 12 tasks. Among these tasks was the issuance of a formal, written declaration indicating that all its soldiers had been quartered and that it had no more weapons and military equipment, thus removing any obstacles to the extension of State administration throughout Angola. The Council considered then the possibility of imposing measures against UNITA if it did not comply by 20 November 1996.
Where do we stand today? Are we witnessing serious signs of commitment on the part of UNITA to comply with the Council’s decisions? The Secretary-General’s report indicates some positive developments. However, those are far from what we expected and we remain deeply concerned over the slow pace of events.
My delegation believes that UNITA’s full compliance with the tasks enumerated in the aforementioned resolution would allow the process to move into the next stage.
We welcome the latest news of substantive progress. The people of Angola deserve better than what they are being offered now. They need assurances that they can go back to their areas of origin and rebuild their villages and communities without fear of another outbreak of war. Southern Africa wants an Angola in peace, a strong partner in the region’s quest for integration and development.
Mozambique shall continue to lend its solidarity and support, working in concert with the other countries of the region and the international community until peace becomes an irreversible reality in Angola.
In conclusion, my delegation would like to reiterate its appreciation to all members of the Security Council for their continued interest and active role in the peace process in Angola. We therefore welcome the resolution just adopted extending the mandate of the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III) until 28 February 1997.
I thank the Permanent Representative of Mozambique for his kind words addressed to me.
The next speaker is the Permanent Representative of the United Republic of Tanzania. I invite him to take a seat at the Council table and to make his statement.
At the outset, my delegation extends its sincere congratulations on your assumption of the presidency of the Council for the month of December. My delegation is convinced that, under your very able and skillful leadership, the Council will discharge its responsibilities admirably. At the same time, my delegation would like to express its appreciation to Ambassador Wisnumurti of Indonesia for his very able leadership of the Council during the month of November.
I would like to express my delegation’s sincere appreciation for being given this opportunity to address the Council on the situation in Angola.
Once again, the Council is convening to deliberate on a very pertinent issue: the consolidation of the peace process in Angola. Since this meeting coincides with the second anniversary of the signing of the Lusaka Protocol, it provides us yet another opportunity to remind the international community and, indeed, the concerned parties to the conflict that now, more than ever, the people of Angola deserve peace.
The recent painful and troubled phase in the history of the Angolan people has lasted for over three decades. The initial decade witnessed Angolans taking up arms to fight a bitter anti-colonial war. The end of colonialism, however, did not bring good news to the country, but instead a cruel and destructive civil war that caused untold suffering for the people. Hundreds of thousands of innocent people died; many more were maimed for life and, inevitably, thousands of people became either refugees or internally displaced persons.
As we commemorate the second year of the Lusaka Protocol, it is heartening to note that the temporary upward trend in the number of ceasefire violations has been reversed. While the present report of the Secretary-General, contained in document S/1996/1000, reveals a volatile security situation in many parts of the country, we are delighted to learn that there have been no major cases of harassment of the personnel of the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III). This positive trend of events needs to be nurtured by all the relevant parties to the conflict under the skillful and able supervision of UNAVEM III.
My delegation is equally encouraged by the quartering process of UNITA troops and the handing-over of weapons, although, according to the report before us, the United Nations is still awaiting an official declaration by UNITA that it has assembled all its troops and handed over all weapons. We appeal to the Government to deliberately initiate the actual incorporation of UNITA troops and generals into the ranks of the Angolan Armed Forces (FAA), while, at the same time, we welcome UNITA’s declaration UNITA on its assembled troops and the weapons status made just today. The international community will be looking forward to its translation into action.
In the same vein, the demobilization of ex-combatants from the Government and UNITA must continue to take place in an appropriate manner. UNITA officials must stop their repeated violations of soldiers’ right to choose freely where they would like to be resettled.
As noted in the report, the expiration of the current mandate of UNAVEM III should inspire the concerned parties to carry out dutifully and responsibly all their obligations in the consolidated mediation timetable. We thus concur with the Secretary-General in appealing to the Government and UNITA to resolve the issue of UNITA deputies who are supposed to return to the capital to facilitate the establishment of the Government of National Unity and Reconciliation and also to reach agreement on the special status of the leader of the largest opposition party before 1 January 1997.
Tanzania commends the efforts being undertaken in the relief and rehabilitation process, especially in returning internally displaced persons to their original homes. Although there are a lot of obstacles which continue to hamper these efforts, my delegation is optimistic that, as conditions continue to improve, more displaced persons will be resettled in areas where they originally belonged. To this end, we also welcome the demining operation currently taking place under the coordination of the United Nations Central Mine Action Office.
The socio-economic reforms currently underway in Angola should be encouraged and beefed up. The launching of the “New Life Programme” last June was a milestone move in addressing the economic problems facing the country. The importance of the envisaged International Monetary Fund (IMF)-sponsored emergency programme, supported by an emergency operation fund and, at a later stage, a three-year structural adjustment programme cannot be overemphasized. These efforts should be complemented by the international community, especially the developed North, which should generously offer grants and soft loans to bail out the beleaguered Angolan economy.
We welcome and support the thrust of the draft resolution before the Council, particularly the recommendation to extend the mandate of UNAVEM III until 28 February 1997. We also support the gradual withdrawal of UNAVEM III military units as of next February over a period of six to seven months.
Lastly, permit me to extend my delegation’s appreciation to the Secretary-General and his present and previous Special Representatives for their relentless efforts to find a lasting solution in Angola. As we approach the end of the year and the beginning of a new one, my delegation appeals to the leadership in Angola, in both the Government and the opposition, to give the Angolan people a well-deserved peace as a New Year’s gift.
In conclusion, I can do no better than to quote my President’s address to the General Assembly last October. President Mkapa said:
“Difficulties remain, but we have crossed the Rubicon and, with determination, we can maintain a steady pace towards peace. … The United Nations played a key role in this task. It will have to play an even greater role in consolidating the progress towards peace.” (Official Records of the General Assembly, Fifty-first Session, Plenary Meetings, 22nd meeting, p. 5)
The opportunity is there and the time is right. Angola deserves better.
I thank the Permanent Representative of the United Republic of Tanzania for his kind words addressed to me.
The next speaker is the Permanent Representative of Lesotho. I invite him to take a seat at the Council table and to make his statement.
I would like to begin, Sir, by echoing the expressions of congratulations on your assumption of the presidency of the Security Council for the month of December. We feel reassured that the Council will benefit from your well-known diplomatic skills and experience as we today consider a matter of fundamental importance to us. We similarly extend sentiments of appreciation to your predecessor, Ambassador Wisnumurti of Indonesia, for his able conduct of the business of the Council last month. Our commendation also goes to Secretary-General, Mr. Boutros Boutros-Ghali, for his concise and clear report on the situation in Angola, and to his Special Representative, Mr. Alioune Blondin Beye, and the men and women of the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III) for their unwavering commitment to the search for peace in Angola.
Today’s debate takes us back to 2 October 1996, when the Heads of State and Government of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Organ on Politics, Defence and Security, deeply concerned about the stalemate in the Angola peace process, met in Luanda with the intention of giving fresh impetus to the process. In addition to agreeing to convey the region’s position on the Angolan situation, the Heads of State recommitted themselves to redouble their efforts to contribute towards the realization of peace and stability in Angola. The SADC countries will not falter in their resolve to bring the Angolan peace process to the front burner in their regional and international engagements.
The Secretary-General’s report notes several welcome developments, among which are the decrease in the number of ceasefire violations, the acceleration of the pace of incorporation of UNITA troops into the Angolan Armed Forces (FAA), the resumption of demobilization, and the dismantling of illegal checkpoints, which has significantly contributed to the free movement of people and goods all over Angola.
We are naturally encouraged by these positive developments and urge all the parties to spare no effort in fulfilling all the tasks enumerated in Security Council resolution 1075 (1996).
Despite the substantial progress made in carrying out the major tasks outlined in the Council resolution to which I have just referred, we regret that some sporadic incidents have continued to slow the peace process. In this regard, we appeal to all parties to refrain from any acts that may continue to affect the peace process negatively.
All that we in southern Africa are asking for now is for peace in Angola to be given a chance. In view of the positive developments already noted, we wholeheartedly support the Secretary-General’s recommendation that the present mandate of UNAVEM III be extended until 28 February 1997, and that after that date the residual force should be drawn down over a period of six months.
Of course, this is only a beginning of a post-conflict peace-building process which will bring Angola back to stability. An even more challenging task will be to carry out the programme of economic reconstruction. We expect that the United Nations will not abandon Angola and will play a key role in ensuring the economic reconstruction of that country and the generation of peace and economic prosperity.
By extending the mandate of UNAVEM III to 28 February 1997 this afternoon, the Council has demonstrated that while it is prepared to continue to support the peace process, it expects the parties to demonstrate their commitment to implement the Lusaka Protocol and Security Council resolutions fully and without delay.
I thank the Permanent Representative of Lesotho for his kind words addressed to me.
The next speaker is the Permanent Representative of South Africa. I invite him to take a seat at the Council table and to make his statement.
My delegation commends the Secretary-General for the comprehensive report on the progress made towards consolidating the peace process in Angola. We also commend the ongoing efforts of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, the representatives of the troika of observer States and all parties engaged in efforts towards achieving peace in Angola.
My delegation is gratified by the observation in the report that substantial progress has recently been made in carrying out the major tasks outlined in Security Council resolution 1075 (1996).
For us in southern Africa, the pain and suffering of the people of Angola are our pain and suffering. The peoples of southern Africa believe that the sustaining of the democratization which is taking place in the region following the independence of Namibia, the liberation of South Africa, and peace in Mozambique, depends on the achievement of durable peace and stability in Angola.
The report covers a number of important issues on which the Government and UNITA need to reach agreement in terms of the Lusaka Protocol. The progress reported on some of the key issues is gratifying. My delegation is particularly appreciative of the progress made with regard to disarming the civilian population, the surrender of weapons by quartered troops, the opening up for United Nations verification of the phased-out regional command structures of UNITA, and the dismantling of illegal checkpoints.
These developments are important and need to be sustained. However, the reversal of the gains achieved cannot be discounted as long as the ceasefire continues to be violated and the country remains volatile because of attacks on civilians and the perpetration of crimes near assembly areas.
It is, therefore, worth emphasizing that the cessation of hostilities by both parties is crucial to the creation of a climate conducive to the evolution of peace in Angola.
My delegation believes that a meeting between President dos Santos and Mr. Savimbi is long overdue. This meeting would serve as a welcome opportunity for the two leaders to map their way forward. We note with appreciation that the Joint Commission will soon consider the proposals made by the Angolan Government and UNITA on the special status of the President of UNITA. These proposals deserve the encouragement of the international community, as they represent a significant movement towards progress.
We also welcome the Angolan Government’s announced readiness to commence the incorporation of the UNITA generals into the Angolan Armed Forces. We also welcome UNITA’s declaration that it has assembled some of its troops and handed over weapons. We believe that this declaration will facilitate the enhancement of the peace process. It is our fervent hope that other measures will be undertaken which are central to the establishment of the Government of National Unity and Reconciliation.
My delegation supports the Secretary-General’s recommendation that the mandate of UNAVEM III be extended until 28 February 1997, and that after the withdrawal, steps should be taken to ensure that the gains already achieved remain in place.
We wish to renew our appeal to the international donor community to continue to contribute generously to programmes for demobilization, rehabilitation, relief assistance in quartering areas, mine clearance and road construction. We believe that this assistance will contribute greatly to the promotion of peace and stability in Angola.
The next speaker on my list is the representative of Malawi. I invite her to take a seat at the Council table and to make her statement.
Allow me, Mr. President, to congratulate you and wish you well on your assumption of the presidency of the Security Council for the month of December. I also congratulate your predecessor, the Permanent Representative of Indonesia, who was President for the month of November.
We meet once again today to consider the situation in Angola, a matter of great importance to my delegation and all who come from that part of the region. We welcome the report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III), as contained in document S/1996/1000 of 2 December 1996, as well as the interim report of 19 November 1996 contained in document S/1996/960.
We are encouraged by the progress achieved since the adoption of Security Council resolution 1075 (1996) on 11 October 1996. We have no doubt that the clear message contained in that resolution played an important catalytic role. It is, however, clear from the two reports that many aspects of the Lusaka Protocol remain to be accomplished for peace to be fully established and for the war-tired people of Angola to resume their normal lives. Since time is of the essence, the days ahead are critical, requiring magnanimity and the extra resolve of all the players concerned. We urge all the parties, particularly UNITA, to carry out all their obligations under the Lusaka Protocol, in good faith and within the agreed time schedules. We also implore them to desist from making any moves that would affect negatively the gains already achieved and, indeed, jeopardize the whole peace process.
My delegation is, however, pleased to note the declaration by UNITA that it has quartered all combatants, except for a few police officers. We further welcome the announcement made by the Government of Angola regarding the formal incorporation of nine UNITA generals into the national army.
We take note of the plans of the Secretary-General regarding the downsizing of the UNAVEM III military units. We find paragraphs 30 to 33 of his report particularly informative. We have every confidence in the Secretary-General’s judgement, and look forward to his further elaboration of these issues in his next report to the Security Council.
The reports of the Secretary-General are also quite clear on the resources required to carry out the many activities aimed at bringing Angola back to normalcy. While thanking the international community for the assistance so far rendered to Angola, we join the Secretary-General in inviting the donor community to fulfil the pledges made at the 1995 Brussels Round Table Conference. In the short term, such assistance can only assist in ensuring that the peace that currently exists in Angola holds.
In conclusion, we welcome the adoption of resolution 1087 (1996) and support the extension of the mandate of UNAVEM III to 28 February 1997. We also wish to acknowledge, and pay tribute to, the untiring efforts of the Secretary-General and his Special Representative, Mr. Alioune Blondin Beye, the personnel of UNAVEM III, and all those whose humanitarian work has once again demonstrated that in togetherness much can be achieved in the service of peace in Angola.
I thank the representative of Malawi for her kind words addressed to me.
The last speaker on my list is the representative of Sao Tome and Principe. I invite him to take a seat at the Council table and to make his statement.
I wish to express my satisfaction at seeing you, Sir, as President of the Security Council for this month, and wish you success in your work. In speaking today, I should like to take this great opportunity to express the deep concern and explain the position of the Government of Sao Tome and Principe with regard to the question of the peace process and reconstruction in Angola.
Despite all the gains made so far in the peace process, the security situation remains volatile in many parts of the country, and, if Angola’s situation does not improve, that subregion may face a situation that is not deserved. The present stage of the implementation of the Lusaka agreement has reached a point of no return, because too much effort and hope has been invested by all the parties involved, and by the international community, in this long and painful process to build a long-lasting peace and a good environment for development.
To date, with regard to the establishment of the Government of National Unity and Reconciliation, some of the main steps in the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol have not yet been taken. Without the resolution of all the military aspects and the question of general security, the outstanding political issues cannot be resolved. Such issues include the return of UNITA deputies to the National Assembly in Luanda, the establishment of the Government of National Unity and Reconciliation and the special status of UNITA’s leader.
These and other issues, such as mine clearance, can only be settled if all related military questions are resolved, thereby avoiding the repetition of the sad events that took place in 1975 and after the democratic election. With the withdrawal of UNAVEM III in February 1997, careful consideration and planning will be needed if we are to extend the small United Nations team beyond that date and give it a clear mandate.
Another critical challenge is the demobilization of troops and their reintegration into civilian society. We call this important matter to the attention of all the parties involved and appeal to donor countries to provide additional resources to support this vital effort. We would like to point out that if this reintegration is not done well, Angola will in future face widespread urban insecurity.
The Council has adopted a resolution that reflects the reality of the situation in Angola in order to give a chance to all parties involved in building the peace, so that one day Angola’s people may enjoy a better life.
I cannot conclude my statement without making a strong appeal to the Angolan Government, and to UNITA in particular, to do their utmost to collaborate with the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and to resolve all outstanding political issues within the time-frame adopted by this Council.
I thank the representative of Sao Tome and Principe for the kind words he addressed to me.
There are no further speakers on my list. The Security Council has thus concluded the present stage of its consideration of the item on its agenda. The Security Council will remain seized of the matter.