The situation in Angola Progress report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (MONUA) (S/1997/640)
|President:||Sir John Weston
|(The Presidency changes each month to the next member in alphabetical order)|
|Mr. Wang Xuexian
|Mr. Berrocal Soto
|Mr. Da Rosa
Republic of Korea
Adoption of the agenda
The situation in Angola
Progress report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (MONUA) (S/1997/640)
I should like to inform the Council that I have received letters from the representatives of Angola, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Lesotho, Luxembourg, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe, in which they request to be invited to participate in the discussion of the item on the Council’s agenda. In conformity with the usual practice, I propose, with the consent of the Council, to invite those representatives to participate in the discussion, without the right to vote, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Charter and rule 37 of the Council’s provisional rules of procedure.
There being no objection, it is so decided.
The Security Council will now begin its consideration of the item on its agenda. The Council is meeting in accordance with the understanding reached in its prior consultations.
Members of the Council have before them the progress report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (MONUA), document S/1997/640.
Members of the Council also have before them document S/1997/669, which contains the text of a draft resolution submitted by Portugal, the Russian Federation and the United States of America.
I should like to draw the attention of the members of the Council to the following revisions to be made in the text of the draft resolution contained in document S/1997/669 in its provisional form: in the third preambular paragraph, the word “of” should be added after the word “implementation”; in operative paragraph 4 (a), the words “of adult” should be added before the word “members”; in paragraph 4 (b), the word “adult” should be added before the word “members”; and in paragraph 11 (a), the words “of adult members of” should be added before the words “their immediate families”.
I should like to draw the attention of the members of the Council to the following other documents: S/1997/600, letter dated 31 July 1997 from the Permanent Representative of Brazil to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council, transmitting the text of a letter dated 28 July 1997 from the Minister of External Relations of Brazil addressed to the President of the Security Council; and S/1997/658, letter dated 20 August 1997 from the Permanent Representative of Luxembourg to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General, transmitting the text of the statement by the Presidency of the European Union concerning the peace process in Angola issued on 13 August 1997.
The first speaker on my list is the representative of Angola, to whom I give the floor.
Allow me to begin by congratulating you, Mr. President, on behalf of my Government, on your assumption of the presidency of this Council for this month.
I also extend my congratulations to the outgoing President, Ambassador Peter Osvald, on the manner in which he led the deliberations of the Security Council during his term.
Let me also address a word of special recognition and appreciation to the Secretary-General, Mr. Kofi Annan, to his Special Representative for Angola, Maître Blondin Beye, and to the troika of observer countries — Portugal, the United States and the Russian Federation — for their continued commitment to a peaceful and lasting settlement of the Angolan problem.
Today, when nearly three years have elapsed since the signing of the Lusaka Protocol, and despite all the efforts that have been made and the resources that have been expended, we find that Angola remains far from enjoying the peace and stability that our people so anxiously long for and that the country desperately needs.
The framework envisioned under the peace accords has still not been fully established, and there are still two armies: one, the Angolan Armed Forces, under the Government of Unity and National Reconciliation, and the other at the service of a political party, UNITA, that insists on preserving its military wing. The country remains divided, as the exercise of the authority of the State continues to be blocked in the areas that UNITA insists on keeping under its control.
A few months ago the inauguration of the Government of Unity and National Reconciliation and the return to the Parliament of UNITA deputies, after a long series of mixed signals and much hesitation from that organization, rekindled hope and gave rise to considerable expectations regarding the quick and successful conclusion of the peace process and the final allaying of the spectre of war.
Regrettably, those expectations have been thwarted, due to UNITA’s unilateral suspension of the implementation of its obligations, its systematic violations of the accords and its increasing military build-up throughout the country. As a result, tensions have mounted and there has been a serious deterioration of the political and military situation throughout the country.
The range of the UNITA military preparations leads us to believe that a return to war is imminent. In this regard, the facts speak for themselves.
UNITA’s main military units, which were never disarmed and never reported to the United Nations, are undergoing training and being re-equipped. Thousands of soldiers who had been previously demobilized by the United Nations have been recruited anew by UNITA, which is also coercing many civilians into its military ranks.
Right now UNITA has an army of 35,000 men deployed throughout the country, of whom 4,000 belong to the personal security contingent of its leader, Mr. Savimbi. The continuing occupation of portions of the country’s territory that should long ago have been unconditionally handed over to the Government administration, as provided for in the peace accords, enables UNITA to preserve its military structures, as well as to exploit and smuggle out the natural resources extracted from those areas in order to go on financing its war machine and to serve the personal interests of its leaders.
Concurrently, UNITA’s radio is relentlessly engaged in its hostile propaganda campaign against the Government, inciting hatred and intolerance, with the aim of denigrating the legally constituted authorities and trying to justify UNITA’s failure to honour its commitments.
This type of behaviour is intolerable, and a definitive stop should be put to it. The Security Council and the international community cannot allow UNITA to continue to sacrifice an entire people and to hold hostage the future of a country which is a full Member of the United Nations.
UNITA’s posture is totally incompatible with its participation in the Government and in the Parliament, and with the fact that Angola already has a single national army, which owes allegiance only to the sovereign and legally constituted authorities of the country and which also includes thousands of soldiers who have come from UNITA.
All this leaves little doubt that UNITA’s leadership is not at all interested in the implementation of the peace accords and that it is merely waiting for a pretext to launch a new war and thus force the renegotiation of the peace accords.
If such were not the case, it is hardly conceivable that we would have witnessed throughout UNITA’s trajectory so many repeated displays of bad faith, so many delays and diversionary manoeuvres and so many protestations of commitment to the fulfilment of its obligations only when the Security Council is about to go into a meeting. This reveals an evident lack of seriousness and political will.
We wish to reiterate that the Angola peace accords and the Lusaka Protocol remain the only valid, legal basis for the settlement of the conflict. We shall not accept any compromises or deviations that seek to go outside the bounds of this framework.
UNITA’s leaders have to be persuaded, by all means, that the definitive rejection of war and full compliance with the Lusaka Protocol are the only way that can lead to a genuine national reconciliation and the consolidation of a democratic system in Angola, and are the only way for that organization to play an important role on the Angolan political scene. The performance of such a role necessarily requires its complete demilitarization and its transformation into a full-fledged political party, just like the other political forces that coexist in Angola.
Angola is presently facing the most serious and dangerous threats to its peace process, which might jeopardize all the progress made to date in the implementation of the peace accords and bring about the total collapse of what is currently the biggest United Nations peacekeeping operation. We all know that UNITA is to blame for this situation. The time has come for it to be called to account for its deeds.
That organization, UNITA, has systematically challenged the very authority of this Council by disregarding its resolutions in a reckless and arrogant manner. Such behaviour left the Council no alternative but to impose, for the first time ever in its history, a set of sanctions against a political and military organization in 1994. More recently, the Security Council again urged UNITA, through resolution 1118 (1997), to quickly adopt certain crucial actions or face major sanctions. Still, UNITA has deliberately failed to do so, as the Secretary-General’s report points out, and now it is trying to convince the international community, through belated half measures, last-minute efforts and propaganda, that it honours its commitments.
We trust that this time the Security Council will not allow itself to be deluded and will impose its authority by making clear that it will not countenance any further obstacles to the peace process in Angola, thereby conveying a strong signal to UNITA’s leadership that the international community will not tolerate any more stonewalling or allow the peace process to be derailed.
It is never too redundant to underscore that it is incumbent on the Security Council to shoulder some of the responsibility in resolving the Angolan conflict, since it is the body which the Charter of the United Nations endowed with the authority and the mechanisms for the maintenance of peace and security in the world. This Council’s past experience with the Angolan conflict, which has long been on its agenda, has demonstrated that it is only through the use of pressure, including the enforcement of restrictive measures, that UNITA’s leaders can be dissuaded from their warmongering and compelled to take the path of peace and democracy.
The time has come to apply the second package of sanctions, which resolution 864 (1993) provided for. In this regard, the Government of Angola fully supports the measures set forth in paragraph 4 of the draft resolution to be voted on today, because we firmly believe that it is an effective instrument that will help prevent war and speed up the peace process. Furthermore, the approval of these sanctions will underscore in a fair manner the distinction that should be made between those who comply with the Lusaka Protocol and those who would rather treat it as a dead letter. The Government of Angola has complied with its obligations, acting in good faith and with a spirit of great flexibility. Certain obligations could not be honoured because of the lack of cooperation from UNITA.
The onus is now on UNITA. It is incumbent upon that organization to show to the international community, through practical, credible and trustworthy deeds, that it has indeed demilitarized, that it no longer claims and controls any portion of the country’s territory, that its radio broadcasting system is complying with Angola’s laws, and that it has truly become a genuine political party. Otherwise, the Security Council will have no alternative but to resort to further measures.
The current crisis in the peace process will not be overcome unless UNITA takes concrete steps. This would surely also help to bring about a meaningful and productive meeting between President José Eduardo dos Santos and the leader of UNITA at a future date, within our country. I would like to underscore this latter point. On this subject, it is worth recalling that their previous four meetings failed to yield the expected results because UNITA’s leader never fulfilled his commitments.
Given its difficulties and complexity, this final stage of the peace process will continue to test and require the perseverance and the patience of the members of this Council. Crucial tasks for the consolidation of the process, such as the quartering, disarming and demobilization of UNITA forces, have yet to be fully carried out by the United Nations. We therefore welcome the Secretary-General’s recommendation and this Council’s decision to postpone the withdrawal of the military units of the United Nations.
My Government will continue to use its best efforts to prevent a return to war and destruction on Angolan soil, and it will continue to meet its responsibilities with regard to the defence of its sovereignty and territorial integrity and the protection of the physical safety and property of its citizens. The population of Angola, which has been the chief victim of the war and which has not known peace for 30 years, eagerly expects that today’s meeting in this Chamber will be more than a rhetorical exercise. Our people hope that other countries will do their utmost to prevent those who are plotting to wage war from bringing their designs to fruition.
I would like to reiterate, on behalf of the people and the Government of Angola, our sincere appreciation and deep gratitude to all the countries that have contributed to the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (MONUA), as well as for the humanitarian aid given by many Governments, United Nations agencies and non-governmental organizations to some of the most needy members of our population. I would also like to avail myself of this opportunity to address an appeal to all countries to request that they grant funds for the process of the demobilization of former soldiers.
I cannot conclude without commending to this Council, through you, Mr. President, a country which has played a determined role in bringing peace to Angola. Let me recall that it was the United Kingdom that sent the first demining contingent to Angola, knowing how badly a single mine can affect human beings. Given the work done since 1992, when everyone hoped that the peace process in Angola would not take so long, it is sad today to realize that the fragile peace is again threatened by the risk of the resumption of the war by the leadership of UNITA and the spectre of military hostilities, which have been a preoccupation of this Council.
I went through all the records of the meetings of the Security Council on Angola, and I realized that the Council has been seized of the matter at 27 meetings. It has sometimes condemned UNITA and requested that it comply with the decisions of this body. This morning’s meeting has its merits, since the Council has chosen a peaceful way: to call upon the leadership of UNITA not to allow the resumption of war, but rather to give it one more opportunity to say, “the killings are enough”.
The tremendous mineral resources that Angola has been given by God should be put into service for the well-being of the country and its people. All the wars in Angola have cost that country in southern Africa a very high level of underdevelopment for two generations, with all the social and cultural consequences. A powerful message for peace, not war, is expressed in this draft resolution to be adopted today. Let it enter the minds and spirits of the leadership of UNITA and of countries in Africa and outside our continent so as to ensure the prosperity of Angola. I am sure that every one of us in this the United Nations will rejoice to see Angola living in lasting tranquillity and understanding with the other Members of this Organization.
I am sure that good days are not far off when Angola will no longer appear on the agenda of the Security Council, and the Council President will not have to use the hammer because of a war between citizens of the same country. The draft resolution to be voted upon today has the full support of my Government. We hope that it will contribute to the acceleration of the peacemaking process in Angola.
I thank the representative of Angola for the kind words he addressed to me and to my country.
In the interest of time, let me say to this meeting of the Council, as I did to one previously this month, that speakers needn’t feel compelled individually to congratulate the United Kingdom presidency on assuming office for the month of August. I am very happy to regard the Permanent Representative of Angola as speaking for all on this point.
The next speaker is the representative of Malawi. I invite him to take a seat at the Council table and to make his statement.
I wish to associate myself with all the remarks that the distinguished Ambassador of Angola has made about yourself as President of the Security Council this month. I would also like to congratulate, with equal measure, your predecessor, the Permanent Representative of Sweden, President for the month of July. Both of your countries are, of course, associated especially with Africa: yours, Sir, as part of our history, and Sweden as part of our modern history in Africa.
Unfortunately, this is the most that my delegation can say by way of expressing happiness for our presence in this room today. The progress report of the Secretary General on the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (MONUA), contained in document S/1997/640 dated 13 August 1997, with the usual objectivity brings with it the most depressing news about developments in Angola, a few weeks after we all sat here, on 30 June 1997, to witness, in hope for the prosperous future of Angola and our region, the passing of the baton from the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III) to MONUA. For many of us here, representatives of peace-loving nations, the adoption of Security Council resolution 1118 (1997) on 30 June meant more than the mere adoption of the resolution. It signified an irreversible step towards peace and reconstruction and development in Angola and the region. Little did we know then that União Nacional para a Independência Total de Angola (UNITA) had some sinister agenda and other motives.
We join others in expressing grave concern over recent developments in Angola. We would like to condemn UNITA’s cowardly acts and actions which no doubt threaten the peace process. We abhor the violence and the killings. We regret deeply the intransigence of UNITA. The slow progress in the implementation of already agreed measures is a clear sign of bad faith. We would very much like to see a meeting, with a meaningful agenda, take place in Luanda between President Dos Santos and Dr. Savimbi. This meeting cannot be delayed any longer. The long-awaited transformation of UNITA’s radio VORGAN should also be accelerated. More importantly, we would like to see the normalization of the State administration throughout Angola.
The point here is this. There are so many things left undone that require UNITA action for the process to proceed smoothly. Any further deterioration of the situation will benefit no one. The people of Angola have for a long time suffered in their desire for peace and prosperity. They deserve to be given a chance. The Security Council needs to send a clear and an unequivocal message to UNITA and all enemies of peace that the international community will not stand by at this critical juncture of the peace process. In this we share the Secretary-General’s views on how the international community should respond. We support his recommendations. We also support all measures that the Security Council has taken, including those made pursuant to resolution 864 (1993) of 15 September 1993.
The role of the international community in the situation in Angola remains vital and imperative. We pay tribute once again to the continuing efforts of the Secretary-General and his Special Representative, Mr. Alioune Blondin Beye, and all personnel of MONUA and of humanitarian organizations who have, with dedication and in the face of danger and risk to lives, met the challenges with remarkable resilience and dedication. We also wish to acknowledge the important role of the troika in the peace process. We applaud their resolve in dealing with the most delicate of situations.
But alas, how can one explain the story of the replanting of the seeds of callous death called landmines. Who can never, ever think that in our time and moment — in this ethos of a civilized, growing world, which is taking steps into the next century — or feel that no one can abet or indeed provide or encourage the providing of mines in Angola or in any part of the world at this particular moment. Who indeed can lean back and even think about Hiroshima or Nagasaki: for this is equivalent to any mine that is planted in the wilds of Africa at this particular moment.
Angola remains a jewel in the region of the Southern African Development Community (SADC). Only lasting peace in Angola will enable the region to realize its dreams for peace and development. The people of Angola, in their long suffering and despair, deserve to realize this dream together with us all. We pray that the message that the Security Council will send to UNITA in particular will have the desired results.
We support the draft resolution and hope that those who have the muscle to put into it will come forth, as they have indeed all this time we’ve been meeting here. And pray for peace and prosperity in Angola.
I thank the representative of Malawi for the kind words he addressed to me and invite him to resume the seat reserved for him at the side of the Council Chamber.
The next speaker is the representative of Brazil. I invite him to take a seat at the Council table and to make his statement.
Let me begin by once again paying a sincere tribute to the work of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Maître Blondin Beye, for his sustained efforts to keep the Angolan peace process on track. The important role of the observer countries of the troika is also duly acknowledged.
Our debate today takes place in the midst of particularly worrisome developments in the beleaguered sister nation of Angola. The report of the Secretary-General on Angola contained in document S/1997/640 sets the appropriate tone for this debate, and it is a very sombre one indeed.
For the past three years the United Nations has been investing a considerable amount of political and material resources in Angola with a view to implementing the Lusaka Protocol. Brazil has been an active participant in such endeavours and has remained deeply committed to the peace process throughout this entire period. We were present at the signing of the Lusaka Protocol and became a principal troop contributor in the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM II) since its very inception. Our involvement in MONUA provides further evidence of an unwavering engagement in multilateral efforts to settle the Angolan crisis through peaceful means.
The conflict has already imposed an intolerable level of violence and brutality on the Angolan people, and those responsible for prolonging the suffering in Angola must face the consequences of their wanton behaviour. We are convinced that the Angolan nation is more than ready to overcome the traumas left by years of war, and we believe that the unjustifiable creation of obstacles to peace must meet with the firmest reproof of the international community.
The patience of the international community has been tested to the limit, leaving the Security Council no choice but to resort to the measures which are prescribed in the text before us.
The Brazilian position on sanctions is well known. Sanctions must not be seen as an end in themselves. They are a serious expedient which must be reserved for situations of extreme gravity. The imposition of sanctions can result in deleterious effects on innocent populations and neighbouring countries, and utmost restraint must be exercised when it comes to contemplating any action under Chapter VII of the Charter. Sanctions must be regarded as an instrument of last resort when the prospects for diplomatic efforts yielding results no longer seem viable.
However, it has become apparent that in Angola we are now faced with such a situation. The framework provided by the Lusaka Protocol is being systematically eroded by the União Nacional para a Independência Total de Angola (UNITA), and, as the party responsible for thwarting the major steps taken towards the establishment of peace, UNITA must be held accountable; Mr. Savimbi must be held accountable.
The draft resolution before us would not have been necessary had the provisions of the Lusaka Protocol been duly observed. These provisions would not have seen the light of day had the breaches been of a lesser nature. The resolution may still not come into force if UNITA, even at this late hour, demonstrates a truly unequivocal disposition to honour its commitments to the people of Angola and to the international community. If these measures do become effective, UNITA will have only its own shortsightedness and greed to blame.
Although any demonstrations of optimism at this point might seem unwarranted, we continue to believe that peace and prosperity for all Angolans is within reach. Momentous events have been taking place in southern Africa which seem to herald a new era of reconciliation among past belligerents. In the light of events in neighbouring countries it is possible today to nurture the hope that oppression, civil war and institutionalized discrimination can be replaced with democracy, development and a true renaissance of African culture. As a country with a profound sense of pride in its African heritage and strong historical ties to Angola, our solidarity towards all those genuinely searching for peace in that nation is a strong and permanent commitment. Peace in Angola is a priority for my Government.
The next speaker inscribed on my list is the representative of Argentina. I invite him to take a seat at the Council table and to make his statement.
Allow me to express my best wishes to you, Mr. President, and congratulate you on the manner in which you are conducting the Security Council. It reflects your personal and professional commitment to the search for consensual and pragmatic solutions which are characteristic of your country throughout its history.
Allow me also to ask Ambassador Dahlgren of Sweden to convey my appreciation to his predecessor, Ambassador Osvald, because his presidency was an example of transparency and dedication.
On 16 April of this year we participated in the Security Council debate with satisfaction. The hope for a future of peace, stability and dialogue seemed to be emerging on the Angolan horizon. The inauguration of the new Government of Unity and National Reconciliation on 11 April, the participation of the UNITA deputies in the National Assembly and the initiation of the normalization of the State encouraged that hope. The replacement of United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III) by United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (MONUA) on 30 June signified recognition of the successful conclusion of one stage — the maintenance of peace in Angola — and the beginning of a new stage: the consolidation of peace and the social and economic reconstruction of the country.
Despite these positive signs, important work remains. Nonetheless, we were confident that the leaders would be able in good faith to resolve their differences in good faith. However, in the Secretary-General’s last report, we read with concern that
The peace process in Angola is experiencing some of the most serious difficulties since the signing of the Lusaka Protocol.” (S/1997/640, para. 38)
The Secretary-General also points out that UNITA has not fulfilled the commitments undertaken in Lusaka nor the obligations stemming from Security Council resolution 1118 (1997).
As a result, a climate of tension and distrust appears to have taken hold in the country. Confrontations have not ceased, troop mobilization activities have been reported and MONUA’s verification work, especially in the areas controlled by UNITA, are subject to restrictions. In the political sphere, the extension of the State administration throughout the country is at a virtual standstill.
The international community cannot remain indifferent to the stagnation of the peace process in Angola. For these reasons, it is timely to urge the Government of Angola and UNITA to conclude the reconciliation process. Both are responsible for its success, and they must refrain from any measure that could lead to the resumption of armed struggle. In that context, we call on UNITA to exam the reasons that led the Security Council to consider new and exceptional measures today. Finally, we again urge President Dos Santos and Dr. Savimbi to meet in Angola with a view towards the future.
In conclusion, we wish to express our appreciation for the efforts undertaken by the troika, composed of the United States, the Russian Federation and Portugal, and by the Secretary-General’s Special Representative, Mr. Blondin Beye of Mali. We also express that same appreciation to the troop-contributing countries, particularly our sister republic of Brazil, a main participant. Finally, we place our complete trust in the Secretary-General for his personal commitment to this important African cause.
I thank the representative of Argentina for his kind words addressed to me.
The next speaker inscribed on my list is the representative of Luxembourg, on whom I now call.
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union. Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia have aligned themselves with this statement, with which Norway also associates itself.
Despite the efforts deployed by the international community for more than eight years now to arrive at a comprehensive settlement, the peace process in Angola is continuing to come up against serious difficulties. The deterioration of the military situation and the ongoing delays in the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol are such that the Secretary-General states in his report that the peace process is currently going through its most difficult stage since the signing of the Lusaka Protocol.
The European Union is extremely concerned by the persistent tension throughout the country, which threatens to jeopardize the progress achieved over the last two and a half years. It strongly urges the Angolan Government and UNITA in particular to do their utmost to improve the situation and to refrain from the use of force.
More than six weeks have elapsed since the adoption of resolution 1118 (1997), and despite frequent reminders, particularly by way of statements issued by the President of the Security Council, the European Union and the observer troika’s peace process mediation, UNITA has still not complied with the demands of the international community. The information given to the Joint Commission regarding the strength of UNITA’s armed forces, the extension of State administration and the activities of radio station VORGAN is neither complete nor credible, and UNITA is continuing to impede the smooth conduct of the demobilization programme.
The European Union strongly regrets and considers unacceptable UNITA’s persistent refusal to honour its obligations. Such stalling casts serious doubt on the sincerity of its commitment to the peace process and makes the imposition of further measures by the Security Council, in accordance with previous resolutions, in particular resolution 864 (1993) of 15 September 1993, a necessity.
The European Union urgently appeals to UNITA’s leadership to take advantage of the grace period before the imposition of stringent measures, as provided for in the resolution before the Council, to supply in full the requisite information on its military personnel, to demobilize all forces, to restore State administration throughout the country and to transform radio VORGAN into a non-partisan station. Should UNITA fail to fulfil its commitments, the measures decided on by the Security Council will have to be enforced and fully verified.
In view of the security situation, the European Union also endorses the Secretary-General’s proposal that the withdrawal of United Nations military units in Angola be further delayed and up to 2,650 military personnel left in the country in order to ensure the completion of the demobilization process.
In this connection, the European Union shares the Secretary-General’s view that a meeting between President Dos Santos and Mr. Savimbi would help significantly to improve the political atmosphere and advance the process of national reconciliation.
Over the last few years, the European Union has provided substantial resources to help the Angolan people achieve lasting peace, national reconciliation and Angola’s economic recovery. We are particularly alarmed at the attacks on personnel of the United Nations and of international non-governmental organizations. It is imperative that the freedom of movement, safety and security of international personnel, their programmes and their institutions be ensured.
The future of the peace process depends basically on the Angolan Government and UNITA, both of which must refrain from any action liable to lead to a resumption of the fighting. As the situation now stands, the international community looks above all to UNITA to honour in a credible and unconditional manner the basic obligations entailed by the Lusaka Protocol.
The European Union wishes lastly to pay tribute to the Secretary-General’s Special Representative, Maître Blondin Beye, and to the three observer States for their efforts to bring about a lasting peace in Angola.
I should like to inform the Council that I have just received a letter from the representative of Guinea in which she requests to be invited to participate in the discussion of the item on the Council’s agenda. In conformity with the usual practice, I propose, with the consent of the Council, to invite that representative to participate in the discussion, without the right to vote, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Charter and rule 37 of the Council’s provisional rules of procedure.
There being no objection, it is so decided.
The next speaker inscribed on my list is the representative of Lesotho. I invite him to take a seat at the Council table and to make his statement.
As you correctly observed, Sir, the representative of Angola spoke on our behalf when he congratulated you on your assumption of the presidency of the Security Council for the month of August. It is indeed our distinct pleasure to see you presiding over the deliberations on this important agenda item. Lesotho and other Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries will continue to devote their efforts to bring peace to Angola, knowing that stability in Angola is essential for the process of development and democratization of our subregion. I should like also to associate myself with previous speakers in extending my delegation’s congratulations to your predecessor for the remarkable way in which he steered the work of the Council during the month of July.
A few weeks ago the Council issued a statement in which it condemned the mistreatment of the personnel of the United Nations and humanitarian organizations working in areas controlled by UNITA. That condemnation followed the joint statement by the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (MONUA) and representatives of the three observer States — Portugal, the Russian Federation and the United States of America. Despite strenuous efforts by the troika and by Maître Blondin Beye, UNITA has failed to remove the remaining obstacles to the final implementation of the Lusaka Protocol.
My delegation has read and noted with deep concern the report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola, from which it is clear that the Angolan peace process is being derailed and that if decisive action is not taken, it will be doomed to failure. We are disappointed that, in the less than six months since the swearing in of the Government of Unity and National Reconciliation, which we hailed as a step in the right direction, the Angolan people’s legitimate aspirations to peace have once again been shattered due to UNITA’s failure to fully comply with the Council’s resolutions and with its obligations under the Lusaka Protocol. We are particularly concerned that tensions in northern Angola are rapidly spreading to the central and southern provinces, thus posing a serious threat to the peace process.
The situation has become even more disturbing due to constant failures by UNITA to submit information on the strength and location of its security detachments and so-called mining police; its failure to ensure the safety and security of United Nations personnel and the staff of non-governmental organizations, all of which are essential to the peace process. There can be no doubt that the international community has become increasingly impatient with UNITA’s intransigence and unwillingness to meet its obligations. Key outstanding issues include the normalization of State administration throughout the country, the transformation of radio Vorgan into a non-partisan station and the total transformation of UNITA into a political party.
There is no doubt that since the signing of the Lusaka Protocol in 1994, this Council and, through it, the international community have come a long way and have invested heavily in bringing peace to Angola. Over the years, we have stressed the importance of the expeditious implementation of the various outstanding tasks under the Lusaka Protocol. We have pleaded with UNITA and waited for it to comply with its obligations. All of this has been in vain, and our appeals have fallen on deaf ears, resulting in our deep frustration over the delayed progress in the peace process.
At this critical time for the peace process in Angola, the international community and the Security Council must demonstrate their determination and their commitment to the Angolan peace process by sending a firm and unequivocal message to UNITA that no further procrastination can be tolerated. The time has now come for the Council to oblige UNITA to comply fully and urgently with its commitments and with Council resolutions. Decisive action must be taken to ensure that UNITA stops its delaying tactics and cooperates fully with the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola. The freedom of movement and safety of MONUA and other international personnel must be ensured; UNITA should stop laying mines and restricting MONUA’s verification activities.
It is for these reasons that we welcome the draft resolution before the Council today, which in our view addresses some of these issues. It calls upon UNITA to provide detailed and credible information on the strength of its armed personnel not previously reported to the United Nations in order that they may be verified, disarmed and demobilized. We trust that UNITA will heed this call to stop restoring its military capabilities. In addition, the draft resolution makes it clear that further and more drastic action will be taken if necessary to bring peace to Angola. My delegation confirms its readiness to support the imposition of additional measures if UNITA continues its intransigence.
Most important, the draft resolution is directed to Member States, which are to adopt measures necessary to restrict the movements of UNITA personnel. The measures envisaged in the draft resolution cannot succeed without the cooperation of States. We therefore urge all Member States to implement these measures and to redouble their efforts to comply with earlier measures imposed by the Council.
My delegation would also like to affirm its support for the Secretary-General’s proposal that United Nations military units remain in the country until the end of October 1997. We share the view that a meeting between President Dos Santos and Mr. Savimbi would be a clear signal of the commitment of both leaders to advance the peace process, and we thus urge the Special Representative of the Secretary-General to continue his efforts to encourage the parties to meet as soon as possible.
I conclude by conveying our gratitude to the Secretary-General for his informative report. I also extend my delegation’s sincere thanks and congratulations to Maître Alioune Blondin Beye, to the members of the troika and to the personnel of MONUA for their unwavering support and devotion to the Angolan peace process. Our gratitude goes also to the international community for its valuable support, assisting the people of Angola as they strive to attain long-lasting peace.
I thank the representative of Lesotho for the kind words he addressed to me.
The next speaker is the representative of Mozambique. I invite him to take a seat at the Council table and to make his statement.
My delegation would like to join previous speakers in extending to you, Sir, sincere congratulations on your assumption of the presidency of the Security Council for the current month of August. We are particularly happy to see you presiding over deliberations on the important agenda item before this body today. We would also like to extend our congratulations to your predecessor on the excellent manner in which he guided the work of the Security Council during the month of July.
When we last addressed the Security Council, we rejoiced over the formation of the Government of Unity and National Reconciliation as a major step towards stability and the normalization of the situation in Angola, putting an end to long years of suffering in that sister country.
It is with grave concern and disappointment that we note today that since the last meeting of the Security Council no substantive progress has been achieved in the Angolan peace process, notwithstanding significant steps already taken. The persistent military tension affecting almost the entire country has very dangerous implications for the movement towards stability and the normalization of life in Angola.
Having read carefully the progress report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (MONUA), we find yet again that the Angolan peace process is facing setbacks caused by persistent procrastination by UNITA on the implementation of important aspects of the Lusaka Protocol. The military tension is increasing. The normalization of State administration throughout the country is facing serious problems because of a lack cooperation on the part of UNITA. The transformation of UNITA’s radio VORGAN into a non-partisan station has not progressed, despite the repeated promises by UNITA to find a mutually acceptable solution. The prevailing tension has resulted in insecurity and mistrust, which affect the process of reconciliation and the reconstruction and development of the country.
We appeal to UNITA and to the Government of Angola to refrain from any action that might lead to renewed fighting, which could cause more suffering to the martyr people of Angola.
We appeal to UNITA to fulfil its obligations in the implementation of important aspects of the Lusaka Protocol, such as complete demilitarization of UNITA, completion of the demobilization of the remaining UNITA forces, cooperation with the Government in the restoration of State administration throughout the country, transformation of radio VORGAN into a non-partisan station, and the true transformation of UNITA into a political party.
My delegation supports the recommendation of the Secretary-General to postpone the withdrawal of United Nation military units from Angola in order to give the parties an additional chance to complete the peace process, and we affirm the need to ensure the security of United Nations and other international personnel. However, this postponement should not be seen as tolerance by the international community for acts of procrastination in the Angolan peace process.
We hope that the Security Council will continue to exercise its authority and will take all necessary steps to ensure full compliance with its decisions, including the provisions of its resolution 1118 (1997) of 30 June 1997 and the presidential statement of 23 July 1997.
My delegation appreciates the efforts undertaken by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and by the representatives of the observer States to put the Angolan peace process on track. We equally appreciate the statement issued on 13 August 1997 by the Presidency of the European Union relating to the peace process in Angola.
We appeal to the international community to continue to render support to the people of Angola to help them overcome the precarious situation they are facing now. For our part, we remain fully committed, and we shall continue to render our modest but unflinching support to our brothers and sisters in Angola.
I thank the representative of Mozambique for the kind words he addressed to me.
The next speaker is the representative of Zimbabwe. I invite him to take a seat at the Council table and to make his statement.
Zimbabwe is deeply concerned about recent and current developments in Angola. The peace process, in which lie all our hopes for a stable and prosperous Angola, has not only lost momentum, but has actually come under serious threat over the past few months and is in mortal danger of collapse. The renewal of civil war is a grim prospect that cannot be altogether be discounted.
It has taken awfully long, particularly for UNITA, to implement fully the obligations under the Lusaka Protocol. This, along with the resultant renewal of sporadic hostile activities and reports and rumours of arms build-ups, recruitment drives and training camps, has dangerously undermined the peace process in Angola.
We join the international community in demanding that UNITA implement immediately all its obligations under the Lusaka Protocol, including the total dismantling of its armed forces and so-called mining police and their integration into the national army, the transformation of its radio station VORGAN into a non-partisan broadcasting facility and full cooperation in the process of normalizing State administration throughout Angola.
I wish to recall that on several occasions in the past the Security Council came close to implementing punitive measures against UNITA owing to that party’s persistent failure to fulfil the commitments it freely entered into within the framework of the Lusaka Protocol. The peace process in Angola has generally progressed in fits and starts, and too often this has been owing to UNITA’s inertia, as well as to last-minute and minimal moves which came only in response to international threats of harsher measures and mounting pressure to keep the peace process alive. Clearly, such a situation should not be allowed to persist, let alone to prevail. We therefore call upon all those who can make a contribution to help put the peace process on track to do so.
In this regard, Zimbabwe would fully support a decision of the Security Council to implement further punitive and coercive measures against UNITA and would urge the Council to adopt unanimously the draft resolution now before it. We are displeased with UNITA’s performance and, at the same time, we wish to demonstrate and reaffirm our commitment to ensuring that the Angolan peace process and that country’s destiny are not further jeopardized by narrow, selfish or partisan interests.
In the meantime, we call upon the people of Angola to show maximum restraint and to refrain from any action which might lead to a renewal of hostilities.
Finally, Zimbabwe supports the Secretary-General’s recommendation to postpone the withdrawal of the United Nations military units from Angola until the end of October 1997, with the understanding that the drawdown would be completed in November this year, taking into account the situation on the ground and progress in implementing the remaining relevant aspects of the peace process. Accordingly, Zimbabwe has already informed the Secretary-General that its contingent of observers, as well as Force Commander Major-General Philip Sibanda, will remain at the service of the United Nations Observer Mission.
The next speaker inscribed on my list is the representative of Canada. I invite him to take a seat at the Council table and to make his statement.
Only four months ago representatives of Member States gathered in this Chamber to acknowledge a breakthrough in the Angolan peace process. The formation of the Government of Unity and National Reconciliation carried the promise that the remaining elements of the Lusaka Protocol might soon be fulfilled and that a war of three decades’ duration might at last be near an end. That hope is now receding.
I wish to convey Canada’s deep concern at the very tense situation in Angola. The increased fragility of the peace process is disturbing, and the continued suffering of the Angolan people is deplorable. They need, and deserve, to live in a stable and secure environment.
We welcome the progress report of the Secretary-General, and we agree fully with his observation that
The progress achieved during the previous two and a half years is being severely undermined by persisting tensions throughout the country” (S/1997/640, para. 38)
and also with his acknowledgement that the deterioration of the peace process is primarily the result of UNITA’s delay in implementing its obligations under the Lusaka Protocol. Both parties have a responsibility to exercise maximum restraint. As a matter of urgency, Canada strongly urges the two parties, but especially UNITA, to desist from confrontation, to engage in constructive dialogue and to act expeditiously to implement the remaining provisions of the Lusaka Protocol.
The agreement on 18 August, by the Central Inter-Sectoral Group, on plans for the normalization of State administration is welcome evidence that progress is still possible. So, too, is the report of the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola of a reduction in hate broadcasts by UNITA’s radio. But further measures to implement the letter and the spirit of the Lusaka Protocol are required on the part of UNITA, including measures regarding the declaration, disarmament and demobilization of its fighters.
We endorse the Security Council’s insistence that UNITA immediately implement the obligations outlined in the draft resolution before the Council and would support a decision by the Security Council to impose the sanctions specified in the draft resolution were UNITA to fail to take the concrete and irreversible steps called for in the draft text.
Canada values its relationship with Angola. We have, in particular, been pleased to work with Angolans to address one of the worst anti-personnel-mine situations in the world by providing financial support for mine awareness and mine clearance. We are deeply concerned at reports of the planting of new mines in certain parts of the country. If these reports are confirmed, this would represent a setback for Angola, which, we believe, already has the highest number of amputees as a result of mine-related incidents of any country in the world, both in absolute and in relative terms. It would also represent a setback for global efforts to reverse the scourge of anti-personnel mines.
Canada has been both impressed and heartened by the advancement of peace and stability in Africa in recent years; this has sown the seeds for the greater prosperity of the continent. African nations and institutions, in particular the Organization of African Unity, have taken the lead in this process. We join African leaders in calling for peace and reconciliation in Angola and invite all Angolans to share in the prosperity which a climate of peace is sure to bring to their richly endowed country.
We also join with others in thanking the Secretary-General, his Special Representative, Maître Blondin Beye, and the representatives of the three observer States — Portugal, the Russian Federation and the United States — for their ongoing efforts to assist the Angolan people in achieving peace.
The next speaker inscribed on my list is the representative of South Africa. I invite him to take a seat at the Council table and to make his statement.
The report of the Secretary-General draws attention to the deteriorating security situation in Angola which, if left unchecked, could have a negative impact on the ongoing efforts of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and the representatives of the three observer States to defuse the prevailing military and political tensions.
In April of this year South Africa joined the international community in applauding the inauguration of the Government of Unity and National Reconciliation, a momentous event which we saw as opening a new era of peace in Angola. Since then it has been our hope that the inclusion of UNITA in the established Government of Unity and National Reconciliation would lead to the full implementation of the Lusaka Protocol and thus lay the foundation for lasting peace. But the current tensions which affect almost the entire country, as reflected in the Secretary-General’s report, seem to belie our optimism and rather point to trends that could reverse the gains already achieved. For the States members of the Southern African Development Community the normalization of State administration and peace in Angola is a priority concern, because it would serve as a vital contribution to the extension of the frontiers of stability to the whole of our subregion.
Although the international community continues to make commendable efforts, the success of the peace process is dependent on both parties making a full commitment. In this connection, we would like to reiterate the strongly held view that President Dos Santos and Mr. Savimbi should meet in Angolan territory. We believe that this long-awaited meeting would provide an opportunity for the two leaders to address the main obstacles to the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol and help move the peace process forward. Everything possible should be done to ensure that this meeting is convened as a matter of urgency. In order to create a favourable climate for this meeting, it is important for the parties to observe the ceasefire and refrain from all hostilities.
It is essential that UNITA submit to the Joint Commission verifiable information on the weapons it possesses and on the strength of the personnel still under its control. UNITA should also ensure the safety and security of United Nations personnel and desist from imposing restrictions on its verification and monitoring tasks, a course of action which hampers the Joint Commission in its work and, as a consequence, constitutes a serious impediment to the peace process.
The issue of the demilitarization process remains a pivotal obligation under the Lusaka Protocol. However, the lack of cooperation by UNITA has delayed the registration of its troops with the United Nations, and as a result their integration into the Angolan Armed Forces has yet to reach the target number. In addition, the mobilization by UNITA of military resources, the drive for conscription and an increase in hostile propaganda are activities which underline the gravity of the situation. Given this tense atmosphere, it is not surprising that military attacks have taken place between UNITA and elements of the Angolan Armed Forces. It is indeed a matter of serious concern that these attacks resulted in the destruction of villages and the deaths of innocent civilians. These clashes do not augur well for the peace process and can only serve to heighten the risk of serious conflict, and therefore demonstrate the urgent need to expedite the demobilization of both the UNITA commanders and officers of the Angolan police.
It is worth bearing in mind that UNITA is widely held to be responsible for the civil war that has caused devastation and so much pain and suffering for the people of Angola. In the light of that bitter experience, and taking into account the volatile climate currently generated by UNITA’s activities, it would seem logical for this body to exert maximum pressure on UNITA to deliver on its obligations. We therefore believe that it should not be allowed to continue to violate the Lusaka Protocol with impunity. The time has come for the Security Council to act decisively and in a manner which ensures that UNITA fulfils its commitments. Attempts at appeasing the Council by making piecemeal, inadequate concessions on the eve of its important meetings can no longer be tolerated.
It is for this reason that South Africa supports the draft resolution before the Council. We also support the recommendation of the Secretary-General to again postpone the withdrawal of the United Nations military units from Angola and to retain a significant number of military personnel until the end of October 1997 so as to provide the parties with another opportunity to complete the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol. The anguish that the people of Angola have endured over the years should no longer be allowed to continue.
The next speaker inscribed on my list is the representative of Guinea. I invite her to take a seat at the Council table and to make her statement.
At the outset I should like to address to you, Mr. President, the thanks of the African Group, on whose behalf I have the honour of speaking, for convening this meeting on the situation in Angola. I should also like to thank all members of the Security Council for their tireless efforts, and for the noteworthy efforts that our Organization has continued to make in its attempt to resolve the situation in Angola.
The report on the situation in Angola, presented to the African Group on 25 August by the Permanent Representative of Angola, Ambassador Afonso Van Dunem “Mbinda”, is disturbing. The fact that UNITA has recruited some 2,000 individuals and that, according to the report, there are nine fully operational military camps, is cause for concern.
The Security Council has acknowledged and declared that the Angolan people bear the ultimate responsibility for the pursuit of the peace process. The Council should no longer wait around for UNITA to respect its wishes while the Government of Angola has been very accommodating in its response to the appeals of the Council and the international community. UNITA has openly adopted a fractious and recalcitrant attitude and made all cooperation conditional.
UNITA has respected neither the resolutions of the Security Council nor the wishes of the international community. The Lusaka Protocol, which provided the basis for the formation of the Government of National Unity, has since it was signed been violated with impunity.
The time has come for UNITA to acknowledge the full authority of the Security Council. Whereas the representatives of UNITA who are members of the Government of National Unity continue, like the good patriots they are, to play a constructive role in Angola, those who have become masters of banditry and bloodshed remain the real enemies of peace and of the long-suffering Angolan people.
It cannot be denied that the Angolan people bear the ultimate responsibility for the success of the peace process. Nevertheless, it is the duty of the Security Council to ensure that the peace process is not threatened; and if it is imperilled, the Council should take every necessary step to preserve peace.
We cannot allow the results of the noteworthy work done by Kofi Annan and his Special Representative for Angola, Maître Blondin Beye, to come to naught because of UNITA’s uncooperative and irresponsible attitude. This is why we request the Secretary-General and his Special Representative to continue their tireless efforts for peace, stability and security in Angola. We would urge the Security Council, in the interests of peace in Angola, to impose comprehensive and appropriate sanctions on UNITA in order to safeguard the fragile peace which currently prevails in Angola.
I invite the representative of Guinea to resume the seat reserved for her at the side of the Council Chamber.
At this point the Presidency would just like to thank the distinguished speakers so far for the way they have enriched the Council’s discussions. I think it is clear from the 11 interventions this morning that those who have spoken under rule 37 of the Council’s provisional rules of procedure share comprehensively the approach which underlines the draft resolution on which we are about to vote.
It is my understanding that the Council is ready to proceed to the vote on the draft resolution before it, as orally revised in its provisional form. If I hear no objection, I shall put the draft resolution to the vote.
There being no objection, it is so decided.
I shall first call on those members of the Council who wish to make statements before the voting.
The Russian Federation, a member of the observer troika regarding a settlement in Angola, is eager that consistent progress be made in the peace process and that peace and concord be speedily restored. Overcoming the many years of conflict in Angola would not only be a blessing for the people of that country and for all States of the region, it would also represent a major success for United Nations peacekeeping operations and for the international community as a whole. Recent events in Angola — the inauguration of the Government of Unity and National Reconciliation — had strengthened our hope that a final settlement of this conflict was imminent.
Unfortunately, these hopes, and indeed the aspirations of the Angolans themselves for a safe and peaceful future, have not been realized. More than that, there is a real danger that the peace process may be reversed. The deterioration of the situation requires very close scrutiny on the part of the Security Council and the Secretary-General, and also redoubled efforts on the part of his Special Representative and of the United Nations mission in Angola, as well as on the part of the troika of observer States. In light of the developing situation it is quite justified that there should be adjustments to the process of withdrawing the United Nations military contingents from Angola.
The international community is entitled to demand that the Government of Angola — but, indeed, first and foremost that the União Nacional para a Independência Total de Angola (UNITA) — fully and without further delay carry out the remaining aspects of the peace process and refrain from any further acts that might worsen the situation.
This is precisely what guided Russia in drawing up, together with the other members of the troika, the draft resolution that is before the Security Council today. As is clearly stated in the draft resolution, UNITA bears the main responsibility for the present situation. It is that organization’s fault that the implementation of the provisions of the Lusaka Protocol has been completely paralysed and that we have not received any reliable data about the upcoming disarmament and demobilization of the armed forces of UNITA. UNITA is not complying with the process of demobilizing its soldiers. There is information that already demobilized soldiers as well as new civilians have been enlisted into the army. And the VORGAN radio station continues to broadcast hostile propaganda. They continue to put obstacles in the way of the representatives of the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (MONUA). The statement by UNITA on 11 August and, above all, its actual activities do not constitute a satisfactory reply to the demands which have been made by the Security Council. All this confirms the fact the leader of UNITA, Mr. Savimbi, has no interest in pursuing the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol and in transforming his organization into a genuine political party.
The international community has frequently had occasion to warn UNITA that such an obstructionist attitude was unacceptable, expecting that these signals would be duly heeded. Unfortunately, this did not occur. UNITA is defying the United Nations and the Security Council. We believe that the international community has no other choice but to give an appropriate reply.
The draft resolution prepared by the troika contains additional sanctions to be imposed on UNITA. These are precisely targeted and concrete and will not effect those representatives of UNITA who are members of Parliament or the Government or who are cooperating with the Joint Commission. Provision is made for deferring the imposition of the sanctions and for the possibility of their being lifted, as well as for the adoption of further sanctions against UNITA if it were to fail to fully and expeditiously fulfil its obligations under the Lusaka Protocol. It is our belief that this sends a tough but necessary and clear signal that the patience of the international community is at an end and that it will no longer accept either the obstacles placed in the way of the implementation of the peace process in Angola or the disregard of the international community’s decisions.
At the same time we would like to express the hope that the grace period granted UNITA will be properly heeded, that it will allow that organization to take a sober look at the situation for which it is to blame and lead UNITA to carry out what it has long been expected to carry out. We hope that this in turn will make it possible not to introduce the additional sanctions against UNITA contained in the draft resolution. This is what we sincerely hope will happen.
The Angolan peace process reached an important milestone last April with such important progress as the establishment of the Government of Unity and National Reconciliation. It was then hoped that peace and stability would truly come to Angola. However, the situation has since deteriorated to the point that the Secretary-General was forced to declare in his report of 13 August that the peace process was facing some of the most serious difficulties since the signing of the Lusaka Protocol. This is an extremely regrettable and grave state of affairs.
As the draft resolution on which we are about to vote makes clear, the main responsibility for the current impasse must be borne by UNITA. Despite repeated urging by the Security Council, it has consistently failed to fulfil its obligations under the Lusaka Protocol. Therefore, the Council must now go beyond merely applying verbal pressure on UNITA and take decisions on the concrete measures to be taken against it, as provided for in the draft resolution. UNITA can still avoid the imposition of these measures if it immediately takes real steps to meet its obligations at this eleventh hour. Indeed, this is what all of us in the international community wish to see, and we demand of UNITA, in the strongest terms, that it do so.
Japan attaches great importance to the effectiveness of these measures, for which cooperation from the neighbouring States is essential. UNITA should bear in mind the Security Council’s readiness to consider still further measures in the event that UNITA persists in its refusal to meet its obligations.
While it is mainly UNITA which has reneged on its commitments concerning the peace process, the Government of Angola must also meet all its obligations and cooperate fully with United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (MONUA). Both parties must ensure the freedom of movement and safety of MONUA personnel, stop obstructing MONUA’s verification activities and refrain from any use of force which could obstruct full implementation of the peace process.
The long-awaited meeting between President Dos Santos and Mr. Savimbi on Angolan territory could also help greatly in removing major obstacles in the search for lasting stability. We therefore urge both parties to engage in serious talks, with a view to finding a mutually acceptable way of holding such a meeting.
The international community hopes for and expects further progress in the Angolan peace process and will monitor the future actions of the Angolan Government and UNITA as before. It will continue to assist the peace process provided the parties make serious efforts to fulfil their commitments. Japan, too, will search for ways to offer all possible support to Angola, carefully considering the situation in the country.
In closing, I should like to reiterate my Government’s respect and gratitude to the Secretary-General, to his Special Representative, Maître Alioune Blondin Beye, to the personnel of MONUA and to the three observer States for their untiring efforts to promote peace and stability in Angola.
First, I would like to associate myself with the statement made by the representative of Luxembourg, who spoke on behalf of the European Union.
The Angolan peace process is at serious risk. No efforts should be spared to put it back on track. The mechanisms for achieving a lasting peace in Angola have been clearly defined in the Lusaka Protocol. We urge both parties to fulfil all their obligations under that Protocol and commit themselves once and for all to reconciliation and peace.
It is evident to us that UNITA is delaying the peace process. UNITA has not taken the necessary irreversible steps to meet its obligations under the Lusaka Protocol. We believe it is time for the Security Council to take a decision that will send an unambiguous message to Mr. Savimbi that the international community will no longer tolerate his obstructions.
The draft resolution before us is very clear. It tells UNITA exactly what to do to avoid sanctions. The measures, which will come into effect if UNITA does not comply with the demands of the Council, are aimed at the UNITA leadership. They would not affect ordinary Angolans. All necessary exceptions are made for humanitarian purposes. The possibilities for dialogue and the continuation of the peace process will not be hampered.
Sweden will vote in favour of the draft resolution.
Angola needs national reconciliation. This can be realized only through negotiations and dialogue conducted in good faith. Any attempts to seek victory by force are short-sighted and would only extend the suffering of the Angolan people.
President Dos Santos and Mr. Savimbi should show their continued commitment to the peace process by meeting in person as soon as possible. Such a meeting could provide important and necessary impetus to the peace process.
The situation in Angola is putting the personnel of the United Nations and other international organizations at risk. Sweden urges both parties, and in particular UNITA, to cooperate fully with MONUA and to guarantee the free movement and safety of the personnel of the United Nations and other international organizations. Harassment and mistreatment of the men and women who are in Angola to help is unacceptable.
We are pleased that the Secretary-General, in completing the withdrawal of the United Nations military units from Angola, will continue to take into account both the situation on the ground and the progress in the remaining aspects of the peace process. The threats to peace in Angola have made it necessary to decide to postpone the withdrawal of United Nations troops from Angola.
Sweden would like to express its appreciation for the work carried out by the Secretary-General, the Special Representative, Maître Beye, the three observer States — Portugal, the Russian Federation and the United States — and the personnel of MONUA. Their efforts continue to be essential for bringing peace to Angola.
At the beginning, let me express our delegation’s dismay at the recent course of events in Angola, which forced the members of the Security Council and many other delegations to come to this Chamber to debate the imposition of additional measures against UNITA. This should not have happened. By now we should have been enjoying the results of further progress in the process of reconciliation in Angola and looking ahead with optimism. At least that was the mood among us when we last discussed this question in June. Then we were ready to congratulate the parties on their achievements, for we believed that reason was prevailing. As we can see today, this has not been the case and the Council once more has to act in order to protect the complex, delicate and lengthy peace process.
The present political tensions and military hostilities in Angola constitute one of the most serious crises in that country since the Lusaka Protocol was signed in 1994. They even threaten to drag Angola back into civil war. We fully share the Secretary-General’s view that although both parties to the conflict bear a heavy responsibility for the future of the peace process, the current state of affairs is mostly the result of delays by UNITA in implementing its obligations. Despite the declarations made and some concrete steps taken by UNITA in recent days, its overall attitude is indeed frustrating. The delays in the normalization of the State administration, the hostile propaganda and the incomplete disarmament and demobilization of all UNITA troops are the most striking examples of this lack of cooperation.
Even more disturbing is UNITA’s failure to submit complete and credible data on the number and location of troops and weapons in its possession. This cannot be tolerated.
The question of how to make parties to a conflict cooperate and meet their commitments does not go away, and it is still unanswered. Dialogue, persuasion, and political pressure are probably the most common means to bring about such cooperation. Today, when the flow of information is so fast and practically unhampered, these methods certainly gain in value. The light cast by the mass media of today’s world also helps. But, as the case of Angola proves, all this might not be enough, and, unfortunately, this is frequently the case.
This brings us to the question of sanctions. No one favours sanctions because they hurt. All of us would have preferred not to use sanctions at all. At the same time, over and over again, we are faced with circumstances which justify the introduction of sanctions. Why? Because they are seen as a last resort. Today we are dealing with such circumstances.
Working on the draft resolution before us, members of the Council thoroughly and extensively examined the sanctions regime that we are about to establish vis-à-vis UNITA. The question was treated very carefully. We all were aware of its seriousness. We are satisfied that the humanitarian aspect of this particular regime has been given due consideration. The fact that we managed to work out an acceptable text rather quickly shows how determined we were to save the peace process in Angola.
There is some time — 33 days to be exact — before the draft resolution is implemented. Therefore, there is still a chance that sanctions can be avoided. We very much hope that UNITA leaders will give it serious consideration and promptly resume effective cooperation. Angola is waiting, Africa is waiting, the whole world is waiting. The international community is fully entitled to become impatient and even — forgive the word — exasperated, for it has devoted much of its energy and means to try to help this beautiful and potentially prosperous country, which has been torn by so much war and suffering.
May I add that Poland associates itself with the statement made by Luxembourg on behalf of the European Union.
The Republic of Korea is gravely concerned about the current tense situation in Angola and its stalled peace process. In view of the serious implications for peace and security in the region, the peace process should not be allowed to be reversed. Contrary to our expectations, the much-awaited participation of UNITA in the Angolan Government last April did not usher in the beginning of full-fledged national reconciliation. Developments in the neighbouring region have also added to the tension and fluidity of the situation. The momentum of the peace process has waned and, as the Secretary-General points out in his report, it is experiencing some of the most serious difficulties since the signing of the Lusaka Protocol.
Despite numerous warnings by the Council, UNITA has yet to fulfil its obligations under the Lusaka Protocol and those repeatedly called for in the relevant Council resolutions. The delay in the peace process in its final stage is not only inflicting unbearable suffering on the Angolan people themselves, it is also posing a greater threat to the region. At this critical juncture, we believe that the international community has to intervene with resoluteness and seriousness to complete the peace process. We therefore support the draft resolution before the Council today, which provides for additional measures to be imposed against UNITA in the event that it fails to implement its obligations under the Lusaka Protocol within a given timeframe.
We draw to the attention of the UNITA leadership the fact that the measures set forth in the draft resolution are not meant to punish UNITA but to lead it to cooperation. In the interest of peace, UNITA can and should stop the clock ticking against it. We indeed hope that it will disarm and demobilize all its personnel, give up its means of hostile propaganda and cooperate in the normalization of State administration before the end of next month.
Today’s decision by the Council does not mean any diminution in the commitment of the international community to help promote the Angolan peace process. The United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (MONUA) and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General will continue to assist the parties in the implementation of the peace process.
We renew our appreciation and support for the Secretary-General; his Special Representative, Maître Beye; the personnel of MONUA; and the troika of observer countries for their dedicated efforts. In view of the changing situation on the ground, we also endorse the Secretary-General’s recommendation for the continued presence of United Nations military units until the end of November.
In this connection, we would like to remind the Angolan parties that the much-needed international assistance for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of their country is being hampered by the tension they have created. The Government of the Republic of Korea is contributing $250,000 to assist the demobilization of ex-combatants, in addition to the earlier troop contribution made to the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III), in the belief that the current difficulties in the peace process will soon be overcome through the concerted efforts of the Angolan parties themselves and the international community. We stress once again in this regard the importance of a meeting between the President of Angola and the leader of UNITA, which is long overdue despite the repeated calls by the international community for its convening.
In concluding, we reiterate our sincere hope that reason will prevail upon the Angolan parties, in particular UNITA, so that the international community will be able to see the successful conclusion of the peace process in the very near future.
Our last formal meeting on Angola, in June, was characterized by hope and encouragement. Our optimism was captured by the representative of Angola when he remarked:
“After a long and difficult path, the Lusaka Protocol has finally entered its final stage. Although much still remains to be done, its positive effects are now so clearly apparent that we feel confident about the future.” (S/PV.3795, p. 4)
It is with great disappointment, therefore, that my delegation recalls the 3795th meeting of the Security Council, at which it adopted resolution 1118 (1997), which created the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (MONUA).
The reason behind MONUA was to sustain a level of international presence and encouragement in order to conclude the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol and to consolidate the gains that had been made in the peace process. MONUA was also intended to play a vital role in enhancing confidence and creating the atmosphere of trust that is necessary to pave the way for the democratic consolidation and economic rehabilitation of Angola. In any case, the inauguration of the Government of Unity and National Reconciliation in April 1997 had left us very hopeful that the efforts of the international community were bearing fruit. The creation of MONUA demonstrated the commitment of the international community as well as its optimism that it would see the successful conclusion of the Angolan peace process.
It is against this background that the international community had looked forward to reasonable progress in the comprehensive implementation of the rehabilitation and economic reconstruction of Angola. In this regard, the extension of State administration, the formation of the Angolan Armed Forces, the integration of UNITA personnel into the National Police, the transformation of UNITA into a political party, the complete demilitarization of UNITA and the transformation of radio VORGAN into a non-partisan station should have been completed by this time.
It has now become abundantly clear that UNITA is not willing to meet its obligations in the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol, which is the agreed framework for peace in Angola. This is despite the many appeals by the Security Council in its various pronouncements, in particular resolution 1118 (1997) and the presidential statement of 23 July.
The current draft resolution demanding, inter alia, that UNITA implement immediately its obligations under the Lusaka Protocol and outlining the measures that will be put in place if that does not happen is both timely and appropriate. In voting in favour of the draft resolution, Kenya, which has been associated with the peace process in Angola since 1975, wishes to register its disappointment at the current situation in Angola. My delegation believes that the international community is running out of patience and that the time has come to take measures against UNITA for delaying the implementation of its obligations under the peace process. UNITA should take into account the enormous resources that the international community has devoted to the peace process in Angola.
I should like to point out that in addition to the many Angolan people who have been killed or maimed during the conflict, some international personnel have also lost their lives in their efforts to resolve that conflict.
In taking this decision today, we are hopeful that UNITA will take the concern of the international community seriously and abide by the provisions of the Lusaka Protocol so that the measures outlined in the draft resolution will not have to be taken.
Finally, my delegation would like to thank the Secretary-General and his Special Representative in Angola, Mr. Alioune Blondin Beye, the personnel of MONUA and the troika countries for their continued efforts to enhance the Angolan peace process.
On 6 February 1996 the Security Council held an open debate on the situation in Angola. We welcomed that debate all the more because Angola is a friend and brother with which Guinea-Bissau shares an age-old cultural and linguistic heritage and with which it maintains an excellent fraternal relationship. As members know, the changing course of history has endowed our two peoples with a common past. In the fifteenth century, two Portuguese navigators landed on the African continent: Nuno Tristao arrived in Guinea-Bissau in 1426, and Diogo Cao in Angola in 1492. Since then, historical events have forged social and cultural ties between our two peoples, and have charted for them a common destiny in space and in time, in the quest for new horizons.
Five hundred years later, armed struggle broke out in Angola in 1962 and in Guinea-Bissau in 1963 to gain the independence and emancipation of our respective peoples. Thus it was that Guinea-Bissau declared independence on 24 September 1973 and Angola on 11 November 1975, following the signing of the Alvor agreement.
More than 20 years after our respective proclamations of independence, Guinea-Bissau, by a quirk of fate, is among the members of the Security Council today, as the Council discusses the situation in Angola, which is still without peace or tranquillity.
I need hardly recall the importance that we attach to questions concerning Angola or our great interest in all that relates to them, for on many occasions and in diverse circumstances Guinea-Bissau has demonstrated its concern and reaffirmed its readiness to help seek lasting peace in Angola. It was in that spirit that, from the very outset, we participated in a number of peacekeeping operations in Angola.
On 23 July 1997, the Security Council adopted a presidential statement pursuant to resolution 1118 (1997), in which it urged the parties concerned, and in particular UNITA, to abide by their commitments under the Lusaka Protocol. In conformity with the presidential statement of 23 July, the Council is today reviewing the latest developments in Angola in the light of the report of the Secretary-General; we share the concerns expressed by the Secretary-General in that report. The report clearly indicates that the peace process in Angola is facing serious difficulties at a time, three years after the signing of the Lusaka Protocol, when we had hoped that the Angolan parties, UNITA in particular, would have been able to pool their efforts to address all pending political and military issues.
Unfortunately, recent events have made us dubious, even sceptical, about the future of the Angolan peace process. We consider that full implementation of the “Acordos de Paz” and the Lusaka Protocol by the parties is a sine qua non for restoring and consolidating lasting peace in Angola.
We therefore call once more on UNITA to respect unambiguously the commitments it recently undertook regarding resumption of the normalization of State administration, the submission of relevant information on the strength of the UNITA leader’s security guard and of the “mining police”, and the conversion of Radio VORGAN to a non-partisan station.
Paragraphs 12 to 14 of the report of the Secretary-General, relating to military aspects, are of grave concern to the delegation of Guinea-Bissau. We call upon the parties, in particular UNITA, to demonstrate maximal restraint and to cooperate fully with the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (MONUA) to reduce the tension that persists in a number of provinces. It is unacceptable to all for MONUA personnel to be subjected to the kind of harassment we have recently seen.
Any delay in the full implementation of the Lusaka Protocol will have negative effects upon the entire Angolan peace process. In that connection, we reaffirm our conviction that the consolidation of peace in Angola will depend upon the good will of all Angolans and upon the contribution they make to a movement of national solidarity that can join all actors in perfect synergy.
Much money has been spent on the proper functioning of the peacekeeping machinery in Angola. This mission is among the largest to date, which indicates the magnitude of our responsibility to continue to ensure that all goes as planned with respect to the full implementation of the Lusaka Protocol. My delegation considers that shouldering this responsibility will be effective only if the international community now mobilizes sufficient financial resources to carry out the enormous task of national reconstruction that the Angolans will have to undertake following this process. We believe that the economic situation in Angola deserves special attention because it has been sadly shaped by 30 years of devastating war that dismantled the entire infrastructure and plunged the country’s social and economic life into disarray.
We appeal urgently to international financial institutions and to donors to fulfil the pledges they made at the September 1995 Brussels Round-table Conference, with a view to consolidating peace and national reconstruction in Angola.
We voice the hope that President Dos Santos and Mr. Savimbi will meet in Angola as soon as possible in order to create the climate of trust that is a necessary, key requirement for the consolidation of peace in Angola at this crucial time in its history.
Guinea-Bissau wishes also to pay well deserved tribute to the endeavours of the Secretary-General, who since taking office has persevered in this task with the support of his Special Representative, Maître Alioune Blondin Beye, the personnel of MONUA and the troika countries — all of whom have actively worked together to resolve the Angolan problem.
Guinea-Bissau will vote in favour of the draft resolution before the Security Council, in the hope that its provisions will help speed up the peace process in Angola in accordance with the letter and the spirit of the “Acordos de Paz” and the relevant provisions of the Lusaka Protocol.
China feels deeply anxious and sad about the
current difficulties in the peace process in Angola. Two years ago we were elated at the signing of the Lusaka Protocol, which brought hope for peace to the war-torn Angolan people. Just four months ago we hailed the establishment of the Angolan Government of Unity and National Reconciliation, which we regarded as the start of a new era in Angola.
However, only by implementing in real earnest the measures set forth in the Lusaka Protocol and the agreements reached by the Government of Angola and UNITA can peace and stability be truly achieved in Angola and its people enjoy again a peaceful and stable life. Regrettably, what we have seen in Angola over a period of time are renewed conflicts in some parts of the country, further delay in the normalization of State administration and failure to complete the demilitarization of UNITA forces. If this situation continues, peace can hardly be achieved in Angola.
The Angolan people have waited for peace for a long time. The international community has also made tremendous efforts to settle the Angolan question. At this final, critical juncture of the Angolan peace process, any irresponsible action vis-à-vis the peace commitment goes against the fundamental interests of the Angolan people. We are of the view that it is necessary for the Council to take further measures against UNITA in conformity with the will of the Angolan people to ensure smooth progress and the ultimate completion of the Angolan peace process.
As is known to all, China has always taken a very prudent approach towards sanctions. However, for the purpose of an early realization of peace in Angola, and as a special case, China does not take exception to the measures contained in the draft resolution before us and will vote in favour of it.
We hope that UNITA will size up the situation, change its course of action, which goes against the popular will on the question of peace, renounce separatist rule and complete the demilitarization of its forces at an early date, thereby avoiding the need for the implementation of the above-mentioned measures. We hope to see UNITA return to the track of unity and cooperation and, under the unified leadership of the Angolan Government of Unity and National Reconciliation, make its contribution to the early realization of national reconciliation and peace and to reconstruction and development in Angola.
The fact that the Security Council is once again dealing with the situation in Angola reflects once again the importance the international community attaches to the efforts for peace in that brotherly African country. The international community is concerned over the serious stalling of the peace process and is interested in seeing the suspicious relations between the parties become constructive relations based on mutual trust, coexistence and reconciliation. It is also interested in seeing the supreme interest of the nation prevail so that the hopes of the international community can be realized and the Angolans themselves can succeed in putting an end to the tragedy they have experienced for more than two decades.
The delegation of Egypt has carefully studied the report (S/1997/640) of the Secretary-General on the situation in Angola. We would like to express our appreciation for the efforts made by the Secretary-General, by his Special Representative, Maître Blondin Beye, and by the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola. They are all discharging their tasks efficiently under difficult circumstances made even more difficult by one party’s lack of full cooperation with the international Mission.
The Secretary-General’s report makes it clear that the peace process has taken a crucial turn and that the progress made during the past two and a half years is threatened by UNITA’s delay in implementing its obligations under the Lusaka Protocol: complete military demobilization, facilitation of the Angolan Government’s restoration of State administration throughout Angolan territory, the transformation of radio VORGAN into a non-partisan radio station and UNITA’s genuine transformation into a political party. As has rightly been stated by the Secretary-General, the international community is awaiting the faithful, unconditional implementation of these major obligations.
On the other hand, it is regrettable that paragraph 13 of the report states that last July more than 120 flights landed at airports under UNITA’s control and that new mines are being laid in major roads. These practices confirm UNITA’s desire to promote itself as a State within a State. This is unacceptable after the formation of the Government of Unity and National Reconciliation.
Emerging from the current stalemate in the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol hinges on strong political will and the clear choice by UNITA to abandon the option of war, to be transformed into a political party and to refrain from old practices that delay the implementation of the peace accords. We are convinced that this will not be possible unless the international community, particularly the Security Council and the troika countries, bring appropriate pressure to bear on UNITA and oblige it to respect its obligations.
Operative paragraph 4 of the draft resolution before us would oblige all States to deny the families of UNITA’s leaders entry into or transit through their territories, except those officials necessary for the full functioning of the Government of Unity and National Reconciliation, the National Assembly and the Joint Commission. Despite our full support for the general thrust of the draft resolution, I would like to express Egypt’s reservations on including the families of UNITA’s leaders in such measures, since this constitutes a breach of a legal norm: nulla poena sine crimine, or no punishment without a crime. It is inadmissible to punish families whose only crime is their relationship to those leaders. In addition, this measure may constitute a form of collective punishment, which Egypt strongly rejects in principle.
Despite this general reservation, UNITA’s persistence in defying the will of the international community, its refusal to abide by the Lusaka Protocol and the Government’s approval of the draft text prompted us reluctantly to accept the draft resolution before the Council, provided that it would not constitute a precedent in the annals of Security Council resolutions.
We hope that UNITA will take advantage of the time from now to 30 September to respond to the will of the international community, as represented in the resolutions of the Council, and to implement the commitments it undertook in the Lusaka Protocol. This would provide an opportunity for the Council to reconsider the measures set out in the draft before they go into effect.
The delegation of Egypt would like to reaffirm its full support for the recommendations of the Secretary-General with regard to the strength of United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (MONUA), in particular for postponing the withdrawal of the United Nations military units and retaining some 2,650 military personnel until the end of October, and for the link made between the withdrawal of those personnel and the completion of all the military aspects of the Lusaka Protocol. This is absolutely necessary if we are to ensure the safety and security of United Nations personnel and those of other international organizations. Egypt supports the request made to the Secretary-General reiterating the importance of a meeting taking place between President Dos Santos and Mr. Savimbi inside Angola as soon as possible so as to move on from the current stalemate.
Bearing in mind the reservations I have expressed with regard to certain references in the draft resolution, the Egyptian delegation will vote in favour of the draft resolution before the Council.
My delegation associates itself with preceding speakers in expressing its grave concern at the stagnation of the peace process in Angola. The Government of that country and the União Nacional para a Independência Total de Angola (UNITA) are mainly responsible for bringing this process to a successful conclusion. In addition, both parties are obliged to refrain from any measure that could jeopardize the success of the process. Otherwise, there will be no possibility of a just and lasting peace in Angola.
Unfortunately, at present one of the parties — UNITA — is not contributing as it should to the peace process. Its unjustifiable delays in fulfilling its obligations, undertaken two years ago under the Lusaka Protocol, are the main cause of the present difficulties. As the Secretary-General pointed out in his report of 13 August 1997, UNITA must demobilize and demilitarize its armed forces. To that end, and in accordance with the provisions of the Lusaka Protocol, it must provide the United Nations with complete and reliable information on all the military or armed personnel under its control.
In this context, we condemn any attempt by that group to rearm or reorganize its armed forces, or to mine certain parts of the territory under its control — a concern expressed in the report of the Secretary-General. UNITA must also turn radio VORGAN into a non-partisan station and must guarantee that it cease immediately any hostile propaganda against both the United Nations and international humanitarian organizations. The parties must make every effort to build a culture of peace in Angola and must not incite hatred or reopen the old wounds of war.
At this stage in the peace process, the Security Council has every right to demand that UNITA grant unconditional access to United Nations bodies and non-governmental organizations in the territory under its control so as to enable them to provide humanitarian assistance to refugees and displaced persons. In this context, it is essential that both parties ensure the safety and freedom of movement of all international personnel in Angola, in particular the personnel of the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (MONUA).
The fact that UNITA has not fulfilled all of its obligations in this respect now makes it necessary for the Security Council to consider the establishment of sanctions against UNITA and against its leaders. Once again, my delegation considers it necessary to state, as it has done on other occasions, the fact that any sanctions regime must be solely a temporary means of exercising pressure on those Governments or entities that threaten international peace and security. In this respect, sanctions are a means of legitimate, collective defence for international society in the framework of the legal system established under the Charter of the United Nations. For this reason, sanctions should not become a more or less covert method of conducting war or intervening in matters that are essentially under the domestic jurisdiction of States. Sanctions should be carefully designed so that they can achieve the objective of altering the illegal policies of the Government or entity in question. For this reason, sanctions must not become a method of punishment for an innocent population, and they must always be interpreted restrictively.
In this context, it is important to point out the positive aspects of the draft resolution that we are considering. First, the sanctions will enter into force only after a reasonable time, which will make it possible for UNITA to stop in its tracks and reverse its illegal policies before implementation. The sanctions are also designed to operate against the leadership of UNITA and its functioning as a political entity, so as to avoid suffering in the civilian population that would result from economic sanctions. The draft also makes due reference to the need for making exceptions on the basis of humanitarian considerations and establishes the principle that requests of that nature must be given favourable consideration. Likewise, the draft under consideration shows a high degree of adaptability and flexibility with regard to the best way of applying these enforcement measures.
During informal consultations, my delegation, like others, expressed serious reservations about the references made to the immediate families of UNITA officials, as such references would, in a way, imply the imposition of responsibility simply by virtue of being a family member. This goes against the juridical tradition that forms the basis of the democratic legal order. The resolution that we are about to adopt, once the appropriate adjustments have been made, appropriately takes into account this reservation of principle and establishes mechanisms to ensure that the rights of innocent people in Angola will not be violated.
In adopting this draft resolution, the Security Council will send a clear and decisive message to Dr. Savimbi and the leaders of UNITA. We hope that that message will be properly understood and that these sanctions will truly become a positive factor for international pressure in favour of peace in Angola.
The most recent report of the Secretary-General on the situation in Angola, which we considered last week, brings rather discouraging news regarding the prospects for peace in that country. Indeed, according to that report, during the last two and a half months there have been setbacks in different areas, which have jeopardized the efforts that have been made and which affect the viability of the peace process as a whole.
In addition to the deterioration in the military situation, which calls into question the implementation of the ceasefire, important provisions of the Lusaka Protocol have not yet been implemented, such as those relating to the information that must be provided with regard to the demobilization of the military forces and provisions relating to the process of the normalization of State administration. At the same time, restrictions are being placed on the freedom of movement of the personnel of the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (MONUA), and on more than one occasion MONUA’s verification tasks have been obstructed.
Indications of large-scale military preparations in different parts of the country only confirm the fears that the achievements resulting from the signing of the Lusaka Protocol in November 1994 are being seriously threatened. Given this situation, we believe that postponing the withdrawal of United Nations military units from Angola, as recommended by the Secretary-General, represents the most appropriate response to the situation that is prevailing in that country today.
Angola has reached a stage that is decisive to the consolidation of the peace process. We believe that it is incumbent upon the União Nacional para a Independência Total de Angola (UNITA) to demonstrate, through actions, its commitment to this process. This means that it must end the delays and unfulfilled promises and implement the relevant resolutions of the Council and the pending aspects of the Lusaka Protocol. That Protocol remains as the obligatory framework for the parties and the unavoidable course that must be followed if peace is to be achieved in Angola. That instrument contains rights and obligations freely undertaken by the parties, and there can be no justification, under any circumstances, for straying, explicitly or tacitly, from its provisions.
My delegation believes that the efforts being made to put the peace process in Angola back on track are worthwhile. In this context, we support the initiative of the Secretary-General to convene a meeting on Angolan national territory between President Dos Santos and Mr. Savimbi in order to eliminate the obstacles still in the way of the prompt implementation of the Lusaka Protocol. We believe that such a meeting could contribute to improving the climate of confidence between the parties, a step which is essential for re-establishing dialogue and warding off the threats to the peace process.
We appreciate the initiatives made by the Special Representative, Mr. Beye, in attempting to bring the parties closer together.
We also appreciate the steps taken by the three observer countries of the peace process in Angola, and in particular their recommendation of a course of action for us to take at this decisive moment in the peace process.
In the view of my delegation, the União Nacional para a Independência Total de Angola (UNITA) should see this new action by the Council not just as a punitive exercise but also as a new, urgent appeal by the international community to return to the course outlined by the peace agreements that it freely signed.
UNITA and its leaders will, in the last analysis, have sole responsibility in determining whether or not the additional measures drawn up by the Council are implemented.
Today it is up to both parties, but especially UNITA, to determine whether peace will be fully consolidated or whether there will be a return to military confrontation, bringing death, destruction and suffering for the Angolan people.
It is time for the leaders of the parties to ask themselves what the Angolan people want after so many years of conflict, and to act accordingly.
We believe that peace, which is so elusive in that part of the African continent, deserves another chance. For this reason, we support this draft resolution.
Portugal associates itself with the statement made by the representative of the presidency of the European Union.
The preambular part of the draft resolution before the Security Council deplores the failure of UNITA to comply with its obligations under the “Acordos de Paz”, the Lusaka Protocol and relevant Security Council resolutions, in particular, resolution 1118 (1997). The draft resolution also declares that the resulting situation in Angola constitutes a threat to international peace and security in the region.
In his first progress report on the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (MONUA), the Secretary-General notes that the progress achieved in Angola during the previous two and a half years is being severely undermined by persistent tensions throughout the country. And he concludes that it is obvious that the current state of affairs is mainly the result of delays by UNITA in implementing its obligations under the Lusaka Protocol.
The Secretary-General also indicates that the complete demilitarization of UNITA, the restoration of State administration throughout the country, the transformation of radio VORGAN into a non-partisan station, and the true transformation of UNITA into a political party are imperatives for the implementation of the peace process. Portugal, as an observer of the peace process, fully agrees with this position.
The international community has been following very closely all the vicissitudes of the peace process in Angola. Patience and persistence are probably the key words if one wants to understand the work of the Security Council regarding this situation. We have to bear in mind that between the signing of the “Acordos de Paz” on 31 May 1991 and the end of 1996, the Security Council adopted 21 resolutions directly related to the situation in Angola. In addition, the President of the Security Council issued 25 statements on the same subject. To complete the picture, I would like to underline the fact that in 1997 this body has already adopted four resolutions and issued three presidential statements on this same matter.
In a way, this statistical exercise also reveals the unrelenting persistence of obstacles to the full implementation of the peace process in Angola, due in particular to the recurrent lack of compliance by UNITA with the obligations it freely undertook in the “Acordos de Paz” and in the Lusaka Protocol. In 1992 UNITA refused to accept the results of the elections in Angola, even after the Security Council endorsed the statement by the Secretary-General’s Special Representative that the election had been generally free and fair and called upon UNITA to respect its results. The Angolan people was then denied the opportunity of seeing its internal conflict put to an end through democratic elections, without there having to be winners or losers on the battlefield. The most devastating war Angola has ever experienced ensued.
Two years later, UNITA was offered another opportunity to get back on the road to peace. The Lusaka Protocol, signed on 20 November 1994, brought to the peace process the concept of political power-sharing, which had not been foreseen by the agreement signed in 1991. The President of the Security Council stated afterwards that this Protocol and the 1991 peace accords should lay the foundation for lasting peace in Angola.
The current situation in Angola seems to be a paradox, although not an innocent one. On the one hand, UNITA participates in the Government of Unity and National Reconciliation, its deputies have participated in the activities of the National Assembly, and some of its generals and other senior officers, as well as about 1,000 troops, have been incorporated into the Angolan Armed Forces. But on the other hand, UNITA clearly has been trying to keep a shadow army, its propaganda machine has been working against the peace process, and, last but not least, UNITA has been able to prevent the extension of the State administration throughout the country. The National Assembly approved a special status for the President of UNITA as the Leader of the Largest Opposition Party, but Dr. Savimbi still refuses to meet President Eduardo Dos Santos in Luanda.
This is a crucial moment in the peace process in Angola. It requires positive and decisive steps from UNITA’s leadership, instead of the repetition of the usual tactics of last-minute, half-hearted concessions on the eve of Security Council deliberations. These tactics are unacceptable, unwanted and unjustifiable. The international community has been clearly asking UNITA to abide by its own commitments. Procrastination is no longer a viable replacement for genuine national reconciliation and a lasting peace in Angola.
UNITA has to understand that its current behaviour left the Security Council without other credible options besides the one of imposing additional sanctions. These have been designed to stimulate UNITA to move in the right direction. We want UNITA back in the peace process. We do not want to exclude UNITA from it. Portugal still hopes, as do other members of the Council, that on 30 September the sanctions will not have to enter into force. That would mean that UNITA’s leadership had fully understood the message we are sending today.
Portugal also supports the Secretary-General’s proposal to further postpone the withdrawal of the United Nations military units from Angola and to retain in the country up to 2,650 military personnel until the end of October 1997, taking into account the situation on the ground and the wish expressed by the Government of Angola to maintain in the country a sizeable United Nations presence until the demobilization process is over. Portugal will maintain its participation in MONUA, providing the mission’s medical unit as well as military and civilian police observers.
In conclusion, I would like to reiterate that the Security Council is giving UNITA another opportunity to abide by the obligations it freely accepted in 1991 and in 1994. Now, UNITA is in a position to benefit from the fruits of political power-sharing and national reconciliation. The seeds of war must be definitively relegated to the past. The Angolan people fully deserve this. We hope that this time UNITA’s leadership will be able to understand that there is no better alternative to peace, democracy and progress, and that it will act accordingly. The international community expects no less from UNITA.
When the Angolan parties came to their historic agreement in Lusaka in 1994, the United States was cautiously optimistic. Our optimism grew as the quartering camps began to fill with former UNITA combatants. Our optimism increased with the formation of the Government of Unity and National Reconciliation last April. Since then, however, the process has come to a halt.
We are gravely concerned that, because UNITA has failed to fulfil some key commitments, the peace process is not moving forward and the possibility of renewed fighting again threatens the people of Angola. We cannot sit idly by hoping that the parties will somehow put the peace process back on track. There is too much at stake for Angola and for peace in the southern African region.
The United States wishes that the Security Council did not have to adopt the draft resolution before us today. However, according to the Secretary-General’s latest report, UNITA has maintained its military force, brought the extension of State administration to a virtual standstill and kept up a stream of anti-Government propaganda through its radio VORGAN. In short, UNITA has refused to commit itself to peace and national reconciliation.
Nevertheless, we still hope that UNITA will return to the path of peace. We urge UNITA to make use of the period before 30 September to fulfil its obligations under the Lusaka Protocol. We hope that the Secretary-General will be able to report to the Council before that date that UNITA is in compliance with its obligations.
If UNITA does not act now, the sanctions will take effect. We believe that the sanctions are strong, practical and enforceable. The United States stands ready to examine further measures by the Council should UNITA fail to respond.
We remind the Government of Angola that it, too, must abide by its commitments under the Lusaka Protocol. It must continue to exercise restraint and refrain from any action that could lead to a resumption of the hostilities. We would view any military offensives against UNITA as a reason to propose that the Council discontinue sanctions against UNITA. The Government must also make every effort to bring the remainder of UNITA into the mainstream of Angolan society, allowing it to play its legitimate role as a democratic opposition party and giving full participation to those UNITA officials in the Unity Government.
The United States calls on President Dos Santos and Mr. Savimbi to meet as soon as possible within Angola. They must fulfil their obligations under the Lusaka Protocol, they must settle the dispute over diamond revenues and they must put Angola back on the path of national reconciliation.
The United States agrees with the Secretary-General’s recommendation that some United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (MONUA) military units remain in the country to assist in the event that additional UNITA forces are registered and can be demobilized. However, at their reduced strength, these military units can no longer ensure their own security should hostilities resume and would not be able to separate warring factions. If UNITA does not heed the call for complete demobilization, the withdrawal of the remaining MONUA military units should resume.
We congratulate the personnel of MONUA for the work they are doing under trying circumstances. There is no doubt that MONUA is playing a key role in promoting the peace process.
I would also like to add a note of thanks to the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for his unflagging efforts to promote a lasting peace in Angola.
The French delegation supports the draft resolution that is to be put to the vote.
On 30 June the Security Council adopted Security Council resolution 1118 (1997), which established the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola. In taking that decision, the members of the Council acknowledged the progress made in the course of the peace process in Angola. However, at the same time, they expressed their concern over the obstacles in the way of the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol. This is why resolution 1118 (1997) made specific demands, particularly to UNITA, and called upon UNITA to strictly respect the obligations undertaken.
Today, we must unfortunately note that since 30 June, and in spite of the terms of the statement of the President of the Security Council of 23 July 1997, UNITA has not yet fulfilled its commitments under the Lusaka Protocol, nor has it complied with the Security Council’s resolutions. It therefore bears the principal responsibility for the difficulties experienced in the peace process, the most serious ones encountered in this process in the past 30 months. The members of the Security Council cannot accept that the efforts made by the United Nations and the results achieved should be jeopardized by UNITA’s non-compliance with the Lusaka Protocol.
The provisions of the draft resolution that is to be put to the vote have been carefully defined. This applies to the modalities for the implementation of possible sanctions. It also applies to the mechanism for the lifting of those sanctions, should they be imposed; they would be lifted on the basis of specific criteria, respect for which the Secretary-General will have to assess.
I do not believe I need to refer again to the consistent position of France, which wants the sanctions to be time-bound, with a set duration, and wants the question of their extension to be decided by the Security Council.
What does the Security Council want? It wants to bring pressure to bear on UNITA’s leaders so they will understand that only participation in political life, in compliance with and within the framework of the commitments undertaken, provides them with prospects for the future. They must cooperate fully in the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol. It is our hope that UNITA will take advantage of the time allowed it to meet its obligations, especially the demilitarization of its forces, the transformation of its radio into a non-partisan station and its participation in the process of extending the State administration. Our objective, in fact, is not to impose coercive measures but rather to give every chance to peace and national reconciliation in Angola and to prevent any action that might lead to a resumption of fighting.
The Government of Angola may be assured of the determination of the French authorities to help it in its work of reconstructing a reconciled Angola.
The French delegation would also like to pay tribute to the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Maître Blondin Beye, and to his tireless and resolute action in the service of Angola and its people.
I shall now make a statement in my capacity as representative of the United Kingdom.
The Secretary-General describes the current phase of the Angolan peace process as the most difficult since the signing of the Lusaka Protocol. UNITA is clearly not doing what it agreed to do in 1994 — namely, to transform itself from a military organization into a legitimate opposition party.
UNITA has already come a long way, and we welcome its participation in the Government of Unity and National Reconciliation, the unified Angolan Armed Forces and the National Assembly. We have no illusions about the difficulty of those steps. Indeed, we pay tribute to those members of UNITA who have had the courage to work with their former opponents. But UNITA as such has been unwilling to take the final steps. Two months have elapsed since the Security Council demanded that UNITA provide credible information on its troops, enable the extension of State administration, and transform Radio VORGAN into a non-partisan radio station. Yet UNITA headquarters have delayed, or provided only incomplete or implausible information. Repeated reminders have fallen on deaf ears.
UNITA should now be in no doubt about the resolve of the Security Council. We will do everything we can to keep the peace process from slipping. We agree that, regrettably, the time has come for additional measures against UNITA. They are carefully drafted to send a message to the leaders of UNITA that they must fully meet their obligations under the Lusaka Protocol. Indeed, we hope that these measures will not have to come into effect; there is more than enough time for UNITA to respond. It is not only in their interests but those of all the Angolan people.
We are very concerned at recent military tensions in Angola. Both UNITA and the Government have contributed to these. We are not about to apportion blame, but we do think both parties should make every effort not to resort to military measures. A return to military confrontation only sets back the international community’s heavy investment in trying to make Angola a success story. It would be a tragedy if, after all the progress achieved since the signing of the Lusaka Protocol, the Angolan leaders were to allow this to happen.
In this respect, we believe that a meeting between President Dos Santos and Mr. Savimbi in Angola could help to lower the political temperature and make a positive contribution to the peace process. We urge both of them to meet so that they may resolve the remaining differences.
In closing, I pay tribute to the men and women of the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (MONUA), to the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and to the representatives of the three observer States in Luanda, who have done so much to bring the peace process to its present stage. Let us hope their efforts are not in vain.
I now resume my functions as President of the Security Council.
I now put to the vote the draft resolution contained in document S/1997/669, as orally revised in its provisional form.
favour=15 against=0 abstain=0 absent=0
Chile, China, Costa Rica, Egypt, France, Guinea-Bissau, Japan, Kenya, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Russia, Sweden, United Kingdom, United States
There were 15 votes in favour. The draft resolution, as orally revised in its provisional form, has been adopted unanimously as resolution 1127 (1997).
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.