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Security Council meeting 3827

Date29 October 1997
Started12:20
Ended13:35
S-PV-3827 1997-10-29 12:20 29 October 1997 [[29 October]] [[1997]] /

The situation in Angola Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (S/1997/807)

The meeting was called to order at 12.20 p.m.

Adoption of the agenda

The agenda was adopted.

The situation in Angola

Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (S/1997/807)
The President

I should like to inform the Council that I have received letters from the representatives of Angola and Brazil, in which they request to be invited to participate in the discussion of the item on the Council’s agenda. In accordance 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.

At the invitation of the President, Mr. Van Dunem “Mbinda” (Angola) took a seat at the Council table; Mr. Amorim (Brazil) took the seat reserved for him at the side of the Council Chamber.
The President

The Security Council will now begin its consideration of the item on its agenda. The Council is meeting in accordance with the understanding reached in its prior consultations.

Members of the Council have before them the report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola, document S/1997/807. Members also have before them document S/1997/823, which contains the text of a draft resolution prepared in the course of the Council’s prior consultations.

The first speaker is the representative of Angola, to whom I give the floor.

Mr. Van Dunem “Mbinda” (Angola)

Let me begin by congratulating you, Sir, on your assumption of the presidency of the Security Council for the current month. Let me also congratulate your predecessor, Ambassador Bill Richardson, for the way in which he conducted the proceedings of this Council during his mandate.

The past 30 days have been a time of high expectations among the members of the Security Council and the international community at large, waiting to see whether the decision and the deadline set by the Security Council in its resolutions 1127 (1997) and 1130 (1997) would be fully complied with, or if this Council would again and for the second time be forced to apply new sanctions against UNITA.

As the facts on the ground show and the Secretary-General’s report clearly demonstrates, UNITA provided no sign of cooperation or of good faith and political will. It has yet to fulfil three crucial obligations under the Lusaka Protocol, namely, the handover to the Government of all localities under its control, the demilitarization of its remaining troops and the cessation of its hostile anti-Government propaganda.

As of today, no substantial progress has been made in the demilitarization of its military wing. The figures advanced by that organization with regard to its current military strength are false, fabricated and therefore totally unacceptable. The truth is that UNITA still maintains about 35,000 heavily armed men, equipped with sophisticated artillery pieces and other war matériel.

I must underline that unless these forces are completely disbanded, no peace will be achieved in Angola, because they are the main source of tensions and insecurity.

As to the process of the normalization of State administration, despite the progress made, we find ourselves far from its conclusion. The process is experiencing delays caused by obstacles systematically raised by UNITA. It remains unthinkable for UNITA to hand over Bailundo and Andulo to Government control. With regard to UNITA’s radio station, though steps were taken towards transforming it into a nonpartisan station, very little progress was made. UNITA’s anti-Government propaganda continues, now based mainly in UNITA’s so-called representations in some foreign countries.

One can see easily that UNITA’s leadership has completely disregarded the urging of this Council and blatantly violated its resolutions 1127 (1997) and 1130 (1997). All the international appeals for it to implement its share of the Lusaka Protocol, which is the only basis for peace, stability and development in Angola, have fallen on deaf ears.

Instead, UNITA, as in the past, has systematically resorted to manoeuvres aimed at impressing the members of the Security Council and the international community, with a view to avoiding the entry into force of sanctions as set out in operative paragraph 4 of resolution 1127 (1997).

The international community, and this Council in particular, cannot and should not let itself be misled by an organization which so far has given no proof of abandoning its quest to take power by force. If this Council fails to use the means at its disposal to impede UNITA from carrying out its intentions, a new outburst of violence will be witnessed in Angola, with serious consequences for peace and stability throughout the entire central and southern African region.

The imposition of strong international restrictive measures against UNITA remains the only alternative sure to dissuade that organization’s leadership from war and urge it to take the path of peace and democracy.

I would like to draw the attention of the members of the Council to paragraph 7 of resolution 1127 (1997), which states:

“the provisions of paragraph 4 above shall come into force …unless the Security Council decides, on the basis of a report by the Secretary-General, that UNITA has taken concrete and irreversible steps to comply with all the obligations”.

Today, when a new deadline for UNITA to fulfil its obligations has come to an end, what we can conclude is that UNITA has not taken the necessary steps to comply with all the obligations set out in resolution 1127 (1997). Therefore, we cannot expect less than immediate application of the measures set forth in paragraph 4 of resolution 1127 (1997), for the good of the people of Angola and to ensure the Council’s moral authority.

The draft resolution to be adopted today goes in that direction and is an expression of the Council’s determination to bring peace to Angola. We look forward to the UNITA leadership’s understanding this strong message from the international community and speeding up the conclusion of the peace process.

The President

I thank the representative of Angola for his kind words addressed to me and last month’s President.

The next speaker is the representative of Brazil. I invite him to take a place at the Council table and to make his statement.

Mr. Amorim (Brazil)

First of all, let me congratulate you, Sir, on your assumption of the presidency of the Security Council for the month of October. Under your able and wise guidance the work of the Security Council has been conducted in a highly effective way. I would also take this opportunity to express my appreciation to your predecessor, Ambassador Bill Richardson.

With regard to recent developments in Angola, we would like to pay tribute to the key role played by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Maître Blondin Beye, and by the troika of observer States.

Regrettably, in the last couple of months, as stated by the Secretary-General in his report (S/1997/807), there has been no significant progress in the peace process in Angola. The implementation of the plan extending the State administration throughout the country has been subject to unjustifiable delays. In spite of steps taken towards the establishment of Radio Despertar, a new and legal FM station, Radio Vorgan continues to broadcast. The process of demilitarization, registration and disarmament of the so-called residual UNITA personnel has not shown a meaningful advance.

We urge UNITA to relinquish all personnel and equipment in its possession to the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (MONUA) as soon as possible, in fulfilment of its commitments under the Lusaka Protocol. All parties involved should exercise restraint for this process to be undertaken peacefully.

Brazil understands that sanctions must be regarded as an instrument of last resort. We have insisted that sanctions should not be seen as an end in themselves. They must be reserved for situations of extreme gravity, especially because they can produce negative effects on innocent populations and neighbouring countries.

In the case of Angola, however, we are convinced that the Security Council is on the correct path in adopting a draft resolution that triggers sanctions specifically targeted against the reluctant party, UNITA. The situation has reached a point at which the message that the international community will no longer tolerate failure to abide by agreed commitments must get through.

The coming month will bring the third anniversary of the Lusaka Protocol. Let us hope that the measures taken today will have the effect of demonstrating that the only viable options in Angola are peace and reconciliation.

The President

I thank the representative of Brazil for his kind words addressed to me and to the former President.

It is my understanding that the Council is ready to proceed to vote on the draft resolution before it. Unless I hear any objection, I shall put the draft resolution to the vote.

There being no objection, it is so decided.

I shall first call on those members of the Council who wish to make statements before the voting.

Mr. Lavrov (Russia)

The Russian Federation, which is a member of the troika of observer States of the Angolan peace process and a troop-contributor to the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (MONUA), is greatly interested in the successful completion of the peace process and a speedy restoration of lasting peace and national reconciliation in Angola.

The achievement of that objective is of great significance, both for Angola itself and for the strengthening of stability in the entire region. We are deeply concerned over the fact that in recent months the course of the peace process has been blocked. There is no doubt that the motives for that are exclusively political, namely, the efforts of the UNITA leadership to delay on any pretext implementation of the inter-Angolan agreements entered into and to depart from implementation of the commitments set out in the Lusaka Protocol.

The UNITA leadership has openly disregarded the requirements of resolutions 1127 (1997) and 1130 (1997) and has not properly used the two goodwill pauses offered it by the international community. As a result, today at midnight the sanctions against UNITA provided for in resolution 1127 (1997) will enter into effect. We should like to believe that this time the UNITA leadership will draw the correct conclusions and will immediately and fully comply with its commitments, thereby sparing the Security Council the task of further increasing the sanctions.

Given the present critical situation in the Angolan peace process, the second element of the draft resolution — the three-month extension of the mandate of MONUA and the postponement of the withdrawal of United Nations military formed units — is of great significance. The draft resolution offers wide-ranging possibilities for effective monitoring of the peace process and for adapting Security Council action in the light of further developments.

The coming months will be decisive for the peace process as a whole, and we are pleased that the draft resolution clearly demands that the Government of Angola and UNITA complete fully and without further delay the remaining aspects of the peace process, cooperate fully with MONUA and refrain from any action which might further complicate the peace process.

On the basis of the foregoing, the Russian delegation, together with other members of the Council, will vote in favour of the draft resolution.

Mr. Richmond (United Kingdom)

We postponed sanctions at the end of September because UNITA promised to finish its remaining tasks in the Angolan peace process. At the time, UNITA appeared to be making some welcome progress. Given the subsequent lack of progress, we can only conclude that those positive developments were concessions by UNITA simply to prevent the implementation of sanctions. During October, UNITA continued to fail conspicuously to meet its remaining obligations, despite being urged repeatedly to do so. In effect, UNITA broke its promises.

Once again, as we consider the prospect of sanctions, UNITA is making welcome steps in the right direction. But they are not enough. The Security Council should not allow itself to be swayed again by last-minute gestures.

We believe that, unfortunately, the time has come to apply the pressure on UNITA envisaged in resolution 1127 (1997). We do this not to punish UNITA, but to encourage it to keep its promises.

We hope that UNITA will realize that delay does not pay and that it will quickly implement its remaining obligations in good faith. The Council is ready to lift these measures as soon as UNITA has done so.

But first we need substantial action from UNITA, particularly on the extension of State administration, demilitarization and the transformation of Radio Vorgan. We do not accept that UNITA has no more troops to demobilize. UNITA must declare all of its remaining troops so that they can be properly demobilized.

The Government of Angola also has its responsibilities. It must notify the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (MONUA) of its force movements and refrain from aggressive troop movements or other military acts. We also share the Secretary-General’s concern at Angola’s intervention in Congo (Brazzaville). Angolan forces should be withdrawn immediately.

If the peace process is to move forward, it is essential that greater trust be developed between the two sides. In this context, we welcome the announcement that a meeting will take place between President dos Santos and Mr. Savimbi in Angola in November.

The Secretary-General is right to be concerned at the current critical stage of the peace process. We agree with him that the continuing presence of MONUA military units can help to maintain stability. We support his recommendations that the withdrawal of troops should be further postponed and that the mandate of MONUA should be extended to 31 January 1998.

We will therefore vote in favour of the draft resolution.

Mr. Awaad (Egypt)

The consideration of the situation in Angola by the Security Council today once again indicates that the peace process has entered a delicate stage that endangers the achievements of the past two years, due to UNITA’s dragging its feet in the implementation of its obligations under the Lusaka Protocol — in particular, to demilitarize and enable the Angolan Government to restore State administration throughout Angolan territory; to transform Radio Vorgan into a neutral broadcaster; and to genuinely transform UNITA itself in a meaningful way into a political party. These requirements have not been met; there has been meagre progress towards meeting them. The international community expects UNITA to genuinely and unconditionally implement these basic obligations. The adoption by the Council of resolutions 1127 (1997) and 1130 (1997) during the past two months reflects the great importance the international community attaches to UNITA’s respect for its obligations and to the commencement of a new era of peace in Angola.

The delegation of Egypt has carefully considered the Secretary-General’s report on the situation in Angola. We would like to express our appreciation for the efforts of the Secretary-General, his Special Representative, Maître Blondin Beye, and the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (MONUA), particularly since they are all accomplishing their tasks efficiently under very difficult conditions, which are being aggravated by the non-cooperation of one party or another in a comprehensive manner with the international mission. On the other hand, we also regret that reports continue to indicate that aircraft are still landing in airports under UNITA control and that UNITA has resumed mining the main roads. These practices reaffirm that UNITA is trying to project its image as a State within the State. This is totally unacceptable in the wake of the establishment of the Government of Unity and National Reconciliation, and it also raises concerns with regard to the possible involvement of outside parties in the Angolan crisis. Breaking the present stalemate in the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol is contingent upon UNITA’s demonstrating a strong political will to abandon the option of war and to cease all practices that slow down implementation of the peace agreement. We are also convinced that this cannot be achieved without the international community, particularly the Security Council and the troika States, applying appropriate pressures on the UNITA leadership to give effect to these objectives.

In Angola the United Nations has achieved tangible successes that cannot be minimized. Foremost of these is the stemming of the bloodshed among Angolans and marshalling the UNITA forces in camps. I would like to also mention the United Nations success in demining and repairing bridges and roads and other elements of the country’s infrastructure. These are very important achievements to which tribute should be paid and which should not be thrown to the wind or jeopardized today.

During the adoption of resolution 1130 (1997) the delegation of Egypt expressed the hope that UNITA would use the period which ended on 30 September to respond to the will of the international community represented in Security Council resolutions. We also expected UNITA to fulfil its obligations under the Lusaka Protocol in a manner that would give the Council the opportunity to reconsider the measures contained in that resolution before they were applied. Yet this, regrettably, has not happened. And in spite of our objection in principle to the application of sanctions, the current circumstances and the situation in Angola, particularly the support by the Angola Government itself for the imposition of these sanctions, today prompts us to support the implementation of these measures.

The delegation of Egypt would like to reaffirm its full support for the recommendations of the Secretary-General made in his report with regard to the size of the MONUA mission, in particular the postponement of the withdrawal of the military units and the linkage between their withdrawal and the full implementation of the military aspects of the Lusaka Protocol, since it is absolutely necessary to guarantee the security of the Mission, as well as of the United Nations personnel and other international personnel. We also reaffirm the importance of holding a meeting between President dos Santos and Mr. Savimbi in Angola, at the earliest possible moment, in order to get rid of the current stalemate.

The delegation of Egypt supports the draft resolution and will vote in favour of it.

Mr. Park (Republic of Korea)

The Republic of Korea is gravely concerned about the slow progress in the Angolan peace process. Of particular concern to us is the stalling of the demilitarization of UNITA, owing to its failure to provide additional information, and the disappointingly slow pace of the extension of state administration, including Mr. Savimbi’s position that Andulo and Bailundo will be turned over to the Angolan Government only after his return to Luanda. What is more regrettable is that UNITA’s cooperation has not been forthcoming after the postponement of sanctions late last month. Now that UNITA has not taken the steps necessary to comply fully with resolution 1127 (1997), we believe that it is incumbent upon the Council to show its resoluteness by allowing no further postponement of the sanctions envisaged in the resolution.

We once again draw the UNITA leadership’s attention to the fact that the measures set forth in resolution 1127 (1997) are meant not to punish UNITA, but to lead it to cooperation. We strongly 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 without any further delay. We stress once again, in this regard, the importance of a meeting on Angolan territory 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.

We would also like to express our concern about the tension created by the movement of Government troops, which is affecting negatively not only the Angolan peace process, but also peace and security in the whole region. We are especially concerned about the newly emerging pattern of cross-border interventions in the region, in clear violation of the principles of the Charter of the United Nations. We therefore strongly support the statement that the President of the Council will make at the end of this meeting, calling for the immediate withdrawal of foreign forces from the Republic of the Congo. We are also concerned about the acts of banditry in areas where the Angolan Government is in control and about the restriction of free circulation of people and goods, in particular the restrictions imposed on the movement of the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (MONUA) and international personnel engaged in humanitarian activities. We urge the Angolan Government to take steps to address these serious problems and to extend full cooperation to the peace process.

In these circumstances, we believe that the continued international presence in Angola is needed and support the Secretary-General’s proposal to extend the mandate of MONUA until the end of January 1998 and to postpone, accordingly, the drawdown of its military component. We will therefore vote in favour of the draft resolution before the Council.

We renew our appreciation and support of the Secretary-General, his Special Representative, Maître Beye, and the personnel of MONUA, as well as the troika of observer countries, for their dedicated efforts. We trust that they will continue to assist the parties in moving towards the successful conclusion of the peace process.

Mr. Salander (Sweden)

Despite all efforts, the Angolan peace process has made no significant progress in recent months. Both parties must show their commitment to implementing the Lusaka Protocol fully and without reservation. However, the main responsibility for delaying the peace process lies with UNITA.

In resolution 1127 (1997) of 28 August 1997, the Council sent a clear message to UNITA that the international community would no longer tolerate its obstructions. The Council decided to impose additional measures unless the UNITA leadership took concrete and irreversible steps to comply with its obligations under the Lusaka Protocol. Last month, the Council afforded the UNITA leadership additional time to comply with the Lusaka Protocol. In spite of this, UNITA has still not fulfilled its obligations. The Security Council must therefore act accordingly.

Decisions under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter are necessary in serious circumstances. Unfortunately, this is once again the case in Angola. The measures which will come into effect today are specifically aimed at the UNITA leadership. They will not negatively affect the Angolan people. Exemptions are made for humanitarian purposes. Furthermore, the conditions for lifting the sanctions are made clear. The Sanctions Committee for Angola needs to ensure that the sanctions regime is implemented correctly, with the cooperation of all States Members of the United Nations.

The draft resolution leaves no doubt about the firm determination of the Security Council to help to bring lasting peace to Angola. The sanctions are not an end in themselves, but a means to convince the UNITA leadership that there is no alternative but to comply with the Lusaka Protocol.

The United Nations continues to play a vital role in the peace process in Angola. Sweden fully supports today’s decision to extend the mandate of the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (MONUA) for a further three months. Given the tense security situation in Angola, it remains important that the drawdown of the military component of the mission be carried out taking into account developments on the ground. The Mission must be able to fulfil its mandate without harassment or obstruction.

Vital military elements of the peace process still remain to be fulfilled. We hope that the next few months will also, however, show progress in the implementation of MONUA’s crucial civilian mandate, not least in the human rights and political field. In the area of human rights, we look in particular to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to assist MONUA in strengthening the mission’s human rights component and in the fulfilment of its human rights mandate. We agree with the Secretary-General about the essential role of United Nations civilian police in the peace process, especially during the extension of state administration.

Sweden will vote in favour of the draft resolution before us. Sweden would also like to take this opportunity to urge both parties to ensure that all Angolan forces are immediately withdrawn from the Republic of the Congo. This is a necessary step in order to create relations of mutual trust and confidence in the region, as well as in Angola itself. We urge the Government to notify MONUA of any troop movements, in accordance with the Lusaka Protocol.

Sweden would like to express its appreciation for the continuous efforts carried out by the Secretary-General, his Special Representative, Maître Blondin Beye, the three observer States — Portugal, the Russian Federation and the United States — as well as to the personnel of MONUA. These efforts remain essential for the advancement of the peace process and the achievement of national reconciliation.

Mr. Owada (Japan)

In its resolution 1127 (1997) of 28 August, the Security Council made it clear that the serious difficulties in the peace process are mainly the result of delays by UNITA in the implementation of its obligations under the Lusaka Protocol. Despite repeated calls by the Security Council, UNITA had been failing to fulfil its obligations under the Lusaka Protocol. Therefore, the Council decided in that resolution that all States should take the necessary measures specified therein, unless UNITA took concrete and irreversible steps to comply with all its obligations within a one-month period.

The measures which UNITA did take or promised to take towards the end of September, belated and insufficient though they were, nevertheless provided reason to hope that it would at last live up to its obligations in the peace process. In the light of these developments, the Council thus decided by resolution 1130 (1997) that the coming into force of the measures specified in resolution 1127 (1997) should be postponed for another month.

Now it appears, however, that that hope has not been realized. UNITA has not responded to the call of the international community, offering only at the eleventh hour to take limited measures. This time, the Council has no choice but to apply the sanctions.

Japan attaches great importance to ensuring that these sanctions be effective. The cooperation of neighbouring States is essential in this regard. UNITA should be reminded that the Security Council is ready to review the measures it is now imposing or to consider additional measures, depending on the steps UNITA takes in the coming days to meet its obligations.

While UNITA has been the main focus of criticism for reneging on its commitments, it should also be noted that the Government of Angola is likewise called upon to meet its obligations in order to advance the peace process and to cooperate with MONUA. In addition, Japan joins others in urging both Angolan parties to agree on the date and venue of the long-awaited meeting in Angola between President dos Santos and Mr. Savimbi. This would contribute greatly to the achievement of lasting stability.

Also on this occasion, Japan wishes to express its grave concern regarding the presence of Angolan armed elements in the Republic of the Congo, as reported by the Secretariat. Japan joins in the call to be made by the President of the Security Council on all foreign forces to withdraw immediately from the Republic of the Congo.

My delegation is in agreement with the Secretary-General’s assessment that the presence of MONUA continues to be essential at this critical stage in the peace process and that the security situation in Angola calls for the continued deployment of United Nations troops there. Japan therefore supports his recommendation to extend the mandate of MONUA for three months, until 31 January 1998, and to postpone the withdrawal of United Nations military armed units until the end of November.

For all these reasons, Japan will vote in favour of the draft resolution before us.

The international community will continue to monitor closely the actions of the Government of Angola and UNITA and to assist them in their efforts to fulfil their commitments to the peace process. Japan, for its part, will explore ways to offer possible support and assistance in these efforts, carefully weighing the developments in the country.

In closing, Sir, I should like once again, on behalf of my Government, to pay tribute 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.

Mr. Monteiro (Portugal)

Portugal fully supports the extension of the mandate of the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (MONUA), until 30 January 1998. It endorses the recommendation of the Secretary-General to postpone the withdrawal of the United Nations military component until the end of November, taking into account the situation on the ground.

The peace process in Angola has reached a mature phase, but it is clearly not yet irreversible. Indeed, we are in a process, but we have not yet achieved the peace. The draft resolution before us has been designed to work towards that goal, and we urge its full implementation.

We deeply regret that significant progress has not been made in the remaining key tasks of the peace process. The very slow pace of the demilitarization of UNITA and the slow-down of the extension of State administration into the areas controlled by UNITA following the adoption of resolution 1130 (1997), as reported by the Secretary-General, are of particular concern to Portugal.

The Security Council gave UNITA two grace periods — 60 days — in which it had the time and the opportunity to move positively and decisively towards fulfilling its obligations and the terms of the “Acordos de Paz”, the Lusaka Protocol and the relevant resolutions of the Council.

In adopting resolution 1127 (1997), the Council sent a clear and unambiguous message to UNITA: take concrete and irreversible steps towards a successful conclusion of the peace process. Unfortunately, UNITA, despite some positive actions and promises, has not taken those concrete and irreversible steps, and the international community, through the Security Council, has to act accordingly.

We hope that UNITA will understand the message that is being sent by the Council. The measures that will go into force tomorrow are not an end in themselves. They are aimed at achieving the objectives shared by all those who wish to see peace take root in Angola; and, let me stress once more, these objectives were freely accepted by the signatories of the “Acordos de Paz” and the Lusaka Protocol.

The Council is clearly ready to review these measures in the light of meaningful and irreversible progress on the ground, but it is equally ready to consider additional measures, if needed.

We urge the Government of Angola and UNITA to reaffirm in practical and positive steps their commitment to national reconciliation and peace. The future of the Angolan people is at stake.

Mr. Sáenz Biolley (Costa Rica)

On behalf of my delegation, I would like to state that since the establishment of the Government of Unity and National Reconciliation of Angola on 11 April 1997, the peace process in that country is irreversible, and both the Government of Angola and UNITA should fulfil the implementation of the remaining commitments under the “Acordos de Paz” and the Lusaka Protocol.

We have no doubt that the non-compliance with the commitments between the parties, as well as with the obligations imposed by the resolutions of the Security Council, cannot be tolerated, as the people of Angola deserve to live in peace and to enjoy prosperity.

Part A of resolution 1127 (1997) demanded that the Government of Angola, and particularly UNITA, comply fully and without further delay with the remaining aspects of the peace process. In particular, it called on UNITA to demilitarize all its forces, transform radio Vorgan into a non-partisan broadcasting facility and cooperate fully with the process of normalizing of State administration throughout the territory of Angola.

Part B, paragraph 4 of the same resolution imposed a set of measures on UNITA in order to encourage that group to cooperate even more with the peace process; those measures were to go into effect on 30 September 1997. However, given the cooperation shown by UNITA, the Council issued resolution 1130 (1997) on 29 September, by which it postponed the entry into force of those measures.

Regrettably, according to the report of the Secretary-General to the Security Council UNITA has not fully complied with its obligations under resolution 1127 (1997). The measures set out in that resolution should therefore enter fully into force so as to speed up the peace process in Angola.

My delegation would like to express the hope that these measures should help persuade UNITA once and for all to fulfil each and every one of its obligations towards the people of Angola and the international community.

My delegation wishes to underscore the nature of the measures imposed on UNITA, as they are another example of the trend prevailing in the Council to impose sanctions aimed at leaders or elite groups of the parties to a conflict so as not to affect the humanitarian situation of the civilian population of a given country.

The conditions for the full demobilization and demilitarization of UNITA exist in Angola, as the representatives of that group hold posts in the Government structure, the army and the National Police. UNITA has no reason whatever to maintain an armed force or territory under its control. In this connection, UNITA should hand over the areas of Andulo and Bailundo in order to complete the extension of State administration to all Angolan territory.

Furthermore, Costa Rica confidently hopes that President Dos Santos and Mr. Savimbi will be able to meet soon on Angolan territory to negotiate the outstanding points with a view to comprehensive peace in their country.

My delegation believes that we cannot fail to mention, as other delegations have done, the reports on the presence of Angolan armed elements in the Republic of the Congo. These kinds of actions endanger the peace process — which has cost the people of Angola so dearly — as well as the stability of the region itself. They are also a violation of the basic principles of the Charter of the United Nations. We therefore join those who have condemned all foreign interference in the Republic of the Congo, and we urge foreign forces, including mercenaries, to withdraw immediately from that country.

I wish finally to express my country’s appreciation to the civilian, military and police personnel of the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola for their outstanding efforts, to the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Angola, Mr. Alioune Blondin Beye, and to the personnel of United Nations programmes and agencies in Angola. It goes without saying that we reiterate our appreciation also to the countries of the troika: Portugal, the Russian Federation and the United States of America.

Costa Rica supports the draft resolution before the Council today.

Mr. Thiebaud (France)

The French delegation supports draft resolution S/1997/823, on which the Council will soon vote. The present status of the Angolan peace process justifies the Security Council following the recommendations of the Secretary-General on extending the mandate of the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (MONUA) and on postponing the withdrawal of United Nations military formed units.

Moreover, the behaviour of UNITA justifies the application with respect to that movement of the measures set out in resolution 1127 (1997) without further delay. UNITA has yet to fulfil its commitments under the Lusaka Protocol or to meet its obligations under Security Council resolutions. It therefore bears the main responsibility for the problems facing the peace process. The Security Council has demonstrated patience by waiting two months to implement the measures set out in resolution 1127 (1997). The implementation of those measures must make UNITA understand that its only chance for the future lies in participation in the country’s political life, with respect for all the commitments it has undertaken.

The Government of Angola, which can rely on the support of France in the task of national reconstruction, must heed the appeals of the members of the Security Council, with particular reference to cooperation with the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola.

Mr. Rana (Kenya)

The Angolan peace process is at a critical and very sensitive stage where utmost cooperation is required in order for the parties to meet their obligations and to make irreversible progress. The international community has provided resources and manpower to facilitate the peace process in Angola. It is therefore disheartening that the parties, and in particular UNITA, have not taken full advantage of the resources made available to them in order successfully to complete the peace process.

Kenya will vote in favour of draft resolution S/1997/823. However, my delegation had hoped that by this time we would be talking of programmes and projects for the economic rehabilitation of Angola. Instead, we are discussing the extension of the mandate of the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (MONUA) and the imposition of sanctions. This situation is very disappointing considering that it could have been avoided altogether if the parties in Angola, and UNITA in particular, had fully and unconditionally complied with the provisions of the Lusaka Protocol.

We are equally disheartened by the fact that the two protagonists, President Dos Santos and Mr. Savimbi, have not met despite the numerous calls by the international community for them to do so. Kenya believes that a meeting between these two leaders, even if symbolic, would have contributed to confidence-building, thereby moving the peace process forward. In this regard, we are encouraged by the information that the two leaders are planning to meet early next month. We hope that the meeting will lead to a quick resolution of the remaining issues in the peace process. In the meantime, we call upon UNITA to comply fully with its obligations under the Lusaka Protocol and resolution 1127 (1997) without any further delay.

My delegation would like to commend the troika countries and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Mr. Alioune Blondin Beye, for the positive role they have played in the Angolan peace process. We cannot but encourage them to continue their efforts.

Mr. Wlosowicz (Poland)

It is with a great deal of regret that we have had to meet today to consider yet another draft resolution concerning Angola. We regret it because we believe that this question should have already been solved.

It must be admitted that the international community committed itself to helping Angola out of its difficult situation. Here the Security Council has played a most prominent role. The question now is how much more we can do, and the answer is not much, if the parties in whose hands the fate of Angola rests are not ready to commit themselves at least as much as the international community. Many times in this Chamber we have appealed to UNITA to fully and promptly implement the provisions of the Lusaka Protocol. Many times we believed the Lusaka Protocol would be implemented. But as we see now, we were wrong. This situation cannot last forever. So we call on UNITA yet again to rethink its attitude and to start concrete cooperation. This is the only possible route to restoring Angola’s well-being.

Needless to say, we are not happy that the measures specified in paragraph 4 of resolution 1127 (1997) will come into force tonight. Yet we have supported them because we believe that at this stage this is the only way to force those to whom the measures are addressed to take the efforts of the international community seriously.

Believing that the parties to the conflict will soon resume effective cooperation, we support the extension of the mandate of the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (MONUA) until 30 January 1998. We are also of the view that in the present circumstances it is wise to postpone the withdrawal of the United Nations military formed units from Angola.

Mr. Da Rosa (Guinea-Bissau)

For several years the entire international community and, especially, the Security Council have been working to restore peace and national reconciliation in Angola. Many efforts have been made in that direction, calling upon the parties, and in particular UNITA, to comply fully with the provisions of the Lusaka Protocol as anticipated. Unfortunately, the results we had hoped for have not materialized.

Given the gravity of the situation, characterized by the Secretary-General as precarious, the Security Council adopted resolution 1127 (1997) on 28 August 1997 and resolution 1130 (1997) on 29 September 1997, again urging the parties concerned, and in particular UNITA, to comply fully with their commitments under the “Acordos de Paz” and the Lusaka Protocol.

Today, the Security Council is obliged once again to address the situation in Angola on the basis of the latest report of the Secretary-General, which unfortunately indicates that UNITA has not respected past commitments. Many pending issues remain, including the extension of State administration throughout the country, including Andulo and Bailundo, the demilitarization of UNITA forces and the transformation of radio Vorgan into a non-partisan broadcasting facility.

With respect to the Secretary-General’s report, for which we are grateful, we support his recommendations to extend the mandate of the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (MONUA) to 31 January 1998.

In conclusion, we would again like to state our interest in a meeting in Angola between President dos Santos and Mr. Savimbi, with a view to creating a climate of confidence, which we think is indispensable for the consolidation of peace in Angola and which would moreover foster the true reconciliation of all Angolans.

Bearing in mind the reasons that we have just given, my delegation will vote in favour of the draft resolution. We should like once again to thank the Secretary-General and his Special Representative, Mr. Blondin Beye, as well the MONUA personnel, without overlooking the members of the troika, for their tireless efforts to re-establish lasting peace in Angola.

Mr. Liu Jieyi (China)

Two months after the adoption of resolution 1127 (1997), no substantive progress has been achieved in the Angolan peace process. The peace that has been long awaited by the Angolan people continues to elude them. China is deeply concerned about this.

A complete end to many years of strife in Angola, the realization of Angolan national reconciliation and peace, and, in turn, the creation of conditions for the resumption of economic and social development in Angola, constitute the demand of the entire Angolan people. It is the common aspiration of numerous African countries, and it is also an important goal that the international community, including this Council, has been working for over a number of years.

In recent years, the hot spot issues in southern Africa have been resolved, one by one. The aspirations for peace, stability and development have already become a historical tide flowing over the entire African continent. China sincerely hopes that Angola will also swiftly complete its peace process and begin its reconstruction and development.

The key to the realization of peace in Angola lies in the parties concerned, particularly UNITA, their carrying out without delay the provisions of the Lusaka Protocol and other agreements between the two sides in Angola. Particularly with regard to disarmament and the normalization of State administration, UNITA should show its sincerity and adopt a cooperative and serious attitude.

As long as these tasks are not completed, there cannot possibly be genuine progress in the Angolan peace process. This would be in contravention of the will of the nation and people of Angola, and it is also something that the international community, including this Council, cannot agree to.

The draft resolution will give effect to measures for further sanctions against Angola as provided for in resolution 1127 (1997). It is well known that China has throughout taken a very cautious attitude towards sanctions in order that Angola can achieve peace at an early date.

As a special case, China voted in favour of resolution 1127 (1997). It will also vote in favour of the draft resolution. We wish to reiterate that sanctions are not an end in themselves, but are a means which had to be resorted to for the advancement of the peace process in Angola. We hope that the adoption of this draft resolution will help to make UNITA take a cooperative attitude towards the peace process, swiftly carry out all the obligations contained in the Lusaka Protocol and, under the overall leadership of the Government of Unity and National Reconciliation, make its own contribution to Angolan peace, stability and development.

Mr. Burleigh (United States)

Today the United States will express its commitment to the peace process in Angola by voting to approve an extension of the mandate of the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (MONUA). The leadership of the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and the commitment of MONUA personnel and troop-contributing countries have been essential at each difficult step in the peace process. As MONUA completes its important tasks, the United States will support the withdrawal of its formed military units.

The United States was deeply disturbed by the ambush of MONUA personnel and several other people on 23 October. We express our condolences to the families of those who lost their lives serving the goal of peace, and demand that those responsible for the attack be brought to justice. The Angolan parties must ensure that such incidents do not recur.

A month ago the Council cautiously welcomed signs that UNITA was fulfilling its obligations in the peace process. To encourage the apparent momentum, the Council postponed the imposition of sanctions for 30 days. We all hoped that UNITA would use the time to take the steps necessary to complete the peace process.

Throughout October the United States actively pressed Mr. Savimbi to meet UNITA’s obligations under the Lusaka Protocol. Last Saturday Ambassador Richardson went to Bailundo to advise Mr. Savimbi that sanctions would go into effect if UNITA did not comply with resolution 1127 (1997). But UNITA did not comply. UNITA has even taken some backward steps, such as impeding the work of the administrators in areas recently transferred to Government control.

As Secretary of State Albright said during the ministerial session of the Security Council on 25 September, the United States believes this Council should penalize any party that fails to meet its obligations under the Lusaka Protocol. We therefore support the automatic entry into force of the sanctions specified in resolution 1127 (1997). We will vigorously enforce these new measures as well as those measures imposed by resolution 864 (1993). We call on all Member States to do the same.

We hope that UNITA will see the imposition of these measures as a sign of the international community’s determination that UNITA move rapidly to complete the remaining tasks in the peace process. If it does so, the United States stands ready to reconsider the need for sanctions. The burden is on UNITA.

However, there is a message in this draft resolution for the Government of Angola as well. This draft resolution calls on the Government to demonstrate restraint as it implements the final steps in the peace process. We believe that the peace process could be served by a meeting between President dos Santos and Mr. Savimbi within the territory of Angola.

The United States and other members of the Council are gravely concerned by the Government of Angola’s military intervention in the Republic of the Congo, which resulted in the overthrow of a democratically-elected President. This intervention is a violation of the Charters of the United Nations and the Organization of African Unity.

We understand Angola’s legitimate security concerns in Cabinda and its frustration over assistance provided by the Republic of the Congo to UNITA in contravention of existing United Nations sanctions. But military intervention is not an acceptable response. We condemn this intervention and demand that the Government of Angola immediately withdraw its forces. The Foreign Minister of Angola has made a public commitment to do so by 15 November. We expect this commitment to be honoured. We also demand that mercenaries and other armed groups, including UNITA, also withdraw immediately.

The United States urges both the Government of Angola and UNITA to refocus their efforts on peaceful, rather than military, solutions to internal and regional problems. The international community has supported the peace process patiently and generously over the past several years, but the Government, and especially UNITA, must now recommit themselves to this effort.

The President

I shall now make a statement in my capacity as representative of Chile.

We agree with the Secretary-General that it would be advisable to postpone for a short time the withdrawal from Angola of United Nations military units, and with his recommendation to extend the mandate of the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (MONUA) for a further three months, until 30 January 1998. We shall vote in favour of the draft resolution.

We recall that in accordance with resolution 1130 (1997), tomorrow is the date for the entry into force of measures applicable to UNITA, agreed to by the Council in resolution 1127 (1997). We regret that this action is necessary and that UNITA has not taken the necessary steps to comply with the obligations set out in that resolution.

Nevertheless, we wish to note a matter of importance with regard to the Security Council’s own work. With this group of resolutions — 1127 (1997), 1130 (1997) and the one that we are about to adopt — and as in the earlier cases of Burundi and Sierra Leone, we are affirming in the Council a new and positive trend with regard to the application of sanctions.

Sanctions are being aimed at the leaders responsible for situations of conflict or crisis, thereby avoiding their negative impact on innocent civilian populations. Sanctions aimed at those who bear responsibility should become the mechanism to which the Security Council has recourse whenever the need arises for such measures to be adopted.

At the same time, those in positions of responsibility at whom such sanctions are directed — in this case the leadership of UNITA — know that the Security Council will be prepared to review the measures adopted as soon as they act in conformity with the agreements they have made and with what the international community asks of them. Necessary measures have also been taken with respect to humanitarian issues.

In conclusion, the delegation of Chile appeals to the Government of Angola, but most particularly to UNITA, to complete without further delay the outstanding aspects of the peace process and to refrain from any act that might lead to renewed hostilities.

I now resume my functions as President of the Council.

I now put to the vote the draft resolution contained in document S/1997/823.

favour against
abstain absent

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

The President

There were 15 votes in favour. The draft resolution has been adopted unanimously as resolution 1135 (1997).

The Security Council expresses its grave concern regarding the presence of Angolan armed elements in the Republic of the Congo, as reported by the Secretariat.

The Security Council reaffirms the statement of its President of 16 October 1997 (S/PRST/1997/47). It condemns all external interference in the Republic of the Congo, calls on all foreign forces, including mercenaries, to withdraw immediately from that country, and stresses the importance of a political settlement, national reconciliation and transitional arrangements leading to the holding of democratic and free and fair elections with the participation of all parties as soon as possible.

There are no further speakers inscribed 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.

The meeting rose at 1.35 p.m.
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