The situation in Angola Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (S/1998/333)
|(The Presidency changes each month to the next member in alphabetical order)|
|Mr. Shen Guofang
|Mr. Sáenz Biolley
|Mr. Dangue Réwaka
|Sir John Weston
Adoption of the agenda
The situation in Angola
Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (S/1998/333)
I should like to inform the Council that I have received a letter from the representative of Angola, in which he requests to be invited to participate in the discussion of the item on the Council’s agenda. In conformity with the usual practice, I propose, with the consent of the Council, to invite that representative to participate in the discussion, without the right to vote, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Charter and rule 37 of the Council’s provisional rules of procedure.
There being no objection, it is so decided.
On behalf of the Council, I welcome the Vice-Minister of Territorial Administration of Angola, General Higino Carneiro.
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 (MONUA), document S/1998/333. Members of the Council also have before them document S/1998/349, which contains the text of a draft resolution prepared in the course of the Council’s prior consultations.
The first speaker on my list is the Vice-Minister of Territorial Administration of Angola, General Higino Carneiro, to whom I give the floor.
On behalf of the Government of Angola, I congratulate the Security Council on the quality of the draft resolution it is considering at this meeting. We cannot fail to express our satisfaction. The draft resolution largely reflects the interests of both the Government of Angola and the international community, which we are convinced seeks to adopt measures that will lead to a definitive resolution of the situation in Angola in order to put an end once and for all to the conflict there.
My Government wishes to emphasize that, in recent weeks, good progress has been made in the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol. In spite of this, we also want to stress that there is more to be done, particularly concerning the extension of State administration into all areas of Angola, the cessation of violent acts by UNITA against the personnel of the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (MONUA) and Angolan civilians, and the more active participation of UNITA in promoting peace and national reconciliation in Angola.
The Government of Angola is pleased to note that the draft resolution before the Council calls on all members of the international community, particularly Angola’s neighbours, to implement fully the measures specified in paragraph 4 of resolution 1127 (1997). I mention this because it remains critical to keep the pressure on UNITA to meet fully and quickly its obligations under the Lusaka Protocol.
My delegation wants to stress the importance that my Government attaches to the successful implementation of the Lusaka Protocol in the very near future. To that end, the Government of the Republic of Angola reassures the international community of its full support for maintaining peace, promoting national reconciliation and rebuilding the country. Furthermore, I want to stress that my Government expects to be consulted by the Secretary-General’s Special Representative, Maître Alioune Blondin Beye, in order to ensure the full implementation of paragraphs 8 to 12 of the draft resolution, which concern specifically the structure and tasks to be assigned to MONUA after 30 June 1998.
We want to take this opportunity to reiterate our commitment to the peace process and, more importantly, to move into the post-Lusaka Protocol era. At the same time, Angola hopes that the United Nations and the international community will continue to support peace and reconciliation and to help us rebuild those institutions that are vital to ensuring a stable and prosperous future for the country.
We would like to thank everyone for their support during the discussions on this draft resolution. We also want to thank the Secretary-General, Special Representative Maître Beye, the troika of observers to the peace process and the MONUA personnel for their continuing and valuable assistance.
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union. The Central and Eastern European countries associated with the European Union — Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Slovakia — and the associated country Cyprus, as well as the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) country members of the European Economic Area — Iceland and Norway — align themselves with this statement.
The European Union is encouraged by the recent progress which has been achieved in the implementation of peace process commitments in Angola since this Council last considered the situation there. We welcome the announcement of a special status for Mr. Savimbi, the appointment of UNITA governors and vice-governors and the nomination of ambassadors. We welcome also the termination of broadcasts by Radio Vorgan and commend those UNITA officials who have returned to Luanda. We hope, too, for Mr. Savimbi’s own early return to Luanda so that he can exercise fully his duties as leader of the largest opposition party.
We are concerned, however, at the continuing slow progress in extending State administration. The onus remains on UNITA to cooperate fully and to avoid further delays. In particular, UNITA must remove the obstacles to the extension of State administration in Bailundo and Andulo, as well as to other key localities.
We are concerned also at reports that UNITA has not declared and demobilized all of its forces. National reconciliation cannot be possible unless UNITA forsakes the military option. Only then will UNITA achieve complete transition to a political party, participating, as it should, fully and constructively in a transparent democratic process and in the future development of Angola.
The Secretary-General’s report points to a growing gap between progress on Lusaka Protocol commitments and setbacks in the security situation. In this context, UNITA’s persistent attempts to frustrate the work of the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (MONUA) through intimidation and harassment must cease. At the same time, the Government must continue to exercise patience and to resist the temptation to respond to provocation with heavy-handed reprisals or military adventures. Clearly, peace in Angola depends not only on the willingness of both parties to meet their commitments, but also on the absence of armed conflict there. We condemn the armed attacks against MONUA and humanitarian or other international personnel, against the Angolan authorities and, not least, against civilians. We look to UNITA to cooperate with MONUA in identifying those responsible.
The European Union is actively engaged in helping the Angolan authorities remove the scourge of mines from their country. We therefore deplore the recent reports of renewed mine-laying and call for this activity immediately to stop.
The European Union would like to encourage the long-delayed meeting between President Dos Santos and Mr. Savimbi to take place in Angola as soon as possible. There is probably no more visible a sign of national reconciliation than a firm and unequivocal commitment at the highest political level.
The European Union supports the Secretary-General’s recommendation to extend MONUA’s mandate for a further two months and his proposals to draw down the military component. We agree also with the intention of the Security Council to review the mandate, size and organizational structure of MONUA, or a follow-on United Nations presence, by 30 June 1998. We endorse the Secretary-General’s recommendation to strengthen the civilian police component of the mission. Their work is increasingly important to promoting respect for human rights and to building a climate of trust in Angola.
For the future, the people and the Government of Angola must continue to bear the primary responsibility for their own well-being. We agree with the Secretary-General that the international community, including the United Nations system, has a key role to play in helping them do so after MONUA’s peacekeepers have left. As the leading contributor to Angola’s rehabilitation, the European Union will continue to play a full part in assisting Angolans to consolidate national reconciliation and to revitalize their society and economy.
I hope it is clear from these remarks that the European Union’s commitment to helping the people of Angola is undimmed. While there are grounds for cautious optimism, the peace process is not yet complete. Given the recent setbacks in the security situation we should remain very much alive to the real risks of a reversal during these final critical months.
It is my understanding that the Council is ready to proceed to the vote on the draft resolution before it. Unless I hear any objection, I shall put the draft resolution to the vote now.
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.
We have been witnessing various positive steps in the peace process in Angola in recent months. The Government of Unity and National Reconciliation legalized UNITA as a political party, nominated provincial governors from UNITA and began the process of appointing Ambassadors from UNITA. The special status of Mr. Savimbi as the leader of the largest opposition party was promulgated by President José Eduardo Dos Santos. The demilitarization of the civilian population was intensified by the Government. Radio Vorgan ceased its transmissions.
The mission to Angola and the region of the Chairman of the Sanctions Committee established pursuant to Security Council resolution 864 (1993), Ambassador Mahugu of Kenya — which was supported by resolution 1157 (1998) — had positive effects. My delegation wishes to express particular appreciation and praise to Ambassador Mahugu for his successful mission. The efforts of the Special Representative, Maître Blondin Beye, and of the troika of observer States are again to be commended.
In spite of the accomplishments, important issues are yet to be resolved. The extension of State administration has not yet reached about 65 localities, including Andulo and Bailundo. Mr. Savimbi, as well as other UNITA leaders, has not moved to Luanda. Some sources continue to indicate that UNITA still has a consistent military capacity.
In the terms of the draft resolution before us, which we support, the mandate of the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (MONUA) is renewed for two months, until 30 June. In view of the prevailing situation, this is the most sensible decision that could be taken. After 10 years of United Nations presence in Angola, we are approaching the time when MONUA will definitely leave the country. The prospect of finalizing the tasks envisaged in the Lusaka Protocol gives us the sense that soon the international community can redirect its form of involvement in Angola. It is interesting to note that this sense is captured in the report of the Secretary-General on Africa. In the section on peacekeeping, under lessons learned, Angola is mentioned as a success story.
At the end of June, the Security Council will revisit the question of the future of MONUA, or the future presence of the United Nations in Angola. Let us hope that peace can be consolidated and that Angolans can finally move on to the long-awaited situation of stability and prosperity.
Allow me to welcome the presence among us of the Vice-Minister of Territorial Administration of Angola, General Higino Carneiro, and his delegation.
I would also like to associate myself with the statement just made by the representative of the United Kingdom on behalf of the European Union.
Peace in Angola has been an elusive goal which the Security Council and the Angolans themselves have been trying to reach for years. Today, we might have reasons to feel that our ship will reach a safe harbour. As the Secretary-General acknowledges in his latest report on the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (MONUA), 11 out of the 12 pending tasks defined by the Lusaka Protocol have been completed. For the record, I would just add that the Joint Commission recognizes that those tasks have been formally completed.
This seems to be particularly true when one considers the military aspects of the peace process. My delegation takes seriously the persistent allegations of the existence of a large number of unregistered and un-demobilized UNITA elements. In this context, we concur with the Secretary-General’s assessment that
“It is obvious that the conclusion of the peace process will depend on the full demobilization of UNITA, especially the absentees and the residual troops, which are still a cause of serious concern.” [S/1998/333, para. 49]
Of course, it would be unfair not to recognize progress already achieved in the current peace process based upon the “Acordos de Paz” of Bicesse and the Lusaka Protocol. Portugal warmly welcomes the most recent steps by the Government of Unity and National Reconciliation and UNITA towards completing the remaining tasks of the Protocol. In particular, I would underline the importance of UNITA’s statements on the total demilitarization of its forces, which MONUA has been verifying; the return to Luanda of a meaningful part of UNITA’s leadership; the cessation of Radio Vorgan broadcasts, a step we would like to see as irreversible; the promulgation by the Government of the law granting special status to the leader of UNITA; and the appointment by the Government of the provincial governors, vice-governors and ambassadors nominated by UNITA.
These actions prove the Angolan Government’s commitment to live up to its name. They also enable UNITA to show its will to transform itself into a political party.
What is still missing in this ongoing picture? Trust is still a rare political commodity in Angola. It will take years to overcome mutual fears and suspicion. In Angola, war has been the rule — the normal state of affairs — over recent decades. But peace prevailed between the signature of the “Acordos de Paz” and the 1992 elections, and peace has again prevailed since 1994, a fact we should all emphasize. Why? Because it means that peace is indeed something tangible and achievable.
The completion of the extension of central administration to UNITA-held areas, in particular to the localities of Andulo and Bailundo, is a prerequisite for a lasting peace in Angola. True, central authority has been established in 269 out of 335 locations envisaged. But it is equally relevant to note that this process should have already been completed, as well as to recognize that the Angolan Government has shown remarkable restraint and flexibility in this chapter of the peace process. Excuses for further delays are not credible.
Inside Angola the de facto existence of two competing centres of power, with different territories and armies, is, and in our view always has been, simply unacceptable. The 1992 elections are valid, and UNITA’s leadership should focus its activities on discussing with the Government, in Luanda, the steps both should take to consolidate peace, build a democracy and rehabilitate the economy of the country. The organization of the next elections, within a reasonable, realistic and internationally acceptable framework, could be part of those discussions. This is, of course, a task for the Government of Unity and National Reconciliation, which already includes UNITA.
But none of this will be possible until the completion of the extension of central administration. Only after this has happened will we be able truly to believe that the peace process in Angola is becoming irreversible. By then we will be in a position to revisit positively the issue of sanctions against UNITA. We sincerely hope this message is fully understood.
Portugal is deeply concerned about and strongly condemns the recent attacks against the personnel of United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (MONUA), the Angolan authorities and the civilian population. The cold-blooded massacre of more than 20 civilians in Ganda was an abomination. The incidents in Chongoroi and N’gove require a full investigation by MONUA and the prosecution of those responsible. The draft resolution before us fully reflects our views on these issues.
Before concluding, allow me to pay tribute to the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Maître Beye, to Major-General Sibanda of Zimbabwe and to all the men and women serving in MONUA under the direction of Maître Beye. I would also like to recognize the importance of the recent visit that the Chairman of the Sanctions Committee, my dear friend Ambassador Mahugu, paid to Angola and other interested countries. We have already felt the positive impact of his visit.
As the largest troop and civilian police contributor to MONUA, Portugal demonstrates in a very clear way that it believes in a successful conclusion of the peace process. The same could be said of our significant bilateral cooperation with that country. United Nations intervention in Angola has been a major investment in peace by the international community. We very much hope to see a continuation of that international support. We want to be sure that the Government of Unity and National Reconciliation will be able to show us how best to assist Angolans in the near future.
I should like first to join other speakers in welcoming Mr. Carneiro, who is heading the high-ranking delegation of Angola.
We are pleased to note that very encouraging progress has recently been made in the internal Angolan settlement. To a large extent this has been helped by the efforts of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Mr. Beye, and all those who have worked in this area in Angola and in the Secretariat. The visit to the region by Ambassador Mahugu, the Chairman of the Sanctions Committee, was also very important.
To date the Government of Angola has essentially fulfilled its commitments under the Lusaka Protocol and has now proceeded to the further disarmament of the civilian population. For its part, the leadership of UNITA has declared the demilitarization of that organization, which will henceforth be granted the status of a legal political party. The question of the special status of the leader of UNITA, Mr. Savimbi, has also been resolved and the activities of UNITA’s Radio Vorgan have ceased. Preparations are also under way to set up UNITA headquarters in Luanda, and agreement has been reached on the appointment of governors, vice-governors and ambassadors from among its members.
At the same time serious problems remain in the peace process, which have prevented it from reaching a successful conclusion. We are alarmed at the considerable discrepancy between progress made in the political aspects of the settlement and the situation with regard to providing safety and security. In a number of regions in the country armed units from the so-called residual forces of UNITA continue to be active. A growing number of armed attacks are taking place on local government authorities, the police, the civilian population, United Nations personnel and international humanitarian organizations and their personnel. Such acts are in direct violation of the Lusaka Protocol and should cease completely and immediately.
The continuing attempts by UNITA in various ways to drag out the implementation of the long-standing agreements on extending the authority of the Government of Angola to the entire territory of the country, including Andulo and Bailundo, are absolutely unacceptable. We believe it essential to issue a clear warning to UNITA that the question of whether the sanctions imposed against it by the Security Council will be lifted or stepped up will depend upon a fundamental criterion: the timely and complete implementation by UNITA of its commitments. Success in the Angola settlement will depend to a large extent on the commitment of the parties to the Lusaka Protocol and on their constructive cooperation with the United Nations. We decisively reject any attempt to resolve the problems by force.
The draft resolution before us today faithfully reflects the difficult but, we believe, final stage of the Angolan settlement. The draft resolution clearly points the Government of Angola, and UNITA in particular, towards a prompt and successful implementation of the provisions of the Lusaka Protocol, and also provides broad opportunities for effectively controlling the course of the peace process and adapting the actions of the Security Council, depending on the development of events.
We believe that matters relating to the further presence of the United Nations in that country after 1 July will be resolved on the basis of real progress being achieved in the peace process and in consultation with the Government of Angola.
For these reasons, the Russian delegation will vote in favour of the draft resolution.
I, too, wish to welcome the presence among us of the Vice-Minister of Territorial Administration of Angola, General Higino Carneiro. His presence among us today indicates the importance the Government of Angola attaches to the role played by the United Nations in Angola. I am grateful to the Government and the people of Angola for the warm reception they accorded me when I visited Angola last month. Allow me also to recognize the presence in our meeting today of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Maître Alioune Blondin Beye. His efforts in the peace process have been outstanding and should be commended by all of us. I should also like to thank him for all the assistance he extended to me while I was in Angola last month.
Let me begin by stating that my delegation welcomes the recent progress made by the parties in Angola. The agreement reached on 6 March 1998 between the Government of Angola and UNITA on a new timetable allowed the parties to resume the implementation of tasks under the Lusaka Protocol.
The promulgation of the law granting special status to the leader of UNITA, the appointment of the remaining governors and vice-governors, the cessation of broadcasts by UNITA’s Radio Vorgan and the installation in Luanda of senior UNITA officials are important tasks that have been completed.
Still, the process is far from conclusion, and there is an urgent need for the parties to complete the process. In particular, the question of disarming the civilian population, the question of ensuring the security of the leader of UNITA and, equally important, the question of concluding the normalization of State administration throughout the Angolan territory — especially in Andulo and Bailundo — must be attended to with urgent determination if the peace process is to succeed.
In addition, in my delegation’s view the process of national reconciliation in Angola cannot be said to have begun until the leaders of both parties truly initiate regular and direct dialogue with each other. In this regard, I wish to reiterate the much-repeated appeal for a first meeting within the territory of Angola between President José Eduardo Dos Santos and Mr. Jonas Savimbi. Such a meeting should go a long way towards creating the necessary atmosphere for dialogue and national reconciliation among all the people of Angola and help heal the wounds of war, suspicion and mistrust.
On the question of the existing sanctions against UNITA, allow me to say that during my recent visit to Angola and States of the region — namely, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia — plus the countries of Kenya, Côte d’Ivoire and Togo, I found these measures to be working effectively. There is political will on the part of the member States to ensure compliance with the provisions of the Security Council resolutions. Nevertheless, there are some gaps that need to be filled by member States in attempting to fully implement these measures. It would be in the interest of the Angolan peace process if these measures were made fully effective.
On the question of the future of the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (MONUA), we fully agree with the views of the Secretary-General, as contained in his current report, regarding the extension of the current mandate for a further period of two months, to end on 30 June 1998. We concur with his recommendation to continue the drawdown until the military component of MONUA is completely withdrawn by that date, in the manner described in that report. We also support the moderate increase in civilian police observers.
In the course of the next two months, we hope to see immediate progress by the Angolan parties in implementing the tasks remaining. We hope that by 30 June 1998 such progress will help the Security Council determine the future status of MONUA in Angola, in terms of mandate, size and structure.
It is for these reasons that my delegation fully agrees with the elements of the present draft resolution and will vote in favour of it.
The evolution of the peace process in Angola has always been a contrasting mixture of progress and setbacks, of violence and peacemaking. We note, however, that in recent months important steps have been taken towards the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol. We hope that these steps will be irreversible. The extension of the State administration, especially in Andulo and Bailundo, must be achieved. It would be good if the long-awaited meeting between President Dos Santos and Mr. Savimbi sealed the completion of this process.
Nonetheless, one cannot fail to be struck by the contrast between this positive and encouraging evolution of the peace process and the fact that on the ground the situation remains precarious and hazardous. In some areas there has even been an increase in violence. Of particular concern in this regard are the attacks against United Nations personnel. These attacks must cease. We expect all the parties to show restraint and to use only peaceful means in all future political actions. Armed conflict must yield to democratic contests.
During last week’s debate devoted to the Secretary-General’s report on Africa, we noted that the United Nations has achieved undeniable successes on that continent. Certainly the activities carried out in Angola by the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM) and then by the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (MONUA) count among these successes. Tribute should be paid to all of those — Mr. Blondin Beye, Special Representative of the Secretary-General, the Secretariat staff and the staff provided by Member States — who contributed to this success. We must also express our appreciation for the efforts that have been achieved recently on the ground by our colleague the Ambassador of Kenya, Mr. Mahugu.
France supports the recommendations made by the Secretary-General for an extension of MONUA’s mandate for a two-month period and a reduction of its military component. Subsequently, the Council will be taking a decision based on how the situation develops and on the new report to be submitted by the Secretary-General. With the completion of the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol, MONUA will have accomplished and concluded its mission, possibly in the months to come.
Experience in recent years suggests that we should be prudent and watchful. But the message of the Council is clear. It is high time to turn this long and tormented page in Angola’s history. In the future, the Angolan people must know that the United Nations will remain by their side to help them in their efforts for reconstruction and development.
Let me first state that Sweden associates itself fully with the statement made by the United Kingdom on behalf of the European Union.
Sweden supports the draft resolution before the Security Council today, which would extend the mandate of the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (MONUA) for a further two months. We are grateful for the comprehensive recommendations the Secretary-General has already submitted to the Security Council on the future United Nations presence in Angola, which we welcome. We also look forward to any further recommendations he might wish to make in his next report, in June.
We remain convinced that the United Nations presence should continue to be adapted to developments on the ground. We fully support the increase in the civilian police component outlined in the report of the Secretary-General, as well as his intention to strengthen the human rights component of MONUA. These two elements of MONUA play a vital role in helping strengthen the rule of law in Angola and in promoting and protecting human rights. We see the continued importance of these efforts.
We warmly welcome the recent progress in the political process. We regret, however, that the positive developments in the political sphere have not yet been reflected in improvements in the security situation. We condemn attacks by UNITA against the United Nations, humanitarian actors and the Angolan authorities. We join with our colleagues on the Council in urging MONUA to investigate the attack last week in N’gove. Today’s draft resolution sends a clear message that such attacks are unacceptable.
Sweden believes that the United Nations can continue to make an important contribution in assisting Angola’s efforts to consolidate peace, democracy and development. We believe that MONUA is making such a contribution, together with the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, other elements of the United Nations system and the efforts of the troika of observer countries. As we continue our discussions on the United Nations presence in Angola, we must ensure that a destabilizing vacuum is avoided and that sufficient resources are assigned for the remaining tasks.
Peace and development in Angola will ultimately depend on the will and determination of the Angolans themselves to make the definitive move from conflict to lasting peace. Much has been done, but there are clearly still challenges ahead. We hope for continued progress in the political process. We also see the need for further action to deal with the difficult social situation in Angola, an area in which the Angolan authorities themselves have a particular responsibility. For its part, Sweden is committed to continuing its long-standing support for peace and national reconciliation in Angola.
The peace process in Angola has entered a new phase. As the Secretary-General pointed out in his recent report, most of the tasks under the Lusaka Protocol have now been carried out. Although a full month behind schedule, UNITA’s Radio Vorgan closed down on 1 April, thus bringing to an end its anti-Government transmissions. In another important move, a number of senior UNITA members have arrived in Luanda. The Angolan Government, for its part, has appointed three governors and nominated six ambassadors from the ranks of UNITA. Mr. Savimbi’s special status has also been promulgated and the issue of his 400 armed bodyguards successfully resolved.
Progress on the road to peace in Angola is undeniable. There are, however, still some obstacles that are cause for concern. The source of our greatest worry at this important and sensitive juncture is the discrepancy between the positive political atmosphere and the situation on the ground. We are especially disquieted by the acts of violence and by the reports of remining operations, particularly in Malange, Benguela and Huila Provinces. The Secretary-General has referred to these and other armed activities as “a low-level insurgency” [S/1998/333, para. 12], in recognition of the fact that they are being carried out in an organized fashion.
This situation obviously raises serious questions, since incomplete demobilization was one of the most important reasons for the previous breakdowns of the peace process in Angola. We therefore fully subscribe to the call on UNITA to see to it that such attacks are brought to an end. We also expect UNITA to assist the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (MONUA) in the investigation of these incidents. They must be resolved so that the remaining steps of the Lusaka Protocol can be completed in good faith.
These outstanding steps include the disarmament of civilians and the extension of State administration to the remaining UNITA-held areas. Although UNITA’s area of control has shrunk considerably, it still wields power over some 60 districts in the central and southern Ovimbundu heartland of Angola. We are therefore disappointed by the fact that, at a meeting on 17 April, UNITA failed to reach an agreement on handing back this territory, particularly its headquarters at Bailundo and its main air supply base at Andulo.
We would also like to note that, even though Mr. Savimbi’s return to Luanda is not addressed in the Lusaka Protocol, we believe that such a move by the leader of what is now officially the largest opposition party on the Angolan political scene would represent a powerful symbolic boost to the peace process.
The peace process in Angola has been a protracted one and characterized by continuing procrastination. We believe that this regrettable development is due to a large extent to UNITA’s tactics of persistent postponements and last-minute conditions. However, the delays in the implementation of key provisions of the Lusaka Protocol are also the result of the general political climate in Angola. And, as the Secretary-General has pointed out, this climate is still characterized by lingering mistrust and insecurity.
We therefore endorse the call on the Angolan Government to give priority to peaceful actions in its efforts to consolidate its authority in the country. Tension between local populations and members of the Angolan National Police can only complicate the process of administrative normalization and unnecessarily undermine the modicum of mutual trust between the two parties to the peace process.
We would also like to emphasize our support for the Secretary-General’s recommendation to strengthen the civilian police component of MONUA. We believe that the deployment of 83 additional civilian police observers and an increase in the current police sites from 46 to 51 represent an important ingredient of the transition to post-conflict peace-building.
After four years of promises and missed deadlines, it seems that peace in Angola is finally in sight. Successful completion of the peace process should allow the Angolan leadership and the people of Angola to focus all of their energies on rebuilding their shattered country.
In this crucial period, sustained international efforts to maintain a productive dialogue between the Government and UNITA, to foster national reconciliation and to promote confidence-building measures are essential. We therefore support the extension of MONUA’s mandate for another two months and endorse the planned formation of a small specialized unit, as envisaged in paragraph 9 of the draft resolution. The planned withdrawal of the military component of MONUA should not leave the observers on the ground without the option of relying on emergency United Nations military protection. We also look forward to the Secretary-General’s recommendations regarding the future role of the human rights component of MONUA.
Before concluding, I wish to emphasize that Slovenia is aware of the fact that progress in the peace process thus far has been to a large extent the result of spirited leadership on the part of the Secretary-General’s Special Representative. We would therefore like to express our deep appreciation to Mr. Alioune Blondin Beye for his untiring efforts to ensure a lasting peace in Angola. We would also like to pay tribute to Ambassador Mahugu for his recent successful mission to the region.
In conclusion, I would like to emphasize that Slovenia supports the draft resolution before us today and will vote in favour of it.
The peace process in Angola is at a crucial phase. Considerable progress has been made recently, particularly with regard to the steps taken by the Government of Unity and National Reconciliation and UNITA to accomplish the remaining tasks set forth in the Lusaka Protocol.
On 11 March, the Angolan Government announced the legalization of UNITA as a political party. Three governors have been appointed and seven vice-governors nominated, as envisaged in the Lusaka Protocol. Six names have been nominated for ambassadorships abroad. Mr. Savimbi’s special status has been recognized.
On the other side, UNITA demilitarized its forces on 6 March and Radio Vorgan ceased broadcasting in April after having functioned for many years. Consequently, the propaganda campaigns have shut down in recent weeks and a UNITA delegation, led by the party’s Vice-President, arrived in Luanda to prepare for the establishment of UNITA headquarters in the capital. We believe that these measures are very positive and will help to restore confidence between the two parties. That is why it is important to continue working to accomplish all the tasks laid down in the Lusaka Protocol as soon as possible.
Progress has undoubtedly been achieved and that is encouraging, but the security situation in some areas of the country remains precarious. The continuing tensions are mostly the result of armed attacks, often targeting civilian police and local government authorities, resulting in many casualties. Armed elements of UNITA have also launched two attacks on MONUA. These actions and the constant threats against the Angolan National Police have also affected stability and security in other regions of Angola and are delaying the implementation of the remaining tasks. We therefore call on UNITA to intervene and to put an end to these attacks and unwarranted activities.
The United Nations presence in Angola and its assistance in strengthening peace and stability have undoubtedly greatly helped to alleviate the situation and bring the parties closer to each other. This participation is necessary in order to bolster the efforts being made to effect national reconciliation, restore confidence and strengthen economic and social development. We believe that the deployment of 83 additional civilian police observers, as authorized by the Security Council in its resolution 1157 (1998), will facilitate the normalization of State administration and help in the training of some elements of the Angolan National Police.
My delegation believes that it is very important to intensify efforts towards national reconciliation and stability. We therefore favour extending MONUA’s mandate to 30 June 1998 and will vote in favour of the draft resolution before us.
The peace process in Angola has lasted for several years. Most of the tasks contained in the Lusaka Protocol have been completed through the untiring efforts by all parties, especially the Government and people of Angola. There is finally hope that peace can be realized in Angola. The Chinese Government is deeply encouraged by this development.
The draft resolution before us once again urges UNITA to take effective measures to fulfil its obligations so as to bring about the normalization of national administration throughout Angola as soon as possible. To ensure the smooth realization of this goal, the Chinese delegation is in favour of extending the mandate of the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (MONUA) until 30 June and calls on the parties concerned effectively to guarantee the safety of MONUA personnel. We are deeply concerned at the attacks carried out by UNITA personnel against MONUA and hope that such incidents will not recur in the future.
China endorses the recommendation of the Secretary-General on the phasing out of military personnel from Angola.
The international community and international financial institutions should provide more assistance in the post-conflict peace-building of Angola.
We should carefully listen to and respect the views of the Angolan Government on the future presence, size and organizational structure of MONUA, as well as the future presence and functions of the United Nations in Angola. In this regard, we look forward to the recommendations of the Secretary-General to be submitted to the Security Council after consultations with the Angolan Government.
In view of these considerations, my delegation will vote in favour of the draft resolution.
My delegation would also like to associate itself with the words of welcome addressed to General Carneiro, Vice-Minister for Territorial Administration of Angola, and to the members of his delegation.
The extension of the mandate of the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (MONUA) until 30 June 1998, which we are about to decide on, is resolutely in conformity with the desire of the United Nations to see the culmination of the peace process in Angola through the full implementation of the arrangements set out in the Lusaka Protocol and the pertinent resolutions of the Security Council.
During its last consideration of the situation in Angola, the Security Council stated its concern at the state of insecurity which persists in certain regions of the country, and the failure of several areas to return to the fold of the State’s authority. Nevertheless, the report of the Secretary-General in document S/1998/333, dated 16 April 1998, and the additional information provided by his Special Representative, Maître Blondin Beye, to the Council during its informal consultations, have indicated that discernable progress has been made recently.
In fact, the Government of Unity and National Reconciliation has taken several encouraging steps, such as recognizing UNITA as a political party, promulgating into law the status of Mr. Savimbi and installing the political leadership in Luanda.
For its part, UNITA has proceeded to put a stop to the broadcasts of Radio Vorgan.
All the conditions having to do with the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol now seem to have come together to justify the withdrawal of MONUA according to the timetable put forward by the Secretary-General and approved by the Council.
In view of this, and taking into account the particularly privileged relations which exist between Gabon and Angola, my delegation would like to express the hope that this fraternal country will recover its stability so that it can devote all its efforts to the weighty task of economic and social development facing it.
My delegation will therefore vote in favour of the draft resolution before us.
My delegation is pleased to be here today at this formal meeting to consider the situation in Angola in the presence of the Vice-Minister for Territorial Administration of Angola. We welcome him and express our appreciation to him.
New information and events show that the current stage in Angola is crucial and decisive to its future. Advances in the political arena are encouraging. The basic objectives of the Lusaka Protocol have already been met and State administration continues to be established in the various areas, albeit at a slow pace. UNITA has already been legalized and has become a political party, and security measures have been agreed upon for Mr. Savimbi to move to Luanda. Elections will soon be conducted, and the work of demobilization has been concluded. Radio Vorgan has put an end to its broadcasts, and we are awaiting the prompt initiation of the non-partisan Radio Despertar.
My delegation notes with satisfaction that a high-level UNITA delegation has already moved to Luanda and that, for the first time since the signing of the Lusaka Protocol, the warring parties are complying with what has been agreed.
The will of President Dos Santos and of the Government of Angola to fulfil their responsibilities has been decisive in this whole process, and we want to recognize that.
Nevertheless, we are concerned that UNITA continues to obstruct progress and to promote acts of violence. We are likewise gravely concerned at the attacks on and violations of property perpetrated against the personnel of the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (MONUA) and of other international organizations. Costa Rica condemns these acts and appeals to UNITA to fully join the peace efforts, which now, after years of war and destruction, have begun a stage of consolidation.
All these elements are leading to a new situation and, in the view of my delegation, need to be taken into account with regard to the role played by the international community.
Although the security situation remains difficult, humanitarian assistance operations are continuing, and progress in other areas has been outlined in the report of the Secretary-General.
We would like draw attention to the grave problem of mine-laying in Angola. This is affecting the civilian population and international staff and hampers humanitarian assistance. My country urgently calls for an end to this activity.
Costa Rica supports the efforts being made by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the World Food Programme to provide humanitarian assistance to the large number of internally displaced persons and refugees, who continue to pose a serious problem and to affect the stability of the country.
We completely agree with the approach presented by the United Nations system which consists of ensuring a transition from a complex situation of humanitarian assistance to one of rehabilitation, peace-building and development in Angola. This new peace-building stage is extremely important, and in this respect my delegation supports the recommendations made by the Secretary-General in connection with the necessary restructuring of MONUA. This process of change in MONUA has clearly been designed to prepare Angola to embark on a path of reconstruction and rehabilitation in an integral way.
It is necessary to increase the number of civilian police observers, as they will ensure the security of the Angola population. Their training is vital in order for all humanitarian, social and economic and activities can be carried out without delay.
We would like to draw attention to the information with regard the difficult economic situation of the country, particularly the financial deficit. We hope for an understanding and united attitude on the part of the international community, and, in particular, a new approach by international financial organizations.
My delegation supports the efforts made by the Sanctions Committee established by Security Council resolution 864 (1993), and we express our appreciation to it. We also note with satisfaction the commitments undertaken by neighbouring countries so that the sanctions imposed can be effectively implemented. Those commitments were demonstrated during a recent visit to the region. We also commend the work being done by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Mr. Beye, which has been decisive in the Angolan peace process, and we support his continued efforts, as well as those of all the personnel of MONUA.
In conclusion, my delegation urges the parties to continue to implement the Lusaka Protocol and to work together in order to achieve the peace and stability that the Angolan people deserve. My delegation will support the draft resolution before us.
First, let me extend a warm welcome to the Secretary-General’s Special Representative, Maître Beye, and commend him once again for his tireless efforts on behalf of peace in Angola. I also want to extend our warm thanks to Ambassador Mahugu for his willingness to travel to the region for the important mission of sanctions enforcement.
Three months ago, the United States welcomed the agreement by the Government of Angola and UNITA on a timetable to complete the remaining tasks of the Lusaka Protocol. Since then, most of the tasks have been accomplished. We recognize the patience and flexibility of the Government of Angola and UNITA, which made this progress possible.
Now the Angolan Government and, in particular, UNITA must take the final steps towards peace. They must complete the normalization of State administration throughout the national territory, especially in Andulo and Bailundo. They must also disarm the civilian population, cease all hostile propaganda and turn their efforts towards reconciliation and reconstruction.
As the tasks of the Lusaka Protocol are completed, the United States renews its commitment to reconsider the need for sanctions against UNITA according to the provisions of resolution 1127 (1997).
However, the United States is increasingly concerned that the Government of Angola and UNITA are meeting the letter, but not the spirit, of the Lusaka Protocol. For example, although UNITA declared its troops to be demobilized, we continue to receive reports that armed UNITA units exist and are involved in attacks against United Nations and international personnel, as well as against Angolan national authorities. The Government of Angola, for its part, must ensure that the National Police carry out their duties with regard to the normalization of State administration in a manner that promotes reconciliation. If there are abuses by Government authorities during this difficult process, the Government of Angola must bring those responsible to justice. It is time to set violence aside and to heal the wounds of so many years of war. To that end, we again urge that the long-awaited meeting between President Dos Santos and Mr. Savimbi take place as soon as possible.
We support the draft resolution before us today, which contributes to the transformation of the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (MONUA) from a peacekeeping operation to the observer mission it was originally intended to be. As the peace process proceeds, a further review of MONUA’s mandate, size and organizational structure will be needed. However, the withdrawal of MONUA must not be precipitous. The international community must ensure that its years of investment in peace are not jeopardized in the final months. This draft resolution provides the right balance.
The goal of the international community should be to reinforce stability by gradually transferring the non-military functions of MONUA to other United Nations or international agencies. During this process, we fully expect both the Government of Angola and UNITA to give full support and cooperation to MONUA.
Even in peace Angolans face a difficult period of recovery. People are still not able to move freely throughout the national territory because of illegal checkpoints and, worse yet, because of deadly landmines. Angola will continue to need international assistance to strengthen its democratic institutions, reinforce the rule of law and initiate economic reform leading to a full economic recovery.
The progress to date in the peace process would not have been possible without the untiring work of the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and the umbrella of security provided by the personnel of MONUA. We express our gratitude for their efforts. We would like to take special note of the contribution of Major-General Phillip Sibanda, who will complete his tour of duty with the Mission tomorrow, after years of distinguished service.
Please allow me to thank the Secretary-General for his detailed report contained in document S/1998/333.
The long suffering of the people of Angola should be brought to an end as soon as possible. The United Nations and the international community have been making serious efforts in this direction. The conflicting parties in Angola, in particular UNITA, should therefore comply fully and without condition with their obligations under the Lusaka Protocol.
My delegation is encouraged by the fact that there has been significant progress in the peace process in Angola. It is very pleasing to note that 11 out of the 12 pending tasks have been completed. Although the deadline for the completion of the tasks was not fully met, significant strides have been made. Of these important achievements, my delegation attaches particular importance to the promulgation of the law granting special status to Mr. Savimbi, the appointment of governors nominated by UNITA and the termination of Radio Vorgan’s broadcasts, to name just a few.
My delegation is, however, disappointed at the slow rate at which State administration is being extended. As stated in paragraph 6 of the report, State administration has been established in only 269 out of the 335 localities. Our greatest disappointment on this front stems from the fact that UNITA still controls five of its strategic strongholds including Andulo and Bailundo. By maintaining these strongholds, UNITA will not help the peace process. It is desirable to call on UNITA to honour its obligations and ensure the normalization of State administration throughout the country, as is done in paragraph 1 of the draft resolution.
The availability of arms to a large number of civilians is a major concern, particularly considering the rise in banditry in several areas in the country. My delegation therefore agrees with the Secretary-General that the collection of unauthorized weapons has become more urgent than ever before. The draft resolution calls for the disarmament of the civilian population. This is a step in the right direction.
My delegation is very concerned about the precarious security situation that continues to prevail in many parts of the country. The draft resolution rightly condemns the increasing armed attacks on United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (MONUA) personnel and property, on humanitarian workers and on members of the Angolan National Police. The request made to MONUA in paragraph 4 of the draft resolution to investigate this issue is also a step in the right direction.
UNITA has consistently been indulging in a deliberate ploy to further delay the peace process. This is not beneficial to the peace process. Paragraphs 2 and 3 of the draft resolution are therefore very fitting. We must send a clear signal to UNITA that the international community is not prepared to accept any steps that will lead to the stagnation or reversal of the peace process.
The achievements of the peace process are fragile and require further consolidation. As the mandate of MONUA is coming to an end, we support its extension so that the gains made so far will not be sacrificed.
My delegation also supports the follow-on intervention recommended by the Secretary-General in paragraphs 41 to 44 of the report. Without these interventions, the successes of MONUA would be left in a very fragile state. This is not desirable, as the problems that may ensue may bring us back to square one. In that context, my delegation encourages the Secretary-General, as envisaged in paragraph 11 of the draft resolution, to provide additional proposals about the modalities for pursuing the vital peace-consolidating activities he recommended.
We believe that the draft resolution points in the right direction. My delegation expresses its support for it and will vote in favour of it.
I shall now make a statement in my capacity as the representative of Japan.
For nearly a decade, the United Nations has been engaged in the establishment of peace in Angola, a country which was afflicted with conflict in the context of the cold-war confrontation. The United Nations launched its first peacekeeping operation in Angola, the United Nations Angola Verification Mission, in 1989. Since then, we have witnessed many vicissitudes in the process of consolidating peace and stability in that country. More recently, however, the Government of Unity and National Reconciliation (GURN) and the União Nacional para a Independência Total de Angola (UNITA) have been pursuing the path towards national reconciliation under the Lusaka Protocol to our satisfaction, on the whole.
Having said that, looking at the situation from this broad perspective, Japan cannot help entertaining serious concern about the recent reports of repeated attacks against several towns and villages in Angola by well-organized and well-equipped militias. We in the Council strongly condemn these attacks. They could destroy the confidence that has been so painstakingly created through the efforts of GURN and UNITA, and, if left unchecked, they could lead to a resumption of the conflict. Such acts of violence are also a challenge to the efforts of the international community to secure peace throughout the country and to lay the foundation for a brighter future for the Angolan people.
In the view of the Government of Japan, the Angolan peace process has now reached its final, crucial stage. The next step that the United Nations will take is going to be critical to the consolidation of durable peace in Angola, as it will be the capstone of the nine previous years of United Nations effort. But before the international community can finally declare that national reconciliation and lasting peace have been achieved in Angola, there remain a number of political issues that must be resolved. It is essential that Mr. Savimbi move his headquarters to Luanda and that he and President Dos Santos pledge their cooperation for a new nation-building endeavour through a face-to-face meeting. The Government and UNITA must work together to build a new environment of mutual confidence and cooperation in order to promote genuine national reconciliation. Only when these two parties translate their declared political will into action can we be certain that the conflict has been overcome once and for all.
The fact that the draft resolution before us would extend the mandate of the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (MONUA) for a two-month period, instead of the usual three-month period, is a clear indication of the Council’s understanding that the peace process in Angola is entering its final phase. It is also a reflection of the Council’s determination to consolidate the peace process once and for all. I should like to call upon the GURN and especially UNITA to endeavour with renewed resolve to finalize the process of reconciliation, for the responsibility of building and consolidating peace and stability in the country after MONUA has completed its mission will be theirs.
Given the critical stage of the peace process in Angola, and in view of the crucial role that MONUA is playing at this juncture, I wish to call upon UNITA to refrain from any acts of violence against MONUA, as well as against the Angolan police and the civilian population, and to call upon the Government of Angola to refrain from an excessive use of force. It is incumbent upon both parties to focus their efforts on the full implementation of the Lusaka Protocol and to cooperate in good faith for national peace and reconciliation.
For all these reasons that I have outlined, my delegation will vote in favour of the draft resolution before us.
In closing, I wish to express the abiding appreciation of my delegation to the Secretary-General, to his Special Representative, Mr. Alioune Blondin Beye, and to all the personnel of MONUA, as well as to the three observer States for their valuable efforts on behalf of the peace and stability of Angola.
I now resume my functions as President of the Council.
I shall now put to the vote the draft resolution contained in document S/1998/349.
favour=15 against=0 abstain=0 absent=0
Bahrain, Brazil, China, Costa Rica, France, Gabon, Gambia, Japan, Kenya, Portugal, Russia, Slovenia, Sweden, United Kingdom, United States
There were 15 votes in favour. The draft resolution has been adopted unanimously as resolution 1164 (1998).
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.