The situation in Angola
|(The Presidency changes each month to the next member in alphabetical order)
|Mr. Shen Guofang
|Mr. Sáenz Biolley
|Sir John Weston
Adoption of the agenda
The situation in Angola
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 for Territorial Administration of Angola, His Excellency 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 document S/1998/504, which contains the text of a draft resolution prepared in the course of the Council’s prior consultations.
Members of the Council have received photocopies of a letter dated 12 June 1998 from the Deputy Permanent Representative of Portugal to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council, which will be issued as a document of the Security Council under the symbol S/1998/503.
The first speaker on my list is the Vice-Minister for Territorial Administration of Angola, General Higino Carneiro, to whom I give the floor.
Allow me first, on behalf of the Government and the people of Angola, to greet all the members of the Council, and to express our deep gratitude for the attention and efforts devoted by the international community to the peace process in our country.
I must once more bring to the attention of this Council the profound concern of my delegation at the situation of instability in Angola brought about by the destabilizing activities carried out by the União Nacional para a Independência Total de Angola (UNITA), which have significantly damaged the prospects for immediate peace.
These armed activities, which both my Government and the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (MONUA) have identified as originating from the UNITA leadership, must be stopped to prevent another armed confrontation in Angola, which could have catastrophic results.
Let me stress that some one million displaced persons have already returned to their areas of origin and to urban centres. State administration is already starting to have its effects in areas formerly controlled by UNITA, and little by little, the lives of rural populations have been slowly returning to normal.
However, all of this is being impeded by obstacles to the free circulation of people and goods and by increasing attacks on villages and towns by UNITA military forces. This instability does not augur well for the efforts made by the Government and the international community aimed at the full and total implementation of the Lusaka Protocol.
As everyone knows, and as the commander of the United Nations forces in Angola has stated in his report, UNITA has hidden military forces and equipment from MONUA and continues to recruit and train citizens in various parts of the country. These forces are rearming as rapidly as possible. Taking into account that MONUA has not been able to demilitarize UNITA in the last three and half years, this task will fall to my Government, with the assistance the international community.
The current involvement of UNITA’s President with foreign forces that are now destabilizing Angola’s borders with the Democratic Republic of the Congo likewise poses a threat to the whole region, including the Great Lakes area. We call on the members of the Security Council to face the dangers these forces may cause if steps are not taken.
The Blue Helmets are currently being withdrawn from Angola, in accordance with Security Council resolution 1164 (1998). My Government is aware of the implications of this withdrawal and will do everything in its power to ensure its completion by 1 July 1 1998 without incident.
The Security Council is meeting formally today to vote on a new draft resolution on Angola, in view of the impasse now prevailing and the plan announced by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General aimed at resolving this crisis.
In my Government’s view, this draft resolution could help find a common denominator that will lead UNITA to adopt a more constructive attitude, to act in good faith to complete the peace process without further delays and to assume the responsibilities assigned to it by the Lusaka Protocol.
The Government of Angola accepts the content of this draft resolution and supports its fundamental positions. We hope that it will promote tangible action allowing for the preservation of progress already made in the course of the peace process.
We must force UNITA’s leadership to clarify its position. We cannot keep thousands of UNITA members working for peace, development, democracy and stability in Parliament, in the Government, in the armed forces and in the National Police while UNITA’s leaders create military obstacles to the completion of the peace process and the fulfilment of the Lusaka Protocol, seeking to reverse the positive progress accomplished in the recent past and again bring suffering to thousands of Angolan citizens. We must all recognize once and for all what the UNITA leader stands for.
As far as the Government is concerned, we reaffirm our firm commitment to the peace process. We will do everything possible to ensure the extension of State administration to the entire territory of Angola, without incident and with greater control of all agencies of the local State administration.
We pay profound tribute to all United Nations personnel who have lost their lives while working for peace in Angola.
Lastly, we would like to extend our appreciation for the efforts made by the Secretary-General, his Special Representative and the troika of observers to the peace process for their efforts to find a solution to the Angolan crisis.
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union. The Central and Eastern European countries associated with the European Union — the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Slovakia — and the associated country Cyprus, as well as the European Free Trade Association country member of the European Economic Area — Norway — align themselves with this statement.
The European Union is dismayed at the lack of recent progress in the Angolan peace process. UNITA continues to put its own interests before the very real needs of the people of Angola. Consistently it has fallen short of its promises to transform from a military organization to a political one and to permit the extension of State administration to all Angolan territory.
The draft resolution before the Security Council sets out some of the tasks which are expected of UNITA in order to safeguard the peace process. In the immediate future, UNITA must remove the obstacles to the extension of State administration in Bailundo and Andulo, as well as to other key localities. It must also abandon, once and for all, its military activity and demobilize any of its forces.
The European Union condemns the armed attacks against the personnel of the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (MONUA), against humanitarian and other international personnel, against the Angolan authorities and, not least, against civilians. We applaud the Angolan Government’s patience and continued flexibility in the face of these incidents. We urge the Government to resist the temptation to act militarily in response to provocation by UNITA, to govern the activities of the Angolan National Police and to continue to work for a peaceful solution.
Finally, we support further Security Council action against UNITA. The existing sanctions have had a positive impact. These further sanctions are not intended to punish, but to encourage UNITA to finalize the implementation of the peace process. Their message is clear: UNITA, particularly the leadership, must keep to its promises. We call upon UNITA to implement fully its obligations by 23 June.
It is my understanding that the Council is ready 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 give the floor to those members of the Council who wish to make statements before the voting.
I would first of all like to recognize the presence among us of Vice-Minister of Territorial Administration of Angola, General Higino Carneiro.
The Security Council is called upon today to deal with yet another critical juncture in the tortuous Angolan peace process. To the profound disappointment of the international community, the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol is once again being thwarted by the irresponsible equivocation of the UNITA leadership. The facts were described here by Vice-Minister Carneiro, and there is no need to dwell on them at any length.
Successive attempts in recent weeks to put the process back on track through dialogue and diplomacy have unfortunately not been successful in dealing with UNITA’s persistent refusal to comply with its commitments. Such a pattern of defiance is simply inadmissible. If the Security Council today is given no choice but to impose additional sanctions on UNITA, the responsibility for these measures lies exclusively with UNITA’s own short-sighted leadership.
The Security Council owes it to the war-weary Angolan people, whose plight is being unnecessarily prolonged by systematic disrespect for commonly agreed deadlines, to make its position clear. The draft resolution we are about to adopt represents as fair an attempt as possible to deal with this challenge. It condemns UNITA, and particularly its leadership, for the failure to implement fully its obligation under the Lusaka Protocol.
It demands that UNITA fully cooperate without conditions in the immediate extension of State administration throughout the national territory, in particular in Andulo, Bailundo, Mungo and Nharea, and stop any attempts to reverse this process. Complete demobilization on the part of UNITA is treated as an imperative, and so is its full cooperation in the verification of the demilitarization.
Paragraph 5 of the draft resolution demands further that UNITA stop any attacks by its members on the personnel of the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola, international personnel, the authorities of the Government, including the police, and the civilian population.
The draft resolution prevents all official contacts with the UNITA leadership, in addition to establishing targeted sanctions on UNITA’s financial transactions as well as on its lucrative diamond trade, if UNITA does not fully cooperate in the transfer of administration of the territories it occupies.
In our clear understanding, violation of the demands set out in paragraphs 3 to 5, especially paragraph 5, as cited above, would clearly indicate that UNITA is not fully cooperating with the aims set out in paragraph 2.
The Angolan Government has displayed commendable self-restraint and has done its part in regard to the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol. We applaud the Angolan authorities for their efforts in absorbing UNITA representatives into the executive and legislative branches of the Government, as well as into the armed forces, beyond their required obligations.
We wish to acknowledge the presence among us of Vice-Minister Higino Carneiro once more and have taken note of the assurances he has given the Council regarding the Government’s commitment to a political solution to the present deadlock. General Carneiro’s presence in the United Nations has been much appreciated by my delegation and, I am sure, by the entire Security Council membership.
By adopting this draft resolution, we believe the Security Council will be contributing to bringing to a conclusion the drawn-out and painful process of reconciliation in Angola. We can only hope that common sense will prevail and that the UNITA leadership will behave in such a way that will make further action unnecessary.
Allow me at the outset to welcome General Higino Carneiro and to express our satisfaction at his presence here today.
Once again, the Security Council is having to meet to take decisions on the situation in Angola. Once again, the Security Council is having to face an attitude of defiance on the part of UNITA, which has again failed to meet its obligations and is impeding the full implementation of the “Acordos de Paz” and the Lusaka Protocol. Thus, the Security Council is meeting to send a clear message to the leaders of UNITA that there should be no doubt of our resolve to secure absolute compliance with the commitments undertaken by the Angolan parties in the context of the process of peace and national reconciliation.
UNITA has indicated that the present situation in Angola is not conducive to the extension of State administration to the areas of Andulo, Bailundo, Mungo and Nharea and that this will not be possible until 30 June. This is simply unacceptable for Costa Rica and reflects nothing less than UNITA’s flouting of its given word and failure to comply with its own proposals and, worst of all, it increases tensions and delays the process of rehabilitation and reconstruction in Angola.
The draft resolution before us contains a clear and unequivocal message: the international community is not prepared to tolerate further vacillation of this kind on the part of UNITA, and this is the last chance UNITA will be given.
The sanctions established by the draft resolution are precisely targeted. For the first time they focus on UNITA’s real interests and seek only to ensure that that group fulfils its commitments. Moreover, the Security Council has gone further by giving UNITA the benefit of a further grace period, until 23 June, to do what it must do. Thus, it has a temporary warning before the sanctions are enacted. Costa Rica hopes that, today once and for all, UNITA and Mr. Savimbi will understand that this is their last opportunity to comply with the commitments of the “Acordos de Paz” and the Lusaka Protocol.
My delegation takes this opportunity to pay a tribute of recognition to the Government of Unity and National Reconciliation of Angola and to President Dos Santos, who have tangibly demonstrated, time and again, their readiness to respect their commitment to national reconciliation and to implement all their obligations under the “Acordos de Paz” and the Lusaka Protocol. I also take this opportunity to request General Carneiro to convey this message from our Government to the leaders of Angola.
I wish to conclude by stating that, in view of all this, Costa Rica will vote in favour of the draft resolution before us, in the hope that UNITA will show that it has a sense of history and the political will required to put an end, at last, to this protracted conflict which, for almost 20 years, has shed the blood of the noble and brotherly people of Angola.
It is my pleasure to welcome the State delegation of Angola, led by General Carneiro, and to thank him for his important statement.
Russia highly appreciates the constructive position of the Government of Angola on the issues of the political settlement, its dedication to the Lusaka Protocol and its resolve to complete the peace process successfully.
Unfortunately, a different and diametrically opposed approach is espoused by the UNITA leadership, which, ignoring the Security Council’s repeated warnings, continues obstinately to refuse to fulfil its obligations. UNITA has blocked the extension of the administration of the Government of Unity and National Reconciliation to the so-called sensitive areas — first and foremost, Andulo, Bailundo, Mungo and Nharea — and has actively increased its military capacity. Armed attacks on Government representatives, the staff of the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola, other international personnel and the civilian population have escalated dangerously.
As a result of UNITA’s irresponsible activity, the military-political situation has sharply deteriorated and the peace process has been pushed to the brink of collapse, raising the danger of the resumption of civil war. The situation calls for decisive and prompt measures on the part of the Security Council to alleviate the crisis in the Angolan settlement. The Secretary-General’s Special Representative in Angola, Mr. Beye, and the troika of observer countries of the Angolan peace process are all of one mind. Such, we believe, is the general sentiment of the Security Council.
By adopting this draft resolution today, we feel that it is equal to its given task. The draft resolution contains a thoroughly thought-out and targeted list of additional political, financial and economic sanctions, clearly and primarily directed at the UNITA leadership, that will automatically enter into force on 25 June if, by 23 June, it has not complied with the concrete and realistic demands of the Security Council.
We hope that the UNITA leadership will soberly assess the situation this time and use the two-week grace period it has been offered to fulfil its commitments. We are firmly convinced that this forceful yet necessary step on the part of the Security Council is fully consistent with the interests of preserving and consolidating the peace process in Angola.
First of all, the Chinese delegation would like to welcome Vice-Minister Carneiro, who is attending the formal meeting of the Security Council today. We should also like to thank him for his statement.
The peace process in Angola has been in progress for several years, with efforts being made on all sides, including by the Angolan Government and the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (MONUA). The vast majority of the provisions of the Lusaka Protocol have been implemented, and the completion of the Angolan peace process is now in sight. The international community is encouraged by this fact.
However, it is unfortunate that, because of repeated delays by UNITA in fully implementing its commitments under the Lusaka Protocol, the peace process has been greatly hindered. On many occasions, UNITA has gone so far as to engage in violent actions, attacking Government authorities and MONUA personnel and harming large numbers of innocent civilians, thereby causing a deterioration of the situation in Angola.
None of us wishes to see such developments. Faced with this situation, the Security Council has no alternative but to take further sanction measures against UNITA to make it cooperate with the Angolan Government and fulfil its commitments promptly and unconditionally. The delegation of China appreciates the Angolan Government’s insistence upon completing the peace process through political means and strongly urges UNITA to heed the demands of the Angolan people and the voice of the international community, to seize this final opportunity to fulfil its commitments swiftly and fully and, working together with the Angolan Government, to achieve national reconciliation.
The delegation of China will vote in favour of the draft resolution.
The Angolan peace process is at a critical stage and is facing serious difficulties. No efforts should be spared to bring it back on track. The mechanism for achieving a lasting peace in Angola has been clearly defined in the Lusaka Protocol. However, peace cannot be achieved unless both parties fulfil their obligations under the Protocol. The coming period will be crucial both for the peace process and for national reconciliation.
UNITA must remove the obstacles it has put on the path to peace, and we expect that the Angolan Government will fulfil its commitment to resort exclusively to political dialogue and peaceful means in its search for an exit from the present impasse. For its part, the Security Council is ready to take its responsibility to help the parties move towards peace.
Doubtless, a successful peace process requires the participation of UNITA. However, UNITA has still not taken concrete and irreversible steps to fulfil its remaining obligations under the Lusaka Protocol. Therefore, the Security Council must take the necessary measures to ensure full compliance with its decisions. The scope of the measures in the draft resolution before us, backed by a unanimous Council, will send a clear message to Mr. Savimbi that the international community will not accept UNITA’s continued obstruction of the peace process. At the same time, we believe that the delayed entry into force of these measures will serve as a useful incentive for UNITA to fulfil its obligations.
The personnel of the United Nations and other international organizations in Angola operate under very difficult circumstances. Sweden urges both parties, in particular UNITA, to cooperate fully with the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (MONUA) and to guarantee the freedom of movement and the safety of the personnel of the United Nations and other international organizations.
Allow me to express my delegation’s gratitude to the troika for putting together in such a timely manner the draft resolution on Angola which is before us.
The conflict in Angola has been painfully long and devastating. The perpetuation of the conflict is not in the interests of the Angolan people. Thus, there is an urgent need, once again, to give the people of Angola a new lease on life. They need it badly. The legal framework is already in place, and strict adherence to the provisions of the Lusaka Protocol would have brought about a desirable end to the conflict. Unfortunately, however, delaying tactics by UNITA constitute the major stumbling block to the smooth and rapid implementation of that Protocol.
We pay tribute to the Government of Unity and National Reconciliation of Angola for showing restraint all along by not succumbing to domestic pressures to resort to the use of force to break the logjam.
The international community has been urging UNITA to comply with the provisions of the Lusaka peace accord, but to no avail. My delegation has been echoing the need to send unambiguous signals to UNITA indicating the international community’s non-acceptance of any moves that would stagnate or reverse the peace process. We are glad that with the adoption of the present draft resolution the Security Council will do just that.
It will be recalled that during his most recent briefing to the Council some days ago Maître Alioune Blondin Beye, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, put forward some practical proposals to end the stalemate and to bring the Angolan crisis to an end once and for all. We hope that with this draft resolution UNITA will get the message that enough is enough, and we expect them to receive it in good faith and to comply accordingly in the supreme interest of the beleaguered people of Angola.
In this regard, my delegation fully supports the draft resolution before us and will vote in favour of it.
The persistent delays in the implementation of the Angolan peace process have finally exhausted the patience of the international community. Let us be clear about where the responsibility for those delays lies: it lies primarily with UNITA, which time and again has failed to fulfil its obligations under the Lusaka Protocol.
If UNITA and its leadership harbour any hope that the international community lacks the will to act decisively, or that it can be cajoled into tolerating further delays, the draft resolution which we are about to adopt should disabuse them of that mistaken notion.
The United Nations, and specifically the Security Council, has been engaged in Angola for nearly a decade. Working with the Angolan people, it has advanced the peace process one small step at a time, fortified by the confidence that true and lasting peace will one day be achieved. Now, at the final stage of that lengthy process, there is a great deal at stake. We must not fail the Angolan people by allowing the situation to once again erupt into conflict. In this context, I heartily welcome the recent reaffirmation by the Government of Unity and National Reconciliation of its commitment to resolve the remaining issues by political, not military, means. Japan commends the Angolan Government for continuing to demonstrate admirable patience and self-restraint in the face of a difficult situation.
These past few months have been a particularly critical period in the Angolan peace process. The United Nations, and those who have worked with and for the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola under the guidance of Special Representative Beye, deserve our deep appreciation for their steadfast commitment and careful efforts to facilitate the peace process. But now the time has come for the Security Council to take decisive measures to demonstrate to UNITA and its leadership that their lack of cooperation will no longer be tolerated. The draft resolution before us sends precisely that message, and Japan will vote in favour of it.
If UNITA’s leaders contemplate the impact which the sanctions called for in this draft resolution will have — on their very political survival — they will realize that they have no recourse but to cooperate, fully and without delay, in completing the tasks remaining under the Lusaka Protocol. Thus, I call upon UNITA to heed the will of the international community and demonstrate through concrete actions that it is committed to the peace process. If it does so by 23 June, as stated in the draft resolution, the sanctions will not be imposed and cooperative efforts for the consolidation of peace throughout Angola will resume. The longer it delays, the greater will be its responsibility in prolonging the suffering of the Angolan people will be.
The efforts to restore normalcy in Angola have gone forward a long way. Most of the provisions of the Lusaka Protocol have been implemented. What remains to be accomplished is little. Perhaps this little that remains is what those who do not want peace in Angola are clinging to, including UNITA. The task of disarming the combatants is nearly completed, together with their reintegration in society. Government authority has been extended to almost all the territory except the territories under UNITA control.
Recognition of UNITA as a party in the political life of the country has been accomplished. UNITA leaders have arrived in the capital, Luanda, to assume their tasks, including Government and diplomatic positions. However, each time that the crisis in Angola nears a final solution and normal life begins to return, UNITA comes along to attempt a reversal.
Thus, it dissipates the hope of attaining a definitive solution to the crisis there. UNITA also undertakes actions which run counter to the spirit of the agreements reached between the two parties, especially the Lusaka Protocol. Examples of this are the maintenance of a military force and the perpetration of armed attacks against United Nations staff, which my delegation condemns. My delegation demands that these attacks be immediately halted and that UNITA respect its commitments towards the peace process in Angola.
The peace process in Angola has reached a crossroads. Therefore, my delegation urges both parties, particularly UNITA, to refrain from using force because of the nefarious consequences that this may have for the peace process, which could send us back to the starting point.
In its conviction in supporting the peace process in Angola, the delegation of Bahrain will support the draft resolution before us. We all hope that UNITA will comply with its commitments as soon as possible, and that that will be before 23 June, the date stipulated in the draft resolution.
The peace process in Angola could have been close to a successful ending, yet once again it is at a crossroads. On 29 April, on the occasion of the adoption of Security Council resolution 1164 (1998), Slovenia singled out as the source of its greatest worry the discrepancy between the positive political atmosphere and the difficult situation on the ground. We note with regret that the situation on the ground has since then poisoned the political atmosphere as well.
This turn of events is all the more regrettable in the light of the valiant efforts of the Secretary-General’s Special Representative in Angola to maintain the momentum of the peace process. In the presidential statement of 22 May (S/PRST/1998/14) this Council endorsed a plan drawn up by Mr. Alioune Blondin Beye and approved by the Joint Commission. The plan aimed at reducing tensions by requiring the Government to cease its anti-UNITA activities and by calling on UNITA to hand over areas still under its control by the end of the month.
Unfortunately, 31 May turned out to be only the latest in a long series of missed deadlines. In contrast to the efforts of the Angolan Government, UNITA again failed to live up to the expectations of the international community. The central and southern Ovimbundu heartland of Angola and, in particular, the strongholds of Bailundo and Andulo, still remain under UNITA control.
Slovenia finds this latest example of UNITA’s delaying tactics disturbing, especially in view of the increased number of armed incidents in Angolan provinces in the month of May. The discipline of the troops involved, the well-planned nature of operations and the quality of arms used convincingly suggest that UNITA forces are responsible.
We are also dismayed by the emergence of recent evidence about UNITA’s arms-smuggling operations. Here we are specifically referring to the purchases of large consignments of military and logistical equipment, which were reported in the South African press. We believe that this evidence shows that UNITA has not given up completely its military ambitions. Indeed, it appears that, far from retaining some military personnel and arms, UNITA is rearming and keeping open the option to continue as a guerrilla force.
At this crucial juncture, efforts of the international community to safeguard the achievements of the peace process are essential. The draft resolution put before the Security Council for action today represents an attempt to address the current crisis through political means. It presents UNITA with an unequivocal demand to modify its behaviour in accordance with the obligations stemming from the Lusaka Protocol and all subsequent timetables.
The draft resolution also draws on the experience from previous months which has shown that targeted sanctions can have a positive effect. Targeted sanctions bite, they can modify the behaviour of UNITA and the option of sanctions must be available to ensure the implementation by UNITA of the remaining tasks of the Lusaka Protocol. We therefore support the measures envisaged in the new draft resolution, namely, freezing of UNITA’s financial assets, prevention of official contacts and the prohibition of trade in diamonds, mining equipment and means of transportation.
Slovenia will vote in favour of the draft resolution.
The responsibility for the current impasse in Angola lies squarely on the shoulders of the leadership of UNITA. We therefore find it all the more important to urge the Angolan Government to persevere in its effort to insist on peaceful actions. We realize that this is a trying period for the Government and that its patience is being stretched to the limits of endurance. Nonetheless, it is vital that political means be fully utilized for completion of the peace process. Only political means can guarantee the achievement of a durable solution based on national reconciliation and peace. And only peace can allow the Angolan people to devote their energies entirely to rebuilding their war-ravaged country.
I also welcome the presence in our midst of General Carneiro.
France is deeply concerned at the deterioration of the situation in Angola in recent weeks. This situation has been marked by an absence of progress in the peace process and by an increased number of armed incidents, including against the United Nations Mission, incidents which the Council has recently condemned.
The Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Maître Blondin Beye, whose efforts are fully backed by France, has proposed a plan to restore confidence and resolve this crisis. We welcome the efforts made by the Angolan Government to implement the plan, and we also express our satisfaction at the commitment shown by the Angolan Government to pursue the path of political dialogue.
We deplore, by contrast, that the UNITA leadership has not lived up to its obligations. This attitude seriously jeopardizes stability in Angola.
The draft resolution before the Council is designed to preserve the peace process and to make possible the attainment of its objectives. It calls upon UNITA to cooperate immediately with the extension of State administration. If the UNITA leadership refuses to cooperate, additional sanctions envisaged under this draft resolution will enter into force.
These additional sanctions, notably in the economic and financial areas, were implicitly envisaged by resolution 1127 (1997), adopted by the Council in August 1997. At that time, we thought it would not be necessary to have recourse to these sanctions.
Unfortunately, UNITA did not understand the resolve expressed at that time by our Council. We hope that this time UNITA will understand the signal being sent and will act accordingly.
This is why France is will vote in favour of the draft resolution.
The United States is dismayed that the Security Council again must consider measures to compel UNITA to abide by its commitments under the Lusaka Protocol. Last August, we were brought to this same point when UNITA refused to complete its demobilization, cease its broadcasts of hostile propaganda on Radio Vorgan, and permit the extension of State administration. Only in October, after the targeted sanctions imposed by the Council took effect, did UNITA take steps to complete these tasks.
Thus far UNITA has refused to take the final steps to permit the full extension of State administration. According to the recent reports from the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola, UNITA has retained and even reconstituted its fighting force. This is unacceptable. It delays the end of decades of war and the efforts of the international community to assist in the reconstruction and development of the country.
The United States calls on UNITA to abide by its commitments under the Lusaka Protocol and begin the long-awaited era of national reconciliation and healing. This draft resolution demands that UNITA permit the extension of State administration, complete its demilitarization, cooperate fully with the United Nations Observer Mission to verify its demobilization and put an end to the violence. UNITA must take its place as a democratic political party.
The United States will vote in favour of this draft resolution, not to undermine UNITA’s activities as a legal political party, but to push UNITA to change its behaviour. The draft resolution does not impose sanctions immediately, but rather gives UNITA one last chance to fulfil its obligations and avoid additional sanctions.
The United States urges UNITA to make use of this opportunity. If UNITA does not act now, the sanctions will come into effect on 25 June. Decisive action by UNITA now will also enable the Council to remove the sanctions imposed last fall.
The sanctions contained in this draft resolution are targeted and strong. There are clear criteria for their imposition as well as for their lifting. Decisive actions by UNITA now, before 23 June, can prevent the sanctions from entering into force.
The United States also urges the Government of Angola to exercise patience and restraint. We are deeply concerned about reports that Government police and security forces have committed acts of violence against UNITA supporters. These actions damage confidence in the peace process. We welcome the steps the Angolan Government has taken recently to curb these offences and urge the Angolan Government to continue these efforts. We believe the Angolan Government must win the confidence of UNITA followers through a campaign of reconciliation, including by making full use of trained UNITA personnel to provide services in areas where the Government administration is extended. We particularly urge it do so in the areas of health and education.
In addition, to increase the confidence of UNITA officials in the process of the extension of State administration, today’s draft resolution urges the redeployment of MONUA personnel to the areas where State administration has yet to be extended. By taking this step today, we are sending a clear invitation to the UNITA leadership to fulfil its obligations and join in the building of a democratic Angola. However, unless it does so, UNITA must understand that it will face serious consequences for its failure to act. The people of Angola have suffered for too long. The time has come for an end to the stalling and an end to the fighting.
Lastly, the United States thanks the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for his reasoned recommendations to the Council during this difficult period. We commend the personnel of the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola who put their lives on the line for peace.
I wish to recognize the presence of General Carneiro, the Vice-Minister of Angola, in our meeting this evening and express my delegation’s appreciation for the efforts his Government has undertaken in fulfilment of the peace agreements.
The Security Council is holding this meeting at a critical moment in the peace process in Angola. The meeting is taking place at a time when one of the parties is increasingly showing signs of a lack of commitment to implementing its obligations under the Lusaka peace process. At the same time, it is a moment when the peace process is about to come to an end. We are therefore gravely concerned at this critical situation in the peace process.
Kenya believes that the international community has invested heavily in the peace process in Angola. In spite of these efforts, UNITA has continued to delay and frustrate the process. The many promises and deadlines that have not been honoured by UNITA in the past have left the Council in a weak position. While agreeing to the position that our eyes should remain set on the completion of the peace process by the end of June, we feel that the time has come now for the Council to act decisively on this matter, as it did in August 1997, when it adopted resolution 1127 (1997). We believe that the imposition of additional measures will force UNITA to proceed with the peace process and will further re-establish the authority of the Security Council. There is therefore a need for the Security Council to take additional measures, and in our opinion the draft resolution before us contains such measures. It is for these reasons that my delegation will vote in favour of the present draft resolution.
For the process to move forward, it is important that UNITA fully comply with its obligations. In particular, UNITA should hand over areas under its control for the extension of State administration, including Andulo, Bailundo, Mungo, and Nharea. We also expect that UNITA will stop further attacks on international personnel, including organized acts of banditry.
Kenya commends the Government of Angola for the commitment it has shown so far in fulfilling its obligations. We hope that it will continue to play its part and to cooperate with the international community in this regard. In particular, we expect that it will continue to refrain from any action that could negate the peace process, including the excessive use of force by its National Police.
Finally, we wish to thank those that have been closely involved in the peace process in Angola, including the troika of observer States, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Maître Alioune Blondin Beye, and the men and women of the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (MONUA). We encourage them to continue with their efforts, and we assure them of our continued support.
I will now make a statement in my capacity as representative of Portugal.
First of all, I would like to express Portugal’s full support for the draft resolution before the Council. Of course, my delegation associates itself fully with the statement that was made by the United Kingdom on behalf of the European Union. Let me also welcome the presence among us of Vice-Minister Higino Carneiro.
The Security Council is about to take a decision imposing a third package of mandatory measures on the União Nacional para a Independência Total de Angola (UNITA). This is a regrettable but necessary decision in view of the persistent pattern of non-compliance by UNITA with the provisions of the Angolan peace process, namely the “Acordos de Paz”, the Lusaka Protocol, the relevant Security Council resolutions and, most recently, the plan approved by the Joint Commission on 19 May 1998.
Since the beginning of this year, 1998, UNITA has missed five deadlines for compliance with remaining tasks of the peace process. These deadlines were freely accepted by UNITA and, in some cases, were actually proposed by its leadership. As a result of this persistent non-compliance, the great gains already achieved in this long peace process are now in jeopardy. The international community, which has invested heavily in helping the Angolans towards peace, is therefore in a position now to demand that these substantial efforts not be thrown away through irresponsible treatment of the very important tasks that form the road map to peace in Angola.
We appeal to UNITA to heed the message from the Council. Its leadership should live up to its special status, which is recognized by Angolan law and by the Lusaka Protocol. UNITA should seize this opportunity to cooperate fully as a political party in the consolidation of democracy in Angola.
These additional measures are not being imposed for their own sake. They have a clear goal: the successful completion of the peace process, which is in the interest, above all, of the Angolan people themselves, including UNITA.
I now resume my functions as President of the Security Council.
I now put to the vote the draft resolution contained in document S/1998/504.
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 1173 (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.