The situation in Angola Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (S/1998/723)
|(The Presidency changes each month to the next member in alphabetical order)|
|Mr. Shen Guofang
|Mr. Dangue Réwaka
Adoption of the agenda
The situation in Angola
Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (S/1998/723)
I should like to inform the Council that I have received a letter from the representative of Angola, in which she requests to be invited to participate in the discussion of the item on the Council’s agenda. In conformity with the usual practice, I propose, with the consent of the Council, to invite that representative to participate in the discussion, without the right to vote, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Charter and rule 37 of the Council’s provisional rules of procedure.
There being no objection, it is so decided.
The Security Council will now begin its consideration of the item on its agenda. The Security Council is meeting in accordance with the understanding reached in its prior consultations.
Members of the Council have before them the report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola, document S/1998/723.
Members of the Council also have before them document S/1998/749, which contains the text of a draft resolution submitted by Portugal, the Russian Federation and the United States of America.
I should like to draw the attention of the members of the Council to document S/1998/728, which contains the text of a letter dated 7 August 1998 from the Acting Chairman of the Security Council Committee established by resolution 864 (1993) concerning the situation in Angola addressed to the President of the Security Council.
The first speaker on my list is the representative of Angola, to whom I give the floor.
May I begin, Sir, by congratulating you, on behalf of my Government, on your assumption of the presidency of the Security Council for this month. I should like also to congratulate your predecessor, Ambassador Lavrov, on the positive work he did during his mandate.
As we meet today, the prospects of a long and lasting peace in Angola are still a mirage. After some promising and encouraging signs following the legalization of UNITA early this year, the peace process is now taking a serious and dangerous turn owing to the progressive and rapid deterioration of the security situation in many parts of Angola. As a matter of course, UNITA, instead of fulfilling its commitments and obligations under the peace process, has chosen to launch armed attacks with a view to occupying additional territory, targeting mainly the civilian population, local government authorities, the national police and the armed forces.
As a result of this wave of violence, more than 650 people have been killed, 500 wounded and more than 600 kidnapped; most of the victims were civilians. Furthermore, UNITA has reoccupied 90 localities where state administration had already been normalized. Not only is this a step backward, but it has also led to a huge increase in the number of refugees and displaced persons.
My Government strongly condemns these actions, which constitute a blatant violation of the Lusaka Protocol and the relevant Security Council resolutions. Furthermore, this pattern of violations casts serious doubts on UNITA’s alleged commitment to the full implementation of the Lusaka Protocol. Were it not for UNITA’s systematic bad faith and stonewalling of the application of the peace accords, Angola would now be at peace.
The present crisis and deadlock in the peace process is not just the result of its complexity. UNITA’s stance leads us to believe that the present scenario is a strategy by UNITA leadership to hamper the Government’s ability to function, to worsen the social and economic situation and to provoke chaos, hoping to create an environment for UNITA to assume power in Angola by force.
There is hard evidence to support this. First, UNITA leadership intentionally lied to the United Nations and the international community regarding the demobilization and demilitarization of its forces. It still maintains a number of military units, composed of thousands of heavily armed men. Secondly, UNITA is avoiding the normalization of state administration in its key sites, namely, Andulo, Bailundo, N’Harea and Mungo. Those areas are used to receive armaments and other materiél smuggled in from international arms dealers. Thirdly, UNITA is postponing over and over again its full installation in the capital, using baseless and suspicious excuses.
Last weekend, more than 150 civilians were cruelly killed by UNITA forces during an armed attack that culminated in the occupation of the city of Kunda-Dia-Base, Malange Province. And less than a month ago, more than 300 civilians were assassinated in Bula, Lunda Norte Province, by UNITA forces.
The Angolan people, outraged by these repugnant killings, hope that the international community, and the Council in particular, will take steps to put an end to these atrocities. Condemnations alone are not enough to force UNITA to stop such barbaric actions and adhere to the peace process. Stronger action is needed. The Angolan Government, as a Member of the United Nations family, is entitled to receive the necessary support from the United Nations in order to prevent a new escalation of the war.
The imposition of sanctions by the Security Council against UNITA sent a clear message to the UNITA leadership that the international community will not tolerate its delaying tactics and plans to return to war. We therefore believe that in order to be more effective, the existing sanctions should be coupled with other measures likely to tighten the isolation of UNITA’s military wing.
It seems that UNITA’s military wing does not understand yet that its actions aimed at jeopardizing the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol and its attempts to take power by force are in vain. UNITA’s actions will only lead to a further loss of life among the innocent people it claims to defend and to the destruction of the country for which it claims to fight. Instead of resorting to manoeuvres bound to delay the fulfilment of its outstanding duties in the peace process, UNITA leadership must strive to allow the unconditional and unfettered normalization of state administration along the areas it still occupies, cease immediately all military attacks, demilitarize de facto all its forces by the end of this month and install its headquarters in the capital by 27 August.
The Angolan Government, still committed to a peaceful solution to the conflict, will continue to do its utmost to avoid a resumption of the hostilities and achieve a successful outcome to the peace process. We hope that the draft resolution to be adopted today can help to persuade UNITA to abide by its obligations.
Finally, let me express once again our tribute to the work of the late Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Maître Alioune Blondin Beye, for the cause of peace in Angola. We are confident that his replacement, Mr. Issa Diallo, will pursue the role of Mr. Beye with the same dynamism and wisdom.
We would like also to take this opportunity to express our appreciation to the three observer countries for their efforts in bringing peace to Angola.
I thank the representative of Angola for the kind words she addressed to me and to my predecessor.
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.
In the first months of this year we witnessed some positive developments in the peace process in Angola. 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 that movement. 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 intensifying.
At the beginning of June we were at another critical juncture in the tortuous Angolan peace process. To our disappointment, the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol was once again off track due to non-compliance by the leadership of UNITA. The Security Council then had no choice but to adopt resolution 1173 (1998) on 12 June, condemning the leadership of UNITA and holding it responsible for its failure to implement fully its obligations under the Lusaka Protocol. By the same resolution the Council imposed financial sanctions upon UNITA and adopted measures intended to curb official contacts and trade benefiting its leadership, in the hope that these would have an impact on UNITA’s attitude.
The untimely accident which took the life of Maître Beye created a vacuum which affected the process negatively. Thus, despite the strong action taken by the Security Council, the situation in Angola has deteriorated further, as stated in the report of the Secretary-General contained in document S/1998/723.
UNITA continues to refuse to transfer localities in Angola to Government control and has been busy trying to retake by force those it has already transferred. These are only two aspects of the multifaceted situation, which is characterized by deterioration and which has been referred to by the representative of Angola.
A few positive signs in the Angolan situation, albeit modest ones, were noticed after the arrival in that country on 31 July of Mr. Brahimi, the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General. He met with the Government and with the leadership of UNITA and is touring countries in the region.
Hopefully, the Joint Commission will be able to resume its work constructively and a systematic dialogue will be re-established. But let me stress once again that if UNITA does not fulfil its part of the peace agreement soon, we will arrive at a situation in which the very presence of a Security Council-mandated force in Angola may come into question.
My delegation agrees with the proposed extension of the mandate of the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (MONUA) for 30 days. We will thus follow the recommendation made by the Secretary-General in his report. As to the draft resolution itself — in favour of which my delegation will vote — let me highlight the fact that it adequately stresses the main responsibility of UNITA for the setbacks in the peace process. It also appropriately calls upon the international community to observe fully the provisions of resolutions 1173 (1998), 1127 (1997) and 864 (1993). We believe that only by taking such a firm stand will the Council be able to influence positively the actual course of events in Angola and contribute to the long-sought peace in that country.
Ten years after the United Nations first became involved in Angola and four years after the signing of the Lusaka Protocol, the peace process ought to be on the verge of completion. Instead, it is edging dangerously close to collapse. It is not too late to pull back from the brink, but whether the Angolan people are dragged into further conflict or the peace process is put back on track depends on the Government of Angola, and above all on UNITA.
We commend the Secretary-General’s decision to send Mr. Brahimi to Angola and the appointment of Mr. Diallo as his new Special Representative. Both face enormously difficult tasks. They have our full support. But their efforts can succeed only if the parties themselves exercise restraint. A failure to do so will have disastrous consequences. There is a particular onus on UNITA to honour its obligations. It must end its prevarication and complete the tasks remaining, as set out in the Lusaka Protocol and reiterated in the draft resolution before us today. It must now cooperate in the extension of State administration to all areas of Angola; it must demilitarize its forces and cease armed attacks; and it must complete the transformation of UNITA into a political organization.
The international community has invested great effort in trying to bring peace to Angola. It is a vital contribution to the peace and development of southern Africa as a whole. There is an urgent need for recommitment by all sides to the Lusaka process. We hope that, under the guidance of the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and with the support of the region, the leaders of the Government and of UNITA will take the necessary steps to revitalize the peace process.
Portugal fully supports the extension of the mandate of the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (MONUA) until 15 September 1998. It endorses the recommendation of the Secretary-General to extend the mandate for one month, taking into account the stalemate in the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol and the situation on the ground.
The peace process in Angola is at a particularly critical juncture, marked by the absence of sustained dialogue and the deepening of mutual mistrust. As a result of UNITA’s irresponsible activity, the military and political situation has continued to deteriorate and the peace process has been pushed to the brink of collapse, raising the danger of the resumption of civil war. Indeed, the full implementation of the Lusaka Protocol is at stake due to the failure of UNITA to demobilize fully its forces and to facilitate the extension of State administration throughout the country. This behaviour is delaying peace and stability in Angola. Moreover, the continuation of UNITA’s attacks against Government-controlled areas and United Nations personnel and other attempts to destabilize the country, as reported by the Secretary-General, are of particular concern to Portugal.
In the last few months, UNITA missed several deadlines for compliance with the remaining tasks of the peace process. This persistent pattern of non-compliance by UNITA with its obligations under the terms of the “Acordos de Paz”, the Lusaka Protocol and the relevant resolutions of the Council must end. UNITA must take decisive and irreversible steps for the peaceful resolution of the crisis on the basis of the Lusaka Protocol.
We deeply regret that since the adoption of resolution 1180 (1998) almost no significant progress has been made in the remaining key tasks of the peace process, even after successive attempts in the most recent weeks to put the process back on track through dialogue and diplomacy. In this context, I want to commend the Secretary-General for the expeditious manner in which he responded to the crisis — which was aggravated by the death of Maître Beye — and his decision to dispatch Under-Secretary-General Miyet and Ambassador Brahimi to Angola. We are sure that the Secretary-General will continue to follow this matter with the attention it deserves and will not hesitate to intervene personally if and when that is necessary. We welcome the recent appointment of a new Special Representative, Mr. Issa Diallo, which we hope will bring new momentum to the peace process. Portugal also calls upon the Government of Angola to continue to exercise patience and restraint and to persevere in its effort towards the full completion of the peace process.
The draft resolution before us has been designed to show the Government of Angola and UNITA that the United Nations and the international community are willing to continue to help the Angolan people achieve peace and stability, and we urge its full implementation.
The people of Angola deserve a lasting peace. No one, least of all the civilian population, which has suffered so much already, can afford a continued deadlock in the peace process. The Angolan people deserve better than the current military tension and the armed attacks which have affected civilians, Angolan authorities and United Nations and humanitarian personnel. The Angolans deserve better than seeing vital humanitarian assistance delayed and stopped because of the serious security situation. And they deserve better than the risk of losing what has already been accomplished in the peace process.
The Government of Sweden is deeply disturbed by the lack of progress in the peace process in Angola over the past months. As stated in the draft resolution before us, this is primarily the result of the failure of UNITA to fulfil its obligations under the “Acordos de Paz” and the Lusaka Protocol. There can be no alternative to the full implementation of those commitments, including in particular the full demilitarization of those forces which UNITA has retained despite its declarations and contrary to its obligations under the Lusaka Protocol, as well as through cooperation in the extension of state administration.
We hope that both the Government and UNITA will use the coming weeks to set the peace process back on track and will give priority to the need for national reconciliation and confidence-building, based on respect for the human rights of all Angolans. We urge both parties, but in particular UNITA, to cooperate with the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (MONUA) and to guarantee the safety and security of United Nations and humanitarian personnel.
We welcome the recent visit by the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General, Ambassador Brahimi, to Angola and the region and the most welcome appointment of Mr. Issa Diallo as the new Special Representative of the Secretary-General. We hope that these steps will give the peace process the momentum it so clearly needs. We agree with the Secretary-General that to continue to work towards peace and reconciliation is the best way to honour the memory of Maître Beye and his associates, who died so tragically in June.
The Government of Sweden believes that there will continue to be an important role for the United Nations in promoting and building peace in Angola. The various elements of MONUA — military, police, political and human rights — have all made essential contributions to the peace process. We look forward to the recommendations of the Secretary-General on the future role of the United Nations in Angola in these fields. In anticipation of those recommendations, we fully support the draft resolution before us today, which will extend the mandate of MONUA until 15 September 1998.
It has been more than 10 years since the United Nations began what we might call its long, frustrating and exhausting presence in Angola. The many resolutions, presidential statements and statements to the press have yielded absolutely no positive results. Today we face an extremely grave situation in which there is not even a focused political dialogue. There have been martyrs, such as Maître Beye, who devoted and indeed gave their lives to the noble cause of the reconciliation of the Angolan people. I take this opportunity to express our undying thanks to Maître Beye and his colleagues.
The international community has been involved throughout this long period, during which there have been attempts to establish a government of national unity and to help the Angolan people to become an active member of the international community. Despite the international community’s constant threats and measures, this has not been possible. Responsibility for this negative result lies with UNITA and with those from outside the country who support UNITA activities through the trade in precious minerals.
The terms of the most recent sanctions, imposed by resolution 1176 (1998), state clearly that no financial assistance should be given to UNITA. For positive results to be obtained, it is imperative that these sanctions should be implemented and fully observed by all States Members of the United Nations.
My country firmly believes in the peaceful settlement of disputes, but we know that this is possible only with political will and trust among the parties, which unfortunately is absent in the Angolan situation. The situation is deteriorating daily; we have gone from having simply to condemn UNITA to having also to condemn violations of human rights perpetrated by the Angolan National Police. This results from the increased violence and the continued refusal of UNITA to negotiate, to implement the Lusaka Protocol and the “Acordos de Paz”, or to extend state administration to remaining areas. My country has frequently joined the rest of the international community in calling upon the parties to the Angolan peace process to live up to their agreements; the refrain, while repetitive, remains relevant, and it is our duty today to call upon UNITA and its friends abroad immediately and unconditionally to comply with the Lusaka Protocol and the “Acordos de Paz”.
The humanitarian situation in Angola continues to be of concern to my delegation. The level of violence has given rise to a larger number of internally-displaced persons and is making it very difficult to provide humanitarian assistance, because the international organizations themselves are threatened and harassed, which hampers their humanitarian efforts.
The main job of the international community is strongly to encourage a dialogue that will lead the parties to engage in direct talks that will make possible a solution of the Angola crisis with respect for human rights and in conformity with the fundamental principles of the Organization. We are pleased to note that the Secretary-General has appointed a new Special Representative, Mr. Issa Diallo, and we hope that he will succeed in his work and that the efforts and devotion of Maître Beye will not have been in vain. In any case, such success will depend on the parties, particularly UNITA, adopting a frank, constructive attitude and a determination to achieve a solution to the conflict in Angola.
Costa Rica supports the recommendations of the Secretary-General and will vote in favour of the draft resolution before us, by which the Council would extend the mandate of the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (MONUA), as currently composed, until 15 September 1998.
When the Security Council adopted resolution 1180 (1998) nearly two months ago, my delegation expressed the hope that the new sanctions would make UNITA honour its commitments under the Lusaka Protocol so that the peace process in Angola, which has been under way for a number of years, could come to a successful conclusion. Regrettably, the anticipated result has not come about. To the contrary, the situation in Angola has of late continuously deteriorated, the peace process has come to a standstill, and the threat of all-out armed conflict has grown. We believe that UNITA bears the main responsibility for this situation.
The peace process in Angola was not easily put in place. The international community has invested great resources in that process, and many, including Maître Beye, have lost their lives in the name of that process. The Security Council should do everything possible to keep the peace process on track.
China calls once again upon UNITA to meet its obligations immediately and unconditionally, to demobilize the armed forces under its control, to put an end to the violence against the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (MONUA) and against the Government and the people of Angola, and to commit itself to cooperation with the United Nations and with the Government of Angola to resolve the crisis in a peaceful manner.
China welcomes the Secretary-General’s appointment of Mr. Issa Diallo as his new Special Representative in Angola, and hopes that Mr. Diallo will play a positive role. We look forward to the report and proposals to be submitted by Mr. Lakhdar Brahimi on the future role of the United Nations in Angola. Moreover, we are in favour of extending the mandate of MONUA until 15 September 1998.
The Chinese delegation will vote in favour of the draft resolution before the Council.
We are yet again faced with an urgent situation, but have limited options at our disposal to deal with a conflict that is seemingly intractable. We have seen it before: each time the situation in Angola is discussed, no sooner are our hopes raised than they are dashed again for one reason or another. Everything humanly possible has been done by the international community to help bring peace to Angola, but those efforts have been consistently frustrated, culminating in a state of neither peace nor war. Considering the rapidly deteriorating political and security situation, that now sounds like an understatement. In the process, as always, the innocent civilians bear the brunt of the attendant difficulties and atrocities: human rights abuses, exposure to landmines, mass killings, poverty, illness and disease, people internally displaced or haunted by the spectre of being refugees — the list could go on and on.
The draft resolution before us is a last-ditch attempt to salvage the peace process before the mandate of the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (MONUA) expires. We hope that the parties concerned will understand once and for all that there is no alternative to the Lusaka Protocol. In this context, my delegation also welcomes the appointment of a new Special Representative to continue the good work that Maître Beye had been doing, and we call on all Angolans to give their unflinching support to him in carrying out his mandate.
In the same vein, we note with satisfaction that the Secretary-General has sent a Special Envoy to the region. We are anxious to share his assessment of the situation upon his return. Until then, my delegation agrees with the recommendation of the Secretary-General to extend the mandate of MONUA for a month, until 15 September 1998.
What happens next will depend to a large extent on the Angolans themselves. If only they would draw inspiration from the words of all those who paid a well-deserved tribute to the late Maître Beye and his team for the ultimate sacrifice that they made, and try their utmost to accomplish the cherished dream of bringing peace and national reconciliation to Angola. It could not have been better expressed by the Secretary-General than when he said in his report:
“The best way to honour Mr. Beye, in memory, therefore, would be for the Government and, in particular, UNITA to work resolutely towards the genuine peace and national reconciliation, which the people of Angola deserve so much.” [S/1998/723, para. 40]
We are now at a critical juncture in the Angolan peace process, and the international community is once again compelled to express its grave concern at the worsening situation in that country. The report of the Secretary-General identifies, clearly and unambiguously, who is primarily responsible for the recent negative developments: UNITA. Because of UNITA’s persistent and blatant disregard for the peace process, the progress that has been achieved so far is in jeopardy and the entire process is in danger of unravelling.
The patience of the international community has worn thin as, time and again, UNITA has failed to live up to its obligations under the Lusaka Protocol and the relevant Security Council resolutions. Once again, we call upon UNITA to comply, fully and unconditionally, with the provisions of the Protocol and those resolutions. In particular, it is imperative that UNITA demilitarize its forces and complete the transfer of the localities it has occupied to Government control as soon as possible.
The situation in Angola as described in the Secretary-General’s report is profoundly discouraging. We are gravely concerned that full-scale hostilities might resume. Both sides are building up their military capabilities, exchanging incendiary propaganda and engaging in other actions that run counter to the efforts which the Angolan people have made to achieve national reconciliation. There can be no military solution to the situation in Angola. It is urgently important that the Government and UNITA enter into a political dialogue to put an immediate stop to this dangerous escalation of tensions. The United Nations, and especially the Security Council, has been engaged in Angola for a decade, beginning with the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM I). Most recently, the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (MONUA) has been working tirelessly with the Angolan people to achieve the full implementation of the Lusaka Protocol so as to put an end to the long years of conflict. Thus, we are all the more disturbed by the lack of cooperation with, and even efforts to obstruct, the activities of MONUA on the part of both parties, particularly UNITA. The Government is also expected to comply with the requirements under the Lusaka Protocol and to refrain from any actions that are inconsistent with it. We strongly urge both parties to extend the fullest possible cooperation to the United Nations Observer Mission.
We are grateful to the Secretary-General for his steadfast commitment to the peace process, and we look forward to hearing the report of his Special Envoy, Mr. Brahimi, when he returns to New York, so that we may be better able to assess the situation and devise a course of action for the future. I also wish to take this opportunity to welcome the appointment of Mr. Issa Diallo as the Secretary-General’s new Special Representative. My delegation looks forward to working with him in the coming months.
As I stated earlier, this is a critical period in the Angolan peace process. A great deal is at stake for the people and for the international community. The international community must not fail the Angolan people by allowing the situation to once again escalate into full-scale conflict. Therefore, the draft resolution before us authorizes a one-month extension of the mandate of MONUA, after which time its future will be subject to a review on the basis of an assessment of the situation by the Special Envoy. We hope it sends a clear message not only to UNITA but also to the Government regarding their respective roles and responsibilities for effective national reconciliation in accordance with the Lusaka Protocol. For this reason, Japan will vote in favour of it.
In closing, I join other Council members in paying tribute to Maître Beye and to the five MONUA staff and two crew members who were killed when their aeroplane crashed near Abidjan. Their contributions to the peace process were incalculable, and they will long be remembered. My delegation shares the wish of the Secretary-General, as quoted by the Ambassador of the Gambia, that their deaths should not be wasted. We are confident that Mr. Diallo will be effective in continuing the important work to which Maître Beye and other people dedicated their efforts and their lives.
The situation in Angola has deteriorated considerably in recent months, characterized in particular by increased violence and crime, the lack of any dialogue between the Government and UNITA — for which UNITA is to blame — the re-emergence of a general climate of fear in the civilian population and the forced displacement of more than 120,000 people since March 1998. The report of the Secretary-General also highlights the growing insecurity that is seriously hampering the activities of the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (MONUA).
The delegation of France deeply deplores this development, which works against the peace and reconciliation efforts to which Maître Beye so tirelessly devoted himself. The delegation of France would again like to pay tribute to the work of Maître Beye and his colleagues and to welcome the appointment of Mr. Diallo, the new Special Representative of the Secretary-General, whom we assure of our support.
We particularly deplore the attitude of UNITA, which has still not respected its main commitments under the Lusaka Protocol: complete demobilization of its troops and the acceptance of the extension of State administration over the entire national territory. By stepping up its delaying tactics and failing to meet the obligations and deadlines that it had undertaken to respect, UNITA bears the primary responsibility for current developments.
The draft resolution before us today demands that UNITA comply immediately with its obligations under the Lusaka Protocol and refrain from any activity that undermines the process of national reconciliation.
In this context, we welcome the commitment of the Government of Angola, reiterated today before the Council, to continue to seek a political and peaceful solution and to ensure the full implementation of the Lusaka Protocol. We assure the Government of Angola that it has the support of France in its work of reconstruction and national reconciliation.
We hope that the current mission of the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General, Mr. Brahimi, will give us a full assessment of the situation on the ground and provide us with ways and means to rekindle the peace process and to fully assess the future role of the United Nations. Accordingly, we support a one-month extension of the mandate of the United Nations Mission and will therefore vote in favour of the draft resolution before us.
The Russian Federation is following with alarm the developments in Angola. The situation there has steadily worsened in recent months, and there exists a great danger of the resumption of war in that country. The cause of the worsening situation is UNITA’s persistent failure to comply with its obligations under the peace settlement, its hindrance of the extension of the State Administration and its active military build-up.
There has been a dangerous escalation in armed attacks on representatives of governmental authority, personnel of the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (MONUA), international staff and the civilian population. Rather than working for the complete transformation of UNITA into a political party, in accordance with the Lusaka Protocol, UNITA’s leadership, despite its earlier promises, is increasing its demands and pretexts. By acting in such a way, UNITA is not only harming the cause of reconciliation, it is ignoring outright the repeated warnings of the Security Council. UNITA’s conduct is all the more inadmissible because its activities heighten instability not only within Angola, but in neighbouring countries as well, which could cause the conflict to spread to the broader African subregion.
The international community has made considerable efforts to promote a political settlement in Angola. We are convinced that this policy must continue. However, the Angolan parties themselves must also acknowledge that without respect for peace in Angola such assistance cannot be effective.
We demand that UNITA fulfil unconditionally and on time its obligations under the Lusaka Protocol. We also expect the Government of Angola to continue to honour in good faith its commitments under the peace agreement.
The draft resolution to be adopted today by the Security Council is to some extent of a transitional nature, as we are discussing the extension of the mandate of MONUA for 30 days, in expectation of new, major, important recommendations from the Secretary-General, during the preparation of which the future role of the United Nations in Angola must be reassessed. We welcome the mission of the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General, Mr. Brahimi, and we await his report.
We believe it important that the Secretary-General continue to play a role in the peace process. The implementation of the Lusaka Protocol and progress on national reconciliation would be the best tribute one could pay to the late Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Mr. Beye, who died so tragically while carrying out his duties. We express our full support for his successor, Mr. Diallo, and we hope the Angolan parties will cooperate fully with him. The Security Council must continue to follow developments in Angola.
Whereas at the beginning of this year, concrete positive signs pointed to a restoration of peace in Angola, especially with the promulgation of the law recognizing UNITA as a political party and the appointment by the Government of UNITA officials to high-ranking posts, the normalization of the situation in certain areas and the end of Radio Vorgan broadcasts, it is regrettable now to note that due to UNITA’s intransigence, the political, security and humanitarian situation has further deteriorated.
We have seen signs of unusual troop movements in areas under UNITA control, which suggest preparations for the resumption of hostilities. This attitude must be condemned, as it runs counter to the spirit and the letter of the Lusaka accords and the relevant Security Council resolutions. Accordingly, we ask UNITA to keep its word and to honour the commitments it has voluntarily undertaken, including the complete demilitarization of its combatants and the extension of State administration to the four areas still under its control: Andulo, Bailundo, Mungo and N’Harea.
Similarly, rather than laying more mines, UNITA should, in the interest of the Angolan people, which aspires to peace and social and economic development, allow the Government and international organizations that have access to the relevant technology to pursue demining operations. The completion of these operations will facilitate the free movement of individuals, the cultivation of arable land and the distribution of the humanitarian assistance the Angolan population so badly needs.
In this context, we welcome the recent appointment of Mr. Issa Diallo as the new Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Angola, and we are convinced that his commitment to the African cause and to peace in general will be an undeniable asset in the continuation of MONUA’s activity.
It is for all these reasons that my delegation supports the extension of MONUA’s mandate until 15 September 1998 and that it will vote in favour of the draft resolution before us.
At the outset, I would like to express our appreciation to the Secretary-General for his detailed report and for his active and committed role in connection with the situation in Angola. I would also like to express our appreciation to the troika countries — the United States, the Russian Federation and Portugal — for all their efforts. Our thanks go also to all the States that are trying to make a contribution to the resolution of the crisis in Angola, as well as to the personnel of the United Nations and of international humanitarian organizations working in Angola. My delegation wishes the new Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Mr. Issa Diallo every success.
Unfortunately, the report catalogues a number of negative aspects in the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol, which constitute obstacles to the peace process. They are all due to the intransigence of UNITA and the refusal of its leaders to advance the peace process in Angola and to allow its people at long last to resume their normal lives. This is being delayed by UNITA’s shirking of its obligations under the peace process, which must be fulfilled in order to bring peace to that country.
As an expression of Bahrain’s keen interest in bringing lasting peace to Angola, my delegation will vote in favour of the draft resolution before the Council. The leaders of UNITA must honour the obligations they have made under the peace process. In this context, we reiterate our appeal to the Government of Angola and to UNITA in particular to achieve national reconciliation. We call upon UNITA to hand over the localities under its control and to demobilize all the forces it continues to maintain, with a view to the reintegration of the troops into society. Any further delay in this regard would have negative repercussions on the security, political and humanitarian situation in Angola.
Finally, there is a very important element that impels us to launch this appeal to the two parties to achieve peace and lasting reconciliation: the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Mr. Alioune Blondin Beye, and some of his colleagues made the ultimate sacrifice while attempting to restore normal life in Angola. In order to honour their memories and as a token of appreciation for their efforts, the two parties to the conflict must work together to fully implement the commitments they entered into under the Lusaka Protocol.
The situation in Angola has deteriorated rapidly, threatening not only the delicate stability of that nation but also regional peace and security. The Kenyan delegation is greatly perturbed by the lack of political goodwill, which has heightened the crisis in Angola.
The military and security situations unfortunately seem to be leading towards renewed confrontation. We urgently appeal to both the Government and UNITA to exercise maximum restraint and move the people of Angola away from the brink of war.
As the security situation deteriorates, the humanitarian situation has worsened. More and more people have become internally displaced to such an extent that now over 10 per cent of the country’s population falls in this category. Many Angolans have fled to neighbouring countries, as disease and lack of food and medical supplies continue to afflict the internally displaced population. We encourage the international community not to give up, but to continue its much-needed efforts to alleviate the plight of the Angolan people.
These political and military developments have substantially eroded the confidence of both parties in upholding all the elements of the Lusaka Protocol, which is the heart of the peace process. We can only urge them to move quickly back to the negotiating table.
This crisis has seriously affected the work of the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (MONUA), and in the context of this perception among the parties that a military solution is feasible, the presence of MONUA has become even more important. We are therefore happy to note that the downsizing of MONUA’s military component has been temporarily suspended. We believe that MONUA’s presence will continue to serve as a stabilizing component within the peace process.
It is against this background that my delegation supports the draft resolution which extends MONUA’s mandate for one month, until 15 September 1998.
My delegation strongly supports the Secretary-General’s appeal to the Government of Unity and National Reconciliation and, in particular, UNITA to renew their efforts towards national reconciliation and immediately institute confidence-building measures at national and local levels, including the expeditious reactivation of the joint mechanisms in the provinces.
Without reconciliation a lasting and enduring peace will continue to be merely a dream. We appeal to the leaders of Angola to look within themselves, set aside their political differences and come together to build a peaceful, united and prosperous Angola.
This is the main concern of the Council. It is also this concern that motivated the Secretary-General to quickly dispatch his Special Envoy, Ambassador Lakhdar Brahimi, to the region. We have to quickly build on the immense progress made by the late Maître Alioune Blondin Beye to ensure that these gains are not lost for ever.
We welcome the timely appointment of Mr. Issa Diallo as the new Special Representative of the Secretary-General to Angola. We wish him great success and assure him of our complete cooperation. We do this not only as a member of this Council and chair of the sanctions Committee, but also as an African nation. The cooperation of the parties with Mr. Diallo will be a fitting tribute to the memory of the late Maître Beye.
The peace process in Angola is at a critical stage. The deteriorating political and security situation in Angola calls for creative and constructive measures to bring about lasting peace. The United States welcomed the Secretary-General’s decision to send a Special Envoy to Angola, and we are encouraged by the Special Envoy Brahimi’s success in getting the Angolan parties to resume their dialogue and in the tentative forward movement in the peace process during and after his visit. We urge the parties to cooperate fully with the Secretary-General’s new Special Representative to Angola, Mr. Diallo, to build on this momentum.
Today, the United States will vote in favour of the draft resolution to extend the mandate of the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (MONUA) until 15 September. We look forward to an in-depth review of the future United Nations presence in Angola when the Secretary-General presents his recommendations to the Council at the end of the month.
While the international community continues to demonstrate its commitment to assist the Angolan peace process, the responsibility for peace rests with Angolans themselves. We urge the Government of Angola and UNITA to respect fully and unconditionally the obligations they undertook when they signed the Lusaka Protocol. UNITA must demilitarize completely and cooperate in the immediate and unconditional extension of State administration throughout the national territory. The Government of Angola must respect and protect the rights of all Angolan citizens, as well as UNITA’s legitimate role as a political party.
Indiscriminate violence, propaganda, forced conscription and the laying of new mines all undermine the peace process and spur even more violence. These activities must stop. The United States condemns in the strongest terms the perpetrators of the July massacre in Lunda Norte province. We are deeply concerned at recent reports of a similar loss of life in the province of Malange.
MONUA must be permitted full and immediate access so that it can undertake its mandated verification activities. We also call upon the Government of Angola and UNITA to guarantee unconditionally the safety and freedom of movement of all United Nations and international personnel so that they can safely continue their vital work.
I shall now make a statement in my capacity as the representative of Slovenia.
Recent developments in Angola have brought the country to the brink of an abyss. Active military preparations are under way, and both the Government and UNITA are engaged in forced-recruitment drives. The laying of new mines in the country is pervasive, and the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (MONUA) has witnessed an increasing number of attacks on remote villages and police stations.
The situation is particularly grim as over 1 million people are now internally displaced due to the derailment of the peace process. There is little doubt that UNITA bears the brunt of the responsibility for this lamentable state of affairs. On 1 July, in response to the still-unresolved status of Andulo, Bailundo, N’Harea and Mungo, this Council imposed additional sanctions on UNITA, with a view to eliciting its cooperation.
Rather than handing over the central highland strongholds, however, UNITA has since then embarked on what appears to be a carefully orchestrated campaign to retake areas previously ceded to the Government. This deplorable course of action has also confirmed the suspicions that UNITA has kept in reserve its elite combat units and their modern equipment, despite all the assurances to the contrary. Needless to say, such behaviour represents a brazen contravention of the Lusaka Protocol.
For its part, the Government has helped to deepen the climate of mistrust and insecurity in the country by intensifying what the Secretary-General described in his latest report as “hostile propaganda”. This development is all the more regrettable in the light of the fact that UNITA ceased its anti-Government transmissions on 1 April, when it closed down the Vorgan radio station and took a major step towards full compliance with the peace process.
The situation in Angola thus calls for a renewed mediation effort by the international community. It is indicative that the disturbing spiral of violence came on the heels of the tragic death of the Secretary-General’s Special Representative, Mr. Alioune Blondin Beye, on 26 June. It is equally noteworthy, however, that the recent presence in Angola of the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy, Mr. Lakhdar Brahimi, has helped to stabilize the situation and has resulted in a return to Luanda of the head of the UNITA delegation, Mr. Isaias Samakuva. Slovenia therefore welcomes the appointment of Mr. Issa Diallo as the new Special Representative for Angola. We encourage him to continue the legacy of Mr. Blondin Beye and put the peace process back on track as soon as possible.
In this context, we would like to appeal to the Government and to UNITA to refrain from actions that could undermine the longest period of peace Angola has known in decades. We urge them to continue to search, with the assistance of the international community, for a non-military solution to their differences.
In conclusion, let me say that implementing a peace agreement following a prolonged and destructive civil war is inevitably a difficult balancing act. The years of internecine conflict have left a tragic mark on the psyche of an entire generation of Angolans, for whom violence, hunger and the rule of the gun have become a way of life. The one-month extension of MONUA’s mandate, as proposed by the Secretary-General, is therefore necessary. Indeed, it is imperative that a solution to the current impasse be found and that the Lusaka Protocol be preserved. Slovenia will therefore join all the other members of the Security Council in voting in favour of the draft resolution.
I now resume my function as President of the Council.
I shall now put to the vote the draft resolution contained in document S/1998/749.
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 1190 (1998).
There are no further speakers inscribed on my list. The Security Council has thus concluded the present stage of its consideration of the item on its agenda.
The Security Council will remain seized of the matter