The situation in Angola
|(The Presidency changes each month to the next member in alphabetical order)|
|Mr. Shen Guofang
|Mr. van Walsum
|Mr. Ben Mustapha
|Sir Jeremy Greenstock
I apologize for the delay in calling this meeting to order, which was occasioned primarily by a conversation with President Chiluba concerning next week’s events in the Security Council on the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Because time is so short, I want to stress that we have previously unscheduled Security Council informal consultations at 3 p.m. today to consider another matter of great urgency to the Council. I would ask everyone — I repeat, everyone — to bear in mind that we are starting 35 minutes late and that we have an important agenda item this afternoon. Some of us, at least, have a very important set of obligations at the lunch hour concerning the departure of our esteemed colleague from China. I hope everyone will take this into account as we proceed.
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.
On behalf of the Council, I welcome the Vice-Minister of External Relations of Angola, Mr. Georges Chicoti.
In accordance with the understanding reached in the Council’s prior consultations and in the absence of objection, I shall take it that the Security Council agrees to extend an invitation under rule 39 of its provisional rules of procedure to Mr. Kieran Prendergast, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs.
I invite Mr. Prendergast to take a seat at the Council table.
The Security Council will now begin its consideration of the item on its agenda. The Council is meeting in accordance with the understanding reached in its prior consultations.
Members of the Council have before them the report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Office in Angola (UNOA), document S/2000/23.
We will start with a report from Mr. Kieran Prendergast, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, then move directly to a report from Ambassador Robert Fowler of Canada, Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 864 (1993), then ask the Vice-Minister of Angola to speak, and then the floor will be open. Once again, I urge everyone to consider the issue of brevity.
I give the floor to the Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Mr. Kieran Prendergast.
I have the pleasure to introduce to the Council the report of the Secretary-General on Angola contained in document S/2000/23.
In his report, the Secretary-General assesses the political, military and humanitarian situations in the country and stresses that the absence of political dialogue and the resumption of heavy fighting have exacerbated the already alarming humanitarian situation. The Secretary-General also notes that the situation has been further aggravated by the spillover of the fighting into neighbouring areas of Zambia and Namibia, which has been accompanied by an influx of large numbers of Angolan refugees on both sides of the border areas.
The humanitarian situation is particularly critical. The war-affected population in Angola is estimated at almost 4 million, about one third of the country’s population. Nearly 2 million people are internally displaced, and resident populations and internally displaced persons both show high levels of malnutrition. In addition, the humanitarian situation of another third of the Angolan population living in inaccessible areas is unknown but is thought to be critical.
The Secretary-General is deeply concerned by the human suffering as well as by the destruction of property and infrastructure in Angola, a country so richly endowed with natural resources and with immense potential for development. The extension of State administration in the provinces will make it possible for humanitarian assistance to reach populations whose exact conditions are unknown at present but are predicted to be dire. The task of ameliorating conditions in those areas will present a challenge both to the Government of Angola and to the international community.
Malnutrition rates have escalated sharply in conflict areas. Forty-two per cent of children under the age of 5 are either severely or moderately underweight. Even if they survive, these children are likely to develop health problems later on in life. Experience shows that malnutrition rates will rise as the rainy season compounds the effects of already low food stocks.
Mine clearance is of critical importance for any safe resumption of agricultural and commercial activities, for temporary resettlement of internally displaced persons and for return to rural areas. The mounting risk of mine accidents and ambushes is a major constraint on humanitarian operations. Some donors have suspended their assistance to mine-clearance activities due to remining, and the lack of support for such activities is hurting innocent people and freezing access to arable land.
Despite the best efforts of United Nations and other humanitarian and development agencies, the lack of security, as well as ambushes and attacks by armed elements, have constrained severely international relief efforts. The remining of roads and of the countryside has added to the perils faced by civilians and aid workers alike. Humanitarian workers have not been immune to the conflict. Indeed, they have been targeted and killed in violent attacks. Since April 1999, seven humanitarian workers have been killed and two wounded in direct attacks on well-marked vehicles.
Current conditions of insecurity and open conflict require costly logistical operations to ensure the safe delivery of humanitarian assistance. In addition, increased access to vulnerable populations requires that the donor community remain as responsive to the Consolidated Appeal as it has been in the past. The Secretary-General has appealed to donors for an effective response to the United Nations Consolidated Inter-agency Appeal for Angola, the funding requirement for which is $258 million.
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has reported that more than 20,000 Angolan refugees have entered Zambia since October last year and has predicted that the figure could rise to more than 30,000 in the next few weeks. This is in addition to some 160,000 Angolan refugees already in Zambia. Every effort is being made by the United Nations to send food and medicines to refugees, who comprise mostly women, children and elderly people. There has also been a new influx of some 10,000 Angolan refugees into Namibia since the escalation of fighting in September in the border region between the two countries.
Reports of human rights abuses both by UNITA and by Government forces have continued to be received from all parts of the country. The same sources have also reported that both sides have carried out the forced recruitment of civilians, including minors.
The post-independence history of Angola has been characterized by a brutal civil war and by lost opportunities for peace and reconciliation as well as for the development of the country. The United Nations was first called upon in late 1988 to carry out a relatively straightforward assignment: namely, to monitor the withdrawal of Cuban forces from Angola. This was the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM I).
Then, the international community saw an opportunity to help end the longstanding conflict in the country, and the United Nations was tasked with the responsibility of, among other things, observing and verifying the country’s first democratic elections. This was done by UNAVEM II. As is well known, UNITA rejected the outcome of the 1992 elections, and the country reverted to war.
Despite the setbacks, efforts to facilitate a political solution continued, and a comprehensive peace agreement, the Lusaka Protocol, was signed in November 1994. The signing of the Protocol was viewed as a very important stage in the Angolan peace process, and the United Nations was asked to undertake an enlarged and reinforced role through UNAVEM III.
After more than two years of vigorous efforts by the United Nations, UNITA failed to demobilize its forces and to allow State administration to be extended to areas under its control. The resumption of fighting and the worsening security situation in the country led the Secretary-General to conclude that the conditions for an effective United Nations peacekeeping role had ceased to exist, and the Security Council terminated the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (MONUA) last February.
The United Nations has contributed to four years of relative peace in Angola, the longest period of peace enjoyed by the Angolan people. It is tragic that the unprecedented commitment by the international community, and the unique opportunity it provided Angola to achieve peace and reconciliation, was repeatedly squandered.
Last November, President dos Santos stated that the Lusaka accord was still valid and laid out a programme of action to culminate in the holding of legislative and presidential elections. UNITA, which appears to have suffered major military setbacks, has expressed readiness to resume the peace process. Smaller political parties and church groups have called for the resumption of a national dialogue, including an all-inclusive multiparty conference.
The Secretary-General has reiterated that the United Nations will not abandon the people of Angola, and the Organization has continued to provide humanitarian, human rights and development assistance to the country. The Secretary-General has also reiterated the readiness of the United Nations to support efforts to seek a peaceful settlement of the conflict. As the Council knows, consultations are continuing with the Angolan Government regarding the future United Nations presence and role in Angola.
Meanwhile, Ambassador Fowler and the panel of experts have been consulting with Angola and other countries in and outside the region on ways of improving the implementation of measures imposed against UNITA and the additional measures needed to strengthen them. I see that Ambassador Fowler will brief the Council today.
Angolan Government forces appear to be pursuing a successful military offensive, and State authority is gradually being re-established. However, I would like to take this opportunity to reiterate that for an enduring peace to become a reality in Angola, a political solution to the conflict will also have to be pursued. That is why the Secretary General was encouraged by the Angolan Government’s recent indication that the Lusaka Protocol remained a valid basis for a resumed peace process.
There is no question that UNITA bears the primary responsibility for the continued humanitarian and human rights catastrophe in Angola. However, it is incumbent on the Government to ensure that all those living in areas recently under UNITA control are treated in accordance with international humanitarian law, and to do everything possible to improve the human rights situation in the country.
As mandated by the Security Council, the new United Nations Office in Angola will continue to assist the Government and civic organizations in the areas of capacity-building, humanitarian assistance and the promotion of human rights. The Secretary-General is encouraged by the decision of the Council of Ministers to approve the Status-of-Mission Agreement that has now been forwarded to the National Assembly for endorsement. He hopes that the Government will soon conclude action on that issue.
To give added impetus to the search for a political solution to the conflict in Angola, the Secretary-General recently appointed Mr. Ibrahim Gambari as his Special Adviser on African issues and asked him to pay particular attention to Angola. He also intends to appoint the Head of the new United Nations Office in Angola soon. The Secretary-General looks forward to an early opportunity to exchange views with the Government on the future role of the United Nations in Angola — a role that would make it possible for the Organization to make a meaningful contribution to the search for lasting peace in the country and to the security and stability of the region.
I now give the floor to the Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 864 (1993) concerning the situation in Angola.
My comments this morning will relate exclusively to my visit to Angola last week from 8 to 16 January. While brevity makes sense, particularly given our late start this morning, there are lessons learned from my visit which I hope members of the Council will agree deserve due consideration.
The objectives of my visit were threefold. The first was to consult with the Government of Angola on developments regarding the application worldwide of Security Council sanctions against UNITA. The second was to visit the areas and see the military equipment recently captured from UNITA. The third was to meet with individuals who had defected from UNITA or been captured in recent fighting.
I met with six individuals for more than 15 hours, including General Jasinto Bandua, who had overall responsibility for UNITA’s logistics from 1995 to 1998 and had also been in charge of Mr. Savimbi’s private office. We met with Colonel Kangunga “Kalia”, who had served as a representative of UNITA in posts in West and Central Africa. We also met with Colonel Kangunga’s brother, another colonel, who had been responsible for Mr. Savimbi’s communications network. We met with Lieutenant-Colonel José-Antonio Gil, who was responsible for air movements in and out of Andulo, UNITA’s main airstrip, and for air control in the central highlands. We met with Mr. Sakaita, an adult son of Mr. Savimbi, and with a junior officer who had been sent abroad by UNITA for military training.
Angolan officials were not present at these meetings, which, at Mr. Miranda’s suggestion, took place at the headquarters of the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (MONUA) so that we and they would feel at ease. Four of the individuals requested by me were requested at extremely short notice and in each instance the Government located the individual we wished to meet, wherever that officer was serving in Angola, and arranged to have him flown to Luanda specifically for the meeting.
In response to my very specific questions, each of the six confirmed on video that they were speaking freely and that they had not been coached or otherwise influenced in what they chose to say. My own impression is that these individuals offered their testimony freely and that, in most cases, they welcomed the opportunity to bear witness.
In the course of the testimony of these very well-placed witnesses, we did receive very specific information relating to violations and violators of United Nations sanctions. Today, I will not name names because I do not wish to pre-empt the report of the expert panel, in which members of the Council have invested heavily. In presenting that report to the Council in March, however, I do expect to bring this information to the Council’s attention, in company with specific recommendations as to how such persistent flouting of the will of the Council can be stopped and, thus, how Savimbi’s lifeline to the outside world can be severed. The expert panels, two members of which were with me throughout my visit to Angola, will look closely at the information we received last week and will try to corroborate it with other information it has developed from other sources in the course of preparing the report it is to submit to me next month.
What I would like to do today is to show brief excerpts of the videotaped testimony, in which former members of UNITA offer information on how UNITA operated in areas relevant to the sanctions regime. Through the good offices of the excellent News and Media Services Division of the Department of Public Information, we have reduced those 15 hours to 27 minutes of highlights for the Council today. Let me be clear: I am not presenting conclusions, nor am I necessarily endorsing the information we shall shortly hear. What I am doing is sharing fascinating testimony which, in some instances, indicates that UNITA’s method of operating may be different from what I — and I presume the members of the Council — had commonly assumed.
For example, the testimony suggests the following:
UNITA does not operate an extensive financial network abroad and occasionally has severe problems with liquidity. Some quantities of money are held by various heads of Government on Savimbi’s behalf. UNITA otherwise sells or barters parcels of rough diamonds from time to time to cover specific operating expenses or to procure specific armaments.
UNITA procures weapons through a small number of weapons brokers — international arms merchants — rather than through direct contact with Governments. These weapons dealers are often responsible for making transportation arrangements for weapons sold — in effect, “f.o.b. Andulo” — as well as for finding buyers for the rough diamonds for which the weapons are bartered.
UNITA does not use mercenaries for fighting, but does employ foreign trainers. They, too, are often hired by the arms dealers.
UNITA’s petroleum supplies are in very short supply and their replenishment is an absolute priority for Savimbi.
UNITA used the period of partial implementation of the Lusaka peace accord to replenish its armaments, to procure and store large quantities of petroleum and to otherwise prepare for war.
As with the detailed information regarding specific individuals and countries involved in the violation of the sanctions, the expert panels will need to consider whether this more general information can be confirmed in light of the other information available to them.
The conclusion I draw from my meetings is that sanctions are beginning to have a real impact on UNITA’s capacity to pursue its military objectives. Sanctions are having an effect, for example, by impairing UNITA’s ability to transport the weapons systems and the fuel it needs in Angola and by reducing the number of people prepared to offer support to UNITA in violation of the sanctions. When this is coupled with the Angolan Government’s recent military successes, the overall impact upon UNITA’s capacity to wage war has been significant indeed.
It would be premature to suggest that this war of three decades’ duration is at an end, but it may be nearing the beginning of the end. We in the international community must therefore do all we can to help bring this end about, including through the rigorous application of sanctions, to ensure that UNITA is not allowed to rearm, resupply or otherwise remain a military, rather than a political, force.
Throughout my visit, the Government of Angola could not have been more accommodating or welcoming. I extend thanks, in this regard, to the Angolan officials with us today, including the Vice-Minister of External Relations, Mr. Chicoti, whom I was not able to meet in Luanda and am therefore glad to see here; the Director-General for International Organizations, Ambassador Correia; and, of course, Ambassador Van Dunem “Mbinda”, Minister Counsellor Coelho Da Cruz and other colleagues at the Permanent Mission of Angola, who made this visit possible.
Allow me also to thank you, Sir, and United Nations colleagues in Luanda and here in New York for truly outstanding support. The Department of Public Information technicians who travelled with me were enterprising and indefatigable and the staff at MONUA headquarters provided assistance well beyond what could reasonably have been expected by me.
A video will now be shown — one which has been thrown together in the 36 hours since my return rather than over the two or three months which a more polished production would normally require.
After meeting extensively with Foreign Minister Miranda and President Dos Santos, Mr. Angel and I, accompanied by the Vice-Chairman and the Rapporteur of the expert panel, travelled inland to witness firsthand the ravages of the Angolan civil war and to visit the recently captured UNITA capital of Andulo. Members of the Council will know that the cities of the central highlands of Angola have borne the brunt of this long and devastating war.
We visited the principal capital of Huambo, where nothing in that once beautiful city remains undamaged. We visited a camp containing about 25,000 internally displaced Angolan refugees, and a new, more permanent development designed by the Government to relieve the pressure on these desperate and long-suffering people. The relief agencies are doing their best in appalling circumstances, but the challenge of coming to grips with the plight of two million internally displaced persons in the midst of the ever-threatening civil war is immense.
I think that, aside from a film crew, we were the first foreigners to visit Andulo since the war began a year ago. That city, captured by Government forces last October, was Savimbi’s base of operations, and UNITA still has forces only 50 kilometres away.
Just before Christmas, I asked the Government of Angola if, accompanied by members of the panel, I could examine the weapons seized and talk to UNITA soldiers. The air strip at Andulo was the principal site at which Security-Council-imposed sanctions prohibiting the supply of weapons and fuel to UNITA have been routinely and grossly violated — up to, that is, mid-October, when the Angolan army captured these weapons and denied UNITA its most important access to war matériel.
The long dirt strip at Andulo routinely handles some of the largest transport aircraft in the world, which brought in tanks such as T-64s and T-55s; armoured fighting vehicles such as BMP-2s; multiple-launch rocket systems; towed and self-propelled heavy artillery; a full range of anti-aircraft guns and missiles; a myriad of mortar systems of all calibres; anti-tank weapons; mines from Claymores to small, sophisticated anti-personnel devices; and medium- and small-calibre weapons systems. Andulo was the centre of UNITA power, and Savimbi began constructing his large underground bunker and squirrelling away fuel throughout the period of United Nations supervised peace, in preparation for the war to which he seems always to have planned to return in order to win what he had failed to achieve in the United Nations supervised elections of 1992.
Once we returned to Rwanda, we met the Minister of Defence, the Minister of Finance and the Chief of the Defence Staff, General Do Matos, and we were able to meet the senior officers whom I mentioned earlier. We also, of course, met the officers I listed earlier, and their testimony follows on the video tape.
“(spoke in Portuguese; interpreted into English at the scene): My name is Jasinto Ricardo Bandua. I was working very closely with Savimbi; I was in his military office. At the same time, I held the post of chief of logistics for strategic equipment. UNITA bought a great deal of matériel, and many items including tanks, troop-carriers, cannons, mortars, mortar grenades, launching pads for missiles and ammunition of various calibres. UNITA also bought many accessories for tanks, which made it possible for UNITA to refurbish tanks it had captured in the course of the 16 years of war.
“So let me repeat that during the 16 years of struggle, when there were incursions by South African forces in southern Angola in the Cunene area, those forces offered most of the Soviet equipment captured to UNITA because it was not in line with their military doctrine. This included anti-aircraft guns and reactive long-range guns. Throughout the peace process, UNITA was refurbishing all this equipment. Added to the matériel it had imported, this equipment greatly increased UNITA’s mechanized assets for the force it was organizing. In other words, what UNITA purchased, what it refurbished, and what it had hidden amounted to a great deal of equipment.
“(spoke in Portuguese; interpreted into English at the scene): My name is Jose-Antonio Gil and I am 32 years old. I was in the commander in charge of air operations. The major objective of that centre was to intercept all communications from the Angolan air force. UNITA received 15 to 20 flights a day, including IL-76s, Antonov 72s and Antonov 32s, carrying T-74 tanks, BMP-2s, BM-21s, BM-27s and other equipment for infantry troops.
“Had you personally seen the equipment you mention?
“(spoke in Portuguese): Yes.
“My name is Alcides Kangunga, also known as Kalia. UNITA does not contact its contractors. There are people whom we just call the international market in weapons. We do not know who is the boss behind it, but there are intermediaries, who are in contact with UNITA. Those guys, who are kept in secret — unfortunately, I was not in that camp and I do not know exactly who — are the people who are in contact with the one who comes to UNITA, for example. When they come, if UNITA agrees with them, the rest is between those guys and the other one: UNITA does not know who. For the payment, UNITA says, Okay, you know this history of sanctions’. As there are sanctions against UNITA, we do not use banks; we have no more money outside; we have no dollars. But we have products; we have diamonds. Bring me the price of the matériel. UNITA chooses; they propose the kind of matériel they need. They establish contact with their agents.
UNITA does not control it. After, they come with the prices. Also, UNITA does not contact only one intermediator. It chooses the best price. After finding the one whose price is the best, they say, Okay, the way to pay this is just to negotiate. You have it.’ But they also have the diamonds. If he says, Okay, for this matériel, just give me $2 million. Do you have an expert who knows how to buy diamonds?’, they go to look for their experts. That process is carried out. At the time when there were airfields in Angola, the expert just came to Angola.
“Mr. Fowler: And the payment was made in diamonds?
“Voice:They receive those diamonds. They count them and evaluate the price, and just say, Look, $2 million. You agree that the debt amounted to $2 million.’
“Mr. Fowler: So UNITA has its diamond expert there, too?
“Mr. Fowler: The arms dealer has his expert in diamonds and UNITA has its expert in diamonds, and they agree on what is $2 million?
“Voice: Exactly. When UNITA and the liaison man agree, they just have in their own charge the transport of the diamonds. And they know how to sell them. UNITA is no longer inside. The only thing that UNITA needs is the matériel.
“Mr. Fowler: So you are saying that UNITA did not talk to Governments about buying weapons; they just talked to middlemen?
“Mr. Fowler: And these middlemen often presented themselves to UNITA in competition with each other, and UNITA was able in effect to have an auction — it was able to choose the best price among the people who were competing to sell?
“Mr. Fowler: What about the transport?
“Voice:Transport is another competition.
“Mr. Fowler: Did the arms merchant arrange the transport?
“Voice:The one who wins the challenge sometimes also comes with a proposition. He will say, Okay, that is my price. If you agree with this price I will just put the matériel where you want it to be.’
* * *
“Mr. Fowler: General, we will continue with this discussion about how UNITA meets its fuel requirements. We have just agreed, I think, that it is not done by guys with one drum on the back of a truck. We know that there were large air shipments.
“Voice(spoke in Portuguese; interpreted into English at the scene): From 1996, the time that I began to be involved in the purchase of fuel, until December 1998, it amounted to 2.3 million litres. This was just imports or acquisitions. Also, as we bought, we used part. When the fighting erupted, UNITA had about half a million litres.
“Mr. Fowler: In December 1998?
“Voice(spoke in Portuguese; interpreted into English at the scene): November. I was in charge; I was controlling this. The armoured vehicles consumed a lot, and the movement of troops was another drain on fuel. By January, UNITA was at less than 100,000 litres. That was within one and a half months.
“Mr. Fowler: That was 500,000 to 100,000?
“Voice(spoke in Portuguese; interpreted into English at the scene): Below 100,000. From then on, Savimbi was compelled to start acquiring fuel. This became the first major priority. So the aircraft that arrived was only to bring fuel — nothing else. And that is when the countries that were quoted were offering their contribution — to allow the sale of fuel by using their countries.
“Mr. Fowler: Fuel arrived in drums or in bladders?
“Voice(spoke in Portuguese; interpreted into English at the scene): In drums.
“Mr. Fowler: Do you have any idea of the volume?
“Voice(spoke in Portuguese; interpreted into English at the scene): Yes. There were planes with 20,000 litres in drums. Then the Ilyushin brought in 50,000 in containers.”
Mr. Fowler: Precisely one year ago, the Council spent many hours discussing the circumstances in which two United Nations C-130 aircraft were destroyed and their passengers and crews murdered in Huambo province in the closing days of 1998, within hours of our joining the Council last year. There was much debate in the Council about who was responsible for such despicable acts, and how the perpetrators might hope to benefit from them. I believe that the Council will find this next segment interesting as to how it relates to United Nations sanctions and, indeed, who was responsible.
“Voice(spoke in Portuguese; interpreted into English at the scene): Savimbi took all these steps because, in the light of the sanction packages that were being applied, there was talk about controlling the tracing of UNITA’s assets placed in banks around the world. That is why I am saying that Savimbi did not bank any money, but rather, he went around keeping money in the houses of the Presidents who were his friends. Even in his own house he has five safes where he keeps money. He does not agree to use banks. He does not even have money that travels around in bags and suitcases. He has a lot of diamonds. And the best diamond he was able to win is kept with him.
“Mr. Fowler: He keeps it by his side?
“Voice(spoke in Portuguese; interpreted into English at the scene): Yes, close to him. But all his family is abroad. In Angola there is only him and two of his nephews. All of his family is abroad. So we do not know who keeps the diamonds. Where is Dr. Savimbi now? He is organizing the building of an airport to be able to welcome some aircraft. From what point I do not know, because now I am on this side.
* * *
“Voice(spoke in French): I will tell you frankly that I was his aide de camp for many years. He told me many things, and I tried to retain what he said. He said that he would never go into exile. Because of his personal life he does not want to submit himself to that. He is aware of all the evil that he has done everywhere. Once this is exposed to outside scrutiny, the laws will —
“Mr. Fowler: Pinochet.
“Voice(spoke in French): Exactly. He is here and he is going to stay there until he loses his life.”
Mr. Fowler (Canada): I jumped the gun on the United Nations aircraft. It is coming now. That was finances.
“Voice:(spoke in Portuguese; interpreted into English at the scene) On the two United Nations flights which were brought down in the Huambo area we use the same type of missile, and the person who brought them down is called Gregorio, the one who operated the gun.
“Mr. Fowler: It was a gun or missile?
“Voice(spoke in Portuguese; interpreted into English at the scene): It was a portable. It was not a gun. It was off-shoulder.
“Mr. Fowler: Was it the men he commanded who brought down the aircraft or was it he himself who brought down the aircraft?
“Voice(spoke in Portuguese; interpreted into English at the scene): He personally brought them down.
“Mr. Fowler: Was he told to shoot down those aeroplanes?
“Voice(spoke in Portuguese; interpreted into English at the scene): What happened was that we had instructions to bring down any type of aircraft that was flying within reach of anti-aircraft guns.
“Mr. Fowler: Including United Nations aircraft?
“Voice(spoke in Portuguese; interpreted into English at the scene): Everything that was an aircraft, because Savimbi said that United Nations aircraft was in the service of the Government.
“Mr. Fowler: So there is no doubt among UNITA forces that the United Nations was a fair target.
“Voice(spoke in Portuguese; interpreted into English at the scene): Yes. Those were the instructions we had. Savimbi gave instructions that the soldiers should bury the remains of the aircraft when the aircraft was brought down; in other words they should make it impossible to see or revisit the site. There was also the story of the black box. In other words, they should make it impossible to decipher what happened.
“Mr. Fowler: Were there any survivors from the first flight?
“Voice(spoke in Portuguese; interpreted into English at the scene): No, there were none.
“Mr. Fowler: What was the reaction when the second United Nations flight was brought down?
“Voice(spoke in Portuguese; interpreted into English at the scene): The modalities were the same.
“Mr. Fowler: Was there happiness?
“Voice(spoke in Portuguese; interpreted into English at the scene): The people were not happy.
“Mr. Fowler: Why not?
“Voice(spoke in Portuguese; interpreted into English at the scene): The population had gone into a trance, and they knew that once the United Nations aircraft was brought down, then worse things would follow.
“Mr. Fowler: Like what?
“Voice(spoke in Portuguese; interpreted into English at the scene): The war would resume. In brief, military action would follow.
“Mr. Fowler: And did that happen?
“Voice(spoke in Portuguese; interpreted into English at the scene): Sanctions are now taking effect because UNITA is now encountering many difficulties.
“Mr. Fowler: What kind of difficulties?
“Voice(spoke in Portuguese; interpreted into English at the scene): The aircraft do not land normally. Now they have to be pirate flights, and that has not been easy. Most of the aircraft have to land at night. When the weather was rainy, there were further difficulties. So, Savimbi really came out to say that the sanctions were biting.
“Mr. Fowler: Did you know what he meant when he said that?
“Voice(spoke in Portuguese; interpreted into English at the scene): Yes. He said the sanctions were biting because not all the equipment that UNITA had bought was able to be transported to the country. Savimbi had issued specific, categorical orders to shoot down any United Nations aircraft. He was not interested in whether they were just crossing Angolan airspace or whether they were based here or what they were doing. He gave express instructions to bring down these aircraft. Five minutes after each plane was shot down, Savimbi was informed. For all the aircraft shot down in Huambo province, it was Savimbi who gave the instructions and it was he who, after they were shot down, gave orders to cover them up so as not to leave any trace. If they found any traces of human bodies, all that should be burnt and destroyed, and even the bones should by buried very far away. Those were Savimbi’s orders.
“Mr. Fowler: When Savimbi was informed of the shooting down of the first United Nations aircraft, did you see his reaction?
“Voice(spoke in Portuguese; interpreted into English at the scene): I talked to him.
“Mr. Fowler: And how did he react?
“Voice(spoke in Portuguese; interpreted into English at the scene): He was happy, and he said that this was a way of pressuring all those who were working with the United Nations to quit.
“Mr. Fowler: And the reaction of your fellow staff officers, did they share your reaction? What happened to the individual who had fired the missile to bring down the aircraft?
“Voice(spoke in Portuguese; interpreted into English at the scene): He was promoted.
“Mr. Fowler: He was promoted fairly quickly?
“Voice(spoke in Portuguese; interpreted into English at the scene): Yes. In less than one week.
“Mr. Fowler: When the second United Nations aircraft was shot down less than a week later —
“Voice(spoke in Portuguese; interpreted into English at the scene): It was the same person who fired.
“Mr. Fowler: And Savimbi’s reaction to the second one?
“Voice(spoke in Portuguese; interpreted into English at the scene): Happiness.
I thank Ambassador Fowler for that Academy Award-winning movie and his excellent report. I congratulate him on his difficult mission and on laying the basis for the reports to come in the future, which will be of such immense importance.
We now have the Vice-Minister of External Relations of Angola, after which we will hear from the other members of the Security Council. The first speaker after the Vice-Minister — I would like to explain in advance, so members are all ready — will be Ambassador Lavrov of the Russian Federation, who will speak on behalf of the troika. After that, other countries will speak. I will forgo our national statement and simply submit it for public record if we run out of time because of the pressures today.
I welcome to the Security Council the Vice-Minister of External Relations of Angola, Mr. Georges Chicoti and invite him to make his statement.
As I take the floor, allow me, in the first place, to thank the United States Government for dedicating this meeting of the Council to Angola.
Your initiatives, Mr. President, are not only highly valuable to Angola, but also to Africa in general, where the struggle for life, democracy and development has become a major challenge for the international community.
Only a few days ago, the United States contributed $200 million to the fight against AIDS in Africa, which — apart from armed conflicts, poverty and underdevelopment — is another devastating factor against the African population. This important gesture of your Government, Mr. President, shows that the world can do more to respond to some of its major problems, provided that there is more solidarity and understanding.
As we enter the new millennium, Africa has to be at the centre of the world’s attention. Otherwise we are condemned to disappear or to fail before so many challenges if we do not act quickly. The world should not forget that in the last millennium sub-Saharan Africa was not only totally conquered militarily, but that it was also humiliated through the long and devastating slave trade, which affected more than 100 million people, followed by the difficult experience of colonization. We were divided into pieces of land belonging to our colonial masters without our own cultures and history being taken into account.
The African continent faced one of the worst expressions of racism in the apartheid regime and its consequences. Although Africa finally became independent, it was generally too late and under very difficult circumstances that have ongoing repercussions on our social and political structures today. The burden is a big one, but I think that the world community has a chance to make the world a better place to live in for all. It is now important to leave behind the negative heritage of the past millennium.
Angola is one of those difficult examples in Africa. We have had the longest experience of slave trade, from approximately 1500 to approximately 1950. The colonial domination of Angola lasted approximately 400 years. Another particularity of Angola is that, while independence was granted to other African countries through peaceful means, we had to wage a long war of liberation, which became the continuation of the cold war immediately after independence, in 1975.
Angola then continued to suffer aggression for another 16 years, not only by the apartheid regime but also by those, including Mr. Savimbi, who felt that our political choice was wrong. About 1 million Angolans died between 1975 and 1991, while more than 50,000 were left mutilated. Most of the Angolan economic infrastructure was destroyed through unprovoked attacks by the apartheid regime in a clear attempt to disrupt the Angolan economy and create social destitution among the Angolan people.
There was in fact strong support from the international community, which led this organ — the Security Council — to adopt resolutions calling on the apartheid regime to pay more than $10 billion in reparations to Angola, but this was never done. However, the end of the cold war and, consequently, of apartheid, brought hopes that made possible the signing of the Bicesse Accords between the Angolan Government and UNITA under the auspices of the United States of America, Russia, Portugal and the United Nations. The dynamics of democratic pluralism and political transition were engaged.
Elections were held and declared free and fair for all. Twelve political parties participated and gained seats in Parliament. Only Mr. Savimbi found reasons to go back to war. The Angolan Government was asked by the international community to accept new negotiations with UNITA and to form a Government of Unity and National Reconciliation starting in 1994. Mr. Savimbi was himself offered the position of Vice-President, but again he chose the military option, which continues to claim the lives of many innocent Angolans. This represents a crime against humanity, because all chances have been offered to Mr. Savimbi and yet he has ignored them. Can the international community allow Mr. Savimbi to continue to kill people for all these years without being indicted for his crimes? Are we not setting a double standard and a dangerous precedent?
Mr. Savimbi’s military activities against the civilian population have caused one of the most serious humanitarian catastrophes in the world. More than 3.7 million people are affected within Angola’s borders, while many refugees have crossed into neighbouring countries. More than 2 million people have died in this 25-year-old conflict created by Mr. Savimbi’s obstinate efforts to acquire political power by force. The placing of landmines by UNITA close to human settlements has deprived people of access to farmland, thus increasing their conditions of starvation.
The Angolan Government realizes the seriousness of the problem and has responded to the humanitarian situation with $56 million and expects to increase its contribution during this year. May I take the opportunity to thank members of the donor community that have responded to the 1999 Appeal of the United Nations. The commitment of the United Nations, and of the Council in particular, has been very crucial in trying to bring peace to Angola, as well as in responding to the humanitarian strife. The Consolidated Appeal for this year will require $250 million, and in this regard we are counting on the continued understanding of the donor community.
As to the political situation, my Government is concerned at the fact that, despite the existence of several important resolutions that impose sanctions on Mr. Savimbi and his followers, many countries and organizations are determined to continue to break them and to allow UNITA’s acquisition of new and sophisticated weapons.
This is not acceptable to the Angolan Government, and we therefore urge States Members of the United Nations to respect the resolutions. The Angolan army has undertaken military activities to destroy UNITA’s military hardware and extend Government authority throughout the country. As a result of these operations, Government forces have extended authority to Andulo, Bailundo, Jamba and other places during the last half of 1999. Large quantities of sophisticated weapons were captured.
The Angolan Government recognizes and encourages the investigative work of the sanctions Committee of the Security Council, and expects that its report will in the near future provide important elements that will allow the Council to take new and important measures to discourage those countries that, by supporting Mr. Savimbi’s war, have over the years contributed to the strife in Angola and to the suffering of the Angolan people.
My Government remains committed to a democratic and reconciled Angola through the Lusaka Protocol and will continue to cooperate with the United Nations and other institutions. As I speak before the Council today, the Angolan Parliament is ratifying the new Agreement between Angola and the United Nations, which will create the conditions for a new relationship.
May I, at this point in time, commend the Secretary-General for his patience and for his personal commitment to this Agreement. This Agreement represents the will of the Angolan Government to work to improve the human rights situation, which has gradually deteriorated due to the war imposed upon us by Mr. Savimbi. The Government of Angola believes, however, that there must be greater participation by civil society in Angolan national affairs through open political debates and elections. In this regard, President José Eduardo dos Santos has initiated consultations that will allow the elaboration of an electoral calendar by the year 2001.
As I conclude my statement, let me express one wish. The past millennium was disastrous for Africa and particularly for Angola. Therefore, as we start this millennium, let us now make the commitment to bring about peace and development by addressing the true causes of conflict and strife in Angola, which sometimes have been ignored. We are a peace-loving nation that asks for nothing less than understanding and recognition of our history and values. As a Government, we have fulfilled our share of responsibilities, and we are ready to work with the international community to foster new ways of achieving peace, provided that there is fairness in the appreciation of the true causes of conflict in Angola.
May I thank all members of the Council, the Secretary-General and all United Nations and non-governmental organization workers who over the years have worked in Angola under difficult conditions, risking their lives in order to respond to the needs of the Angolan people. My final thought of appreciation goes to you, Mr. President, and to the Government of the United States of America, who have been able to do so much for Africa and Angola in just a few days of your presidency.
I thank the Vice-Minister for his very important and comprehensive statement and affirmation of his Government’s policy, for his very kind words about our Government and for his kind words addressed to me.
First, I would like to associate myself with those words of welcome that you addressed to the Vice-Minister of External Relations of Angola, and I would also like to thank Under-Secretary-General Prendergast for his briefing, as well as Ambassador Fowler for the information that he gave us today. I am certain that everything that we have seen and heard today will greatly help the Council in its efforts to ensure the implementation of our own decisions.
As coordinator of the troika of observer States for the implementation of the Angola peace process — Portugal, the United States and the Russian Federation — I have been authorized to make the following statement.
“Members of the troika remain deeply concerned by the tragic humanitarian situation of millions of Angolans as a result of the ongoing conflict that has ravaged the country.
“Members of the troika reaffirm that the primary cause of the continuing conflict in Angola is the failure of the União Nacional para a Independência Total de Angola (UNITA) under the leadership of Mr. Jonas Savimbi to comply with its obligations under the Lusaka Protocol and relevant resolutions of the Security Council, in particular its failure to delimitarize and its resistance to extension of State administration.
“Members of the troika note that immediate and full compliance with all provisions of the Lusaka Protocol remains the fundamental expectation of the international community.
“Members of the troika share the assessment of the Secretary-General that the overall situation in the country could only benefit from an improved human rights environment and from the persistent efforts to eliminate human rights violations.
“Members of the troika condemn the human rights violations perpetrated by UNITA upon innocent civilians and remind UNITA of its responsibility to respect the human rights of Angolans.
“Members of the troika encourage all those within the UNITA leadership committed to bringing the current conflict to a peaceful conclusion to work constructively with the Government of Angola to create the conditions conducive to genuine reconciliation and open democratic dialogue and cooperation.
“Members of the troika condemn UNITA’s ongoing attacks on civilian populations within the Republic of Angola and note with grave concern the escalation of the fighting into Namibia. The troika calls upon UNITA fighters to lay down their arms and encourages the Government of Angola to provide mechanisms for the demobilization of former UNITA combatants.
“Members of the troika, in this connection, welcome recent statements by Angolan President José Eduardo dos Santos acknowledging the need for a political dialogue involving all those committed to peace, and reaffirm the importance of the continuation of the Government of National Unity and Reconciliation.
“Members of the troika encourage the Government of Angola to enhance the protection of human rights for all Angolan citizens in accordance with the Constitution of the country and note the importance of creating the conditions for open political debate and the development of a democratic society in Angola.
“Members of the troika underscore the important role of a free media in promoting Angola’s ongoing democratic development and encourage the Government of Angola to respect the free press and its practitioners.
“Members of the troika call upon the international donor community to continue to assist the Government of Angola to fulfil its primary responsibility for addressing the needs of its people, including the victims of the continuing humanitarian crisis. The troika notes that, for the year 2000, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and the Unit for the Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance have issued a consolidated appeal for humanitarian assistance to Angola for $258 million.
“Members of the troika affirm their support for the work of the Committee on sanctions against UNITA, under the leadership of Ambassador Fowler, and call upon regional organizations such as the Southern African Development Community, the Economic Community of West African States and others to render support for its activities, and continue to urge all States strictly to enforce sanctions against UNITA.
“Members of the troika agree that the United Nations Office in Angola (UNOA) has a valuable role to play in exploring effective measures for restoring peace, assisting the Angolan people in capacity-building, humanitarian assistance and the promotion of human rights, and coordinating other activities, including compliance with sanctions against UNITA.
“Members of the troika underscore the importance of a rapid conclusion of a status of mission agreement for UNOA and urge the Government of Angola and the United Nations Secretariat urgently to reach agreement so that UNOA can begin to function, as outlined in Security Council resolution 1268 (1999).
“On the occasion of the first anniversary of the downing of two United Nations planes in Angola, members of the troika call on the Government of Angola to facilitate United Nations access to the crash sites sufficient to allow for investigation and the full repatriation of the remains of our colleagues killed in these incidents.
“Members of the troika note also with deep concern that over 18 months have passed since the tragic loss of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Alioune Blondin Beye, and that the United Nations and the families of the deceased have yet to receive a final report on the tragic events of 26 June 1998 and thus call upon the Government of Côte d’Ivoire to produce a report of its findings as soon as possible.
“Members of the troika remain gravely concerned over the fate of the crews and passengers of Russian and Ukrainian commercial airplanes shot down or otherwise lost under suspicious circumstances over territory then controlled by UNITA and call upon the Government of Angola and all concerned parties to cooperate in ascertaining the fate of the missing and obtaining the release of survivors by UNITA.”
I would like to draw the attention of everybody here in the Chamber and watching on television to the fact that the troika — with the Russians, speaking for us; our colleagues the Portuguese, under Ambassador Monteiro, who was with us today; and the United States — is working effectively on this issue. This is an important statement and I hope people will pay it due heed here and in the rest of the world. I particularly draw attention to the fact that, on a day when attention is focused on areas where not all the members of the Security Council are in full agreement, the troika is functioning effectively and that the United States, Portugal and the Russian Federation have come up with this important statement.
If we run out of time, as the last speaker I will waive my right to speak and simply make my statement available for the public record. I think most of what I was going to say is contained in the troika statement in any case; there are a few nuances which I would add as a national means.
We have paid very careful attention to the troika statement and the United Kingdom, I think, can say that it agrees with everything in it, so I will not repeat what is in the statement.
I would like to draw attention also to a statement made by the European Union (EU) yesterday, which was issued in Brussels and which is available from the EU office in New York. It comes down very much in the same area: Mr. Savimbi bears the prime responsibility for the war in Angola and the Security Council now has to take that into account. Both the troika statement and the EU statement make it very clear that the Government of Angola itself has some responsibilities and some things it needs to do — perhaps some things it needs to do better.
There is very broad international agreement, as shown by the EU and troika statements, that, first of all, the Lusaka Protocol remains the foundation for a political solution in Angola — that is something which the Government of Angola fully agrees with — and that Savimbi’s defiance of that Protocol and of the resolutions of this Council are the prime cause of the continuing conflict and the human catastrophe that has resulted from it.
It is quite clear to all of us that the Government of Angola and UNITA need to enter into a dialogue to create a political solution, but Jonas Savimbi has abrogated any right to be part of that solution. He has let Angola down too often; his word is worthless. Both the troika and the EU statements make clear that progress can be made towards a political solution only with those members of UNITA who are prepared to work genuinely for national reconciliation. Clearly, it is time for decisions to be taken that put the Angolan people first and not last in this conflict.
On the humanitarian side, we must not lose sight of the need for human rights to be observed by all protagonists and the United Nations has a primary role in assisting the Government of Angola to promote and respect human rights. I hope that Under-Secretary-General Prendergast can confirm to us that there are some human rights observers remaining in Angola and I would be interested to know what their status is pending the establishment of the United Nations Office in Angola.
On the humanitarian front, there is already a dire humanitarian situation and we need access for humanitarian personnel and for the delivery of emergency assistance in areas under their control. I should be grateful to know from the Secretariat what access the humanitarian agencies still have to Angolan territory.
As for sanctions, I think we all applaud what Ambassador Fowler is doing and we are very grateful for his briefing this morning, but we particularly look forward to the expert panel’s report, which we hope will contain firm recommendations to make sanctions against UNITA bite. The United Kingdom would want the international community to be in a position to name and shame individuals, companies and, if necessary, Governments involved in sanctions-busting. The United Kingdom is beginning to get more active on this front nationally, as Mr. Peter Hain, our Minister of State, has just made clear in a parliamentary statement today. I shall bring that statement to the attention of the sanctions Committee Chairman.
We welcome the Secretary-General’s intention to get the adoption of a United Nations Office in Angola under Security Council resolution 1268 (1999) implemented. It is disappointing that there has been no progress on that in the past three months. We warmly hope that the Government of Angola and the Secretariat will soon reach a conclusion on that.
We welcome the appointment of Ambassador Gambari to focus on Angola. We hope that he will bring greater vigour, commitment and cohesion to the international effort, which it now badly needs. We need some progress now on the political front, on the humanitarian front and on the sanctions front to show that the continuation of the civil war is absolutely pointless.
We thank you, Mr. President, for your initiative in bringing this to the Security Council in open meeting, and we hope that the publicity that this meeting will give to this question will help us move forward in practice.
We look forward to reading Peter Hain’s statement in full. I think we can see that this meeting is already beginning to produce the kind of focus that it was intended to produce when it was first called.
Let me begin by thanking His Excellency the Vice-Minister of External Relations of Angola for the comprehensive and forward-looking statement he made this morning. We also appreciate the report presented by Under-Secretary-General Prendergast at the outset of today’s debate.
Bangladesh welcomes the appointment of Ambassador Ibrahim Gambari as the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Africa, with special focus on Angola among other issues. We wish him all success in his new responsibilities.
In Angola, our concerns are multiple, relating to the political situation, peace and security, disarmament and national reconciliation, humanitarian issues and human rights, and development. I shall limit my statement to three of those aspects.
First, with regard to the political situation, we have noted with satisfaction, as reported by the Secretary-General, the continued commitment of President Dos Santos to the Lusaka Protocol. In that context, we reiterate our conviction that lasting peace in Angola can be achieved through political settlement and national reconciliation. The success in the recent military campaigns launched against UNITA and the moves towards UNITA’s political and strategic isolation should therefore be aimed at returning to the Lusaka process.
Here, I would mention that the United Nations has imposed sanctions against UNITA progressively since 1993. The measures were aimed at denying UNITA the means of war and obliging it to respect its own commitments and to come back to the negotiating table. Yet, according to reports, UNITA has earned up to $4 billion over the past eight years by selling diamonds and through clever investments. Had the nexus involving the diamonds-for-arms trade not been allowed to function, the people of Angola would most certainly have found peace and prosperity years ago.
The reports coming from the inspection of the Andulo arms cache are revealing. We cannot blame people for feeling consternation and outrage. The supply of arms to UNITA, direct or indirect, from all sources and all origins, must stop. An effective mechanism should not be beyond our powers.
Our colleague Ambassador Robert Fowler deserves our very high appreciation for making a difference and for helping the sanctions regime cut into the gems-for-guns trade. We pay tribute to his determined efforts as evidenced in his presentation, in both oral and video forms, at today’s meeting. Ambassador Fowler should have our full and well-intentioned support, going beyond rhetoric.
The sanctions Committee should receive sincere cooperation from all Member States, so that supply routes and mechanisms for UNITA diamonds are effectively cut off, so that UNITA’s money is refused laundering, so that the treasuries open their doors to the sanctions Committee, and so that guns do not manage to reach the hands of UNITA gunmen to be used to kill their own people. The momentum created now should be sustained and supported by all concerned.
On the second aspect, humanitarian issues and human rights, we welcome the progress towards allowing the United Nations Office in Angola (UNOA) to assume its functions. We hope that, with early approval by the Angolan Parliament of the Status-of-Mission Agreement, the United Nations mission will soon be functional. We would urge the Angolan Government to accept the mandate of the United Nations Office in Angola, as defined in resolution 1268 (1999), in full.
The humanitarian and human rights situation in Angola, where some 3.7 million people are affected by the long drawn-out war, needs a commensurate response from the international community. The overwhelming number of refugees, internally displaced persons and victims of mines demands massive rehabilitation programmes. A comprehensive political settlement is essential for such vast humanitarian operations and for social rehabilitation and economic reconstruction. The Angolan Government needs to facilitate the full involvement of the United Nations and of the international community in that country.
Turning to the third aspect, development, it is a cruel irony that such a courageous people, endowed with so much wealth, should be reduced to poverty and misery. According to reports, some 200 people die of starvation in Angola every day. The human development index for Angola fell to 160 last year; about 82 per cent of the people live in abject poverty; infant mortality is higher than 320 per thousand. Yet diamonds and petroleum worth billions of dollars are exported from that country. Obviously, in the first place, the Government of Angola needs to allocate more resources to the basic humanitarian needs of the people.
The Secretary-General has reported that the United Nations Development Programme and other agencies have had to scale down their operational activities. We would like to know his recommendations about possible resumption of those activities. It would also be useful to know the recommendations of the Secretary-General on other additional measures to be taken by the Council and by other organs and agencies of the United Nations.
The mine clearance programme has had to be curtailed while in the past year 409 civilians, most of them women, fell victim. The extension of Government control over a significant part of rebel-held areas should now permit resumption of the mine clearance programme.
Finally, the role of regional countries in helping to put an end to the war of attrition is, needless to say, critically important. The people of Angola are among those who suffer most from a war in which history bears an undeniable responsibility. They deserve the most sympathetic and generous solidarity of the international community.
I wish first of all to welcome to the Council the Vice-Minister of External Relations of Angola.
I wish also to thank the Secretary-General for the information and comments contained in his most recent report on developments in Angola, contained in document S/2000/23. My thanks go also to Mr. Kieran Prendergast and to Ambassador Robert Fowler for their comprehensive and instructive briefings. My delegation endorses the ideas set out in the report and in those briefings, and I should like to make some comments in that regard.
First, let me stress that Mali attaches great importance to a continued United Nations presence in Angola. Such a presence can make a major contribution to promoting peace, national reconciliation, respect for human rights, and the security of the region. To that end, it is important to restore trust between the United Nations and the Government of Angola.
From this standpoint, my delegation welcomes the positive developments with regard to the status of the mission, which will allow the United Nations Office in Angola to become operational. In the same vein, we welcome the appointment of Ambassador Ibrahim Gambari the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Africa, with special focus on the situation in Angola.
Secondly, we believe that the chief cause of the current crisis in Angola is UNITA’s failure to comply with its obligations under the Lusaka Protocol and the relevant resolutions of the Security Council. Mali welcomes the sanctions imposed on UNITA, in particular the provisions contained in Security Council resolution 1237 (1999), and supports the recommendations contained in the reports of the Chairman of the sanctions Committee in documents S/1999/644 and S/1999/829.
Thirdly, my delegation is profoundly concerned by the repercussions on regional security and on the Angolan people of the continuing conflict and of its expansion. I should like to emphasize in particular the situation of internally displaced persons and vulnerable groups, namely, children, women, the elderly and the disabled. I should like to echo the statement issued at the thirty-fifth Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the Organization of African Unity, held in Algiers in July 1999, which urged the international community to provide the Angolan Government with the necessary assistance to enable it to fulfil its primary responsibility of meeting the humanitarian needs of the Angolan people. We commend the Angolan Government for having set up an emergency humanitarian assistance plan.
Fourthly, my delegation believes that lasting peace and national reconciliation can be secured only through political dialogue. In this respect, the lesson that we can learn from Angola is abundantly clear. That is why my delegation believes that the Lusaka Protocol must be revitalized so as to put an end to the suffering of the Angolan people and permit my mentor, friend and compatriot, Maître Alioune Blondin Beye, the architect of that Protocol, to rest in peace.
We very much share the heartfelt sentiments expressed by the representative of Mali, particularly at the end of his statement, when he referred to the tragic loss of the United Nations Special Representative, his illustrious compatriot, Mr. Alioune Blondin Beye. As President of the Council, I wish to express the unanimity with which we share that last expression of concern.
We have benefited today from several statements which have been in agreement and expressed convergent views. Mr. Prendergast’s statement was detailed and rigorous; Ambassador Fowler made an enlightening statement — we can never congratulate the Chairman of the sanctions Committee enough for the persistence and willingness he has displayed in trying to give meaning to the action of the Security Council and weight to the sanctions; finally, we heard the statement by the Vice-Minister of External Relations of Angola.
All of those statements were in agreement and expressed convergent views. We associate ourselves with the comments made on behalf of the troika by the Ambassador of the Russian Federation. But I would also like to draw attention to the statement made by Ambassador Greenstock, who referred to a statement made by the European Union. I believe that, quite rightly, Ambassador Greenstock recalled that the European Union, which welcomed the turn of events and the extension of the Angolan Government’s administration, has appealed to the Luandan authorities in Angola and encouraged them to establish the political, social and economic conditions which would make it possible for the rule of law and democracy to develop in Angola.
As the Luanda Government is reaffirming its authority throughout Angola, it is good that it is able to show that it is adhering to those values of good governance and democratic values, which confirm the consolidation of a free civil society. That is the goal of the international community in supporting the Luanda Government. Therefore, we cannot help but be pleased by all that is being done in this area by the Angolan authorities.
What other lessons can we draw from this debate? First, with regard to the sanctions, as I have already said — and as has been proved by Ambassador Fowler — the will of a Chairman of the sanctions Committee and the means made available to that Chairman to carry out his functions lead to results. It is evident that such results have been manifested on the ground with UNITA’s loss of influence and its difficulties. I repeat: this is all due to the way in which the sanctions Committee has successfully carried out the rigorous implementation of Security Council decisions.
You are also right, Mr. President, to impose a logical sequence on our debates this month, and you were inspired in inviting Mrs. Ogata here, because today, when we are talking about Angola, we must bear in mind what she said about the humanitarian situation. You were right, Sir, when a few days ago you questioned the limits of the mandate of Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. The problem in Angola is certainly one of refugees, as there are hundreds of thousands of Angolan refugees in neighbouring countries. But above all, there is a considerable problem of several million displaced persons. Even more disturbing is the fact that almost 4 million people are affected by the war, and we should bear that in mind. We must, therefore, follow up the appeal made by Mrs. Ogata for international assistance, and we should respond favourably to the United Nations Consolidated Inter-agency Appeal for Angola, which amounts to $258 million. Lastly, we should take into account what was said by Mrs. Ogata regarding the continuing problems caused by anti-personnel landmines. Some of those problems have existed since the beginning of the fighting. That is not the only problem in Angola, but it strengthens our conviction of the need for a complete prohibition on anti-personnel landmines.
Another comment that arises from the statements made is the obvious link among all the crises in Africa. Angola was led to intervene in the Democratic Republic of the Congo because UNITA sought to operate from that territory. We can see that the conflict is now spreading to other countries in the region; very recently our Namibian friends were affected, and there have been civilian losses in Namibia as well. This underlines the need for us, the Security Council, to deal with all the crises in the region comprehensively, because each of them affects security in neighbouring countries.
Obviously, these comments lead us to understand the necessity of the role of the United Nations. The Ambassador of Mali rightly recalled the memory of Maître Blondin Beye, who was from Mali. Out of respect for his memory, we must try to preserve the role of the United Nations in Angola, and we therefore hope that the Status-of-Mission Agreement will soon be concluded definitively and implemented. We welcome the Secretary-General’s decision to entrust Ambassador Gambari, his Special Adviser on Africa, with a special mission in Angola.
However, we must reflect on lessons of the past. The United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (MONUA) was criticized for not having seen that UNITA was not respecting its commitments under the Lusaka Protocol, particularly as regards disarmament and demobilization. I believe we must reflect upon this aspect of the Angolan tragedy. If MONUA was unable to fully discharge its mandate, we must ensure that the United Nations is not exposed to such criticism or the repetition of similar observations, when, in a few days’ time, we will take important decisions on the deployment of observers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo who will monitor respect for the Lusaka Agreement.
I think that we must bear very much in mind the lessons of Angola and avoid repetition of the same errors. If we underestimate and undersupply a United Nations mission — that is, if our estimates of the personnel necessary are insufficient — we could deprive that mission of the critical mass, of the adequate size, essential for it to be able to discharge its mandate. A failure in the Democratic Republic of the Congo means that we might run the risk of helplessly witnessing a resumption of hostilities, as was our sad experience in Angola. I think it is essential that the Security Council, under your authority, Mr. President, bear very clearly in mind this experience of Angola when it takes an important decision relating to the scope and the configuration of the operation that we wish to set up for the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The Chinese delegation is very appreciative to you, Mr. President, personally and to the United States delegation for all the arrangements you have made. At the same time, we wish to thank the Vice-Minister of External Relations of Angola, Mr. Chicoti, for attending our meeting today and for his statement. We also wish to thank Under-Secretary-General Prendergast and Mr. Fowler for their briefings.
Through Mr. Prendergast’s briefing, we are able to ascertain very clearly that the humanitarian situation in Angola is far from optimistic and remains extremely serious. We hope that the international community will respond positively to the Secretary-General’s appeal, made in his report (S/2000/23 of 14 January 2000, to intensify international support to Angola and to actively respond to the 2000 United Nations Consolidated Inter-agency Appeal for Angola.
It is well known that UNITA should bear the main responsibility for the situation in Angola. UNITA has long refused to fulfil its commitments under the Lusaka Protocol and defied the resolutions of the Security Council. It has used the diamonds produced in the area it controls to engage in illegal arms trade, constantly creates trouble and attacks innocent civilians, having gone as far as attacking United Nations humanitarian personnel. All these actions should be condemned and sanctioned by the international community. We strongly appeal for the relevant parties to abide earnestly by the resolutions of the Security Council and cease the provision of weapons and any other form of support to UNITA.
The Chinese delegation highly appreciates the excellent effort of the Chairman of the sanctions Committee, Ambassador Fowler, and his colleagues to improve the sanctions system against UNITA. Ambassador Fowler’s work has yielded great results. We were happy to learn that the international community has recently reached a higher degree of consensus and has adopted increasingly concerted measures with regard to sanctions against UNITA. These sanctions are yielding unprecedented results. We hope that the expert panel of the Security Council Committee will yield practical results in its work and will present a satisfactory report to the Security Council as early as possible.
We have repeatedly emphasized in various forums that sanctions against UNITA are not an end in themselves, but a means to create the necessary conditions for reaching a lasting political resolution of the Angola problem. We hope the international community will take concerted action so that UNITA will lay down weapons, cease hostilities and take the path of national reconciliation as soon as possible. We support the role played by the United Nations, on the basis of Security Council resolution 1268 (1999), in setting up a new Office in Angola. We hope the Secretariat will be able to complete the Status-of-Mission Agreement with the Angolan Government and that the mission will be able to start its work as soon as possible.
Lastly, I wish to take this opportunity to congratulate the Secretary-General on his appointment of Ambassador Gambari as his Special Adviser on African issues. We hope that this nomination will infuse new vitality into the cause of peace for Angola.
First of all, I would like to welcome the presence among us today of the Vice-Minister of External Relations of Angola. I would also like to thank him for the statement he made this morning.
Allow me also to express our thanks to the Secretary-General for his valuable report on Angola (S/2000/23), which was presented to us today by the Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Mr. Kieran Prendergast. We thank him for his briefing on the very alarming humanitarian situation in Angola.
I would like to express our special thanks to Ambassador Fowler, Chairman of the sanctions Committee on Angola, for his detailed report on his visit to Angola to find ways and means of supporting the sanctions imposed on UNITA in order to prevent it from getting the weapons and supplies it needs to continue fighting.
We would also like to thank the troika for the report presented by the Russian Federation. We commend the troika’s efforts to find a settlement to this conflict and bring about reconciliation in Angola.
The tragic situation in that African country is a cause for serious alarm for us because of the human suffering that exists there. The continuation of military action has led to an increase in the number of refugees and internally displaced persons. Mrs. Sadako Ogata, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, told us last week that refugees and internally displaced persons comprise 20 per cent of the population of Angola, and that nearly 10 million anti-personnel landmines have been placed in Angola. This in itself threatens in particular the security of the population — especially that of children — and the peace and security of the country in general. One of the first priorities, therefore, is to put an end to hostilities and return to the negotiating table in order to make it possible for the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to provide assistance.
We would like to express our satisfaction with the Angolan Government’s recommitment to the Lusaka Protocol as a valid basis for the peace process. We urge UNITA, which we consider the party responsible for the continuation of the conflict, to unambiguously demonstrate that it intends to comply with its commitments under the Lusaka Protocol. The negotiating option is the best means of finding a solution to the ongoing conflict in Angola. In this context, we encourage the Secretary-General, in consultation with the Security Council, to undertake further efforts with the parties concerned, and we hope the Council will continue this process.
We would like to express our satisfaction with the appointment of Mr. Ibrahim Gambari as the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Africa. We hope that he will take up his functions quickly in order to find a settlement to the ongoing tragedy in Angola so that it will be able to dedicate its natural resources to development and not to war.
Today more than ever before, we are called upon to put pressure on UNITA to put an end to its defiance of the international community and to respect international legitimacy and the relevant resolutions of the Security Council and the Organization of African Unity. We wish to reaffirm once again the need for the unconditional implementation of the Lusaka Protocol and the importance of the sanctions imposed against UNITA. We call on all parties, both in Africa and elsewhere, to respect those sanctions and to stop UNITA from selling diamonds to buy weapons. We have seen that when sanctions are actually implemented, the forces of UNITA are forced to pull back.
The Security Council is called upon today to take practical steps towards a final settlement of the Angolan conflict, which has gone on for so long. Tunisia, which continues to support the efforts of the international community to put an end to hotbeds of tension, reaffirms its intention to continue to search for a settlement of conflicts in Africa. We are determined to continue to work through the Security Council towards this goal and to offer our support until the parties in conflict choose to follow the peace process and to respect resolutions of international legitimacy, including those of the Security Council and the Organization of African Unity.
In conclusion, I would like to thank you, Mr. President, for organizing this debate on Angola.
Allow me to join previous speakers in welcoming the Vice-Minister of External Relations of Angola, and to thank him for his heartfelt statement on behalf of the Government and the people of his country.
My delegation is grateful to the Secretary-General for his report on the situation in Angola (S/2000/23) — including on the activities of the United Nations Office in Angola (UNOA) — which was introduced to us this morning by the Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Sir. Kieran Prendergast. The report provides a useful update of political developments, as well as of the military, human rights, humanitarian, socio-economic and other aspects since the adoption of resolution 1268 (1999) in October 1999. My delegation supports the analyses and observations contained in the report.
My delegation also wishes to thank Ambassador Fowler for his briefing this morning, including the vivid video tape. It is largely thanks to his effective leadership of the sanctions Committee that we now have sanctions that are beginning to yield results and reduce UNITA’s ability to obtain weapons to prosecute the war. We look forward to receiving the report of the expert panel in March, which will enable the Council to take further action.
While some measure of stability has been achieved in several areas of Angola in which there has been a re-establishment of State authority, the general security situation — with its risk of spillover into the neighbouring countries, particularly into Namibia — must continue to be of concern to the international community. The Secretary-General has, in his report, referred to recent high-level meetings focusing on issues related to security along Angola’s borders. We hope that the bilateral understandings and agreements reportedly reached will reduce the threat to regional peace and security.
My delegation agrees that the establishment of stability, security and harmony in Angola is largely dependent on the achievement of national reconciliation. We therefore welcome the Angolan Government’s recommitment to the Lusaka Protocol as a valid basis for the peace process. We believe that the path to peace can be successful only if all parties commit themselves to national reconciliation. The perpetuation of the conflict diverts scarce resources into sterile confrontation, which can only lead to further suffering for the war-weary people of Angola and the further destruction of the country’s infrastructure.
We were pleased to learn from the Vice-Minister that the Government’s plans to hold legislative and presidential elections will be implemented by 2001.
We call on UNITA to spare the innocent people of Angola the continued hardship that can be the only result of the continuation of this conflict by ending the fighting and by complying with its obligations under the Lusaka Protocol. In particular, UNITA must demilitarize its forces and allow the return of State administration throughout the country.
We cannot fail to acknowledge the precarious humanitarian situation prevailing in the country. The estimated 3.7 million people who have been affected within Angola’s borders, as well as refugees who have fled to neighbouring countries, have little or no access to humanitarian aid, and their circumstances remain dire. The reported situation of malnutrition among children is particularly disturbing. We hope that the recent restoration of stability in those areas where the Angolan Government has resumed control will lead to the resumption of humanitarian aid to the people who are so desperately in need of assistance. We also hope that the international donor community will respond positively to the United Nations Inter-agency Appeal.
The international community will need to assist the Angolan Government in those tasks which will be of paramount importance upon the cessation of hostilities — namely the reintegration of ex-combatants and the resettlement of internally displaced persons and refugees into the mainstream of Angolan life. The rebuilding of Angola’s infrastructure will also require close coordination on the part of the international community and various United Nations organizations, many of which have had to curtail their activities due to the war. These programmes must address such areas as employment generation and capacity-building through micro-financing, community recovery and longer-term infrastructure rehabilitation. In this regard, we note the urgent need for a resumption of demining activities and for the rehabilitation of the victims of landmines.
It is not only the people of Angola who have been the victims of this war. Among these have been international civil servants, including the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Mr. Blondin Beye, and humanitarian workers, who have given their lives in the cause of peace. There are also families who do not know the fate of their loved ones who have been caught in the crossfire. In this regard, we urge UNITA to give account of the missing persons and those being held captive.
My delegation adheres to the view that a continued United Nations presence in Angola can contribute greatly to the promotion of peace, national reconciliation, human rights and regional security, and we therefore hope that the draft Status-of-Mission Agreement can be concluded without further delay so that the UNOA may begin to assume its functions in accordance with resolution 1268 (1999).
In this regard, we welcome the appointment of Mr. Gambari as Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Africa. We know that he will make a valuable contribution to the efforts of the Secretary-General in restoring trust and confidence between the United Nations and the Government of Angola. We wish him every success.
In conclusion, I wish to emphasize that the Angolan problem remains an international problem and must continue to be addressed internationally if peace and prosperity are to return to that war-torn country.
My delegation is grateful to the Secretary-General for the report and updated information on recent developments in Angola. We thank Mr. Prendergast for introducing the report. Let me also welcome to the Security Council the Vice-Minister of External Relations of the Republic of Angola, Mr. Georges Chicoti. We thank him for his very important statement. I also welcome back my colleague and friend Ambassador Fowler.
The refusal by UNITA to, among other things, disarm its troops and allow the extension of State administration to areas under its control; the refusal of Savimbi to join the Government of National Unity; and its declaration of war against the legitimate and elected Government of Angola were no small measures. All these actions threatened the very foundation of the existence of the Republic of Angola, its unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity. The Government of Angola had no other option but to apply the necessary decisive military force against the rebel movement UNITA in order to defend its people and territory. It is against this background that the Republic of Namibia supports the Government of the Republic of Angola in its all-out campaign against UNITA.
My delegation has on several occasions in this body alerted the members of this Council to UNITA’s, and in particular Mr. Savimbi’s, intransigence and defiance. UNITA never honours and implements obligations in good faith. We wish to recall that the Southern African Development Community (SADC) has declared Mr. Savimbi to be a war criminal, a position which was in turn supported by the Organization of African Unity (OAU). Namibia therefore supports the position maintained by the Government of Angola in rejecting dialogue with Mr. Savimbi, who has so far not fully implemented the Lusaka Protocol, which is the only viable mechanism for the peaceful resolution of the conflict. In this regard, we welcome the President of Angola’s statement that the Lusaka Protocol was still a valid basis for the peace process in Angola, as well as his New Year’s message indicating the Government’s openness to dialogue with all valid interlocutors.
The time has come — and it is indeed overdue — for the Security Council, in view of the fact that many of its resolutions have been violated and its numerous presidential and press statements disregarded, to stand united and to avoid being manipulated by UNITA. The Council must take a firm stand and demand that UNITA fully comply with its remaining obligations under the Lusaka Protocol by demilitarizing its forces and joining the Government of Angola for peace, development and stability, not only in Angola but in the region as a whole.
The international community, and the Security Council in particular, must not allow Angola and the region to be plunged into the tragedy of death, starvation and total anarchy. In this connection, we welcome the recent appointment of Ambassador Ibrahim Gambari as Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Africa, with special focus on Angola. We have no doubt as to Mr. Gambari’s commitment.
Let me also say a word about the establishment of the United Nations Office in Angola. We welcome the progress being made on this issue and emphasize that the views of the Angolan Government should continue to be taken into account.
With regard to humanitarian situation, my delegation is confident that the conditions of the civilian population will change for the better with the extension of State administration to areas which were under the control of UNITA. It is very important that the extension of State administration in these areas be accompanied by increased assistance on the part of the international community. The importance of the economic and social reconstruction of these areas cannot be emphasized enough. Furthermore, Namibia wishes to appeal once again to the donor community to provide adequate funds to the United Nations Consolidated Inter-agency Appeal for Angola for the year 2000.
It is regrettable that Angola is still one of the countries most affected by landmines, with 6 million to 7 million landmines scattered around the country. Those mines, indiscriminately planted along roads and footpaths by UNITA, have not only been responsible for the 90,000 persons killed or permanently maimed by this silent killer, but also impede the delivery of assistance to the needy, the repatriation of refugees and returnees, and the use of land for agricultural production. Therefore, the urgent assistance of the international community to the Government of Angola in its efforts to clear these mines will certainly create safety and security for the free movement of persons and goods around the country.
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the Chairman of the sanctions Committee on Angola, Ambassador Fowler, for his comprehensive and illuminating report on his recent visit to Angola. Since the establishment of the expert panels to study the violations of sanctions against UNITA — and, indeed, with the steadfast commitment and dedication of Ambassador Fowler — progress has been achieved in tightening sanctions against UNITA. Ambassador Fowler has the full support of the Namibian Government.
However, there are some disturbing reports that there are some Member States that are still violating these sanctions against UNITA. Therefore, it is incumbent upon this Council to stand united and firm in responding positively to the expert panel’s report that will be submitted in a few weeks’ time on what measures to take against those violating the Council’s sanctions. This remains a very serious challenge to the Security Council’s collective authority and, indeed, to the international community as a whole.
Sanctions have worked in other situations, but have failed to work against UNITA. I am, however, optimistic that with the consensus emerging among Council members, sanctions against UNITA will definitely work.
We listened to the statement made by the Ambassador of Namibia with particular attention, in light of his proximity to the country we are discussing today.
I would like to express our special gratitude to Ambassador Fowler for his efforts and for his excellent briefing on the results of his recent visit to Angola.
Let me also warmly welcome the Vice-Minister for External Relations of Angola.
We would like to associate ourselves with the statement made by Ambassador Lavrov of the Russian Federation on behalf of the troika, including the special concern expressed over the fate of the passengers of the Russian and Ukrainian airplanes shot down over Angola.
It is absolutely fair, Sir, that Angola has been given special prominence in your momentous initiative naming this the “month of Africa” in the Security Council. Taking into account significant developments during last few months, it is essential for the Council not only to review the overall situation in Angola, but also to refresh its own policy towards that conflict. In view of the information just provided, I would like to present briefly my country’s vision of how the Security Council could better contribute to the ultimate goal of restoring peace and security in Angola at this particular stage.
First, we strongly maintain that, in its approach to the present developments in Angola, the Council should never leave the impression that it favours military solutions over political ones. At the same time, it should continue exposing the real sources of the resumed fighting in Angola, and we are glad to ascertain that, so far, this has been done in very clear and unambiguous terms. Ukraine endorses completely the charge that the primary cause of the present situation in Angola is the failure of UNITA, under the leadership of Mr. Savimbi, to comply with its obligations under the Lusaka Protocol and relevant Security Council resolutions.
On the other hand, we are greatly encouraged by the statements of President Dos Santos indicating that he continues to consider the Lusaka Protocol to be a valid basis for the peace process. This is yet another important confirmation that the Secretary-General has to continue his consultations with the Government of Angola on the precise role to be played by the United Nations in facilitating national reconciliation in the country.
Secondly, the Council should draw practical and action-oriented conclusions from the fact that the current humanitarian situation in Angola is unquestionably one of the most critical on the African continent. Ukraine will encourage the Council to use all its authority to mobilize international efforts to meet the urgent humanitarian needs of the Angolan people. At the same time, we support the conclusion that the re-establishment of state authority in the vast territory previously occupied by UNITA would remove any constraints to international humanitarian work in Angola. In our view, the Council should also support the judgement made by the Secretary-General in his report that efforts to improve the human rights environment would have a beneficial effect on the overall situation in Angola.
Improving the implementation of the measures imposed against UNITA, as the current Chairman of the Angola sanctions Committee has already convincingly proved, is another major dimension in which the Security Council is in a position to make a difference. Besides decreasing substantially UNITA’s abilities to wage war, the proactive approach of Ambassador Fowler has largely contributed to the restoration of Angola’s reliance on the United Nations.
For its part, Ukraine is determined to continue providing assistance to both the Angola sanctions Committee and the expert panel established pursuant to Security Council resolution 1237 (1999). I would like to reiterate that the Government of Ukraine attaches great importance to their energetic efforts, which are expected to result, among other things, in identifying the real sources of military and financial support to UNITA.
My delegation appreciates the report of the Secretary-General, the briefings by Under-Secretary-General Prendergast and Ambassador Fowler, as well as the important statement by the Vice-Minister for External Affairs of Angola. My delegation also welcomes the equally important statement made by the Ambassador of the Russian Federation on behalf of the troika.
It is particularly dismaying that, although the humanitarian disaster in Angola is among the worst in any conflict situation in the world, the current military hostilities there and their debilitating effects on the people of Angola have received little international attention. We agree with the view that the first indispensable element of the efforts to bring a lasting solution to the conflict is through the energetic enforcement of the sanctions against UNITA. We also believe that, for UNITA to re-engage in the peace process in any meaningful way, Mr. Savimbi — who is primarily responsible for the continuation of the war — must be denied any role.
In this regard, we commend the energetic efforts made by Ambassador Fowler of Canada, Chairman of the sanctions Committee established pursuant to Security Council resolution 864 (1993), in respect of the sanctions against UNITA. Ambassador Fowler has just returned from his latest visit to Angola. We listened very attentively to his latest findings on the impact of the sanctions and will be seriously considering further measures that the Council could take to tighten the sanctions so as to lessen UNITA’s capacity to make war.
The Organization of African Unity (OAU), and in particular the countries of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), continue to play important roles in the final resolution of the conflict, both in terms of their political support of the peace process as well as in their cooperation towards a more effective implementation of the sanctions against UNITA. UNITA’s capacity to wage the war depends on its ability to export its diamonds and to import its fuel, munitions and weapons. All of these items of export and import involve both foreign purchases as well as suppliers and must traverse the territory or airspace of Angola’s neighbours. We are gratified that Ambassador Fowler is looking into these questions with the help of Governments and international agencies, whose cooperation and collaboration are essential to the more effective operation of the sanctions regime.
However, like other members of the Council, we continue to believe that sanctions against UNITA are only a means to an end: to compel the rebel movement to return to the political process based on the Lusaka Protocol, which continues to be the most viable mechanism for a lasting solution to the conflict in Angola. We do not believe that lasting peace can be obtained by purely military means. The history of the long conflict in Angola is testimony to this fact. The fortunes of war may change on the ground, but the essential nature and deep-seated causes of the conflict remain.
It is therefore imperative that there be a renewed process of implementing the Lusaka agreement. Its credibility and viability will depend on engaging not only the various elements within UNITA and the Government, but also civil society. New independent initiatives calling for peace are an expression of the profound war-weariness of Angolan society, which can no longer be ignored. These initiatives have the potential to foster a culture of peace, which is indispensable for any lasting solution of the conflict in Angola and which goes beyond the antagonism and the struggle for power and influence between the two antagonists. We consider it important that the military advances against Savimbi should be followed by more energetic efforts to bring about a lasting solution, with the full support and participation of civil society. This is particularly important so as to ensure the success of the next stage in the peace-building process, which must move away from reliance on victories on the battlefield and towards achievements at the negotiating table in the interests of national unity and reconciliation. In this regard, we commend the Angolan Government for welcoming the role and participation of civil society in this process.
Finally, my delegation is pleased to note the appointment of Mr. Ibrahim Gambari as the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Africa, with special focus on Angola among other issues. Given his vast knowledge of African issues and his equally vast diplomatic skills, we are confident that he will be a great asset to the Secretary-General.
My delegation can subscribe to the full text of the troika statement as read out by Ambassador Lavrov. Obviously, we also endorse the European Union statement. Both those statements reaffirm that UNITA, under the leadership of Mr. Jonas Savimbi, bears the primary responsibility for the protracted conflict in Angola, owing to its refusal to comply with its obligations under the Lusaka Protocol.
Against that background, we cannot but welcome the recent extension of State administration as a result of a military operation which was forced upon the Government by UNITA. At the same time, we commend the Government for not getting carried away by its good fortune on the battlefield and for continuing to realize that only a political solution can restore peace to Angola. The Government has displayed wisdom in making it plain that, in its view, the Lusaka Protocol remains a valid basis for the Angolan peace process, and in granting to all Savimbi supporters who surrender to Government forces the right to conduct political activities.
It may, however, be necessary to ask an even higher degree of wisdom of the Angolan Government, for it is not just a matter of allowing individual defectors to play a role in politics. What is needed is a recognition that, despite Mr. Savimbi’s lamentable role, UNITA as such continues to be a factor in Angolan society, and that this fact has to be taken into account, entirely in accordance with the original intention of the Lusaka Protocol. If the Government affirms that the Lusaka Protocol remains a valid basis for the peace process, that is what it must mean. All parties should now work for an all-inclusive solution through dialogue.
We were pleased to learn from the Vice-Minister of External Relations of Angola, Mr. Chicoti, that the Status-of-Mission Agreement for the United Nations Office in Angola is being ratified today.
We agree with the representative of Ukraine that the Council must never leave the impression that it favours military solutions over political solutions, and my delegation does not often in this Council welcome military successes. But our ability to do so now in the case of Angola is greatly facilitated by the Government’s willingness to accept the continuing presence of a human rights division in what is now to be called the United Nations Office in Angola. The most convincing argument for giving that division a broad mandate and for not limiting its tasks to the area of humanitarian assistance and capacity-building is that human rights monitoring is an essential ingredient of, in the words of the Secretary-General,
“the normalization of life in the country and the pursuit of an effective national reconciliation process”. (S/2000/23, para. 30)
I wish first to welcome to the Council Chamber the Vice-Minister of External Relations of Angola, who gave us a clear and persuasive briefing this morning. I am also grateful for the report of the Secretary-General, on which the Under-Secretary-General, Mr. Kieran Prendergast, briefed the Council; this too was most instructive and useful for our debate.
We take the view that the sanctions regime against UNITA is a very important factor in the Angolan crisis. The effectiveness of that regime is directly dependent on political and military developments, and on the Angolan Government’s confidence in United Nations action, which we believe needs to be strengthened. In that connection, we wish to highlight the work of Ambassador Robert Fowler. Since becoming Chairman of the sanctions Committee a year ago, he has undertaken intensive activities to enhance the effectiveness of the sanctions, as confirmed in his clear and accurate briefing this morning on his trip to the region, for which we thank him.
We want to express our concern about the military situation, in particular about the risk of the conflict spilling over beyond Angola’s borders. We reiterate what we have said on previous occasions: there is no viable, long-term military solution. The solution has to be a political one, achieved through dialogue with the participation of all sectors, especially civil society.
Turning to the humanitarian situation, the difficult conditions endured by a large part of the civilian population — there are almost 2 million internally displaced persons, most of them in remote areas — must be addressed. We are particularly disturbed by the data on victims of anti-personnel landmines, many of whom are women and children.
All of this means that humanitarian assistance must be a priority for the international community. Here, there should be a generous response to the 2000 United Nations Consolidated Inter-agency Appeal for Angola.
We support a multifaceted United Nations presence in Angola, and we hope that the United Nations Office in Angola can become operational as soon as possible. In our view, one of the Office’s priorities should be to continue programmes intended to strengthen the administration of justice and to be vigilant with regard to the effective enjoyment of human rights.
Finally, we lend our full support to Ambassador Gambari of Nigeria, whom the Secretary-General recently appointed as his Special Adviser on Africa, with special focus on Angola among other issues.
I will make only one observation in closing, and that is that very strong unanimity has been expressed here today in support of the sanctions. We look forward to Ambassador Fowler’s more specific report in the near future. My Government will do everything that it can, and more than it has done in the past, to assist that process when we hear more details from Ambassador Fowler. I urge him to report to us as soon as he can, in the next month or so.
I hope that the world is listening very carefully. I hope that the people in the jungles of Angola, who have continued this war unnecessarily for so long, will hear this message — dim though it may be by the time it gets there — and understand that the war benefits nobody and damages the great potential of the people of Angola.
In the interests of time, I will distribute my own remarks at a later date.