Security Council Urges Parties In Angola To Move Meace Process Forward
Presidential Statement Reminds Them That Meeting Goals let by Protocol Will Help Determine Continuation of United Nations Angola Verification Mission
Stressing the importance of full implementation of the Lusaka Protocol, the Security Council this afternoon urged Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos and Dr.Jonas Savimbi of the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) to move the peace process forward.
Through a statement read out by its President, Juan Somavia (Chile), the Council reminded the two leaders
of their commitments, noting that progress during the past two months in implementing the Protocol had been limited and had not fulfilled the hopes generated by their 1 March meeting in Libreville, Gabon. It reminded the parties that extension of the mandate of the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III) would be based, in large part, on progress in meeting the goals set by the Protocol.
Expressing concern over delays in the quartering of UNITA troops, the Council urged UNITA to move expeditiously towards that end. It stressed the need for quartering to be credible and fully verifiable and urged UNITA to fulfil its commitment to turn over all of its arms, ammunition and military equipment as the process continued. It also urged UNITA to release all remaining prisoners.
The Council also expressed concern about two statements made by Dr. Savimbi last month and urged all Angolan
leaders to consider carefully the effect of their public statements on the climate of confidence needed for the peace process. It also encouraged both parties to complete the integration of UNITA into the Angolan armed forces.
Recognizing with satisfaction the progress made by the Government of Angola in implementing the Lusaka Protocol, the Council encouraged the Government to continue that progress. It emphasized the importance of completing the Calendar of Actions for April, including continuing pull-back of government forces from areas near UNITA quartering sites, returning rapid reaction police to barracks, resolving the question of amnesty for UNITA officials, adopting plans to disarm the civilian population and quartering of UNITA troops.
The Council also encouraged the Government to grant to UNAVEM III the requisite facilities to establish an independent United Nations radio facility.
The Council urged the Government and UNITA to destroy their stockpiles of anti-personnel land-mines. It supported the efforts of the United Nations, the Government and non-governmental organizations to deal with the extensive presence of land-mines in the country.
Noting with concern credible reports of continuing purchases and delivery of weapons to Angola, the Council considered that such actions were contrary to its resolution 976 (1995) and undermined confidence in the peace process. It emphasized that the ultimate responsibility for restoring peace rested with the Angolans themselves.
The Security Council condemned the 3 April incident which resulted in the death of two UNAVEM III personnel, the wounding of a third and the death of a humanitarian assistance official. It restated the importance it attaches to the safety of such personnel and noted the cooperation offered by the parties in investigating the incident.
In considering the situation in Angola, the Council had before it a 4 April report of the Secretary-General on UNAVEM III (document S/1996/248 and Add.1). In it, he once again calls on the Angolan Government and UNITA to implement within the agreed time-frame, the provisions of the Lusaka Protocol and the agreements reached at Libreville by President Jose Eduardo dos Santos and Jonas Savimbi. The agreements relate to the completion of the quartering process, the formation of the new armed forces and the establishment of a government of national unity and reconciliation. Although the international community was ready to continue providing emergency assistance and helping economic reconstruction and development, major donors' patience is not unlimited. Their help will depend on the parties' commitment to peace and national reconciliation.
The Secretary-General expresses the hope that, after yet more delays, the peace process will move forward with the start of the second phase of the quartering of UNITA troops and the rapid reaction police, as well as the beginning of the withdrawal to barracks of the Angolan Armed Forces (FAA). He urges the parties to take the actions needed in that regard, to make further progress in their talks on military matters and to solve all other issues. The UNITA troops'
incorporation into the national army should begin without delay. Progress achieved since his 6 March report is limited, he continues, and much must be done to fulfil the tasks the two sides agreed to undertake in accordance with a recently adjusted timetable. Further delays could still jeopardize the peace process. Although complete and fully verifiable
quartering by UNITA troops is the key element, its results are inadequate. "If it is not executed in good faith, the implementation of other essential aspects will be undermined, including the withdrawal of FAA to the nearest barracks, the completion of the quartering of the rapid reaction police, the disarmament of the civilian population and the integration of UNITA elements into FAA", he adds.
According to the Secretary-General, 18,595 UNITA soldiers had registered in the first five quartering areas and handed over 15,169 weapons as of 29 March.He describes that as an alarmingly small increase over the 16,699 soldiers and 13,728 weapons reported a month earlier. Another cause of concern was the age of some of the UNITA troops and the quality of the weapons they turned in.
On the formation of the Angolan Armed Forces, the Secretary-General writes that the two parties agreed on 9 March which FAA posts would be allocated to UNITA. As a result, UNITA will provide the joint army with 18 generals and fill several other positions. They include that of Vice-Minister of Defence, Deputy Chief of the General Staff, Commander of one of the military regions and Commander of the planned "fourth branch" of FAA. Both sides should take steps to speed up the unification of the two forces.
Meanwhile, the Secretary-General reports, the military situation remains stable, with occasional incidents in diamond-producing and cattle-raising areas. The Government/UNITA conflict prevention mechanism operating under United Nations auspices has helped prevent serious cease-fire violations. The military and police personnel of UNAVEM III totalled 7,071 as of 29 March, making it the largest current United Nations peace-keeping mission.
The full text of the statement, which will be issued as document S/PRST/1996/19, is as follows:
"The Security Council has considered the report of the Secretary General of 4 April 1996 on the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III) (S/1996/248 and Add.1) pursuant to paragraph 21 of Security Council resolution 1045 (1996) of 8 February 1996.
"The Security Council notes that some progress has been achieved during the past two months in the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol, although it has been limited and has not fulfilled the hopes generated by the meeting between President dos Santos and Dr. Savimbi in Libreville, Gabon, on 1 March 1996. The Council stresses the importance it attaches to the full implementation of the Protocol. The Council reminds President dos Santos and Dr. Savimbi of their
commitments and urges them to take the necessary actions to move the peace process forward.
"The Security Council notes that the Uniao Nacional para a Independencia Total de Angola (UNITA) has quartered more than 20,000 of its forces, but expresses concern over delays in the quartering of UNITA troops and urges UNITA to move expeditiously to achieve full quartering of its troops. The Council expresses concern about the quality of weapons surrendered by UNITA and urges UNITA to fulfil its commitment to turn over all of its arms, ammunition and military equipment as the quartering process continues. It reiterates that the quartering process is a crucial component of the peace process and stresses the need for quartering to be credible and fully verifiable. The Council expresses its concern at the statements made by Dr. Savimbi on 13 March 1996 and 27 March 1996. In this context, the Council urges all Angolan leaders to consider carefully the effect of public statements on the climate of confidence necessary to nurture the peace process. It also urges UNITA to release all remaining prisoners.
"The Security Council recognizes with satisfaction the progress by the Government of Angola in the implementation of its commitments under the Lusaka Protocol and the current timetable, and encourages the Government to continue this progress. The Council emphasizes the importance of completion of the Calendar of Actions for April, including, inter alia, the continuation of the pull-back of government forces from areas near UNITA quartering sites, the return of the
Rapid Reaction Police to barracks, the resolution of the question of amnesty for UNITA officials, and the adoption of a plan to disarm the civilian population, as well as the quartering of UNITA troops. The Council encourages the two parties to complete the integration of UNITA into the Angolan armed forces.
"The Security Council also encourages the Government to grant UNAVEM III the requisite facilities for the
establishment of an independent United Nations radio.
"The Security Council stresses its concern at the extensive presence of land-mines throughout Angola and expresses support for the efforts of the United Nations, the Government and non-governmental organizations to address this problem. The Council urges the Government and UNITA to destroy their stockpiles of anti-personnel land-mines. It encourages them to make a meaningful public gesture towards destruction of land-mines which could have a positive effect on public confidence and the free circulation of people and goods.
"The Security Council notes with concern credible reports of continuing purchases and delivery of weapons to Angola and considers that such actions area contrary to paragraph 12 of resolution 976 (1995) of 8 February 1995 and undermine confidence in the peace process. The Council reaffirms the obligation of all States to implement fully the provisions of paragraph 19 of resolution 864 (1993) of 15 September 1993.
"The Security Council emphasizes that the ultimate responsibility for restoring peace rests with the Angolans themselves. The Council reminds the parties that extension of the mandate of UNAVEM III will be based, to a large part, on progress by the two parties towards meeting the goals set by the Lusaka Protocol.
"The Security Council condemns the incident on 3 April 1996 which resulted in the death of two UNAVEM III personnel, the wounding of a third, and the death of a humanitarian assistance official, and reiterates the importance it attaches to the safety and security of UNAVEM III and humanitarian assistance personnel. The Council notes the cooperation offered by the Angolan Government and UNITA with the investigation by UNAVEM III of this deplorable incident.
"The Security Council reiterates its gratitude to the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, the staff of UNAVEM III, and the three observer countries whose unflagging service to the cause of peace has been outstanding. The Council will continue to monitor the situation in Angola closely and requests the Secretary-General to continue to keep it informed of progress in the Angolan peace process."
The meeting, which was called to order at 1:08 p.m.,
adjourned at 1:18 p.m.