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15 Dec 1999 description

ROME (Reuters) - Serious food supply difficulties are emerging in parts of east Africa, mainly due to unfavorable weather, civil conflicts and pests, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization said in a report released Wednesday.

10 Dec 1999 description

LISBON, Dec 10 (Reuters) - Seven people were killed and 16 seriously injured when a mine exploded under a bus in Angola, Portuguese news media reported on Friday.

The blast occurred near the town of Vila-Nova in Huambo province when the bus ran over an anti-tank mine, the reports said.

The Lusa news agency said it was the first such incident since Huambo province was recaptured during a government offensive against rebel UNITA forces in October.

The West African state has known little but civil war since winning independence from Portugal in 1975.

03 Dec 1999 description

By Lara Pawson

LUANDA (Reuters) - U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Richard Holbrooke called Friday for tougher sanctions against the Angolan rebel movement UNITA which has been mired in a civil war with government forces for decades.

''The sanctions regime should be strengthened and tightened and pursued vigorously,'' Holbrooke told journalists after meeting Angolan President Eduardo dos Santos in Luanda, where he is on the second leg of a multi-nation tour of Africa.

Holbrooke said the United States would call a special meeting of the U.N.

26 Oct 1999 description

By Lara Pawson

LUANDA, Oct 26 (Reuters) - The Angolan government on Tuesday promised to destroy UNITA rebels, saying recent victories against Jonas Savimbi's guerrillas did not mean the war was nearing an end.

State radio quoted senior government officials as saying last week's capture of the rebel strongholds of Andulo and Bailundo was not enough to end the nearly 25-year-old war in the oil-and-diamond-rich southern African nation.

"The Armed Forces, the National Police and the Civil Defence have got the headquarters of Savimbi at Andulo and Bailundo.

04 Oct 1999 description

By Buchizya Mseteka

JOHANNESBURG, Oct 4 (Reuters) - Angolan rebel group UNITA on Monday warned of an unprecedented humanitarian crisis as fighting with government forces raged across the oil- and diamond-producing southern African nation.

UNITA, the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola, also said its headquarters at Bailundo and Andulo in the central highlands were still safe despite government attacks.

"Today, the country is back in the throes of a full-scale war, a total war with all its negative consequences on human lives and property," UNITA said in a …

10 Sep 1999 description

By Lara Pawson

LUANDA, Sept 10 (Reuters) - Aid agencies were pulling staff out of the besieged Angolan city of Kuito, in the country's central highlands, following shelling by UNITA rebels in the past week, humanitarian workers said on Friday.

"It's a case of taking out non-essential staff because of the military situation," an aid worker, who asked not to be named, told Reuters.

It is the third time international agencies have had to withdraw workers from Kuito since fighting between the government and UNITA resumed last December.

That marked the breakdown of …

02 Sep 1999 description

LISBON, Sept 2 (Reuters) - Angola's civil war is triggering the worst famine in its history, a United Nations agency reported on Thursday.

The humanitarian situation was described as dramatic by the Humanitarian Assistance Coordination Unit (UCAH), according to a report from Luanda by Portugal's Lusa news agency.

01 Sep 1999 description

LUANDA, Aug 31 (Reuters) - Up to 4,000 people displaced by heavy fighting in northern Angola are making their way to the city of Uige, adding to the country's already massive refugee crisis, aid workers said on Tuesday.

They said continued heavy fighting between government troops and the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) close to the northern provincial capital of Uige, was rapidly swelling the number of refugees in the city.

"There are three or four thousand more people on their way to Uige as we speak," a spokeswoman for the World Food …

27 Aug 1999 description

By Lara Pawson

LUANDA, Aug 27 (Reuters) - Hundreds of people have been killed in the last few days in fighting in Angola, where a 1994 peace accord fell apart in December, and the country's top clergyman warned on Friday of a deepening humanitarian crisis.

Aid workers told Reuters that as many as 5,000 people were on the move since Tuesday, displaced by the fighting between government troops and UNITA rebels close to the northern provincial capital of Uige.

"It's fair to say there has been mass destruction during the last few days and hundreds are dead," one aid …

06 Aug 1999 description

By Lara Pawson

LUANDA, Aug 6 (Reuters) - Thousands of Angolan children in the northern city of Malanje are facing starvation as UNITA rebels keep up pressure on the city and make the task of relief workers increasingly desperate.

The U.N.'s World Food Programme (WFP), which is responsible for feeding about one million Angolans left hungry by the country's return to civil war, says there are 160,000 people in Malanje threatened with starvation.

"There is a major humanitarian crisis going on in Malanje," Jose Luis da Silva, head of aid agency Medecins sans …

04 Aug 1999 description

ROME, Aug 4 (Reuters) - Starvation is killing three to four people every day in the battered Angolan city of Malange and thousands of children are malnourished, the United Nation's World Food Programme (WFP) said on Wednesday.

"These are the poorest of the poor, living in unbearable conditions," said Francesco Strippoli, WFP humanitarian aid coordinator in Angola.

03 Aug 1999 description

By Lara Pawson

LUANDA, Aug 3 (Reuters) - Angola has retaken territory along the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo reducing UNITA rebels' ability to move between the two countries, a military source said on Tuesday.

The source told Reuters government troops had taken the town of Cuimba, 30 km (19 miles) south of the Congo border, in the past week.

"Since December, Cuimba was in the hands of UNITA, who used it to travel between Congo and Angola. Now the government has finally got it back," the source said.

30 Jul 1999 description

By Lara Pawson

LUANDA, July 30 (Reuters) - Oil-producing Angola has pledged to use the extra cash generated by rising crude prices to boost social spending but analysts say the windfall is more likely to be spent on arms.

The government's good fortune on the oil markets comes as a U.N.

19 Jul 1999 description

By Lara Pawson

LUANDA, July 19 (Reuters) - Villagers have found more than 90 bodies in mass graves in central Angola and the government has blamed Jonas Savimbi's UNITA rebel movement for the killings, a private Catholic radio station reported on Monday.

Radio Ecclesia said the bodies were found in ditches near the village of Chipeta, about 20 km (12 miles) east of Kuito in a region that has seen much of the worst fighting between the government and Savimbi's National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA).

"Four ditches were found in the commune of …

22 Jun 1999 description

By Luke Baker

JOHANNESBURG, June 22 (Reuters) - A million Angolans face starvation as food supplies dwindle in the midst of a seemingly endless civil war, the World Food Programme said on Tuesday.

Emergency food stocks have dropped to just eight weeks' worth as the attention of foreign donors has turned away from Africa to the crisis in Kosovo.

"We have a combination of no food, inadequate transportation and a growing number of beneficiaries. If that's not a recipe for disaster, I don't know what is," Maria Flynn of the U.N.

19 May 1999 description

By Lara Pawson

LUANDA, May 19 (Reuters) - The U.N.

17 May 1999 description

By Lara Pawson

LUANDA, May 17 (Reuters) - Humanitarian conditions in the Angolan city of Malanje, under siege by UNITA rebels for months, have become "extremely worrying", according to officials from the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP).

The city, about 450 km (280 miles) east of the capital Luanda, is sheltering an estimated 100,000 people displaced since December by the resumption of a 25-year civil war between the government and UNITA.

Intermittent UNITA shelling of Malanje since it began its siege in January has kept relief workers huddled in bunkers or …

17 May 1999 description

By Lara Pawson

LUANDA, May 17 (Reuters) - An Angolan government minister said on Monday he planned to visit the rebel-besieged city of Malanje this week, where he said 400,000 people faced severe food shortages.

The announcement by Social Welfare Minister Albino Malungo followed a report by a humanitarian agency official that food aid to Malanje appeared not to have reached those most in need.

"I feel that it's important that I go there to see the distribution for myself," Malungo told Reuters on Monday.

17 May 1999 description

JOHANNESBURG, May 17 (Reuters) - Angola's UNITA rebel movement said on Monday it shot down a Russian military transport plane last week in the northern province of Lunda Norte and was holding three crew members hostage.

UNITA said in a statement faxed to Reuters in Johannesburg its troops had downed an Antonov-26 plane on the outskirts of Luzamba on May 12 "in order to defend itself" and that it had captured two Russian pilots and a flight engineer.

Independent confirmation of the statement was not immediately available, although it corresponds with Angolan news reports …