Declaration by the Presidency on behalf of the European Union on Angola

Brussels, 17 January 2000
The European Union has been following closely the situation in Angola. The European Union is aware of the significant developments registered on the military front and remains convinced of the need for a political solution to bring a lasting peace to the country, allowing stability and progress for the Angolan people.

The European Union reiterates that UNITA under the leadership of Dr. Jonas Savimbi, by failing to comply with key provisions of the Lusaka Protocol, bears the prime responsibility for the war in Angola. By acting in persistent defiance of the UN Security Council Resolutions, Dr Savimbi has deliberately chosen the path of conflict instead of fulfilling his undertakings, a course of action which casts legitimate doubts as to whether he really intends to work towards national reconciliation in Angola.

The European Union urges UNITA to cease immediately its military activities and reaffirms its determination to continue supporting all the international efforts to tighten the UN Security Council sanctions against UNITA.

The European Union appeals to all those within UNITA who stand ready to abide by the rules enshrined in the Lusaka Protocol to demonstrate their unequivocal will to enter into a meaningful dialogue with the Government, and encourages the Angolan authorities to respond favourably to that commitment.

The European Union encourages the Angolan Government to create the appropriate political, social and economic environment for democracy and the rule of law to flourish in Angola. In this regard, the European Union believes that the Government has a special responsibility for the promotion of human rights, including in those areas which were under UNITA's control, of democratic principles, good governance and the strengthening of a free civil society.

The European Union calls again on the Government, as a signatory of the Ottawa Convention, and in particular on UNITA, to cease immediately mine-laying activities in the country.

The European Union is concerned at the recent fighting between Angolan Armed Forces and UNITA across international borders and stresses the importance of stability and inter-state dialogue and co-operation for the security and economic development of the region.

The European Union will be ready to consider how to assist the Government of Angola in facing the challenges of rebuilding and reconstructing the country within a democratic environment. Particular attention will continue to be given to humanitarian assistance in order to alleviate the suffering of the Angolan population affected by the conflict.

The Central and Eastern European countries associated with the European Union, the associated countries Cyprus, Malta and Turkey, and the EFTA countries, members of the European Economic Area align themselves with this declaration.