Dramatic change' in Angola since end of deadly conflict, Annan says

Despite a history of unsuccessful attempts at achieving durable peace, Angola is now firmly placed on the path of political, social and economic recovery, according to a report by United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan released today in New York.
In the report to the Security Council covering the activities of the UN Mission in Angola (UNMA) since last December, Mr. Annan highlighted key developments and provided recommendations on the future role of the UN in that country.

Angola had one of the longest-running armed conflicts in Africa, but for the first time since independence, "Angolans can live without fear of a recurrent and devastating war," Mr. Annan says. The UN, with the support of the international community, has played a critical role in the peace process through a series of peacekeeping operations, accompanied by peace-building efforts and humanitarian assistance.

The Secretary-General says that though UNMA has completed its mandated political tasks, continued support for Angola is needed in human rights, mine action, the reintegration of ex-combatants, humanitarian assistance and economic recovery. In addition, reaching a national consensus on a date for the forthcoming general elections will be an important step towards moving that process forward.

"As the country moves to fulfil its aspirations of nation-building, it is my sincere hope that the Government will consolidate peace and national reconciliation in all parts of its national territory," Mr. Annan says.

In an effort to continue UN support in Angola, Mr. Annan has requested that his Special Representative, Ibrahim Gambari, consult with the Government and other national and international stakeholders to determine the UN's involvement. The office of the Resident Coordinator will also be strengthened for this transitional period by adding a unit to address residual tasks.

The Security Council is schedule to hold consultations on Wednesday to discuss the situation in Angola and the Secretary-General's report.