Press Release - SC/6785 - 20000118
As the Security Council held an open briefing on the situation in Angola this morning, a number of speakers blamed the protracted conflict in that country on the activities of the National Union for Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), and Georges Chicoti, Vice-Minister of External Relations of Angola, asked if a double standard and a dangerous precedent were being set 'by allowing that organization's leader Jonas Savimbi to continue to kill people for so many years without indicting him for his crimes'.
Mr. Chicoti added that, despite the existence of several important resolutions that applied sanctions on Mr. Savimbi and his followers, many countries and institutions continued to break them and allowed UNITA to acquire new, sophisticated weapons. The report of the Sanctions Committee in the near future would allow the Council to take new and important measures to discourage those countries that had contributed to the strife and suffering of the Angolan people.
The representative of Namibia told the Council that Mr. Savimbi had been declared a war criminal by the Southern African Development Community (SADC), and the Organization of African Unity (OAU) supported that position. Namibia, therefore, shared the position of the Angolan Government in rejecting dialogue with Mr. Savimbi, who had so far not fully implemented the Lusaka Protocol.
The representative of the United Kingdom said the Angolan Government and UNITA needed to engage in dialogue if a solution was to be found. However, Mr. Savimbi had abrogated any right to be part of such a dialogue, since he had let Angola down so many times. Now was the time for decisions that finally put the people of Angola first and not last.
Speaking on behalf of the three observer States to the Angolan peace process - Portugal, Russian Federation and the United States -- the representative of the Russian Federation stressed that immediate and full compliance with all provisions of the Lusaka Protocol remained the fundamental expectation of the international community. The overall situation in the country would also benefit from an improved human rights environment and from persistent efforts to eliminate human rights violations.
Canada’s representative, who is Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 864 (1993) concerning the situation in Angola, said that his visit to that country last week had demonstrated that sanctions against UNITA were beginning to have a real impact. They were impeding UNITA’s ability to transport fuel and arms throughout the country and were reducing the number of parties ready to offer support to UNITA. It would be premature to suggest that the war of several decades was at an end in Angola, but it was beginning to approach the end.
Introducing the Secretary-General's report on developments in Angola since October 1999, the Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Kieran Prendergast, said it was incumbent on the Angolan Government to ensure that all those living in areas recently held by UNITA were treated in accordance with international humanitarian law. It also had to improve the human rights situation in the country. As mandated by the Council, the new United Nations Office in Angola would continue to assist the Government and civil organizations in the areas of capacity-building, humanitarian assistance and the promotion of human rights.
In that connection, Angola's representative also informed the Council that the new agreement between his country and the United Nations had just been ratified by his Parliament.
Statements were also made by the representatives of Bangladesh, Mali, France, China, Tunisia, Jamaica, Ukraine, Malaysia, Netherlands and Argentina. The President of the Council, Richard Holbrooke (United States), also made a brief statement at the end of the meeting.
The meeting, which began at 10:35 a.m., was adjourned at 1:10 p.m.
Council Work Programme
When the Security Council met this morning to hold an open briefing on the situation in Angola, it had before it the Secretary-General's report on the United Nations Office in Angola (UNOA) (document S/2000/23), which covers developments in the country since October 1999.
According to the report, the protracted conflict in Angola and the risks of its spillover into the neighbouring countries remain a source of major concern for the international community, with the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) bearing the primary responsibility for the current state of affairs. Its refusal to comply with obligations under the Lusaka Protocol, in particular its failure to demilitarize its forces and to allow State administration to be extended throughout the country, precipitated the resumption of widespread hostilities.
The Secretary-General states that, following a major military offensive throughout the country in recent months, the Angolan Government has gradually re- established its authority in areas formerly controlled by UNITA, including the latter's strongholds in the central highlands. As a result, some measure of stability has been achieved in several regions. The democratization process and observance of human rights remain essential steps for national reconciliation and normalization of life in the country.
As the humanitarian situation in the country remains extremely alarming, the Secretary-General urges the donor community to respond as generously as possible to the 2000 United Nations Consolidated Inter-agency Appeal for Angola. He also expresses hope that the draft Status-of-Mission Agreement can be concluded without further delay, so that UNOA may begin to assume its functions, in accordance with Security Council resolution 1268 (1999) of 15 October 1999. Meanwhile, the Secretariat is finalizing the selection of the head and support staff of UNOA, and Ibrahim Gambari (Nigeria) has been appointed as the Secretary-General's Special Adviser on Africa, with special focus on Angola, among other issues.
Also according to the report, only a political solution can restore peace and security in Angola. Although the Government has maintained that it does not consider UNITA’s leader, Jonas Savimbi, a credible partner for dialogue, in a statement made on 11 November 1999 President José Eduardo dos Santos said that all Savimbi's supporters who surrendered to government forces would be allowed to carry out political activities. He also stressed that the Lusaka Protocol was still a valid basis for the peace process in Angola and outlined a programme of action that would culminate in the holding of legislative and presidential elections. However, the dates for such elections were not announced.
The Secretary-General welcomes the recent indication by the Angolan authorities that the Lusaka Protocol remains a valid basis for the peace process and strongly urges UNITA to demonstrate convincingly that it is prepared to fulfil its commitments under the Lusaka Protocol and to seek genuine national reconciliation. The United Nations would welcome new opportunities for an inclusive dialogue leading to lasting peace and national reconciliation and would be ready, if the parties so wished, to play an active role in furthering this process. The Secretary-General further states that, along with its military action, the Government also continued a campaign aimed at the political isolation of UNITA. To that effect, it conducted consultations with various countries in the subregion, in an attempt to deny Mr. Savimbi lines of communication and logistic support. In that context, several high-level meetings were held with the representatives of the Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Namibia and Zambia, focusing on issues related to security along Angola's border.
In Luanda and some provincial capitals, the UNITA Restoration Committee (UNITA-Renovada) continued to be active, calling for the earliest termination of the conflict by Mr. Savimbi's group and urging his supporters to surrender or defect to the Government, the Secretary-General notes. UNITA-Renovada also reiterated the need to resume the demobilization of UNITA fighters to be incorporated in the proposed "fourth branch" of the Angolan Armed Forces (FAA). Various political parties and Church groups have also appealed for the earliest resumption of the national dialogue and a cessation of hostilities. In particular, the National Front for the Liberation of Angola (FNLA) called for the convening of a national forum in which all political parties would discuss the main problems affecting the country, as a starting point for a national dialogue.
Among the developments mentioned in the report is the October visit to Angola and other countries in southern Africa of the expert panel of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 864 (1993) to discuss ways of improving the implementation of the measures imposed against UNITA by relevant Council resolutions. On 8 January 2000, the Chairman of the Committee, Robert Fowler (Canada), arrived in Luanda to consult with the Angolan authorities on the impact of sanctions against UNITA and discuss additional measures to strengthen the implementation of the sanctions regime.
In a separate development, the Secretary-General of UNITA, Lukamba Paulo "Gato", indicated in a November press interview that the Russian crew of an aircraft shot down by UNITA were being held hostage, and that UNITA would be prepared to release them on humanitarian grounds. The United Nations remains deeply concerned about the fate all the missing personnel in Angola and will continue to do everything possible to secure their earliest release, the report states.
Regarding the human rights situation, the Secretary-General says that the United Nations has no access to most parts of Angola. For that reason, little information was available about the treatment of the civilian population in the areas recently captured by the government forces. Nor was there much confirmed information about the abuses perpetrated by UNITA that were frequently reported by the press. It appears, however, that various military elements, including UNITA, had been responsible for the looting of crops and destruction of property.
Also according to the report, the socio-economic situation in Angola remains difficult. By November, the annual rate of inflation had reached 335.3 per cent, while the value of the national currency still declined, despite the Government's efforts to merge the official and parallel exchange rates. The recent increase in oil prices is a positive development for the country, but with the continuation of the conflict, an increasingly large proportion of national resources is diverted to the war effort.
Regarding the financial situation, the Secretary-General states that, by the terms of General Assembly resolution 53/228 of 8 June 1999, an amount of $7.4 million was appropriated for the liquidation of the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (MONUA) for the period from 1 July 1999 to 30 June 2000. The Secretary-General also obtained authorization from the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ) to enter into commitments in an amount of $5.3 million to meet additional resources associated with the retention of personnel beyond the originally projected deadlines. He intends to seek appropriation and assessment of this additional amount from the Assembly during its resumed fifty-fourth session.
As of 31 December 1999, unpaid assessed contributions to the MONUA special account amounted to $91.3 million. The total outstanding assessed contributions for all peacekeeping operations at that date amounted to $1.5 billion. With regard to requirements relating to the establishment of UNOA, the Secretary- General has since also obtained funding for its requirements through 15 April 2000 in the context of the programme budget.
KIERAN PRENDERGAST, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, introduced the report of the Secretary-General on Angola (document S/2000/3). He said the Secretary-General was deeply concerned by the human suffering, as well as the destruction of property and infrastructure in the country. Malnutrition had escalated in conflict areas. Mine clearance was critically important to any safe resumption of agricultural and commercial activities, for temporary settlement of internally displaced persons and a return to rural areas. The mounting risk of mine accidents and ambushes was a major constraint on humanitarian operations. The lack of support for mine-clearance activities was hurting innocent people and freezing access to arable land.
He said that, despite efforts by the United Nations and others, the lack of security and ambushes and attacks by armed elements had severely constrained international relief efforts. Humanitarian workers had not been immune to the conflict and had been targeted and killed in violent attacks. Current conditions of insecurity and open conflict required costly logistical operations to ensure the safe delivery of humanitarian assistance. The Secretary-General had also appealed to donors for an effective response to the United Nations Consolidated Appeal for Angola, the funding requirement for which was $258 million.
He said every effort was being made to send food and medicines to refugees, comprising mostly women and children and the elderly. Reports of human rights abuses by both UNITA and the Angolan government forces continued to be received from all parts of the country. The same sources had also reported that both sides had carried out forced recruitment of civilians, including minors. Despite setbacks, efforts to facilitate a political solution continued and a comprehensive peace agreement, the Lusaka Protocol, was signed in November 1994. After more than two years of efforts by the United Nations, UNITA had failed to demobilize its forces and allow State administration to be extended to areas under its control. However, the Organization had contributed to four years of relative peace in Angola. He said it was tragic that the unprecedented commitment by the international community, and the unique opportunity it provided the country to achieve peace and reconciliation, was repeatedly squandered. The UNITA, which appeared to have suffered major military setbacks, had now expressed readiness to resume the peace process. The Secretary-General had reiterated that the United Nations would not abandon Angola. He had also reiterated the readiness of the Organization to support a peaceful settlement of the conflict. Angolan government forces appeared to be pursuing a successful military offensive and State authority was gradually being re-established. However, for an enduring peace to become a reality in Angola, a political solution to the conflict would have to be pursued.
He said there was no question that UNITA bore the primary responsibility for the continued humanitarian and human rights catastrophe in the country. However, it was incumbent on the Government to ensure that all those living in areas recently held by UNITA were 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 Council, the new United Nations Office in Angola would continue to assist the Government and civic organizations in the area of capacity-building, humanitarian assistance and the promotion of human rights.
Presenting a film with witness accounts on the situation in Angola, ROBERT FOWLER (Canada), Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 864 (1993) concerning the situation in Angola, said that his visit to Angola last week had pursued several objectives: to ensure compliance with the sanctions against UNITA; to see the military equipment seized from UNITA; and to speak to the captured UNITA representatives. He had held numerous meetings with representatives of UNITA, at which the representatives of the Government had not been present, to ensure the freedom of speech. In response to his very specific questions, all the individuals he spoke to had confirmed that they were providing information freely.
The meetings had provided specific information about sanctions violations, which would be presented to the Council at a later date, he continued. The Expert Panel would corroborate the information. According to the obtained information, UNITA did not maintain significant overseas accounts and occasionally had severe problems with liquidity. It sometimes sold rough diamonds to procure funds. As for weapons, it did not procure them from governments, but through contacts with weapons dealers. It did not use mercenaries for fighting, but often employed trainers provided by arms dealers. Fuel and transportation were also often provided by the dealers.
The conclusion was that sanctions were beginning to have a real impact, he said, for they were impeding UNITA’s ability to transport fuel and arms throughout the country and reduced the number of parties ready to offer support to UNITA. It would be premature to suggest that the war of several decades was at an end in Angola, but it was beginning to approach the end. The Government of Angola had been cooperative and helpful during his visit.
In conclusion, he also presented a video containing witness accounts regarding the two United Nations airplanes downed in Angola.
GEORGES CHICOTI, Vice-Minister of External Relations of Angola, asked, could the international community allow Jonas Savimbi, the leader of UNITA, to continue to kill people for so many years without indicting him for his crimes? “Are we not setting a double standard and a dangerous precedent?" he asked. The military activities of Mr. Savimbi against the civilian population of Angola had caused one of the most serious humanitarian catastrophes in the world. The Angolan Government realized the seriousness of the problem and had responded to it with $56 million. It expected to increase that contribution during this year. The consolidated appeal for this year would require $250 million. In that regard, Angola counted on the continued understanding of the donor community.
Commenting on the political situation, he said his Government was concerned with the fact that, despite the existence of several important resolutions that applied sanctions on Mr. Savimbi and his followers, many countries and institutions continued to break them and allow UNITA to acquire new, sophisticated weapons. That situation was not acceptable to the Angolan Government. "We, therefore, urge Member countries of the United Nations to respect the resolutions", he said. In addition, the Angolan army had undertaken military activities to destroy UNITA’s military hardware and extend government authority all over the country.
As a result of those operations, he continued, Angolan government forces had extended authority to Andulo, Bailundo, Jamba and many other places during the last part of 1999. Important quantities of sophisticated weapons were also captured. The report of the Sanctions Committee in the near future would allow the Council to take new and important measures that would discourage those countries who, over the years, had contributed to the strife and suffering of the Angolan people by supporting Mr. Savimbi’s war. His Government was committed to a democratic and reconciled Angola through the Lusaka Protocol, and would continue to cooperate with the United Nations and other institutions.
He said the Angolan Parliament had just ratified the new agreement between his country and the United Nations, which would provide for a new relationship. The agreement represented the determination of the Angolan Government to work and improve the human rights situation, which had degraded due to the war imposed by Mr. Savimbi. However, there had to be greater participation by civil society in Angolan national affairs through political debates and elections. In that regard, the President had initiated consultations that would allow the elaboration of an electoral calendar by 2001.
SERGEY LAVROV (Russian Federation), speaking on behalf of the three observer States to the Angolan peace process - Portugal, Russian Federation and the United States) -- expressed concern over the tragic humanitarian situation of millions of Angolans as a result of the continuing conflict. The primary cause of the conflict was the failure of the UNITA to comply with its obligations under the Lusaka Protocol and relevant resolutions of the Security Council, he said. Immediate and full compliance with all provisions of the Lusaka Protocol remained the fundamental expectation of the international community.
The overall situation in the country could only benefit from an improved human rights environment and from persistent efforts to eliminate human rights violations, he continued. The observer States condemned the human rights violations by UNITA and reminded it of its responsibility to respect the human rights of Angolans. They also encouraged the UNITA leadership to work constructively with the Government of Angola to create the conditions conducive to genuine reconciliation and open democratic dialogue and cooperation. Also, they condemned ongoing attacks on civilian populations within the country and noted with concern the escalation of the fighting into Namibia.
Continuing, he welcomed recent statements by the Angolan President acknowledging the need for a political dialogue and reaffirmed the importance of the continuation of the Government of National Unity and Reconciliation. The observer States encouraged the Government to enhance the protection of human rights for all Angolan citizens and noted the importance of creating the conditions for open political debate and the development of a democratic society in Angola, as well as respect for free press.
The observer States called upon the international donor community to continue to assist the Government of Angola and noted that, for the year 2000, a consolidated appeal had been issued for humanitarian assistance to Angola for $258 million, he said. The observer States affirmed their support for the work of the Committee established pursuant to Security Council resolution 864 (1993) and called upon regional organizations and others to render support for its activities and continue to urge all States to strictly enforce sanctions against UNITA.
The UNOA had a valuable role to play in exploring effective measures for restoring peace, assisting the Angolan people in capacity-building, humanitarian assistance, the promotion of human rights and coordination of other activities, he said. In that respect, observer States underscored the importance of a rapid conclusion of a status-of-mission agreement for UNOA, so that it could begin to function as outlined in Security Council resolution 1268 (1999).
On the first anniversary of the downing of two United Nations planes in Angola, he also called on the Government of the country to facilitate United Nations access to the crash sites, to allow for an investigation and the full repatriation of the remains of the personnel killed in those incidents. He also noted with deep concern that more than 18 months after the tragic loss of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Alioune Blondin Beye, the Organization and the families of the deceased had yet to receive a final report on the tragic events of 26 June 1998. The observer States also remained gravely concerned over the fate of the crews and passengers of Russian and Ukrainian commercial airplanes lost over the territory then controlled by UNITA.
Sir JEREMY GREENSTOCK (United Kingdom) drew attention to the statement made by the European Union yesterday that Jonas Savimbi bore prime responsibility for the war in Angola. The Security Council had to take that into account. The Government of Angola also had responsibilities and things that it needed to do better. The Lusaka Protocol was the foundation for the political solution in Angola. Mr. Savimbi’s defiance of the Protocol and resolutions of the Council was the prime cause of the conflict and the resulting human catastrophe. The Angolan Government and UNITA needed dialogue if a solution was to be found. However, Mr. Savimbi had abrogated any right to be part of such a dialogue, since he had let Angola down so many times. Now was the time for decisions that finally put the people of Angola first and not last. He said the United Nations had a primary role in assisting the Government of Angola. The humanitarian situation was dire and related personnel needed access. He wanted to know what access agencies still had to Angolan territories. Addressing sanctions, he said he looked forward to the expert panel’s report which would hopefully have firm recommendations that would make the sanctions against UNITA bite. The resolve against "sanctions busters" also had to be strengthened. He hoped the publicity given to today’s meeting would help the Council move forward in practice.
ANWARUL KARIM CHOWDHURY (Bangladesh) said 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 by now. The supply of arms to UNITA must stop. "An effective mechanism should not be beyond our powers", he stressed. The sanctions committee should receive the sincere cooperation of all Member States, so that supply routes and mechanisms for the trade of UNITA diamonds were effectively cut off. That would prevent UNITA’s money from being laundered, open treasury doors to the sanctions committee, and prevent guns from getting into the hands of UNITA’s gunmen. The momentum created now should be sustained and supported by all concerned.
He said the humanitarian and human rights situation, where some 3.7 million people were affected by the long, drawn-out war, needed a commensurate response from the international community. A comprehensive, political settlement was essential for such a vast humanitarian operation, social rehabilitation and economic reconstruction. The Angolan Government needed to facilitate the full involvement of the United Nations and the international community in the country. It was a cruel irony that such courageous people, endowed with so much wealth, were reduced to poverty and misery, while diamonds and petroleum worth millions of dollars were exported from the country. Obviously, the Government needed to allocate more of the resources to the basic humanitarian needs of the people.
He wanted to know about the Secretary-General’s recommendations about the possible resumption of the operational activities of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and other agencies. In addition, the extension of government control over a significant part of rebel areas should now permit resumption of the curtailed mine-clearance programme. Finally, he said the role of regional countries in helping end the war of attrition was also critically important.
MOCTAR OUANE (Mali) said that his country attached the greatest importance to the continued presence of the United Nations in Angola, for it could contribute not only to the reconciliation in the country, but also to peace and security in the region. It was important to restore trust between the United Nations and the Government of Angola. He welcomed the positive developments concerning the status-of-mission agreement and the appointment of Ibrahim Gambari of Nigeria as the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Africa.
The chief cause of the continued conflict was UNITA’s failure to comply with the Lusaka Protocol and the relevant resolutions of the Security Council, he continued. Mali supported the Secretary-General’s recommendations on the matter. His delegation was profoundly concerned by the repercussions of the conflict and its expansion to the neighbouring countries. The countries of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) had urged the international community to provide assistance to the Angolan Government, and he commended the Government for setting up an emergency humanitarian assistance plan. Only through political dialogue could peace in the country be achieved. The Lusaka Protocol must be revitalized.
ALAIN DEJAMMET (France) associated himself with the statement on behalf of the three observer States to the peace process by the representative of the Russian Federation. His country also shared the position of the European Union on the matter. The Union had encouraged the Government of Angola to create conditions for the development of the rule of law and democracy. It was encouraging that the Government was displaying its adherence to the principles of good governance and democracy. That was the goal of the international community in the support of the Luanda Government.
It was clear that the sanctions were producing results, as manifested by the developments on the ground, he continued. The sanctions committee had rigorously carried out the decisions of the Council, and it should be commended for its efforts. When talking about Angola, it was also necessary to keep in mind the humanitarian situation in the country. Refugees and displaced persons presented a significant problem. Hence, the need to respond favourably to the United Nations Consolidated Inter-Agency Appeal for Angola. The problem of anti-personnel landmines, which existed since the beginning of the fighting, underlined the need for complete prohibition of landmines.
The conflict in Angola was now spreading to other countries of the region, he said. There had been significant losses in Namibia, for example. All the crises in the region should be addressed in a comprehensive way, and the role of the United Nations was important in that respect. It was important to preserve the role of the Organization in Angola, and the progress towards concluding an agreement on the status of mission was reassuring. When making decisions on future missions in Africa, it was necessary to take into account the lessons of the past in order to avoid repeating the old mistakes.
SHEN GUOFANG (China) said today’s briefing had made it clear that human rights and the humanitarian situation in the country remained serious. It was necessary to intensify international support to Angola. The UNITA was primarily responsible for the conflict in the country. It had used diamonds to engage in illegal arms trades, attacked innocent civilians and even humanitarian personnel.
The relevant parties should abide by the Security Council resolutions and stop providing weapons to UNITA, he continued. Of late, the international community had reached a higher degree of consensus with regard to sanctions on UNITA, which were yielding significant results. The sanctions were not a purpose, but a means of finding a political solution to the problem. The UNITA should get on the path of national reconciliation as soon as possible. The UNOA would play an important role in the country.
SAID BEN MUSTAPHA (Tunisia) said the situation in Angola was cause for serious alarm. The continuation of military action had led to an increase in the number of refugees and internally displaced persons. The nearly 10 million anti- personnel mines that had been laid in the country threatened the security of the population. The first priority was to stop hostilities and return to the negotiating table. The Angolan Government’s insistence on the Lusaka Protocol was a good basis for the peace process. The negotiating option was the best means for finding a solution to the conflict. He encouraged the Secretary-General to put more efforts into that and to consult the Security Council, as well.
The Council was called upon today, more than any other time in the past, to pressure UNITA and to put an end to its challenge to the international community. He reaffirmed the sanctions imposed against UNITA and called upon all parties to respect them, to stop UNITA, and to prohibit it from selling diamonds for weapons. The Council was also called upon today to take practical measures to find a practical solution to the crisis in Angola. His Government would continue to support the Council and work towards resolving other conflicts in Africa, as well.
PATRICIA DURRANT (Jamaica) said the establishment of stability, security and harmony in Angola was largely dependent on the achievement of national reconciliation. The path to peace could only be successful if both sides committed themselves to national reconciliation. She urged the Angolan Government to implement plans for the holding of legislative and presidential elections as soon as possible. She also called on UNITA to spare the innocent the continued hardship that could only result from the continuation of the conflict and to comply with its obligations under the Lusaka Protocol. In particular, UNITA must demilitarize its forces and allow the return of State administration throughout the country.
She also urged the release of the Russian aircraft crew, as well as other missing personnel being held captive by UNITA. She expressed concern about the escalation of fighting along the Angolan/Namibian border and about reports that fighting had spilled into Namibia. "We are hopeful that the recent restoration of stability in those areas where the Angolan Government has resumed control will lead to the resumption of the humanitarian aid to people who are so desperately in need of such assistance", she said. The international community will need to assist the Angolan Government in those tasks, which will be of paramount importance upon the cessation of hostilities. In that respect, she cited 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 would require close coordination on the part of the international community and various United Nations organizations, she said. She urged UNITA to give an account of missing persons and of those being held captive. She also hoped the draft status-of-mission agreement would be completed as soon as possible. The problem of Angola was an international one that should be treated as such, she stressed.
MARTIN ANDJABA (Namibia) said the Angolan Government had no other option but to apply the necessary and decisive military force against the rebel movement UNITA, in order to defend its people and territory. His Government supported the Government of Angola in its all-out campaign against UNITA. His delegation had, on several occasions, alerted Council members about UNITA and, in particular, Mr. Savimbi's intransigence. The UNITA never honoured obligations in good faith.
He said the Southern African Development Community (SADC) had declared Mr. Savimbi a war criminal -– a position which was supported by the OAU. Namibia, therefore, supported the position of the Angolan Government in rejecting dialogue with Mr. Savimbi, who had so far not fully implemented the Lusaka Protocol.
He said the time had come for the Council to take a firm stand and demand that UNITA fully comply with its remaining obligations under the Protocol by demilitarizing its forces and joining the Angolan Government in the quest for peace, stability and development. While welcoming the progress being made in establishing UNOA, he emphasized that the views of the Angolan Government should continue to be taken into account. Regarding the humanitarian situation, he said his delegation was confident that the conditions of the civilian populations would change for the better with the extension of State administration to areas which were under the control of UNITA. It was very important that the extension be accompanied by increased assistance from the international community.
He said urgent assistance from the international community to the Angolan Government in it efforts to clear landmines would certainly create safety and security for the free movement of people and goods around the country. There were some disturbing reports that some Member States were still violating sanctions against UNITA. Therefore, it was up to the Council to stand united and firm in responding to the expert panel's report on what measures to take against those violating the sanctions. That was a very serious challenge to the Council's collective authority and, indeed, to the international community as a whole, he said.
VOLODYMYR YEL’CHENKO (Ukraine) said that it was absolutely fair that Angola had been given special prominence by the Security Council. It was essential for the Council not only to review the overall situation in Angola, but also to refresh its own policy towards that conflict. In its approach to the developments in Angola, the Council should never give the impression that it favoured military solutions over political ones. It should also continue exposing the real sources of the resumed fighting in Angola, as it had been doing in very clear and unambiguous terms. The primary cause of the present situation in Angola was the failure of UNITA to comply with its obligations under the Lusaka Protocol and the relevant Security Council resolutions.
He was greatly encouraged by the statements of Angola’s President indicating that he continued to consider the Lusaka Protocol a valid basis for the peace process. That was yet another confirmation that the Secretary-General should continue his consultations with the Government of Angola on the precise role of the United Nations in facilitating national reconciliation. The Council should reach practical and action-oriented conclusions. The Council should use its authority to mobilize international efforts, in order to meet the urgent humanitarian needs of the Angolan people.
Continuing, he said that the re-establishment of State authority in the vast territory previously occupied by UNITA would remove constraints for international humanitarian work. 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 implementation of the measures against UNITA was another major dimension where the Council could make a difference. For its part, Ukraine was determined to continue providing assistance to both the Angola sanctions committee and the expert panel established pursuant to Security Council resolution 1237 (1999).
HASMY AGAM (Malaysia) said that it was particularly dismaying that the current situation in Angola had received little international attention. To bring a lasting solution, it was necessary to enforce and strengthen sanctions against UNITA. He commended the efforts undertaken in that respect and said that further measures should be considered to reduce UNITA’s capacity to wage war, which depended on its capacity to export diamonds and fuel. It was gratifying that those questions were being examined.
The sanctions were only a means to compel UNITA to return to the political process of the Lusaka Protocol, he continued. Lasting peace could not be attained by purely military means. It was imperative to renew the Lusaka agreement and to launch new initiatives. It was necessary to foster the culture of peace and to follow the road to peace with more energetic efforts and with full support of the civil society. It was important to move away from victories on the battlefield and towards achievements at the negotiating table. He commended the efforts of the Angolan Government in that respect.
PETER VAN WALSUM (Netherlands) said UNITA under Mr. Savimbi bore the primary responsibility for the protracted conflict in Angola. He commended the Angolan Government for not being carried away by its present good fortunes on the battlefield and in still adhering to the political process as a solution to the crisis. However, it might still be necessary to ask a higher degree of wisdom from the Angolan Government, he observed.
He said UNITA continued to be a fact in Angolan society and that had to be taken into account in the Lusaka Protocol. All parties should, therefore, work towards an all-inclusive solution through dialogue. The agreement on the status of the United Nations Office was being ratified today. The new United Nations Office in Angola had a wider mandate, as outlined in the report of the Secretary- General (document S/2000/23), and was not just limited to humanitarian situations. Ultimately, it would be there to ensure the national reconciliation process.
ARNOLDO MANUEL LISTRE (Argentina) said the regime of sanctions against UNITA was an important factor in resolving the crisis. The sanctions needed to be strengthened. He expressed concern over the military situation in the country and the extension of the conflict beyond the borders of Angola. The solutions had to be political, involving all the actors, including the civil society.
The problem of displaced persons needed to be addressed, as well as the question of landmines, he said. The situation in Angola should be a priority for the international community, and the consolidated appeal should be supported. The multidimensional United Nations presence in Angola was essential, and the new Office should strengthen the administration of justice and effective enjoyment of human rights in the country.
RICHARD HOLBROOKE (United States), President of the Council, expressed gratitude to the speakers for today’s briefing and said that his Government would do everything possible to facilitate the peace process in Angola. He encouraged Canada’s representative, Mr. Fowler, to present further reports to the Council. He also expressed hope that the world was listening very carefully and that the parties to the conflict would understand that the warfare was not leading them anywhere.