SECURITY COUNCIL SEES NEED TO IMPROVE EFFECTIVENESS
Presidential Statement, after Debate with 22 Nations Taking
NEW YORK, 15 November (UN Headquarters) -- The Security Council this evening reaffirmed its intention to keep under close and ongoing monitoring the sanctions against the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), with a view to improving their effectiveness until the conditions in the relevant Security Council resolutions were met. It called on Member States to cooperate fully with the Security Council committee and the monitoring mechanism on sanctions against UNITA.
In a statement read out by its President, Mignonette Patricia Durrant (Jamaica), at the second of two meetings, the Council also stated its support for the Angolan Government’s efforts to implement the Lusaka Protocol through the Fund for Peace and National Reconciliation, and for the Government’s intention to hold free and fair elections. The Council encouraged Angolan authorities to continue, in consultation with all the political parties and the full participation of the civil society, their efforts for peace, stability and national reconciliation. It expressed support for the Government’s intention to hold free and fair elections when appropriate conditions are in place.
The Council further encouraged the Government to work for economic reform and to ensure transparent and accountable governance to provide a positive climate for peace. It welcomed the Government’s efforts to improve the humanitarian situation and the resettlement of the displaced population. It also called on the international community to continue to provide humanitarian assistance.
Stating that it held Jonas Savimbi and the armed faction of UNITA primarily responsible for the failure to implement the Lusaka Protocol, the Council reaffirmed that the Lusaka Protocol was the only viable basis for a political settlement of the conflict.
Briefing the Council during the first meeting, Under-Secretary-General Ibrahim Gambari, Special Adviser of the Secretary-General, said that since 17 October the fighting in Angola had continued and in some cases, intensified. It had a devastating effect on the country’s social situation, further impoverishing the people and contributing to the deteriorating humanitarian situation.
He said the Government of Angola had continued to reaffirm its commitment towards peace within the framework of the Lusaka Protocol. UNITA’s leader, Jonas Savimbi, had requested the church to continue its search for peace and national reconciliation in Angola. In a letter addressed to the Secretary-General, UNITA also reiterated its interpretations of the Lusaka Protocol. The proposals emanating from those communications, however, appeared to lie outside the framework of the agreement.
Joao Bernardo de Miranda, Minister for External Relations of Angola, told the Council that Savimbi had always taken advantage of periods of relative peace to rearm and prepare for new military campaigns with the sole purpose of taking power through force. It was difficult to count on him for a genuine and lasting reconciliation as he had always declined offers by the Government, including the country’s vice-presidency.
On the question of sanctions, he noted that some countries continued to allow travel abroad by elements of UNITA’s military wing. Their capitals had become propaganda bases for inciting war and rebellion in Angola. The authorities of those countries had not frozen the bank accounts supporting those activities, and UNITA’s offices abroad continued to work under the cover of non-governmental organizations.
The representative of the Russian Federation, speaking on behalf of the Troika of Observer States to the Lusaka Protocol, underscored the need to maintain the non-negotiable principles of that agreement. Those were: State administration must be extended throughout the country; UNITA military personnel must disarm and demobilize permanently; and the option must remain open for UNITA to enter into political life as a political party pursuing the aspirations of its membership through free and fair political activity.
The Council heard statements from the Foreign Minister of Malawi and the Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Namibia. Statements were also made by the representatives of Ireland, Ukraine, France, United Kingdom, Mauritius, Bangladesh, Mali, Colombia, China, Tunisia, Norway, Singapore, Jamaica, Cape Verde, Brazil, Belgium (on behalf of the European Union), Canada and Zimbabwe.
The first meeting, which began at 4:45 p.m., was adjourned at 7:56 p.m.
The second meeting, at which the presidential statement was read, began at 7:57 p.m. and was adjourned at 8:03 p.m.
The Security Council met this afternoon to consider the situation in Angola.
On 19 October, in resolution 1374 (2001), the Council extended the mandate of the monitoring mechanism on sanctions against the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) for six months, ending on 19 April 2002.. It called on the Sanctions Committee established by resolution 864 (1993) to examine the recommendations of and offer guidance to the monitoring mechanism. The Council requested the monitoring mechanism to provide the Committee, within 60 days, with a detailed action plan for its future work, in particular sanctions on UNITA diamonds, violations of arms sanctions, and on UNITA finances. The Council also requested the Secretary-General to appoint four experts to serve on the monitoring mechanism and to make financial arrangements to support its work.
Before taking that action, the Council had considered a letter from the President of the Council containing the supplementary report of the Monitoring Mechanism on Sanctions against UNITA (document S/2001/966). From 1993 to 1998 the Council has imposed a series of sanctions on the União Nacional para a Independência Total de Angola (UNITA) ranging from arms embargoes to bans on the sale of diamonds and travel of UNITA officials, to the closure of UNITA offices and the freezing of their assets. Since its establishment, the monitoring mechanism has collected information and investigated leads relating to violations of pertinent sanctions resolutions "with a view to improving the implementation of the measures imposed against UNITA". The mechanism has pursued allegations of sanctions violations and has continued to examine the role of criminal elements instrumental to the capacity of UNITA to sustain its guerrilla war. In addition, the mechanism has been able to expand its base of inquiry by drawing on the expertise of professional asset tracers to try to identify the financial resources held by UNITA.
The report gives an overview of UNITA, including an examination of the leadership, military structures, internal security and control, and presence in refugee camps. It also provides a review of violations of the arms embargo and draws attention to the petroleum and petroleum-product component of the sanctions regime imposed against UNITA. With regard to the sanctions against diamonds mined in Angola, the mechanism has established that between $1 million and $1.2 million of embargoed diamonds leave Angola each day. The single largest problem in the diamond sector is no longer the diamonds produced by UNITA, but illicit diamonds being smuggled on a larger scale by other players as mining areas previously held by UNITA are being recaptured.
The report states that a systematic outreach to the countries of the region, aimed at winning their support for isolating UNITA and depriving it of its nearest support bases, is the most effective diplomatic means of forcing its leaders to see reason and return to the peace process. It warns that the international community, which has invested so much of its resources and efforts in the search for peace, cannot drop its guard and send an equivocal signal to the rebel movement, which continues its pursuit of power through armed struggle. It is also important to maintain contacts with those regional and international organizations that are already acquainted with the situation and which have provided valuable cooperation, within the limits of their capabilities, to the work of the mechanism. Concerted action on all fronts will, therefore, be crucial to realizing the common aspiration of peace and reconciliation in Angola.
Looking to the future, the report states that there is a need for establishing a permanent capability of the Security Council to ensure ongoing monitoring of targeted sanctions regimes and illicit trafficking in high-value commodities in armed conflicts. Such a new unified facility would be cost-effective and would avoid duplication of tasks and overlapping of investigations and ensure the preservation of a comprehensive database as well as its systematic and continuing processing. In the case of Angola, a monitoring capacity has been in place since July 2000. Any gap in the monitoring process would afford a respite to sanctions violators, and would be detrimental to the effectiveness of sanctions. The monitoring of illicit trafficking in high-value commodities involved in armed conflicts of which the Security Council is seized is intrinsically related to the question of sanctions monitoring. The lack of enforcement of sanctions and embargoes and the perpetuation of illicit trafficking have the same negative impact on the perpetuation of conflicts. Sanctions violations and illicit trafficking involve the same patterns of illegal activities and similar criminal networks.
IBRAHIM GAMBARI, Under-Secretary-General and Special Adviser of the Secretary-General on Africa, said that since his last briefing to the Council on 17 October the fighting in Angola had continued and in some cases intensified. The guerrilla activities of UNITA had spread to several parts of the country. The movement had even claimed responsibility for attacking the locality of Caxito in the Bengo province in May, for shooting a World Food Programme (WFP) plane near Kuito in June, and for attacking a passenger train in Kwanza Norte in August. Those attacks had caused more than 400 civilian deaths, and had injured many more.
Mr. Gambari said the Angolan Government had launched a number of military offensives in the past weeks, particularly in the eastern province of Moxico, where it was reported that the Government had taken 600 UNITA combatants as prisoners. It was also reported that 100 combatants had surrendered and that more than 1,000 pieces of armament had been captured. The UNITA’s strategic operational command centres were also reported to have been destroyed by government forces.
The Special Adviser said the continued fighting still had a devastating effect on the country’s social fabric and had further impoverished its people. In general the humanitarian situation had deteriorated. Concerning the peace process, the Government of Angola had continued to reaffirm its commitment towards peace within the framework of the Lusaka Protocol. It had also established the Fund for Peace and Reconciliation and approved a Four-Point Plan early this year. On 11 November, in an independence anniversary speech, President José Eduardo dos Santos, affirmed the validity of the Lusaka Protocol and declared his Government’s readiness to discuss ways, mechanisms and guarantees to integrate all citizens who were part of the military wing of UNITA.
He said that UNITA leader, Jonas Savimbi, had requested the church to continue its search for peace and national reconciliation in Angola. The UNITA leadership further issued a document entitled "Proposals for the Solution of the Angolan Conflict". In a letter addressed to the Secretary-General, it had also reiterated its interpretations of the Lusaka Protocol. The proposals emanating from those communications, however, appeared to lie outside the framework of the agreement
For its part, Mr. Gambari said, the church responded by reiterating the urgent appeal for a ceasefire, and by forming a peace network comprising several of its prominent members and leaders of civil society. Furthermore, the Angolan National Assembly decided to create a Commission for Peace and National Reconciliation, which would examine the prospects of establishing mechanisms that might facilitate contacts with the main parties and other relevant actors.
The Special Adviser informed the Council that President dos Santos had announced his intention not to stand as a candidate in the next general elections. He had indicated, however, that there were several preconditions that had to take place before the elections. Those included revisions of the electoral law, adoption of a new constitution, a census, resettlement of internally displaced persons and the establishment of security guarantees.
He said that after his last visit to Angola in May, the Government had indicated issues on which it wished to start an immediate engagement with the United Nations. Those were the management of a peace and reconciliation fund, the pilot project for the resettlement of demobilized soldiers and internally displaced persons, and national elections in 2002. Consequently a multi-agency United Nations team went to Angola in late September to discuss the details of the requests with the authorities there. That mission had since returned and the results of its findings and recommendations were considered at a high-level meeting at the Secretariat. The mission’s report would be shared with the Angolan Government, and a follow-up programme of action was being prepared by the Secretariat.
He said careful attention also needed to be paid to the situation along the Angola-Zambia border. It was neither secure nor stable. Refugees continued to arrive into the western province of Zambia from Angola, reportedly in deplorable conditions. In conclusion, he noted that in his report of 10 October the Secretary-General had urged the international community to continue to exert its influence and assist in finding a lasting peace in Angola. He had also directed Mr. Gambari to visit Angola later on in the year, for consultations with the Government and other stakeholders on how best the United Nations could help in the search for negotiated peace. He said he had been informed just today that President dos Santos had met with some of the leaders of civil society. That was a positive development.
JOAO BERNARDO DE MIRANDA, Minister for External Relations of Angola, reaffirming the validity of the Lusaka Protocol, cited the statement by President José Eduardo dos Santos on 11 November that the Government of Angola was ready to discuss the means, forms and guarantees to bring under its responsibility and authority all the citizens of UNITA’s military wing, led by Jonas Savimbi.
History had demonstrated that the UNITA leader had never negotiated an agreement in good faith, he stressed. Savimbi had taken advantage of periods of relative peace to rearm and to prepare for new military campaigns with the sole purpose of taking power through force. It was, therefore, very difficult to count on him for a genuine and lasting reconciliation as he had always declined offers by the Government, including the country’s Vice-Presidency.
He noted that the Security Council had imposed sanctions against UNITA’s military wing, whose most visible effect had been the significant reduction of its capacity to wage war. Some countries, however, continued to allow movement by elements of UNITA’s military wing, whose travel abroad had been banned by the Council. The capitals of some countries had become propaganda bases inciting war in Angola, and rebellion against its sovereign institutions. The authorities of those countries had not frozen the bank accounts supporting those activities and UNITA’s offices abroad continued to work under the cover of non-governmental organizations.
Emphasizing that all Member States were legally obligated to abide by and implement Security Council resolutions, he said those obligations prevailed over any others to which Member States might be subject by virtue of treaty or international agreement. That principle should be applied with regard to sanctions on representation, travel and finances of UNITA leaders and adult members of their immediate families. The question of the non-governmental organizations used as fronts to perpetuate UNITA’s former representative offices must be seriously considered. It was equally important to prevent the use of electronic means of communication that had become essential tools in UNITA’s propaganda campaign.
He said Angola appealed strongly to all Member States to observe faithfully the Council resolutions, which were a valuable contribution to the establishment of peace in the country. The Council should also seriously consider the recommendations contained in reports of the monitoring mechanism.
He said thousands of people, tired of war, had voluntarily accepted the Government’s peace initiatives. More than 100,000 civilians and members of UNITA’s military wing had now been reintegrated into Angolan society. That massive convergence of people had raised to 4 million the number of those in need of assistance. Angola appealed to the international community to continue providing their incalculable support so that the Government could, as soon as possible, alleviate the suffering of millions of Angolan citizens in dire need of food, health care and medical assistance.
RICHARD RYAN (Ireland) said "atrocious" attacks by UNITA on Angolan civilians in recent months, which claimed the lives of hundreds of people, had confirmed that UNITA continued to embrace violence as a means to secure the power denied it democratically by the Angolan people in 1992. The Accordos de Paz and the Lusaka Protocol must be the basis for peace and progress there. Despite understandable temptation to the contrary, the Angolan Government should remain open to the possibility that UNITA could yet change its course with respect to its readiness to enter into meaningful dialogue. The obligation and responsibility to do so lay entirely in UNITA's hands.
He said implementation of the Council's sanctions against UNITA was making an important contribution to the international effort to end its campaign of violence. Few would now argue that the sanctions and the work of the monitoring mechanism had not severely diminished UNITA's capacity to wage conventional war against the Angolan authorities and people. Many of those States, organizations and individuals, which had previously supported UNITA in various ways, had, over the past three years, either reversed course or decided against risking further illegal involvement in the Angolan conflict. The United Nations should not waver in maintaining its successful sanctions regime.
While UNITA's capacity to sustain conventional warfare had greatly diminished, that had not been reflected in any significant improvement in the humanitarian situation, he said. Many of Angola's social and economic indicators remained at the wrong end of the spectrum. Child and mother mortality rates ranked the highest in the world, the magnitude of internal displacement was horrific and there were nearly as many landmines as people.
He said global support must be systematically supplemented by a greater diversion of steadily increasing State revenues from natural resources into programmes to rebuild Angola for the people of that country, who were the natural "owners" of those God-given resources. Meanwhile, UNITA's forced reduction to "hit-and-run guerilla-level violence and terror against civilians" was aimed at achieving continued national instability. The decreasing support for UNITA would be further eroded if the people saw clearly that sustained national programmes were under way to meet their everyday rightful needs. The steady and expanded United Nations involvement on the ground in Angola was very important, and in that regard, the United Nations Office in Angola should be provided with more resources, including for its human rights work.
ANDREY GRANOVSKY (Russian Federation), speaking on behalf of the Troika of Observer States to the Lusaka Protocol, reiterated that there was no military solution to the Angolan conflict and that the only way to peace lay through dialogue. The search for peace over much of the last decade had resulted in the signing of the Bicesse Accords and the Lusaka Protocol, which continued to represent the only viable bases for long-term peace in Angola.
Though UNITA’s military wing continued to make war, ordinary Angolans would always be able to talk to each other across the political divisions within their country. Such discussions reflected the belief that Angola’s suffering could only be resolved through dialogue. A new voice calling for dialogue was that of the growing civil society movement in government-controlled areas.
Unfortunately, he said, the development of that movement remained limited to those areas. In UNITA-controlled areas there had never been a civil society other than UNITA. There was neither freedom of expression, freedom of association nor freedom of movement. The UNITA military faction represented one of the last holdouts of totalitarianism in Africa.
He underscored the need to maintain the non-negotiable principles of the Lusaka Protocol intact: the State administration must be extended throughout the country; UNITA military personnel must disarm and demobilize permanently; and the option must remain open for UNITA to enter into political life as a political party pursuing the aspirations of its membership through free and fair political activity.
The road ahead would be illuminated when the UNITA renewed its commitment to the fundamental principles that its leadership had accepted in the Bicesse Accords and the Lusaka Protocol, he said. In the meantime, Angola’s political life must progress. No faction and no individual could ever be given veto rights over Angola’s future.
VALERY KUCHINSKY (Ukraine) said the role of the United Nations Office in Angola was essential to the continuation of the peace process. Promulgation of an amnesty law, the announcement of elections and other forward-looking measures were important contributions to the peace process. The most recent reports confirmed that UNITA had increased its terror campaign aimed at undermining a peaceful settlement. He said UNITA was fully responsible for the situation in the country. Its sustained military activities were unacceptable. He was glad to hear that the Government of Angola was still ready to hold peace talks with UNITA, and he joined with other States in supporting the Four-Point Peace Plan. He underlined that the resumption of dialogue should not mean a renegotiation of the Lusaka Protocol. The continued violations of sanctions remained a serious concern. He emphasized that the Council should strengthen its sanctions policy against UNITA. His Government reiterated its support to the monitoring mechanism and the continued monitoring of sanctions against UNITA.
He recognized that the Southern African Development Coordination Conference (SADCC) needed a great deal of assistance in pursuing the implementation of sanctions. His Government stood ready to assist in areas such as training, air traffic control and other areas. Ukraine was interested also in participating in the relevant donor conference. Finally, he said, restoration of the country could not be completed without economic rehabilitation.
CHARLES JOCELYN, Minister for Cooperation and Francophonie of France, said a lasting peace in Angola was a distant aim, since hopes of a settlement had not materialized. He believed that UNITA bore most responsibility for the deadlock in the peace process. France wished to stress the effectiveness of maintaining sanctions against the rebels. It also supported the creation of standing mechanisms for monitoring sanctions and the illegal trade in resources. Effective control over the illegal diamonds trade was needed at a global level.
He strongly condemned attacks against civilian populations. Such acts were unacceptable and only strengthened the will of the international community to enhance the effectiveness of sanctions regimes. Combat and guerrilla activities sowed terror in civilian populations. France was alive to the suffering of the Angolan people, which had lasted too long. He said he welcomed the actions undertaken by the Angolan Government vis-à-vis Savimbi –- that he agree to a dialogue, end hostilities and solidly renounce war. A return to dialogue was possible particularly because of the mediation of civil society. The role of the church should also be encouraged in peace efforts, and that institution should take a seat at the negotiating table.
He said there was also a need for massive and rapid assistance to ensure that the country could be rebuilt. The role of civil society in promoting reconciliation deserved the strong support of the United Nations. The humanitarian situation was of the utmost seriousness to France. Specific attention must be given to civilian populations in areas that were not under the control of the Government. The poor state of landing strips and the lack of fuel, as well as security for humanitarian organizations, impeded access to such distressed populations. Both the Angolan Government and UNITA must facilitate the provision of humanitarian aid. The UNITA must cease threatening humanitarian convoys, while agencies must also enter into discussions with the rebels. France trusted the determination of the Angolan Government to promote national reconciliation.
STEWART ELDON (United Kingdom) said his delegation was in near total agreement with the statements by the representatives of Ireland and Belgium on behalf of the European Community. The primary responsibility of the situation in Angola rested with Jonas Savimbi and UNITA. The top priority of the Angolan people should be peace. It was equally clear that dialogue was the only way to achieve a lasting peace and that dialogue should be as broad as possible. Military solutions were not the answer. The Lusaka peace process remained the only viable solution. He welcomed the contributions of the civil society and the churches.
He said an equally important development was that of economic reform and the move towards good government. He hoped that early progress could be made by the United Nations in response to Angolan requests for assistance with the peace and reconciliation fund and with the election process. He regarded the United Nations Office in Angola’s work on human rights with great importance and hoped it would continue. Further work and assistance was needed in terms of humanitarian work and assistance to humanitarian workers and personnel. It had been almost 18 months since the Council had been briefed on the humanitarian situation. It might be beneficial for the Council to hear from the humanitarian agencies.
JAGDUSH KOOJUL (Mauritius) said it was time the Security Council declared Jonas Savimbi a war criminal in line with the decisions of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC). One could only imagine the situation in the country had the Security Council not decided to impose sanctions against UNITA.
He said the Council should remain focused in maintaining, and even increasing, those sanctions. The UNITA would not hesitate to derive maximum benefit from any lapses in the implementation and monitoring of the sanctions. It was extremely important to ensure compliance with Council resolutions 1173 (1998) and 1127 (1997).
Some countries had failed to cooperate with the monitoring mechanism, he noted. Huge quantities of diamonds originating in Angola continued to vanish without trace, while diamond dealers denied all knowledge of them. Mauritius did not share the view that the sanctions were incompatible with certain regional agreements and called upon all Member States to comply with them.
He said UNITA’s financial network was another aspect deserving utmost attention; otherwise the rebel group would persist in its efforts to destabilize Angola. Greater efforts must be pursued in targeting that network. The funds of UNITA’s membership must be tracked. The veil of secrecy must be lifted as the international community took all measures to stem the flow of funds.
SHAMEEM AHSAN (Bangladesh) said that taken in its totality, the picture in Angola was not all discouraging. Sanctions against UNITA were taking effect. Given the faction’s pursuit of the military option, it was clear that the international community should do all it could to make it difficult for them. Sanctions must therefore be implemented properly especially in the areas of diamonds, arms, financial assets and the activities of UNITA’s representatives abroad.
He said the time had come to ask what more the Council wanted to do with sanctions. He expressed support for a review of existing sanctions. Such a review would reveal that much more needed to be done. One area that needed attention was that UNITA representatives were making effective use of the Internet ever since personal contact between them had been effectively limited due to travel restrictions. His delegation attached particular importance to tracking UNITA’s funds and assets and encouraged further efforts in that regard. Full sanctions must be imposed on UNITA in the area of diamonds and arms, he stressed. The actions taken by the SADC countries in that regard were to be commended and warranted further support.
He encouraged the Angolan Government’s effort to promote peace and paid tribute to the excellent work of the United Nations Office in Angola in the area of capacity-building and human rights. While the responsibility for peace lay with the Government and the people of Angola, the international community should also extend every assistance. Ambassador Gambari must make recommendations on the redefinition of the role of the United Nations in Angola. Through the Special Adviser’s efforts, the Security Council must also seek to reassess the situation on the ground.
MOCTAR OUANE (Mali) said his Government held Jonas Savimbi responsible for his continued defiance of the international community and his refusal to honour United Nations resolutions or the peace accords. The UNITA continued to terrorize innocent civilians and attack the economic structure of the country. He called on UNITA to put an end immediately to its military actions. The UNITA was also responsible for the criminal acts against humanitarian law. He supported the appeal to increase humanitarian assistance to the areas of the country to ease the suffering of displaced persons.
He said that sanctions against UNITA were not an end in themselves but a way of helping UNITA to give up the military options. His Government supported sanctions because they helped to reduce UNITA’s military capacity. He joined in the call on all States to cooperate with the monitoring mechanism. In spite of the continuation of the conflict, his Government still had great hope in the prospects for peace. The Lusaka peace process was the only viable basis for peace. He encouraged UNITA to begin without delay discussions with Angola. He also encouraged the Government to continue its consultations with all the components of Angolan society. In that connection, the Four-Point Peace Plan constituted a sound foundation. He welcomed the democratization process begun by the Angolan Government and reiterated full support for the United Nations Office in Angola and the Under-Secretary-General. He fully supported the presidential statement to be adopted by the Council.
ALFONSO VALDIVIESO (Colombia) said the refusal by Jonas Savimbi and UNITA to comply with the signed agreements had compelled the Security Council to impose sanctions, trusting that the rebels would lay down their weapons. But they continued to cause more death, desolation and destitution. Some 380,000 people had been added to the number of internally displaced persons this year. It was a matter of utmost concern that they could not even cultivate the land due to the threat of landmines sown throughout the rural areas.
He said Angola must continue to receive a large amount of humanitarian assistance. However, it had been heard from some quarters that the Angolan Government was transferring the humanitarian burden to the international community. The Government must take such statements into account.
Civil society must have a chance to voice the concerns and interests of the marginalized people in Angolan society, he said. Colombia encouraged Ambassador Gambari to hold wide-ranging consultations during his mission to the country. It also agreed with the suggestion by the representative of the United Kingdom, supported by France, that the Council hold a meeting under the Arias formula to give Angolan civil society a hearing.
Without a political agreement the Council must continue to monitor the sanctions, especially the arms embargo, travel ban and financial. Colombia reiterated its commitment to contribute to ensuring a lasting peace based on the existing agreements and Security Council resolutions.
SHEN GUOFANG (China) said that in the past year the Government of Angola had adopted serious reconciliation measures in order to promote the peace. It had reaffirmed that it would strive to promote peace on the basis of the Lusaka Protocols, and had consulted various factions in preparation for the 2002 general election. Those actions had won the support of the population, and the international community including the United Nations.
He said that because of disturbances by Jonas Savimbi, there had, however, been very little progress in the peace process. Acts of violence had not only impeded peace, but had resulted in death and caused great losses and damage to both personnel and property. He demanded that UNITA lay down its weapons, implement the Lusaka Protocols and begin negotiations with the Government of Angola.
He also stressed continuing sanctions against UNITA while praising implementation by the SADC of the Council’s measures against that group. China called on the international community to provide assistance to the Angolan Government. He said his delegation looked forward to Mr. Gambari’s briefing to the Council on his upcoming visit to Angola. He also hoped the Secretary-General would also put forward proposals to promote the next phase of the peace process in Angola.
NOUREDDINE MEJDOUB (Tunisia) said that in spite of some improvement the conflict in Angola continued. Humanitarian agencies should continue their efforts to relieve the suffering of displaced persons. Mr. Savimbi and his organization bore full responsibility for the situation in that country. Despite a weakening of its capacity, UNITA continued its military activities. He condemned such actions which were unacceptable, since their main reason was not to serve the cause of peace and the well-being of the Angolan people. He welcomed the initiatives of the Angolan Government to stabilize the peace process and to organize democratic elections. He supported United Nations help for those elections.
He said the Angolan Government had fulfilled its obligations. It was now up to UNITA to take the outstretched hand of the Angolan Government. There could not be a military solution to the conflict. He called for a strict implementation of the sanctions, which should be maintained until the peace process became irreversible. He attached great importance to the investigations of the monitoring mechanism, especially those pertaining to diamonds. He hoped that all the parties concerned would cooperate with the mechanism so as to shed full light on the violations of the diamonds sanctions.
OLE PETER KOLBY (Norway) said he was concerned about the increased violence and military activity in Angola. As a result, the humanitarian situation had deteriorated, and there had been an increase in the number of internally displaced persons and refugees into neighbouring countries. Efforts by the Government to bring humanitarian aid into areas outside the reach of the United Nations -- through the use of the army and its logistical capabilities -- must continue. The Government must look closely for ways to reduce the suffering of the Angolan people. The safety for humanitarian personnel was important.
He said the main responsibility for the conflict and the lack of implementation of the Lusaka Protocols rested with Jonas Savimbi's UNITA. He strongly condemned UNITA's gruesome attacks, particularly on civilians and said UNITA must enter into an immediate ceasefire and engage in a constructive and forward-looking dialogue with the Government. In order to consolidate democracy and good governance, the Government should stay in close cooperation and dialogue with civil society.
The contributions of the United Nations Office in Angola towards improving the human rights situation, and its close cooperation with the Angolan Government, were important. The Council's sanctions had served a purpose by limiting UNITA's ability to conduct war and therefore should be kept in place. All Member States should do their part by strictly implementing them; judging from the reports of the monitoring mechanism, there was room for considerable improvements.
CHRISTINE LEE (Singapore) highlighted the high number of humanitarian casualties in Angola. She said the conflict might seem relatively straightforward –- the Government versus UNITA. Yet the fighting had lasted more than 20 years. It had no military solution.
She said the Angolan Government was committed to peace, while sanctions were in place that had succeeded in curtailing UNITA’s ability to wage war effectively. Civil society had also been engaged in peace efforts. The UNITA, however, had started to return to guerrilla warfare and that necessitated a new approach. In order to achieve national reconciliation, there must first be conciliation between the two antagonists who had not engaged in dialogue.
She said there was also a need to build up UNITA’s confidence in the peace process. Mr. Gambari should therefore consider the possibility of bringing UNITA to the negotiating table, even though those negotiations would be protracted. The United Nations had played its part; the international community must now play its part, particularly through direct contact with UNITA. That organization said it wanted peace and now it must be put to the test.
The President of the Council, MIGNONETTE PATRICIA DURRANT, in her capacity as the representative of Jamaica, said her country continued to be deeply concerned by the situation in Angola. Despite progress in stabilizing populations in accessible areas of the country, the number of people displaced since October had exceeded 4 million. Jamaica was particularly concerned over the very serious situation of children, and stressed the importance of guaranteeing the safety and security of humanitarian personnel.
She said UNITA bore the primary responsibility for that situation. It was time the rebel movement’s leaders accepted that a political solution was the only route to resolving the intractable and tragic Angolan civil war. It was also important that the Security Council and the international community maintain pressure through the sanctions, which had been having some effect. It was also clear that Member States must cooperate fully if the sanctions were to have their full effect.
She said she was encouraged that some UNITA members had reacted positively to offers of church mediation. She also welcomed the Government’s offer of assistance to UNITA in transforming itself into a political party with a view to its participation in elections. Jamaica supported the Secretary-General’s response to Angola’s formal request for assistance. Ambassador Gambari’s mission should provide the basis for United Nations action in furtherance of the peace process and the Council looked forward to his return.
LILIAN E. PATEL, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Malawi, said the situation in Angola, defined by the desperate plight of his brothers and sisters, was one of utmost urgency to her delegation and the entire sub-Saharan Africa. She regretted the apparent inadequacy, so far, of any measures by the Council to reign in Jonas Savimbi and his insurgent UNITA. Resuscitation of the dialogue between the Government and the UNITA rebels remained central to peace and development.
She said UNITA's continued belligerence was counter to ongoing internal and global efforts to maximize the potential benefits of peace, stability and socio-economic rehabilitation and progress for the Angolans. She said she firmly and unequivocally condemned UNITA's intransigence and attendant barbarism, for which she held Mr. Savimbi wholly responsible. Recent incidents of brutality were a stark reminder of the rebel group's ruthlessness and lack of patriotism.
The sanctions regime had not nearly achieved the desired goal of financially starving Mr. Savimbi's war chest, she said. In that sense, she suspected probable covert links between UNITA and external criminal interests. Every possible loophole in the sanctions regime should be investigated, with a view to widening its net to cover the demand side of the diamonds and other resources "propping" up UNITA. She commended United Nations efforts in Angola, so far, but said there should be an urgent shift to criminalizing UNITA's atrocities as crimes against humanity.
MANUEL INOCENCIO SOUSA, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Cape Verde, said that once again UNITA had opted for the "war tomahawk" rather than the "peace pipe". The people of Angola had suffered too much. Efforts by both Angolans and the international community to restore peace and stability, as well as rebuild the country, continued to encounter obstruction by UNITA, which had continually resorted to terrorist action in an attempt to impede peace effort.
On 20 September, the Security Council had condemned in the strongest terms the terrorist acts perpetrated by Savimbi. There were also calls for increased international pressure on the military wing of UNITA. While sanctions were beginning to have a positive result, there was still outside support for the rebel movement. Additional measures had to be implemented to end criminal practices. There was also a need for an effective monitoring mechanism for sanctions.
He said that just as combating international terrorism was becoming increasingly important, so there must be a thorough study by the Council to see if there was any way to end the criminal attacks against civilians by Savimbi. The Lusaka Protocol was the only appropriate juridical and political mechanism for peace in Angola.
TULIAMENI KALOMOH, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Namibia, said Jonas Savimbi continued to defy the international community’s repeated calls to return to the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol. He had opted to continue his mindless war against the Angolan people. The Council had no option but to continue to exert pressure and compel UNITA to return to the peace process. Although the sanctions thus far had diminished the ability of UNITA to wage war, it continued to operate in many areas. One of the methods used by UNITA was electronic technology. While he trusted that countries where those Web sites and other electronic propaganda tools were situated would take urgent steps to correct the situation, he would support a further strengthening of the sanctions, in particular through measures in the telecommunications area.
He welcomed the extension of the mandate of the monitoring mechanism until April 2002. The mechanism must use the opportunity to get the explanations from those countries it had cited as still harbouring UNITA elements, facilitating the organization’s funds and assets, and providing facilities as well as technical support, directly and indirectly. It should, on the basis of that information, make recommendations to the Council for appropriate action.
LUIZ AUGUSTO DE ARAUJO CASTRO (Brazil) said that peace had eluded Angola for the past several years. Development and prosperity remained "postponed realities". Many opportunities for breaking the cycle had been lost because of UNITA. The humanitarian situation in the country was alarming. It must be addressed on a priority basis.
Disarmament and demobilization of Mr. Savimbi's UNITA, and its transformation into a political entity fully committed to tolerance, democracy and pluralism, were essential. The UNITA must be convinced that there was no alternative to peace, and its fight was senseless and condemnable. It must abide by its own commitments to peace and national reconciliation; the Lusaka Protocol and the "Acordos de Paz" were the basis for stability, as those had been negotiated and agreed.
He said the sanctions had been a useful means of depriving UNITA of the tools of war. The international community should continue to expose those countries and individuals that violated the sanctions. Curbing the illicit traffic in diamonds and arms, closing UNITA's sources of financing, and cutting its representation and lines of supply should lead Mr. Savimbi to comply with Security Council resolutions.
He said the holding of presidential elections would demonstrate a commitment to stability. However, having rejected democracy and the results of the past election, Savimbi might try to influence the process through violence and intimidation. For the next election process to be perceived as free and fair, and for full recognition of the legitimacy of those elected, the international community expected an environment of stability, where fundamental rights could be guaranteed, where freedom of movement and expression was assured, and where democracy could indeed be exerted.
STEPHANE DE LOECKER (Belgium), on behalf of the European Union and associated States, said UNITA's recent brutal attacks on civilians and children was a reminder of the inhuman scale of the conflict. The European Union was appalled at the savage attack on civilians aboard a train in August, which killed some 250 people and wounded 165 more. In the midst of such barbarous acts, the mobilization of civil society and the churches for the establishment of a peace network had sent a message of hope. That bold commitment to peace deserved the fullest respect and support, and highlighted the fact that a military solution was not a viable option.
He said the peace route to be followed had been clearly mapped out in the Lusaka Protocol. There must be an all-encompassing national dialogue, and the door must be left open for UNITA. Mr. Savimbi should carry out confidence-building measures, and enter into dialogue with the Government on how to implement the Protocol. The European Union welcomed the Government's offer of amnesty and the holding of elections next year, and it noted the brave decision of President Dos Santos not to stand again at those elections.
Sanctions had remained the best instrument for blunting UNITA's war machine, he said, and all countries should scrupulously respect them. At the same time, the sanctions were not a solution, in themselves, and must form part of a more comprehensive political framework. Given the horrific situation on the ground, all concerned parties should provide unrestricted access for humanitarian agencies. The laying of mines was another cause of acute concern, and the European Union urged the parties to cease resorting to such methods. The risk that the situation could spill over into neighbouring countries should compel the countries of the region to embrace dialogue, cooperation and mutual respect for territorial integrity.
PAUL HEINBECKER (Canada) said Member States had an obligation to act to halt the violation of sanctions in Angola. Failure to do that was a direct violation of the Security Council’s authority. In that light, he urged more resolute action by the Council against violators, and suggested imposing secondary sanctions on them. There were States who, through the provision of services such as banking for example, were still cooperating with UNITA; if stronger measures were applied it would further limit UNITA’s capacity to wage war.
He underscored the need to look closely at UNITA’s access to electronic technology as a means of continuing the war. Despite sanctions, UNITA also continued to carry out terrorist attacks. Those atrocities put Jonas Savimbi on the lengthening list of terrorists the world needed to bring to justice.
More than 3 million people were in need of humanitarian aid in Angola. The valuable natural resources that were available to the Angolan Government should be used to alleviate the suffering of its people. Diamond certification was also necessary, since a new category of smuggler had moved into territory previously occupied by UNITA. The Council should also monitor whether its decisions were being implemented or not and to act when they were not.
TICHAONA JOSEPH JOKONYA (Zimbabwe) said a new economy had emerged in rebel-controlled areas spanning the border between Angola and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Globalization and liberalization had made it easy for disparate rebel groups to establish parallel market linkages. During the 1980s, UNITA was based near the southern Namibia border, relying on the cold war and support from apartheid. Today it controlled diamonds in the central and northern areas.
He said that despite the Security Council’s adoption of numerous resolutions, and its imposition of sanctions, UNITA’s war chest continued to grow because a few individuals were determined to pursue their narrow and selfish interests at the expense of the long-suffering Angolan people, who had not known peace since 1975.
The Angolan Government had never closed its doors to negotiations under the Lusaka Protocol. The sanctions were not an end in themselves, but an effort to restrain Savimbi and to lead him back to the Lusaka Protocol. Zimbabwe associated itself with the call by the Angolan Government for the restraining of UNITA’s electronic communications capacity.
He said Angola was one of Africa’s major oil producers, as well as boasting vast diamond fields, and deposits of gold. Its agricultural potential was one of the greatest in Africa, were it not for the environmental degradation caused by the effects of landmines strewn all over its territory. But, because of the war waged by UNITA, diamonds had become a curse on Angola, fuelling greed and threatening the country’s very existence.
The international community had an obligation to punish all those who had benefited, and continued to benefit, from UNITA’s war against Angola.
Mr. GAMBARI assured Council members that the Secretariat would not relent in its efforts to stop the war in Angola that had gone on for far too long. The end of the fighting was the best way to deliver the badly needed humanitarian assistance to the people of Angola.
Two years ago the four pillars of United Nations policy in Angola were not universally accepted, and now they were. The first was that there was no military solution to the problem in Angola; UNITA must accept that. The second was that UNITA was responsible for the suffering in the country and the Council therefore had to tighten sanctions imposed on it. The third was that the efforts of Angolan civil society to promote a peaceful political settlement needed the support of the international community. And, finally, it was necessary to support the efforts of the Angolan Government to provide humanitarian assistance.
He informed the Council that urgent action had begun on repair of the airfield that had been destroyed at Kuito, to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance.
The meeting was adjourned.
The President called to order a second meeting and read the following presidential statement (to be issued as document S/PRST/2001/36):
"The Security Council remains deeply concerned about the ongoing conflict in Angola. It holds Mr. Jonas Savimbi and the armed faction of the União Nacional para a Independência Total de Angola (UNITA) primary responsible for the failure to implement the Lusaka Protocol. It expresses its deep concern at the resulting human rights and international humanitarian law violations, and the humanitarian crisis.
"The Security Council reaffirms that the Lusaka Protocol remains the only basis for a political settlement of the conflict in Angola. The failure by UNITA to implement the Lusaka Protocol, the "Acordos de Paz" and the relevant resolutions of the Security Council are the basis for the continuation of the Security Council sanctions against UNITA.
"The Security Council once again reaffirms its intention to keep sanctions under close monitoring with a view to improving their effectiveness until it is convinced that the peace process is irreversible and welcomes, in this regard, the ongoing review by the Sanctions Committee of the recommendations of the Monitoring Mechanism on sanctions against UNITA.
"The Security Council reiterates its call on Member States to comply fully with the implementation of the sanctions regime against UNITA. The Security Council notes the positive contribution of the Security Council Sanction Committee established pursuant to resolution 864 (1993) and, in this regard, calls upon the Member States to cooperate fully with the Security Council Committee and the Monitoring Mechanism on sanctions against UNITA.
"The Security Council supports the Government of Angola in its efforts to implement the Lusaka Protocol including through the Fund for Peace and National Reconciliation. The Security Council supports the Government’s intention to hold free and fair elections when appropriate conditions are in place with the participation of the legitimately established political parties. It encourages the Angolan authorities to continue, in consultation with all the political parties and the civil society, their efforts to achieve national reconciliation and to bring stability in the country.
"The Security Council expresses its concern that the continuing conflict in Angola is leading to large numbers of internally displaced persons and dire humanitarian situations. It welcomes the efforts of the Government of Angola to improve the humanitarian situation and the resettlement of the displaced population and calls upon it to increase its efforts to this end. It also calls upon the international community to continue to provide necessary humanitarian assistance.
"The Security Council welcomes the upcoming visit of the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Africa to Angola for consultations with the Government, political parties and civil society representatives on how best the United Nations could help the peace process. It also reiterates its support for the work of the United Nations Office in Angola (UNOA) in finding a solution to the Angolan conflict.
"The Security Council will remain actively seized of the matter."
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