SECURITY COUNCIL, IN PRESIDENTIAL STATEMENT, WELCOMES COMMUNIQUÉ BY ANGOLAN GOVERNMENT NOTING INTENTION TO CEASE ALL OFFENSIVE MOVEMENTS
Council Calls on UNITA to Show It Shares Similar Position
NEW YORK, 28 March (UN Headquarters) -- The Security Council this morning welcomed a communiqué issued by the Government of Angola on 13 March, which notes, among other things, the Government's intention to cease all offensive movements effective 14 March, as a positive, constructive and forward-looking approach to ending the conflict in Angola and resuming the process of national reconciliation.
In that context, the Council called upon the Uniao Nacional para a Independencia Total de Angola (UNITA) to show that it shared a similar position, with the aim of achieving national reconciliation, including through a general ceasefire.
In a statement read out by its President, Ole Peter Kolby (Norway), the Council urged UNITA to recognize the historic nature of this opportunity to end the conflict with dignity, to give a clear, positive response to the Government’s offer of peace, to implement fully the Lusaka Protocol, and to re-enter political life.
The Council also called on the Government of Angola to ensure further the transparency and credibility of the peace process, including by cooperating with the United Nations, in the first phase and beyond. In that regard, the Council looked forward to discussions between the Under-Secretary-General/Adviser for Special Assignments in Africa and the Angolan Government to clarify the role of the United Nations.
The Council stressed the active role that the United Nations was expected to play in the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol, in close cooperation with the Government of Angola, and noted the need to renew, and possibly redefine, the mandate of the United Nations Office in Angola by 15 April 2002. It declared its support for the full implementation of the Protocol, and its willingness to work with all the parties in that endeavour.
The Council stood ready to consider appropriate and specific exemptions from and amendments to the measures imposed by paragraph 4 (a) of Council resolution 1127 (1997) [by which the Council decided that all States should take measures to prevent the entry into or transit through their territories of all senior officials of UNITA and of adult members of their immediate families], in consultation with the Angolan Government and with a view to facilitating the peace negotiations.
Further by the text, the Council underlined that the legitimacy of the peace process depended on a genuine role for, and full participation of, political parties and civil society without interference, as well as flexibility in approaching questions of national reconciliation.
The Council also expressed its concern that the grave humanitarian situation, especially for internally displaced persons, continued to deteriorate and called upon the Government to accelerate full and immediate access to all those in need of humanitarian assistance. In that context, it welcomed the decision by the Government to include humanitarian assistance in its plans to extend territorial administration throughout Angola, and expected the Government to cooperate fully through an agreed coordinating mechanism with the international donors in swiftly developing an appropriate and effective humanitarian response, including demining activities.
The Council invited the Angolan Government to brief it at the earliest opportunity on the peace process in all its aspects, as well as national reconciliation and the humanitarian situation.
Following is the text of the presidential statement on the situation in Angola, which will be issued as S/PRST/2002/7:
"The Security Council welcomes the communiqué issued by the Government of Angola on 13 March 2002 (S/2002/270) as a positive, constructive, and forward-looking approach to ending the conflict and resuming the process of national reconciliation and calls upon the União Nacional para a Independência Total de Angola (UNITA) to show that it shares a similar position, with the aim of achieving national reconciliation, including through a general ceasefire in Angola.
"The Security Council urges UNITA to recognize the historic nature of this opportunity to end the conflict with dignity, to give a clear, positive response to the Government’s offer of peace, to implement fully the Lusaka Protocol (S/1994/1441, Annex), including by disavowing the use of arms and demilitarizing completely, and to re-enter political life to pursue its ideals as an important contributor to the process of national reconciliation towards a fully democratic Angola.
"The Security Council recognizes the positive initiatives of the Government of Angola in this process. It also recognizes the vital role to be played by a peaceful UNITA and stresses the importance of the role of other political parties and civil society, including the churches, all supported by the international community.
"The Security Council expects that the Government of Angola will fulfil its commitments as rapidly as circumstances permit, and notes that the response of the international community, including the provision of assistance, with the exception of humanitarian assistance, would be positively encouraged by the Government’s efforts and actions.
"The Security Council calls on the Government of Angola to ensure further the transparency and credibility of the peace process, including by cooperating with the United Nations, in the first phase and beyond; the Security Council looks forward to discussions between the Under-Secretary-General/ Adviser for Special Assignments in Africa and the Government of Angola to clarify the role of the United Nations.
"The Security Council stresses the active role that the United Nations is expected to play in the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol, in close cooperation with the Government of Angola and notes the need to renew, and possibly redefine, the mandate of the United Nations Office in Angola (UNOA) by 15 April 2002, taking into account recent developments in Angola, in consultation with the Government of Angola.
"The Security Council declares its support for the full implementation of the Lusaka Protocol, and its willingness to work with all parties in this endeavour, and stresses the importance of the recommencement of the Joint Commission as soon as UNITA is ready to name its members. It calls upon the Government to facilitate UNITA retaking its place on the Commission, while noting that it might be necessary for the parties to build upon the Lusaka Protocol, by common agreement, as appropriate to current circumstances without altering the fundamental nature and principles of the accord.
"The Security Council stands ready to consider appropriate and specific exemptions from and amendments to the measures imposed by paragraph 4 (a) of United Nations Security Council resolution 1127 (1997) of 28 August 1997, in consultation with the Government of Angola and with a view to facilitating the peace negotiations.
"The Security Council welcomes the Government of Angola’s statement on facilitation of the political reorganization of UNITA and the choice of their leadership in complete freedom, in order to have a legitimate interlocutor for national reconciliation.
"The Security Council underlines that the legitimacy of the peace process depends upon a genuine role for, and full participation of, political parties and civil society without interference, as well as flexibility in approaching questions of national reconciliation.
"The Security Council expresses its concern that the grave humanitarian situation, especially for internally displaced persons, continues to deteriorate and calls upon the Government of Angola to accelerate full and immediate access to all those in need of humanitarian assistance; it welcomes the decision by the Government of Angola to include humanitarian assistance in its plans to extend territorial administration throughout Angola, and expects that the Government of Angola cooperate fully through an agreed coordinating mechanism with the international donors in developing swiftly an appropriate and effective humanitarian response, including demining activities.
"The Security Council invites the Government of Angola to brief the Council at the earliest opportunity on the peace process in all its aspects, as well as national reconciliation and the humanitarian situation."
Communiqué by Government of Angola
Following is the text of the communiqué by the Angolan Government referred to in the presidential statement:
Government Instructs Angolan Armed Forces to Cease All Offensive Movements
"The Government of unity and national reconciliation of the Republic of Angola considers the country to be living in a unique moment of its history for joining wills that will lead definitively to the end of the current armed conflict. Issues of peace and national reconciliation should be weighed within a legal and political framework that respects the Constitution, judicial order, the institutions of the State, and which accepts unequivocally the validity of peace agreements and resolutions of the United Nations Security Council related to Angola.
"In order to reach peace, the Government has defined an agenda that passes necessarily through the resolution of all military issues resulting from the armed conflict that arose subsequent to the formation of the Angolan Armed Forces under the terms of the Bicesse Accord and the Lusaka Protocol.
"With the objective of encouraging and promoting the trust of the entire Angolan nation regarding this opportunity for peace which must not be wasted, the Government has instructed the General Staff of the Angolan Armed Forces (FAA) to cease all offensive movements beginning at 0001 on 14 March 2002. This is in order to permit the establishment of "in situ" contacts between the military commands of the FAA and UNITA military forces.
"With this measure, the road will be opened to dialogue and collaboration between military commands, so that a general ceasefire may be agreed in the shortest possible time. At the same time, there would be a freezing of the movements of all forces seeking to reinforce or occupy new military positions, the carrying out of acts of violence against civilian populations, the destruction of public or private goods, or the obstruction of the free circulation of citizens and their possessions.
"The Government considers fundamental and decisive the demilitarization of UNITA under the terms of law. In the interest of national reconciliation, the Government will present a programme for the incorporation into national life of generals, officers and soldiers of UNITA military forces.
"Regarding issues related to the full integration of UNITA into national political life as a political party whose action is important for the consolidation of the democratic process, the Government intends, within the context of its public responsibilities, to contribute to the creation of conditions in the country that will permit UNITA militants to resolve internally and freely the problem of leadership of their party and its reorganization and functioning in accordance with law.
"The Government will propose to the National Assembly the approval of an amnesty for all crimes committed within the context of the armed conflict, seeking with this measure to assure the necessary legal and political guaranties for the promotion and realization of the national reconciliation process.
"The extension and installation of State administration throughout the country and the nomination of UNITA personnel to anticipated political positions will be concluded in conformity with the implementation of administrative tasks contained in the Lusaka Protocol. Simultaneously, secure conditions will be created for the return of displaced citizens to their home areas in order to permit the gradual revitalization of the economy throughout the land. In this sense, the Government will promote a broad demining programme with the assistance of the international community to make possible the free circulation of people and goods.
"The Government considers it necessary to find a political and legal solution to the electoral process that was not completed in 1992. It will implement pertinent political, legal and administrative measures for the organization of the next elections. In addition to completing the process of approving a new constitution, the Government will engage itself in revising electoral legislation, the resettlement of displaced populations and in electoral registration and census taking processes.
"The Government will work with all society, specifically the churches, political parties, civic associations and socio-professional associations during the entire process. It will continue to maintain regular consultations with these groups with the objective of obtaining their valuable contributions regarding actions to be undertaken for the consolidation of peace and democracy in the country. In particular, it seeks their contributions to restoring spiritual peace, the observance of tolerance and mutual respect, and the mobilization of resources and the determination to achieve the rapid resolution of problems that affect the victims of war.
"The consolidation of peace requires timely and effective handling of the immediate consequences of war on the life of the most heavily impacted segments of the population. Efforts must be directed at ensuring the delivery of humanitarian assistance to all needy people without discrimination. In this area, the Government is preparing an emergency programme to support the reintegration and resettlement of 4 million displaced persons; the return to society of 150,000 combatants from Angola’s various wars, as well as veterans; the reintegration of 100,000 wounded; and the sheltering of 50,000 child war orphans.
"The Government recognizes the effort that has been undertaken by the international community in the area of humanitarian assistance. It reiterates its appeal to national and international donors to mobilize resources to support the above-mentioned emergency programme. Its implementation must be able to count upon the effective participation of churches, non-governmental organizations and the determination of a civil society that can make its experience available to assure transparency and rational utilization of resources received.
"Within the framework of its engagement on behalf of the rapid reconstruction of the country, the Government will discharge the immediate tasks contained in its programme for a way out of the crisis. An integral and essential element of that programme is the Public Investment Program (PIP). The implementation of PIP will permit the rehabilitation of economic and social infrastructures that will make viable the exercise of economic activity; the delivery of medical assistance to the people; the raising of education levels; the movement of people and goods; and better connections between the provinces, municipalities and towns. It will also make possible the installation, organization and capacity-building of local administrations. With the aim of mobilizing additional resources for the enormous task of rebuilding Angola in an era of peace, the Government, with the cooperation of friendly countries, has taken the initiative to plan an international donors’ conference at a date to be determined.
"During this critical period in which once again the destiny of the nation will be decided, the Government appeals to all political forces, and to civil society in general, for each citizen to maintain a higher sense of responsibility in word and action. The Government encourages the propagation and consolidation of a climate of tolerance throughout the country, a climate in which debate and meeting of ideas may be possible without resort to physical or verbal violence, offence or slander.
"The Government urges the unity of all Angolans in together turning an important page in the country’s history. It is a time of reconciliation, of mutual forgiveness and of unity. We bid farewell forever to arms and to war and dedicate ourselves to rebuilding a prosperous and modern Angola as brothers; an Angola capable of guaranteeing physical, material and spiritual well-being to all its citizens, and capable of occupying a place that it deserves for its own sake in the concert of nations.
"The Government of the Republic of Angola, Luanda, 13 March 2002."
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