Last Updated: Thursday, 24 July 2014, 07:02 GMT

Angola: Peace at Last?

Publisher WRITENET
Author Karl Maier
Publication Date 1 May 1997
Cite as WRITENET, Angola: Peace at Last?, 1 May 1997, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6a6be10.html [accessed 24 July 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

1.   INTRODUCTION

The Angolan people could be forgiven for succumbing to a collective sense of déjà vu. For the second time in five years, the chimera of peace appears close at hand. A cease-fire signed in November 1994 has held with only occasional lapses, a government of national unity is in place, and thousands of United Nations civilian and military staff are wrapping up their peacekeeping mission. The last time such optimism filled the Angolan air was in September 1992, when after an eighteen month hiatus in the war, the country celebrated its first ever democratic elections. The polls themselves took place with few hitches, but the results unleashed a chain of violent events which sent Angola tumbling back into civil war. That first experiment with peace and democracy ultimately ushered in the worst fighting in the twenty- year history of the war, with an estimated 300,000 people killed in two years.[1] Some 300,000 Angolans became refugees, mainly in Zambia and Zaire, and another million were displaced in the interior. For a time in mid-1993, Angola won the dubious distinction of topping the list of the world's worst conflicts, with the United Nations saying that 1,000 people a day were dying from war, starvation and disease[2]

Five years on, the signs of a stable peace are more promising. Against a backdrop of no serious fighting in eighteen months, a government of national unity was installed on 11 April 1997, bringing the ruling Movimento Popular de Libertação de Angola (MPLA) and Jonas Savimbi's former rebel movement, the União Nacional para a Independência Total de Angola (UNITA) into a coalition administration which includes half a dozen other smaller parties. By the time it took office, over 70,000 former UNITA rebel fighters had reported to assembly areas where their fate was to be decided: either demobilize and return to civilian life or join the government army, the Forças Armadas de Angola (FAA). The United Nations Verification Mission, or UNAVEM III, began winding down its 6,500-strong military force. On 30 April the potentially explosive process of surrendering UNITA-held areas, still some 50 per cent of Angola's territory, to government administration began with the handover of the northern city of Mbanza Congo, the historic capital of the Bakongo people. From the perspective of such recent events, the portents look good.

But possibly nowhere are appearances more deceiving than in Angola. Good news in the political arena is often laced with bad news on the military front. As in 1992, current demobilization plans for 100,000 UNITA and government troops are far behind schedule, and less than a third of the 26,000 UNITA troops scheduled to join the FAA have done so. Most of the UNITA soldiers demobilized so far are children whose number totalled over two thousand in mid-April.[3] One third of the UNITA soldiers who entered the assembly areas, 27,000 men, have deserted or have been, in the words of United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, "temporarily absent from the camps".[4] While officially UNITA has handed over the bulk of its weaponry to UNAVEM, revenues from its illicit diamond sales have underwritten the purchase of millions of dollars in new arms. There are strong suspicions that some of Savimbi's elite troops have remained behind the lines of UNITA controlled areas.[5] UNITA's four main military command centres remain operational despite promises to dismantle them, its communications equipment is intact, and the strength and weaponry of Savimbi's personal security attachment are secret. Small-scale incidents still occur, particularly in Benguela and Huila provinces, and military tension continues in Bie province and in the diamond-producing Lunda region. From February to March 1997, the number of illegal UNITA and government checkpoints around the country actually rose to 132.[6]

Savimbi's personal commitment to the current peace process appears questionable. After months of delays and international pressure to cooperate, he finally agreed to send 70 UNITA deputies to the National Assembly and to allow UNITA officials to join the new administration. But Savimbi himself has kept aloof from the process. As he did at the November 1994 signature of the Lusaka Protocol peace agreement in the Zambian capital, Savimbi excused himself from the proceedings. This time he said Luanda was too unsafe for him to participate in the inauguration ceremony, despite the attendance of 30 heads of state, including Nelson Mandela. The result is that at the two critical steps of this latest attempt to end the Angolan civil war, Savimbi has been absent.

His intentions are as opaque as his future role. Savimbi demanded and received recognition as the leader of the biggest opposition party with special financial and security privileges as well as the right to consult with President José Eduardo dos Santos on important national matters. But no-one knows how the arrangement will work in practice, especially until Savimbi agrees to return to Luanda. Equally worrying is the absence from parliament and the new government of several of Savimbi's top hardline generals: Vice President General Antonio Dembo, Secretary-General Armindo Paulo Lukamba "Gato", and the éminence grise of UNITA's security system, General Altino Bango Sapalalo "Bock".

Scepticism about the dawn of peace runs high too on the government side. The chief of staff of the Armed Forces, General Baptista João de Matos, has in the past called the Lusaka Protocol a mistake and suggested that the only peaceful UNITA is a defeated UNITA. General de Matos and important sectors of the military high command, however, hold the MPLA and the presidency in low regard, and rumours of a possible military coup refuse to die down.

2.   WAR AND PEACE

2.1   From Colonial War to Civil War

A sketch of Angola's recent history provides valuable insights into the situation today. Since the start of the independence struggle in the early 1960s, Angola has been almost constantly at war of varying levels of intensity. The sustained violence has instilled in the main combatants an extreme military logic. Lieutenant-Colonel Roger Mortlock, the New Zealand commander of the UNAVEM II military team which had to evacuate from Huambo in January 1993, described it in this way: "What dominates in Angola is the single-option response: if you don't like something, you point a weapon at it".[7]

Portuguese rule in Africa permitted no democratic challenge.[8] The modern independence struggle was launched by two nationalist guerrilla armies, the Zaire-based FNLA (Frente Nacional para a Libertação de Angola) backed mainly by the Bakongo people of the northwest, and the Marxist-oriented MPLA supported by the Mbundu people of the centre and the mixed race mestiços. A third group emerged in 1966, when Jonas Savimbi left the FNLA and set up his own movement, UNITA, which drew support from the Ovimbundu people, Angola's biggest ethnic group, in the central highlands region known as the planalto.[9]

Angola was unique among Portugal's colonies for not presenting a single united movement for independence. The divisions were reflected in superpower rivalry and were seized upon by South Africa to attempt to stop the southward march of African liberation from white minority rule.[10] The FNLA had access to United States arms and money and Zairian troop support.[11] The MPLA received weapons from the Soviet Union and Cuba. UNITA's support from unlikely allies such as South Africa and China, and alleged secret deals with the Portuguese themselves, mirrored Savimbi's ideological flexibility.[12] Disunity hampered the nationalists' ability to defeat the Portuguese on the battlefield, but they were able to wear down the colonial army in combination with their counterparts in Mozambique and Guinea Bissau.[13] Tired and demoralized by their wars in Africa, junior officers overthrew the Fascist government in Lisbon in April 1974 in the "revolution of carnations".

Then as today, however, factional disputes undermined Angola's hopes for a stable future. Independence for Angola was set for 11 November 1975, and in the intervening period, various peace deals were established and broken among the MPLA, led by the poet Dr Agostinho Neto, Holden Roberto's FNLA and Jonas Savimbi's UNITA. They were to run the country through a transitional administration supported by all three parties, something of a distant ancestor to the 1997 government of national unity. Outside interests, in the form of the cold war superpowers and their regional allies, Zaire and South Africa, helped to stoke up already bitter frictions between the groups. Street fighting erupted between the MPLA and the FNLA in Luanda, and in July 1975 the MPLA seized control of the capital by arming its civilian supporters in what became known as poder popular, or people's power, a phenomenon which would return with deadly consequences seventeen years later.[14]

2.2   Orphan of the Cold War[15]

The MPLA's hold on the capital was tenuous, and a combined force of Zairians, FNLA guerrillas and mercenaries crossed the Zaire border and pushed south in the hope of capturing Luanda before independence day. South African troops entered the war in force in September 1975 with Operation Zulu, which sent a motorized column sweeping north from Namibia up the Atlantic Coast. The following month South African military advisers began training UNITA troops at Silva Porto, the colonial name of Kuito in Bie province. By November 1975 the Operation Zulu forces were within one hundred miles of Luanda.[16]

Although a small number of Cuban advisers had been in the country for several months, the South African invasion prompted Fidel Castro on 7 November to begin airlifting thousands of troops armed with the feared multiple rocket launcher, the so-called "Stalin organ", in Operation Carlota to bolster the MPLA's defences. On 11 November, the MPLA declared independence in Luanda, while the FNLA did the same in Ambriz and UNITA in Huambo. With overwhelming Cuban support, the MPLA defeated the FNLA and its Zairian allies in January 1976 and captured Huambo from UNITA the following month on the same day that the Organization of African Unity recognized Angola as a new member of the African club of nations. The South African forces withdrew into Namibia.[17]

With the death of President Neto in 1978, a Soviet-trained engineer, José Eduardo dos Santos, was named as the nation's leader. By the early 1980s, the MPLA had strengthened its hold over the country, occupying all of the provincial capitals. Relations with South Africa continued to deteriorate, however, particularly because of Pretoria's refusal to end its occupation of Namibia and Luanda's agreement to allow the African National Congress and the Namibian independence movement, the South West Africa People's Organization (SWAPO), to establish bases on its territory. South Africa resumed its military incursions into Angola in August 1981 and sharply increased aid to UNITA. A one-time Maoist who received his military training in Nanking in China, Savimbi cleverly positioned himself as an anti-communist "freedom fighter". His denunciations of "Soviet imperialism" warmed the hearts of conservatives in Washington.[18]

UNITA, which had its headquarters at a small bush camp known as Jamba in the far south of Cuando Cubango province, remained largely marginal to the fighting inside Angola. The bulk of the war took place between the MPLA's army, the Forças Armadas Populares de Libertação de Angola (FAPLA), and its Cuban allies against the South African regular army and a unit of Angolans and mercenaries known as the 32nd or "Buffalo" Battalion.[19] The conflict badly drained the national treasury, and at least 50 per cent of Angola's petroleum revenues went to the war effort. At South African urging, the Reagan administration in the USA received Jonas Savimbi in January 1986 with all the pomp and ceremony of a visiting head of state. The United States resumed official military support for UNITA, including the provision of the vaunted shoulder-fired Stinger anti-aircraft missile capable of bringing down Soviet attack jets.

The dos Santos administration had less success in its campaign to improve relations with Washington. First, it announced major changes in its economic programme, in order to move away from the socialist model. Then in August 1987, Angola applied to join the International Monetary Fund.[20] No amount of friendly posturing, however, could divert the Reagan administration from its principal demands: the Cuban internacionalista military presence must withdraw, and Jonas Savimbi and UNITA must have a future role in politics.

2.3   Angola's Stalingrad

The war against South Africa was reaching its climax in mid-1987, when the FAPLA, armed with an estimated US$ 1 billion worth of new Soviet weaponry, launched an all-out drive to capture UNITA's Jamba headquarters. The expedition reached the Lomba River on the outskirts of Mavinga before it was driven back by crack South African troops. Soviet advisers were highly influential at the time, and they were blamed for devising the offensive against Mavinga. Cuban diplomats posted to embassies in southern Africa at the time openly voiced their opposition to the offensive and Cuban advisers opposed the idea, arguing that government forces would become bogged down in the inhospitable province of Cuando Cubango, which the Portuguese had once dubbed as terras ao fim do mundo ("the lands at the end of the earth"). The Cuban analysis proved correct, and by late 1987 the defeated FAPLA forces, after losing thousands of men and hundreds of millions of dollars in military equipment, were in full flight back north to the small town of Cuito Cuanavale.

This time it was the turn of South Africa to overstretch itself. Publicly, Pretoria refused to admit its role in the battle, and Savimbi repeated his contention that UNITA troops alone had inflicted defeat on the FAPLA. On 13 November 1987, he flew a group of South Africa-based Western reporters into Jamba to claim the famous victory at Mavinga for his UNITA. That same day, however, South African Defence Minister Magnus Malan announced that his troops had entered Angola to save UNITA from total annihilation. By the end of the year, it was FAPLA not UNITA which faced annihilation. To the rescue again came Fidel Castro. He dispatched 15,000 troops to bolster the 25,000 already in Angola and sent the elite 50th Division, commanded by the charismatic veteran Cuban general, Arnaldo Ochoa Sanchez, who had led the rout of the South African invasion force in 1975. By early February 1988, the Cubans deployed around Cuito Cuanavale and stopped the South African advance in its tracks. Cuito Cuanavale became the scene of the biggest set piece battles in Africa since the second world war.

Both sides claimed victory, although neither could rightfully do so.[21] South Africa clearly suffered a heavy loss both militarily and psychologically. Cuito Cuanavale marked the first time in the history of southern Africa that armies of mostly black soldiers had proved the South African Defence Force to be vulnerable. The Angolans often referred to the battle for Cuito Cuanavale as their country's Stalingrad. The engagement proved beyond doubt that the Angolan war could not be resolved militarily. Alas, it was a lesson repeatedly forgotten.

2.4   Road to Peace

Under an agreement (22 December 1988) mediated by the United States, Angola, Cuba and South Africa agreed to the withdrawal of all foreign forces from Angola. Pretoria committed itself to begin an independence plan for Namibia with elections in November 1989, and Cuba pledged to remove all of its troops from Angola by July 1991.[22] The accord gave birth to the first United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM), which was set up to monitor the redeployment and withdrawal of Cuban armed forces.

Fighting between UNITA and the MPLA armies continued, but mostly on a smaller scale than the South African-Cuban engagements. A last ditch effort by the MPLA to rout UNITA floundered once again in Cuando Cubango, and the FAPLA began withdrawing from the region in May 1990. Several peace initiatives, launched by the front-line states of southern Africa and later by President Mobutu of Zaire, had failed. With the fall of the communist governments in eastern Europe, the MPLA scrambled to reform itself. In June-July 1990, the party's central committee decided that Angola should move towards a multi-party political system, and in October it abandoned the MPLA's Marxist-Leninist label in favour of "democratic socialism". The following March, the National Assembly approved the formation of opposition political parties.

The breakthrough in peace talks came after stop-go negotiations sponsored by Portugual, the United States and the Soviet Union, the three countries which became known as the "troika" of international observers. President dos Santos and Jonas Savimbi signed the Bicesse peace accords on 31 May 1991 in Portugal. The deal called for a cease-fire, demobilization of the two warring armies, a freeze on all arms imports into Angola, the holding of democratic elections, and the establishment of UNAVEM II to observe the process. By June 1991, the guns fell silent over Angola for the first time since independence.[23]

3.   ELUSIVE PEACE: 1991-1997

3.1   "Angola in the Heart"

Angola seemed to experience a sea change overnight. Ruled since independence as a one-party state by a tightly organized security apparatus with no patience for dissent, Angola suddenly experienced the rough and tumble of opposition politics. The tone was set one hundred metres from the 4 de Fevereiro International Airport where a giant opposition party banner stretched over October Revolution Avenue. It said: "Welcome to the People's Republic of Angola, a country of inequalities, hunger, misery and intimidation".[24]

There was a palpable feeling of liberation in the air as tens of thousands of displaced people began returning home. Roads which had been closed for years by ambushes and land mines were suddenly open. Exiles flew back, and foreign companies, particularly Portuguese and South African, planned to re-engage the Angolan economy with sales of consumer goods and investment projects. UNITA soldiers came in from the countryside to set up offices in every major city, and Savimbi's top advisers set up temporary national headquarters at the Hotel Turismo in central Luanda. In the early days, crowds gathered below the hotel to stare up at an unfurled UNITA flag resting next to the dish of a satellite phone. The MPLA captured the hope of the moment in its campaign slogan, Angola no coração, "Angola in the heart".

The euphoria among Angolans and foreigners alike drowned out the rumblings of trouble below the surface, rumblings which are to some extent reminiscent of those today. The 16 months from the signature of the peace accords to the election was too short a period to assemble and demobilize over 150,000 soldiers and place another 100,000, half from each side, within new neutral armed forces. The accords themselves suffered from structural deficiencies, such as the effective veto power in the hands of both sides. Implementation of the accord was overseen by a joint UNITA-MPLA committee known as the Comissão Conjunta Político-Militar, or the CCPM. Progress depended on the goodwill of both, and either side could halt the process simply by refusing to participate. UNAVEM II was not there to oversee the agreement's implementation but merely to observe. From the beginning, UNAVEM II never had the mandate, the resources or the personnel to adequately monitor the Bicesse Accords. At its height, UNAVEM II had 350 military observers, 125 police officers, and a budget of US$ 132 million. It was, said the UN Secretary-General's Special Representative, Margaret Anstee, like "flying a 747 with only enough fuel for a DC3".[25] Three months after the re-start of the war, Miss Anstee commented, "one could say, with the lessons of hindsight, that the UN should never have accepted the mandate".[26]

The unfinished business of demobilization was the critical failing of the operation.[27] By mid-1992, both sides were forming new paramilitary organizations in clear violation of the spirit of Bicesse. The Government created a 20,000-strong anti-riot police, or "ninjas" as they became commonly known, and UNITA set up a special security force of similar size ostensibly to protect its offices around the country.

The government army, FAPLA, wracked by unrest and mutinies, effectively dissolved by September 1992. FAPLA gradually disintegrated as a result of the Government's failure to feed its troops and to demobilize them in an organized way. Mini rebellions swept through barracks across the country as troopers seethed over their endless waiting for demobilization papers and a ride home. In Cabinda mutinous FAPLA soldiers attacked the home of the provincial governor; in Quibala they took a British film crew and three UN military observers hostage, and in Huambo groups of armed men marched through the centre of town demanding an audience with an officer to approve their release.[28]

The situation with UNITA's army, the Forças Armadas para a Libertação de Angola (FALA), was completely different. Trained to live off the land and filled with iron discipline, FALA remained an effective fighting force. Savimbi entered the elections with most of his military machine strengthened by eighteen months of preparation and positioned for the first time since 1975 in the cities. Fewer than half of his troops had demobilized, and when the war resumed, UNITA capitalized on the chaos among FAPLA units to overrun the countryside almost uncontested. The World Food Programme was feeding 75,000 troops in the assembly areas, and some of its officials believed that UNITA was stockpiling food in Cuando Cubango province.[29] On 22 September the FALA and FAPLA armies were officially disbanded, and the new FAA, with generals from both armies, was constituted. Instead of the planned 50,000 troop strength, the FAA comprised a mere 8,800 soldiers.

As election day approached, two of the central tenets of the Bicesse Accords, the demobilization of the respective armies and the formation of a new force, were nowhere near complete. Both sides finished their campaigns with heavy military forces at their disposal and no neutral army to stand between them. International diplomatic observers, particularly the U.S. officials, badly misread the voters' preference. They firmly believed until the eve of the vote that UNITA would emerge victorious and that demobilization could be handled by the incoming Savimbi government. There was constant international pressure on UNAVEM to ensure that the elections took place in the belief that all other problems could be solved afterwards. Five years later, many of these observers and the countries they represented countries were equally fixed on the establishment of a national unity government as the solution.

Then, as now, money was part of the reason. The international community was not prepared to finance the Angolan peace process any longer than need be, even though its cost, about US$ 150 million over seventeen months, was relatively modest,[30] compared to UNAVEM III's current budget of US$ 23 million per month. The British ambassador at the time, John Flynn, one of the few foreign diplomats who realized that UNITA's election juggernaut was crashing, said the world had hoped to establish democracy in Angola "on the cheap".[31]

The campaign included a dozen parties and presidential candidates, but they were a side show to the main battle between the MPLA and UNITA. Theirs was a study in contrasting styles. The Government, advised by a slick Brazilian public relations firm, focused on President dos Santos' movie star looks and quiet speaking style to portray a benign statesman-like leader who could take Angola into the modern world. Dos Santos wasted little time criticizing Savimbi and concentrated on making promises of a better future; o futuro certo was the theme. UNITA entered the campaign probably well in the lead, mainly by default. Before the peace accord, UNITA controlled very little territory beyond as terras ao fim do mundo, and under the MPLA living conditions had reached spectacular lows. Yet, however little regard people had for the MPLA, they feared UNITA. "The MPLA steals, UNITA kills" was a common piece of graffiti. Savimbi's bellicose rhetoric alienated many voters. In the cities, the MPLA enjoyed natural support among the elite, civil servants, and even long-time slum dwellers who regarded UNITA and their Ovimbundu supporters as country bumpkins. The swing vote consisted of hundreds of thousands of recently displaced immigrants who were ethnically diverse but shared a common pain from the war. Over the years, wave upon wave of these immigrants had rolled into Angola's cities. Luanda's pre-war population of 500,000 had quadrupled. The last thing the displaced wanted to hear about was more war, but when Savimbi appeared at his first rally in Luanda, he was dressed in army fatigues.

UNITA's image took a further beating from allegations that Savimbi had ordered the execution the year before of two of his lieutenants, Wilson dos Santos and Tito Chingunji. Chants of "war or peace" often filled Savimbi's rallies, and voters were left in little doubt that a ballot for the MPLA was a vote for war. Savimbi himself suggested as much in an interview in the city of Kuito ten days before the election. When asked how UNITA would react in the case of an MPLA victory, he said: "If UNITA does not win the elections, it has to be rigged. If they are rigged, I don't think we will accept them."[32]

3.2   The 1992 Election

Angola's first ever election on 29-30 September 1992 was a remarkable event, passing off with amazing calm amid scenes of great dignity and courage - elderly people and pregnant women often walked great distances and queued for hours in the sun. 90 per cent of the registered electorate turned out. As soon as the polls closed, media controlled by the MPLA and UNITA began publishing a stream of results which claimed victory for their respective candidates. UNITA's radio station, the Voice of the Resistance of the Black Cockerel, or Vorgan, hysterically trumpeted Savimbi's inevitable victory, but it simply could not compete with the massive pro-MPLA media campaign carried out by the daily newspaper Jornal de Angola and Radio Nacional de Angola. Savimbi became unnerved. Neither he nor, it must be said, important sectors of the diplomatic community really believed that the MPLA, which they regarded as corrupt, incompetent, and arbitrary, could defeat UNITA. By the first days of October, it was becoming clear that Savimbi was losing. He panicked. On 3 October, in a nationwide address carried by Vorgan, Savimbi threatened to resume the war however proper the United Nations judged the elections to be:

We would like to draw the MPLA's attention to the fact that there are men and women in this country who are ready to give up their lives so that the country can redeem itself. As far as we are concerned, it will not depend on any international organization to say that the elections were free and fair.[33]

On 5 October UNITA withdrew its generals from the FAA. The next day Savimbi flew out of Luanda for the last time and set up headquarters in Huambo, the effective capital of the central highlands. Two days later, UNITA struck the first blow by occupying the district of Caconda in the southern province of Huila. Negotiations continued for two more months, but that attack, carried out ten days before the official results of the elections were announced, marked the beginning of what has become known as Angola's "third war". On 11 October fighting broke out in Luanda around the Hotel Turismo and also in several other cities.

Dismissing UNITA demands that the election results be suspended until after a full investigation of alleged irregularities, the National Electoral Council announced the results on 17 October with UNAVEM's blessing. Miss Anstee described the vote as "generally free and fair". President dos Santos won 49.57 per cent of the vote against 40.07 per cent for Savimbi. There would be a runoff since neither won a clear majority. In the National Assembly vote, the MPLA scored even higher, with 53.74 per cent against 34.1 per cent for UNITA, which swept the central highlands provinces and won Benguela and Cuando Cubango.

3.3   Return to War

Diplomatic interventions by Western countries, South African Foreign Minister Pik Botha, and the United Nations failed to cool passions. By mid-October, the Ministry of Interior began distributing arms to civilians in Luanda in an ultimately successful effort to revive poder popular of 1975. In the countryside, UNITA was on the offensive, easily capturing towns and districts from poorly armed government forces. Tension reached boiling point on 31 October after the Government refused to approve a UNITA rally in the centre of Luanda and UNITA pledged to proceed with the demonstration, which had been called to denounce alleged election irregularities. Police threw up roadblocks all over town. Fighting started at the Hotel Turismo and quickly spread across the city. The MPLA later blamed an alleged UNITA attempt at a coup d'état for the violence, while UNITA claimed the Government was trying to wipe out its members. Neither claim appears true. Rather violence became inevitable as both sides combined a dangerous level of brinkmanship with moves to arm their supporters.

By the time it was over on 3 November, the battle for Luanda had claimed several thousand lives and driven UNITA out of the capital. Two top UNITA officials, vice president Jeremias Chitunda and top negotiator Elias Salupeto Pena, Savimbi's nephew, were killed as they attempted to flee the capital. UNITA's foreign affairs spokesman, Abel Chivukuvuku, was captured. Pro-Government vigilantes launched a campaign of ethnic cleansing against Ovimbundus. Similar battles erupted in the cities of Benguela, Lobito, Lubango, Malange and Huambo. Within days, UNITA controlled up to 50 per cent of the country and had driven UNAVEM observers out of the Cafunfo diamond areas.[34]

UNITA initially went from success to success on the battlefield, finally capturing its biggest prize, Huambo, in March 1993 after a 55 day siege which cost the lives of tens of thousands and destroyed large sections of the city. A similar push against Kuito, however, was inconclusive. On and off for 18 months, UNITA forces surrounded Kuito and engaged in exchange of fire with army troops and armed civilians. Thousands died from the fighting, disease and starvation, but Kuito, many of whose residents voted for UNITA in the elections, never fell. In the final battle in June 1994, government forces broke out of the siege to deliver to UNITA the most humiliating defeat of the war. The tide had turned.

As its strategic positions gave way, in Ndaoatando, Soyo, Uige, and parts of the Lunda diamond areas, UNITA suddenly became cooperative at peace talks in the Zambian capital Lusaka, mediated by the Special United Nations Representative, Alioune Blondin Beye of Mali. By late October 1994, the FAA launched its final offensive against Huambo. In response, UNITA scrambled to sign a peace accord in Lusaka. The United States and the United Nations urged President dos Santos to halt the army's final capture of Huambo. He promised to do so. General de Matos and his military commanders had other ideas, however. They pushed ahead. On 9 November Huambo fell to government forces and eleven days later UNITA and MPLA negotiators signed the Lusaka Protocol. Savimbi fled north to the small town of Bailundo, the traditional capital of the Ovimbundu people. For UNITA, the Lusaka Protocol and the subsequent arrival of 6,500 UN peacekeeping troops served as a shield of protection against the FAA.

3.4   Peace Again

With the benefit of hindsight, it seems clear that UNITA missed its best opportunity for a settlement on favourable terms when it refused to sign a 47-point memorandum negotiated by Miss Anstee in April-May 1993 in Abidjan. At the time its position was unassailable. UNITA held up to 80 per cent of the country, though still less than half of its people, under its control. The deal then would have looked much the same as today, but the balance of military power was in UNITA's favour. It confronted an enemy which was temporarily dispirited and confused, but not for long.

The FAA was still an army on paper while the FAPLA slid into oblivion. General Antonio dos Santos França "Ndalu", one of the few MPLA leaders whom Savimbi trusted, resigned as chief of staff, a position he held jointly with UNITA's Arlindo Chenda Pena "Ben Ben", and later became ambassador to Washington. The Government appointed the 38 year-old General de Matos, a veteran of Cuito Cuanavale and significantly not a member of the MPLA. His outspoken style and habit of leading battles from the front won him great popularity among the rank and file. Recruiting young men from the camps set up for the displaced who had fled UNITA's offensive and wanted to return home, General de Matos also shopped for the latest weapons and foreign technicians to improve his air force. The Government spent between US$ 2.5-$3.5 billion on new weapons, mortgaging future oil production revenues.[35]

Mercenaries, principally South African veterans of the Angola wars working for the Pretoria-based Executive Outcomes firm, were hired to train an elite force. Executive Outcomes employed a wide range of soldiers who once fought the MPLA on behalf of South Africa. They were old hands from notorious organizations such as the "Buffalo Battalion", the CCB, and the Namibian counterinsurgency unit, Koevoet, or "crowbar". Working out of the old Portuguese base at Cabo Ledo, south of Luanda, the mercenaries trained battalions of elite airborne anti-guerrilla units. The new army combined aerial attacks by MiG jet fighters and Sukhoi bombers with modern counterinsurgency tactics such as long-range reconnaissance and crack guerrilla units which could survive for weeks behind enemy lines. By late 1994, the military initiative had passed decisively to the FAA.

For UNITA, there was another problem. Built as a model guerrilla warfare army, the job of defending territory and cities was beyond FALA's capability. The economy under UNITA rule was effectively cut off from the rest of the country, leading to anomalies such as differing dollar exchange rates behind the frontline. The principal links to the outside world - land routes, south to Namibia, north to Zaire through Uige and through the Lunda region, and airports in Andulo and the northeast - served the needs of the FALA military and a small elite. Basic necessities such as salt, oil, and in the drought of 1994, food were extremely scarce.

The sheer hardship of life under UNITA rule weakened the once rock solid support for Savimbi in the central highlands. It reached the point where UNITA poured thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, of mortars and explosives into Kuito, a city which now bears scars of war as deep as those in Mogadishu and Beirut. The initially relieved survivors of the 55-day siege of Huambo were struggling to eke out a minimum existence of sullen resignation by the time UNITA fled the FAA offensive. Inevitably, should plans to hold the runoff presidential election go ahead, Savimbi is likely to see his electoral support in the central highlands diminish.

4.   PEACE AT LAST?

4.1   The Balance of Power

Savimbi is unlikely to be satisfied with UNITA's inclusion in the national unity government and his own position as opposition leader. He could have had both in the aftermath of the 1992 elections without the cost of one life. Besides, governments in Luanda rarely exercise authority. Throughout the war years, the MPLA party, not the Council of Ministers, took the key political and economic decisions. Positions in government merely reflected influence in the party. The MPLA's coherence was severely damaged, however, by its rejection of socialism in the late 1980s and by the decision of many senior members on the eve of the 1992 vote to move their families out of the country for fear of defeat at the polls.

Today, real political power resides not with government or party but with President dos Santos and his principal advisers at the Futungo de Belas presidential palace, a situation which has embittered the few remaining stalwarts of the MPLA hierarchy, such as Secretary-General and former planning minister Lopo do Nascimento. In Prime Minister Fernando França van Dunem's massive government, UNITA holds the positions of only four of the 28 ministers and seven of 55 vice-ministers. It can expect to wield little effective influence, although Savimbi must hope that UNITA's Marcos Samondo, the Minister for Geology and Mines, can help to maintain access to the diamond fields.

The balance of military power has determined politics in Angola since the ill-fated 1992 elections. In the first year following the resumption of fighting, the so-called "third war" of Angola, UNITA seized the initiative, capturing some 80 per cent of Angolan territory and effectively scuppering United Nations attempts, in Angola, Ethiopia and Côte d'Ivoire, to negotiate a new peace. The two sides went back and forth on issues such as integration of the armed forces, quartering of troops, and recognition of dos Santos as President, but the sticking point invariably centred on UNITA's refusal to return to government control areas it had captured.

The peace accords have proved to be deeply frustrating to hardliners on both sides, however. UNITA military commanders regarded the Lusaka agreement as an effective surrender to Luanda because it required them to join the government army, to relinquish their administrative control over 50 per cent of the country, and to recognize dos Santos as president of the country. Their FAA counterparts saw the Lusaka Protocol as having robbed them of their chance to wipe out UNITA's military command structure once and for all. "Only a defeat of Savimbi can ensure peace", General de Matos said in February 1995. "Strictly from the military point of view, it [the Lusaka Protocol] was a mistake".[36] Such sentiments remain strong today, and they explain why Angola continues to face a future delicately poised between war and peace.

The United Nations, in the form of UNAVEM III, began its second attempt to oversee peace in Angola with distinctly more muscle than UNAVEM II. Its presence, particularly the peacekeeping force, was far stronger than previously, and UNAVEM III had the mandate, unlike in 1992, to monitor the quartering of UNITA troops in assembly areas and to be involved in their disarmament. There were other important improvements which gave the Lusaka Protocol a better chance of success than Bicesse. The explosive issue of elections was postponed, with the United Nations deciding when elections would be feasible. The accord on power sharing should reduce tensions, and Lusaka provided for local government decentralization which should at least address some of UNITA's concerns about regional representation as well as the demands of guerrillas in oil-rich Cabinda who have been fighting a low-level war for independence.

Savimbi may have been hoping that in the cease-fire period, the FAA would succumb to a similar fate to that of the Government's previous army, FAPLA. From a political point of view, the Bicesse peace accords had proved a disaster for UNITA, given Savimbi's defeat in the elections and the international blame for the return to war. Seen in military terms, however, UNITA's progress was spectacular. The net effect of Bicesse was to bring UNITA from the isolated southeastern corner of Angola into its ethnic heartland in the central highlands without a fight. In one giant move, UNITA had leapt from Jamba to Huambo. But there have been no such strides in this second round of peace. Unlike its FAPLA predecessor, this time the FAA has not collapsed, and should hostilities break out once again, UNITA would be at a distinct military disadvantage.

4.2 The Zairian Factor

In recent months, an additional complication has emerged. The war of Laurent Kabila's Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo-Zaire to overthrow the regime of Mobutu sese Seko has pushed Angola's relationship with Zaire into an extremely unstable phase. Up to 17,000 refugees from the fighting in Zaire, thought to be a mixture of Zairians and Rwandan Hutus, have camped across Angola's northeastern border. Some of them are believed to be armed. The Angolan military has bolstered its forces there and denied access to the area to UNAVEM monitors.[37]

The fall of Mobutu is undoubtedly a substantial military blow to UNITA. Zaire has been UNITA's rear base for years. Kinshasa's N'Djili international airport served as the transit point for the importation into Angola of arms and supplies for UNITA before and well after the Lusaka cease-fire. One major shipment in October-November 1996 alone contained 450 tonnes of weapons from Bulgaria.[38] These reportedly included AK-47 assault rifles, 60 mm and 120 mm mortars and rocket propelled grenades and launchers. Such imports would not seem to be the actions of a movement which was supposed to be handing in weapons and to be making the transition from military force to political party. Observers of the diamond industry estimate that from 1993 to 1996 illicit sales of diamonds netted US$ 2.1 billion for UNITA's war chest.[39] The arms purchases combined with the desertions of UNITA troops from the assembly areas and rumours that the high command was holding its best troops in reserve suggest that Savimbi had embraced a two-track policy of reluctant participation in politics and military preparation. Those preparations will be severely compromised by the developments in Kinshasa. There have been consistent but still unconfirmed reports that UNITA troops fought on behalf of Mobutu's beleaguered forces. Indeed, a top UNITA commander, General Abilio Kamalata Numa, was strongly rumoured to have been wounded in Zaire.[40]

If the news from Zaire troubled UNITA, it positively buoyed the government of President dos Santos. Mobutu's Zaire has been a thorn in the side of the MPLA since even before independence from Portugal in 1975. For years, the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency used Zaire as a supply route,[41] first for the Frente Nacional para a Libertação de Angola, led by former presidential aspirant Holden Roberto, and later for Savimbi's UNITA.

In such a context, it is of no surprise that the overall commander of the Angolan government army, General de Matos, has been quick to support Kabila's rebel movement. In March 1997, the Angolan air force airlifted to Zaire military equipment and thousands of Katangese soldiers who had lived as exiles in Angola following three failed attempts in the 1960s and 1970s to bring about the secession of Shaba province from Kinshasa's rule. While Angola has repeatedly denied Zairian allegations of its military support for Kabila, diplomatic sources in Luanda have reported joint military manoeuvres between the Angolan army and Zairian rebel units along the northeastern Angolan border with Zaire. These sources quoted President dos Santos, during a recent meeting with U.S. diplomats, as describing Angola's involvement in Zaire in the following terms: "We're there so as to hasten a political solution".[42] He was referring to the internal politics of Zaire, which in turn directly affect the hoped for "political solution" in his own country. The Government perhaps rightly feels that if Savimbi's Zaire base of support can be eliminated, the UNITA leader will be better disposed to ensuring the success of the peace process.

4.3   What Future?

Unless UNITA and the MPLA can move finally from armed to political competition, Angola will not be able to address its rapidly worsening social crisis. Despite being potentially one of Africa's richest countries, Angola has seen living standards fall dramatically since 1992.[43] Substantial earnings from the export of Angola's natural resources, especially diamonds and oil, have failed to reach the masses of impoverished Angolans below a tiny layer of wealthy elite. Hundreds of health clinics, schools, roads and power plants have been destroyed and will require billions of dollars for reconstruction. Even the capital suffers routine power cuts and water shortages. Corruption has come to dominate the economy, and violence has shifted increasingly from the battlefield to people's neighbourhoods, particularly in the major urban centres, where armed robbery has soared. It will take generations to secure the removal of the estimated nine to 20 million land mines in the countryside.[44] Some 300,000 Angolan refugees, mainly in Zaire and Zambia, are still waiting to return home.

Indeed, the Government's biggest challenge now comes not from the UNITA military but from the army of unemployed and impoverished masses inhabiting the cities. Without the immediate threat to peace, popular attention will soon turn to the Government's handling of the economy which to date has inspired little confidence. Teachers earn as little as three US dollars per day while a bottle of beer costs one dollar.[45] Fierce competition has erupted for the control of contracts and the diamond mines. In Luanda alone, there are some 70 private security firms protecting businesses and property of the elite against street criminals.[46]

In the meantime, Savimbi's decision to permit UNITA to participate in the government of national unity while remaining personally apart from it accomplishes two things. It buys time and staves off threatened UN sanctions against UNITA, and secures continued protection from an eventual FAA assault if the peace process comes to a halt. And it leaves Savimbi untainted by the Government's handling of the economic crisis. This is to correct a cardinal error of the UNITA election campaign in 1992 when Savimbi, rather than government incompetence and corruption, became the main campaign issue.

Remaining apart from his UNITA colleagues in Luanda, however, carries other risks. The more the UNITA deputies participate in the National Assembly and the ministers in government, the more they are bound to develop political and economic roots in the capital. With the passage of time, figures such as assembly deputy Abel Chivukuvuku, considered by many observers to be Savimbi's heir apparent, may develop their own constituencies far removed from Bailundo. There is an inherent contradiction between Savimbi's leadership of the opposition and his subordinates' positions in the Government, however weak it may be.

In that sense, Savimbi has played into the Government's hands. The dos Santos administration has maintained that Savimbi is the main obstacle to a final peace and that there are more reasonable elements of UNITA with whom the Government can deal. That theme has been constant since the late 1980s, when in response to the initial diplomatic efforts to end the war the MPLA insisted that Savimbi temporarily go into exile. With Savimbi refusing to leave his Bailundo headquarters, he has in effect become one of those rare cases of self-imposed internal exile.

The ruling establishment in Luanda, an often uneasy coalition of President dos Santos, the MPLA and the FAA, united only in their opposition to UNITA, is in a commanding position. With its control of annual oil export earnings of US$ 4 billion and rising, Luanda can match any military spending by UNITA and can land the war material at the ports and the airports. UNITA is universally blamed for the return to war in 1992 and almost all countries of the world, including since 1993 the United States, formally recognize President dos Santos as the legitimate leader of Angola.

As it stands, UNITA has little choice but to cooperate, however reluctantly. The final outcome of the "third war" left UNITA in its weakest military position since the elections. What lingering international support there was at the end of the war has evaporated in the wake of UNITA's constant delaying tactics regarding demobilization of its forces and joining the national unity government. Diplomatically, UNITA has never been so isolated as now. Its former backers, the United States and South Africa, have swung firmly behind the dos Santos administration, and Angola's involvement in the Zairian civil war has won new friends among supporters of Kabila, particularly the Rwandan leader Paul Kagame and Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni.

With the installation of the national unity government, the United Nations is busy winding down its military presence. UNAVEM III is to be replaced by a United Nations Observer Mission in Angola, or UNOMA. UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has suggested 1 August 1997 as the date for total withdrawal of the UNAVEM III troops, though the Security Council has said the speed of the pullout should take into account "progress in the remaining relevant aspects of the peace process".[47]

Much remains to be done. As in 1992, key tasks such as demobilization and the integration of UNITA fighters into the FAA are far from complete. There is also no effective mechanism to account for the 27,000 UNITA fighters who have deserted the assembly areas. One of the most explosive issues, the handover of UNITA occupied territory to government administration, is just beginning. The diamond-rich Lunda region, which has become something of a "wild west", is the likely setting of the next potential flashpoint with the instability in Zaire and UNITA's reluctance to hand over lucrative areas it controls. At stake are an estimated US$ 300 million dollars in annual diamond sales. There will be great resistance too in giving up control of the rural Ovimbundu heartland in Huambo and Bie provinces, particularly around Savimbi's strongholds in Andulo and Bailundo. UNITA troops occupy two thirds of Bie province and recently destroyed a bridge on the River Cutato on the road linking Andulo and Katunga,[48] apparently to prevent UNAVEM forces from reaching areas where it has positioned long-range artillery and troops.

Thus, the United Nations is scaling down its involvement before the task at hand is complete. It is true that UNITA is in a far weaker military position and the government army in a far stronger one than in 1992. But Savimbi still has assets: probably at least 20,000 troops, tonnes of military equipment, and millions of dollars in diamond revenues. Those who regard Savimbi as an ageing leader whose power is on the vane do so at their peril. Time and again since the 1960s, Savimbi has proved himself to be something of a phoenix with the uncanny ability to rise from the ashes. His military and political career has been characterized by an iron ambition to win the presidency of Angola, and in the spirit of his early Maoist studies, he has been prepared to pursue his quest with the patience of a long-march mentality. Nothing in his past suggests that he will discard his ambitions in favour of playing second fiddle in the dos Santos administration. His options, military and political, for reaching his goal, however, are dwindling.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Africa Confidential.

"The State is Sick". Vol 37, No 12 (7 June 1996).

Africa Report.

"The World's Worst War", January/February 1994.

Angola Peace Monitor.

"Increase in UNITA Soldiers At Large. Vol. 3, No 7 (27 March 1997). Quoting Diario de Noticias [Lisbon], 7 March 1997.

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"Demobilisation of Excess Troops", "Jonas Savimbi Absent Despite Special Status" and "UN to Wind up UNAVEM III Despite Unfinished Process". Vol. 3, No. 8 (25 April 1997).

Angola Peace Monitor.

"Next Stage Administrative Control". Vol. 3, No. 4 (16 December 1996).

Anstee, Margaret.

Orphan of the Cold War: The Inside Story of the Collapse of the Angolan Peace Process, 1992-93. London: St Martin's Press, 1996.

Bender, Gerald J.

Angola under the Portuguese: The Myth and the Reality. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1978.

Bridgland, Fred.

Jonas Savimbi: A Key to Africa. Johannesburg: Macmillan South Africa, 1986.

Bridgland, Fred.

The War for Africa. Gibraltar: Ashanti Publishing, 1990.

Crocker, Chester.

High Noon in Southern Africa: Making Peace in a Rough Neighborhood. New York: W.W. Norton, 1992.

Heitman, Helmoed-Römer.

War in Angola: The Final South African Phase. Gibraltar: Ashanti Publishing, 1990.

Heywood, Linda.

"Unita and Ethnic Nationalism in Angola" in Journal of Modern African Studies. Vol 27, No 1 (1989). Pp. 47-66.

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Human Rights Watch/Africa [Africa Watch].

Angola: Civilians Devastated by 15-Year War. New York, 1991.

Human Rights Watch/Africa [Africa Watch].

Land Mines in Angola. New York, 1993.

Human Rights Watch/Africa.

Angola: Arms Trade and Violations of the Laws of War Since the 1992 Elections. New York, 1994.

Human Rights Watch/Africa,

Angola Between War and Peace: Arms Trade and Human Rights Abuses since the Lusaka Protocol. New York, February 1996

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Patriots. New York: Viking, 1990.

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Another Day of Life. London: Pan Books, 1987.

Lewis, Joanna and Keith Hart.

Why Angola Matters. London: James Currey, 1995.

Marcum, John.

The Angolan Revolution, Vol I: The Anatomy of an Explosion, 1950-1962. Cambridge MA: MIT Press, 1969.

Marcum, John.

The Angolan Revolution, Vol II: Exile Politics and Guerrilla Warfare, 1962-1976. Cambridge MA: MIT Press, 1978.

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Angola: Promises and Lies. London: Serif, 1996.

McCormick, Shawn.

The Angolan Economy: Prospects for Growth in a Postwar Environment. Significant Issues Series, Vol. 16, No 5. Washington: Center for Strategic and International Studies, 1994.

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Operation Timber: Pages from the Savimbi Dossier. Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press, 1988.

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George Marion. "Le chef de l'armée angolaise estime que la guerre pourrait reprendre". 16 February 1995.

Neto, Agostinho.

Sacred Hope. Luanda: União dos Escritores Angolanos/Endiama, 1974.

Pelissier, René.

Les guerres grises: résistance et révoltes en Angola, 1845-1941. Paris: Pelissier, 1977.

Pelissier, René.

La colonie du minotaure: nationalismes et révoltes en Angola, 1926-61. Paris: Pelissier, 1978.

Pepetela. Mayombe.

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Angola: Conflict Resolution and Peace-building. London, September 1996.

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In Search of Enemies: A CIA Story. New York: W.W. Norton, 1978.

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Report of the Secretary General on the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III). S/1997/248. 25 March 1997.

Van der Winden, Bob (ed).

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One Hand Tied: Angola and the UN. London: Catholic Institute of International Relations, 1993.

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The Destruction of a Nation: United States' Policy Toward Angola since 1945. London: Pluto, 1997.

 

The views expressed in the papers are those of the authors and are not necessarily those of UNHCR.

 



[1] Human Rights Watch/Africa, Angola Between War and Peace: Arms Trade and Human Rights Abuses since the Lusaka Protocol (New York, February 1996)

[2] Africa Report, "The World's Worst War", January/February 1994, p.15

[3] Angola Peace Monitor, "Demobilisation of Excess Troops", Vol. 3, No. 8 (25 April 1997). [The Angola Peace Monitor is published by ACTSA (Action for Southern Africa) on behalf of the Angola Emergency Campaign]

[4] United Nations, Security Council, Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III), S/1997/248, 25 March 1997, Section 10

[5] Author's interviews with diplomats in Luanda, 28 April 1997

[6] United Nations. Security Council, Report ..., Op.cit., Section 11

[7] Lieutenant-Colonel Roger Mortlock. Personal interview, Huambo, November 1992

[8] For further reading see Gerald J. Bender, Angola under the Portuguese: The Myth and the Reality (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1978); John Marcum, The Angolan Revolution, Vol I: The Anatomy of an Explosion, 1950-62 (Cambridge MA: MIT Press, 1969); René Pelissier, Les guerres grises: résistance et révoltes en Angola, 1845-1941 (Paris: Pelissier, 1977); René Pelissier, La colonie du minotaure: nationalismes et révoltes en Angola, 1926-61 (Paris: Pelissier, 1978)

[9] Linda Heywood, "Unita and Ethnic Nationalism in Angola" in Journal of Modern African Studies, Vol. 27, No 1 (1989), pp 47-66

[10] See George Wright, The Destruction of a Nation: United States' Policy Toward Angola since 1945 (London: Pluto, 1997)

[11] See John Stockwell, In Search of Enemies: A CIA Story (New York: W.W. Norton, 1978)

[12] William Minter has pursued this issue with vigour in his books Operation Timber: Pages from the Savimbi Dossier (Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press, 1988) and Apartheid's Contras (London: Zed Books, 1994). See also John Marcum, The Angolan Revolution, Vol. II: Exile Politics and Guerrilla Warfare, 1962-1976 (Cambridge MA: MIT Press, 1978)

[13] A superb novel about life in an MPLA guerrilla unit is Mayombe (London: Heinemann, 1983) by Angola's premier author, Pepetela

[14] See Ryszard Kapuscinski's stunning account of this period in Another Day of Life (London: Pan Books, 1987)

[15] The phrase is borrowed from Margaret Anstee, Orphan of the Cold War: The Inside Story of the Collapse of the Angolan Peace Process, 1992-93 (London: St Martin's Press, 1996)

[16] Fred Bridgland, Jonas Savimbi: A Key to Africa (Johannesburg: Macmillan South Africa, 1986), pp 144-5

[17] See former U.S. Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Chester Crocker's High Noon in Southern Africa: Making Peace in a Rough Neighborhood (New York: W.W. Norton, 1992), pp. 425-46

[18] Despite its sympathetic slant, Fred Bridgland's Jonas Savimbi: A Key to Africa is still the best book ever written about the UNITA leader. Also see Sousa Jamba's excellent portrayal of life inside UNITA, Patriots (New York: Viking, 1990)

[19] Minter, Operation Timber, pp. 39-40

[20] Crocker, Op.cit., p. 341

[21] A pro-South African account can be found in Fred Bridgland, The War for Africa (Gibraltar: Ashanti Publishing, 1990). See also Helmoed-Römer Heitman, War in Angola: The Final South African Phase (Gibraltar: Ashanti Publishing, 1990). An eye-witness account can be found in Karl Maier, Angola: Promises and Lies (London: Serif, 1996)

[22] See Crocker, Op.cit., pp.441-46

[23] For a detailed account of the human suffering caused by the conflict until that time, see two reports by Human Rights Watch/Africa [Africa Watch], Angola: The Violations of the Laws of War by Both Sides (New York, 1989) and Angola: Civilians Devastated by 15-Year War (New York, 1991)

[24] Pepetela's novel A geração de Utopia (Lisbon: Publicações Dom Quixote, 1992) reflects the self-searching intellectual turmoil of the times

[25] Anstee, Op.cit., p. 38

[26] Miss Anstee made these comments in a briefing for foreign reporters, 20 January 1993, at UNAVEM headquarters, Vila Espa, Luanda

[27] See Alex Vines, One Hand Tied: Angola and the UN (London: Catholic Institute of International Relations, 1993)

[28] In both cases, the author spoke to the mutinous troops, and in Huambo witnessed the demonstration

[29] Philippe Borel, Director of the World Food Programme, personal interview, 15 September 1992

[30] Saferworld, Angola: Conflict Resolution and Peace-building (London, September 1996), p. 8

[31] John Flynn, personal interview, Luanda, 25 September 1992

[32] Jonas Savimbi, Personal interview, Kuito, 20 September 1992

[33] Jonas Savimbi's address to the nation, 3 October 1992, listened to by the author. This period is described in detail both by Anstee and Maier

[34] Confidential map produced by the Angolan Ministry of Defence in early 1992, seen by the author 15 November 1992

[35] Human Rights Watch/Africa, Angola Between War and Peace, p. 13

[36] Le Monde [Paris], George Marion, "Le chef de l'armée angolaise estime que la guerre pourrait reprendre", 16 February 1995

[37] Reuter [Luanda], 4 May 1997

[38] Washington Post, James Rupert, "Zaire Reportedly Selling Arms to Angola Ex-rebels", 21 March 1997

[39] Angola Peace Monitor, "Next Stage Administrative Control", Vol. 3, No. 4 (16 December 1996)

[40] Angola Peace Monitor "Jonas Savimbi Absent Despite Special Status", Vol. 3, No 8 (25 April 1997).

[41] see Minter, pp.18-21

[42] Author's interviews with foreign diplomats in Luanda, 28 April 1997

[43] See Shawn McCormick, The Angolan Economy: Prospects for Growth in a Postwar Environment, Significant Issues Series, vol. 16, no 5 (Washington: Center for Strategic and International Studies, 1994)

[44] See Human Rights Watch/Africa, Land Mines in Angola (New York, 1993)

[45] A moving portrayal of how Luanda's slumdwellers survive is Bob Van der Winden (ed.), A Family of the Musseque: Survival and Development in Post-war Angola (London: One World Action in association with World View Publishing, 1996)

[46] Africa Confidential, "The State is Sick", Vol. 37, No 12 (7 June 1996)

[47] Angola Peace Monitor, "UN to Wind up UNAVEM III Despite Unfinished Process", Vol. 3, No. 8 (25 April 1997)

[48] Angola Peace Monitor, "Increase in UNITA Soldiers At Large, Vol. 3, No 7 (27 March 1997), quoting Diario de Noticias [Lisbon], 7 March 1997

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