Progress Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (MONUA)


1. The present report is submitted pursuant to paragraph 3 of Security Council resolution 1118 (1997) of 30 June 1997, by which the Council, inter alia, requested me to report by 15 August 1997 on developments in the Angolan peace process. The present report covers major developments since my last report, dated 5 June 1997 (S/1997/438).


2. During the past two and one-half months, the Angolan peace process continued to experience serious difficulties. In view of the deteriorating military situation and the continued delays in the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol (S/1994/1441, annex), I addressed letters on 3 July 1997 to the President of Angola, Mr. José Eduardo dos Santos, and to the leader of the Uniao Nacional para a Independencia Total de Angola (UNITA), Mr. Jonas Savimbi, expressing my serious concern at the increase in tensions in the north-eastern provinces and at the delay in the extension of State administration throughout the country. I also drew their attention to the provisions of Security Council resolution 1118 (1997) and encouraged President dos Santos and Mr. Savimbi to meet, within the national territory of Angola, in order to remove the remaining obstacles to the earliest completion of the Lusaka Protocol. I urged them both to exercise maximum restraint and called on UNITA, in particular, to abide by its commitments under the Protocol.

3. My Special Representative, Mr. Alioune Blondin Beye, in close collaboration with the representatives of the three observer States (Portugal, the Russian Federation and the United States of America), held intensive consultations with President dos Santos and Mr. Savimbi, as well as with high-ranking representatives of the Government and UNITA, to defuse the prevailing tensions that were starting to spread to various parts of the country. The Joint Commission held frequent meetings to review the status of implementation of the peace process, and on numerous occasions appealed to the parties, especially UNITA, to respect the ceasefire and implement their commitments under the Lusaka Protocol.

4. At the initiative of Mr. Savimbi, a meeting was held on 18 July in Bailundo, at which my Special Representative and the representatives of the observer States conveyed in strong terms the deep concern of the international community regarding the continued stalling by UNITA in fulfilling its commitments. The UNITA leader finally promised to submit to the United Nations specific information on the strength and locations of his security detachment and on the so-called "mining police", but denied the existence in Angola of any UNITA troops that had recently crossed into the country. He further promised to submit to the United Nations proposals on the resumption of the normalization of State administration and to send a letter to President dos Santos with regard to their long-awaited meeting. He also pledged to take appropriate measures to ensure the safety and security of United Nations personnel and staff of non-governmental organizations.

5. Mr. Savimbi subsequently addressed a letter to President dos Santos, reiterating in general terms the commitment of UNITA to the Lusaka Protocol and promising to comply with Security Council resolution 1118 (1997). He also called for the establishment of a working group to prepare for the meeting between himself and the President. On 21 July 1997, his representative submitted to the Joint Commission documents containing information on the number, location and weapons in the possession of armed elements remaining under UNITA control, as well as a proposal on the normalization of State administration. However, as was noted in the joint statement made by my Special Representative and the representatives of the three observer States, the data and proposals submitted by UNITA were neither complete nor credible and could therefore not be accepted. Thus, UNITA was asked to review its position and submit credible and verifiable data and viable proposals. On 23 July, the President of the Security Council issued a statement (S/PRST/1997/39), in which the Council expressed deep concern at recent destabilizing actions in Angola, in particular the failure of UNITA to comply with resolution 1118 (1997).

6. On 24 July 1997, as part of his regular consultations, my Special Representative met with President dos Santos for an extensive review of the peace process. The Special Representative reiterated to the President the provisions of Security Council resolutions, in particular the need for the Government to refrain from any use of force and to notify MONUA of troop movements by the Angolan Armed Forces (FAA). Regarding the meeting with Mr. Savimbi, the President stated that its agenda must focus on vital issues of national interest and not on those already dealt with in the context of the Lusaka Protocol or previous meetings, and that all commitments made earlier by the parties must be fully respected.

7. On 4 August 1997, my Special Representative and the representatives of the observer States reviewed the new programme for the normalization of State administration throughout Angola, which had been submitted by UNITA the previous day, but found the proposals unacceptable. In this connection, the Special Representative and the troika stressed once again that it was imperative that UNITA provide credible data concerning the numbers and locations of armed elements under its control, and expressed their grave concern at the inaction of UNITA in fulfilling the demands contained in Security Council resolution 1118 (1997) and the presidential statement of 23 July. They also emphasized that making the requested information available on the eve of the forthcoming meeting of the Security Council would not be acceptable.

8. Since my last report to the Council, no significant progress has been made in the normalization of State administration throughout Angola owing to the lack of cooperation on the part of UNITA, which until recently was attempting to link the resumption of this process with improvement in the overall military situation. It should be noted that, although the Government had declared its intention to resume the functions of normalization throughout the country on 25 July 1997, it has so far refrained from taking unilateral measures in this regard.

9. On 8 August 1997, in a meeting held in New York with the Under-Secretaries-General for Political Affairs and Peacekeeping Operations, the Angolan Vice-Minister for Territorial Administration, General Higino Carneiro, and the Adviser to the President, Ambassador Victor Lima, stressed that the Government had no intention of resorting to military action unless it was forced to defend itself. The visiting delegation believed that the use of military force would have a negative effect on the peace process, and would not solve the long-standing conflict in Angola.

10. The long-awaited transformation of UNITA's radio VORGAN into a non-partisan station has not progressed, despite the repeated promises of UNITA to find a mutually acceptable solution to the issue of frequencies to be allocated to the radio station. Regrettably, after some reduction in hostile propaganda, there has recently been a noticeable increase in such broadcasts, particularly by UNITA. Accusations and counter-accusations, coupled with unfounded rumours and inflammatory public pronouncements, have further aggravated the already highly charged political atmosphere.

11. Some of the propaganda broadcast over radio VORGAN was aimed at United Nations staff and other international personnel working in Angola. There have been several instances of physical attacks against MONUA personnel and staff of non-governmental organizations, despite assurances by Mr. Savimbi and repeated public statements by the political organs of UNITA that these actions would cease. Furthermore, restrictions on the movement of MONUA observers in several strategic areas, particularly by UNITA, but in some cases also by the FAA, have prevented the Mission from fully carrying out its verification and observation tasks.


A. Observance of the ceasefire

12. The military situation is currently characterized by persistent tensions affecting almost the entire country, but in particular the provinces of Lunda Norte, Lunda Sul and Malange. During the reporting period, the mobilization of troops and military equipment, conscription and an increase in hostile propaganda continued to be registered. Reports were received and verified of several attacks by UNITA on Government positions, including in Lunda Norte province, as well as of attacks by some elements of FAA and the Civil Defence Corps on villages in Huila province. The most serious of these attacks, which were perpetrated by UNITA in Lunda Norte at Posto de Fronteira Nordeste on 2 July and at Posto de Fronteira Muaquesse on 24 July 1997, were subsequently condemned by the Joint Commission. In the former incident, UNITA forces razed to the ground a village of approximately 150 inhabitants, while the latter attack resulted in the death of several civilians and the burning of houses. Large-scale last-minute changes in the destination of demobilized ex-UNITA troops and the renewed recruitment and deployment of these personnel at strategic locations controlled by UNITA, such as Dambi near Uige, Cuima and Vinte Cinco in the area of Huambo, and Gungue near Caconda, underline the gravity of the deteriorating situation.

13. The theft in July 1997 of 300 kilograms of explosives belonging to a demining brigade at Cazombo in a zone controlled by UNITA, and the landing of over 120 flights between 1 and 30 July at UNITA-controlled airstrips scattered throughout the central and eastern parts of the country, which MONUA was not allowed to verify, are clear indications of extensive military preparations. Planting of new mines in UNITA-controlled areas has also been reported. On the Saurimo-Cacolo road, which had been extensively used, a civilian vehicle detonated an anti-tank mine on 4 July, resulting in the death of three people and the injury of many others. Demining experts who visited the scene discovered that the mine had been recently planted.

14. Both parties, but especially UNITA, have continued to impose restrictions on MONUA verification activities. The Government sometimes failed to provide information on the movement of their troops and military equipment and on several occasions prevented United Nations military observers from conducting inspections. UNITA has on various occasions restricted MONUA personnel from conducting their activities, including at Calibuitchi on 11 and 12 July, when a MONUA investigation team was detained for over 24 hours by armed UNITA personnel. Another serious case of restriction of movement by UNITA occurred on 12 July, when a United Nations team was prevented from investigating allegations that UNITA was storing weapons in eight containers at Chingongo. In addition, there have been several cases of harassment of MONUA personnel by UNITA at team sites and at selection and demobilization centres.

B. Accomplishment of military tasks

15. With regard to the fulfilment of pressing military tasks, after seven months of delaying tactics, UNITA finally submitted to MONUA on 21 July 1997 information regarding Mr. Savimbi's security guard and the so-called "mining police", citing the total strength of both forces as 2,963 personnel. It should be noted that, in an address to the National Assembly in July 1997, the Angolan Minister of Defence asserted that UNITA had some 35,000 armed personnel under its control. Having considered the above information in detail, my Special Representative and the representatives of the observer States issued a statement on 22 July rejecting the information provided by UNITA, on the grounds that it was neither complete nor credible. They stressed the need for UNITA to provide credible and verifiable information as called for by the Lusaka Protocol and Security Council resolution 1118 (1997). On 11 August, UNITA provided MONUA with additional information regarding the strength of the armed personnel still under its control. This information is currently being analysed by MONUA in consultation with the observer States. It should be recalled that the demilitarization by UNITA of its forces constitutes a fundamental commitment under the Protocol, but as a result of these inadmissible delays, the disarmament and demobilization of the UNITA troops that have not yet been registered with the United Nations has not begun. Thus, one of the main provisions of the Lusaka Protocol remains unfulfilled.

16. On 10 July 1997, the Government held a ceremony in Luanda to mark the completion of the formation of the FAA. General "Ben Ben", the Deputy Chief of Staff of the FAA and a former senior commanding officer of UNITA, participated in the ceremony, which was also attended by the UNITA delegation to the Joint Commission. A total of 10,899 UNITA troops, including generals and other senior officers, have been incorporated into the FAA. This number, however, falls far short of the originally planned figure of 26,300 UNITA personnel who were expected to be incorporated into the national armed forces.

C. Status of the military component of MONUA

17. In paragraph 5 of its resolution 1118 (1997), the Security Council requested that, in implementing the scheduled withdrawal of United Nations military units, I continue to take into account the situation on the ground and progress achieved in completion of the remaining aspects of the peace process. In view of the above, and having in mind the serious deterioration of the military situation on the ground, I have decided, upon the recommendation of Mr. Beye and the MONUA Force Commander, to further adjust the drawdown of the Mission's military units. As a result, although the Brazilian infantry, engineering and medical units are expected to be repatriated in mid-August 1997, it is envisaged that MONUA will retain some 2,650 military personnel until the end of October. As currently planned, this downsizing, including that of the Mission's rapid reaction force, would resume at the end of October and would be completed in November 1997. The Brazilian medical units would be replaced by a military medical hospital provided by Portugal.

18. In the meantime, given the scope of its mandated tasks, MONUA has had once again to redeploy several military contingents within the Mission area. If the demobilization process does not proceed expeditiously, the military contingent of MONUA will not be capable of coping with the complex tasks still entrusted to it; this could jeopardize the implementation of the overall mandate of the Mission as well as the security and safety of United Nations personnel and property. The current strength of the Mission's military units is already barely sufficient to perform these absolutely essential functions and would not be adequate in the event of further deterioration of the security situation in Angola.


19. The civilian police observers of MONUA continued to monitor and verify the activities of the Angolan National Police in order to encourage its neutrality, to promote the free circulation of people and goods throughout Angola and to monitor the security arrangements made for UNITA leaders. They are also assisting government authorities in the normalization of State administration. In the few areas where the State administration has been expanded, no complaints against the police have been received so far despite the often uncooperative - and even hostile - attitude of UNITA militants.

20. Police observers continued to verify and monitor the activities of the 5,450 rapid reaction police, who remain quartered in 13 locations. Head counts and weapons verification are conducted twice a week, except in three locations in the Lunda Norte and Lunda Sul provinces where cooperation is lacking. During the reporting period, the Government deployed 424 rapid reaction police personnel in these two provinces without proper notification to MONUA and declared its intention to unilaterally terminate the quartering of the rapid reaction police nationwide. However, my Special Representative, with the support of the representatives of the observer States, impressed upon government authorities the potentially dangerous consequences that such a decision could produce. So far, the Government seems to have taken these concerns seriously, and I encourage it to continue this quartering exercise. However, military training of police personnel has taken place on several occasions in Lunda Norte province, signalling a possible attempt to prepare the civilian police for tasks not compatible with their normal duties.

21. The selection and integration of UNITA elements into the police has been concluded. A total of 524 UNITA personnel were selected for integration and 437 of them have been incorporated. In addition, of the 212 ex-UNITA officers selected to serve as government bodyguards to UNITA leaders, 178 have been actually incorporated into the police. UNITA also recently submitted a list of 22 senior officers for induction, all of whom have already arrived in Luanda.

22. The Government has temporarily suspended the process of disarmament of the civilian population pending the completion of the normalization of State administration, insisting that the civilian population in both Government and UNITA-controlled areas be disarmed simultaneously. It should be emphasized that possession of weapons by civilians, especially those who are members of the Civil Defence Corps, continues to pose a threat to the security situation. The free circulation of people and goods continues to be restricted by the maintenance of illegal checkpoints and the escalation of acts of banditry in various areas of the country. Some old checkpoints have recently been reactivated, while new ones are being set up in both government and UNITA areas as a result of the overall worsening of the military and political environment.


23. The Human Rights Unit of MONUA monitored developments in this important area and continued to promote human rights education in collaboration with national and international non-governmental organizations. In this context, a seminar was organized in Benguela on 2 and 3 July 1997 to train human rights personnel. The Unit also participated actively in the sixth Conference of Ministers of Justice of Lusophone States, which was held in Luanda from 15 to 18 July 1997 to highlight the issues of juvenile delinquency and the plight of street children. With regard to allegations of human rights violations, six new cases have been submitted by MONUA to the ad hoc group of the Joint Commission. For their part, police observers have also investigated over 20 cases of alleged violations. In the meantime, prisons in Luanda have been visited by MONUA staff in the presence of government authorities. The activities of the Human Rights Unit have temporarily decreased following the departure of six human rights monitors provided by the European Union. However, steps are being taken to strengthen the Unit, and additional human rights monitors are expected to join MONUA in the near future. These steps will enable the Mission to shift its focus towards the human rights situation in the provinces.


A. Relief and rehabilitation

24. Persistent tensions have resulted in increased insecurity in many parts of the country and have affected the activities of United Nations humanitarian agencies and non-governmental organizations. The present security situation has already caused a shift in the focus from reconstruction and development to emergency assistance operations. Armed clashes have resulted in the displacement of more than 10,000 people in Lunda Norte and Lunda Sul provinces, and joint United Nations/non-governmental organization assessment missions have been conducted in order to respond to their needs. The World Food Programme (WFP), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the Lutheran World Federation continue to provide assistance to internally displaced persons in Lunda Norte. WFP has strengthened its effort, with eight national staff now in Lunda Norte and four national staff in Lunda Sul. WFP staff have been harassed by FAA who searched their cars and a MONUA vehicle while the staff were carrying out humanitarian activities near Mbuia and Maludi (Lunda Norte). UNICEF, which joined the recent assessment mission to the north-eastern region headed by the Humanitarian Assistance Coordination Unit, is supplying medical kits and conducting a vaccination campaign. Unfortunately, owing to an acute shortage of medical personnel and a severe lack of funds, only limited health assistance has been provided.

25. Owing to the prevalent conditions on the ground, staff of the United Nations and international non-governmental organizations have been unable to gain access to thousands of refugees who are reportedly stranded in several UNITA-controlled areas; despite numerous requests, United Nations agencies have not been granted necessary clearance. According to available information, there is a group of 2,000 refugees in Louva and more than 6,000 refugees in two other locations in the north-east. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has also reported that a group of Rwandans and Burundese had recently arrived in Luau, a UNITA-controlled area in Moxico province. A joint assessment mission visited the area on 26 July and found some 1,500 men, women and children from Rwanda and Burundi. UNHCR and its implementing partners are already providing emergency assistance to these refugees.

26. Owing to the difficult financial situation, the Humanitarian Assistance Coordination Unit has issued an urgent appeal to donors for funding of emergency response projects falling under the 1997 United Nations consolidated inter-agency appeal. The response to the appeal so far has been extremely disappointing, with only 20.6 per cent of the needs covered. At the national level, the Humanitarian Coordination Group was recently reactivated after consultations between the Ministry of Social Assistance and the Humanitarian Assistance Coordination Unit. It is expected that the Group will serve as the focal point for the coordination of all humanitarian activities in the country and will act as the main decision-making body on policy and procedure.

B. Demobilization

27. Demobilization activities have been proceeding at a markedly slower pace than originally envisaged owing to the strained political and military atmosphere. The hostile attitude of local UNITA commanders and some officers of the Angolan National Police towards demobilization activities persists. As at 10 August 1997, a total of 21,175 UNITA soldiers have been demobilized within the framework of the rapid demobilization plan. It should be recalled that 2,124 UNITA and 330 FAA under-age troops were demobilized before the beginning of the plan, which brings the total demobilized soldiers in Angola to 23,629. The first phase of demobilization was successfully concluded in mid-June, with the closure of five selection and demobilization centres and one military war disabled centre. The second phase of demobilization was also completed by mid-July, with the closure of three other selection and demobilization centres and two military war disabled centres. Even though demobilization activities have now been completed in the Catala selection and demobilization centre and are ongoing in the Chitembo centre, there are still five selection and demobilization centres where demobilization has yet to commence.

28. The serious incidents experienced during the first and second phases of demobilization highlight the very negative impact that the worrisome political and military atmosphere in the country could have on the overall process. The Humanitarian Assistance Coordination Unit is also increasingly concerned about the post-demobilization phase, in particular the problems and impediments to social reintegration of ex-combatants, the regroupment of demobilized UNITA personnel into military or semi-military formations, as well as the withholding of demobilization benefits from ex-UNITA troops. In many instances, local UNITA authorities have also imposed last-minute changes in the destination of ex-combatants and limited access to them by humanitarian personnel. These practices are totally unacceptable and have seriously undermined the credibility of the entire demobilization process.

29. Under the rapid demobilization plan, a special policy was adopted for those UNITA personnel registered at selection and demobilization centres or special centres for the war-disabled who did not return to the centres in time for official demobilization. Under this policy, such personnel would lose entitlement to benefits provided by the international community (demobilization kits, food, etc.), but would retain legal benefits and the entitlement to a special subsidy from the Government. However, in the light of recent events, it would be prudent to suspend temporarily the establishment of this mechanism in order to avoid the risk of double registration. With regard to the demobilization of additional UNITA armed personnel, as called for in resolution 1118 (1997), and in the light of experience to date, the Humanitarian Assistance Coordination Unit believes that future demobilization activities should be radically simplified and conducted in a dynamic manner, after an in-depth evaluation of military and security aspects on the ground, in conjunction with adequate preparation and funding. The latter, as experience has shown, should not be dependent on voluntary contributions; given the critical nature of this exercise, it would be imperative to put it on a sound financial and organizational footing. Furthermore, humanitarian assistance should only focus on reintegration of demobilized soldiers.

30. The financial status of the demobilization process remains a matter of great concern. Out of total requirements of US$ 56.6 million, only $16.4 million has been received so far. In addition, only $5.5 million of the $26 million requested by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) for demobilization activities has been received, undermining this crucial effort. IOM has so far assisted a total of 63,000 beneficiaries, but it cannot guarantee its ability to continue its operations in Angola beyond August 1997. While some pledges have recently been earmarked for the IOM transport programme, the Demobilization and Reintegration Office of the Humanitarian Assistance Coordination Unit has received no major support from donors for 1997 demobilization activities.

C. Demining

31. There have been worrisome reports from international demining non-governmental organizations and the Angolan National Institute for the Removal of Unexploded Ordnance (INAROE) indicating a trend towards the resumption of mine laying in some parts of the country (see para. 13 above). Such incidents have been confirmed in the provinces of Malange, Lunda Norte and Lunda Sul. During the reporting period, UNITA imposed additional restrictions on survey and other demining activities by international non-governmental organizations and INAROE. All these incidents have had serious repercussions on humanitarian activities and should be strongly censured.

32. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), which assumed responsibility for the United Nations mine action programme in Angola, signed a two-year project document with the Government on 19 April 1997 which envisages the continuation of international support to INAROE. However, demining activities remain restricted to seven of Angola's 18 provinces owing to limited national capability and inadequate support structures. Of the 1,532 minefields identified, only 8 per cent, or a total of 111, have been cleared.


33. The economic situation in the country remained very critical, reflecting the overall slowdown in economic activities. In line with the stated political, economic and social programme for 1997, the Government's budget during the reporting period was aimed at achieving adequate budgetary savings and securing resources sufficient to finance its share of demobilization and other aspects of the peace process. However, owing to various pressures, the Government was compelled on 21 July, to devalue the national currency by 30 per cent as a means of raising domestic revenue and decreasing the gap between the official and parallel markets. The impact of the devaluation on the already high prices prevailing on local markets and on prices of imported goods is yet to be determined.

34. Meanwhile, available information indicates a continued downward trend in the rate of inflation. According to the National Institute of Statistics, as of August 1997, for the second month in a row, the inflation rate remained below 10 per cent. However, certain important policy measures, such as the phasing out of subsidies on petroleum, simplification of import licensing procedures and requirements, price controls and privatization of commercial banks, have not yet been implemented.

35. During the reporting period, the World Bank undertook a mission to Angola, following the visit in June 1997 of a delegation of the International Monetary Fund, in order to pursue dialogue with the Government on possible funding for specific projects and adjustment programmes. Many donor-financed projects related to community rehabilitation and reintegration programmes are gradually moving to the implementation stage, and the Government has shown keen interest in having donor commitments transformed into disbursements. However, serious delays in the normalization of State administration throughout the country is restricting the movement of goods and is impeding a return of the population to normal life. As a result, 64 per cent of the population is still living below the poverty line, and 21 per cent is living in extreme poverty.

36. With regard to capacity-building, the current priorities are the transfer of responsibility from the Humanitarian Assistance Coordination Unit to the designated entities of the Angolan Government, the shift from emergency to development programming and the establishment of an integrated approach to community rehabilitation. The estimated cost to initiate these operations is US$ 2.3 million. At the same time, it would be essential to strengthen and support local non-governmental organizations to enable them to provide better services.

37. Almost two years after the September 1995 Brussels Round-table Conference, which generated approximately US$ 1 billion in pledges for the Community Rehabilitation Programme in Angola, only $6.8 million has been received from donor countries and organizations; an additional $2.5 million has been provided by UNDP. The rehabilitation programme is currently being conducted in six of the country's 18 provinces. So far, some $3 million has been disbursed from the Special Trust Fund established for this purpose. Fifteen projects, covering various sectors in Bengo, Benguela, Huambo, URge and Zaire provinces and costing a total of $1.5 million, have been submitted for approval.


38. The peace process in Angola is experiencing some of the most serious difficulties since the signing of the Lusaka Protocol. The progress achieved during the previous two and a half years is being severely undermined by persisting tensions throughout the country. I trust that the Government and UNITA fully realize the dangers involved in any further deterioration of the military situation. Everything possible should be done to reverse this ominous trend.

39. Both parties bear a heavy responsibility for the future of the peace process and must refrain from any action that might lead to renewed fighting. It is obvious that the current state of affairs is mainly the result of delays by UNITA in implementing its obligations under the Lusaka Protocol. The complete demilitarization of UNITA, the restoration of State administration throughout the country, the transformation of radio VORGAN into a non-partisan station and the true transformation of UNITA into a political party are imperatives for the implementation of the peace process. The international community expects no less than a credible and unconditional implementation by UNITA of these fundamental obligations. It should be noted that the immediate normalization of State administration is of crucial importance not only for the unity and territorial integrity of the country but also for the economic and social reconstruction of Angola.

40. The Security Council has been engaged in the pursuit of a comprehensive settlement in Angola for many years. I am confident that it will continue to exercise its authority and take all necessary steps to ensure full compliance with its decisions, including with the provisions of its resolution 1118 (1997) and the presidential statement of 23 July 1997 (S/PRST/1997/39). Last-minute half-hearted concessions by UNITA, under pressure and on the eve of Security Council deliberations, are no longer acceptable.

41. I continue to believe that an appropriately prepared meeting between President dos Santos and Mr. Savimbi could contribute significantly to the improvement of the political climate in the country and facilitate the successful completion of the peace process. I intend to encourage the parties to convene such a meeting as soon as possible.

42. In the meantime, it is my intention, with the concurrence of the Security Council, to further postpone the withdrawal of the United Nations military units from Angola and to retain in the country up to 2,650 military personnel until the end of October 1997. In taking this step, I have considered the prevailing precarious situation in Angola, the incomplete nature of the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol, the need to give the parties an additional chance to complete the peace process, as well as the need to ensure the security of United Nations and other international personnel in Angola. I have also taken into account the expressed wish of the Government of Angola to maintain in the country a sizeable United Nations presence until the demobilization process is over. Needless to say, I will continue to review the pace of the drawdown of the military component of MONUA and adjust it, as necessary.

43. In conclusion, I should like to urge the parties, but in particular UNITA, to respect the safety and security of personnel of the United Nations, its programmes and agencies, as well as the staff of other international organizations who have been helping the Angolan people to achieve a long-awaited peace, national reconciliation and economic rehabilitation of the country.


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