1. The present report is submitted pursuant to Security Council resolution 1157 (1998) of 20 March 1998, in paragraph 8 of which the Council, inter alia, requested me to report by 17 April 1998 on the status of the implementation of the peace process, with recommendations regarding the modalities of the United Nations presence in Angola after 30 April 1998, including the exit strategy and expected termination date of the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (MONUA). The report also contains my recommendations regarding the civilian police component as requested in paragraph 7 of the above-mentioned resolution.
II. POLITICAL ASPECTS
2. Since my last report to the Security Council, dated 13 March 1998 (S/1998/236), additional progress has been made in the implementation of the remaining tasks under the Lusaka Protocol (S/1994/1441, annex) outlined in the 12-point revised timetable approved by the Joint Commission on 6 March 1998. It should be noted that, while the deadline of 31 March 1998, set for the compliance by the parties with all their obligations, was not fully met, 11 out of the 12 pending tasks have been completed. The extension of State administration throughout the country is the only remaining task, while the disarmament of the civilian population is continuing.
3. As indicated in the above-mentioned report, following the declaration made by the União Nacional para a Independência Total de Angola (UNITA) on 6 March 1998 on the demilitarization of its forces, the Government of Angola announced on 11 March the legalization of UNITA as a political party. On 16 March, the Government appointed three governors and seven vice-governors nominated by UNITA, as envisaged in the Lusaka Protocol. At the same time, both parties agreed on a list of six ambassadors nominated by UNITA, who would be appointed by the Government of Angola as soon as positive replies were received from the Governments concerned. On 31 March, a law granting special status to Mr. Jonas Savimbi as the leader of the largest opposition party was promulgated.
4. On 1 April 1998, after many years of almost uninterrupted functioning, Radio Vorgan effectively ceased its broadcasts. However, while the Government and UNITA have shown some restraint in the dissemination of propaganda in the past few weeks, mostly under pressure from my Special Representative, Mr. Alioune Blondin Beye, and the representatives of the three observer States (Portugal, the Russian Federation and the United States of America), no significant progress has been made in the setting up of Radio Despertar, which would replace Radio Vorgan. Also on 1 April, a UNITA delegation, led by Vice-President General Antonio Sebastiao Dembo, arrived in Luanda to prepare for the establishment of UNITA headquarters in the capital. On 2 April, General Dembo met with President José Eduardo dos Santos, to whom he delivered a written message from Mr. Savimbi, the leader of UNITA.
5. My Special Representative, in collaboration with the representatives of the observer States, continued to play an important role in facilitating the implementation of the peace process. During the reporting period, Mr. Beye had several meetings with President dos Santos and Mr. Savimbi, with a view to accelerating the completion of the remaining tasks. Those consultations were instrumental in reaching a compromise on a number of highly sensitive issues, including the promulgation of the special status for Mr. Savimbi, as well as the agreement on the UNITA leader's security detachment. It will be recalled that, under a previous agreement, Mr. Savimbi's security detachment was to be gradually reduced over a period of nine months from 400 to 150 guards. During talks held in Andulo on 8 April between Mr. Savimbi and the government representatives to the Joint Commission, an additional agreement was reached by which 65 out of the 150 security guards would be stationed in Luanda and the remaining security personnel elsewhere in the country. In the meantime, on 10 April, the Angolan National Police (ANP) officially announced the formation of a 400-strong security detachment for Mr. Savimbi as part of the ANP structure.
6. At its sessions held on 27 and 30 March 1998, the Joint Commission recommended concrete measures to accelerate the implementation of the few pending tasks. While progress was achieved on several fronts, little progress has been registered regarding the extension of State administration. To date, central authority has been established in 269 localities out of the total of 335 envisaged. Moreover, only three of the eight strategic areas envisaged in the 6 March timetable were normalized. However, the Government and UNITA have agreed on a number of practical arrangements towards that end. Following additional consultations, it was agreed to proceed with the normalization of State administration in Mussende, Belo Horizonte, Gamba and Bimbe on 1 April. Thus far, normalization took place only in Mussende on 9 April. These developments helped to avoid a new crisis at the expiration of the 1 April deadline, by which time State administration should have been extended throughout the country.
7. As a result of the measures imposed by Security Council resolution 1127 (1997) of 28 August 1997, the number of aircraft landing in the UNITA-controlled areas in violation of the sanctions regime continued to decline. During the period under review, only a few aircraft landed in Andulo and Bailundo in March 1998. However, according to reports, UNITA may be diverting some of the aircraft to other airstrips that are not monitored by MONUA on a daily basis.
8. During his visit to Angola from 21 to 29 March 1998, the Chairman of the Sanctions Committee established pursuant to Security Council resolution 864 (1993) of 15 September 1993, Mr. Njuguna M. Mahugu (Kenya) met with President dos Santos and Mr. Savimbi and urged both parties, but in particular UNITA, to complete without further delay all their pending tasks under the Lusaka Protocol and the relevant Council resolutions. Mr. Mahugu stressed to the UNITA leadership the determination of the Council to adopt additional measures, in case of non-compliance by UNITA with its obligations. At the same time, the Chairman of the Sanctions Committee called on the Government of Angola to exercise restraint and not to take steps that could jeopardize the peace process; he also appealed to both parties to show the necessary flexibility in achieving national reconciliation.
III. SECURITY SITUATION
9. The security situation in some areas of the country remains precarious. The continuing tensions are mostly the result of armed attacks, often targeting ANP and local government authorities in the countryside. During the period under review, numerous attacks on government posts and vehicles, as well as the abduction of personnel, were reported, resulting in many casualties. Often, those attacks were conducted by large groups of well-armed unidentified elements.
10. There were also two attacks on MONUA. On 24 March 1998, a MONUA helicopter was fired while transporting representatives of MONUA, the Government and UNITA to a ceremony for the re-installation of central administration in Cambundi-Catembo, Malange Province. This was the second time that such an incident occurred in the same province in less than two months. The second attack took place on 27 March at Chongoroi, Benguela Province, when the MONUA team site was shot at during a coordinated and massive attack on the town by an armed group, reportedly composed of UNITA elements. There were no MONUA casualties, but one Angolan was killed and three were injured, and MONUA vehicles were damaged. During its meeting on 31 March, the Joint Commission strongly condemned those attacks. The high level of insecurity seriously affects the activities of MONUA and those of humanitarian relief personnel. On several occasions, humanitarian personnel also fell victim to the dangerous security situation in the countryside.
11. Many of the localities where State administration has been extended are still not stable. As a result of threats of attacks made by UNITA militants, local government authorities had to flee some areas. At the same time, some UNITA representatives had to abandon their locations owing to harassment and threats from elements of ANP. On 28 March, serious clashes were reported between ANP and the local population in the Luau area (Moxico Province), which until recently was controlled by UNITA.
12. The most significant incident was an ambush on 19 March in the Ganda area, Benguela Province, during which 22 people were brutally murdered, including one member of ANP. From mid-January 1998 to date, 24 personnel of ANP and the Angolan Armed Forces (FAA) have been killed in such incidents. About 20 ANP and FAA officers are also missing and presumed dead. These widespread anti-government activities show the emergence of a low-level insurgency in some parts of the country, which is likely to undermine government control unless the Government of Unity and National Reconciliation takes well-coordinated measures to enforce law and order in those areas.
IV. MILITARY ASPECTS
13. Despite the serious security conditions in some areas of the country, the overall military situation remained relatively calm. The military component of MONUA continued to investigate various violations of the ceasefire, conduct extensive patrols and provide security to United Nations personnel and facilities, including during the ceremonies of the installation of State administration. The presence of United Nations troops continues to be an important element of stability in several key areas of the country.
14. The military component of the Mission also continued to verify the implementation of the tasks set out in the 6 March timetable. Regarding the demobilization in situ, out of a total of 7,877 registered UNITA residual forces, only 7,714 were considered eligible for demobilization, of whom 6,435 have now been demobilized. The remaining 1,279 troops will be demobilized through a special procedure agreed upon by the Government and UNITA. The demobilization in situ has, therefore, been declared concluded. At the same time, out of a total of 218 high-ranking UNITA officers presented to MONUA, 115 were demobilized between 19 and 21 March 1998, while 20 were demobilized at a later stage. The remaining 73 officers are to be demobilized by FAA. Also, the registration of the 400 security guards of Mr. Savimbi has now been completed. Nevertheless, allegations persist, sometimes corroborated by deserters, of the existence of a large number of unregistered and undemobilized armed UNITA elements.
V. POLICE ASPECTS
15. The civilian police observers continued to perform the tasks described in my report of 13 March 1998 (S/1998/236, para. 18). They monitored the neutrality of ANP, especially in areas where State administration has recently been extended, as well as the security arrangements for UNITA leaders, and investigated allegations of human rights violations, in close collaboration with the Human Rights Division of MONUA. The civilian police observers verified the free circulation of people and goods, conducted frequent patrols and undertook numerous visits to prisons and detention centres.
16. In accordance with the 6 March timetable, the Government of Angola has resumed the disarmament of the civilian population. MONUA reported that those operations were carried out successfully in Luanda, Benguela and Huila Provinces. The Joint Commission, after reviewing the disarmament process on 27 March, called on the Government to proceed with a well-organized programme, which should be enhanced by adequate awareness activities and closer cooperation with MONUA. Given the deteriorating security situation and the rise in banditry in several areas of the country, the collection of unauthorized weapons has become even more urgent than ever before. The Government should, therefore, embark on a massive recovery of weapons from the civilian population throughout the country, including in large urban areas. Those operations should also include the disarming of the members of the so-called civil defence corps. It would be important for MONUA to be involved closely in this process to help avoid abuses of power by ANP.
17. MONUA continues to believe that the training of ANP personnel in internationally accepted human rights standards and police procedures, which the civilian police observers have been striving to undertake, would be equally crucial. In this connection, the civilian police component of MONUA submitted to the Government of Angola a programme of training for ANP in internationally accepted police procedures and standards, including respect and protection of human rights. MONUA is awaiting a response from the Government. The training programme would particularly aim at providing ANP with adequate knowledge of internationally accepted criminal justice and human rights standards, as well as strengthening the training capacity of ANP with respect to those fields.
VI. HUMAN RIGHTS ASPECTS
18. The human rights component pursued its activities aimed at the promotion and protection of human rights both in Luanda and in the countryside; its presence has been established in 13 of the 18 Angola provinces. With regard to promotion activities, a monthly information bulletin on human rights, aimed at helping citizens understand their rights and obligations, was published and widely distributed among the population. In several politically important areas of the country, including in Bié, Uige and Huila Provinces, MONUA supported the efforts of the local human rights committees and visited several localities where central authority had been established, with a view to ensuring that the newly installed administrators respect the law and fundamental freedoms.
19. As regards protection activities, the special group of the Joint Commission continued to examine allegations concerning violations of individual human rights. As a result of the close cooperation between the human rights component and local authorities in several provinces, corrective measures were taken, aimed at limiting human rights abuses. This was the case especially in Bié and Cuando Cubango Provinces, where some UNITA sympathizers, who had been detained arbitrarily, were released.
20. The long-lasting conflict in Angola has had serious consequences on the state of the judicial system, whose efficient functioning remains an essential guarantee for the respect of human rights. The Government's efforts to improve the system, which have been actively supported by the United Nations since February 1997, led to the creation of the National Commission on Penal Reform. Recently, the Commission completed the elaboration of the general part of the draft penal code.
21. The strengthening of the human rights activities of MONUA depends largely on the support it receives from various United Nations bodies. From 3 to 7 April 1998, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights conducted a special seminar at MONUA headquarters, aimed at training members of the human rights component in various activities and procedures, including in the fields of national capacity-building and human rights education and promotion, as well as verification and appraisal of reports, the role of the civilian police and other matters. In consultation with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mr. Nicolas Howen, a leading expert in the field of human rights, has been recruited as the head of the human rights component and is expected to join MONUA in early May.
VII. HUMANITARIAN ASPECTS
A. Relief and rehabilitation
22. The continued displacement of people and the presence in Angola of an extensive group of asylum seekers, as well as new mine-laying activities, continued to be a source of major concern to humanitarian organizations. It is estimated that almost 6,000 persons were displaced between November 1997 and March 1998, owing to acts of banditry and increased tensions in Benguela, Huila and Malange Provinces. Internally displaced persons continued to arrive at Ganda, Benguela Province, from the Chicuma/Casseque area, and to Matala, Huila Province, from the Kutenda/Cherequera area. Humanitarian organizations are preparing a joint mission, composed of representatives of the Humanitarian Assistance Coordination Unit, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the World Food Programme (WFP), MONUA and the Angolan Ministry of Social Assistance and Reintegration, to assess the situation and verify the alleged presence of over 600 Rwandan refugees in Lovua, Lunda Norte Province. Continued remining activities are hindering the movement of relief organizations and have caused the death of 13 persons and the injury of 23 civilians in Bié Province. The laying of new mines, mostly perpetrated by UNITA elements, has also been reported in Huambo, Malange, Benguela and Huila Provinces.
23. Those activities, as well as the continued harassment of humanitarian personnel in some UNITA-controlled areas, should be strongly condemned. The present security situation (see paras. 9-12 above) is raising serious doubts about whether the safety of humanitarian personnel can be guaranteed. It is worrisome that the murder on 23 October 1997 of two deminers of the Santa Barbara Foundation and four Angolan nationals, as well as the disappearance in December of a WFP driver in Bailundo, remain unsolved. In Malange Province, humanitarian operations are likely to be discontinued owing to the high level of insecurity resulting from attacks on United Nations staff and the civilian population.
24. In addition, there is serious concern that the current economic situation resulting from the sharp decline in world oil prices may have a negative impact on the government budget, severely affecting the allocation of funds for the social sectors, which in turn would delay socio-economic recovery. With regard to funding requirements for United Nations-sponsored projects, UNHCR will have to reduce its activities dramatically if no funds are received before the end of April 1998. Resources are also urgently required for non-food items, including the transport fund managed by WFP. The International Organization for Migration and the United Nations Children's Fund also require immediate additional financial support to ensure the continuation of their programmes.
B. Demobilization and reintegration
25. During the reporting period, the United Nations completed all demobilization operations under its responsibility. Out of a total of 87,514 registered troops, 76,360 were eligible for demobilization. Of these, a total of 49,851 troops were demobilized between September 1996 and March 1998. In order to ensure that those who were not present at the demobilization locations have access to their entitlements after the conclusion of the United Nations demobilization operations, arrangements have been made to demobilize 26,509 former soldiers with the assistance of the Government's Institute for the Social Reintegration of Ex-Combatants and FAA. This procedure will take effect after the extension of State administration has been concluded nationwide and will last for approximately six months.
26. Since mid-February 1998, about 1,000 demobilized soldiers have been registered by the Counselling and Referral Service (SeCOR), showing increased awareness of the programme by the soldiers, as well as their interest in receiving support for social reintegration. By mid-March, a total of 26,300 soldiers out of the 49,851 demobilized had been registered by SeCOR. This programme has also trained special counselling staff, launched over 65 different quick impact projects, provided vocational training for 3,800 beneficiaries and distributed professional tool kits to 2,000 demobilized soldiers. A joint Government/United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) review of the status of the implementation of the reintegration programme was conducted in March 1998, and it identified several areas where improvements were necessary.
VIII. SOCIO-ECONOMIC ASPECTS
27. During the reporting period, there have been no significant changes in the key socio-economic indicators which could have improved the economic situation. The Government's medium-term programme (1998-2000) for economic recovery and stabilization was adopted by the National Assembly. The Government suggested that all donors use the programme as the framework for their assistance to Angola. The main elements of the programme include the liberalization of the economy, the promotion of economic growth and reduction of inflation, the reduction of unemployment and the improvement of the management of public finances.
28. The medium-term programme generated extensive debate in view of the expected impact of the sharp decline on the international price of oil. The government budget and the projections in the medium-term programme had been based on the assumption that the oil prices would be maintained at approximately $19 per barrel. Since petroleum production accounts for nearly 60 per cent of the gross domestic product and 94 per cent of the Government's revenue, any decline in oil prices could have a negative effect on economic growth and the Government's ability to sustain efforts towards economic reform.
29. Meanwhile, monthly inflation rates were 5.4 per cent in January 1998 and 3.1 per cent in February. In spite of the seemingly low rate of inflation, prices remained excessively high and the population had to make serious adjustments in their consumption patterns. The official exchange rate remained at 262,000 kwanza to the dollar and some stability was observed in the parallel exchange market. A joint Government/UNDP review of the Community Rehabilitation Programme, which was launched in Brussels in 1995, was conducted in March and the first part of April 1998, with a view to evaluating the progress made in the implementation of the programme.
IX. UNITED NATIONS PRESENCE AFTER 30 APRIL 1998
30. A recent assessment of the status of the Angolan peace process and of the conditions prevailing on the ground suggests that a significant United Nations involvement is still needed in the country in order to assist in the consolidation of peace, in building confidence and national reconciliation and in promoting socio-economic development. I have reviewed my proposals on the continued United Nations presence in Angola after 30 April 1998, as described in my reports dated 12 January (S/1998/17) and 13 March 1998 (S/1998/236), and I should like to reiterate my recommendation that MONUA continue, with the necessary adjustments, to carry out its activities on the basis of the mandate and organizational structure outlined in the above-mentioned reports.
31. Apart from the military component (see paras. 36-38 below), I believe that the other substantive components of MONUA should continue their operations until the end of 1998, albeit at a progressively reduced level after September/ October 1998. From the beginning of 1999, the activities of the United Nations would focus on the consolidation of national reconciliation, promotion of good governance, human rights and socio-economic recovery and development. Most of these activities would be carried out by United Nations programmes, funds and agencies operating in Angola. In due course, I shall submit my views on the involvement of the United Nations in the preparation and conduct of the next presidential elections, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Lusaka Protocol.
A. Political and human rights aspects
32. Although progress has been made since the adoption of Security Council resolution 1157 (1998), there is still a need for United Nations mediation and good offices to promote national reconciliation, to conclude the implementation of the remaining provisions of the Lusaka Protocol and to assist in stabilizing the security situation in the country. In line with the recommendations contained in my report of 13 March 1998 (S/1998/236), my Special Representative would continue to provide his good offices and to chair the Joint Commission through 1998.
33. The political affairs and human rights components would remain deployed throughout the country. Political affairs officers would continue to assist in mediating disputes and in promoting national reconciliation, while human rights officers would foster respect for human rights and the rule of law and investigate alleged violations, in collaboration with the civilian police observers. Their activities and total strength would remain at the present level until September/October 1998 when it would be my intention to begin gradually to readjust and downsize the political component. With regard to the human rights component, I intend to explore the possible transfer of operational responsibility for this component to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.
B. Civilian police component
34. Pursuant to paragraph 7 of Security Council resolution 1157 (1998), I have reviewed the modus operandi of the civilian police component of MONUA to assess whether its tasks could be performed on the basis of a more limited increase in the number of personnel or with a reconfiguration of existing personnel. Given the deteriorating security situation in several areas where State administration has recently been extended, the civilian police observers have been called upon, in conjunction with the military observers, to investigate an increasing number of attacks against government targets and acts of banditry. Accordingly, in order to promote confidence and stability, my Special Representative continues to believe that the number of civilian police sites should be increased from the current level of 46 sites to 51.
35. The deployment of 83 additional civilian police observers, as authorized by the Security Council in its resolution 1157 (1998), will enable MONUA to strengthen the present and new team sites and increase the number of daily patrols, as well as ensure prompt and effective verification and investigation. Equally, the increased strength of the civilian police will allow closer monitoring of the disarming of the civilian population by the ANP. Assistance in the training of ANP in internationally accepted standards will also require additional human resources. Therefore, I believe that the authorized increase in the number of civilian police observers is necessary for the effective discharge of the mandate of MONUA at this critical phase of the peace process. The deployment of these personnel is expected to take place in May and June 1998.
C. Military component
36. Pursuant to paragraph 6 of Security Council resolution 1157 (1998), MONUA has prepared a plan for a phased withdrawal, between late April and 1 July 1998, of 595 military personnel out of a total of 1,045 currently deployed in the mission area. This figure includes 450 infantry companies, 100 personnel of the logistics company and 45 military staff officers. The remaining 450 military personnel include one infantry company (150 in all ranks), which would be relocated to Luanda and would assume security duties, and 130 personnel of the helicopter unit, 40 members of the signals unit, 40 personnel of the field hospital and 90 military observers. In view of the crucial support tasks which are indispensable for the functioning of the whole Mission, it is planned to retain these remaining personnel in Angola until the end of 1998; their repatriation would depend on the final decision on the termination of MONUA.
37. In line with the proposals contained in my previous report (S/1998/236), the 90 military observers would be retained through September/October 1998 to monitor the completion of the residual military tasks, and, depending on the situation on the ground, would be repatriated thereafter.
38. While the Security Council, in its resolution 1157 (1998), clearly indicated that a further substantial reduction of the military component of MONUA should take place no later than 1 July 1998, the volatile situation in some areas of Angola (see paras. 9-12 above), strongly argues in favour of the retention in the country of a sufficient United Nations military force. Indeed, the serious risks involved in keeping a large number of unarmed military and civilian personnel scattered throughout a country larger than the territories of France, Spain and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland combined, without adequate means of rapid evacuation or protection, should not be underestimated. Therefore, if the security situation in some parts of Angola remains unstable, I shall be compelled, as the drawdown of United Nations troops proceeds, to redeploy unarmed military and civilian personnel to more secure areas, and, if necessary, to repatriate them.
D. Humanitarian activities
39. The current insecurity in several parts of the country has hindered the implementation of humanitarian activities aimed at providing basic relief to the population and has discouraged the expansion of rehabilitation efforts. In the meantime, the humanitarian community in Luanda and the Inter-Agency Standing Committee are finalizing new arrangements for the coordination of humanitarian assistance in Angola. Meanwhile, United Nations programmes and agencies will retain an emergency response capacity and continue to implement medium-term activities in the areas of refugee return and resettlement of internally displaced persons, health and nutrition, agriculture and food security, mine awareness, and reintegration of demobilized war disabled and underage ex-soldiers.
40. The priorities for United Nations programmes and agencies and their partners are outlined in the common humanitarian strategy and included in the 1998 United Nations Inter-Agency Consolidated Appeal for Angola. The strategy highlights priority humanitarian assistance in support of the reintegration and resettlement of affected populations, meeting the emergency needs of communities and vulnerable groups, the extension of basic services and mine action activities, as well as strengthening the Government's capacity to coordinate and manage the humanitarian response.
X. FOLLOW-ON UNITED NATIONS ACTIVITIES AFTER THE TERMINATION OF THE MISSION
41. While the international community has already invested heavily in the establishment and maintenance of peace in Angola, I believe that, after the termination of MONUA it would be important for the United Nations to continue to assist the Angolan people in the consolidation of national reconciliation, good governance, democratic development and respect for human rights, as well as in socio-economic recovery. The gradual transition from peacekeeping and emergency humanitarian intervention to the long-term objectives of peace-building and sustained development has already begun. This transition is being undertaken in close collaboration between the Government, MONUA and various United Nations programmes, funds and agencies operating in Angola, as well as the Bretton Woods institutions. This phase will be critical since, after many years of focusing exclusively on issues of survival, expectation will rise among the Angolan population who are eager to see a rapid improvement in living conditions and in the provision of public services.
42. Recognizing those concerns, the Government of Angola, supported by the donor community, has identified its national development objectives and priorities as follows: consolidation of peace and stability; rehabilitation of the economy and sustainable growth; alleviation of poverty; and employment and income generation. The United Nations programmes, funds and specialized agencies are gradually adjusting their assistance to cover those priority areas. In this regard, a United Nations strategy in support of Angola's transition from emergency to development has been prepared and approved by the heads of the United Nations programmes and agencies.
43. The United Nations system will also continue to assist Angola in mobilizing the necessary resources for humanitarian activities, as well as for peace consolidation and related activities, including those in the fields of demobilization and reintegration of ex-combatants and rehabilitation and resettlement of internally displaced persons, returnees and other vulnerable groups. Another important ongoing initiative is the Government's Community Rehabilitation Programme, which was launched in Brussels in September 1995. The United Nations is also assisting Angola in other areas, such as the provision of expertise in national capacity-building, including in the domain of economic management. Demining is also one of the important areas where the United Nations will continue to be active in Angola.
44. It is expected that all these programmes will continue after 1998 and beyond, as vital instruments in the consolidation of peace and the strengthening of long-term development. In view of the direct link between peace, good governance and development, United Nations assistance will also be required in the area of the promotion and respect of human rights and the rule of law. In close consultation with United Nations programmes and agencies, I intend to present to the Security Council in the second half of 1998 additional proposals about the modalities for pursuing these vital peace-consolidation activities after the termination of MONUA in the beginning of 1999.
XI. FINANCIAL ASPECTS
45. By resolution 52/8 B of 31 March 1998, the General Assembly appropriated a total amount of $175 million gross for the period from 1 July 1997 to 30 June 1998 to provide for the phased withdrawal of contingent personnel and the deployment of a military task force. The proposed budget for the maintenance of MONUA for the period from 1 July 1998 to 30 June 1999 has been submitted to the Assembly for consideration at its resumed fifty-second session. The proposed budget amounts to some $140.8 million gross and is based on the maintenance of the current authorized strength of the Mission.
46. Therefore, should the Security Council decide to extend the mandate of MONUA, as recommended in paragraph 51 below, it is not anticipated that additional requirements will arise as a result of the deployment of 83 additional civilian police observers and the phased repatriation of 595 military personnel by 1 July 1998.
47. As at 31 March 1998, unpaid assessed contributions to the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM)/MONUA special account for the period since the inception of the Mission to 20 April 1998 amounted to $94 million. The total outstanding assessed contributions for all peacekeeping operations as at 31 March 1998 was $1,547 million.
48. During the reporting period, significant progress has been achieved in the Angolan peace process. Although the remaining tasks under the Lusaka Protocol were not fully completed by the 31 March 1998 deadline agreed upon by the two parties, most of the tasks contained in the timetable have now been carried out. I welcome these important developments, which include the promulgation into law of the special status of Mr. Savimbi, the appointment of the governors and vice-governors nominated by UNITA, the return of some UNITA senior officials to Luanda and the termination of Radio Vorgan's broadcasts.
49. At the same time, I am concerned at the slow pace of the implementation of the extension of State administration, which should also have been completed by 31 March. Almost one year after the beginning of this process, there are still some 60 localities where central authority has not been established, including the UNITA strongholds of Andulo and Bailundo. I, therefore, urge both parties, in particular UNITA, to take all necessary measures to expedite and conclude this process by the end of April 1998. Further procrastination in this regard would not be acceptable. It is obvious that the conclusion of the peace process will depend on the full demobilization of UNITA, especially the absentees and the residual troops, which are still a cause of serious concern. Unregistered armed elements continue to be reported in some provinces, which does not enhance mutual trust.
50. While the improvement in the political climate is welcome, I regret that this positive trend has not resulted in an amelioration of the security situation in the country. The increase in armed attacks against ANP, local government authorities and innocent civilians, allegedly perpetrated by UNITA elements, as well as acts of banditry, are a source of particular concern. It is also deplorable that the security of MONUA personnel and property is seriously undermined in several areas of Angola and that UNITA continues to impose restrictions on United Nations activities in some of the regions still under its control. I must once again remind both parties that they are responsible for ensuring the safety and security of all United Nations personnel in Angola.
51. I remain convinced, as indicated in my report of 13 March 1998 (S/1998/236), of the need for the continued active involvement of the United Nations in Angola after the expiration of the present mandate of MONUA on 30 April. My proposals and recommendations concerning the future of the Mission and the gradual drawdown of its various components, including the exit strategy, are contained in paragraphs 30 to 40 of the present report. In the meantime, I recommend that the mandate of MONUA be extended for two months, until 30 June 1998.
52. In conclusion, I should like to pay tribute to my Special Representative and to all MONUA personnel, as well as to the staff of United Nations programmes, funds and agencies and non-governmental organizations for their commendable work under challenging conditions. I should like to express my appreciation to Maj.-Gen. Phillip Valerio Sibanda (Zimbabwe), who has served the Mission with great distinction and professionalism for more than two years and whose tour of duty expires on 30 April. I also wish to express my appreciation to the three observer States and their representatives in Angola and to all Member States concerned for their unfailing support to the Angolan peace process.