THE NATIONAL UNION FOR THE TOTAL INDEPENDENCE OF ANGOLA
1999 - Year of Generalised Popular Resistance
addressed to the members of the EU/ACP Joint Assembly Strasbourg - France
Regrettably, Angola is going through turbulent times as its people again face a third civil war in its history, which was unhesitantly declared by the MPLA Government President, José Eduardo dos Santos on 5th December 1999.
On his opening of the MPLA's Congress, Eduardo dos Santos announced his ambitious intention of a quick victory by taking the sensitive areas of Andulo and Bailundo held by UNITA, thus putting an end to its existence. He also passed a death sentence on Dr. Jonas Malheiro Savimbi.
On the 1st April 1993, the MPLA Government and the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola "UNITA", started negotiations in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, with a view to resolving the crisis in Angola, due to the massacres of over thirty thousand UNITA militants and sympathizers all over the country.
The massacres were perpetrated by the MPLA forces. The negotiations collapsed after 5 weeks of intense debate due to the MPLA Government's refusal to take into consideration the concerns of UNITA, related to the security of its members. The MPLA had the backing of the Troika of observer nations on this issue.
In September 1993, the UN Security Council, without the participation of UNITA, adopted resolution 864/'93 based on a document which during negotiations held in Abidjan, had received no approval from the two parties in the conflict - "UNITA and the MPLA".
The UN Security Council resolution threatened UNITA with the penalty of sanctions, to force UNITA to put its signature on a Treaty which was unbalanced in favour of the MPLA Government.
The Treaty dealt with the disarmament and demobilization of UNITA troops, the handover the Government of UNITA controlled territory and the sending to Luanda of UNITA members of Parliament to join the National Assembly. However, the document did not take into account the concerns of UNITA for the security of its personnel.
During a year of intense negotiations which resulted in the signing of the Lusaka Protocol, UNITA battled in vain to have its legitimate concerns understood and accommodated by the MPLA and the mediation headed by the United Nations. UNITA wanted the Treaty conceived on the basis of the UNSC Resolution to be balanced and resting on solid ground, to guarantee that the two parties to the conflict "MPLA & UNITA" could peacefully live together and most importantly, a lasting peace for the people of Angola. However, since UNITA was kept under constant threat of sanctions by the UN, it had to overlook certain important aspects of the Treaty to satisfy the application of the UN Resolution.
In November 1994, the MPLA Government and UNITA signed the Lusaka Protocol, which the MPLA violated from the start. The protection granted to the Government by the UN was clearly noticeable. The MPLA executed actions of façade, which were intensively broadcast to demonstrate its political willingness to comply.
The following are examples of how the MPLA carried out some tasks:
- The Rapid Intervention Police - "PIR"
The Lusaka Protocol states that this unit should be quartered. Instead the MPLA integrated the force into the newly created private security companies, located in the main cities in the country.
- On the mercenaries issue, the Lusaka Protocol clearly instructs the MPLA to repatriate them. Instead they were distributed into commercial enterprises specialising in matters of security.
- The MPLA was engaged in a campaign of recruitment of youths into the Angolan armed forces, while the Lusaka Protocol required the Government to demobilise the excess Government troops.
- The MPLA Government carried out intense persecution and murdered UNITA members. The Lusaka Protocol envisaged a national reconciliation.
- The MPLA forces, systematically destroyed the party structures of UNITA during the process of the extension of State administration, while the Lusaka Protocol states that the Government should make available to UNITA, buildings for its offices and residences for its officials.
The misconduct of the MPLA Government throughout the process of implementation of the Lusaka Protocol demonstrated that its main priority was to destroy UNITA and not to promote national reconciliation. The Lusaka Treaty turned out to be a means at the MPLA's disposal to achieve that. As a matter of fact, the MPLA plans in the documents discovered by UNITA in February 1998, prove what we have stated in the paragraph. The execution of the plans started in September 1998.
When the MPLA concluded that UNITA had not succumbed to its plan, the Government had no alternative but to create and promote an organisation called UNITA renovada. Further, the MPLA publicly declared war on the true UNITA during the opening of the MPLA 4th Congress on 5th December 1998.
UNITA, faced with the threat of its destruction by the MPLA, had no alternative but to defend itself and the people who believe in its societal project. UNITA is of the opinion that dialogue is the only safe way of bringing lasting peace to Angola. The kind of peace which accommodates the concerns of all active forces in the country and protects the cultural, social and political sensitivities in Angola.
The systematic condemnations of UNITA by the international community often aimed at protecting their commercial interests in Angola, can only promote the anti-democratic intentions of the MPLA. Peace will only result from the conciliatory contribution of the international bodies and not from their condemnation of UNITA.
Secretariat for Foreign Affairs
31st March 1999
THE NATIONAL UNION FOR THE TOTAL INDEPENDENCE OF ANGOLA
STANDING COMMITTEE OF THE POLITICAL COMMISSION
1999- Year of Generalised Popular Resistance
COMMUNIQUE - NO. 8/CPP/99
The Standing Committee of UNITA was in session under the Chairmanship of Dr. Jonas Malheiro Savimbi, to analyse the political and military situation in the country and the following were the conclusions:
1. The current situation in the country is a direct consequence of the war declared by Eduardo dos Santos on 5th December 1998. His armed forces continue to use the civilian population as a human shield in the cities of Malange, Kuito and Huambo.
The UNITA leadership appeals to the international community to put pressure on the Luanda Government to allow the civilian population to return to their areas of origin, where they have their homes and agricultural fields, thus avoiding unnecessary poverty and starvation.
It is UNITA's conviction that the current humanitarian situation in Angola can only be definitively resolved when Eduardo dos Santos puts an end to the war he has started. However, it is contradictory to qualify as catastrophic the humanitarian situation while, at the same time, the Luanda Government approves a war budget attributing more than half the state budget to the armed forces and the police, to the detriment of the social and humanitarian sectors.
2. UNITA is in possession of information from reliable and credible sources according to which the Luanda Government is recruiting mercenaries of various nationalities, mainly from countries of the defunct Soviet block and South Africa.
UNITA wishes to assert to the world that it does not have mercenaries in its ranks. Should the MPLA capture any mercenary said to be from UNITA, it should do whatever is appropriate. In the meantime, UNITA reiterates its policy related to mercenaries, anyone captured on the battlefield will be summarily dealt with by the unite of the Generalised Popular Resistance that makes the capture.
3. It was with surprise that UNITA followed the latest statements made by the Chairman of the UN Security Council and the Secretary General of the OAU. They both blamed UNITA for the current situation in Angola. The UN and the OAU know well that Eduardo dos Santos is responsible for the war situation in the country. He started it. Such irresponsible and emotional statements by the officials of these international organisations do not worry UNITA because it will be obvious that they are simply trying to cover up the real causes of the crisis in Angola.
4. UNITA has never opposed dialogue as a way of resolving problems. Meanwhile it is worth recalling that it was Eduardo dos Santos who closed the door to dialogue with UNITA, preferring violence. Until Eduardo dos Santos decides to resume the way of peace, UNITA will defend itself with all means as its disposal.
Bailundo, 30th March 1999
The Standing Committee.