UNIAO NACIONAL PARA INDEPENDENCIA TOTAL DE ANGOLA (UNION NATIONALE POUR INDEPENDENCE TOTALE DE LANGOLA)
GABINETE DO PRESIDENTE
Bailundo, February 18, 1999
H.E. Kofi Annan
New York, NY 10017
It is with great pleasure that I wish you, in the name of UNITA and on my own behalf, good health that will allow you to carry out your noble and difficult mission successfully.
The prevailing situation in our country, Angola, can be explained by the multiple shortcomings of the Lusaka Protocol. My party and in many instances myself, did not hesitate to inform you on a timely fashion, requesting the direct intervention of your Excellency to avoid the collapse ( of the peace process) which took place in December with the resumption of the war. As you know, this war is the sole and exclusive responsibility of President Jose Eduardo dos Santos.
The UNITA leadership remains unchanged in its position about the need to continue the UN Mission in Angola in its original format as a useful witness and a facilitator of a rapprochement between UNITA and the Luanda Government, with the good chance of participation of both sides. Therefore, we reiterate our openness to receive yours Special Representative at any time as long as the Government lifts any obstacles that have been systematically imposed on him.
Your Excellency, I am convinced that whatever version the Government submits on the current crisis in Angola, you are well informed to make an appropriate assessment of the situation.
Excellency, it was President Jose E. dos Santos who declared " ipsis verbis "the only way to achieve peace in Angola is through the political and military neutralization of UNITA and its President", from the podium of his partys IV Congress. This authentic declaration of war was preceeded by air raids against Bailundo and Andulo on December 4th and 5th, 1998. The UNITA leadership does not reside in these areas to challenge whoever it might be. These are places from where we should, in partnership with the Luanda Government and with the assistance of MONUA and Troika, rectify the mistakes that occurred during the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol. This spirit is contained in the agreement reached between UNITA and the Government on June 19, 1998 in Andulo, in the presence of the mediation and the observers.
President Jose E. dos Santos statement on December 5, was the climax of a long process of destruction of UNITA under the guise of the Lusaka Protocol. The Extension of Central Administration which, in UNITAs view, should have been the cornerstone of national reconciliation, became the golden opportunity for the Government to physically destroy everything that could be identified with UNITA.
In June 1998 the Government unilaterally interrupted dialogue with the UNITA leadership. At the end of August, it expelled UNITA deputies in the National Assembly and members of the GURN. In the framework of its "Plan of Implosion of the UNITA Leadership", the Government decided to create an interlocutor of its own convenience at the beginning of September 1998. This is flatly rejected by UNITA militants. The UNITA leadership had access to this ghoulish plan in February 1998 which demonstrates that the MPLA was not seeking peace but the pure and simple destruction of our party.
I would like to underscore that in UNITAs view, the current conflict will never be resolved by military means. All attempts to pursue this logic would imply a waste of time, the destruction of the country, the postponement sine die of its economic development and consequently, the impossibility of profitable investments.
If the logic of the current regime in Luanda is allowed to prevail, Angola will inevitably move towards the end of its nascent democracy. This will result in the restoration of a dictatorial, militaristic one party regime guided by intolerance, exclusiveness and a factor of destabilization in the region. As evidence, we point out the following:
Contrary to President Jose E. dos Santos demarche, it is my conviction that the solution of the Angolan conflict will not come about by recriminations, condemnations and labeling between the parties but, by deepening dialogue, tolerance, understanding, and reciprocal forgiveness. It is in this framework that I believe, the international community should support Angolans in their efforts to achieve a dignified, just and lasting peace.
It goes without saying that UNITA has a vision for Angola based on the following fundamental principles:
Excellency, before ending, please allow me to request that this letter be circulated as an official document of the Security Council.
With my highest consideration,
Dr. Jonas Malheiro SAVIMBI
President of UNITA