3628th Meeting of Security Council: Situation in Angola - Part 3

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06-Feb-1996 00:50:05
The United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III) must not be undermined by failed promises of leaders, United States tells Security Council at 3628th meeting.

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"The United States will not allow a sound peace-keeping operation -- which spends nearly $1 million per day -- to be slowly undermined by the failure of the leaders to fulfil their promises", the representative of the United States told the Security Council this morning, during an orientation debate on the situation in Angola and possible extension of the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III). If the Secretary-General reported insufficient progress, she said the Council would reevaluate the merit of continuing that mission to February 1997.

During a second intervention today, the United States representative said that during the two-hour suspension of today's meeting the leader of the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), Jonas Savimbi, had told her by telephone that he felt personally responsible for ensuring the quartering of UNITA military units. Delays in that process had been a cause for concern, but he foresaw the successful cantonment of 14,500 troops by Thursday and another 2,000 by Saturday, 10 February.

Twenty-five speakers addressed the Council today, expressing widespread support for the Angolan Government's withdrawal of troops from offensive positions in proximity to the quartering areas designated for UNITA units, the release of prisoners of war, the quartering of its rapid-reaction police and the repatriation of foreign military personnel. Speakers also urged UNITA to begin quartering its forces, cooperate with UNAVEM III and provide security guarantees for humanitarian workers in zones under its control.

The representative of Angola told the Council that major progress had been made in the peace process, notably the maintenance of the cease-fire one year after its signing. But his Government was concerned over the continuing military activities of UNITA forces. He called on the Security Council to take effective measures against the Government of Zaire, which he said continued to serve as a base for UNITA planes transporting supplies of lethal material. Leadership positions in the Angolan Armed Forces had been reserved for re-integrated soldiers of UNITA, he said.

The representative of Portugal said that he looked forward to a meeting between President Jose Eduardo dos Santos and Mr. Savimbi of UNITA, the return of UNITA members of Parliament, the assumption by UNITA of Angola's Vice Presidency and the participation of UNITA at all levels of Government.

The representative of the Russian Federation said that it was time for the international community to stop accepting the endless manoeuvres of UNITA. The present UNITA policy recalled its actions at the end of 1992, which had resulted in the breakdown of peace and the resumption of civil war.

The representative of Italy, speaking on behalf of the European Union, stressed the importance of international support for the Angolan peace process. Expressing concern over the deterioration of the Angolan economy, he said that without a strong stabilization policy, it would not be possible to establish reconstruction and social development.

At the outset of the meeting this morning, the representative of the United States, in her capacity as President of the Security Council, expressed sympathy to the Government and people of China for the loss of life and property suffered in the recent earthquake in that country.

Also speaking in today's orientation debate were the representatives of Honduras, Germany, China, Republic of Korea, United Kingdom, France, Poland, Egypt, Guinea-Bissau, Indonesia, Botswana, Chile, Norway, Zimbabwe, Brazil, Lesotho, South Africa, Tunisia, New Zealand and Zambia.

The meeting convened at 11 a.m. and adjourned at 4:35 p.m.

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