|For information only - not an official document.|
|Press Release No: UNIS/SC/1212|
|Release Date: 14 April 2000|
| Security Council Endorses Extension of Angola Office until 15 October
Adopting Resolution 1294 (2000) Unanimously
NEW YORK, 13 April (UN Headquarters) -- The Security Council this afternoon endorsed the Secretary-General’s decision to extend the mandate of the United Nations Office in Angola (UNOA) for a further six months until 15 October.
Adopting Security Council resolution 1294 (2000) unanimously, the Council requested the Secretary-General to continue his efforts to implement the mandated tasks of the Angola Office, and requested that he report every three months on developments in Angola, including recommendations for additional measures the Council might consider to promote the peace process.
The Council reaffirmed its view that a continued United Nations presence in Angola could greatly contribute to the promotion of peace, national reconciliation, human rights and regional security, and also reaffirmed its previous resolutions on Angola.
The United Nations Office in Angola focuses on the provision of humanitarian relief and assistance in capacity-building in the field of human rights.
The resolution, adopted as 1294 (2000), reads as follows:
“The Security Council,
“Reaffirming its resolution 696 (1991) of 30 May 1991 and all subsequent relevant resolutions, in particular resolution 1268 (1999) of 15 October 1999,
“Reaffirming its view that a continued presence of the United Nations in Angola can contribute greatly to the promotion of peace, national reconciliation, human rights and regional security,
“Having considered the report of the Secretary-General of 11 April 2000 (S/2000/304),
“1. Endorses the decision contained in paragraph 51 of the report of the Secretary-General of 11 April 2000 (S/2000/304) to extend the mandate of the United Nations Office in Angola for a period of six months until 15 October 2000; “2. Requests the Secretary-General to continue his efforts to implement the tasks of UNOA as outlined in resolution 1268 (1999);
“3. Requests the Secretary-General to provide every three months a report on developments in Angola, including his recommendations about additional measures the Council might consider to promote the peace process in Angola;
“4. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.”
When the Security Council met this afternoon, it had before it the report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Office in Angola (UNOA) (document S/2000/304), which covers developments since January and which seeks the support of the Security Council in continuing the activities of the office until
According to the report, the Angolan government has continued to call on the followers of the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), led by Jonas Savimbi, to abandon him, and President José Eduardo dos Santos has expressed his readiness to forgive all those who renounce the use of force as a means of attaining political power. A number of civic organizations have underlined the need for the promulgation of a general amnesty law and the holding of an all-inclusive national conference to discuss the problems facing the country.
Opposition political parties have welcomed the announcement of general elections in late 2001 but have questioned whether the initiative is premature in light of the continuing civil war, inadequate infrastructure and the need for electoral reform, continues the report. Some political parties have also called for an independent electoral commission, a new electoral law and a population census. UNITA has characterized the announcement as a calculated attempt to avoid the second round of presidential elections provided for in the provisions of the Lusaka Protocol. The Government has reiterated its rejection of any negotiation with Mr. Savimbi. A recent offer of mediation by South Africa for a negotiated end of the conflict was rejected by the Government.
The continued conflict in Angola is of increasing concern not only to its neighbours, but also to the subregion as a whole, the report states. UNITA bears the primary responsibility for the current state of affairs. Its refusal to comply with key provisions of the Lusaka Protocol, particularly its failure to demilitarize its forces and to allow State administration to be extended throughout the country, precipitated the resumption of widespread hostilities. Alleging that Namibia had allowed Angolan Government forces to use its territory, UNITA stated its intention to intensify attacks against Namibia. In March, there were reported clashes between Namibian security forces and UNITA forces. Meanwhile, the security situation along the border with Zambia is reported to have improved in recent weeks.
The report states that the Government indicated that it expected the activities of the Office to be oriented fundamentally towards issues related to capacity-building in the field of human rights and humanitarian assistance in Angola. With the end of the United Nations peacekeeping mandate in Angola, the lead responsibility for UNOA within the Secretariat was transferred in January from the Department of Peacekeeping Operations to the Department of Political Affairs.
The report goes on to say that the security situation in general continues to deteriorate in Angola. According to reports by United Nations agencies and non-governmental organizations, indiscriminate attacks on the civilian population and the humanitarian aid community have worsened the humanitarian situation and have affected Zambia and Namibia. Government forces are effectively in control of the major cities, but the continuous influx of internally displaced persons who are fleeing the countryside, where fighting, road ambushes and mine incidents are common occurrences, is of great concern to relief organizations.
Allegations of grave human rights violations have surfaced against both government and UNITA forces, says the report. UNOA has identified three basic issues that require special attention: the need to ensure respect for the human rights of a vast population of internally displaced persons; the lack of the necessary government and State structures to ensure respect for human rights in areas recently captured from UNITA forces; and the continuing decline of basic socio-economic benefits for a substantial majority of the population. It is currently developing strategies to address those interrelated issues, through greater integration of human rights principles and methods within current humanitarian and development responses.
In spite of continuing efforts by the humanitarian community to stabilize the emergency in those places where operations are possible, indications suggest that the condition of vulnerable populations (both displaced and resident) remains precarious. The improvement of conditions in those areas, and assessing conditions in new areas, present a challenge to both the Government and the international community. What agricultural production has been possible in the year 2000 will not be sufficient to meet requirements. It was clear that humanitarian assistance would continue to be pivotal in the year ahead. The lack of security for humanitarian relief operations continued to be a major constraint on the work of the international community in Angola.
The current conditions of insecurity and open conflict required costly logistical operations to ensure safe delivery of humanitarian assistance, the report continues. In addition, the possible increased access to vulnerable populations demanded that the donor community remain as responsible to the consolidated appeal as they have been in the past. The funding requirements of the 2000 United Nations Inter-Agency Consolidated Appeal for Angola is $258 million, of which 25 per cent has been covered in the first quarter of 2000. However, the majority of aid received is for food, and complementary sectors of intervention remain underfunded to date. For its part, the United Nations will continue its activities in Angola, which are focused on the provision of humanitarian relief and assistance in the area of capacity-building in the field of human rights.
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