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U.S. Department of State
96/02/06 USUN Press Release #016-(96)
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
FOR RELEASE ON DELIVERY USUN PRESS RELEASE #016-(96)
CHECK TEXT AGAINST DELIVERY FEBRUARY 6, 1996
Statement by Ambassador Madeleine K. Albright, United States Permanent
Representative to United Nations, on the Situation in Angola, in the
Security Council, in Open Session, February 6, 1996
UNAVEM III is now the largest U.N. peacekeeping operation deployed
anywhere in the world. It has some 6,500 soldiers from over 30
countries prepared to perform the mandates set forth by this Council.
Having personally toured UNAVEM III's operations a few weeks ago, I can
confirm that United Nations peacekeepers are critical to the peace
process launched by the Lusaka Protocol. Like the Secretary General's
Special Representative, Maitre Beye, the brave men and women of UNAVEM
deserve our support at this important juncture on the road to peace in
But in the final analysis, the future of Angola does not rest with the
men and women of UNAVEM III -- but with the Government of Angola and
with UNITA. When I met with President Dos Santos and with Dr. Savimbi
in January and delivered the letters to them approved by the Security
Council, I found two men who professed to want peace and who professed
to be willing to take the necessary steps to make peace, as spelled out
in the Lusaka Protocol. I challenged them -- as the Council must
challenge them today -- to match deeds with words.
To a large extent the Government of Angola has been moving in the right
direction over the last several weeks. In the months ahead it must
continue to fully integrate UNITA into the political and military
institutions of the country and to help UNITA soldiers make the
transition into either civilian life or a reconstituted Angolan army.
There can be no reconciliation in Angola unless this is accomplished.
UNITA's poor performance under the Lusaka Protocol has jeopardized the
peace process and undermined the viability of UNAVEM III. When I
visited UNITA headquarters in Bailundo last month, Dr. Savimbi promised
me -- a promise he repeated publicly to the media -- that by Thursday,
February 8, 16,500 UNITA soldiers would be quartered in four sites
administered by UNAVEM. Last Friday he reiterated this pledge to me by
telephone, saying that he would not rest until he fulfills this
commitment. Unfortunately, as of this morning only 5,150 soldiers, many
of them unarmed, had arrived in the quartering sites. Approximately
another 2,000 are reportedly moving towards the quartering sites.
Every UNITA soldier who enters a quartering site makes a courageous
decision--for himself, his family, and his country. It will take
comparable courage on the part of Dr. Savimbi and other UNITA leaders to
see this process through to the end.
But Dr. Savimbi's pledge to me at Bailundo is not enough. Even if
16,500 UNITA soldiers are quartered, the opportunity for peace in Angola
will be lost unless UNITA follows through on schedule with the
quartering of the rest of its soldiers. And the opportunity for peace
will be lost unless the Government of Angola integrates UNITA soldiers
into the new army, the government, and civilian life. Both leaders must
make their promises of peace stick. They must seize the opportunity for
peace that the international community is offering them.
There is no purpose to renewed war in Angola. All acknowledge that.
The people of Angola want peace. If the leaders of Angola do not take a
risk for peace now, then this beautiful country, which possesses
enormous economic potential for its people, will be plunged back into a
pointless but devastating war that will destabilize southern Africa once
I have seen what Angolans are capable of doing to each other, and nobody
in his right mind can possibly wish it upon his own people. The
humanitarian challenge in Angola, as the Secretary-General describes in
his report, is daunting. De-mining alone will take decades to
accomplish--and even then Angolan children will continue to lose their
limbs to an unseen and ageless enemy.
The Security Council will bear witness to the conduct of both the
Government of Angola and UNITA in the weeks ahead. The Council
anticipates that if the Secretary-General reports insufficient progress
towards implementing the Lusaka Protocol, then our governments will
reevaluate the merit of continuing UNAVEM's mandate to February 1997.
The United States will not allow a sound peacekeeping operation -- which
spends nearly one million dollars per day -- to be slowly undermined by
the failure of leaders to fulfill their promises.
This afternoon I plan to speak with Dr. Savimbi by phone again. As
President of the Security Council, I will report to him on today's
discussion and the expectations the international community holds for
Angola. Let us hope that during the next few weeks the Lusaka Protocol
will be firmly back on track, that UNAVEM will be able to fulfill its
mandate, and that the people of Angola can, after decades of destructive
war, finally realize the "quiet miracle of a normal life."
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