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DATE=1/5/99 TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT NUMBER=5-42293 TITLE=ANGOLA/COLLAPSE BYLINE=DOUGLAS ROBERTS DATELINE=WASHINGTON CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: A LONG AND COSTLY EFFORT TO BRING PEACE TO ANGOLA NOW SEEMS ON THE VERGE OF COLLAPSE, AMID ESCALATING WARFARE BETWEEN GOVERNMENT TROOPS AND REBEL FORCES LOYAL TO UNITA LEADER JONAS SAVIMBI. THE U-N SECURITY COUNCIL COULD DECIDE AS EARLY AS NEYT WEEK TO WITHDRAW THE REMAINING U-N MONITORS DISPATCHED TO THE COUNTRY TO OVERSEE THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE 1994 LUSAKA PEACE ACCORD. THERE IS A CONSENSUS AMONG U-S ANALYSTS THAT UNITA IS TO BLAME FOR THE FAILURE OF THE PEACE PROCESS, AND THERE ARE GROWING FEARS THAT ANGOLA IS HEADED TOWARD A NEW HUMANITARIAN DISASTER. V-O-A'S DOUGLAS ROBERTS FILED THIS BACKGROUND REPORT. TEXT: BARELY A YEAR AGO, MANY ANALYSTS WERE ISSUING OPTIMISTIC FORECASTS ABOUT ANGOLA'S FUTURE. THE LUANDA GOVERNMENT AND UNITA SEEMED FINALLY READY TO SET ASIDE MORE THAN TWO DECADES OF HOSTILITY AND MOVE TOWARD A PERMANENT PEACE. // OPT // UNITA LEADER JONAS SAVIMBI WAS STILL REFUSING TO LEAVE HIS PROVINCIAL STRONGHOLD FOR THE CAPITAL, SAYING HE FEARED ASSASSINATION. BUT HE HAD DISPATCHED SENIOR POLITICAL AND MILITARY AIDES TO LUANDA TO TAKE UP THEIR POSITIONS IN A GOVERNMENT OF NATIONAL UNITY, IN PARLIAMENT AND IN THE ARMED FORCES HIGH COMMAND. // END OPT // FORMER U-S ENVOY PAUL HARE SAYS HE CAME AWAY FROM A MISSION TO LUANDA LAST SPRING ENCOURAGED THAT THE FORMER ENEMIES WERE GOING TO COMPLETE THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE LUSAKA PEACE DEAL. BUT WHEN HE RETURNED TO LUANDA ON WHAT TURNED OUT TO BE HIS FINAL MISSION IN JULY, THE SITUATION HAD DETERIORATED SHARPLY, WITH UNITA REFUSING TO COMPLETE THE DEMOBILIZATION OF ITS FORCES OR TO CEDE CONTROL OF ITS PROVINCIAL STRONGHOLDS TO THE CENTRAL GOVERNMENT. /// FIRST HARE ACT /// I COULD ONLY CONCLUDE THAT THE UNITA LEADERSHIP UNDER JONAS SAVIMBI DECIDED THAT THEY WERE NOT GOING TO TAKE THE FINAL STEPS, THAT IT WAS BETTER FROM THEIR PERSPECTIVE TO REMAIN IN THE COUNTRYSIDE, OBVIOUSLY WITH A SUBSTANTIAL MILITARY MACHINE STILL AT THEIR DISPOSAL, RATHER THAN TO ENTER THE POLITICAL PROCESS AND RISK BEING, PERHAPS FROM THEIR PERSPECTIVE, MARGINALIZED. /// END ACT /// CONSTANCE FREEMAN, AFRICA STUDIES DIRECTOR AT WASHINGTON'S CENTER FOR STRATEGIC AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES, SAYS THE LUANDA GOVERNMENT MUST BEAR SOME OF THE BLAME FOR THE FAILURE OF THE LUSAKA PEACE PROCESS. BUT SHE, LIKE AMBASSADOR HARE, SAYS PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITY RESTS WITH UNITA. /// FIRST FREEMAN ACT /// I THINK IT IS CLEAR THAT SAVIMBI'S UNWILLINGNESS TO DISARM HIS ARMY, AS WAS AGREED IN THE LUSAKA ACCORDS, AND TO CONTINUE ON RUNNING, IN ESSENCE, A SEPARATE STATE ARE THE FACTORS WHICH SCUTTLED THE LUSAKA ACCORDS. /// END ACT /// WITH WARFARE NOW ESCALATING IN THE CENTRAL HIGHLANDS, AND WITH U-N PLANES NOW BEING TARGETED -- BY UNITA FORCES, ACCORDING TO MOST ANALYSTS HERE -- BOTH AMBASSADOR HARE AND PROFESSOR FREEMAN SEE LITTLE REASON FOR U-N CEASE-FIRE MONITORS TO REMAIN IN PLACE. /// SECOND HARE ACT /// OBVIOUSLY IN A SITUATION OF FIGHTING ...THIS IS A PEACEKEEPING FORCE. IT IS NOT A PEACE-MAKING FORCE. ITS ROLE AND ITS ABILITY TO PLAY A CONSTRUCTIVE ROLE IS SEVERELY DIMINISHED, IF NOT ELIMINATED, UNDER THE EXISTING CIRCUMSTANCES. /// END ACT /// CONSTANCE FREEMAN AGREES, SAYING A U-N PULL-OUT MIGHT EVENTUALLY FORCE THE TWO SIDES TO DEAL WITH EACH OTHER, TO FIND A SOLUTION TO THE CONFLICT. /// OPT SECOND FREEMAN ACT /// IT MAY BE TIME FOR THE U-N TO LEAVE AND LET THEM HAVE AT IT, TO SOLVE THIS PROBLEM BECAUSE NOBODY ELSE IS GOING TO SOLVE IT FOR THEM. ULTIMATELY THEY HAVE TO FIND A SOLUTION. AND I BELIEVE THAT THE ANGOLAN PEOPLE ARE MIGHTY TIRED OF WAR AND LAND MINES AND SUFFERING AND STARVING, AND AT SOME POINT THEY ARE GOING TO SAY, "ENOUGH." /// END ACT /// /// END OPT /// ANALYSTS HERE SAY IT IS DIFFICULT TO GAUGE THE RELATIVE BATTLEFIELD STRENGTHS OF THE TWO FACTIONS AT PRESENT. MOST BELIEVE THE LUANDA GOVERNMENT HAS A STRATEGIC EDGE, BUT THEY SAY UNITA REMAINS A FORMIDABLE FORCE. THEY SAY MUCH WILL DEPEND ON THE REBEL MOVEMENT'S ABILITY TO SUSTAIN MILITARY OPERATIONS OVER THE LONG TERM. UNITA HAS BEEN UNDER INTERNATIONAL SANCTIONS SINCE 1994, INCLUDING AN ARMS EMBARGO AND A BAN ON THE EXPORT OF MINERAL WEALTH FROM THE TERRITORY IT CONTROLS. BUT ANALYSTS SAY THE SANCTIONS HAVE BEEN LARGELY INEFFECTIVE, ESPECIALLY IN HALTING UNITA'S LUCRATIVE DIAMOND TRADE, WHICH FUNDS ITS ARMS IMPORTS. AMBASSADOR HARE SAYS STRENGTHENING THE SANCTIONS SHOULD NOW BE A TOP INTERNATIONAL PRIORITY. /// THIRD HARE ACT /// I THINK EVERYTHING POSSIBLE SHOULD BE DONE BY THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY TO TRY TO MAKE THESE SANCTIONS AS EFFECTIVE AS POSSIBLE AGAINST UNITA. I THINK THERE IS A LOT MORE THAN CAN BE DONE IN THAT AREA, THAT SHOULD BE DONE IN THAT AREA. /// END ACT /// AMBASSADOR HARE AND CONSTANCE FREEMAN SAY THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY SHOULD CONTINUE TO DO EVERYTHING POSSIBLE TO ENCOURAGE PEACE IN ANGOLA, EVEN AFTER A U-N PULL-OUT. BUT BOTH BELIEVE THAT IN THE NEAR TERM, THE WORLD COMMUNITY'S MAIN TASK WILL BE DEALING WITH THE HUMANITARIAN CONSEQUENCES OF YET ANOTHER ROUND OF WARFARE. (SIGNED) NEB/DBR/WTW 05-Jan-99 1:38 PM EST (1838 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .





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