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DATE=1/18/99 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT NUMBER=2-244318 TITLE=ANGOLA/UNITA/U-N (L ONLY) BYLINE=ALEX BELIDA DATELINE=LUANDA CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: WITH ALL-OUT WAR AGAIN THREATENING TO ENGULF ANGOLA, THE UNITED NATIONS HAS DECIDED TO END ITS PEACE MISSION IN THE COUNTRY. V-O-A HAS LEARNED THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THAT MISSION HAS BEEN HAMPERED, IN PART, BY THE EXTRAORDINARY EFFORTS OF THE ANGOLAN GOVERNMENT -- BENT ON MILITARY VICTORY -- TO DISCOURAGE FURTHER CONTACTS BETWEEN U-N AUTHORITIES AND UNITA REBEL LEADER JONAS SAVIMBI. OUR SOUTHERN AFRICA CORRESPONDENT ALEX BELIDA REPORTS FROM THE ANGOLAN CAPITAL, LUANDA, THAT DESPITE THIS, U-N OFFICIALS HAVE TRIED TO KEEP UP A DIALOGUE WITH MR. SAVIMBI IN A DESPERATE BID TO AVERT WIDESPREAD BLOODSHED. TEXT: U-N SPECIAL ENVOY TO ANGOLA ISSA DIALLO HAS NOT BEEN ABLE TO MEET FACE-TO-FACE WITH UNITA LEADER JONAS SAVIMBI SINCE TAKING UP HIS POST LAST YEAR. THE VOICE OF AMERICA HAS LEARNED THAT DESPITE REPEATED DIPLOMATIC ENTREATIES, ANGOLAN AUTHORITIES HAVE, IN THE WORDS OF ONE SOURCE, "DONE EVERYTHING POSSIBLE TO DISCOURAGE" THE U-N ENVOY FROM SEEING MR. SAVIMBI, WHO IS REGARDED AS THE MAIN OBSTACLE TO PEACE IN THE COUNTRY. ANGOLAN OFFICIALS HAVE, FOR EXAMPLE, CLAIMED MR. DIALLO COULD BE KIDNAPPED AND HELD HOSTAGE BY UNITA, IF HE TRAVELLED TO THE REBEL STRONGHOLDS OF ANDULO AND BAILUNDO IN ANGOLA'S CENTRAL HIGHLANDS. // OPT // THEY HAVE ALSO CHARGED MR. SAVIMBI IS A DRUG AND ALCOHOL ABUSER WHO MIGHT PHYSICALLY HARM THE U-N ENVOY. // END OPT // IN ADDITION, THEY HAVE SUGGESTED THAT IF HE FLEW TO THE CENTRAL HIGHLANDS FOR A MEETING, HIS AIRCRAFT MIGHT BE SHOT DOWN. //OPT// V-O-A HAS LEARNED OFFICIALS EVEN TRIED TO SCARE MR. DIALLO BY CLAIMING HIS LATE PREDECESSOR, LONGTIME U-N ANGOLA ENVOY ALIOUNE BLONDIN BEYE, WAS KILLED LAST YEAR IN A PLANE CRASH IN WEST AFRICA ENGINEERED BY UNITA. // END OPT // OFFICIALLY, THE ANGOLAN GOVERNMENT HAS SIMPLY REFUSED TO GRANT ITS PERMISSION FOR ANY AIRCRAFT TO TAKE MR. DIALLO TO THE CENTRAL HIGHLANDS TO SEE THE UNITA LEADER. BUT V-O-A HAS LEARNED AUTHORITIES IN LUANDA ALSO ADVISED THE UNITED NATIONS THAT IF MR. DIALLO MET THE REBEL LEADER ANYWAY, THEY WOULD SEVER ALL FUTURE CONTACTS OF THEIR OWN WITH THE U-N ENVOY. // OPT // THE GOVERNMENT OF ANGOLA HAS BRANDED MR. SAVIMBI A WAR CRIMINAL WHO HAS REFUSED TO HONOR HIS COMMITMENTS UNDER ANGOLA'S 1994 U-N BACKED PEACE AGREEMENT TO DEMILITARIZE UNITA AND HAND OVER TERRITORY UNDER ITS CONTROL. ANGOLAN AUTHORITIES HAVE SOUGHT TO ISOLATE MR. SAVIMBI WHILE THE ARMY SEEKS TO DEFEAT UNITA ON THE BATTLEFIELD. // END OPT // DESPITE THESE ROADBLOCKS, MR DIALLO HAS MAINTAINED LIMITED COMMUNICATION LINKS WITH UNITA OFFICIALS. //OPT// THEIR TALKS HAVE NOT ONLY DEALT WITH SUCH SPECIFIC ISSUES AS COOPERATION IN RESCUE OPERATIONS FOR THE PASSENGERS AND CREW OF TWO U-N CHARTERED AIRCRAFT RECENTLY SHOT DOWN OVER THE CENTRAL HIGHLANDS. SOURCES SAY THE CONVERSATIONS HAVE ALSO COVERED BROADER ISSUES RELATED TO RESCUING THE U-N BACKED PEACE PROCESS IN ANGOLA. // END OPT // THE VOICE OF AMERICA HAS LEARNED THAT WHEN U-N MILITARY OBSERVERS WERE EVACUATED FROM UNITA'S STRONGHOLDS LATE LAST YEAR, THEY LEFT BEHIND A TELECOMMUNICATIONS SYSTEM IN ORDER TO FACILITATE AN ONGOING DIALOGUE. UNITA HAS NOT USED IT YET -- APPARENTLY FEARING IT MIGHT SOMEHOW HELP PINPOINT MR. SAVIMBI'S LOCATION IN A POSSIBLE GOVERNMENT ATTACK. BUT THEY HAVE PROVIDED U-N OFFICIALS WITH AN ASSORTMENT OF PRIVATE SATELLITE TELEPHONE NUMBERS -- IN MANY CASES THE SAME ONES USED BY JOURNALISTS TO KEEP IN TOUCH WITH THE REBELS. U-N OFFICIALS HAVE DECLINED ANY FORMAL COMMENT ON THE INFORMATION OBTAINED BY THE VOICE OF AMERICA AND CONTAINED IN THIS REPORT. HOWEVER IN A V-O-A INTERVIEW IN LUANDA LAST WEEK, MR. DIALLO SAID DIALOGUE AND CONTACT ARE, AS HE PUTS IT, "UNAVOIDABLE." HE SAYS "THE SOONER IT TAKES PLACE, THE BETTER." // REST OPTIONAL // IRONICALLY, MR. DIALLO NOT ONLY FACES THE OPPOSITION OF THE ANGOLAN GOVERNMENT IN SEEKING TO KEEP OPEN LINES OF COMMUNICATION WITH MR. SAVIMBI. WITH THE U-N MISSION NOW WINDING DOWN, HE APPEARS TO ALSO BE FACING OPPOSITION WITHIN THE UNITED NATIONS SYSTEM ITSELF. ALTHOUGH PAST SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTIONS HAVE STRESSED THE NEED FOR CONTACTS BETWEEN THE U-N AND ALL KEY PLAYERS IN THE ANGOLAN CONFLICT, THE COUNCIL LAST WEEK THREATENED TO IMPOSE NEW SANCTIONS AGAINST UNITA -- THIS TIME AFFECTING ITS TELECOMMUNICATIONS. (SIGNED) NEB/BEL/PCF 18-Jan-99 8:09 AM EST (1309 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .





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