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DATE=4/9/99 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT NUMBER=2-247832 TITLE=ANGOLA / ZAMBIA (L ONLY) BYLINE=ALEX BELIDA DATELINE=JOHANNESBURG CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: THERE ARE NEW PUBLISHED ALLEGATIONS OF ZAMBIAN COMPLICITY IN THE ACQUISITION OF MIG FIGHTER-BOMBERS BY ANGOLA'S UNITA REBEL MOVEMENT. V-O-A CORRESPONDENT ALEX BELIDA REPORTS FROM OUR SOUTHERN AFRICA BUREAU. TEXT: THE "MAIL AND GUARDIAN" NEWSPAPER OF SOUTH AFRICA REPORTS SIX MIG-23 JETS, PILOTED BY UKRAINIANS, SPENT NEARLY TWO WEEKS EARLIER THIS YEAR AT ZAMBIA'S NDOLA AIRPORT. THE PUBLICATION SAYS AIRPORT AUTHORITIES INITIALLY CLAIMED THE AIRCRAFT BELONGED TO THE ZAMBIAN AIR FORCE AND WERE UNDERGOING REPAIRS. BUT THE "MAIL AND GUARDIAN" SAYS THAT EXPLANATION WAS ABANDONED AFTER IT WAS POINTED OUT TO ZAMBIAN OFFICIALS THAT THEIR COUNTRY'S AIR FORCE DID NOT HAVE ANY MIG-23'S. HOWEVER, AS FIRST REPORTED BY THE VOICE OF AMERICA, THE UNITA REBEL MOVEMENT RECENTLY TOOK DELIVERY OF SIX MIG-23'S, WHICH SECURITY SOURCES SAY WERE PURCHASED FROM SUPPLIERS IN THE UKRAINE. A SENIOR ANGOLAN OFFICIAL INTERVIEWED BY V-O-A HAS CHARGED ZAMBIA'S GOVERNMENT BROKERED THE PURCHASE OF THE JETS AS WELL AS THE ACQUISITION BY THE REBELS OF SEVERAL MI-25 HIND HELICOPTERS. THE OFFICIAL CLAIMS THAT IN RETURN FOR ARRANGING THE ARMS TRANSFER, ZAMBIA RECEIVED AN UNSPECIFIED NUMBER OF AIRCRAFT FOR ITSELF, PAID FOR BY UNITA. ZAMBIA HAS DENIED THE CHARGES. THE UNITA MIGS ARE UNDERSTOOD TO BE BASED IN REBEL-HELD TERRITORY IN SOUTHEASTERN ANGOLA. SO FAR, THERE HAVE BEEN NO CONFIRMED REPORTS OF THE AIRCRAFT BEING USED IN ATTACK MISSIONS. THE "MAIL AND GUARDIAN" REPORT ABOUT ZAMBIA'S ALLEGED ASSISTANCE TO THE REBELS FOLLOWS A SUMMIT MEETING IN LUANDA THAT BROUGHT TOGETHER THE LEADERS OF ANGOLA, CONGO-KINSHASA, NAMIBIA, AND ZIMBABWE TO SIGN A DEFENSE PACT AND TO DISCUSS REGIONAL SECURITY ISSUES. A COMMUNIQUE ON THE TALKS INCLUDED A NEW APPEAL TO OTHER AFRICAN COUNTRIES TO STRICTLY OBSERVE UNITED NATIONS SANCTIONS BARRING AID TO UNITA. (SIGNED) NEB/BEL/JWH 09-Apr-99 8:36 AM EDT (1236 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .





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