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DATE=8/16/1999 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=ANGOLA - SAVIMBI (L) NUMBER=2-252839 BYLINE=ALEX BELIDA DATELINE=JOHANNESBURG CONTENT= VOICED AT: // EDS: SAVIMBI ACTUALITY AVAILABLE THROUGH PORTUGUESE SERVICE IN WASHINGTON /// INTRO: The leader of Angola's UNITA rebel movement, Jonas Savimbi, says he favors a renewed dialogue with the government of President Jose Eduardo Dos Santos. But V-O-A Southern Africa Correspondent Alex Belida reports Mr. Savimbi warns if the government does not show that it wants peace, then his rebels are prepared to fight on indefinitely to show they can never be destroyed. TEXT: The Angolan rebel leader, speaking by satellite telephone from his headquarters in the Central Highlands, made his comments in an interview which he offered to the Voice of America (Portuguese Service). Mr. Savimbi indicated he was giving the rare interview to coincide with a summit meeting of southern African leaders in Mozambique. One of the main topics on the summit agenda is the conflict in Angola. The rebel leader charged that the government of President Jose Eduardo Dos Santos is out to destroy UNITA. But he warned if the government, as expected, soon launches a new offensive, its forces will eventually be put on the defensive. He said his forces have already struck close to the capital Luanda. He said if they want to go all the way into the overcrowded port city, they will be able to do so. Nevertheless, Mr. Savimbi repeated his desire for dialogue. When asked if UNITA, which failed to live up to its demilitarization commitments under a United Nations brokered 1994 peace agreement, could be trusted, he turned the question around and asked if the government in Luanda could be trusted. He said UNITA -- in his words -- "gave its all" during the implementation of the peace accord, but he charged the government failed to live up to its obligations. The government broke off talks with the rebels last year. Officials have said UNITA cannot be trusted and have vowed to wipe it out militarily. At the southern African leaders' summit in Mozambique, Angolan authorities are again expected to appeal for military help from other countries region. After a silence of some two years, this is the second broadcast interview Mr. Savimbi has given in the past two weeks. When Angola's state-controlled television and the independent Roman Catholic "Radio Ecclesia" station in Luanda broadcast excerpts of the previous interview, conducted by the British Broadcasting Corporation, police called in leading journalists at the two institutions for questioning and confiscated taped copies of the interview. (Signed) NEB/BEL/JWH/KL 16-Aug-1999 14:14 PM EDT (16-Aug-1999 1814 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .





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