TITLE=ANGOLA - SAVIMBI (L)
// 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
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)
16-Aug-1999 14:14 PM EDT (16-Aug-1999 1814 UTC)
Source: Voice of America
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