TITLE=ANGOLA / UNITA (L-O)
INTRO: Authorities in Ireland appear to have
suspended one of the last means of communication used
by Angola's UNITA rebel movement. Correspondent Alex
Belida reports from our Southern Africa Bureau.
TEXT: Since the loss of its strongholds in Angola's
Central Highlands, UNITA leaders have made only
sporadic contact with the outside world. Their last
message -- claiming all was well despite recent
military setbacks -- appeared on the rebel movement's
Internet web-site, Kwacha-dot-com, on October 28th.
But since that message appeared, no further
communiques have been posted on the web-site known to
be based in Ireland.
The end of the messages is apparently the result of a
stern warning delivered by Irish authorities to Leon
Dias, the Dublin-based administrator of the site. He
issued the last rebel statement on behalf of what was
termed "the UNITA Office, Irish Republic."
Although Mr. Dias is not identified, a new statement
to the Voice of America from Ireland's Foreign
Ministry says authorities made contact with "the
individual" who disseminated the October 28th message.
They informed him Ireland would not condone or accept
the presence of a formal office of the rebel movement.
They also stressed Ireland's commitment to the full
implementation of U-N sanctions against UNITA.
Existing U-N sanctions against the rebel movement
include the required closure of all UNITA offices.
U-N officials have told V-O-A that while there are no
specific sanctions in place that would require the
closure of UNITA's Internet site, they believe its
continued existence violates the spirit of current
measures against the rebels. They have described the
web-site as a cause for concern.
Irish authorities sidestepped a question about whether
officials of the U-N Angola sanctions committee had
formally asked that the UNITA web-site be closed. The
Irish Foreign Ministry statement says only that
Ireland's -- full commitment to the implementation of
all U-N sanctions is known to the chairman of the
Angola Sanctions Committee.
There has been increased attention on the enforcement
of sanctions against UNITA since fighting in Angola's
civil war erupted again late last year.
Angolan government authorities blame the rebels for
the resumption of the fighting. They accuse UNITA of
failing to live up to its commitments under a 1994
peace agreement that called for the complete
demilitarization of the rebel movement. (SIGNED)
10-Nov-1999 10:43 AM EDT (10-Nov-1999 1543 UTC)
Source: Voice of America
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