TITLE=ANGOLA / UNITA / BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS (L ONLY)
INTRO: Angolan authorities are allegedly considering
the use of biological agents against fugitive UNITA
rebel leader Jonas Savimbi. But as Southern Africa
Correspondent Alex Belida reports, regional analysts
suspect the purported secret plan is just part of an
ongoing Angolan misinformation effort.
TEXT: With accurate information about the fighting in
Angola virtually impossible to obtain, foreign and
domestic observers of the civil war are being
inundated with statements and documents related to the
civil war that cannot be independently confirmed.
Perhaps the most shocking piece of such unconfirmed
information has just emerged. It is a purported
secret document suggesting the Angolan military might
use air-dropped biological agents such as smallpox
against fugitive UNITA leader Jonas Savimbi once his
hiding place has been pinpointed.
The document, now circulating among Western diplomats,
is said to be from the Operational Command of Angola's
Secret Services. But analysts familiar with the plan
say they do not believe it represents a genuine
military option. Instead, they say it appears to be
part of a continuing government misinformation
campaign designed to instill fear among UNITA troops
and supporters inside Angola.
It is one of several purportedly secret Angolan
documents now in Western hands. Among the others is
an alleged authorization to government troops to cross
into Zambia in hot pursuit of rebel leader Savimbi.
Yet another is an order to Angolan embassies in Europe
and Africa sanctioning the abduction of senior UNITA
A UNITA official in Brussels recently claimed the
abduction plan was already being implemented. He
pointed to what he described as the kidnapping of a
son of rebel leader Savimbi from Togo to Luanda.
The son went before journalists in the Angolan capital
and denounced his father. But UNITA claims the
youth's accusations were "lies" forced on him by
The war in Angola intensified in September when
government troops launched their latest offensive
against the rebels. Since then, UNITA has been driven
out of its traditional strongholds in the country's
Angola's army chief of staff said this week soldiers
are tracking rebel leader Savimbi and suggested his
death or capture could be imminent. (SIGNED)
17-Nov-1999 08:46 AM EDT (17-Nov-1999 1346 UTC)
Source: Voice of America
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