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DATE=11/17/1999 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=ANGOLA / UNITA / BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS (L ONLY) NUMBER=2-256262 BYLINE=ALEX BELIDA DATELINE=JOHANNESBURG CONTENT= VOICED AT: 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 representatives. 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 Angolan authorities. 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 Central Highlands. 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) NEB/BEL/JWH/LTD/RAE 17-Nov-1999 08:46 AM EDT (17-Nov-1999 1346 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .





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