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U.S. Department of State

Department Seal Ambassador Richard C. Holbrooke, United States Permanent Representative to the United Nations
Statement to the United Nations Security Council
New York City, New York, April 18, 2000

UNITA Sanctions in Angola

Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen:

The United States is pleased to vote in favor of this resolution to strengthen the implementation of sanctions against UNITA. We commend Ambassador Fowler, his delegation and the entire Canadian Government for their sustained dedication to this task. They have set a standard by which other sanctions regimes against non-state actors will be judged. The United States has worked closely with Ambassador Fowler and his team. Ambassador Fowler has briefed our government on this issue at very high levels. We also welcome Angolan Foreign Minister Miranda back to the Council, and ask him to report to his President that the Security Council continues to honor its commitments to the people of Angola.

In the past, UNITA's ability to evade three packages of sanctions enabled it to defy the will of the majority of the Angolan people and of the international community. UNITA's sanctions-busting activities, aided and abetted by the parties identified in the report of the Experts' Panel, allowed it to pursue a military option that has brought death and destruction to a long suffering nation.

Mr. President, the people of Angola have waited too long for UNITA's military leadership to forsake armed resistance and enter into the peaceful democratic life of the country. The road behind us is littered with UNITA's broken promises. The fundamental expectation of the international community remains the full demilitarization of UNITA, the full extension of state administration to all areas of the national territory, and the full demobilization of all armed UNITA personnel. The people of Angola waited four years for UNITA to accomplish these tasks, only to be deceived yet again.

However, the four years of the Lusaka Protocol produced a Government of National Unity, an integrated Armed Forces, and a multi-party National Assembly. These gains need to be safeguarded and developed. The United States is committed to the Lusaka Protocol and its institutions, including the role of the Troika of Observer States, and to the freedoms guaranteed under the Angolan constitution. This includes the rights of a free press, which are unfortunately under threat in Angola today. This is an issue is one of grave concern to my Government, and, despite our support of the sanctions, we should not ignore this problem.

Our vote today underscores the strong Council view that UNITA leader Jonas Savimbi is in defiance of the will of the people he claims to represent. The primary cause of the present crisis is Savimbi's unwillingness to comply with his obligations under the Lusaka Protocol.

Since his refusal to accept the results of the 1992 elections Savimbi, has waged a war against the people of Angola. He has exercised veto rights over the political, economic and social life of the country--not because he possesses a superior ideological vision or an electoral majority--but because he has been able to field a military force. Security Council sanctions are designed to erode UNITA's ability to export diamonds and import military supplies. As such, they are a critical tool in Angolan peacemaking, and the quality of their implementation must continue to improve.

We note the Government of Angola's call for new elections and the wide support this proposal received. This shows that the Government understands that all mandates must be made periodically subject to the will of the people, and that the opposition is eager to launch into a new campaign. As long as the elections are carried out in an environment of open democratic processes and with appropriate monitoring we will support them. If all of Angola's parties are given the political space to operate freely, and if the mass media and civil society movements can speak without fear of reprisal, then Angola will be ready for new elections--regardless of what Mr. Savimbi believes.

Mr. President, keeping sanctions pressure on UNITA will continue to erode Mr. Savimbi's military options. Of course, this will not happen overnight. But we can already tell that the dedication that your country has brought to this task has made a major contribution. We will continue to support your efforts and look forward to working together for the next 6 months and beyond.

[end of document]

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