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Great Seal Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright
Statement on the Death of UN Special Representative to Angola Maitre Alioune Blondin Beye
June 30, 1998, Shanghai, China
As released by the Office of the Spokesman
U.S. Department of State

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I am deeply saddened by the tragic and unexpected death of the UN Secretary General’s Special Representative to Angola, Maitre Alioune Blondin Beye. I have known and worked with Maitre Beye since 1993 when he became the central actor in international efforts to end Angola’s long and senseless civil war. He combined a quick wit and diplomatic skill with invincible optimism and an unwavering belief that a peaceful end could be found for that intractable war. I will miss him, as will all who have known and worked with him.

When Maitre Beye began the search for peace in 1993, over a thousand Angolans a day were dying, and few believed any agreement was possible. But Maitre Beye was never stopped by the pessimism of others. He was the catalyst behind the Lusaka Protocol peace agreement, signed in 1994, which has already given Angola its longest period of peace in over thirty years. It has not been an easy road. Through skill and hard work he found common ground where others saw conflict. There is now a unity government in Angola and real peace is within reach.

Maitre Beye’s death came in an aircraft accident as he was working with regional leaders to seek solutions to the last obstacles of the peace process. I know that his greatest desire would be for his monument to be lasting peace in Angola. I call on all Angolans to make that so.

I extend my sincerest condolences to his family and colleagues during this time of sorrow. Maitre Beye will be missed by all of us who have known him and shared his passion for peace.

[End of Document]

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