Angola: Security Council members condemn 'terrorist' UNITA train attack

Angola: Security Council members condemn 'terrorist' UNITA train attack

Members of the United Nations Security Council today strongly condemned the recent "terrorist attack" by the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) on a train, reiterating its call for the rebel group to respect its commitment under the 1994 Lusaka Protocol.

In a statement to the press, Council President Alfonso Valdivieso of Colombia said Security Council members had noted that, as in previous offensives such as Caxito, UNITA personnel had "deliberately targeted civilians" during the 10 August attack on a train near the town of Maria Teresa. They urged the international community to provide humanitarian assistance to the large number of Angolans who are fleeing the violence.

Reiterating their call on the rebel group to engage seriously in the search for peace, members of the Council pledged their ongoing support for all existing sanctions against UNITA, which is led by Jonas Savimbi, pending the faction's full implementation of its Lusaka Protocol obligations.

"Members of the Council remain committed to a peaceful solution to the Angolan conflict on the basis of the Lusaka Protocol and relevant Security Council resolutions and urge that concrete steps be taken to advance such a solution," the statement said.

The Council members also reiterated their support for the preparations under way for holding elections in 2002 in Angola and said that such actions by UNITA should not be allowed to stymie those efforts.