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Security Council agrees to six-month extension of UN Office in Angola

Security Council agrees to six-month extension of UN Office in Angola

Amb. Richard Ryan addressing the press
Voicing deep concern about the continued conflict in Angola, Security Council members today agreed with the recommendation of United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan to extend the mandate of the UN office in that country for another six months, until mid-April 2002.

"Council members reiterated their position that the primary responsibility for the continued fighting lies with UNITA," said the current Council President, Ambassador Richard Ryan of Ireland, referring to the rebel National Union for the Total Independence of Angola. He spoke to the press after closed-door consultations, in which Ibrahim Gambari, UN Under-Secretary-General and Special Advisor on Africa, presented Mr. Annan's report on the UN Office in Angola (UNOA) and briefed the Council on the latest developments in the country.

Ambassador Ryan said Council members called on UNITA "to end its military action and enter into dialogue with the Government of Angola on how to conclude the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol."

According to the President, the 15-member Council welcomed today's announcement by Mr. Gambari that he would visit Angola in November for consultations with the government, political parties and civil society representatives on how best the UN can help in the search for a negotiated peace in the country. Among the positive signs, Council members noted the initiatives by the Government and the Angolan people, "together with the very important role of civil society and the churches" to promote the peace process in that country.

Looking ahead, Ambassador Ryan said the Council intended to schedule an open meeting on Angola in November.

Earlier today, the Council received a briefing by the Head of the UN Political Office in Somalia, David Stephens, who introduced a report of the Secretary-General on the latest developments in that country.