Angola: UN officials witness transfer of UNITA generals to national army
Secretary-General Kofi Annan's Representative for Angola, Mussagy Jeichande, along with UN military observers, watched as 30 former generals of the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) were formally incorporated into Angola's Armed Forces and National Police.
Paulo Lukamba "Gato," the head of UNITA's Management Commission, read out a formal declaration on the extinction of the rebel group's armed forces. He said the declaration had resulted from Angola's current "historic moment" and was "a sign of the times."
The integration of the general officers and just over 5,000 UNITA fighters into Angola's security forces, which was initially set to begin on 20 June, had been postponed until today because of delays in selection and registration, according to a UN spokesman.
Starting tomorrow, about 80,000 other rebel fighters are to be demobilized and aided in reintegrating into civilian life under the terms of a Memorandum of Understanding signed by the Government and UNITA on 4 April.