Angola: UNITA proposes nominees for positions in Government to UN
Speaking to the press in Luanda after a session of the Joint Commission for the implementation of the pending tasks of the Lusaka Protocol, Ibrahim Gambari voiced optimism about the progress being made and said he would transmit the names of UNITA nominees to the Angolan Government.
The meeting mandated the envoy to draw up a programme for the rest of the work of the Joint Commission following consultations with the two sides and the observer States. "The item we are dealing with right now is the broad areas of national reconciliation," Mr. Gambari said.
He added that the Angolan Government has agreed to send him documents which confirm that its Executive Council has approved the implementation of the obligations agreed to in the Memorandum of Commitment and the Lusaka Protocol. As part of those obligations, said Mr. Gambari, the Government handed over a set of keys to five houses to the UNITA delegation.
Today's meeting also authorized the UN to hold consultations with a wide segment of Angolan society and solicit views on national reconciliation. Mr. Gambari said it was also agreed that all delegations were free to raise any problems which might impede the implementation of the Memorandum of Commitment.
"We are going to go item by item in terms of the Memorandum of Commitment in the context of Lusaka," he said, adding that he would only be guided by "realistic deadlines and not artificial delays" in the performance of his tasks.
The Lusaka Protocol, which forms the basis for the Angola peace process, was signed in 1994 by the Government and the UNITA. It broke down in 1999, leading to the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in April 2000 which covers the military aspects omitted by the Lusaka Protocol, such as the quartering of UNITA soldiers, destruction of their weapons, a blanket amnesty for crimes committed and the provision of assistance to the families of about 300,000 UNITA forces.
In August 2000, the Memorandum of Commitment, which formally considers UNITA a part of the Angolan Government, was signed to strengthen the MOU.