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Angola: Security Council asks UNITA sanctions panel for action plan on future work

Angola: Security Council asks UNITA sanctions panel for action plan on future work

Amb. Martin Belinga-Eboutou
The Security Council today extended by two months the mandate of a panel monitoring sanctions against the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), and requested an action plan on the expert group’s work.

Eyeing Angola’s future national reconciliation, the Council requested the “monitoring mechanism” to detail plans for ample consultations in Angola with representatives of both the Government and UNITA “with a view to…contributing towards a full review by the Council of the measures imposed against UNITA once the peace process has been completed.”

In a unanimously adopted a resolution, the panel was also asked to assess possible violations of the UNITA sanctions since the two sides signed their Memorandum of Understanding in April. That document covers military aspects omitted by the 1994 Lusaka Protocol, which forms the basis for the Angola peace process. The panel’s report should also detail renewed efforts to locate UNITA funds and financial resources currently frozen under sanctions and produce recommendations on the issue, the Council said.

In addition, the resolution requests the panel to provide information on possible violations of the arms embargo which has been in place against UNITA since 1993 and the prohibitions, which date back to 1998, against the import of Angolan diamonds not controlled by the Government.

The Secretary-General was asked to appoint two experts to serve on the monitoring mechanism, cutting in half the original panel’s membership.

The Security Council initially imposed sanctions against UNITA in 1993 for the rebel group’s failure to carry out obligations under peace accords signed with the Angolan Government. Since then, the Council has tightened the sanctions by a series of subsequent resolutions.

In May 1999, the Council established an independent panel of experts “to trace violations in arms trafficking, oil supplies and the diamond trade, as well as the movement of UNITA funds.” The following April, after considering the final report of the panel, the Council adopted resolution 1295 (2000), by which it tightened existing sanctions and established the new monitoring mechanism.