Angola: Security Council lifts sanctions against UNITA

Angola: Security Council lifts sanctions against UNITA

UN Security Council in session
The Untied Nations Security Council today lifted the sanctions it had imposed on the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) over the last nine years of the country's civil war.

The cancelled sanctions, which date back to 1993 and were tightened in subsequent years, included the freezing of UNITA funds, a ban on Angolan diamonds originating from UNITA-held territory, and a prohibition on the sale of weapons, materiél, or petroleum to the rebel group.

Also lifted by today’s resolution were the ban on the sale of mining equipment, vehicles, aircraft and aircraft parts or services to UNITA, the freeze on all contacts with its officials and the closure of all UNITA offices worldwide.

In addition, the Council decided to close the UN Trust Fund established in 1999 to finance expert panels designed to collect information and investigate reported violations of the sanctions imposed on UNITA, as well as disband its committee monitoring those measures.

Earlier this year, the Council suspended the travel restrictions it had imposed on UNITA officials.

Today's lifting of the sanctions followed a November recommendation to that effect by the Joint Commission set up to implement the remaining tasks of the Angolan peace process. At that time, the Council issued a statement affirming that the "main tasks of the Angolan peace process" had been completed.

While the UN Special Representative for Angola, Ibrahim Gambari, had called peace in Angola "virtually irreversible," the Council warned in its 22 November statement that the country still faces "numerous humanitarian challenges" and urged the international community "to continue to assist the Angolan Government in its efforts to address the serious humanitarian situation in the country."