Ceasefire call in Angola

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The Independent Online
LUANDA (AFP) - Fighting gripped the central Angolan town of Kuito yesterday, official radio reported, as Unita rebels called for a ceasefire there to enable humanitarian relief to be brought in. The radio said troops of Unita (National Union for the Total Independence of Angola) were fighting government soldiers and armed civilians in the city centre.

Unita special units had also attacked the airport at government-held Menongue in the south, the radio said. The airport was shelled but the radio did not give casualties.

In a statement on the rebel Radio Vorgan, Jorge Valentim, responsible for relations with the press, said the ceasefire would allow the United Nations to take food supplies to the city.

Kuito has been under siege by Unita since January, but the government said the special UN mission in the country had agreed to make a test flight to the town yesterday. Mr Valentim said that the government was 'committed to war' in Kuito as it pursued its plans 'to liquidate Unita'. He called on government army commanders there to order a ceasefire.