The decision by 10 of the 70 Unita deputies elected in last September's polls followed increasing criticism by some leaders of the movement of the renewed civil war that has erupted since Mr Savimbi refused to accept defeat in the election. The dissidents said they opposed the resumption of the war. 'We are choosing peace and dialogue over war and are going to fulfil our democratic duties,' said Unita's shadow interior minister, Honorio van Dunem. 'But this does not mean we are leaving Unita,' he added.
The armed forces spokesman, Jose Manuel, said heavy fighting continued between government and Unita forces in Huambo, Angola's second city, which has been devastated in the recent fighting.