Letters: Struggle for peace in Angola

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The Independent Online
Sir: Bob Hughes, Malcolm Harper and others (letter, 12 July) stated that Unita was the main impediment to the peace process in Angola.

The quartering of the Unita soldiers has been slower than expected because of logistical problems which had little to do with Unita. Having surmounted them, Unita has now quartered more than 61,000 men, almost the total number of its soldiers. In July, Unita handed in its heavy weapons.

Blondin Beye, the United Nations special representative in Angola, has commended Unita for doing everything to carry out the Lusaka accords.

We were surprised by the condemnatory sweep of the letter. The authors preferred to remain silent on the obligations of the Angolan government stemming from the accords. The last report of the United Nations Security Council, for instance, called upon the Angolan government to observe the disarmament of the armed civilians; to help in the creation of a unified, integrated army; to promote the observation of human rights; to allow the United Nations to start an independent radio station in Luanda.

Talk about the "quality" of Unita men who were supposed to go to the quartering camps is inappropriate. In the Lusaka Protocol, it is not stipulated that Unita ought only to bring fit combatants. Unita is a guerrilla force begun in 1966 to resist the Portuguese and then to fight MPLA domination. Hoping that its ranks would be filled with thousands of Rambo lookalikes is to expect much.


United Kingdom Representative

The National Union for the Independence of Angola (Unita)

London W1