March 25, 2002

Peace talks resume

Angolan peace talks resumed on Monday, March 25, with a denial from a UNITA general that they had been taken captive by the government. A diplomatic source based in Luanda told IRIN that General Jose Samuel Tchiwale dismissed statements by UNITA's external commission that those involved in peace talks in Moxico province were effectively prisoners. He said the external commission was not well informed about what was happening inside the country and UNITA inside the country would have to take responsibility for informing them.

According to a UNITA communiqué, Angolan Armed Forces (FAA) and rebel leaders had decided on the areas in which UNITA troops would be quartered in the event of demobilisation. In the communiqué, issued late on Monday, March 25, Tchiwale called on the Angolan people to remain calm.

The Angolan army and UNITA are observing a suspension of hostilities following the death of UNITA leader Jonas Savimbi on 22 February. There are hopes that the talks will lead to an end to the 27-year civil war that has plagued the country. UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has dispatched his Special Advisor on Africa, Ibrahim Gambari, to Angola to establish what role the UN could play in the search for peace. (IRIN)

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