November 21, 2002

Joint Commission recommends lifting of UN sanctions

Angola's peace accord implementing Joint Commission Wednesday, November 20, in Luanda recommended the UN security Council to cancel the remainder of the package of sanctions against the opposition UNITA party.

In a communique from its latest meeting, the Joint Commission states that there are no objective reasons for sanctions against UNITA to remain and that with the dissolution of the peace accord enforcing body, the remainder of those measures against UNITA be fully cancelled.

The Joint Commission that comprises the Government, opposition UNITA and the troika of observers (Portugal, Russia and US) is being officially dissolved on Thursday, November 21, following a communique issued on November 8. To the peace accord implementing body, the essential matters under the Lusaka Protocol have been fully accomplished. Outstanding long and medium term matters will be dealt with in a continued way by Government and UNITA, as the national reconciliation process goes on, the communique also states.

The communique was subscribed by the UN-Angola special representative, Ibrahim Gambari, by the head of Government team, Fernando da Piedade Dias dos Santos and by Marcial Dachala for UNITA and by the troika of observers.

On Tuesday, November 19, the UNITA had expressed its disagreement with the extiction of the Joint Commission, considering that the relevant tasks of the peace process are not yet concluded. UNITA says it would agree with the extinction as long as the sanctions imposed against the party, particularly the economic and financial ones are lifted.

Only in the end of September, US President George Bush had decided to extend the sanctions of the United States on UNITA for a year-term. The White House had said that the move was due to US "international obligations" and to "harmful effects that suspension of sanctions could have in peace perspective in Angola".


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