December 11, 2002

UNITA sanctions lifted

UN Security Council December 10 unanimously decided to lift all remainder economic and financial sanctions imposed on Angola's main opposition UNITA party.

The sanctions, some of which date back from 1993, were aimed at impeding UNITA from getting financial and international support during the civil war that came to an end six weeks after the death of its leader, Jonas Savimbi, on February 22 in a Government military raid.

The sanctions against UNITA included a travel and diamonds sale ban, freezing of the movement's assets and cuts on all Angolan oil-related products. Last month, a UN-chaired Joint Commission comprising representatives from the Angolan Government, UNITA and the troika of observers, recommended the lifting of the sanctions.

The UN Security Council had already softened the sanctions and in November made a statement in favour of the lifting of the remainder of the package of sanctions.

In a first reaction, UNITA's Secretary for Information, Marcial Dachala, expressed satisfaction over the lifting of the sanctions and stated that this move will help speed-up the process of peace consolidation in Angola. With the lifting of sanctions, "UNITA will adjust all its organic structure at national and international level", said Marcial Dachala, who added that "there will have more space which we will turn to advantage for our party and for the Angolan people, in order to enhance democracy in Angola", he said.

Marcial Dachala said that it is necessary that his party's cadres "drink" the experience of other countries and parties for a good governance to the benefit of the whole Angolan nation. In his opinion, now the party will stubbornly, at national and international level, address to the world its message towards a lasting peace in Angola.

The ruling (MPLA) party Secretary for Information, Norberto dos Santos "Kwata Kanawa" said the lifting of the reinforces the peace process started by the Angolans. "The UN Security Council has just met the decisions that Angolans themselves took locally", he remarked. "This decision correspond to the current moment Angola is facing actually", said Kwata Kanawa, who added that the conclusion of the Lusaka Protocol, was only pending to the matter of the lifting of sanctions, which is a UN Security Council's competence.

Angola’s former colonial power Portugal has welcomed the decision to lift the sanctions. This position is contained in a press release issued by the Portuguese foreign ministry. The Portuguese foreign minister, Martins da Cruz, proposed to the members of the EU in Brussels that the community should as well lift the sanctions immediately, following the UN Security Council's decision.

In a separate development, the new members of the Angolan Government named by President José Eduardo dos Santos under indication of Prime Minister Fernando da Piedade Dias dos Santos "Nando" were sworn-in on Monday, December 9 in Luanda.

Aguinaldo Jaime is the Assistant Minister of the Premier, Amadeu Maurício is now the Central Bank Governor, and the Ministers of Public Works and Fisheries are respectively, Francisco Higino Carneiro and Salomão Luheto Xirimbimbi. Other Ministers who took office are those of Urbanism and Environment, Education, Culture plus Family and Woman Promotion, Virgílio Ferreira Fontes Pereira, António Burity da Silva, Boaventura Cardoso, and Candida Celeste da Silva, respectively. The Deputy Minister of Education, Alexandra de Victoria Pereira Lemos, the Deputy Minister of Public Works, Armindo Kopingo, the Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports, Malungo Belo Honore, the Deputy Minister of Fisheries, Pedro João, and the Deputy Minister of Interior, Sebastião José António Martins, were also installed in office.

Monday morning, the Government members appointed by President Jose Eduardo dos Santos under proposal of Prime Minister, Fernando da Piedade Dias Dos Santos "Nando" also took possession. (Angola Press Agency, Luanda)

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