SPEAKERS CONTENTS INSERTS
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ANGOLA: PROSPECTS FOR DURABLE PEACE AND ECONOMIC RECONSTRUCTION
SUBCOMMITTEE ON AFRICA
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED SEVENTH CONGRESS
JUNE 13, 2002
Serial No. 10786
Printed for the use of the Committee on International Relations
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Available via the World Wide Web: http://www.house.gov/internationalrelations
COMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
HENRY J. HYDE, Illinois, Chairman
BENJAMIN A. GILMAN, New York
JAMES A. LEACH, Iowa
DOUG BEREUTER, Nebraska
CHRISTOPHER H. SMITH, New Jersey
DAN BURTON, Indiana
ELTON GALLEGLY, California
ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN, Florida
CASS BALLENGER, North Carolina
DANA ROHRABACHER, California
EDWARD R. ROYCE, California
PETER T. KING, New York
STEVE CHABOT, Ohio
AMO HOUGHTON, New York
JOHN M. McHUGH, New York
JOHN COOKSEY, Louisiana
THOMAS G. TANCREDO, Colorado
RON PAUL, Texas
NICK SMITH, Michigan
Page 3 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCJOSEPH R. PITTS, Pennsylvania
DARRELL E. ISSA, California
ERIC CANTOR, Virginia
JEFF FLAKE, Arizona
BRIAN D. KERNS, Indiana
JO ANN DAVIS, Virginia
MARK GREEN, Wisconsin
TOM LANTOS, California
HOWARD L. BERMAN, California
GARY L. ACKERMAN, New York
ENI F.H. FALEOMAVAEGA, American Samoa
DONALD M. PAYNE, New Jersey
ROBERT MENENDEZ, New Jersey
SHERROD BROWN, Ohio
CYNTHIA A. McKINNEY, Georgia
EARL F. HILLIARD, Alabama
BRAD SHERMAN, California
ROBERT WEXLER, Florida
JIM DAVIS, Florida
ELIOT L. ENGEL, New York
WILLIAM D. DELAHUNT, Massachusetts
GREGORY W. MEEKS, New York
BARBARA LEE, California
JOSEPH CROWLEY, New York
Page 4 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCJOSEPH M. HOEFFEL, Pennsylvania
EARL BLUMENAUER, Oregon
SHELLEY BERKLEY, Nevada
GRACE NAPOLITANO, California
ADAM B. SCHIFF, California
DIANE E. WATSON, California
THOMAS E. MOONEY, SR., Staff Director/General Counsel
ROBERT R. KING, Democratic Staff Director
Subcommittee on Africa
EDWARD R. ROYCE, California, Chairman
AMO HOUGHTON, New York
THOMAS G. TANCREDO, Colorado
JEFF FLAKE, Arizona
BRIAN D. KERNS, Indiana
DONALD M. PAYNE, New Jersey
GREGORY W. MEEKS, New York
BARBARA LEE, California
EARL F. HILLIARD, Alabama
THOMAS P. SHEEHY, Subcommittee Staff Director
CHARISSE GLASSMAN, Democratic Professional Staff Member
MALIK M. CHAKA, Professional Staff Member
Page 5 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCALYSSA JORGENSON, Staff Associate
C O N T E N T S
Walter H. Kasteiner, III, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of African Affairs, U.S. Department of State
Georges Chicoti, Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of External Affairs of Angola
Lukamba Paulo Gato, Chairman, UNITA Management Committee
The Reverend Daniel Ntoni-Nzinga, Ph.D., Executive Secretary, Inter-Ecclesiastic Committee for Peace in Angola (COIEPA)
LETTERS, STATEMENTS, ETC., SUBMITTED FOR THE HEARING
Walter H. Kasteiner, III: Prepared statement
Listing of U.S. Government humanitarian assistance to Angola, dated June 12, 2002
Report by the U.S. Agency for International Development entitled ''AngolaComplex Emergency,'' dated June 12, 2002
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Georges Chicoti: Prepared statement
Lukamba Paulo Gato: Prepared statement
The Reverend Daniel Ntoni-Nzinga: Prepared statement
ANGOLA: PROSPECTS FOR DURABLE PEACE AND ECONOMIC RECONSTRUCTION
THURSDAY, JUNE 13, 2002
House of Representatives,
Subcommittee on Africa,
Committee on International Relations,
The Subcommittee met, pursuant to call, at 12:30 p.m. in Room 2172, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Edward R. Royce [Chairman of the Subcommittee] presiding.
Mr. ROYCE. This hearing will come to order.
Five years ago, this Subcommittee held a hearing on the newly formed Angolan Government of National Unity. Representatives of the MPLA government and UNITA spoke assuredly about peace taking root in Angola at that time. Myself, Mr. Payne, and others made a trip to Angola where we talked with the leadership on both sides, including Mr. dos Santos and Jonas Savimbi, as well as with many representatives of UNITA and the MPLA government. However, the following year war erupted again, ending what proved to be only another pause in the fighting that has wracked Angola since 1975. The tragic result of Angola's long-running war is half a million deaths, 4 million displaced persons, millions of land mines, and a shattered economy.
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Today, however, there is cause for hope. More than 70,000 UNITA soldiers have reported to quartering areas, and they have surrendered their arms following a memorandum of understanding that was signed by the Angolan armed forces and the UNITA military commander on the 4th of April. Fighting has come to a halt, and people and goods have started to flow down roads long closed by fighting.
It must be kept in mind, however, that this end of fighting is only a necessary first step. Angolansmeaning the government, the ruling party, the opposition, and civil societymust now build peace. There is no time for the Angolan politics of the past. An inclusive political process must be initiated in Angola.
The humanitarian crisis must be first on the agenda. The French NGO Doctors Without Borders has sounded an alarm. It reports that thousands of people have died and hundreds of thousands more face starvation in Angola. It places the blame on the Angolan government for its policies. Therefore I look forward to hearing from our Angolan government witness about this pressing issue.
On the political front, the ruling MPLA and UNITA must work together with opposition parties to lay the groundwork for the elections in 2004. This includes creating a nonpartisan national electorial commission doing a credible voter census and delineating electoral districts. The electoral assessment done by American democracy-building organizations such as IFES, NDI, and IRI provides a useful road map.
Angolans deserve a peace dividend. They have been told for years that their privations were caused by the war. The money spent on weapons must now go to schools and roads and clean water. It is also necessary to invest in neglected rural areas, to induce the internally displaced persons who took refuge in towns to now return to their homelands and to resume farming. This must go hand in hand with a massive demining program. The Angolan government must develop a program to attract investment. This will require it to remove bureaucratic red tape and tackle corruption. There were many companies in South Africa with whom we spoke on our trip to Angola and South Africa that said they would like to move into Angola and set up operations, but that bureaucratic red tape prevented them from doing so. Transparency must be at the heart of any agreement with international financial institutions. Without greater transparency, the average Angolan has little hope for a brighter future.
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This hearing features Angolan voices in our second panel; we are going to hear from a ranking representative of the government, a leader of the largest opposition party, and a prominent civil society leader. These witnesses will discuss how Angolans can build a durable peace and rebuild the war-shattered economy. Angolans have seen their hopes for peace dashed many times before. Therefore we know that a durable peace will be hard to obtain.
I am looking forward to hearing from the Administration on how our country is helping to move this process along, and to do that I would like to introduce Mr. Walter Kansteiner, who was sworn in as Assistant Secretary of State last June. Prior to assuming his duties at the Department of State, Mr. Kansteiner's experience included being a founding principal of the Scowcroft Group, Director of African Affairs on the National Security Council staff, and a member of the Strategic Minerals Task Force for the Department of Defense. Through these various positions, Mr. Kansteiner has gained more than 20 years' experience with African and emerging market business issues, and it is our pleasure to have him with us today. Welcome, Mr. Kansteiner.
STATEMENT OF WALTER H. KASTEINER, III, ASSISTANT SECRETARY, BUREAU OF AFRICAN AFFAIRS, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Mr. KANSTEINER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And thank you for inviting us to speak today and testify on a situation in Angola and our policy toward that war-torn country.
As you mentioned, unfortunately, 5 years ago you held a hearing on Angola. I would dare say that there have been dozens of hearings on Angola over the past 20 years, and we hope that we have now come to a place in Angola's history where we can have hearings not so much on the war or a potential peace process, but, in fact, on the reconstruction and redevelopment of that country.
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As you mentioned, on February 22, 2002, Jonas Savimbi was killed. His death set in motion a series of events that led to the March 30th cease-fire and demobilization agreement reached in Luanda. The accord reached between UNITA and the Angolan government was a very ambitious one. It established sites throughout the country for UNITA forces and neighboring areas for family members to congregate. Following this demobilization, the effort to reintegrate the UNITA members and their families would step into high gear, with the process targeted to finish by year's end, this coming December.
Implementation has not been easy. Approximately 80,000 UNITA military personnel have gathered at 35 quartering areas. UNITA also is cooperating by registering its weapons for eventual destruction. Accompanying UNITA personnel and moving into neighboring sites have been over 230,000 family members. This is a large operation covering a vast amount of territory.
The agreement was very positive, as is the fact that there have been no signs of retribution shown toward UNITA members. Nonetheless, not all has gone smoothly, as you referred to in your opening statement, Mr. Chairman.
The pace at which the peace process moved forward in March and April left the Angolan government unprepared to deal with the influx of UNITA personnel and certainly with the size of that influx. Supplies reaching the quartering and family areas were slow to arrive, and initially the government was hesitant to involve the international community in the process.
This situation began to reverse itself in the past few weeks, and, in fact, we are now seeing the arrival of a good many supplies purchased by the Angolans as well as an agreement by the Angolan government to work with the international community to increase that flow of supplies.
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Throughout these last few hectic months, I believe the U.S. Government's efforts to keep the peace process on track and provide needed assistance has had a positive impact. We began early on encouraging a cessation of hostilities and a proactive peace stance by the government and rebels immediately after receiving the word of Savimbi's death. We deepened our discussion on those topics when President dos Santos visited Washington in late February, and we also spoke with UNITA throughout this whole period. Important contacts continued through March and April as we encouraged both parties to reach the accord.
We also have taken several concrete steps to assist the process and address the humanitarian problems to which we just referred. Consistent with our past behavior as the largest aid donor to Angola, we also stepped up when it became clear that the conditions were looking very dismal in some of these UNITA cantonment areas. We sent personnel to evaluate the situation and used our contacts with the Angolan government to push forward a rapid provision of the camps, and had the government accept an international assistance presence. Complementing these actions, we took the lead in galvanizing the international community to impress upon the Angolans to reach out to all outside assistance.
A few weeks ago when this finally was agreed to by the Angolan government, the U.S. Government chartered a 747 to deliver everything from blankets to food supplies for the quartered troops. That has now been followed by two more 747s full of equipment. We also have some sea shipments that are on their way now. In fact, I would be happy to include for the record an entire listing of our assistance. It comes to about $75 million in this year.
[The information referred to follows:]
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Mr. KANSTEINER. I don't want to give the impression that we were only looking at these camps that the UNITA and UNITA families are congregating. We are extremely aware of the internally displaced people that now roam through the countryside of Angola (some four million, we suspect). And we, the international community, have an obligation to keep that on our radar screen and continue to assist in making sure that these people return to the areas in which they traditionally live, and, in fact, become productive citizens of the country.
As the social and economic reconstruction processes get underway, we also have to focus on the political reconstruction. As you mentioned, Mr. Chairman, the political institutions, such as independent electoral commissions and strengthening political parties, are all part of that stable political process that needs to happen. We stand ready to help, and, as you mentioned, we just funded a study that the IRI, NDI and IFES completed. I think it is very worthwhile, and we all need to take a good hard look at it. We are encouraging our Angolan colleagues to do the same.
On the economic front, Angola's government needs a lot of reform. It needs to privatize its bloated state structure, and guarantee that the benefits of Angola's very rich oil and mineral wealth go to the Angolan people.
This is truly a historic time for Angola. Twice in the last decade Angolans came close to peace. The failures of those processes plunged Angolans back into war, stilting political and economic reform efforts and bringing suffering to millions. The thrust of U.S. policy will be to try to guarantee that the third time is the charm, and that the Angolan people can finally begin to grasp a brighter future. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
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Mr. ROYCE. Thank you very much, Secretary Kansteiner.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Kansteiner follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF WALTER H. KASTEINER, III, ASSISTANT SECRETARY, BUREAU OF AFRICAN AFFAIRS, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Mr. Chairman, Members of the Committee. Thank you for inviting me to testify today. I would like to briefly outline U.S. policy toward Angola, and offer the State Department's assessment regarding the prospects for peace and national reconciliation in that country.
As you are well aware, prior to February 22, prospects for reaching a quick lasting peace in Angola appeared dim. The war that cost between 500,000 and one million lives, led to the suffering of millions more, and the wasting of countless billions of dollars that could have gone to the betterment of the Angolan people, seemed likely to continue for some time. All this changed, though, following the February 22 death of UNITA leader Jonas Savimbi. His death set in motion a series of events that led to the March 30 cease-fire and demobilization agreement reached in Luena and its formal signing in Luanda just five days later, in a ceremony witnessed by the UN, the United States and our Troika partners Portugal and Russia.
The accord reached between UNITA and the Angolan Government was an ambitious one. It established cantonment sites throughout the country for UNITA forces and neighboring areas for family members. The agreement further set out the goal of rapidly incorporating some 5000 UNITA soldiers into the Angolan military and national police and demobilizing the remaining troops. Following this demobilization, the effort to reintegrate the UNITA members and their families would step into high-gear, with the process targeted to finish by year's end.
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Now how has this accord been carried out? Approximately 80,000 UNITA military personnel have gathered at 35 quartering areas; UNITA also is cooperating by registering its weapons for eventual destruction. Accompanying UNITA personnel, and moving into neighboring sites, have been over 230,000 family members. In addition, the Joint Military Commission (JMC)with Angolan military and UNITA membersis functioning to oversee the process. Finally, UNITA's remaining leadership that was in the bush has moved to Luanda to assist in the process.
All this is very positive, as is the fact that there have been no signs of retribution so far shown toward UNITA members. Nonetheless, not all has gone smoothly. The rapidity with which the peace process moved forward in March and April left the Angolan Government unprepared to deal with the influx of UNITA personnel. Supplies reached the quartering and family areas slowlytoo slowlyand initially the Government was hesitant to involve the international community in the process. This situation began to reverse itself in the latter half of May, with the arrival of supplies purchased by the Angolans and their agreement to work with the international community.
Despite these serious bumps in the road, and while still recognizing that much needs to be done, our overall evaluation of the process to date is positive. Both the Government and UNITA have shown a willingness to compromise in the cause of peace. The Government is expending an effort, albeit at times insufficient, to provide supplies to UNITA areas and UNITA personnel are showing forbearance by remaining in the sites.
Throughout these last few hectic months, I believe our efforts to keep the peace process on track and provide needed assistance have had a positive effect. We began early on, encouraging a cessation of hostilities and a proactive peace stance by the Government and rebels immediately after receiving word of Savimbi's death. We deepened our discussions on these topics during the late February visit of President dos Santos to Washington and also spoke with UNITA-associated persons. Important contacts continued throughout March, as we encouraged both parties to reach an accord.
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Since the formal cease-fire signing April 4, we have continued our peace-oriented contacts with the Government and UNITA. We've also have taken several concrete steps to assist the process and address the humanitarian problems that arose. On the diplomatic front, we spearheaded the effort at the UN to relax travel sanctions on UNITA to make clear that peace has benefits and to allow UNITA to begin reconstituting itself as a peaceful political party. Our actions here were consistent with our view that the political side of the peace process should begin as quickly as feasible in order to complement the ongoing military demobilization and reintegration phase.
Consistent with our past behavior as the largest aid donor to Angola for years, we also stepped up to the plate when it became clear that conditions were faltering in the UNITA quartering and family areas. We sent personnel to evaluate the situation and used our contacts with the Government and our observer presence on the Joint Military Commission to push for rapid provision of the camps and the acceptance of an international assistance presence. Complementing these actions, we took the lead in galvanizing the international community to impress upon the Angolans the need for outside assistance.
When this finally was agreed to in May, we were the first nation to provide assistance, landing a chartered 747 with 116 metric tons of plastic sheeting, blankets and other goods for UNITA families the day after an accord was reached. This high-profile event gave a boost to the peace process, reassuring UNITA and making manifest the benefits of international cooperation. We quickly followed this first flight with two others, as well as a sea shipment. We continue to provide assistance to those in the UNITA family areas and are closely following the welfare of all UNITA personnel.
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While impossible to quantify, we believe our actions have saved lives and increased prospects for a successful demobilization of UNITA troops beginning in July. After this occurs, the Angolan Government, UNITA and the international community will face the next challenge of reintegrating the former fighters and their families into Angolan society. While the bulk of this burden will fall on the Angolan people, we are considering how we and others might help.
Lest I give the impression that our focus on advancing the peace process has led us to neglect the large number of Angolan internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees, let me assure you this has not been the casewe have continued to provide aid to these persons. Though conditions are still harsh for many of Angola's war-displaced, this also is a hopeful moment for them. For the first time since fighting resumed in late 1998, there are prospects that these persons can go home. In recognition of this, $3 million of our newly provided aid has gone for seeds and toolsthe very items needed to encourage people to resettle. Facilitating such returns will be an increasing focus of international assistance in months to come.
The next few months and years also hold the potential for much positive change in Angola on the political, economic and social fronts, though success is by no means guaranteed. I alluded above to our view that the political portion of the peace process, known in Angola as ''Phase II,'' cannot be neglected. By beginning a dialogue on these ''second phase'' matters, the Government and UNITA can help solidify the progress made to date. To hasten this, the Government can make clear its willingness to quickly reconstitute the Joint Commission and UNITA can move to name its delegates to that body.
Page 16 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Both parties to the April 4 accord also can deepen their national reconciliation efforts, continuing to reach out to civil society and other political groupings. Consideration can begin, as well, on the steps necessary to convoke new general elections. We note that President dos Santos has stated his intent to call such a vote within the next two years and UNITA's current leadership has spoken of elections in 2004. Whether these occur in 2003 or 2004, it is important for all stakeholders in the political processand especially the Governmentto begin to take concrete steps that will help guarantee a fair, free, transparent and consensual vote.
For our part, we stand ready to help. To this end, we funded a just-released study on the steps needed to prepare for elections written by an International Republican Institute, National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, and International Foundation for Election Systems team. We believe that by making the legal, structural, and attitudinal changes to guarantee a successful vote, the Angolan people will take important strides toward democracy, free speech, the rule of law andcombined with an end to the warimproved human rights.
Even as Angola faces the simultaneous transitions from war to peace and from a war-constrained polity to a more open political system, it will have to address pressing economic and social issues. Along with others in the international community, we intend to help in these areas, butonce againthe key to progress will remain in the hands of the Angolans. Much more needs to be done to reform the Angolan economy, privatize where possible the bloated state structure, and to guarantee that the benefits of Angola's oil and mineral wealth go to the Angolan people. Anti-corruption and transparency are issues that must squarely be faced in Angola if the legacy of the past is to be left behind. In addition, Angola must not neglect the challenge of preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS, lest progress in these other areas be undercut.
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Mr. Chairman, Members of the Committee, this is an historic time for Angola. Twice in the last decade, Angolans came close to peace. The failures of those processes plunged Angolans back into war, stilting political and economic reform efforts and bringing suffering to millions. The thrust of U.S. policy will be to try to guarantee that the third time is the charm and that the Angolan people can finally begin to grasp a brighter future. The Administration looks forward to working closely with Congress to that end.
Mr. ROYCE. Let me ask you a quick question here. The management of natural resources in Angola has always been a challenge for the government, as you mentioned. Making certain that the revenues from those resources benefit the people is key. I also know that you have spoken out recently about the need for greater transparency in government finances in this area. Therefore, what can the international community do to help see that the new political arrangement isn't merely one that ends up sharing the spoils among the elites of the political parties? What has the Administration done and what can it do to place pressure on the Angolan government to see that those revenues are treated transparently and that they end up being used for either infrastructure or schools or health? If I may ask you that.
Mr. KANSTEINER. Thank you. That really cuts straight to the question and the dilemma of corruption, and how one assures that those natural resources and that natural wealth goes to the people of Angola. I believe that the linkage between an effective political opposition and the level of corruption in a country is direct. That is, when you have an effective, viable political opposition, you are going to have less corruption. We see it in democracies all over the world, and I think it is just as true in Africa. When you have checks and balances, when you have a political party that is willing to stand up and say, well, wait a minute, what are you doing with the people's money, I think that is a very good check.
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I also think civil society is a critical check on corruption and accounting for natural resources; for example, an independent media that can actually publish editorials and question the government on how their wealth is being spent.
So those components that we all end up calling civil society are key to this, and I think that we, the international community, need to look at how we can strengthen some of these tools that, in fact, can effectively fight the abuse of the country's natural wealth.
Mr. ROYCE. I think this is a cutting issue all over the continent. In our recent Chad-Cameroon pipeline hearing we talked about getting an arrangement where there is transparency in how much oil revenue is received and how it is spent. Actually 72 percent of revenues from the Chad-Cameroon pipeline are delineated for infrastructures, schools, health, and so forth.
This is an issue with which we will continue to struggle, and to the extent that the Administration can lay out strategies to bring along African governmentsjust as we have this new opportunity with Angola now with peace at handwe will be able to capitalize on opportunities to create peace dividends that go directly to the people.
Thank you very much, Secretary Kansteiner. I will now turn to Mr. Payne, our Ranking Member, for his questions.
Mr. PAYNE. Thank you, Mr. Secretary. It is good to see you again.
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As we know, Angola was a Portugese colony, and has had one of the last conflicts in Africa that has been going on for perhaps 50 years. The Portuguese government was the last to grant independence to its colonies when the movement for independence started after World War II, and countries in Africa, like Kenya and Ghana, were able to get their independence from strong people like Jomo Kenyata and Kwame Nkrumah and others that fought. The Portuguese colonies were still left in shambles, and the Portuguese government continued to hold on until finally in 19741975, they were defeated and decided to grant independence to the colonies. However, because of the Cold War between the great powersthe U.S. and the Warsaw Pact nationsthe struggle continued, with the U.S. supporting UNITA and Mobutu in the Congo and the others being supported by our opponents from the Soviet bloc. As a result, a country that has really been a tool of world powers now has finally come to an accord with the death of Savimbi. It appears as though we can now move into a transformation of that country from war-torn to peace.
I have listened to your testimony, but is there any special attention or bold programs or specific initiatives that you would like to see your Bureau undertake in Angola to try to assist this effort? You could call it a new government or finally a government without conflict, to try to transform Angola into a modern state in this new millennium.
Mr. KANSTEINER. Thank you, sir. The Bureau and I very much share the notion that it is a new opportunity. The war is over. That excuse cannot be used by anybody. And I get the feelingand, by the way, I am heading to Luanda next month to see for myselfthat Angolans see they are at the threshold of a new beginning.
Now, there are some very short-term objectives that we see as priorities. The quartering camps right now are screaming for some help and we are assisting them. We need to make sure that works. We need to make sure that demilitarization is complete, because, as you know, Angola has reached this point a couple of times, only to slip back. We don't want to see that happen again. We want to keep the demobilization moving forward.
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So, in the short-term, we are going to be very focused on getting that demilitarization completed. In the mid-term, it is a great opportunity to build these healthier political structures, and not just political parties, but also other institutions in Angola that have been completely deprived and neglected because of the war. I think we have to be imaginative and look at ways where we can interact with the Angolans to help get those independent parts of society up and running.
In the mid- to long-term, of course, is the economic reconstruction of the country; this country has tremendous wealth potential, agricultural potential, and obviously, oil potential. We need to encourage the Angolan government and help them structure their economy in such a way that they can take full advantage of this natural wealth. I find that very exciting, as a former investment banker and someone who is interested in seeing wealth creation. I think this country could end up being, on a per capita basis, the wealthiest country in the region.
Mr. PAYNE. Thank you.
As we have indicated, the demobilization is very important, and I have seen in the past other countries that went through civil strifes and attempted to get real support for the mobilization. In Uganda, after the war that brought Museveni to power, there were large numbers of troops that wanted to get out and get back to their communities. We found the problem even in Eritrea before the Ethiopia and Eritrean conflict started about 10 years ago; they were just ready to go back to normal life. We see that the government of Angola has pledged $50 million, which has not yet been forthcoming. But have you made any special requests to our government to assist the government of Angola in trying to provide some support to the camps, retraining or farming equipment for those who may be farmers, or something to give them an incentive? I mean, they have come in on their own, so the incentive was that they wanted peace. But now that they have been brought together in these camps, is there any specific program that we have of trying to secure a certain amount of funding that would assist the government of Angola?
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Mr. KANSTEINER. Yes, sir, there is. And we have a shipment that has already gone out that is specifically for tools and farm implements and seeds. Initially I believe it was a $3 million cost, but we need to do a whole lot more than that. That was to get it out, to get it in the pipeline. We are also looking for ways to assist in that agricultural development. Part of that will be demining. There are a lot of mines still; probably not as many as we thought, which might be the good news, but before full-scale agriculture can take place in a lot of areas of the country, demining must occur so they can till the ground and plant.
So all of this is going to end up being fairly comprehensive and rather expensive, but I think this is the time to do it. This is the time to go ahead and commit those resources to help them.
Mr. PAYNE. Thank you. Finally, considering the Chad-Cameroon pipeline, there have been some very strong agreements between the World Bank, IMF, and the governments of those countries to say that the funds derived from the pipeline and from the oil will go back to the people. Has there been consideration to try to have some negotiations with the government of Angola to talk about or try to restructure it? I know it is hard to, when there have been agreements going for 2030 years. However, has there been any pressure applied to the government to try to ensure that funds that are derived from the resources of the country get to the people?
Mr. KANSTEINER. There have been, and we are in continual discussions. When I head to Luanda, that is going to be one of the top items on my agenda.
Page 22 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Interestingly enough, the IMF pressured very hard to get what they are calling a diagnostic of the oil money flows. That is a chart to follow the cash flow and where it goes. That diagnostic is being built now, researched, and is being put together. So we need to make sure that that, in fact, does take place. We need to also learn from it and encourage that flow of cash and wealth to go into infrastructure-building and toward the people of Angola.
Mr. PAYNE. Finally, we had a hearing earlier on the food crisis in Southern Africa. As you know, there are an estimated half million people in Angola on the verge of starvation, according to reports. I wonder whether USAID or World Food Program is doing anything specific? I know you sent a 747 over with some food, but is there any real emergency assistance on the scale of the magnitude of this problem in which we are involved?
Mr. KANSTEINER. It is a large problem, and, yes, weI am looking at my chart, which I will be happy to share with you. We are looking at a USAID/World Food Program. It is a PL 480 title II. It is $22 million worth of food assistance in the pipeline right now. It is 31,000 metric tons. We also have a USDA, Department of Agriculture, WFP for $28.7 million. That would be 39,700 metric tons. So there is food that is lined up. It is in the pipeline, it is committed, it is earmarked, and we are going to make sure that that food moves and gets there.
[The information referred to follows:]
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Mr. PAYNE. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. ROYCE. Thank you, Mr. Payne.
I am going to finish with one question. I think UNITA has a legitimate security and human rights concern. Since the cease-fire, how has the Angolan government responded to UNITA's new positions, their change in position, and have there been any human rights abuses by the government against UNITA or other parties? Also, what is the U.S. doing to help in this area? And my last question on this subject would be: What is the UNITA human rights record? If I could ask for a response on that, Secretary Kansteiner.
Mr. KANSTEINER. Yes, sir. If I could take the last first.
The human rights record for both sides during the course of the war was dismal. They were both human rights abusers. There is no doubt about it. I think the political mood between the government and UNITA in the last 2 1/2 months has been remarkably good. I think there really is cooperation there. They do work together. They are sitting right behind me together, willing to testify, which I think is a good sign. There have been some good first weeks. We, the U.S. Government, need to encourage that momentum and keep it going.
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Mr. ROYCE. I think it is really encouraging that we have UNITA and the MPLA sitting down together, showing that cooperation is promising. And as you said in your testimony, both the government and UNITA have shown willingness to compromise for the cause of peace, which I think is extremely important. Thank you.
Mr. PAYNE. Just one final comment. I want to reiterate, as you mentioned, that both sides had human rights abuses during the war, and I think that we want to see an end to that. Also, I think it is clear that both sides had other kinds of abuses, as I have indicated, including the lack of transparency as to where the money went. Whether it was money from the diamonds for UNITA or money from the oil for MPLA, the money did not reach the people. I hope that in the new spirit of the new Angola, the diamond and oil money will not end up supporting and enhancing the elite. And I hope that we will have opportunities to see increased transparency.
The people of Angola deserve more. We can look at Mozambique, a country that has one-tenth the resources, and yet has had a 12 percent GDP growth over the last couple of years with virtually nothing to fuel it. If they can do that in Mozambique, with the same colonial powers, the same language, and the same suppression by the Portuguese for centuries, then Angola should be able to simply fly off the chart. There should be no excuse. We look forward to monitoring such progress in the future. Thank you.
Mr. ROYCE. Thank you, Mr. Payne.
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Thank you, Secretary Kansteiner.
Mr. PAYNE. Thank you.
Mr. KANSTEINER. Thank you, sir.
Mr. ROYCE. We are going to go now to our second panel, and I will ask our panelists to come forward and take their seats.
We are going to ask Mr. Georges Chicoti to speak first. He is currently serving as Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs for the Ministry of External Affairs of Angola. By profession, however, he is a university professor who was called into public service in 1992, when he was appointed to this position. He served as a consultant to the Canadian International Development Agency while doing graduate work in international relations at the University of Ottawa, during which time he also founded the Angolan Democratic Forum. For the past decade, he has served in the Angolan government, representing his nation at a large number of different forums that have been held around the world, including the U.S.-Angola Bilateral Consultative Commission in Luanda and in Washington in 1999 and 2000.
Mr. Lukamba Paulo, known better as Gato, is currently serving as coordinator of the UNITA Caretaker Commission. His previous involvement in UNITA is extensive, including service as Secretary General of JURA (which was the youth wing) as an elected member of the Central Committee, as a representative to Paris for the UNITA Foreign Service, as a member of the delegation to the Lusaka peace negotiations, and, most recently, as Secretary General during the party's Seventh Congress.
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Mr. Daniel Ntoni-Nzinga is the Executive Secretary of the Inter-Ecclesiastic Committee for Peace in Angola (COIEPA). His career has been marked by his involvement in the church and his efforts for peace in Africa. He has served in the past as Secretary General of the Angolan Council of Churches, as International Coordinator of the Ecumenical Monitoring Program in South Africa, as Coordinator and Consultant of International Affairs for the Special Program on Peace and Justice in Africa, and as the Southern Africa Representative of the Quaker International Affairs Program, part of the American Friends Service Committee.
I thank you all. We will begin with Mr. Georges Chicoti. Thank you for coming. I would ask you to summarize your testimony in 5 minutes, because we have already read your written testimony.
STATEMENT OF GEORGES CHICOTI, VICEMINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS, MINISTRY OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS OF ANGOLA
Mr. CHICOTI. Your Excellency and Vice Chairman of the Subcommittee of International Relations, Your Excellency, Mr. Lukamba Paulo Gato, Coordinator of UNITA Interim Commission, Your Excellencies, Members of this Subcommittee, fellow countrymen, ladies and gentlemen, may I start by thanking all those who at various levels have contributed to the materialization of these important events in this House.
Mr. Chairman, allow me to submit the position of my government for the record.
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Your Excellencies, this hearing session on Angola takes place at a very crucial moment not only for the Angolan people, but also opens a wide window of opportunities between the people of Angola and the United States of America after a long period of conflict and misunderstandings which has claimed the lives of many people and the destruction of the Angolan social and economic infrastructure. Many agreements to bring the war to an end were signed but never implemented in full. But for the first time since April 4th, Angolans are at peace with themselves. It gives me, therefore, great pleasure to thank all those friends of Angola in the United States who have always supported peace and reconciliation, and I wish to plead that they continue in that direction, because it is the only way that can allow Angolans to heal their wounds and commit themselves to rebuild their country.
Mr. Chairman, the process as it stands today is holding. It has been 2 months and 9 days since we signed the memorandum of understanding. Today we do have 80,000 soldiers in the quartering zones and about 300 members of their family. We have as well recovered as many as 85,000 guns. This is very significant.
May I at this point in time thank our important partner, Mr. Lukamba Gato, and the commission that he is managing, for having cooperated in full with us. And we do have hopes that this is going to bring significant changes in our country.
However, it is very important to point out that there are still quite a number of things that we have to face. We do need a lot of help in supporting these quartering zones. The government has committed already $27 million to respond to the needs of the soldiers and their families who are being quartered. And I do think we still need more support to this process, not only to feed them now, but as well to look ahead in terms of their social reintegration.
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Mr. Chairman, Angola faces an ongoing situation as a consequence of the war. We do have 4 million people who are displaced from their original homes, and these people still need help from this international community. We have another 150,000 orphans and thousands of other victims of war. All these challenges need to be attended to. And one of them is land mine clearing in the countryside so that we can guarantee life in those areas.
Another area of interest for us, Mr. Chairman, is naturally this social and economic recovery of Angola. My government is doing the best it can by rebuilding its economic infrastructure, and, basically, the infrastructure that everybody needs in order to display themselves along the country. If we have the infrastructures working, then we will be able to, as well, channel support to the people who are in need, especially in areas that are isolated.
But my government needs to do more. We are trying to deliver by organizing a global program of reform. We are reforming an economy even in the context of conflict or transition, which is naturally a very difficult one. But our economy will need to perform so that it can respond to the needs of the people, so that it can create jobs, so that it can fight against poverty, which is naturally one of our biggest challenges.
To do this, we need as well to have a democratic process to continue. So, what we feel in Angola is that as soon as we conclude with the tasks of the Lusaka protocol with our partners of UNITA, we intend to relaunch the national debates on constitutional reform.
Mr. Chairman, we believe that with a constitutional reform, with the participation of the civil society, Angola will offer a better opportunity for all people to participate in the process. That means we will be able to go for elections as soon as we can, eventually by the year 2004. And all these processes, Mr. Chairman, do need the help and understanding of the international community. And I wanted to stress that my government is not only committed to fulfill the tasks of the Lusaka protocolthat means working with UNITA as a partnerbut we do as well intend that we do need to reform our economy and then consolidate the peace process and the democratic situation in Angola that will then sustain global development of my country.
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Mr. Chairman, I wanted to say that a lot of progress has already been done during the period of war, and we do think that these opportunities are going to be larger, particularly in the relations with the United States. We did establish our relations, for example, in 1983; and, since then, Angola has as well worked with the United States in a bilateral commission, and Angola today represents an important partner, particularly in the oil sector. We are part of the strategic interest in the energy sector that the United States has.
Angola, as well, as a country has played quite a considerable role in making sure that stability was a reality, not only in Angola, but as well for most of our neighbors.
Mr. Chairman, as I conclude this very brief statement, I wanted to reiterate that the Angolan government has been working very, very closely with the international community, first, to make sure that peace was a reality in Angola. And, at this point in time, I wanted to thank the understanding of the American government, which has been a very important partner not only in consolidating peace as such, but as well in responding very swiftly in areas like the humanitarian situation through the United Nations, but as well directly inasfar as the quartering process is concerned today in Angola. But Angola will need more to work with the international community, the international institutions, so that we can consolidate other aspects of our politicalour internal political transition.
Mr. Chairman, with those words, I wanted to thank you once again for having given us the opportunity to be here today to testify on the political transition in Angola and the prospectus for the future. I thank you.
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Mr. ROYCE. Thank you, Minister Chicoti. We thank you very much for your testimony.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Chicoti follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF GEORGES CHICOTI, VICE-MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS, MINISTRY OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS OF ANGOLA
YOUR EXCELLENCY ED ROYCE, CHAIRMAN OF THE AFRICA SUB COMMITTEE OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS,
YOUR EXCELLENCY PAULO LUKAMBA, COORDINATOR OF THE UNITA INTERIM COMMISSION,
YOUR EXCELLENCIES MEMBERS OF THIS SUBCOMMITTEE, FELLOW COUNTRYMAN, LADIES AND GENTLEMAN,
MAY I START BY THANKING ALL OF THOSE WHO AT VARIOUS LEVELS HAVE CONTRIBUTED TO THE MATERIALIZATION OF THIS EVENT IN THIS IMPORTANT HOUSE.
MR. CHAIRMAN ALLOW ME TO SUBMIT THE POSITION OF MY GOVERNMENT FOR THE RECORD.
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THIS HEARING SESSION ON ANGOLA TAKES PLACE AT A VERY CRUCIAL MOMENT NOT ONLY FOR THE ANGOLAN PEOPLE BUT ALSO, OPENS WIDE A WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITIES BETWEEN THE PEOPLE OF ANGOLA AND THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, AFTER A LONG PERIOD OF CONFLICT AND MISUNDERSTANDINGS, WHICH HAS CLAIMED THE LIVES OF MANY PEOPLE AND THE TOTAL DESTRUCTION OF THE ANGOLAN SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC INFRASTRUCTURE. MANY AGREEMENTS TO BRING THE WAR TO AN END WERE SIGNED BUT NEVER IMPLEMENTED IN FULL. BUT, FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE APRIL 4, ANGOLANS ARE AT PEACE WITH THEMSELVES. IT GIVES ME THEREFORE THE PLEASURE TO THANK ALL THOSE FRIENDS OF ANGOLA THAT IN THE UNITED STATES WHO HAVE ALWAYS SUPPORTED PEACE AND RECONCILIATION AND I WISH TO PLEAD THAT THEY CONTINUE IN THAT DIRECTION BECAUSE THAT IS THE ONLY WAY THAT CAN ALLOW ANGOLAN TO HEAL THEIR WOUNDS AND COMMIT THEMSELVES TO REBUILD THEIR COUNTRY.
1.THE PEACE PROCESS
TWO MONTHS AND NINE DAYS AFTER THE SIGNING OF THE MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING BETWEEN THE ANGOLAN ARMED FORCES AND THE UNITA MILITARY FORCES THE PEACE PROCESS IS STILL HOLDING. 80,000 SOLDIERS AND 230,000 MEMBERS OF THEIR FAMILIES. WE HAVE COLLECTED MORE THAN 80 THOUSAND GUNS AND THERE HAS BEEN NO MILITARY CONFRONTATIONS.
MAY I AT THIS POINT AND TIME THANK THE MANAGEMENT COMMISSION OF THE UNITA FOR HAVING COOPERATED FULLY WITH THE ANGOLAN GOVERNMENT.
THE SITUATION IN THE QUARTERING ZONES WAS DIFFICULT IN TERMS OF FOOD, MEDICATIONS, AND OTHER BASIC NEEDS BUT IT HAS BEEN IMPROVING VERY QUICKLY DUE TO THE GOVERNMENT'S EFFORTS AND THE CONSIDERABLE CONTRIBUTION MADE BY THE AMERICAN GOVERNMENT.
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2. THE HUMANITARIAN SITUATION
APART FROM THE MAJOR CHALLENGES OF THE PEACE PROCESS, THE ANGOLAN GOVERNMENT IS ALSO FACED WITH THE REINTEGRATION OF 4 MILLION OF DISPLACED PEOPLE (IDPS). APPROXIMATELY 150,000 ORPHANS AND THOUSANDS OF OTHER VICTIMS OF WAR.
THE RESETTLEMENT PROCESS WILL ALSO REQUIRE LAND MINE CLEARING PROGRAMS THAT WILL GUARANTEE THE SECURITY IN THE COUNTRYSIDE. THEREFORE, URGENT DONOR RESPONSE IS REQUESTED TO HELP ANGOLA CONSOLIDATE PEACE.
3. SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC RECOVERY
DURING THE WAR, MOST OF THE SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC INFRASTRUCTURE WAS DESTROYED; ANGOLA NEEDS THEREFORE TO REBUILD MOST OF ITS SCHOOLS, HOSPITALS, ROADS AND BRIDGES IN ORDER TO GUARANTEE THE FREE MOVEMENT OF GOODS AND PEOPLE AND SECURE GOVERNMENT ADMINISTRATION ALL OVER THE COUNTRY.
FOR THESE PURPOSES THE GOVERNMENT OF ANGOLA IS PREPARING TWO DONOR CONFERENCES TO RESPOND TO BOTH THE HUMANITARIAN SITUATION AND RECONSTRUCTION PROCESS. TO THIS RECONSTRUCTION PROCESS THE GOVERNMENT HAS ADDED A GLOBAL ECONOMIC PROGRAM WHICH SHOULD ATTRACT FOREIGN INVESTMENT IN THE NON OIL SECTOR.
4. THE DEMOCRATIC POLITICAL PROCESS
Page 33 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC AS SOON AS THE ANGOLAN GOVERNMENT CONCLUDES THE LUSAKA PROTOCOL, A PROCESS OF RETURNING TO NORMALCY WILL BE ENGAGED, THAT IS, THE CONCLUSION OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL DEBATE AND THE ELABORATION OF A NEW ELECTORAL AGENDATO THIS END, MANY AMERICAN ORGANIZATION LIKE NDI, IRI, AND IFES HAVE ALREADY BEEN WORKING WITH ANGOLA.
5. US-ANGOLA RELATIONS
THE RELATIONS BETWEEN THE U.S. AND ANGOLA HAVE IMPROVED CONSIDERABLY SINCE THE 90'S AND FORMAL DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS WERE ESTABLISHED IN MAY OF 1993. THE UNITED STATES ARE THE PRINCIPAL DONORS TO HUMANITARIAN SITUATION THROUGH THE UNITED NATIONS AND DIRECTLY TO THE PRESENT QUARTERING PROCESS.
IN THE ECONOMIC SPHERE, THE TWO COUNTRIES HAVE A CLOSE RELATION AND AMERICAN OIL COMPANIES ARE AMONG THE MOST IMPORTANT ONES, EXTRACTING 7% OF AMERICAN IMPORTS. THESE FIGURES ARE EXPECTED TO RISE CONSIDERABLY IN THE NEAR FUTURE AND CONTRIBUTE TO THE ENERGETIC SECURITY OF THE UNITED STATES. THE RECENT VISIT MADE BY PRESIDENT DOS SANTOS TO THE UNITED STATES REPRESENTS ANOTHER IMPORTANT STEP TOWARDS A STRONG RELATION BETWEEN THE COUNTRIES.
6. ANGOLA IN AFRICA AND THE WORLD
ANGOLA'S POLITICAL INVOLVEMENT IN CONFLICT RESOLUTIONS IN SOUTHERN AND CENTRAL AFRICA HAS BEEN CRUCIAL IN BRINGING PEACE AND STABILITY TO THE REGION.
ANGOLA WAS ONE OF THE MAJOR PARTIES IN BRINGING THE APARTHEID REGIME TO AN END AND ENGAGE THE INDEPENDENCE PROCESS IN NAMIBIA UNDER RESOLUTION 435/1978 OF THE UN SECURITY COUNCIL.
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ANGOLA IS AT THE PRESENT MOMENT ONE OF THE MAJOR PLAYERS IN BRINGING PEACE ANS STABILITY TO THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO WITH OTHER PARTNERS.
THE ANGOLAN GOVERNMENT IS ALSO EXPECTED TO BE ENDORSED BY THE AFRICAN UNION TO JOIN THE SECURITY COUNCIL AS A NON PERMANENT MEMBER FOR THE YEAR 2003/04. ON THE OTHER HAND, ANGOLA WILL CHAIR THE SADC FROM ITS COMING SUMMIT TO BE HELD IN LUANDA IN SEPTEMBER 2002.
ANGOLA IS A MEMBER OF MAJOR INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS LIKE THE W.T.O., AND IS COMMITTED TO IMPORTANT ECONOMIC REFORMS FOR A PROPER MARKET ECONOMY.
THESE COMMITMENTS OF THE ANGOLAN GOVERNMENT TOWARDS THE REGIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL CONFLICT RESOLUTIONS SHOW HOW ENGAGED THE GOVERNMENT IS TOWARD GLOBAL PEACE, SECURITY AND STABILITY. IN THIS REGARD ANGOLA CONTRIBUTED TO THE ADOPTION OF THE SADC PROTOCOL ON TERRORISM AND ORGANIZED CRIME.
I THANK YOU VERY MUCH.
Mr. ROYCE. We are going to go now to Lukamba Paulo Gato.
STATEMENT OF LUKAMBA PAULO GATO, CHAIRMAN, UNITA MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE
Page 35 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. GATO. Mr. Chairman, distinguished Ranking Member, honorable Members of the Committee, I want to commend the Committee for taking the initiative of holding this timely hearing on Angola. For too long Angolans have lived with the specter of war. We can argue forever about its causes, but we cannot run away from its destructive effects, whose victims include Dr. Savimbi of UNITA.
Dr. Savimbi called for talks at the end of last year, and, following his tragic death in combat, we face two options: to continue the guerilla war, or to pursue a negotiated solution. We decided to seize the moment and opted for peace. Under my leadership, a management commission was formed, and soon after we engaged the government in negotiations, which led to the signing of a formal cease-fire on April 4th, 2002. The agreement calls for UNITA to be demilitarized. We must quarter our troops, integrate 5,000 men into the national army and the police force, and provide training for the demobilized. As I speak, 80,000 troops and about 300,000 members of their families have reported to the camps. We moved decisively, to leave no doubt about our determination to make this process irreversible.
To guarantee the success of the process, we must ensure that (a) the conditions in the camps meet the basic human needs; (b) professional training is provided; and (c) a job market is created.
While recognizing the government efforts, more is needed. International assistance continues to be critical. We welcome efforts already made, and we thank the U.S. in particular for the speedy delivery of needed items. We call on the international community to remain engaged.
Page 36 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. Chairman, a lasting peace, true reconciliation and stability require us to go beyond military issues. We must adopt politics of inclusion and we must change the culture of violence into one of dialogue and cooperation. To this end, the political space for opposition parties and their capacity to intervene must be reinforced. The civil society whose efforts were crucial in recent years must be encouraged. The independent media struggling to survive must be supported. We must depoliticize the armed forces, the national police, and the public administration.
Finally, the electoral mechanisms must be transparent, credible, and independent. As far as UNITA is concerned, we plan to hold a national conference soon, to prepare for the challenges of the future and to select a new leadership. We hope to accomplish this without interference. We want to turn UNITA into a strong, united, and a democratic political party, able to be a constructive opposition and, in due course, present to the Angolans an alternative governing project.
Peace will not last without economic development. We must fight poverty and improve the people's living standards. More investments must be made in the productive and social sectors to create jobs and expand internal markets. Agriculture, once the base of Angola's economy, must be revived. Some of the challenges we face here include rebuilding rural communities to attract people back from the urban centers; rebuilding the social infrastructure; fighting corruption and ensuring transparency in governance; rebuilding roads; demining; and improving communication.
In addition, the budgetary process needs to be more inclusive, transparent, and fair in allocating resources to the different regions of the country to create equal opportunities for all. The society as a whole must know how much money comes in and how we spend it.
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Mr. Chairman, UNITA looks forward to the challenge of building a lasting peace and a genuine national reconciliation. We are ready to engage the government, other opposition parties, and the civil society in a dialogue for a new dispensation in Angola. This is not a statement of intent, but an expression of will.
We have ended the war. We must now work for peace, democracy, and national reconstruction. I thank you for this unique opportunity.
Mr. ROYCE. Thank you, Mr. Gato.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Gato follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF LUKAMBA PAULO GATO, CHAIRMAN, UNITA MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE
Mr. Chairman, Ed Royce, Distinguished Ranking Member, Donald Payne, Honorable Members of the Committee
I want to commend the Committee for taking the initiative of holding this hearing on Angola. I also want to recognize Mr. Kansteiner and my fellow countrymen representing the government and the civil society.
Mr. Chairman, for four decades Angolans have lived with the specter of war. Three Peace Agreements were celebrated during this periodthe Alvor Accord, the Bicesse Accord and the Lusaka Protocol. However, Angolans were not able to transcend the psychology of suspicion and the mentality of exclusion so embedded in the country's political culture. Peace processes, including elections, became the ''continuation of war by other means''.
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We can argue endlessly about the causes of the war, but we cannot run away from its destructive effects. In one-way or another, we are all agents of this tragedy and we must come together to end it. Over three million people are internally displaced; thousands of refugees languish in neighboring countries; 70% of our people live in poverty; unemployment is 80%; the social infrastructure is destroyed; corruption is eating away the country's resources; and the infant mortality rate is astronomical.
Against this sad background, UNITA issued a Peace Plan in August, 2001, and subsequently, Dr. Jonas M. Savimbi addressed a letter to the Secretary of State, Mr. Colin Powell on September 15, 2001, and another one to the UNSG, Mr. Kofi Annan on October 15, 2001 expressing his desire to resume dialogue with the government for a negotiated solution on the basis of the Lusaka Protocol. In December 2001, UNITA representatives held official meetings with a UN delegation led by Prof. Gambari in Paris, to explore ways of jump-starting the peace process.
However, while these consultations were going on, the fighting in the country, particularly in Moxico province, intensified culminating with the tragic death in action of Dr. Savimbi. Compounding the tragedy, the Vice President, Mr. Antonio Dembo, also died three days later from diabetes.
We had two options: a) continuing the guerrilla war for an indefinite period of time or b) pursuing the course of dialogue in line with Dr. Savimbi's wish. Despite the weakness of UNITA troops in Moxico, where the government concentrated its efforts, UNITA troops elsewhere in the country, were under better conditions and could still have continued fighting. As we weighed the options, it became evident that negotiations were the best option for UNITA, for Angola, and for the region. Meanwhile, we received positive signals from the government and we decided to seize the moment.
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Under my leadership, a Management Commission was formed and soon after we engaged the government in military negotiations that led to the signing of a formal ceasefire agreementThe Memorandum of Understandingon April 4, 2002. As an addendum to the Lusaka Protocol, this agreement calls for the quartering of UNITA troops; the integration of 5.000 of them into the National Army and the Police Force; and the provision of vocational training for those to be demobilized. We believe that the training is a crucial part of this deal to arm former combatants with skills to face the new world and prevent the recourse to banditry out of desperation.
As I speak about to 70,000 soldiers and more than 400,000 members of their families, have reported to the camps. We moved decisively as we understand the quartering to be a critical stepping-stone of the whole process. We do not have a hidden agenda and we want to leave no doubt about our determination to make this process work.
LASTING PEACE AND STABILITY
Experience dictates that how we handle the quartering and demobilization processes will determine the success or failure of the entire process. Conditions in the camps remain of great concern to us. We must therefore, ensure that: a) the conditions in the camps meet the basic human needs; b) vocational training is provided; and c) a job market is created to absorb demobilized from UNITA and government ranks. On the same note, we must take care of all veterans and disabled soldiers of any war from all sides.
While we recognize the government's efforts, more is needed. International assistance continues to be critical to the success of the quartering process. In this regard I want to thank the US for the speedy delivery of needed items and recognize Ambassador Chris Dell's effort in this regard. We hope this positive response becomes contagious and generate similar responses elsewhere.
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Mr. Chairman, a lasting peace, true reconciliation, and stability, require us to go beyond military issues. We must change the legacy of social and political exclusion into the politics of inclusion; we must change the culture of violence into one of dialogue and consultation. We must adopt new attitudes, appreciate differences, and respect our cultural diversity. The Lusaka Protocol, which remains the basis for this process, calls for the respect of basic rights and democracy as instruments of reconciliation. Democracy requires a democratic legal framework, a strong civil society and strong opposition parties, able to operate freely within the limits of the law.
It is therefore imperative that the political space for opposition parties and their capacity to intervene be reinforced; the civil society, whose efforts were crucial in recent years, must be encouraged; the independent media, struggling to survive must be supported; we must proceed with administrative decentralization; and finally, make the electoral mechanisms transparent and credible.
One of the lessons from the past is that we must stop confusing democracy with elections. Democracy is a process while elections are a moment in that process. Therefore we must put in place institutions and agree on a process that will make democracy sustainable before and after elections.
As far as UNITA is concerned, we plan to hold an inclusive national conference to bring the UNITA leadership together, reorganize the party and begin preparations for the party Congress during which we expect to adopt new party structures and elect a new leader. We hope that the Angolan government will allow UNITA to reorganized freely and take its legitimate place in the Angolan society. We intend to turn UNITA into a united, strong political party able to take its rightful place and achieve its goals through the political process.
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I would like to ask, Mr. Chairman, that the U.S. Congress continue to support programs aiming at building local capacity and helping political parties in Angola as we make the transition from war to peace.
Peace will not last without economic development. We must fight poverty and improve the people's living standards. More investment must be made into the productive and social sectors to create jobs and expand internal markets. Agriculture, once the base of Angola's economy, must be revived to reduce the dependence on oil. Some of the challenges we face here include: rebuilding rural communities to attract people back from urban centers; rebuilding the social infrastructure; fighting corruption and ensuring transparency in governance; rebuilding primary and secondary roads; demining; and improving communications.
We must also improve the budgeting process. It needs to be more inclusive, transparent and equitable in allocating resources to the different regions of the country. The society as a whole must know how much money comes in and how we plan to spend it. We believe that concluding an agreement with the IMF would be a good starting point.
Mr. Chairman, UNITA looks forward to the challenge of building a lasting peace and genuine national reconciliation. This is not a statement of intent, but an expression of will. We are ready to engage the government, other opposition parties, and the civil society in a dialogue for a new dispensation in Angola. The light we see at the end of the tunnel is no longer an oncoming train.
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I thank you for this unique opportunity.
Mr. ROYCE. We now go to Reverend Ntoni-Nzinga. Reverend, thank you for being with us today.
STATEMENT OF THE REVEREND DANIEL NTONINZINGA, Ph.D., EXECUTIVE SECRETARY, INTERECCLESIASTIC COMMITTEE FOR PEACE IN ANGOLA (COIEPA)
Rev. NTONI-NZINGA. Mr. Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee, it is an honor for me to stand before you or to be in front of you to comment on the exciting moments my people are going through and the challenging prospect for peace in Angola today. May I also use this occasion to thank you sincerely on behalf of the Angolan churches and civil society at large, especially those organizations of the civil society that are working together since we started the peace movement in the late 1990s, working together to seek a just and sustainable peace.
After almost 3 decades of tragic developments that destroyed so many lives, infrastructures, and resources, Angola is today going through a decisive moment. Choices made have to be consolidated. For a couple of years now, a song in my country has reminded us that we have to make a choice; a choice to either live in peace or stay in war. That song points out that it is best to choose what makes Angola prosper and offers prosperity to every Angolan.
I note that this is perhaps the first time that the U.S. House Subcommittee on Africa has dedicated the time to focusing not on the war in Angola but, rather, on examining real prospects for durable peace and economic reconstruction.
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We thank you once again for this initiative, which has come at the right moment for us. Allow me once again, Mr. Chairman, to also thank you and, through you, those who made our participation in this event possible. We are at the moment looking into the real peace. Angola, with the signing of the cease-fire on the 4th of April, entered into a new phase. As we said long before, especially at the end of 1999 and the beginning the year 2000, peace for us is not just the silencing of the guns. Peace is living together in harmony. And that is the peace we have been seeking.
We started a new phase in our quest for peace, and we hope this phase will offer more prospects and more horizons to our people. We are very grateful to those within the international community who have responded positively to calls for emergency aid for the millions, because the signing of the cease-fire and the quartering of the troops of UNITA has also brought and revealed some other problems which we are faced with, which my compatriots who have preceded me have already highlighted, the humanitarian tragedy we are faced with today.
All this means that we still have a lot to do, but looking into the prospect for reconstruction, I also wanted to say that reconstruction for us in the civil society movement, and the churches in particular, is more than a mere reconstruction of the infrastructure that has been destroyed by the war. We are looking at the reconstruction of the relationships between the people, the Angolans and the community, that they form at all levels.
For this, we propose to engage in working on four major points, for which we call upon you and your country as well as the international community to continue helping us. The stability in the country is very important. Stability means security as well, and that must be a priority in our work so that from now on, we cease to blame others, but blame ourselves for whatever happens.
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Second, we consider unity as a very important element in our quest for peace. For many years, even when fighting or working for our liberation from colonialism, unity was never a priority. At most, we developed a concept of unity that was not very different from the one we inherited from colonialism. Therefore, we are calling upon ourselves and upon all of you who are friends of Angola and the Angolans to help us achieve that unity. We are grateful that the leading forces in the country have started that process with us and for us. We believe that national unity must go beyond alliance building between the political forces, especially as this has been very often a consideration against the people.
The third important element we consider is transformation. We wouldn't want to have peace built on the pillars of war. We consider it important that we develop a processthat means the peace process must become a process that helps us build new pillars, the pillars of peace. What has affected our country is the fact that the logic of force remained the pillar of war. Today we want the logic of reason to be the pillar of peace.
This is to say that we cannot continue to be a nation that exists solely on the basis that we are the product of decisions that were made by colonial masters and their allies a long time ago. We are talking of peace, Mr. Chairman. Our country has 18 provinces; 17 of the provinces are at the moment enjoying that relative peace. There is an 18th province where not even a cease-fire is real in the lives of the people. So a need for transforming the whole nation is important, and that must be a transformation which is participatory.
Therefore, the fourth point I would like to suggest, which has come out of the discussion within the civil society and the churches at large, is the participation of the people, to avoid the politics of exclusion. Promoting a strong sense of belonging to the nation we claim to be is very important and must be the expression itself of the viable sense of solidarity among the Angolans. And that is something we commit ourselves to work for.
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With all this, Mr. Chairman, once again, we would like to reiterate our gratitude for the occasion, and ask that you convey our thanks to the Subcommittee, under your leadership, for supporting our work for a just and durable peace in Angola.
As a long-term privileged economic partner of our country, the United States of America has the means and resources, so we believe, to continue helping us so that we achieve these noble goals we have set for ourselves. We draw on the experience of your own historical journey, which gave birth to the most preferred system of democratic governance, which you now have in this country. Your country's zeal to defend human rights has sustained the American dream and its culture of political freedom.
These are assets we would like to explore and one from which we would want to draw whatever lessons that are useful to us as we work for a durable peace and just economic transformation in Angola.
Thank you very much.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Ntoni-Nzinga follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF THE REVEREND DANIEL NTONINZINGA, PH.D., EXECUTIVE SECRETARY, INTERECCLESIASTICAL COMMITTEE FOR PEACE IN ANGOLA (COIEPA)
Page 46 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Members of the Subcommittee,
It is an honour for me to stand before you to comment on the exciting moments we have been going through and the challenging prospects for peace in Angola, my beloved country. May I use this occasion, therefore, to thank you sincerely on behalf of the Angolan Churches and civil society at large, especially those that have been working together through the Peace Network in Angola, in the quest for just and sustainable peace.
After almost three decades of tragic developments that destroyed so many lives, infrastructures and resources, Angola is today going through a decisive moment. Choices must be made for peace to be durable and for a just and sustainable economic reconstruction.
I note that this is perhaps the first time that the US House Subcommittee on Africa has dedicated time to focusing not on the war in Angola but rather on examining real prospects for durable peace and economic reconstruction. We thank you once again for the initiative, which has come at the right moment for us. Allow me, Mr. Chairman, to also thank, through you, those who made our participation in this event possible, both the administrative services of your office, and those of the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), which has been a reliable partner to the Inter-Ecclesiastic Committee for Peace in Angola (COIEPA) and to Angola's peace movement at large.
Obviously we thank God that the people of Angola have been once again enjoying life with relative peace since April 4th. We call it relative peace because of two main reasons. First, the Comité that I represent here as well the entire civil society movement have been saying since 1999 we want peace that means more than a mere silencing of the guns. This is to say that the cease-fire agreement that was reached on March 31st in Luena and signed solemnly in Luanda on April 4th marks the beginning of a new era. We campaigned for the cease-fire and are very grateful to all those who contributed to its achievement, especially the Commanders of both the National Army and the UNITA Forces, for their decisive roles that silenced the guns. This is also to say that we do not want to consider a cease-fire as a peace agreement, hence the need for a comprehensive political agreement that may enable us all to put behind the history of war and get ride of the culture of violence in the midst of our people and nation.
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Second, although the speedy implementation of the cease-fire agreement testifies loudly to Angolan's courage, sense of patriotism, determination to end the war and faith in a new future for our land and people, we are faced with serious challenges on both humanitarian and political fronts. This is due to the fact that too many sons and daughters of our land, who have been living in areas that had no communication lines with the rest of the country, are today dying from hunger and malnutrition. Included in this group are former combatants of UNITA and their families, who are assembling in quartering camps that urgently need food, medicines and other equipment for a decent life.
We are very grateful to those within the international community who have responded positively to calls for emergency aid for the millions of Angolan compatriots affected by this tragedy. Permit me, Mr. Chairman, to use this occasion and inform the people of the United States of America, through you and your Subcommittee, that the Churches have launched a campaign that is collecting food, clothes, medicines, and other urgently needed resources for the compatriots mentioned above. We appeal to you for more help in assisting of our compatriots.
Despite the achievement of the last three months, we would like to affirm the desire of the people of Angola for a just and durable peace. This is only possible if we successfully conclude the long-term peace process that gained a new momentum with the April 4th cease-fire aggreement. The following factors must complement the cease-fire agreement:
For the past twenty-seven years, Angolans of all backgrounds often justify the causes of our suffering and misery by pointing fingers at Portuguese colonialism, the apartheid regime in South Africa and the cold war. We also accused tribalism and ethnic motives as serious threats to our political independence and stability. We also sometimes place responsibility for our conditions of life, including the tragedy we still face as a nation, on dead. This implies that we, the living members of the community, are not responsible but can blame our ancestors, the dead members of the community, for the unfortunate developments and consequences of our times. Fortunately, the failed peace agreements of 1992 and 1994 taught us that there are many other reasons behind the protracted war, which helped build and sustain the culture of violence and survival for the majority of Angolans today.
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One of the causes of the protracted war that has destroyed our land is the lack of unity. Objective analysis of our situation has revealed that from the times our people engaged in the liberation process, we remained divided in terms of movement and vision. This made us define peace in terms of effective control rather than participation of Angolans of all backgrounds and territory. The zeal to control, which was instrumental in the creation of the colonial state in what is now known as Angola, remained paramounteven after independence from Portuguese colonialism. After four centuries of colonial rule and silent resistance of by our people, they rejoiced when independence came in November 1975.
Unfortunately, real unity of the peoples and communities that constitute the emerging nation of Angola was never a priority in the political agendas that led us to the chaotic experience we have been going through. Analysts have also agreed that the two attempts to reconstruct a new nation at peace, one in May 1991 (Bicesse) and the other in November 1994 (Lusaka) failed to bring peace because UNITY was not the driving force of the peace we wanted.
The fact that peace was defined in terms of the absence of armed confrontation and that the logic of force continued to be the ideological base for the resolution of the conflict, paving the way to the bi-polarisation of the political system. Only those with guns in their hands were to determine the destiny of the nation. There were assumptions that both MPLA and UNITA would become the big brothers or sisters and manage public land and resources. They called upon the entire nation to trust them. They also pretended to be the sole political forces with the wisdom and knowledge to determine the destiny of the nation.
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The danger of this approach is that it attempted to legitimise power through their capacity to use violence to control unarmed men and women. Worse is the fact that this distortion of the concepts ''peace'' and ''national unity'' produced a system of governance that does not care about the rights of the people that form the nation today nor about free adherence to the new state as a national project. It is now widely recognized that politics of exclusion were an important cause of the civil war that devastated Angola. Thus the affirmation of the value of life and dignity for all the inhabitant of Angola is crucial for durable peace to become reality in Angola.
This is to say, Angolans of all background (political, ideological, race, religious, etc) must have a strong sense of belonging to the common identity for the nation to claim to be national. The belief that only when life in Luanda is threatened does war become a major threat to the integrity of the nation has maintained a culture of first and second degree citizenships. This has undermined the sense of national unity and patriotism, forcing ordinary Angolans dying every day across our country to consider themselves as mere numbers whose lives have no value.
We need to affirm the rights and responsibilities of every Angolan and the capacity of the Angolan community at large to transform its own situation. We need to sensitise members of Angola's society to develop a new understanding of its situation and to question the causes and solutions being suggested as parts of the peace agenda. We need to acknowledge our own mistakes, failures and crimes in order to engage in true reconciliation. This means that we must assist each community of our land to unite behind the common goals and objectives that may enable the nation to achieve lasting peace.
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I believe strongly that NATIONAL UNITY must go beyond alliance-building between the political forces that have conspired against the common interests to sustain their own survival. We must create political space to enable Angolans of all backgrounds and regions, at local and national levels, to participate in constructing peace, thus creating thus a new a sense of belonging that should sustain our commitment towards the common good and identity.
Durable peace and economic reconstruction require that we define peace as a process of transformation. Among the basic elements necessary for a successful peace process, I suggest two that must be guiding principles in the quest for peace.
First, we cannot continue to be a nation that exists on the sole basis that we are the products of the decisions that were made by colonial masters and their allies without the consent of our ancestors. This is to say that we must agree to transform the nation state we inherited and turn it into our own, according to what we want to be now and for ever.
Second, it is obvious that we have to deal with the social and economic imbalances that continue to frustrate life together. There can never be peace as long as the destitutes of yesterday are today those facing the worse tragedy, preparing the ground for the next generations of destitutes. These are the combatants who sacrificed their loves ones to resist colonialism. Their children have been at the front lines during the wars that have devastated the country and created the legacy of tragedies that continue to haunt our land and people. I fear this tragic experience will reproduce itself generation after generation. Any celebration of peace and planning of economic reconstruction must take into account the frustrations of these and many others whose identities and sense of self worth remain uncertain.
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Promoting of a strong sense of belonging to the nation must express itself through a viable sense of solidarity among Angolans of all backgrounds. No alliance, particularly one based primarily on political gains, can make this possible. Experiences of the last three decades have taught us that those alliances between organised political forces that are working for political survival alone never served the interests of the nation.
An important question is how to help the communities that form the nation of Angola to be actively involved in the construction of just peace and sustainable development able to ensure prosperity for all. We need more than a mere economic reconstruction. What has been there in Angola's colonial and post colonial eras remains alien to the majority of Angolans and has changed very little in the lives of the peoples that form the nation today. We need, therefore, a political and economic system that enables Angolans of all backgrounds and regions to claim ownership of the vision and the common project developed to realize the vision in real life.
In conclusion, Mr. Chairman, I would like to reiterate our gratitude for the occasion and ask that you convey our thanks to the Subcommittee, under your leadership, for supporting our work for just and durable peace in Angola. Let me also re-emphisize that prospects for durable peace and economic reconstruction require that we create a political space that is stable, ensure that national unity is not just an agglomeration of forces but an effective integration of the peoples that constitute the nation of Angola. To achieve this, we need to put in place mechanisms of transition from the experiences of war to those of peace. It is, therefore, crucial that we engage in a participatory transformation process that should enable us to come out with a new and better vision and project of life for all. This is only possible if all participate actively in the national debate, which should start by our revisiting the ashes of Lusaka, so that we correct what made it fail.
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As along term privileged economic partner of our country, the USA has means and resources to help us achieve these noble goals. We draw on the experience of your own historical journey, which gave birth to the most preferred system of democratic governance in the world. Your country's zeal to defend human rights has sustained the American dream and its culture of political freedom. These are assets we would want to draw from as Angola works to achieve durable peace and just economic transformation.
Mr. ROYCE. Thank you for your perspective there from the civil society. Let me ask you one quick question. Civil society in Angola has largely been confined to Luanda. What is the capacity of civil society to be engaged in the way that you have outlined or argued for outside of Luanda across the rest of the country?
Mr. NTONI-NZINGA. It is true, because of the communication problems the country was faced with for that long period during the time of intensive wars, it wasn't possible to involve everybody from everywhere. Fortunately, the process has started. We are having meetings in different places, in different cities, not just in Luanda, and we are planning to continue to have those meetings. It is even amazing that during this time we are referring to there were still organizations, groups emerging from different cities of the country which we are discovering now, which is very important for us. And we plan to have conferences in different provinces, all the provinces, as we move to the consolidation of peace.
The process is emerging, and networks of all kinds are also emerging, which is very encouraging.
Page 53 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. ROYCE. That is encouraging. I also wanted to ask Mr. Gato something: In your testimony you mention that there are 70,000 former UNITA combatants in quarters and 400,000 family members around these camps, but there have been a number of reports of armed UNITA members still in the field. Do you have figures on how many might still be active, and does UNITA have control over those troops? Are they renegades, or does UNITA have control over them?
Mr. GATO. I will speak in Portuguese and ask the lady to translate.
Mr. ROYCE. Absolutely.
Mr. GATO. [Through an interpreter.] All the troops of UNITA are being quartered. The instructions were given to all of the commanders and all in charge so that these instructions be followed completely. Right now we have 80,000 men who are quartered, and our commanders in the Armed Forces of the Angolan are undertaking enormous efforts to do everything possible so that there be no armed men outside of the quartering. And to date nothing has come to our attention about any armed men outside of the quartering area.
So as to answer the Chairman's question, I can say that if there are any troops still outside of the areas of quartering. It is due to the conditions. But our objective is to have in the quartering areas all the people, because we believe that quartering 100 percent is the key to peace, and our commitment is for UNITA to be a dearmed party, and it is a firm commitment.
Mr. ROYCE. Well, I hope you can convince all of the generals, just as I hope that the MPLA government can convince all of its generals to cooperate. In our own experience, we had a young UNITA representative lead us into Angola to meet with Jonas Savimbi; at the time a UNITA general did not appreciate that fact nor that our discussion was about Jonas Savimbi returning to the political process. After our return, we found that this young man had been beaten and hospitalized at the orders of that particular UNITA general who did not agree with the objectives of political action rather than military action.
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So from firsthand experience, I would say you need to keep very close control over all of the officer corps and make certain they follow those instructions.
I also wanted to ask Mr. Georges Chicoti about the recent ceasefire agreement that was signed between the government and UNITA which makes provisions for the disarmament of UNITA's forces and their integration into the national military; this is quite positive. However, as you know, the Bicesse accords agreed upon in 1991 by the same two parties similarly promised disarmament, the creation of a unified national military, and national multi-party elections, none of which were accomplished. So my question is this: What did the government learn from this past experience? What mistakes were made in 1991?
Mr. CHICOTI. Well, thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. In fact, one of the major difficulties we faced in the previous processes was that the agreements or the negotiations took too long and eventually too many mediations. This time this was an agreement between the military forces themselves of the Angolan government and UNITA and in the commitment of the Angolan government and the management commission that it would fulfill. Then they created the joint commission themselves, and the two have been working together.
Basically General Kamorteiro, the chief of staff of the UNITA forces, and General Nunda have been working together very closely in the implementation of the process. They do visit all the camps on a regular basis. They have regional commanders who are also following the process at the regional level, and this setup in our view makes a very big difference, because there is a commitment on top, both from the political side and on the top military structure, and we do feel that this coordination has made a very big difference from the previous processes, may it be the 1991 process or the 1998 or 1997 processes, 1994 protocol in its initial phases. I think that political will has been crucial, and as I said in my statement, we do respect and encourage very much General Lukamba, the Chairman of the commission, who has been sharing all of his concerns with us. He has been cooperating fully, and the government as well has been contributing on the same lines. And I think that this political will and the fact that we do have our joint chiefs of staff working together, we are producing definitely very important results, and we do hope that this process will conclude very well.
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I think that the delays eventually in the technical support, medication, food at one point represented a problem, and we are really concerned that it might not work, but both sides the military went on the ground. They informed thethey quartered military soldiers and they informed them why things were not so good, but as soon as we started responding very quickly, we are realizing that the process is holding, and I think that is going to give good results.
Mr. ROYCE. Well, I think things look good right now, but I would suggest we take nothing for granted. We have an opportunity to learn from the past.
In terms of the situation on the ground, you are aware of the report from the NGO Doctors Without Borders, and in that report it charges the Angolan government with chronic negligence of its people. (As you know, they say 500,000 Angolans, many in cantonment areas, are at risk of starvation.) How does the government respond to that report?
Mr. CHICOTI. Your Excellency, I think that the Doctors Without Borders do a fantastic job in Angola, and they have been responding to some of the most critical situations, but if you read the reports that have been issued as well by the United Nations, the representative of the United Nations and the World Food Programme, they say that some of their statements may not be as precise. They might need to consult with other NGOs and other agencies.
We do have at this moment in Angola 99 different NGOs working in the areas of humanitarian relief with the World Food Programme and the United Nations naturally, and so they are the only ones who are naturallywho have produced that report. We do believe they are very, very concerned, and I want to say that I think that the global situation or the humanitarian situation in Angola is a critical one. I don't want to underestimate that and the capacity of response of the Angolan government which is handling the 4 million people plus the 80,000 people who are being quartered. Naturally our capacity is limited. We are overwhelmed by the nature of problems that we have to face at once, and therefore I do understand that Medecins sans Frontieres is alarmed about the situation, but other organizations as well, because they do not only accuse the Angolan government but they also accuse the United Nations of being very slow. They accuse the World Food Programme of not delivering enough.
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But I think that what eventually should prevail is that all of these organizations, including the Angolan government, are overwhelmed by the nature or the number of people they have got to attend to. The World Food Programme, for example, says that they are delivering as muchas many as one million meals per day to different people across Angola, and they hope to increase these numbers. And I think that what we should take into account is in fact a critical humanitarian situation that is going to be attended to and that there has been no negligence from the Angolan government. All agencies in Angola are working in a coordinated manner to respond to as much as they can to relieve this situation. But I take note that we will need to continue to do more.
Mr. ROYCE. Minister, thank you. When we had a delegation that I led to Rwanda some years ago, I remember we had an opportunity to speak informally with a number of parliamentarians in your country from three different political parties; all of them felt that progress would be made if there was more power vested in the legislature instead of the executive, more transparency in the process, and a stronger checks and balances system. I would just close by saying that although these are representatives of three different political parties, including the MPLA, all felt that more balance and assertion of legislative prerogatives in terms of budgets and transparency would be helpful. Frankly, I agree. I have my own bias in this as a Member of Congress, but I pass that on as you reorganize the government and move forward.
I thank all three of you for coming down to testify today, and I will now move to Mr. Payne.
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Mr. PAYNE. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. Let me commend you for having witnesses who represent the political parties and the civil society. Although these men may have spent a considerable amount of time in the U.S., they are from Angola and speak with authority about what is happening there. So that is positive.
I, too, was disappointed at the failure of the peace process when the election was held and Mr. dos Santos won and Mr. Savimbi decided to go back to war. And my concern is if the UNITA organization finds it loses an election again or feels that it is not being represented properly, perhaps I can ask a representative from UNITA. Mr. Gato, what has been done within your organization to say, well, we don't take a loss by going back to the bush and getting our weapons. I guess it would be more difficult at this time, since much of them are being collected and there are encampments where the people are gathering. But what is there, in your opinion, to prevent the same situation from reoccurring a year from now?
Mr. GATO. Thank you very much, sir. I would like to try to answer, possibly clearing up some statements. We really don't want to look back much, but it is always a good way for us to better see the future. What happened in Angola in 1992 should merit possibly a deeper study, which time does not permit us at such a session. I would like to just state that President Santos was not elected in 1992. There was a second round of presidential elections that had been foreseen. But what is important to state is as of 4/4/2002, we have turned an important page in our history, by decision of the political leaders and militants. We wish to place the perspective of the future with far more optimism. We would like the future to reserve for us a better political perspective based upon mutual comprehension, reciprocal respect and acceptance so that never more the argument of force be used again but rather to use the force of argument.
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We are, and I believe the way that the process has been undergoing from the start until now permits us to view the future in a more constructive fashion, and the parties will find space for their interventions and a democracy that is of greater depth than that of 1992.
We wish to state before this august body that pertaining to UNITA there will never again be any recourse to arms and we hope on the part of the government there should be the concern for the respect of differences, mutual acceptance, and that the other parties of the opposition find the space and capacity for expression.
Thank you very much.
Mr. PAYNE. Well, thank you. I really don't want to go back to debate the past, either, because it is the past. However, there are one or two questions perhaps that we could debate, because according to my recollection, it was a wee bit different.
However, Reverend, you indicated that there were 18 provinces in your country; 17 where things were working well, and 1 where things were not. Could you clarify the problem in this province that you say there is a problem now?
Mr. NTONI-NZINGA. Yes, sir. I was referring to the province of Cabinda, where there are still forces fighting there, which means the war is not totally over in what we call Angola today.
Page 59 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. PAYNE. Thank you. Could any one of the two of you from the governments respond to that?
Mr. ROYCE. Mr. Payne, if I could just interject, I don't think that that struggle is historically related to the UNITAMPLA struggle. I mean, this is that small portion of Angola north of the Congo where oil is an issue, and I think there is some local insurgency that has been going on for some time. But perhaps Minister Chicoti would like to respond. But as I say, I don't think it is relevant here.
Mr. PAYNE. No. What I am hoping, and it doesn't need a response, is that if there is going to be a true transformation, you know the four points that were mentioned, stability, unity, transformation and inclusion, it can't be 90 percent, 99 percent. Somehow there has got to be an agreement that is total. The reason that Mozambique, and I keep using that as an example, has been doing so well is because it is not a 90 percent agreement. It is a 100 percent agreement, and that is why they are moving forward. And so therefore, I hope that all of the political players will be able to have an agreement.
And secondly, I would strongly recommend to both of your political parties that you ought to invite the representatives, some people, maybe even the President and some other perhaps parliamentarians, maybe more so than the President, to visit your country. Or you visit theirs, in exchange to see how RENAMO, which was a fighting force, became a political force, and how the government, which was also a fighting force, became the leading force and the government of Mozambique. I think that is an excellent model to follow, and if you haven't already done it, I would encourage that that may be a great way to see how all of these problems were resolved.
Page 60 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I do have a question regarding once again that we received a letter from some otherwell, let me ask the question. Are all the political parties, the smaller political parties, going to have an opportunity to be involved in the new discussions as relates to, I would imagine, coming, or is there a move to have a new constitution, or will the current constitution remain? Perhaps I can ask you, Mr. Minister.
Mr. CHICOTI. Well thank you, Mr. Payne. I think that there are discussions on political change in Angola ongoing already. Today in Angola we do have a free press. More than six different newspapers are published every day, and they are private, and they can talk about anything. There is the freedom of expression. We do have 125 political parties registered, and we do have 12 in parliament. These 12 in parliament are right now discussing the future constitution. They have already elaborated the major structure of this constitution. This constitution will then bethere will be a referendum on this constitution. That means that the civil society will then be asked to give its input. Then it will go back to parliament before it is finally approved.
So these are some of the remaining tasks that the government has got to accomplish in order to bring Angola to normalcy, and this process might be long. But I think that right now there is already quite a significant participation of the civil society in most of the issues insofar as the governance of Angola is concerned.
What has been a problem is in fact the 10 years before that we have hadfrom 1992 to today, which has not allowed political parties to develop across the country, which has not allowed our own action as a government to be extended all over the country. But what we are saying today is that it represents a major step, and that is why I endorsed exactly what Mr. Ntoni-Nzinga said in his statement. I think now we need to build the country. Everybody is participating. It is indeed an inclusive debate in Angola, and this is the only way in our view we are going to build a political environment that can guarantee everybody's interest.
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But from now until then, many things have got to happen and we are doing those that need to happen. First, we need to guarantee the situation of peace. The quartering process is going to be followed by the process of selection of the military from UNITA and then integrate them into the Angolan Armed Forces and the police. Then we still have to reintegrate those who will not be included in these processes. But we also have the 4 million people. We do have the challenge with all the infrastructure, because there are still isolated areas where you cannot go by road, where you cannot go by train. You need to fly if there is an airstrip. And in areas where you cannot find that airstrip, you cannot go.
So we still have a lot of people who are isolated in a number of areas. But I think these are all the challenges that the government has got to face.
Within this spirit, we also have to engage a global process of reform. So the challenges are really quite a lot, but I think that on the political level there is today a very good participation of all political factions.
And to what relates to the problems of Cabinda. Well, the province of Cabinda could bethis could be also one of those problems related to the colonial process itself. I think that there are quite a number of claims from some local small organizations that, you know, they may have wanted to be independent from Angola. They have used terrorist activities. They have used methods of taking hostages, innocent hostages, foreign people, foreigners working in Angola, and they have sometimes threatened the security of some foreign companies working in Angola.
Page 62 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Our law does not recognize that as an appropriate way of claiming political rights. We do believe that there is a clear environment in Angola today which allows all political parties to present their problems so that they can be properly addressed.
The Angolan government pursues the policy of dialogue with all political parties who have been at war with us. We have done that with UNITA for the last 10 years, and finally we think that we have achieved a very important understanding through the memorandum of understanding that we signed. I do believe that the same thing might apply in the near future with FLAKE, all the different factions of FLAKE. With them we have already had quite important negotiations since the years 1994, 1995, 1996, and there is in fact a commission of consultations between these organizations. And then we do believe that as time goes by and if they improve their methods of political claims, we do think that we don't need to kill a foreigner or to threaten other people's rights in order to claim a political right.
So I think that they are today also reviewing the efforts, and I wanted to assure the Committee that my government will put all efforts necessary to make sure that the peace process holds with all Angolans and that the most that we are going to use in terms of national reconciliation are those that will be conventional, inclusive and on the basis of dialogue, and that is what we are going to pursue.
For those who might use gains eventually might need to improve security and guarantee the security of foreign companies, of foreigners coming to Angola. We do not believe that it is an appropriate way of claiming political rights, but I think that in general we will use a strategy of political dialogue to bring peace not only to Angola but also to Cabinda. We do consider that Cabinda is part of Angola in our constitution right now, but we are also ready to take into account other local claims that might be important in order to achieve peace and global stability in our region.
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Mr. PAYNE. Thank you. Thank you very much for that, and I count on the U.S. to have a continued interest, and I know that our State Department will be anxiously working with all of the parties involved there to see that this comes to a good final conclusion.
Mr. ROYCE. Thank you, and in closing let me say I agree with Congressman Payne in his observation that Mozambique shows us an example of a country faced with similar passions, and yet RENAMO and FRELIMO in Mozambique were able, through extraordinary efforts, to compromise a restraint to build peace there, and I think Mr. Payne is absolutely right.
Let me add also how important I think your observation about your work to build a constitution is. Reflecting back on my conversations with your own parliamentarians, I think to the extent that you create an independent judiciary and a strong parliament that has the right to see the oil revenue fees and to know what goes into that budget and a constitution that leaves room and protects a healthy civil society, all of that is going to be critical as you reorganize the government. Too often we have seen an all powerful executive that ends up, as in Mozambique, extinguishing civil society and usurping from the legislature its control and then packing a court and the results do not accrue to the benefit of the people of the country.
So let me wish you well on your creation of a new constitution, and let me again thank you for appearing today and commend you on your cooperation as we move forward. Thank you again. We are adjourned.
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[Whereupon, at 3:55 p.m., the Subcommittee was adjourned.]