NEW YORK, 13 AUGUST 1998
STATEMENT BY AMBASSADOR TADEU SOARES, DEPUTY PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF PORTUGAL, TO THE SECURITY COUNCIL 3916th MEETING
Portugal fully supports the extension of the mandate of the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (MONUA) until 15 September 1998. It endorses the recommendation of the Secretary-General to extend the mandate for one month, taking into account the stalemate in the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol and the situation on the ground.
The peace process in Angola is at a particularly critical juncture, marked by the absence of sustained dialogue and the deepening of mutual mistrust. As a result of UNITAs irresponsible activity, the military and political situation has continued to deteriorate and the peace process has been pushed to the brink of collapse, raising the danger of the resumption of civil war. Indeed, the full implementation of the Lusaka Protocol is at stake due to the failure of UNITA to demobilize fully its forces and to facilitate the extension of State administration throughout the country. This behaviour is delaying peace and stability in Angola. Moreover, the continuation of UNITAs attacks against Government-controlled areas and United Nations personnel and other attempts to destabilize the country, as reported by the Secretary-General, are of particular concern to Portugal.
In the last few months, UNITA missed several deadlines for compliance with the remaining tasks of the peace process. This persistent pattern of non-compliance by UNITA with its obligations under the terms of the Acordos de Paz, the Lusaka Protocol and the relevant resolutions of the Council must end. UNITA must take decisive and irreversible steps for the peaceful resolution of the crisis on the basis of the Lusaka Protocol.
We deeply regret that since the adoption of resolution 1180 (1998) almost no significant progress has been made in the remaining key tasks of the peace process, even after successive attempts in the most recent weeks to put the process back on track through dialogue and diplomacy. In this context, I want to commend the Secretary-General for the expeditious manner in which he responded to the crisis which was aggravated by the death of Maître Beye and his decision to dispatch Under-Secretary-General Miyet and Ambassador Brahimi to Angola. We are sure that the Secretary-General will continue to follow this matter with the attention it deserves and will not hesitate to intervene personally if and when that is necessary. We welcome the recent appointment of a new Special Representative, Mr. Issa Diallo, which we hope will bring new momentum to the peace process. Portugal also calls upon the Government of Angola to continue to exercise patience and restraint and to persevere in its effort towards the full completion of the peace process.
The draft resolution before us has been designed to show the Government of Angola and UNITA that the United Nations and the international community are willing to continue to help the Angolan people achieve peace and stability, and we urge its full implementation.