|ICRC Activities in Angola: 1993 - 28 January 2000 (International Committee of the Red Cross , 80 p.)|
|Angola: Annual report 1995|
The signing on 20 November 1994 of the Lusaka Peace Agreement between the Angolan government and UNITA* paved the way for a slow move towards normality. Active hostilities abated and the parties declared themselves committed to the peace process. This meant that people were again able to move relatively freely around the country and encouraged domestic trade to pick up slowly. Security for humanitarian organizations improved - a crucial development, as in 1994 hazardous conditions had severely hampered the effective distribution of relief and medical assistance. UN staff and other humanitarian agencies that had been forced to evacuate premises were able to return and operate more safely in many areas and to begin the rehabilitation of acountry and people ravaged by over 30 years of almost continual warfare. By the end of the year over 6,000 peacekeeping forces and military observers from UNAVEM III* had been deployed in Angola, as stipulated in the Lusaka Peace Protocol.
In March, in accordance with the Protocol, the government and UNITA forces submitted to the Joint Commission lists of detainees who were ready for release under ICRC supervision. Upon receipt of these lists, the ICRC began the process of prison visits to confirm identities and make logistical arrangements for the detainees return home.
The Protocol also stated that all soldiers were to be quartered in barracks, that UNITA combatants and armed civilians were to be demobilized and a new national army formed. Preparations to accommodate demobilized UNITA troops in camps were underway, when in June and July over 160 civilians and soldiers were reported killed during skirmishes in the diamond-rich province of Lunda Norte, which slowed down the procedure. The process of creating a new national army was temporarily interrupted in October, during meetings in Luanda between the government and UNITA, when an attempt was made on the life of the UNITA Chief of Staff.
On the political front, a positive impetus was given to the peace process in May, when the leaders of the government and UNITA met in Lusaka, and in July, when the Angolan President proposed constitutional amendments providing for two posts of vice-president, one to be filled by the leader of UNITA, and the other by a member of the MPLA*. Peace talks continued in August in a meeting in Gabon between the Angolan President and the UNITA leader and in late September in Brussels, during a round-table conference organized by the UNDP*. Nevertheless, events in the second half of the year and the rise in tension which accompanied them placed the peace process in a sort of stalemate.
In 1995 the ICRC:
* visited and assisted 620 detainees in 20 places of detention,
* collected 106,600 Red Cross messages and distributed 111,260;
* reunited 60 people with their families;
* switched in mid-year from large-scale food distributions to a major non-food relief programme for 400,000 civilians affected by the conflict;
* distributed seed and tools to 150,000 families for both the Nacas (dry) and the Lavras (rainy) planting seasons;
* supported 25 health posts in government and UNITA zones;
* completely renovated the prosthetic/orthotic centres in Huambo and Kuito and set up a component production unit in Luanda;
* rehabilitated water supply systems in Huambo (city and province).
* UNITA: National Union for the Total Independence of Angola
* UNAVEM III: United Nations Angola Verification Mission (III)