Angola: Recent Developments and U.S. Policy

CRS Report for Congress
Angola: Recent Developments and U.S. Policy
April 24, 2002
Nicolas Cook
Analyst in African Affairs
Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division

Congressional Research Service ˜ The Library of Congress

Angola: Recent Developments and U.S. Policy
A permanent cease-fire agreement between the Angolan government and its
long-time military adversary, the National Union for the Total Independence of
Angola (UNITA) was signed on April 4, 2002. The accord provides for the
demobilization of UNITA’s forces, and for their integration into a unified national
military. Under a separate law passed prior to ratification of the accord, UNITA’s
armed forces will receive a general amnesty for wartime offenses committed against
the state and Angolan people. The agreement followed the death of Jonas Savimbi,
the founder and long-time leader of UNITA, who was killed in a government ambush
in February, 2002 in eastern Angola. Savimbi’s death raised the prospect of possible
realignments within the UNITA organization or of changes in its leadership. The
current de facto political leader of the former Savimbi-led wing of UNITA is General
Paulo “Gato” Lukamba, the UNITA secretary-general and head of UNITA’s
Administrative Affairs commission.
Eduardo dos Santos, Angola’s current President and leader of the ruling Popular
Liberation Movement of Angola (MPLA), indicated in 2001 that he would step down
prior to elections that may be held in late 2002 or in 2003. Dos Santos has designated
no clear successor, and some analysts believe that he may yet stand as a presidential
candidate. The Angolan government has been labeled authoritarian by many
observers because of its sometimes harsh repression of domestic political opponents
and journalists, and for curtailing public expression and the opportunity of its citizens
to change their government. Angola has been engaged militarily in several
neighboring countries in recent years.
The country’s first and only national election was held in 1992, following a peace
accord between the government and UNITA; it ended in an aborted run-off election
and a return to civil war. International pressure on UNITA to return to peace talks
grew. In 1993, the United Nations (U.N.) imposed an oil and arms embargo on
UNITA. Peace talks ensued, culminating in a renewed cease-fire agreement in accord
with the Lusaka Protocol. A U.N. peacekeeping operation was deployed, but the
Lusaka accord was never fully implemented. A period of instability ensued, and by
late1998 Angola again faced full-scale civil war. The government attacked UNITA
strongholds in central Angola. UNITA launched counterattacks; it had seized much
territory by mid-1999, including many diamond-rich zones. The U.N. imposed further
sanctions on UNITA. The MPLA claimed many military successes in 1999-2002, but
UNITA carried out many attacks across Angola during the same period. UNITA
was able to fund its operations by selling diamonds and obtaining arms, in violation
of U.N. sanctions against it.

Recent Developments............................................1
Background .................................................... 1
The Angolan Conflict in the 1990s...........................3
Recent Fighting.........................................4
Cabinda/FLEC .......................................... 5
Recent Political Developments......................................5
Forthcoming Elections........................................5
Dos Santos Candidacy....................................5
Political Landscape Shifts......................................6
Death of Savimbi........................................6
Post-Savimbi Developments................................7
UNITA Leadership Succession..............................7
Movement Toward Truce Talks.............................8
Preliminary Cease-fire Talks................................8
Formal Cease-fire Signed..................................9
UNITA and Possible Leadership Changes.....................10
UNITA-Renovada ...................................... 11
U.N. Role in Angola............................................11
Current U.N. Activities..................................12
Human Rights and Civil Liberties...................................13
Human Rights.........................................13
Civil Society and Opposition Politics........................14
Angolan Economy..............................................14
Overview ............................................. 14
Oil .................................................. 14
Diamonds ............................................. 15
Relations with the International Financial Community............16
Oil, Political Power, and Corruption: The Views of Critics........17
Angolan Government: Responses to Critics...................19
U.S. Policy...................................................20
U.S. Support for Current Peace Process......................20
Congressional Role.....................................21
Business and the U.S.-Angolan Relationship...................22
U.S. Assistance to Angola....................................23
Appendix 1...................................................25

Angola in Brief: Demographics.....................................1
Oil as a Proportion of Angolan Government Revenues...................15
U.S. Humanitarian and Development Assistance to Angola...............24
U.S. Military and Humanitarian Demining Assistance to Angola...........24

Angola: Recent Developments
And U.S. Policy
Recent Developments
A permanent cease-fire agreement between the Angolan government and its
long-time military adversary, the National Union for the Total Independence of
Angola (UNITA) was signed on April 4, 2002. It provides for the demobilization of
UNITA forces and for their integration into a unified national military, in accordance
with the Lusaka Protocol, an abortive peace accord. A new law provides UNITA
forces with a general amnesty for wartime offenses. In mid-April, over 9,000 of about
55,000 UNITA troops had reported to demobilization areas. The cease-fire
agreement was holding. Some logistical delays related to the supply of food,
medicine, and other goods to the newly established cantonment were reported. The
cease-fire accord followed the death of Jonas Savimbi, UNITA’s founder and
long-time leader. He was killed in a government ambush in February, 2002 in the
eastern province of Moxico. The former Savimbi-led faction is led by General Paulo
“Gato” Lukamba, the UNITA secretary-general and head of UNITA’s Administrative
Affairs commission. In mid-March, just prior to initial cease-fire talks, he issued a
communiqué to UNITA fighters appointing an interim management commission,
which he heads.
Angola, a country of about 12.7
Angola in Brief:million people that is nearly twice the
Demographicssize of Texas, has vast oil reserves,
diamonds and other minerals deposits,
Population: 12.7 million (2000)and rich agricultural potential. Most
Population growth: 3% (2000)Angolans remain poor, however, due to
Life expectancy: 38.59 years (2001 est.)a 25-year civil conflict that is estimated
Adults with HIV/AIDS (1999): 2.78%to have taken more than 1 million lives.
Literacy: Total: 42%; Male: 56%; Female: A tripartite agreement among the three
28% (1998 est.)major liberation movements to form a
Religions: Indigenous beliefs 47%, Romantransitional government collapsed just
Catholic 38%, Protestant 15%after Angola became independent of
Portugal in 1975. Parties to the
agreement included the Popular
Liberation Movement of Angola (MPLA), the current ruling party; its armed rival,
UNITA; and the National Front for the Liberation of Angola (FNLA), led until

recently by Holden Roberto.1 Although all three groups sought national liberation and
included members from across Angola, each drew the core of its support from
different ethnic coalitions. UNITA has been dominated by the Ovimbundu ethnic
group of central Angola, although it has also drawn support from the Chokwe, Luena,
and Ovambo communities of eastern and southern Angola. The MPLA was originally
predominantly a coalition between the Mbundu of northwest Angola, persons of
mixed race, and urban dwellers. The FNLA drew much of its support from the2
northern Bakongo people and some rural Mbundu.
A civil war began following the collapse of the agreement, as the MPLA,
UNITA, the FNLA and other splinter groups fought one another for control of the
government in Luanda, then – and since – held by the MPLA. In the 1970s and
1980s, the conflict was shaped by the Cold War. The Soviet Union and Cuba assisted
the then-Marxist MPLA, which established a de facto one party state. The United
States and South Africa aided UNITA and the FNLA. In 1985, Congress repealed a
1976 ban on covert aid to Angolan belligerents; in 1986 the Reagan Administration
initiated covert military assistance to UNITA.
In 1979, Eduardo dos Santos, Angola’s current president and leader of the
governing MPLA, succeeded Agostino Neto, the country’s president at independence.
Dos Santos, born in1942 in Luanda to a family of ethnic Mbundu origins, studied
petroleum engineering in the Soviet Union at the Institute of Oil and Gas in Baku.
Before becoming president, he had been minister of foreign affairs in Angola’s first
post-independence government, after serving as first deputy prime minister and
minister of planning (1978-1979). Dos Santos oversaw a gradual liberalization of the
MPLA’s socialist political ideology during the late 1980s and early 1990s, and later
supported a reorientation toward liberal, free market policies, as did many other
African leaders. He has presided over the long-running civil war, and in recent years
he appears to have taken closer control of its prosecution. In 1999, he abolished the
post of prime minister and created a highly autonomous Defense Ministry.
The Dos Santos government has been labeled authoritarian by many observers
because of its sometimes harsh repression of its domestic political opponents, and
journalists – and for curtailing public expression and the opportunity for its citizens
to change their government (see human rights section, below).3 The country’s first
and only national election was held in 1992; it ended in an aborted run-off election
and a return to civil war. The government’s fierce prosecution of the war against

1The acronyms above – and several that follow – reflect the Portuguese, as per common
2For descriptions and a map of Angola’s ethnic groups, see Ethnologue, “Languages of
Angola,” [].
3The first demonstration near the presidential palace in approximately 30 years was reportedly
dispersed and the protesters beaten and arrested. See, “Angolan Protesters
Said Arrested Outside Palace Luanda (Angola),” January 26, 2001. For a recent example of
government control of public expression, see Agence France Presse, “Angolan poet fined
again for defaming president,” January 24, 2002. The government has also occasionally
cracked down on parliamentary critics; see, Agence France Presse, “Angolan parliament
launches inquiry on pro-rebel lawmakers,” October 16, 2001

UNITA, in which thousands of young Angolans were impressed into military service,
has also contributed to a hardline image of the government.
The Angolan Conflict in the 1990s.4 In May 1991, UNITA and the dos
Santos government signed a peace pact known as the Bicesse Accords, which
provided for disarmament, the creation of a unified national army, and national multi-
party elections. Multi-party competition was permitted under constitutional
amendments ratified in April 1992. In September 1992, Angola held its first and only
multi-party elections, in which 18 parties contested, and which were monitored by the
United Nations (U.N.). Campaigning was reportedly tense, given the recentness of
open conflict, and because the separatist Cabinda movement FLEC (see below) called
for an electoral boycott. Over 75% of voters cast ballots. The MPLA won a
parliamentary majority, but the presidential race resulted in the necessity of a run-off
election. Neither dos Santos, with 49.6% of the vote, nor Savimbi, with 40%, won
a required majority.
UNITA officials alleged that the MPLA government had engaged in widespread
election fraud, including the use of dummy ballots, stolen ballot boxes, and rigged
counts, and asserted that the personal security of UNITA supporters was being
violated by government supporters. In an atmosphere of increasing conflict across
Angola, UNITA dismissed a U.N. finding that the election had been substantially free
and fair and, asserting that the conditions for a fair run-off did not exist, rejected a
run-off election, effectively abandoning the Bicesse Accord. It rearmed and rapidly
took control of large areas. The MPLA, which had substantially demobilized, faced
the increasing UNITA attacks with the help of armed civilians and police; it
subsequently invested heavily to build its military capacity, and launched a broad
offensive against UNITA.
International pressure on UNITA to return to negotiations grew. In September
1993, the United Nations imposed an oil and arms embargo on UNITA.5 Peace talks
subsequently ensued, culminating in the November 1994 Lusaka Protocol, which
called for a renewed cease-fire, the re-validation of the Bicesse Accords; the
disarmament and demobilization of UNITA; and UNITA’s participation in a
government of national reconciliation. A 7,000-member U.N. peacekeeping operation
was deployed, but implementation of the Protocols was repeatedly delayed. A
Government of Unity and National Reconciliation was installed in April 1997, but
Savimbi refused to come to the capital, citing safety concerns, and low-level conflict
continued. In the same year, the fall of the Mobutu government in the Democratic
Republic of Congo (the DRC, then called Zaire) – a strong UNITA backer – and of
the Lissouba government in the Republic of the Congo (also known as Congo-
Brazzaville), deprived UNITA of rear supply bases, and of political and logistical
channels for the arms and diamond transshipments. The U.N. Security Council

4For further background, see CRS Report 97-980, Angola: Background and Current
Situation; CRS Report 98-816, Angola Update; and CRS Report RS20085, Angola: War
5The U.N. Security Council has issued over 30 resolutions on Angola since 1993. All
resolutions can be found at: []. On sanctions-specific
resolutions, see [].

enacted stronger sanctions against UNITA, including a flight and travel ban, in
October 1997.
The Protocols were never fully implemented, and a period of continuing
insecurity characterized by sporadic conflict ensued; by mid-1998, armed clashes had
become more frequent. In August 1998, UNITA was suspended from parliament. Full
scale war did not resume until December 1998, when the MPLA government, angered
by UNITA’s failure to honor the Protocols, attacked UNITA strongholds in central
Angola, causing the final collapse of the Protocols. UNITA managed to stall the
offensive, and launched counterattacks, making significant territorial gains by mid-

1999, including the seizure of much of diamond-rich eastern Angola. The U.N.

targeted further sanctions against UNITA in April 2000. The U.N. has primarily
blamed UNITA for its failure to implement the Lusaka Protocol. UNITA charged that
the U.N. showed bias toward the government, and accused the government of
violence against UNITA’s supporters.
Recent Fighting. The MPLA claimed many military successes in 1999-2000.
In September 1999, the government captured key UNITA strongholds in the central
towns of Bailundo and Andulo, although UNITA mounted a strong counter-offensive,
and laid siege to several government-held cities. By July 2000, the government
claimed control of over 90% of the country. In late 2000, the government undertook
large scale operations along the Namibian border, in apparent military cooperation
with Namibia, and later attacked UNITA in the east, near Zambia. UNITA also came
under pressure as a result of the Angolan government’s military presence in Congo-
Brazzaville and the government’s participation, as an armed ally of the DRC
government, in the DRC war.6 The government conducted extensive military
operations against UNITA in eastern Moxico Province, near Zambia in late 2001 and
early 2002. It claimed to be routing Savimbi’s forces, but some observers remained
skeptical. Public comments by Angolan government officials had often predicted
imminent military victory, but the conflict had endured.
Despite the government’s military successes and UNITA’s reported loss of most
of its conventional military capability, the group carried out many attacks across
Angola throughout 2001 and into 2002. These included attacks near Luanda, the
capital, which the government strongly countered. UNITA’s attacks in 2001 and early
2002 were primarily guerrilla-style supply and harassment raids. In some, food and
other provisions were seized, property destroyed, and vehicles burned. Civilian
captives were reportedly taken by UNITA on multiple occasions, although UNITA
has usually denied responsibility for such actions. Despite severe military pressure,
UNITA appeared – based upon the high and continuing numbers of reported attacks
by the group throughout 2001 and published analyses of the conflict – to possess a
formidable, mobile guerrilla force and a national command-and-control network.
Many observers saw the group as capable of waging an indefinite bush war, even
though it had been unable to effectively occupy and control territory. UNITA was

6Angola, the DRC, and the Republic of Congo reportedly have formed a tripartite security
arrangement. Agence France Presse, “Congo, DRCongo and Angolan military officers meet
over security,” August 23, 2001; and RTNC TV (Kinshasa), “DRCongo, Angola, Congo
decide to bolster border security,” BBC Monitoring Africa, August 28, 2001.

able to fund its operations by selling diamonds and obtaining arms, in violation of
U.N. sanctions against it, U.N. reports state – albeit at a diminished level compared
to earlier periods.7
Cabinda/FLEC. In addition to its conflict with UNITA, the Angolan
government has also faced sporadic armed attacks by factions of an armed rebel
movement in Cabinda, the Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda (FLEC).
FLEC, which is splintered into several factions, advocates self-government for the
people of Cabinda, a small, oil-rich Atlantic coast enclave of Angola that lies between
the DRC and Congo-Brazzaville. Cabinda is the source of about 70% of Angola’s oil.
In early April 2002, FLEC accused the government of launching a widespread
offensive against FLEC forces, and claims that following the April 4 cease-fire
agreement, the Angolan government has increased its military presence in Cabinda.
On April 18, FLEC accused the Angolan army of killing ten civilians in an attack on
a village, a claim denied by the Angolan government, which has also denied increasing
its military presence in the enclave.
Recent Political Developments
Forthcoming Elections
In June 1999, the parliament, whose term had been extended in 1996 for between
two and four years, voted to postpone elections. Later in the year, the government
announced that elections would take place in 2001, but later moved the date to 2002.
President dos Santos announced to a meeting of the ruling MPLA party’s central
committee in August 2001 that the next elections would likely take place in late 2002
or in 2003. He asserted, however, that elections could not take place before people
and goods could move freely throughout Angola, and internally war-displaced persons
had been resettled. Defense Minister Kundi Paihama, was quoted on March 22 as
saying that general elections would be held under U.N. supervision by 2003 “at the
Dos Santos Candidacy. Mr. dos Santos told the MPLA party leadership in
late August 2001 that he would not run as a candidate in the next presidential
election, and that he would leave in the hands of the MPLA the selection and
“preparation” of its presidential candidate. Dos Santos is widely perceived to have
designated no clear successor. The president’s announced intention not to run has
reportedly elicited scepticism among some opposition members and observers of
Angolan politics, given the president’s firm control of national politics and military
affairs. Some see the move as a bid to unify a sometimes fractious party prior to
elections, to bolster the rationale for an extended dos Santos presidency, and to
defend against and draw out potential contenders within his party. Some observers
believe that the president will be “persuaded” by MPLA supporters to return as its
presidential candidate. Others believe he will step down, but will continue to exert

7On diamonds in Angola, see CRS Report RL30751, Diamonds and Conflict: Policy
Proposals and Background and section on economy, below.

strong influence over national affairs as a leadership power-broker. Mr. dos Santos
has periodically been rumored to suffer ill-health, but many observers discount such
In January 2001, dos Santos dismissed Angolan Armed Forces (FAA) Chief of
Staff General João de Matos. De Matos had commanded the FAA since 1992, and
had overseen many successful military operations against UNITA and commanded
Angolan forces in the Republic of Congo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo
(DRC). In late 2000, de Matos reportedly voiced doubts about the possibility of a
military solution to the war and implied that a political settlement was necessary,
raising speculation about policy differences with dos Santos. The latter had been seen
as supporting a continued robust military campaign against UNITA. De Matos’
business endeavors, particularly in the security and mining sectors, reportedly may
also have placed him at odds with the president. De Matos has been seen as an
effective leader and a possible MPLA challenger to dos Santos in upcoming
presidential elections; he is said to be supported by a group of key MPLA members
who are said to support internal reform of the MPLA and its political agenda.
In addition to de Matos, possible presidential candidates reported in the press
include parliamentary president Roberto de Almeida; minister of defense Kundi
Paihama; interior minister Fernando da Piedade Dias “Nando” dos Santos; MPLA
secretary-general João Lourenço; former prime minister Marcolino Moco; and former
MPLA secretary-general Lopo do Nascimento.
Political Landscape Shifts
Death of Savimbi. Until February 2002, prospects for elections and many
analyses of Angola’s political future had been premised on the assumption that Angola
would continue to be afflicted by armed conflict or related instability. The death of
UNITA leader Jonas Savimbi on February 22, 2002 however, radically altered
Angola’s political landscape and raised the possibility that an end to the conflict could
be reached.
Savimbi, 67, was killed following a government ambush of a UNITA military
convoy in which he had been traveling toward the Zambian border near Lucusse, a
small town in Angola’s eastern Moxico Province, where he was later buried. His
death followed intensive FAA counter-insurgency operations against UNITA that
placed the group under severe military pressure in Moxico and elsewhere. The
ambush resulted in the death of over 20 UNITA officials and followers, and the
capture of one of Savimbi’s four wives. Some UNITA officials were reportedly able
to escape. About a week before Savimbi’s death, the government had reportedly
captured UNITA’s deputy military commander, and a number of UNITA officers
were captured or killed in late 2001 and early 2002 as a result of similar military
operations. Government forces were reportedly able to locate Savimbi by tracking
satellite telephone phone calls made by him and members of his party; reconnaissance
drones and tracking dogs were also reportedly used. UNITA representatives, citing
the possible involvement of foreign governments in Savimbi’s death, have called for
an international investigation into the circumstances of Mr. Savimbi’s killing.

Savimbi’s death raised the prospect that subsequent UNITA leadership changes
or internal realignments might lead to a cease-fire or negotiations to end the conflict.
The Angolan government and some international observers had long attributed the
continuation of Angola’s conflict to Savimbi. They charged that he had abandoned the
Lusaka Protocol and the electoral process, instead seeking political power by force
of arms. Savimbi, for his part, attributed the continued conflict to belligerence by the
MPLA government, which UNITA viewed as a corrupt dictatorship that refused to
renegotiate the Lusaka Protocol, seen as defective by Savimbi. The impasse between
the two parties meant that no attempt to bring peace to Angola had succeeded after
the failure of the Protocols.
Post-Savimbi Developments. In the days after Savimbi’s death, the
Angolan government urged UNITA forces to surrender and stated its willingness to
take “decisive and rapid steps” to bring about a cease-fire. Such actions have been
welcomed and strongly encouraged by the international community. The U.S. and
Portuguese governments, the European Union, and U.N. Secretary-General Kofi
Annan, among others, have called for a cease-fire. No details of efforts to bring about
a cease-fire, such as a proposed schedule for de-escalation, were initially announced.
During the same period, leaders of the armed wing of UNITA – who were said to be
in the bush fleeing Angolan government forces, which initially continued the strong
offensive that had led to the killing of Savimbi – maintained a public silence. UNITA
parliamentarians in Luanda and UNITA spokesmen in Europe spoke on behalf of the
movement. They welcomed the prospect of a cease-fire and further dialogue in
support of such an outcome, but stated that a cease-fire offer would need to come
from the government. UNITA indicated that it was not prepared to surrender
militarily, and asserted that the Angolan government – despite its call for a cease-fire
– was not truly interested in peace negotiations, and intended to continue its military
offensive. Some initial assessments of the post-Savimbi conflict posited that UNITA
would likely continue to pursue its military objectives in the short term, if only
because communicating political decisions to UNITA fighters in the field may take
time. Peace negotiations that began in mid-March 2002, however, appear to be
producing movement toward peace.
UNITA Leadership Succession. The leadership vacuum created by
Savimbi’s sudden departure created a succession crisis. Prior to his death, Savimbi
had reportedly sought to ensure the primacy of his leadership by eliminating rivals
within UNITA who might seek detente with the government, and many key UNITA
leaders had been captured in late 2001 and early 2002. These circumstances and the
weak military position of UNITA implied that UNITA might not be able to maintain
the organizational cohesion necessary to continue its armed struggle, and appear to
have created the basis for later cease-fire negotiations.
The UNITA constitution reportedly calls for the UNITA vice-president to
succeed Savimbi automatically, pending the election of a new leader by a UNITA
congress. In conformity with this provision, the interim accession to the top leadership
position by UNITA vice-president António Sebastião Dembo, 58, was announced in
late February by UNITA representatives in Europe. The succession was complicated,
however, after reports emerged that Dembo had died.

The current de facto political leader of the former Savimbi-led wing of UNITA
is General Paulo “Gato” Lukamba, the UNITA secretary-general and head of
UNITA’s Administrative Affairs commission Gato has a reputation as a military
hawk, but recently is reported to have stated that “the phase of the armed struggle is
over. Now we shall head towards the confrontation of political ideas.”8 In mid-
March, just prior to preliminary cease-fire talks, he issued a communiqué to UNITA
fighters appointing an interim management commission, which he heads, to lead
UNITA until the group’s next congress. Gato, who held the third highest position
within UNITA, is in his mid-40s, and is reported to have been in close contact with
Savimbi just prior to his death. UNITA’s External Mission, a group of members of
UNITA’s armed wing who reside outside of Angola, initially rejected the interim
leadership commission, and claimed to be the sole legitimate representatives of
UNITA. They asserted that UNITA leaders in Angola were government captives and
were not free to speak openly. News reports in late March, however, indicated that
the External Mission and a group of over 45 UNITA legislators in Luanda had each
independently issued statements backing the “caretaker commission” formed by Gato.
Movement Toward Truce Talks. On March 13, 2002, the government
announced that it had ordered the FAA to end offensive actions against UNITA prior
to the initiation of talks between UNITA and the government. It also sought to
prepare for a full cease-fire by initiating contacts between FAA field commanders and
UNITA units across Angola, and announced plans to reintegrate UNITA soldiers into
civilian life and to seek a Parliamentary grant of amnesty for all surrendering rebel
fighters. It also repeated its intention to prepare for general elections, and stated that
UNITA would be accepted as a legitimate political party following its disarmament,
as per the Lusaka Protocol, which the government maintains UNITA must implement.
The government’s actions followed earlier efforts to end to the conflict. In
November 2000, the government announced a broad amnesty for UNITA fighters
who agreed to surrender, and in January 2001, it established a Fund for Peace and
Reconciliation to assist demobilized fighters. The government claimed that several
thousand UNITA fighters subsequently defected, and indicated that it might consider
negotiations with UNITA. Toward this end, a 22-member parliamentary commission
on prospects for peace was created in April 2001. In October 2001, the government
hosted representatives of the troika that had overseen the signing of the Lusaka
Protocol – the United States, Russia, and Portugal – in an effort to resume the search
for peace. In December 2001, the United Nations announced a government-approved
U.N. initiative to seek contacts with UNITA.
Preliminary Cease-fire Talks. On March 15, 2002, a Angolan military
delegation headed by Angolan armed forces Deputy Chief of Staff General Geraldo
Sachipengo Nunda held a first round of cease-fire talks with a UNITA delegation
headed by UNITA chief of staff General Geraldo Abreu Muhengu Ukwachitembo
“Kamorteiro.” The government press agency, ANGOP, published a joint statement
by the two delegations, which met in Cassamba town in Moxico Province, indicating
that they had agreed to work toward a permanent end to hostilities and under the

8LUSA, “Angola: Army, UNITA Commanders Reportedly Meeting for Cease-fire Talks,”
March 13, 2002; IRIN, Angola: Use opportunity for peace, UN urges,” March 14, 2002.

abortive Lusaka Protocol. Kamorteiro was reported to have been hospitalized due to
a pre-existing health condition following the talks. Further talks were held in late
March, and initial contacts between FAA and UNITA commanders at the provincial
level were initiated. Limited UNITA troops movements and several attacks attributed
to UNITA followed the initiation of the truce talks, but the level of hostilities
decreased dramatically as the talks continued.
Members of UNITA’s External Mission initially voiced skepticism about the
talks. They asserted that several members of the UNITA delegation had been captured
by government forces, and were likely participating under duress. They labeled the
initial truce talks a “farce,” but later accepted the talks as legitimate after9
communicating with Gato. The government denied that the UNITA delegates were
under detention or participating under duress, but the circumstances surrounding talks
are unclear. The Angolan government has informed the U.N. that the talks are “part
of a military exercise.”10 No outside mediators or observers were initially present at
the talks, and news of the negotiations was limited to summaries published by
Angolan state media.
UNITA appeared to be negotiating from a position of weakness, and the
government played a dominant role in shaping the agenda for the talks. The
government announced that the FAA was “in charge of the logistics and all technical
arrangements for the holding of the talks, including the transportation of the UNITA
forces.”11 The government’s strong hand was also signaled by an Angolan state
television broadcast of a March 22 meeting between the FAA deputy chief and Gato
at an unspecified UNITA base in northeast Angola. The talks reportedly focused on
military issues only. Issues reportedly discussed included the siting of assembly points
for disarming UNITA forces, and protocols for the demobilization of UNITA fighters
and for their later integration into a unified national army.
Formal Cease-fire Signed. On April 4, 2002, a formal cease-fire agreement
was signed by the Angolan government and UNITA. It followed the unanimous
approval by the Angolan parliament on April 2 of a general amnesty for former
UNITA soldiers and “all civilians and soldiers, Angolan or foreign, who committed
crimes against the security of the Angolan state.” Present at the ceremony were the
top UNITA leadership; President Jose Eduardo dos Santos; U.N.
Undersecretary-General Ibrahim Gambari; representatives of the “troika” of observers
to the Lusaka Protocol (Portugal, the United States and Russia); and regional leaders.
The full terms of the cease-fire have not been published, but it reportedly includes a
pledge by the former adversaries to abide by the terms of the Lusaka Protocol;
provides for the demobilization of approximately 50,000 UNITA soldiers and their

9 BBC News Online, “Angolan military meets UNITA rebels,” March 16, 2002; Reuters,
“Angola armed forces report truce, rebels cry foul,” March 16, 2002; LUSA, “Angola:
Cease-fire Talks Continue, UNITA Abroad Charges No Freedom of Action,” March 20,


10 Anabela da Cruz, “UN’s future role in peace talks reviewed,” Radio France via BBC
Monitoring Africa, March 21, 2002.
11 Angop, “Army, Rebels chiefs [sic] reaffirm validity of Lusaka protocol,” March 16, 2002.

families; for their reintegration into society over the next four to nine months; and for
the integration of many former UNITA fighters into the Angolan army and police. The
two sides will hold additional discussions on further measures to extend the peace
Demobilization at 27 regional centers, which will be monitored by the U.N., has
begun. By mid-April, 2002, over 9,000 UNITA troops had reported to demobilization
areas, and the cease-fire agreement was generally holding. Delivery of supplies to
demobilization cantonment areas, however, was reportedly hampered by logistical
UNITA and Possible Leadership Changes. Although Gato appears to
have garnered widespread support within UNITA, subsequent changes within the
organization, including possible realignments with factions that had split with Savimbi
in recent years, may bring new leaders to the fore. According to UNITA
parliamentarian Jaka Jamba, deputy speaker of the Angolan national assembly, and
news reports, key contenders – in addition to Gato – who may seek to lead UNITA
include: 12
!Alcides Sakala, 44, UNITA Foreign Secretary, member of UNITA political
commission, and close confidant of the late Savimbi. Sakala had reportedly lost
some of his influence following the imposition of travel sanctions against
UNITA, which have prevented Sakala from representing UNITA’s cause
overseas. Some news accounts report that he is ill.
!Isias Samakuva, UNITA’s former top negotiator. He reportedly unofficially
represents UNITA in France, where he resides.
!Geraldo Ukwachitembo “Kamorteiro” Abreu, late 40s, UNITA military Chief
of Staff. Abreu Kamorteiro was reportedly close to Savimbi, but is said to lack
independent political support within UNITA and, like Gato, may face
dwindling support attributable to his hardline military stance. Kamorteiro
represented UNITA during post-Savimbi cease-fire talks in mid-March 2002,
and signed the April 4 ceasefire on behalf of UNITA.
!Celestino Mutuyakevela Kapapelo, a former UNITA parliamentarian, UNITA
lawyer, and head of UNITA’s Security Affairs commission. He is seen as
playing a key role in the interpretation and application of rules governing the
succession process.
!Abel Chivukuvuku, 44, a leading UNITA parliamentarian. Chivukuvuku is a
former key Savimbi advisor and UNITA ideologue, and leader of a UNITA
faction in Luanda that had distanced itself from Savimbi but is not part of
UNITA-Renovada. A potential reunification of the disparate factions of

12LUSA, “Angola: UNITA Legislators, Reps Abroad Back Caretaker Leadership, Peace
Talks,” March 26, 2002; Agence France-Presse, “UNITA’s Europe wing says both Angolan
sides serious about peace,” March 26, 2002.

UNITA has been raised repeatedly by observers and members of UNITA-R
following Savimbi’s death.
UNITA-Renovada. Another issue facing UNITA is the possible reunification
of the Gato-led wing with two or more UNITA splinter factions; reunification could
make UNITA a strong electoral contender against the ruling MPLA. UNITA-
Renovada (UNITA-Renewal or UNITA-R) is a dissident branch of the party that was
formed in September 1998 following considerable government pressure on UNITA
leaders in Luanda to speak out against Savimbi. UNITA-R, headed by Eugenio
Manuvakola, was recognized by the government as “the only valid interlocutor for the
continuation of the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol, which it accepts and
pledges to respect.”13 The formation of UNITA-R appears to have been the result
both of intra-UNITA leadership rivalries and of the government’s desire to isolate and
sideline Savimbi, and seek alternatives to his leadership. Savimbi’s UNITA rejected
the splinter group, and rival UNITA parliamentarian Abel Chivukuvuku was elected
chairman of the UNITA parliamentary group in Luanda in October 1998. Several
UNITA members of parliament, most prominently Chivukuvuku, have since remained
independent of both the UNITA-Renovada faction and UNITA’s armed wing. Despite
the emergence of a more diverse UNITA, Savimbi, as leader of the armed wing,
remained crucial to any future peace settlement.
On March 15, 2002 Luanda-based UNITA-Renovada leader Eugenio
Manuvakola called for an all-UNITA congress in order to reunite the armed and
Luanda-based factions of the party. On April 5, Gato and Manuvakola reportedly held
a “courtesy meeting” to discuss reunification of their two factions, but Manuvakola
was later quoted as saying that he rejected a “mechanical reunification” with the
faction of Gato, who he called “dictatorial” and “irascible, arrogant and violent.” Gato
was quoted as calling the reunification of the two factions “a “minor problem,” and
asserted that “there were never two UNITAs, only a single one; that of Jonas
Savimbi.” 14
U.N. Role in Angola
The United Nations has supported past peace initiatives with verification and
observer missions. The mission of the U.N. Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM
I) verified the redeployment and phased withdrawal from Angola of Cuban troops that
had assisted the government in its military efforts. The withdrawal was completed in
late May 1991. UNAVEM II (May 1991 to February 1995) was established by the
U.N. Security Council (UNSC) to monitor a cease-fire and police activities under the
Bicesse Accords. It was later charged with observing and verifying the 1992

13Government of Angola, “Agreement with UNITA-Renovada Updating the Lusaka Protocol:
Concerning the Reinstatement of Government Administration over the National Territory,”
February 18, 1999.
14LUSA, “Angola: UNITA Faction Leaders Hold First Unity Talks,” April 5, 2002; LUSA,
Angola: Only One UNITA Says De Facto Party Chief,” April 9, 2002; and LUSA, Angola:
UNITA Doves Charge Military Wing of 'Dictatorial' Stance,” April 9, 2002.

presidential and legislative elections in Angola. After renewed fighting in October
1992 the UNAVEM II mandate was altered to allow the mission to assist the two
sides to agree on modalities for finalizing the peace process and to broker related
national or local cease-fire agreements. After the signing of the Lusaka Protocol in
November 1994, UNAVEM II was charged with verifying the first stages of the peace
agreement. It was superceded by UNAVEM III in February 1995, which was to
monitor and verify the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol.
In June 1997 UNAVEM III was replaced by the U.N. Observer Mission in
Angola (MONUA), which was given an enlarged, multi-sectoral mandate. Its political
unit monitored the implementation of the Lusaka agreements and the normalization
of state administration across Angola, and monitored UNITA’s integration into these
institutions. It also assisted with confidence-building and the mediation of conflicts
arising from these activities. A police affairs unit assisted with police-related aspects
of political normalization and post-conflict integration; verified police neutrality;
promoted security, freedom of movement and association; and monitored the
disarmament of civilians. A human rights unit investigated human rights abuses, and
promoted the observation of human rights and the development of national human
rights education and monitoring capacities. A military unit monitored cease-fire
compliance, demobilization, and the integration of UNITA into the FAA. A U.N.
organization, the Humanitarian Assistance Coordination Unit, supported the
demobilization and social reintegration of UNITA ex-combatants, monitored
humanitarian needs, and acted as a coordination unit for the delivery of humanitarian
assistance. The security situation deteriorated sharply in 1998, leading to a resumption
of full scale war, and in February 1999 the mission was terminated. In October 1999,
the UNSC established the U.N. Office in Angola (UNOA) to liaise with the political,
military, police and other authorities in Angola. UNOA was mandated with exploring
possible measures for restoring peace; assisting in institutional capacity building; the
delivery of humanitarian assistance; the promotion of human rights; and related
coordination activities.
In order to compel UNITA to comply with peace accords that it had signed
during the Lusaka peace process, existing U.N. sanctions on UNITA were
strengthened in June 1998. The earlier sanctions had included an arms and fuel
embargo on UNITA; restrictions on UNITA travel; bans on the delivery to UNITA
of flight services, aircraft, and equipment; and restrictions on UNITA’s overseas
representational activities. The added sanctions included the freezing of UNITA assets
abroad; restrictions on official contacts with UNITA in Angola; a ban on diamond
exports from Angola not authorized by the Angolan government; and a ban on the
provision to UNITA of mining equipment and services, and of water and road
vehicles and spare parts. In May 1999, the U.N. Security Council created a panel of
experts to trace violations of sanctions on arms trafficking, oil supplies and the
diamond trade, and the movement of UNITA funds. In April 2000, the Security
Council adopted resolution 1295 (2000); it tightened existing sanctions, created a new
monitoring mechanism, and established a process by which the Security Council
would consider actions to be taken against states suspected of violating the sanctions.
Current U.N. Activities. In late 2001, the U.N. initiated efforts to establish
contacts with Savimbi’s UNITA wing in an attempt to restart peace negotiations to
end what many observers had concluded was a militarily unwinnable war. The U.N.

Security Council met in late March 2002, following the start of cease-fire talks, to
discuss recent developments and decide further steps to be taken by the U.N. It
dispatched Ibrahim Gambari, Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Adviser for Special
Assignments in Africa, to Angola to monitor the cease-fire negotiations and related
developments. During his two week trip, Mr. Gambari reportedly urged the disparate
factions of UNITA to unite in order to ensure a smooth transition to peace.
In response to substantial progress toward peace following the death of Savimbi,
the Security Council had reportedly been considering a gradual repeal of sanctions
against UNITA. On April 18, however, the Security Council determined that “the
situation in Angola continues to constitute a threat to international peace and security
in the region.” It passed Resolution 1404, which, while welcoming the April 4 cease-
fire agreement, extended by six months the mandate of the U.N. UNITA sanctions
monitoring mechanism. The Security Council also restated its concern about
humanitarian conditions in Angola. On April 17, the U.N. Office for the Coordination
of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) announced that U.N. humanitarian agencies were
initiating a survey of humanitarian conditions in Angola in areas of the country that
have long been inaccessible to relief agencies due to insecurity and logistical
constraints. The survey findings, expected to be completed by late May, will be used
to prioritize emergency relief delivery and to determine the roles and responsibilities
of the government, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and U.N. agencies in
responding to humanitarian needs. U.N. agencies participating in the survey include
the World Food Program (WFP); the U.N. Children’s Fund (UNICEF); the Food and
Agriculture Organization (FAO); the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees
(UNHCR); the U.N. Development Program (UNDP); and the World Health
Organization (WHO).
Human Rights and Civil Liberties
Human Rights. According to the U.S. Department of State and human rights
advocacy groups, human rights in Angola are abused frequently by both government
security forces and UNITA.15 Many abuses are related directly or indirectly to the
war, and to police corruption. Social violence and gender inequality, including
violence and discrimination against women, adult and child forced labor, and
prostitution, were common problems. Labor issues are dominated by the government,
and labor unions and worker rights were constrained. The government also repressed
freedoms of expression, of assembly, and of association and movement, according to
the State Department, news accounts, and human and civil rights monitoring reports
by private voluntary organizations. In 2000, some observers, including the U.S. State
Department and the Committee to Protect Journalists, saw moderate improvements
in some areas. Examples included fewer detainments of journalists, limited toleration
of some peaceful public protests and public forums on such issues as conflict
resolution, prospects for elections, and poverty in Angola.

15See, among others, Amnesty International, “Angola,” Report 2001; U.S. Department of
State, “Angola: Country Reports on Human Rights Practices-2001,” March 2002; and Human
Rights Watch, “Angola,” World Report 2002.

Civil Society and Opposition Politics. Increasing international and
domestic political pressure and the general goal of ending the civil war appear to be
gradually prompting the government to allow a more open and tolerant political
environment to develop. Churches, opposition parliamentarians, some MPLA
moderates, journalists, national civil society groups, and foreign humanitarian
organizations have placed increasing pressure on the government to ensure increased
transparency and public accountability; to consider signing a cease-fire agreement
with UNITA; and to engage in new peace negotiations. A petition advocating such
a position was circulated after a March 2001 conference on peace and reform. The
Inter-Ecclesiastical Committee for Peace in Angola (COIEPA) has been especially
active in seeking civil society-based solutions to the conflict. In June 2000 and on
other occasions since, thousands of citizens have marched for peace in Luanda. In July
2000, religious leaders called for a cease-fire and negotiations to end the war. The
state appears unwilling or unable to simply coercively suppress these growing voices.
Angolan Economy
Overview. Estimates of Angola’s total annual gross domestic product (GDP)
vary widely; the World Bank placed it at $8.8 billion in current dollars for 2000, and
estimated annual Gross National Income per capita at $240 for the same year. The
Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) cited GDP figures of $4 billion for 2000 and $4.1
billion for 2001. The Central Intelligence Agency estimated GDP for 2000 at $10.1
billion using the purchasing power parity method (calculations that account for
exchange rate changes and the purchasing power of local currency), and estimated
exports at $7.8 billion for 2000. Humanitarian conditions are grim. According to
U.N. estimates, about 3.1 million Angolans – about a quarter of the population – have
been displaced since the collapse of the Lusaka peace agreement in 1998. Insecurity
is widespread, meaning that the majority of rural people, 85% of whom are
subsistence producers, cannot tend to food crops, and face destitution. Severe hunger,
even near the capital, reportedly increased in 2001, and land mines are widespread.
The U.N. has reported moderate amelioration of socio-economic conditions in some
areas, but displacements elsewhere continue. High inflation, at 268% by December
2000, down from 437% in May 2000, fell to 80.23% during the first ten months of
2001; the annual average for 2001 was estimated by the EIU to be 115%. Accurate
evaluations of the Angolan government’s budget are difficult to produce, due to
recent changes in the national accounts system, and a history of off-the-books
spending. In July 2000, the World Bank authorized a credit of $33 million to enhance
social programs and poverty reduction. Several World Bank affiliates are active in
Oil. Oil production, which accounts for over 40% of Angola’s GDP and an
estimated 85% of state revenues (see table), is the engine of the Angolan economy,
but it is not well integrated with other economic sectors. Angola’s known oil reserves
are large (between 5.4 and 7 billion barrels of proven oil reserves, and possibly as
many as 12 billion according to one estimate), but much of it is located in deep-water,
making extraction costs high. Exxon holds rights to a recently confirmed, large oil
field known as Block 15, one among several recent discoveries. Chevron,
TotalFinaElf, and Texaco, ExxonMobil, and BP are among of the largest foreign

investors in Angola. Some analysts claim that state oil revenues are a source of large
black-budget spending and extensive corruption. Non-governmental organizations,
such as Global Witness, have pressured oil companies to maintain transparency in
their dealings with the Angolan government. In February 2001, the oil firm BP
reportedly announced it would disclose the financial terms of certain of its dealings
with the government. The latter was reportedly displeased by the action, and
reproached the firm in a sharply worded letter that warned that BP’s production
sharing agreements with Angola would be subject to possible termination if the terms
of the firm’s agreements with Angola were revealed.
Oil as a Proportion of Angolan Government Revenues
(Millions of U.S. Dollars)
Category1999 Est.2000 Projected2001 Proj.
Revenue, total275737663710
Oil revenues237632593180
Oil revenues (as
a percentage of8686.585.7
total revenues)
Source: IMF, “Angola--Preliminary Conclusions of the IMF Mission, August 14, 2001,”
Table 9B.
Diamonds. Diamonds are another key Angolan export. While much less
valuable than Angola’s oil production, diamonds are believed to have played an
important role in government financing of the war. For UNITA they have played a
crucial role in financing that organization’s military and logistical operations.
Diamonds are found throughout Angola, but are notably abundant in the northeast of
the country, in Lunda Norte and Lunda Sul provinces. Angolan diamonds are
primarily gem-quality; the proportion of industrial grade diamonds has comprised
between 10 and 15% of total diamond production in recent years, with the balance
made up of near-gem and gem quality stones. Total production for 2000 has been
estimated at just over $740 million, up from estimated 1999 production totals of16
between $400 million and $618 million. The volume of production may be higher
than these figures indicate because extensive smuggling of Angolan diamonds takes
In order to comply with U.N. Resolution 1173, the Angolan government has
instituted a diamond marketing and certificate of origin system designed to allow the
government to guarantee that UNITA diamonds do not enter into officially-sanctioned

16Luc Rombouts, “Mining Annual Review: Diamonds,” The Mining Journal, October 2001;
Luc Rombouts, “Mining Annual Review: Diamonds,” The Mining Journal, March 2000; and
“De Beers Consolidated Mines, Ltd. and De Beers Centenary AG” in U.S. Congress,
Committee on International Relations House of Representatives Subcommittee on Africa,
“Africa’s Diamonds: Precious, Perilous Too?,” hearings, 106th Cong., 2nd sess. (Washington:
GPO, 1948).

export channels; to cut off sources of funding for UNITA; to deter diamond
smuggling; and to increase government tax revenues. Under the system, the majority
of Angolan diamonds are sold through a single company, the Angola Selling
Corporation (Ascorp), a joint venture between Sodiam UEE, a company owned by
the Angolan government and two private foreign investors. The U.N. Monitoring
Mechanism on Sanctions against UNITA, which monitors the effectiveness of the
implementation of Angola-related U.N. sanctions, reports that between $1 million and
$1.2 million worth of diamonds are illegally exported from Angola each day. Illicit
exports are estimated to total between $350 million to $420 million annually. The
Mechanism attributed an estimate of between 25% and 30% of such trade to UNITA;
the balance exits the country through a wide variety of channels.
Relations with the International Financial Community. In April 2000,
Angola and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) signed a nine-month Staff
Monitored Program (SMP), which technically expired in June 2001. The arrangement
was later extended in the form of Article IV consultations. The agreement provided
for external monitoring of the Angolan economy by the IMF and a contracting firm
of the state budget, central bank, and Sonangol, the state oil firm. It also included a
special oil revenue audit, dubbed an “Oil Diagnostic,” the purpose of which was “to
assist the Government in increasing transparency with respect to the revenues from
petroleum production and building managerial capacity for monitoring and forecasting
the amount and flows of those revenues.”17 The monitoring program obligated the
government to implement economic reforms – including transparency, higher social
spending, reduced extra-budgetary spending, and increased privatization of state
firms – prior to possible consideration of a formal loan agreement and rescheduling
of Angola’s approximate $10.38 billion debt. Implementation of the monitoring
agreement was reportedly uneven, and in February 2002, the IMF announced that it
would not sign onto an economic program to be monitored by Fund staff, thus paving
the way for IMF loans to Angola. The IMF found that:
[d]espite a massive increase in oil and diamond-related income over the past three
years, Angola continues to face pressing economic and social problems. ... The
budgetary situation appears to have deteriorated further during the last quarter of

2001 and in early 2002, when the government used almost all of its deposits at the18

central bank, and the bank itself lost about half of its foreign exchange reserves.
The IMF noted that in discussions with the Angolan government leading up to
the decision not to pursue a full-fledged lending program, and in relation to the
transparency of government operations, key IMF concerns:
centered on the need to identify and eliminate or include in the treasury account all
extra-budgetary and quasi-fiscal expenditures; record and transfer to the treasury
all revenues, including the total amount of signature oil bonuses; ensure that all

17Embassy of the Republic of Angola (Washington, DC), “Terms of Reference Financial
Diagnosis and Monitoring of State Petroleum Reserves,” N.D., available on the Internet at
18IMF, “Angola - 2002 Article IV Consultation: Preliminary Conclusions of the IMF
mission,” February 19, 2002.

foreign currency receipts and government revenues, including Sonangol receipts,
are channeled through the central bank as mandated by the law; eliminate all
subsidy and tax arrears to and from Sonangol; publish data on oil and other
government revenues and expenditures, as well as on external debt; and conduct
independent financial audits of the 2001 accounts of Sonangol and of the central
bank. 19
President Dos Santos reportedly told a Voice of America interviewer that the
“policing” of the Angolan economy by the IMF is not acceptable to the government.
He is said to have charged that the IMF had acted “incorrectly” in its relationship with
Angola. He also rejected charges of widespread corruption in the country and
criticized the IMF for focusing its attention on loans made against future national oil
production. He reportedly emphasized that such loans were controlled by Angola –
acting as sovereign state that controls its own finances – and not the IMF. Dos Santos
also reportedly cancelled scheduled meetings with the IMF and World Bank, a move
that may indicate deteriorating relations with the two institutions.20
According to the U.S. State Department, in 2000, 40% of the national budget,
equivalent to 22% of Gross Domestic product, was spent on defense. This proportion
appears to be changing, as the government seeks to create the conditions for a
transition to peace. In mid-December 2001, Angola’s parliament approved a 2002
national “transition” budget of $5.8 billion, of which 68% will be funded by oil
revenues. The budget allocates 11% to defense, security and public order; education
and health receive36% and 28% respectively , and 21% percent will go to social
security and welfare; 10% goes to housing and public works, including energy and
water supplies, and 5% supports cultural projects.21
Oil, Political Power, and Corruption: The Views of Critics. Control of
the state’s oil and diamond wealth, and of political power, is reportedly highly
concentrated within the presidency, the cabinet of ministers, and a small military and
business elite with close ties to the government, while the vast majority of the22
population lives in penury. The concentration of wealth and power, according to
numerous allegations by critics and analysts, both results from and has helped
engender an extensive culture of large-scale corruption within the national leadership,

19 Ibid.
20LUSA, “Angola: President Accuses IMF of ‘Policing’ Economy,” February 27, 2002.
21Agence France Presse, “Angolan government approves 5.8 billion dollar budget,” December

14, 2001.

22See Jakkie Cilliers and Christian Dietrich, eds., Angola’s War Economy: The Role of Oil
and Diamonds, ISS, 2000; Phillipe Le Billion, “Angola’s Political Economy of War: The
Role of Oil and Diamonds, 1975-2000,” African Affairs (100), 2001; and Economist
Intelligence Unit, “Angola: Economic policy outlook,”EIU Country Reports, January 22,
2002; and Global Witness, All the Presidents Men: The Devastating Story of Oil and
Banking in Angola’s Privatised War, March 2002, and Global Witness, A Crude Awakening:
The Role of the Oil and Banking Industries in Angola’s Civil War and the Plunder of State
Assets, December 1999.

as well as widespread petty corruption within society at large.23 The leadership’s
wealth is said to be derived from portions of the revenues from the sale of national oil
reserves, oil extraction rights, the sale of diamonds, lucrative weapons deals, and24
control of state corporations and regulatory agencies. Leaders in control of state
institutions and attendant access to public sector assets, legal powers, and services
support, in turn, a subsidiary network of political clients. State workers, businessmen,
commercial licensees, professionals, family members, and others depend on the top
leadership for jobs, income, contracts, or freedom to operate various enterprises,
according to at least one scholar. The effect is the creation of a top-down, tiered
system of patronage and a network of mutual interest and economic inter-dependence
that critics say accumulates national wealth at the expense of the broader public.25 The
presidency, known as the Futungo de Belas – the White House of Angola – reportedly
exerts political influence through the Eduardo dos Santos Foundation (FESA, after
its Portuguese acronym), in addition to controlling political patronage networks that
operate through state institutions of government.26
The expenditure of large portions of Angola’s oil revenues is alleged to regularly
take place off-budget. In the process, large sums are believed to be misappropriated
by well-connected officials.27 Examples of transactions that are allegedly subject to
manipulation include the payment of signature bonuses (advance payments associated
with the right to bid on contracts), operations licensing fees, loans that use future oil

23See, for instance, U.S. Department of State, “Angola,” Country Reports on Human Rights
Practices-2000, February 23, 2001; Jon Jeter, “Angolans Handicapped By a Culture Of
Corruption,” Washington Post, November 22, 2001; Political Risk Services Group “Jose
Eduardo Dos Santos (President),” January 1, 2002; U.N. Integrated Regional Information
Networks, “ANGOLA: IRIN Focus On Corruption Allegations,” January 29, 2001; François
Misser, “Angolagate scandal,” African Business, May 2001; Emmanuelle Moors De Giorgio,
“Are banks fueling Angolan war?,” African Business, September 1999; and Lynne Duke,
“Angola’s chaos liberates forces of corruption,” Washington Post, 1 January 1999, A27.
24See Global Witness, below; Reuters, “Angolan president praises French arms dealer,”
February 27, 2001; and Reuters, , “French “Angolagate” probe ropes another ex-minister,”
April 20, 2001; and CRS Report RL30751, Diamonds and Conflict: Policy Proposals and
25See Christine Messiant, “The Eduardo dos Santos Foundation: Or How Angola’s Regime
Is Taking Over Civil Society, African Affairs (100), 2001, and Global Witness, below.
26See Messiant, “The Eduardo dos Santos Foundation,” and Energy Intelligence Group,
“Angola - Last chance,” Energy Compass, September 7, 2001; LUSA, “Angola - PR José
Eduardo dos Santos apela para esperança no processo de paz,” August 28, 2001; Energy
Intelligence Group, “Strategy dilemma,” Energy Compass, February 16, 2001; PANA,
“Angola Urged To Ratify Environmental Treaties,” December 7, 1999; Mercedes Sayagues,
“Politics-Angola: President Dos Santos Building Personality Cult,” Inter Press Service,
October 1, 1999, inter alia. See also the FESA website [].
27 See the following Global Witness documents, among others: “Financial Analysts Reveal
Angolan Government’s Shameful Secret. Where Are The ‘Missing Billions’?,” December 13,
2001; “Global Witness Calls On France & Liechtenstein To Immediately Investigate and
Disclose Extent of African Bribes By France’s State Oil Company,” July 12, 2000; and
“Arms and Corruption with Angola: President Chirac and President Dos Santo Have a Lot
of Explaining To Do,” December 22, 2000.

production as collateral, and spot sales of oil outside of regular contractual
arrangements. 28
Critics assert that national security concerns associated with the long-running
war have provided both a rationale and political cover for a lack of governmental
accountability and transparency in relation to national accounts, and associated
corruption.29 The nature of Angola’s oil assets have also insulated the oil economy
and its proceeds from both the war and from the oversight and influences of civil
society and political opposition. Reserves are primarily found off-shore, foreign firms
undertake the majority of extractive operations, and oil sector contracts are controlled
and allocated by MPLA-controlled institutions of government, leaving little scope for
local Angolan policy or business participation within the oil sector. In recent years
revenue has reportedly been used to fund debt repayment, military expenses, and the
country’s extensive network of patron-client relationships. Smaller proportions have
generally been allocated to economic development, social services, and reconstruction
of infrastructure destroyed by the war, although the most recent budgets reportedly
include increased funding for these areas.
Angolan Government: Responses to Critics. The Angolan government
has repeatedly and vigorously rejected charges that it is corrupt. It recently accused
its critics of ignoring “the courageous reforms, including measures to ensure
transparency, that the government has introduced under extremely adverse
conditions.”30 It has focused much of its criticism on the NGO Global Witness, which
has produced numerous documents that describe in detail alleged patterns of
oil-related state corruption, some in cooperation with foreign firms, in Angola. The
government has called Global Witness’s most recent report “bogus research “ that is
part of an “insidious campaign” designed “to befuddle the Angolan and the
international public, and slander the government of Angola.” The report, it asserted,
“amounts to nothing more than conjectures about the production and marketing of
Angolan oil, and the acquisition of resources for the defence of the country, to which
any sovereign state is entitled.”31 The government has also recently repeated previous
denials of assertions by critics that it had been party to corrupt oil-based weapons
deals with politically-connected weapons brokers and financiers, labeling them

28PRS Group, “Testing the Limits of the IMF,” April 1, 2001; De Giorgio, “Are banks fueling
Angolan war?”; and Global Witness, A Rough Trade: The role of companies and
governments in the Angolan Conflict, December 1998 and The Role of the Oil and Banking
Industries in Angola’s Civil War and the Plunder of State Assets: A Crude Awakening,


29C.f. Cilliers and Dietrich, eds., Angola’s War Economy; Phillipe Le Billion, “Angola’s
Political Economy of War “; Economist Intelligence Unit, “Angola: Economic policy
outlook”; and Global Witness, All the Presidents Men, inter alia..
30Radio Nacional de Angola, “Government rejects British NGO’s report,” via BBC
Monitoring Africa,” April 11, 2002. See also Reuters, “Angola dismisses report of missing
state revenues,” April 12, 2002; Mike Sparham, “Angola government deserves credit for new
peace plan [letter to the editor],” Financial Times, April 1, 2002
31Global Witness has, in turn, refuted the government’s characterization of the NGO’s claims;
see Global Witness, “Angola’s denials do not stand up,” April 4, 2002.

“groundless.”It stated that the government had not entered into deals with French
companies for the acquisition of war materiel, and denied that such materiel has ever
been acquired through France.
To bolster its denials of corruption, the government cites its implementation of
a range of transparency and accountability-enhancing measures. Such measures, the
government asserts,
include the external auditing of the National Bank of Angola’s accounts; the
diagnosis of the petroleum sector by an international company selected by means
of a World Bank-supervised tender; the external auditing of the accounts of
Sonangol [the National Angolan Fuel Company], Endiama [Angola National
Diamond Enterprise] and affiliates; and the establishment of an Audit Court. Such
measures reflect a firm commitment of the Angolan authorities to the best forms
of good governance, and the unwavering political will to create in Angola a new
era of transparency, governance, and political accountability by state officials and32
In April 2002, the government also announced the opening of a tax office that
will monitor and combat tax evasion, reform public finances, and serve as a best
practices model and training school for tax inspectors. It also points to the recent
creation of the National Reconstruction Service, a civil institution being established
to absorb demobilized government army and UNITA forces, whose labor will be used
to clear land mines and repair roads, railways, and other infrastructure.33
U.S. Policy
U.S. Support for Current Peace Process. On February 26, 2002,
President Bush met at the White House with President dos Santos, together with the
Presidents of Botswana and Mozambique. According to a White House release, Mr.
Bush stated that:
I urged President dos Santos to move quickly toward achieving a cease-fire in
Angola. And we agreed that all parties have an obligation to seize this moment to
end the war, and develop Angola’s vast wealth to the benefit of the Angolan
people. President dos Santos has it within his power to end 26 years of fighting by
reaching out to all Angolans willing to lay down their arms. Angolans deserve no34
The United States has actively supported efforts to implement the Lusaka
Protocol, to which the United States is an observer, and has provided significant
humanitarian assistance to Angola (see Appendix 1). In recent years, U.S. policy

32Radio Nacional de Angola, “Government rejects...” Preceding quotes from same source.
33LUSA, “Angola: New Tax Office Opens in Drive to Combat Evasion by Large Firms,”April

12, 2002; and LUSA, “Angola: National Reconstruction Service Set Up,”April 10, 2002.

34The White House, “Statement By The President,” Office of the Press Secretary, February

26, 2002.

toward Angola has supported the government, and condemned UNITA’s war effort,
while at the same time backing political and economic reform. In early October 2001,
the new U.S. Ambassador, Christopher William Dell, reiterated these positions, and
vowed to work with government, churches, and civil organizations to build a strong
democracy. In January 2002, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, William Bellamy,
reportedly met with Angolan government officials and members of civil society during
a visit to Angola that focused on strengthening U.S.-Angolan bilateral relations;
assessing the status of current Angolan political and economic reforms; and prospects
for peace in the context of the Lusaka Protocol.35
In late April 2001, President Bush reportedly sent a letter to President dos
Santos urging that Angola implement transparent governance. U.S. Assistant
Secretary of State for African Affairs Walter Kansteiner recently re-emphasized
President Bush’s call for increased transparency, according to an April 9, 2002
Reuters news report. Kansteiner was quoted as stating that:
The whole international community wants to see Angola move to better economic
policies including transparency... They [the Angolan government] need to out all
of their revenue on budget. They have a fair amount of revenue that’s off budget
and that’s problematic... You’re not going to get economic change or growth if you36
lose, say, 25 percent of your revenue stream.
Congressional Role. Congress has long monitored developments in Angola.
Congressional attention has focused primarily on conflict resolution and the
amelioration of conflict-related humanitarian conditions in Angola and the
surrounding sub-region. In the 1970s and 1980s, much debate focused on the delivery
of covert aid and military assistance to Angola. In the 107th and 106th Congresses,
the issue of conflict diamonds has drawn particular congressional attention. Angola,
along with Sierra Leone and the Democratic Republic of Congo, has been the subject
of several hearings and legislative proposals focusing on ways to end trade in
diamonds that fund conflict.37 In March 2001, Rep. Alcee Hastings introduced

35Radio Ecclesia, “Visiting US official holds meeting with peace commission in Luanda,”
BBC Monitoring Africa, January 26, 2002; Xinhua, “U.S. Supports Angola’s Peace Process
- Official,” January 25, 2002; and LUSA, “Angola - EUA envolvidos no diálogo de paz, diz
governante norte-americano,” January 22, 2002.
36Reuters, “U.S. says Angola must come clean on oil revenues,” April 9, 2002; and BBC,
“Angola warned to clean up budget books,” April 10, 2002. Shortly after Secretary
Kansteiner’s statement was published, British International Development Secretary Clare
Short reportedly called for changes in the way that oil companies manage their business
relationships with the Angolan government. She was quoted as saying that “none of this is
going to be easy [and] there are a lot of changes to make,” and that oil sector firms operating
in Angola should be “responsibly engaged in oil exploration and use, paying proper taxes that
benefit the country and enable it to provide services to its people.” See Reuters, “Oil firms in
Angola must be transparent-Britain,” April 11, 2002; and BBC, “Angola warned...” The
editorial board of the Washington Post recently called for similar changes; see Washington
Post, “Oil and Corruption [editorial],” April 6, 2002, A20.
37For more on this issue, see CRS Report RL30751, Diamonds and conflict: policy proposals
and background; and CRS Electronic Briefing Book, Trade page on “Conflict and Trade in

H.Con.Res. 16, which condemns the assassination of Congolese President Laurent
Kabila and urges Angola, as a party to the Lusaka Peace Accord and as a foreign
government involved in the Congolese conflict, to abide by the Accord and support
a transition to peace and stability in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In the
106th Congress, Rep. Maxine Waters introduced H.Res. 390, which called for
Angolan and international efforts to end the Angolan conflict and to ensure the
delivery of humanitarian assistance to alleviate human suffering in Angola.
Business and the U.S.-Angolan Relationship. Officials of the State
Department’s Bureau of African Affairs have stated support for a relationship
between the United States and Angola that is structured by U.S. investment in the
Angolan oil industry; assurance of U.S. access to Angolan oil exports; and U.S.
support for a resolution of the Angolan conflict. Angola has provided between 3.5%
and 5% of U.S. oil supplies in most recent years; the proportion varies depending on
fluctuations in world market prices and supplies, and according to whether volume
or value is measured. The exposure of the Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im Bank) totaled
over $141 million in FY 2001, down from over $150 million in FY 2000.38 The
Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) has also offered political risk
insurance and other financial backing to projects in Angola – notably a political risk
insurance contract of up to $200 million in 1998.39 The United States has also
supported World Bank and other multilateral projects in Angola.
U.S. officials have expressed support for the efforts of U.S.-Africa business
forums, such as the Corporate Council on Africa and the U.S.-Angolan Chamber of
Commerce, an independent, non-profit organization of businesses that promotes
bilateral trade and investment. The Chamber, formed in 1990, has over sixty-five
corporations, associations, and individuals as members. To promote trade, investment
and Angolan economic development, the Chamber sponsors trade missions to Angola,
represents private sector views to both governments, hosts bi-lateral exchanges, and
promotes trade and investment opportunities in both countries.40 During his February
2002 U.S. visit, President dos Santos addressed the Corporate Council on Africa and
the United States-Angola Chamber of Commerce. He highlighted the role played by
U.S. private sector investment in achieving economic growth in Angola, commended
U.S. government efforts to help end the Angolan war, and stressed Angola’s role as
a growing supplier of oil to the United States. He observed that as a
non-Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) oil exporter, Angola
plays a role in contributing to U.S. energy security. He also called attention to U.S.
investment in Angola’s non-oil industries, in such areas as agriculture, fisheries and

37 (...continued)
Diamonds,” [].
38Export-Import Bank of the United States, Financial Report FY2001; Export-Import Bank
of the United States, 2000 Annual Report.
39OPIC Board Resolution BDR(98)20. For background on the Ex-Im Bank and OPIC, see
CRS Report 98-567, Overseas Private Investment Corporation: background and legislative
issues, and CRS Report 98-568, Export-Import Bank: background and legislative issues.
40See US-Angola Chamber of Commerce, [].

manufacturing, and financial services, and predicted that U.S. investment
opportunities would rise as Angola undertakes anticipated post-war construction.41
Some observers maintain that U.S. Angola policy has tended to dis-
proportionately focus on the maintenance of strong bilateral business ties. Such
concerns, they contend, have forestalled or superseded more forceful U.S. advocacy
of Angolan governmental and economic reforms, and greater equity in the distribution
of income derived from Angola’s national resources among its overwhelmingly poor
population. U.S. policy makers contend, however, that the United States has
advocated reform by, for example, pushing for the IMF to undertake the Oil
Diagnostic, and they note that the United States has been among the leading donors
of emergency assistance to Angola in recent years.
U.S. Assistance to Angola
U.S. assistance to Angola provides emergency and humanitarian relief to
Angola’s displaced and war-affected populations, and supports capacity building and
service provision in the health, agricultural, and educational sectors. USAID health
sector programming supports immunization efforts; malaria and HIV/AIDS
prevention; maternal and child health; nutritional support and supplemental feeding;
access to clean water and sanitation; and the provision of prosthetic devices for
persons injured by land mines. USAID funds a range of efforts to strengthen civil
society that focus on increasing participatory decision-making and enhancing the
ability of civil organizations to communicate and organize, and to undertake public
advocacy and education campaigns. It also supports private sector growth
capacity-building projects; smallholder agriculture; and land tenure reform. U.S.
assistance to Angola has also included support for the removal of land mines –
totaling $9.34 million from FY 1997 through FY 2001 – and for international military
education and training.

41ANGOP, “Angola: President Dos Santos says peace first priority,” via BBC Monitoring
Service, February 27, 2002.

U.S. Humanitarian and Development Assistance to Angola
(In millions of dollars)
AccountsFY 2000 FY 2001 FY 2002 FY 2003
Actual Actual Estimate Request
PL 480 II59.833.53.48
Total 70.3 46 14.2 15.4
Source: U.S. Agency for International Development FY2003 Budget Justification to the Congress,
Annex I: Africa.
Note: CSD: Child Survival and Disease Fund. CSH: Child Survival and Health Fund. DA:
Development Assistance. ESF: Economic Support Fund. PL 480 II: Emergency food aid under
Public Law 83-480, Title II.
U.S. Military and Humanitarian Demining
Assistance to Angola
(In thousands of dollars)
ProgramsFY 2000FY 2001FY 2002FY 2003
NADR/Demining* 3,096 2,844
IMET**- 100100
Sources: State Department/Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, “Fact Sheet,” January 2, 2002; State
Department, “Summary and Highlights of Accounts by Appropriations Subcommittees: Account
Tables,” FY 2003 International Affairs (Function 150) Budget Request, February 4, 2002.
*NADR: Nonproliferation, Anti-Terrorism, Demining, and Related Programs (NADR) Funds.
**IMET: International Military Education and Training.

Appendix 1
Acronyms Used in this Report
ANGOP:Angolan Press Agency; government-controlled.
COIEPA:Inter-Ecclesiastical Committee for Peace in Angola.
DRC:Democratic Republic of the Congo.
EIU:Economist Intelligence Unit, a research firm.
Ex-Im Bank:U.S. Export-Import Bank.
FAA:Armed Forces of Angola.
FLEC:Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda, an armed
secessionist group; is splintered into several factions.
FNLA:National Front for the Liberation of Angola.
GDP:Gross Domestic Product.
IMF:International Monetary Fund.
LUSA:Agência Lusa, known in English as the News Agency of Portugal.
MONUA:U.N. Observer Mission in Angola.
MPLA:Popular Liberation Movement of Angola; ruling party of Angola
OAU:Organization of African Unity
OPEC:Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries
OPIC:Overseas Private Investment Corporation.
SADC:Southern African Development Community
U.N.:United Nations
UNAVEM:U.N. Angola Verification Mission; UNAVEM I; II; and III.
UNITA:National Union for the Total Independence of Angola; armed
opponent of government.
UNSC:U.N. Security Council