Not Just One Side to Blame in Angola
The editorial ``End Angola's Anguish,'' Sept. 30, is a prescription that will exacerbate the civil war that you want to heal.
UNITA President Jonas Savimbi did not reject the election results of Sept. 29-30, 1992. He and representatives of seven other political parties protested that the elections were ``rife with fraud and irregularities.'' On Oct. 16, Dr. Savimbi accepted the results of the elections ``to prevent war.''
The present fighting in Angola began on Oct. 31, 1992, when MPLA troops launched coordinated attacks against UNITA. Catholic Church sources in the Angolan capital estimate 20,000 people were killed. Among them was UNITA Vice President Jeremias Chitunda.
On Sept. 20 UNITA implemented a unilateral cease-fire. Although many local MPLA commanders have reciprocated, the government has continued on the offensive. Similarly, when the United Nations Special Representative in Angola, Alioune Blondin Beye, convened a meeting in Sao Tome between the general staffs of the two sides and UNAVEM II personnel on Sept. 23, the Luanda government boycotted the meeting.
As the editorial acknowledges, the Sept. 26 UN Security Council arms and oil embargo against UNITA is largely symbolic. The more stringent sanctions threatened by the Security Council won't end the fighting. The MPLA is not interested in resuming negotiations because it views the sanctions as unequivocal support for its stated policy of inflicting a military defeat on UNITA.
The United States is the only country with the influence to facilitate a rapid return to the negotiating table. It should follow the editorial's suggestion and take the lead in ending the flow of arms to the MPLA - more than $2 billion since January - and call for the expulsion of the thousands of mercenaries who have joined the MPLA ranks. UNITA understands that there is no military solution to the Angolan crisis. Jardo Muekalia Washington, UNITA Representative in the US