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Angola

Volume 226: debated on Wednesday 16 June 1993

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3.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has held in the Foreign Affairs Council concerning Angola.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
(Mr. Mark Lennox-Boyd)

Angola was discussed at the Development Council on 25 May.

I am sure that the Minister is well aware that more than 1 million Angolans have been displaced as a result of the war in that country and that the Angolan Government have bent over backwards to bring Dr. Savimbi into the Government, yet he continues to terrorise Angola in the way that the former Yugoslavia is being terrorised. Will the Minister, with all possible haste and urgency, stress on the Council the need for a course of immediate action to assist the Angolan Government—possibly involving the four other Lusophone countries?

I join the hon. Gentleman in condemning UN1TA's action in rejecting the result of the election last September, which was judged by the United Nations special representative, Miss Margaret Anstee, as being generally free and fair. I give the hon. Gentleman an assurance that the European Council will discuss at next week's meeting in Copenhagen the problems of Angola, which are firmly on the agenda.

Will the Minister be a little forthcoming? Since last year's elections, upwards of 20,000 people have been killed and—as my hon. Friend the Member for Hemsworth (Mr. Enright) said, more than 1 million have lost their homes. The situation in Angola poses a real threat to the international community as well as being a tragedy for Angola's people. Does the Minister acknowledge that UNITA is in breach of Security Council resolution 785, which clearly states that any party that fails to abide by the peace agreement will be rejected and isolated by the international community? What steps is he taking through the international community to ensure that UNITA is diplomatically and militarily isolated?

Clearly, the hon. Gentleman is right. We must all put pressure on UNITA, and this afternoon the House is providing the opportunity to do precisely that. The fact remains, however, that a resolution of the problems in Angola must involve a dialogue between UNITA and the Angolan Government. There is no other way in which peace can be brought to end the dreadful problem.