Lusaka Protocol

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The Lusaka Protocol, initialed in Lusaka, Zambia on October 31, 1994, attempted to end the Angolan Civil War by integrating and disarming UNITA and starting national reconciliation. Both sides signed a truce as part of the protocol on November 15.1994 and the treaty was signed on November 20, 1994 [1] [2]

Lusaka City in Lusaka Province, Zambian Kwacha

Lusaka is the capital and largest city of Zambia. One of the fastest developing cities in southern Africa, Lusaka is in the southern part of the central plateau at an elevation of about 1,279 metres (4,196 ft). As of 2010, the city's population was about 1.7 million, while the urban population is 2.4 million. Lusaka is the centre of both commerce and government in Zambia and connects to the country's four main highways heading north, south, east and west. English is the official language of the city, and Nyanja and Bemba are also common.

Zambia republic in southern Africa

Zambia, officially the Republic of Zambia, is a landlocked country in south-central Africa. It neighbours the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the north, Tanzania to the north-east, Malawi to the east, Mozambique to the southeast, Zimbabwe and Botswana to the south, Namibia to the southwest, and Angola to the west. The capital city is Lusaka, located in the south-central part of Zambia. The population is concentrated mainly around Lusaka in the south and the Copperbelt Province to the northwest, the core economic hubs of the country.

Angolan Civil War Armed conflict in Angola between 1975 and 2002

The Angolan Civil War was a civil conflict in Angola, beginning in 1975 and continuing, with interludes, until 2002. The war began immediately after Angola became independent from Portugal in November 1975. The war was a power struggle between two former liberation movements, the People's Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) and the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA). The war was used as a surrogate battleground for the Cold War by rival states such as the Soviet Union, Cuba, South Africa and the United States.



By late 1993 UNITA could operate and conduct raids in over 70% of Angola, but the government's military successes in 1994 forced UNITA to sue for peace. By November 1994 the government had taken control of 60% of the country. UNITA leader Jonas Savimbi called the situation UNITA's "deepest crisis" since its creation. Savimbi, unwilling to personally sign the accord, had former UNITA Secretary General Eugenio Manuvakola sign in his place and President José Eduardo dos Santos responded by having Angolan Foreign Minister Venancio de Moura represent the MPLA. According to Manuvakola, Savimbi wanted him to act as a scapegoat. [1] [3]

Jonas Savimbi Angolan political and military leader

Jonas Malheiro Savimbi was an anti-communist and anti-colonialist Angolan political and military leader who founded and led the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA).

President of Angola head of state and head of government of Angola

The President of the Republic of Angola is both head of state and head of government in Angola. According to the constitution adopted in 2010, the post of Prime Minister is abolished; executive authority belongs to the President who has also a degree of legislative powers, as he can govern by decree.

José Eduardo dos Santos President of Angola

José Eduardo dos Santos is an Angolan politician who served as President of Angola from 1979 to 2017. As President, José Eduardo dos Santos was also the commander in chief of the Angolan Armed Forces (FAA) and President of the People's Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), the party that has ruled Angola since it gained independence in 1975. He was the second-longest-serving president in Africa, surpassed only by President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea, who took power less than two months before dos Santos.

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and South African President Nelson Mandela met in Lusaka on November 15, 1994 in a symbolic move to boost support for the protocol. Mugabe and Mandela both said they would be willing to meet with Savimbi; Mandela invited Savimbi to come to South Africa, but he did not go in fear of being arrested for war crimes. [3]

Robert Mugabe former President of Zimbabwe

Robert Gabriel Mugabe is a Zimbabwean revolutionary and politician who served as Prime Minister of Zimbabwe from 1980 to 1987 and then as President from 1987 to 2017. He chaired the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU) group from 1975 to 1980 and led its successor political party, the ZANU – Patriotic Front (ZANU–PF), from 1980 to 2017. Ideologically an African nationalist, during the 1970s and 1980s he identified as a Marxist–Leninist, although after the 1990s self-identified only as a socialist. His policies have been described as Mugabeism.

Nelson Mandela President of South Africa, anti-apartheid activist

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, political leader, and philanthropist who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. He was the country's first black head of state and the first elected in a fully representative democratic election. His government focused on dismantling the legacy of apartheid by tackling institutionalised racism and fostering racial reconciliation. Ideologically an African nationalist and socialist, he served as President of the African National Congress (ANC) party from 1991 to 1997.

Treaty terms

Under the agreement the government and UNITA would ceasefire and demobilize. 5,500 UNITA members, including 180 militants, would join the Angolan National police, 1,200 UNITA members, including 40 militants, would join the rapid reaction police force, and UNITA generals would become officers in the Angolan Armed Forces. Foreign mercenaries would return to their home countries and all parties would stop acquiring foreign arms. The agreement gave UNITA politicians homes and a headquarters. The government agreed to appoint UNITA members to head the Mines, Commerce, Health, and Tourism ministries in addition to seven deputy ministers, ambassadors, the governorships of Uige, Lunda Sul, and Cuando Cubango, deputy governors, municipal administrators, deputy administrators, and commune administrators. The government would release all prisoners and give amnesty to all militants involved in the civil war. [1] [3]

Officer (armed forces) member of an armed force or uniformed service who holds a position of authority

An officer is a member of an armed forces or uniformed service who holds a position of authority.

Angolan Armed Forces combined military forces of Angola

The Angolan Armed Forces or FAA are the military of Angola.

The agreement created a joint commission, consisting of officials from the Angolan government, UNITA, and the UN with the governments of Portugal, the United States, and Russia observing, to oversee its implementation. Violations of the protocol's provisions would be discussed and reviewed by the commission. [1]

Portugal Republic in Southwestern Europe

Portugal, officially the Portuguese Republic, is a country located mostly on the Iberian Peninsula in southwestern Europe. It is the westernmost sovereign state of mainland Europe, being bordered to the west and south by the Atlantic Ocean and to the north and east by Spain. Its territory also includes the Atlantic archipelagos of the Azores and Madeira, both autonomous regions with their own regional governments.

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.

Russia transcontinental country in Eastern Europe and Northern Asia

Russia, officially the Russian Federation, is a transcontinental country in Eastern Europe and North Asia. At 17,125,200 square kilometres (6,612,100 sq mi), Russia is by a considerable margin the largest country in the world by area, covering more than one-eighth of the Earth's inhabited land area, and the ninth most populous, with about 146.77 million people as of 2019, including Crimea. About 77% of the population live in the western, European part of the country. Russia's capital, Moscow, is one of the largest cities in the world and the second largest city in Europe; other major cities include Saint Petersburg, Novosibirsk, Yekaterinburg and Nizhny Novgorod. Extending across the entirety of Northern Asia and much of Eastern Europe, Russia spans eleven time zones and incorporates a wide range of environments and landforms. From northwest to southeast, Russia shares land borders with Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, China, Mongolia and North Korea. It shares maritime borders with Japan by the Sea of Okhotsk and the U.S. state of Alaska across the Bering Strait. However, Russia recognises two more countries that border it, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, both of which are internationally recognized as parts of Georgia.

The protocol's provisions, integrating UNITA into the military, a ceasefire, and a coalition government, were similar to those of the Alvor Agreement which granted Angola independence from Portugal in 1975. Many of the same environmental problems, mutual distrust between UNITA and the MPLA, loose international oversight, the importation of foreign arms, and an overemphasis on maintaining the balance of power, led to the protocol's collapse and the civil war. [1]

Alvor Agreement peace treaty

The Alvor Agreement, signed on 15 January 1975, granted Angola independence from Portugal on 11 November, ending the war for independence while marking the transition to the Angolan Civil War.

MPLA political party

The People's Movement for the Liberation of Angola, for some years called the People's Movement for the Liberation of Angola – Labour Party, is a political party that has ruled Angola since the country's independence from Portugal in 1975. The MPLA fought against the Portuguese army in the Angolan War of Independence of 1961–74, and defeated the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) and the National Liberation Front of Angola (FNLA), two other anti-colonial movements, in the Angolan Civil War of 1975–2002.

The Bicesse Accords largely punished the weaker signatory while the Lusaka Protocol guaranteed UNITA's hold over important governorships. [3]


United Nations Angola Verification Mission III and MONUA spent $1.5 billion overseeing implementation of the protocol. The UN largely did not enforce the provision prohibiting UNITA from buying foreign arms and both sides continued to build up their stockpile. The United Nations Security Council did not authorize a significant peacekeeping force in the area until 1995 and delayed full deployment until late 1996. U.N. Special Representative Blondin Beye covered up human rights violations because, as a UN official told Human Rights Watch in 1995, "the situation is too sensitive for serious human rights monitoring. Making public what we know could undermine the peace process and put us back to war." In May 1998 Beye changed his mind and the UN began reporting abuses. Three months after the government signed the treaty, in February 1995 Chief of Staff General João de Matos complained that peace would only be achieved when the government defeated UNITA militarily, calling the protocol a "mistake." By December 1998, the government and UNITA were again in a state of war. The UN's Human Rights Division did not publish any reports from January to July 1999 because fighting prevented them from investigating. Following the protocol the government and UNITA both engaged in the indiscriminate killing of civilians, torture, and other human rights violations. [1]

Not only did UNITA not demobilize but it purchased a large amount of weapons in 1996 and 1997 from private sources in Albania and Bulgaria, and from Zaire, South Africa, Republic of the Congo, Zambia, Togo, and Burkina Faso. In October 1997 the UN imposed travel sanctions on UNITA leaders, but the UN waited until July 1998 to limit UNITA's exportation of diamonds and freeze UNITA bank accounts. While the U.S. government gave USD $250 million to UNITA between 1986 and 1991, UNITA made $1.72 billion between 1994 and 1999 exporting diamonds, primarily through Zaire to Europe. At the same time the Angolan government received large amounts of weapons from the governments of Belarus, Brazil, Bulgaria, the People's Republic of China, and South Africa. While no arms shipment to the government violated the protocol, no country informed the U.N. Register on Conventional Weapons as required. [1]

In March 1995 UNITA militants shot and destroyed an UNAVEM III helicopter in Quibaxe. Military leaders met on January 10, 1995 and in February in Waku Kungo to make sure both sides continued to observe the ceasefire. Savimbi and dos Santos met four times after the helicopter downing; in Lusaka on May 6, in Gabon in August, in Brussels, Belgium in September, and in March 1996 in Libreville, Gabon. Between the first and second meetings dos Santos offered Savimbi the position of Vice President, but Savimbi turned him down in August 1996 during the party's Third Congress. [1]

Executive Outcomes, a private military company, had 400–500 mercenaries in Angola fighting on behalf of the Angolan government until January 1996 in violation of the protocol's repatriation provision. [1]

Savimbi and dos Santos spoke on the phone in December 1997 and reached an agreement on January 9, 1998 to implement the protocol, but fighting resumed and the peace process ended. [1]

See also

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  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Vines, Alex. Angola Unravels: The Rise and Fall of the Lusaka Peace Process, 1999. Human Rights Watch.
  2. New York Times November 1, November 16, November 21 1994
  3. 1 2 3 4 Rothchild, Donald S. Managing Ethnic Conflict in Africa: Pressures and Incentives for Cooperation, 1997. pp. 137–138.