The Russian Foreign Minister, Igor Ivanov, stated on a visit to Luanda, the capital of Angola, that the best way to solve the 40-year conflict is through the Protocol of Lusaka, which stipulated that a troika of Russia, Portugal and the USA should be responsible for solving the crisis. The Protocol was signed by these three countries and by the conflicting parties in Angola on 31st October, 1994, in the presence of the UN special envoy, Blondin Beye.
Igor Ivanov declared that “The realisation of the most important clauses (of the Protocol) such as a cease-fire and disarmament of UNITA would be enough to bring peace to Angola fast”.
He explained that Russia is using its influence in the United Nations Security Council to increase the sanctions against UNITA, the rebel movement led by Dr. Jonas Savimbi, which has been fighting the government party, MPLA, since the country’s independence from Portugal in 1975. Prior to independence, both factions, together with the now extinct FNLA in the north, fought the Colonial War with Portugal from 1961 to 1974, when the Revolution of 25th April put an end to the fascist dictatorship in Portugal and to the war in its African colonies (Angola, Mozambique, Guinea Bissau, Sao Tome and Principe Islands and Cape Verde).
Mr. Ivanov said that Russia gives “great importance” to its long relationship with the MPLA and intends to help the government of Luanda to solve the crisis.
Timothy BANCROFT-HINCHEY PRAVDA.Ru