The Bicesse Accords in Angola. Virginia Page Fortna. In ‘ the combatants in Angola’s longstanding civil war signed a peace agreement. But the country was. Angola: The Bicesse Accords. Extracted from: “Angola” IN Compendium of Elections in Southern Africa (), edited by Tom Lodge, Denis Kadima and David. 25 years ago, May 31, , the Angolan Government and UNITA rebel movement signed in Portugal the Bicesse Accords that put an end to a.

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To insure the presence of Savimbi and Dos Santos, Mobutu assured them both that their respective platforms would bicesae the basis for discussions at Gbadolite. As for the MPLA, under the mantle of a militarised party-state, it had for some years been involved in a kind of ‘wild socialism’ based on arbitrariness, privilege and massive corruption by the ruling clique, and the abandonment of the people to growing misery.

The richest areas were and and still are under UNITA control, and provide them with the necessary means to maintain their war bicssse.

Conventional wisdom maintains that for a conflict to be susceptible to effective mediation efforts and de-escalation, several elements must be present: The proposal phase is activated when parties have been convinced they need a way out of their stalemate. The tragic alternative would give Shakespeare pause. However, the departing international actors left a legacy of exacerbated distrust between the Angolan parties, ideological disharmony, a thoroughly destroyed infrastructure, bitter regional animosity and counterproductive interstate alliances.

Four years of ‘neither peace nor war’ had enabled the MPLA, which dominated all the ‘democratic institutions’, to intensify the pillaging of public resources with impunity. Skip to main content. Powerless, the international community tried to negotiate at least a modification of the conditions for the second round of the Presidential vote, to make the playing field less unequal.

These elements, particularly a sense of requitement and a way out for each party after the elections, were absent in the Bicesse Accord. In the context of the election results, UNITA was now considered an illegitimate rebellion, thereby ending the symmetry between the two parties that characterised Bicesse.

AllAfrica publishes around reports a day from more than news organizations and over other institutions and individualsrepresenting a diversity of positions on every topic. Under this new scenario, the head of list of the most voted party automatically becomes the President of the Republic, with the number two becoming the vice president. This meant that, in terms of the text of the accord and of the UN resolution imposing sanctions, re-armament constituted a real breach for UNITA, while it was no longer a problem for the government, at least not in legal terms.


The search for peace and reconciliation in Angola has now stretched for more than 10 years. Despite their critical role in bringing the parties to the negotiating table, and in forging an agreement, the UN and troika powers US, Russia, and Portugal were unable to enforce the peace they helped create.

Paradoxically, the Angolan conflict illustrates both the need for, as well as the limitations of international involvement.

Peace agreements: The case of Angola

This is how the Angolan government has chosen to portray the course of events, while the international community has opted to see Luena as also resulting from its patient efforts to bring peace.

The second section will address past attempts to resolve the conflict following the New York Accords. And on, The Economist, November 27,pp. Prospects bicedse Peace in Swatuk, L.

Finally, at the end of the government launched what it called its ‘war for peace’, a war against an enemy “who had never respected the accords” and whose leader, Bicessw, the government did everything to have internationally criminalised. Nor is it surprising that international mediation bciesse a war no longer characterised by ideological differences or ethnic divisions, but rather by personal animosities, corruption and greed, has also failed.

In addition to the battlefield bucesse, UNITA and the MPLA negotiated at Bicesse purely out of pragmatic interests in gaining or maintaining power, and manipulating the changed international circumstances to their advantage.

The unarmed actors in Angola ‘moral’, political, civic, etc. When we are strong, why should we say I am going into exile?

The result was first a humanitarian tragedy, with heavy use of a scorched-earth policy either as a means of survival by UNITA or to achieve military victory by the government. The Gbadolite mediation attempt is an excellent case bivesse point: Road to Peace, p.

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He hired a Brazilian polling and media company that advised him to paint his billboards and brochures in pastels: Above all, the MPLA wanted to avoid defeat, and it had only accepted certain conditions reluctantly and under pressure.

Each party has the key. In theory, the peace accord ended the year civil war, in which more thanpeople died. But an armed power struggle had already broken out — for the ‘ratification’ or the ‘rectification’ of elections that had been viewed by the two contestants simply as the final battle for ultimate power. Tools API – Real-time data stream to power next-generation apps. With the largest population in Angola, the Ovimbundu were well integrated into colonial society, but were also dispersed due to migrant work.

However, it was understood that this issue would have to be resolved in direct talks between the two parties.


In such circumstances, one can see the importance of the international community’s role during the transition period if it were to succeed in establishing lasting foundations for peace. The war unleashed tremendous violence. This provoked growing scepticism within the population, transforming UNITA’s assets its arms and the ‘culture’ associated with them into liabilities: Beye, who officially replaced Margaret Anstee in Juneexhibited a firm grasp of past mistakes and a tremendous talent for mediation.

The offensive led to a stalemate, with casualties reported in the thousands on both sides. This agreement did not however constitute the ratification of a defeat: For the troika powers, a lingering sense of responsibility for a decade of destructive Cold War intervention, and a desire to tap the natural riches of Angola, did not translate into a workable political settlement.

Having failed to ensure respect for the outcome of the elections, the international community simply ignored these killings in an attempt to restart negotiations. Neither side complied with the demobilisation. But in Angola the problems lay beyond the weaknesses and ill-conceived ideas of this first wave of peace processes. Alioune Blondin Beye, the special U.

At the end of the decade, it accordx the same indifference to the needs and aspirations of Angolans, and then towards the military and predatory nature of governance in Angola, that gave free rein to the game of economic and strategic interests.

African leaders sought to capitalise on the positive momentum created by the breakthrough, but failed to reach a viable and enforceable accord. This general re-alignment in favour of the ‘legitimate government’ led to bicessr gradual reversal of political, diplomatic as well as military forces in its favour.

Demobilization: Lusaka Protocol | Peace Accords Matrix

The parties themselves, and particularly an influential UNITA, rejected the option of a coalition government before the elections that could have secured minimum standards of impartiality in preparing the elections. UNITA claimed sccords after the ceasefire, the government attacked rebel positions throughout the country; the claim was denied by President Dos Santos.

To rebuild the shattered economy and devastated infrastructure, dos Santos and Savimbi recognised the need for international assistance and the necessity of courting the commercial powers of the world market, as well as the World Bank and the IMF.