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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All offensive movements and military actions are prohibited. The principle areas where such intersections might have occurred – in schools or cities – were all but muted in a country with high illiteracy and rural isolation.

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The more pragmatic power-sharing provisions of the Lusaka Accord addressed the democracy issue, rather than the obvious insincerity of the actors. And although the UN was attributed a larger role, the Troika was still at the heart of the operation.

Abusing its position, the government subverted and bypassed the Protocol and did not fulfil some important obligations with regard to the police and the military. The Angolan conflict began as a struggle for independence and national liberation from the Portuguese colonial power during early However, no movement of forces will take place without United Nations notification and verification.

And additionally, disarmament should be taken seriously and adequate resources allocated to it. While the talks often seemed a mere sideshow to the more com-pelling drama of the Angolan battlefields, where thousands were dying each day from war-related causes, hopes nevertheless remained high throughout the region that this time, peace would prevail. However, the year history of negotiation in Angola has proven that there is no way around these obstacles. The final results of the elections, then ratified by Angola’s representative of the UN Secretary-General, Margaret Anstee and confirmed by international observers as having gone in a free and fair way, were won by the ruling MPLA party.

Its power rested on widespread opposition to UNITA or Savimbi and the control of the country’s oil riches and the resources of the state, and thus on the maintenance of the one-party system. And on, The Economist, November 27,pp. Road to Peace, pp. We will not accept defeat. Moreover, 1, of the soldiers had subsequently deserted the areas.

Demobilization: Lusaka Protocol | Peace Accords Matrix

Although they failed to bring a lasting peace to Angola, the Peace Accords changed considerably the Angolan political life as, with the end of hostilities, the path was paved for the projection of the country to democracy and free flow of people and goods.


This was the most difficult and longest phase in the Lusaka talks, bicess positions of strength – measured in military terms as hostilities continued – changed daily.

Fifteen quartering areas for UNITA troops were under construction and the sites had been approved by the parties. Like the Bicesse Accords, the Lusaka Protocol also mandated unrealistic time frames for implementation. By recognising a military solution was impossible, both were forced to consider a political solution. These elements, particularly a sense of requitement and a way out for each party after the elections, were absent in the Bicesse Accord.

It biicesse no role to the unarmed forces — those not part of the struggle for power, who were the ones primarily concerned with peace. In particular, the Union for the Total Independence of Angola UNITAformed by the war and a totalitarian culture, was in a victorious mood, because it had forced its enemy to deal with it, and ‘its side’ had won the Cold War.

UNITA successfully increased the cost acdords the war to the MPLA by intensifying its attacks in the north including its Luanda base – while holding a defensive posture in the south. But what remained at the end of the process in the eyes of many Angolans was the hicesse and disrepute of the UN: Published on 23 Oct With the “turn of events”, the United Nations sent in the Malian Alioune Blondin Beye, in replacement of Margaret Anstee, in order to mediate further negotiations and find xccords African accords to the conflict.

Angola: Bicesse Accords Signed 22 Years Ago –

While the Bicesse Accords were generally hailed as a model for post-Cold War peacemaking, the model has in fact become an example of what to avoid. A service provided by. A significant number of voters believed the accusations of fraud made by UNITA and other parties, even if on the part of UNITA’s leadership the claim represented a denial of any possibility of defeat.

Specific numbers, type and location of forces; 7.

Both the US and Russia were able to exert a certain amount of leverage on their former clients: Moreover, the devastated infrastructure often posed overwhelming logistical challenges and prevented the implementation of many physical aspects of the agreement, such as demobilisation and the extension of state administration.

The richest areas were and and still are under UNITA control, and provide them with the necessary means to maintain their war machine. This also helps to explain why there were no corrections or adjustments to the intrinsic shortcomings of this general model, common to the ‘first wave’ of peace processes, which could have prevented the bloody failure of Bicesse.


The UN Security Council, accordds to avoid an expensive, open-ended peacekeeping operation, pushed for a rapid implementation of the Protocol.

The outcome of the elections was not reconsidered, and only the second round for the Presidency was on the agenda. Regardless of the fact that the UNITA army had not been dissolved and that the government had set up a new special accorde force, the date initially agreed for the elections was considered untouchable.

The military situation remained volatile throughout the negotiations in Lusaka. In retrospect, the accords were flawed in many ways.

Movements of forces will be progressively monitored and verified by the United Nations and will be conducted based on the availability of assets. For students of conflict management, guiding elements of negotiation theory were difficult to find and, when apparent, always transitory. This agreement did not however constitute the ratification of a defeat: Contact Us – Ask questions and suggest improvements.

The war unleashed tremendous violence. The lack of agreement on these two fundamental issues highlights the enduring lack of trust between the two principals, as well as the critical failure of both accords to transform the process from a zero-sum to a win-win situation.

However, the international community attempted to gloss over the importance of the players in the process.

The accords called for the formation of a national army, the establishment of government administration over all of Angola, and the institution bicesss a multi-party system. The UN, in an attempt to avoid the same omissions and errors in implementation, deployed 7, UN troops to monitor demobilisation in Mozambique, compared with only unarmed UN military observers in Angola.

But it did break off all contact with UNITA, whose foreign missions were ordered to close, and the Security Council’s Sanctions Committee even attempted to cut off its means of political expression. The result was not only harmful to the UN.

UNITA demanded the talks focus on defining the bbicesse of a ceasefire, the formation of a government of national unity, and democratic elections.