Angola Signs Peace Accord With UNITA, Ending Civil War

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(Rapaport…April 5, 2002) Angola’s armed forces officials have signed a peace agreement with the UNITA rebels, effectively ending a civil war that has spanned nearly three decades. The signing took place in Luanda on April 4, approximately one week after the groups signed a preliminary cease-fire agreement.

The terms of the peace agreement include the demobilization and disarmament of about 50,000 UNITA soldiers. The demobilization is scheduled to begin on April 8 and will be monitored by the United Nations. The government, in turn, will provide food and shelter for rebel fighters and their relatives for approximately one year and has agreed to integrate some 5,000 rebels into the Angolan army and national police force. The remaining rebels have been promised vocational training.

Interim UNITA leader Paulo Lukamba — who took control of the rebel group after the death of Jonas Savimbi approximately six weeks ago — said UNITA is working toward becoming a legal opposition political party in Angola. Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos said he would like to hold national elections in the country as soon as possible.

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