Angolan government says UNITA rebels are desperate

Luanda- Angola (PANA) -- President Jose Eduardo dos Santos of Angola has intimated that the rebel UNITA movement was now in a state of despondency, barely carrying out isolated attacks on unprotected civilians and economic targets.
Dos Santos described UNITA's acts as outright terror attacks similar to those carried out in the US and other countries by extremists.
The Angolan President was speaking at a news conference marking the end of a visit to Luanda by President Joseph Kabila of DR Congo.
The Angolan Press Agency (ANGOP) quoted Dos Santos as affirming that the military situation in the country was improving, and that UNITA forces had practically lost all strength for any large-scale action.
"We have made appeals for peace and think that the Lusaka Protocol remains the sole valid instrument to resolve the military crisis in Angola," he said.
Concerning the situation along the borders, Dos Santos said the possibilities of UNITA manoeuvres were increasingly remote after rebel losses in the last two years.
Reaffirming his decision against seeking another term of office, Dos Santos said he was not necessarily withdrawing from politics.
He said his decision was informed by the need to consolidate the democratisation process in Angola.
Noting that he has been in power, he said there must be other people capable of the country's leadership, adding "it is my desire to open up this chance, and that is what I have done".

06 october 2001 10:08:00

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