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Vol 38 No 24

Published 5th December 1997


De Matos makes plans

Luanda is preparing to use its new regional strength to settle its dispute with UNITA

Barring a last-minute summit between President José Eduardo dos Santos and rebel leader Jonas Savimbi, both sides are moving towards another major military confrontation. Despite a hopeful telephone call between the two men last month, negotiations for a meeting have stalled over its location. Savimbi refuses to come to Luanda where he says his safety would be at risk. Meanwhile, his União Nacional para a Independência Total de Angola is importing weapons and has started re-laying mines in Bié Province; and, according to the ruling Movimento Popular de Libertação de Angola, UNITA is moving artillery around the territory (about 50 per cent of the country) that it controls. Effectively, Savimbi has frozen the demobilisation of UNITA forces.

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