UN Angola Verification Mission - I(UNAVEM - I Jan 89 - May 91) UN Angola Verification Mission - II(UNAVEM - II May 91 - Feb 95) UN Angola Verification Mission - III(UNAVEM - III Feb 95 to Jun 97) UN Observer Mission In Angola (UNOMA - Jul 97 to Jul 99)
The first United Nations Angola verification Mission (UNAVEM-I) was deployed at the beginning of 1989. It came about in a climate of declining cold war rivalries, as one aspect of intricate international negotiations on political arrangements throughout the region.
UNAVEM-I was mandated to monitor the withdrawal of Cuban forces from Angola in accordance with the timetable agreed between Angola and Cuba. The withdrawal was completed by 25 may 1991. A total of 70 military observers and international staff supported the UN efforts. India contributed eight military observers to the UN endeavour.
On withdrawal of foreign troops from Angola, the International community also saw a chance to end the long-standing conflict between the Angola government and UNITA. The second UN Angola verification mission (UNAVEM - II) was launched in May 1991. UNAVEM - II took on far more complex responsibilities characteristically faced by the new generation of Peacekeeping Operations in the post-cold war era.
• Assist two sides to reach agreement on modalities for completing the peace process. • Broker and help implementing cease fire at the national and local level. • Observing and verifying the first elections. • Efforts to demobilize troops and form joint armed forces. • Monitoring the police and efforts to alleviate the suffering of Angolan population.
India contributed Chief of Staff and eight military observers for the UNAVEM - II, who operated in a dangerous and complex conflict situation requiring flexibility and innovation. With signing of the Lusaka protocol on 20 Nov 94, and commitment of both the government and UNITA to respect and implement the peace accord, UN established UNAVEM - III in Feb 95 with the following mandate:-
• Political - Assist in the implementation of Lusaka protocol. • Military - Supervise, control and verify the disengagement of forces and monitor the cease-fire. It would also help to establish the quartering areas and demobilisation of UNITA forces and supervise the collection and storage of UNITA armaments. Monitor the completion of FAA, the joint national army. • Verify and monitor the neutrality of the Angolan National Police. • Humanitarian - Coordinate, facilitate and support humanitarian activities directly linked with the peace process. • Electoral - Complete all essential requirements for the holding of the second round of Presidential election and thereafter verify and monitor the entire election process.
The Indian contribution has been significant throughout with one forming part of the UNAVEM - III. Indian Army units, which served with UNAVEM - III were: -
• 14 PUNJAB • 16 GUARDS • 417 (I) Field Company • Company Ex 21 Mechanised Infantry Battalion • 386 (I) Field Company • Staff Officers and Military Observers
• Security and patrolling of area of responsibilities. • Preparation of demobilisation camps (quartering areas). • Supervision of demobilisation and humanitarian assistance. • Reopening of road axis and clearance of mountain and mines.
UNAVEM III was scaled down due to breakdown of peace and agreement. UNOMA was a small observer mission to assist the parties in peace efforts. The mission was finally closed down in Jul 99. Following senior Army officers served on the mission:-
• Col KS Jamwal, Chief of Staff, UNAVEM I. • Brig RK Saksena, Deputy Force Commander, UNAVEM II/III. • Col Rajender Singh, Regional/Sector Commander.