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U.N. Appeals for Angolan Peace

March 5, 1998

UNITED NATIONS (AP) _ The chairman of the U.N. committee overseeing sanctions against Angola appealed Wednesday to the country’s former rebels to respect an existing peace accord.

Njuguna Moses Mahugu said ``very little has been achieved″ in fulfilling the terms of the 1994 accord, and blamed the former rebel group UNITA, now an opposition party.

``I wish to take this opportunity to call on the Angolan parties, particularly UNITA, to remain committed to the peace process and fulfill the obligations immediately,″ said Mahugu, who also is Kenya’s ambassador to the United Nations.

The committee, comprised of representatives of the 15 Security Council members, met Wednesday to review the stalled peace process.

A group monitoring the peace process reported on Feb. 28 that another deadline had passed without full implementation of the peace accord.

``This is mainly due to the non-compliance by UNITA to fulfill its obligations,″ Mahugu said.

He also urged all parties ``to refrain from any action that might result in violence.″

Civil war broke out in the southwest African country after it gained independence from Portugal in 1975, and an estimated 500,000 people have died in the fighting since then.

Under the 1994 peace accord, UNITA _ a Portuguese acronym for the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola _ was to demobilize its 70,000-strong guerrilla army and hand back to the government the 50 percent of the country it seized during the war.

UNITA still must demobilize 2,000 armed rebels and give up control of seven key areas, according to the United Nations.

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