Demobilization: Lusaka Protocol


Completion of the formation of the Angolan Armed Forces (FAA), including demobilization.

I. General Principles

1. The process of completion of the formation of FAA under the verification and monitoring of the United Nations will guarantee the existence of one single, national and nonpartisan armed forces obeying the sovereign organs of the Republic of Angola.

2. The composition of the Angolan Armed Forces will reflect the principle of proportionality between Government and UNITA military forces as provided for in the Bicesse Accords.

3. The military personnel in excess of the number to be agreed between the Angolan Government and UNITA for the composition of FAA will be demobilized and integrated into civilian society, within the framework of a national social reintegration program to be undertaken by the Government of the Republic of Angola with the participation of UNITA and the assistance of the international community.

II. Specific Principles

1. After the process of selection of UNITA military forces, the selected personnel will be incorporated in FAA, under the supervision of the General Staff of FAA in which the Generals of UNITA will have already been present.

2. For administrative and logistic reasons, the excess personnel will be dependent on the above-mentioned General Staff for their professional training, demobilization and reintegration into civilian society.

3. The process of selection for incorporation and military distribution of UNITA military forces in FAA will start after the conclusion of the quartering of all UNITA military forces.

4. During the process of completion of the formation of FAA, at the time of the selection of UNITA military forces, the composition of FAA will be made to reflect the principle of proportionality agreed between the Government of the Republic of Angola and UNITA.

5. Within the framework of its new mandate, the United Nations will verify the strict compliance with the accords concerning FAA, without prejudice to the competence of the Government of the Republic of Angola with respect to National Defense policy.

6. The joint commission to be set up within the framework of the new United Nations mandate, with the participation of the Government of Angola, UNITA, the United Nations and the observer countries will also see to it that the General and Specific Principles for the completion of the formation of FAA as well as for the process of selection and demobilization of excess military personnel of the sides are implemented.

Annex 3: Agenda Item II.1: Military Issues (I)

Timetable of the Bilateral Cease-fire Modalities

Initialing of the agreement by the Government of the Republic of Angola and UNITA on general and specific principles and procedures concerning the agenda items of the Lusaka II Talks.

D + 10
Meeting of the general staffs of the FAA and the military forces of UNITA under United Nations auspices with UNAVEM and the observers present to establish the technical modalities of the cessation of hostilities "in situ" for:

1. The disengagement of forces;
2. Logistical matters;
3. The setting up of verification mechanisms;
4. Communication lines;
5. Movement itineraries;
6. Specific numbers, type and location of forces;
7. Quartering areas for UNITA forces.

D + 15

Date of the formal signing of the Protocol of Lusaka by the Government of the Republic of Angola and UNITA and beginning of its implementation. Public announcements by the Government of Angola and UNITA on the re-establishment of the cease-fire.

D + 17

Phase one
The first phase consists of five steps that must be taken by both sides:

1. Step one begins with the end of all offensive movements and military actions "in situ" throughout the national territory. Both sides are restricted from moving. The cessation of hostilities "in situ" means that military forces will stay where they are. Military forces can be supplied with food and medicines under the verification and monitoring of the United Nations. They cannot receive any military equipment, lethal or otherwise. All offensive movements and military actions are prohibited. Prior to the arrival of United Nations observers, the general staffs of both parties are encouraged to take joint measures to reduce the likelihood of cease-fire violations and to investigate incidents. The United Nations will be notified of the evacuation of sick and wounded combatants to ensure control and verification.

2. Step two begins with the installation of verification, monitoring and control mechanisms (to include triangular communications) by the United Nations. This step includes notification by each side of all the relevant military data to the United Nations. The United Nations will create and put in place UN teams to monitor and verify the cessation of hostilities throughout the national territory and investigate alleged cease-fire violations. United Nations assets will be deployed on a prioritized basis. 

3. Step three begins with the release of all civilian and military prisoners detained or withheld as a consequence of the conflict, under the supervision of the ICRC.

4. Step four involves the limited disengagement of forces in areas where forces are in contact (both sides will disengage) under the supervision of the United Nations. Both sides will be made aware of any movements that occur. In
places where troops are in contact, the forces of both sides will stop firing and position themselves in a defensive posture. Both sides will conduct a limited disengagement (this will be a small movement to avoid direct or indirect fire) with the assistance of the United Nations. The disengagement will be coordinated and agreed to by the United Nations, the FAA and UNITA forces. UNITA troops will pull back to an area designated by the United Nations and agreed to by the general staffs. FAA forces will pull back to their nearest barracks. The disengagement will be supervised by the United Nations. In places where FAA and the military forces of UNITA are not in contact, both sides will merely remain where they are. The United Nations will be officially informed of the locations of these units by both sides. The modalities of resupply specified in step one still apply. In all cases, both sides will furnish the United Nations with details concerning their respective forces to include number of men, composition and type of force, type of equipment and specific location. This will allow the United Nations to install the appropriate verification, monitoring or control mechanisms.

5. Step five involves the repatriation of all mercenaries in Angola.

D + 45
Phase two

The second phase consists of six steps:

1. Step one begins with the reinforcement of existing United Nations personnel, both military observers and armed peacekeeping forces. This reinforcement will permit the withdrawal of UNITA military forces from areas that they occupy, the effective verification and monitoring of those areas being abandoned by UNITA military forces, and the verification and monitoring of Government forces which continue to remain "in situ."

2. Step two involves the United Nations in coordination with both sides establishing quartering areas, itineraries, and identifying means for the conduct of the movement of the military forces of UNITA to quartering areas. For United Nations planning purposes, the number of quartering areas is expected to be at least twelve. During this step, Government and UNITA forces continue to remain in place. Once conditions have been established for the quartering of UNITA forces, the United Nations will notify both sides of the specific modalities of the withdrawal.

3. Step three starts with the movement of the military forces of UNITA to quartering areas. As the military forces of UNITA withdraw, the United Nations will verify and monitor those areas being vacated. The FAA will continue to remain in place and wil l not be permitted to occupy the areas being abandoned by the military forces of UNITA until the integration of the military forces of UNITA into the FAA. At the same time as UNITA military forces are moving to quartering areas, Government forces, in coordination with the United Nations, can pull their forces back to areas where they can be easily verified and monitored by the United Nations. In most cases, Government forces will return to the areas where they are headquartered. The concept is that Government forces will be centralized for the ease of verification. However, no movement of forces will take place without United Nations notification and verification. Movements of forces will be progressively monitored and verified by the United Nations and will be conducted based on the availability of assets. United Nations personnel will be deployed in accordance with the new United Nations mandate.

4. Step four involves the completion of the quartering of the military forces of UNITA and the collection, storage and custody of their armaments under the supervision and control of the United Nations. It also includes the start of the collection, storage and custody of all the armaments in the hands of civilians by the National Police with verification and monitoring by the United Nations. The operation to collect all the lethal war materiel of UNITA's military forces will be conducted directly by the general staff and the command elements of these troops under United Nations verification, monitoring and control. The United Nations will, as part of a consecutive action, collect this lethal war materiel and will proceed to store and take custody of it as previously agreed. Ammunition and materiel storage locations will be located in separate areas from the quartering locations.

5. Step five consists of the conclusion of the quartering process, the return of UNITA generals to the FAA, the beginning of the selection of the military forces of UNITA for FAA and demobilization of excess forces. Selection for the FAA and demobilization of the military forces of UNITA will only begin once the quartering process has been completed.

6. Step six includes the verification by the United Nations, in accordance with its mandate, of the free circulation of persons and goods.

Implementation History


No Implementation

Several days after the Lusaka Accord, Portuguese television reported that government troops and UNITA rebels were still fighting. UNITA claimed that after the ceasefire, the government attacked rebel positions throughout the country; the claim was denied by President Dos Santos.1

  • 1. “Fighting Continues in Angola Despite Ceasefire,” Deutsche Presse-Agentur, November 17, 1994.

Minimum Implementation

Selection sites for the quartering of troops were being selected with help from the Demobilization and Reintegration Office of UCAH. In a March U.N. Angola Verification Mission-3 (UNAVEM-III) report, demobilization progress was considered high in some areas and completely lacking in others.2

In November of 1995, one full year after the Lusaka Accord, “the phased billeting of government and UNITA troops to 15 UN-built quartering areas (now in the process of completion) has not yet begun.” The plan, coming from the Lusaka Accord, was for 200,000 troops to be merged into a national army, with around half of that number to be later demobilized after a period of on-the-job training.3

Fifteen quartering areas for UNITA troops were under construction and the sites had been approved by the parties. The labor had come from within the UNAVEM military component. The quartering of UNITA troops began with 363 people at Vila Nova. The government claimed that the majority were children with non-working weapons.4

  • 2. “First Progress Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III),” U.N. Security Council (S/1995/177), March 5, 1995.
  • 3. “Angola's Peace Grows More Tense by the Day,” Guardian Weekly, November 5, 1995.
  • 4. “Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III),” U.N. Security Council (S/1995/1012), December 7, 1995.

Minimum Implementation

The Secretary-General stated: "It is disturbing that, more than one year after the signing of the Lusaka Protocol (which ended the war in November 1994), the quartering of UNITA troops -- one of the central elements in the peace process -- has not made any significant progress."5  

Little progress was reported on the quartering of UNITA troops. “As of 29 March, 18,595 UNITA soldiers had registered in the first five quartering areas and had handed over a total of 15,169 weapons, an alarmingly small increase over the 16,699 soldiers and 13,728 weapons…reported a month ago. Moreover, 1,163 of the soldiers had subsequently deserted the areas.”6 

UNAVEM-3 announced that 20,039 UNITA troops and 16,837 weapons were confined to Vila Nova, Londuimbali, Negage, Quibaxe, Ngove, Ntuco, and Quibala.7 

U.N. workers and aid workers said it was estimated that 50 percent of the 35,000 UNITA soldiers that registered at the 11 U.N. quartering areas were not UNITA troops.8 

From November 1994 to 27 September 1996, UNITA sent 63,189 declared fighters to the U.N. guarded cantonments to be disarmed and demobilized. Many were civilians who were told by UNITA that the camps were giving out food. When UNAVEM troops asked them to disassemble a weapon, many could not perform the task.9 

As of October 1996, the FAA completed 61 verified troop withdrawals. The number of UNITA troops registered in the 15 quartering camps was 63,189 with 11,500 desertions.10 

UNAVEM announced that the demobilization of approximately 8,000 under-age soldiers would begin in September 1996. It was estimated that 100,000 soldiers remained to be demobilized and that only 27.4 percent of the demobilization and reintegration program costs were covered in the UNAVEM budget.11 

Alioune Blondin Beye, the special U.N. envoy to Angola, reported that the peace process in Angola was badly stalled, with both sides still deployed and engaging each other. "Two years? This is beginning to look like a very long time," conceded Mr. Beye.12

  • 5. “Angola: U.N. Voices Frustration with UNITA,” Inter Press Service (IPS), February 2, 1996.
  • 6. “Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III),” U.N. Security Council (S/1996/248), April 4, 1996.
  • 7. “Angola: UN Mission Says Confined UNITA Troops Total 20,039,” BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, April 18, 1996.
  • 8. “Angola Army Aims to End UN Peace Role,” Guardian Weekly, June 16, 1996.
  • 9. “Angola: U.N. Officials Worry as UNITA Edges Away From Peace,” Inter Press Service, October 8, 1996.
  • 10. “Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III),” U.N. Security Council (S/1996/827), October 4, 1996
  • 11. Ibid.
  • 12. “Angola: U.N. Officials Worry as UNITA Edges Away From Peace,” Inter Press Service, October 8, 1996.

Intermediate Implementation

The U.N. reported that “only 2,100 under-aged UNITA soldiers had been demobilized” as of August (IPS, 1997). Another 7,800 rebel soldiers had been integrated into the joint national army and roughly 18,900 UNITA troops had abandoned the process. It was estimated that UNITA still had 35,000 troops deployed. The U.N. gave UNITA one month to comply with its orders or face sanctions.13

“As of 1 June, a total of 10,321 former UNITA combatants of various categories had been formally demobilized throughout the country,” however, “the number of deserters and absentees exceeded 35 per cent of all the personnel quartered.”14

By the end of 1997, all 15 UNITA quartering areas and demobilization sites were closed. The total number of demobilized UNITA forces was 45,706.15

  • 13. “Angola: U.N.: Last Chance for UNITA,” Inter Press Service, August 26, 1997.
  • 14. “Progress Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III),” U.N. Security Council (S/1997/438), June 5, 1997.
  • 15. “Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (MONUA),” U.N. Security Council (S/1997/959), December 4, 1997.

Intermediate Implementation

The UN Observer Mission in Angola (MONUA), the Angolan government, and UNITA set a new revised "final" timetable for demobilization, which was to be completed by 28 February. None of the elements in the timetable were met. On 11 March, they set a new timetable of 1 April.16 

On 6 March, Savimbi declared that UNITA had fully demobilized its troops, a claim which was met with skepticism. Expelled UNITA General Manuvakola, who signed the Lusaka Peace Accord, told reporters that Savimbi’s attitude was “ridiculous”. Among observer bodies, there seemed to be near unanimous acceptance that UNITA had maintained its core fighting units as well as almost all its artillery and weapons.17 

In June, Major-General Phillip Sibanda of the Zimbabwean army, the former commander of the United Nations observer force in Angola, stated that his view of local conditions indicated that the FAA and UNITA were engaged in a military build-up to possibly resume war.18 

In July, over 200 people were killed in the massacre of a small village (Mussuku), as surrounding troops shelled the homes. The government stated that UNITA was responsible for the attack and declared that it would retaliate against UNITA. "The government cannot cross its arms when UNITA is kidnapping young people and forcing them into military training, acquiring military equipment, sabotaging the country's infrastructure and attacking and occupying strategic places."19 

Local media reports stated that the Angolan countryside was at war.20

The Uppsala Conflict Data Program (UCDP) coded the conflict between the Angolan government and UNITA as reaching the threshold of “war” in 1998 with over 1000 total deaths in that year.21 

MONUA personnel, under phase IV of their security plan, were withdrawn from all provinces.22

  • 16. “Angola Peace Monitor,” Africa News 4, no. 7 (March 1998).
  • 17. Ibid.
  • 18. “UN Military Commander Says War Build-Up Underway in Angola,” Deutsche Presse-Agentur, June 2, 1998.
  • 19. “Angola Nears Civil War Outbreak: After Four Years, Peace Talks End Amid Massacre,” The Ottawa Citizen, July 26, 1998.
  • 20. “UNITA: Back to the Path of War,” Africa News, August 5, 1998.
  • 21. “UCDP Conflict Encyclopedia,” Uppsala Conflict Data Program, accessed February 22, 2013,
  • 22. “Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (MONUA),” U.N. Security Council (S/1998/1110), November 23, 1998.