Disarmament: Lusaka Protocol


II: Specific Principles Relating to the Re-Established Cease-Fire:

8. Within the framework of the process of selection of the personnel for the completion of the formation of the FAA, the United Nations will carry out the collection, storage and custody of the armament of UNITA military forces at the time of quartering.

9. Collection, storage and custody of all the armament in the hands of civilians.

Annex 3: Military issues: Agenda item II.1: Military issues (I): III. Modalities:

11. Collection, storage and custody of armament of UNITA military forces under the supervision and control of the United Nations.

12. Collection, storage and custody of all the armament in the hands of civilians.

Timetable of the Bilateral Cease-Fire Modalities:

Phase Two:
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.

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.

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

Implementation History


Several days after the Lusaka Accord, Portuguese televised media 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.

No Implementation

As of November 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.”2

  • 2. “Angola's Peace Grows More Tense by the Day,” Guardian Weekly, November 5, 1995.

Minimum Implementation

According to the phased disarmament timeline, one-third of UNITA’s forces, around 16,500 troops, should have reported to disarmament camps by February. Out of that number, only 5,100 UNITA rebels had done so. It was also reported that “most” had not brought weapons with them.3 

The Secretary-General argued, "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."4 

Limited 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.”5 

The U.N. Angola Verification Mission-3 (UNAVEM III) announced that 20,039 UNITA troops were confined to Vila Nova, Londuimbali, Negage, Quibaxe, Ngove, Ntuco, and Quibala and had turned over 16,837 weapons.6 

According to the U.N., half of the people showing up to be disarmed were not UNITA soldiers, one-third had no weapons, and none had heavy weapons. General Matos stated that "UNITA has not even begun a serious effort towards disarming and demobilizing, 18 months after the Lusaka Accords, and there is no sign of any change."7 

UNITA had sent a total of 63,189 declared fighters to the U.N. guarded cantonments to be disarmed and demobilized. However, the U.N. reported that 25,000 came with no weapons and those that did turned in low quality arms.8

UNAVEM reported that after many delays, UNITA finally turned over substantial quantities of weapons. UNITA troops handed in over 28,762 personal weapons and 3,969 heavy or crew-served weapons.9

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

Minimum Implementation

Intelligence sources estimated that UNITA had 18,000 soldiers and several dozen major arms stores in Angola and received new arms weekly from Zambia. “On 2 March FAA found one arms dump with 31 AKM weapons, 47 RPK submachine guns, RPG-7 rocket launchers, 60mm and 82mm mortars, mortar shells, 11 B-10 cannons, one missile, 60 anti-tank mines, 60 anti-personnel mines, 700 rounds of ammunition and 16kg of TNT. On 11 March police uncovered in Caxito, Bengo province, 47 machine guns, 66 anti-personnel mines, seven 60mm mortars and 3,000 rounds of ammunition.”10 

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.11

  • 10. “Angola Peace Monitor,” Africa News 4, no. 7, (March 1998).
  • 11. “U.N. Military Commander Says War Build-Up Underway in Angola,” Deutsche Presse-Agentur, June 2, 1998.

Minimum Implementation

Local media were reporting that the Angolan countryside was at war.12 

In November, MONUA personnel, under phase IV of their security plan, were withdrawn from all provinces in Angola.13 

The Uppsala Conflict Data Program 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.14 Coding for this case stops December 31 1998.

  • 12. “UNITA: Back to the Path of War,” Africa News, August 5, 1998.
  • 13. “Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (MONUA),” U.N. Security Council (S/1998/1110), November 23, 1998.
  • 14. “UCDP Conflict Encyclopedia,” Uppsala Conflict Data Program, accessed February 22, 2013, www.ucdp.uu.se/database.