Human Rights: Luena Memorandum of Understanding



1.2. The objective of the Memorandum of Understanding is collaboration between the parties for the resolution of negative military factors posing an obstacle to the Lusaka Protocol, and the creation of conditions for its definitive conclusion. 


2.2. The parties reiterate their unequivocal acceptance of the validity of pertinent political-juridical instruments, namely the Lusaka Protocol and UN Security Council resolutions related to the Angolan peace process.


2. The Angolan National Police is governed by the legislation in force, in compliance with the relevant provisions of the Bicesse Accords and the Lusaka Protocol. It discharges its tasks in accordance with the aforesaid instruments and within the letter and spirit of democratic principles and internationally recognized human rights, such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

3. The Angolan National Police is a corporate body which, taking into consideration the principles of administrative decentralization, exercises its authority over the whole country at the national, provincial, municipal and communal levels. The activities of the Angolan National Police are carried out within the limits authorized by the legislation in force, respecting the relevant provisions of the Bicesse Accords and the Lusaka Protocol, in strict compliance with the principles of the rule of law and of fundamental freedoms. Except in the specific cases provided for by law, its activities cannot be redirected in any event towards impeding or restricting the exercise by citizens of their political rights of favoring any political party whatsoever. Under the law, the Angolan National Police shall be held responsible for any violation of these principles, without prejudice to any action for criminal or civil liability of any individual member of the police force brought before the relevant Angolan judicial authorities.

4. Members of the Angolan National Police shall be given an appropriate professional training and their equipment shall be adapted to their functions, that is maintenance of public order and security.


4. National Reconciliation implies: (b) The respect for the principles of the rule of law, for the fundamental human rights and freedoms as defined by the national legislation in force and by the various legal international instruments to which Angola is a party, including the relevant provisions of the Bicesse Accords and the Lusaka Protocol.

II. Specific Principles:

2. Within the framework of National Reconciliation, the security of citizens, without distinction, the freedoms of speech, professional association and organization of unions, as well as press freedom, provided for and enshrined respectively in Articles 32, 33 and 35 of the Constitutional Law, are guaranteed in accordance with the legislation in force, the Lusaka Protocol and the universal principles of the rule of law.

9. Within the framework of National Reconciliation, the cases of Angolans prevented from exercising their labour rights by circumstances prevailing prior to the signing of the Lusaka Protocol shall be duly considered by the competent State institutions.

17. Within the Framework of National Reconciliation and in conformity with the provisions of Article 120 (3) of the Constitutional Law, the fundamental rights and freedoms of the citizen are guaranteed through the independence of the judiciary.



10. The Government and UNITA commit themselves to implement the "Acordos de Paz para Angola" (Bicesse), the relevant resolutions of the United Nations Security Council and the Lusaka Protocol, respecting the principles of the rule of law, the general principles of internationally recognized human rights, more particularly, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the fundamental freedoms of the individual, such as defined by the national legislation in force and the various international legal instruments to which Angola adheres.

Implementation History


Intermediate Implementation

The 2002 Luena Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) calls for continuing and completing the implementation of the 1994 Lusaka Protocol. The Lusaka Accord or Protocol calls for substantial human rights monitoring, human rights training and education programs for police and officials, and investigative bodies to investigate human rights violations. In November 1995, UNAVEM-3 established a Human Rights Unit with a mandate to verify and monitor the Angolan National Police, the demobilization of the Rapid Reaction Police, and perform criminal investigations of human rights violations throughout Angola.1

Also in 1995, UNAVEM-3 launched a nationwide human rights education program focused on the role of the Lusaka Protocol in the protection of human rights. UNAVEM focused much of its training resources on the treatment of prisoners in detention centers and on human rights training associated with the military integration process.2 The Human Rights Division and the Ministry of Justice also established local human rights committees in 4 provinces.3

In the wake of the ceasefire, UN Secretary-General Annan called for an expanded UN mandate. The report mentioned the protection of human rights as a primary goal of the new mission. The mission would be called the United Nations Mission in Angola (UNMA) and would have an initial 6 month mandate.4 Sixty sergeants in the Angolan Armed Forces (FAA) concluded a new human rights course conducted by the UN Human Rights Division.5 In December, forty Angolan National Police instructors took a human rights training course in Luanda.6

  • 1. “Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III),” U.N. Security Council (S/1995/1012), December 7, 1995.
  • 2. Ibid.
  • 3. “Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (MONUA),” U.N. Security Council (S/1998/524), June 17, 1998.
  • 4. “Angola: Annan Calls for Expanded UN Mandate,” Africa News, August 2, 2002.
  • 5. “Angola: Huila: FAA Soldiers Instructed On Human Rights,” Africa News, September 9, 2002
  • 6. “Angola: Police Instructors Take a Human Rights Course,” Africa News, December 18, 2002.

Intermediate Implementation

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Sergio Vieira de Melo, took a 2 week trip to Angola to tour conditions and meet with leaders.7 Lerena Pinto, a Human Rights Division specialist at the United Nations Office in Angola, told reporters in March that the number of human rights violations had dropped throughout Angola.8

  • 7. “UN Human Rights Chief to Visit Angola,” Xinhua General News Service, January 8, 2003.
  • 8. “Angola: UN Official Links Drop in Human Rights Violations to Return of Peace,” BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, March 31, 2003.

Intermediate Implementation

Speaking in Luanda, the Secretary General of the United Nations for the Defenders of Human Rights, Hina Jilani, remarked that Angola had made progress in making its legal system suitable for the respect of human rights.9

  • 9. “Angola: Legal Framework Suitable for Human Rights Safekeeping – UN,” Africa News, August 17, 2004.

Intermediate Implementation

Sixty-five officials attended a human rights training program in Kuito city held by the National Human Rights Department and the United Nations.10

  • 10. “Angola: Bie: Provincial Justice Department Trains 65 Staff in Human Rights,” Africa News, February 15, 2005.

Intermediate Implementation

The Justice Ministry established a human rights committee on October 24 in Angola's northern Cabinda province.11 

In the northern Uíge province, 50 officers of the National Police attended the second seminar for police instructors on human rights.12

  • 11. “Angola: Human Rights Committee Set Up in Cabinda,” Africa News, October 25, 2006.
  • 12. “Angola: Police Officers Attend Human Rights Course,” Africa News, September 20, 2006.

Intermediate Implementation

Angola ratified four international human rights conventions on torture, racial discrimination, the rights of migrant workers and their families, and the disabled.13 

Police officers, members of the armed forces, state officials, and traditional leaders attended a human rights seminar in central Bie Province promoted by the UN Human Rights Office.14

  • 13. “Angola: Government to Ratify Human Rights Convention,” Africa News, June 3, 2007.
  • 14. “Angola: Bie - Seminar on Human Rights Ends Today in Kuito,” Africa News, August 15, 2007.

Intermediate Implementation

The Government of Angola was commended for its efforts in reforming its human rights conditions by the United Nation's High Commissioner for Human Rights, Louise Arbour, in Geneva Switzerland.15

  • 15. “Angola: High Commissioner Commends Government's Human Rights Effort,” Africa News, March 5, 2008.

Intermediate Implementation

Human Rights Watch released a report on government abuses in Cabinda against the separatist group (FLEC) and urged the government to follow due process and respect international human rights laws and norms.16 

Angola’s Minister of Human Rights responded in the press and denied the abuses reported by Human Rights Watch. He later visited several prisons in the Cabinda region after meeting with local leaders. While the abuses did likely occur, the interaction showed an increased commitment and engagement by government leaders in the area of human rights.17

  • 16. “International Organisation Calls for End to Human Rights Abuses in Angola's Northern Enclave,” Global Insight, June 23, 2009.
  • 17. “Angola: Minister Without Portfolio Denies Human Rights Violation in Cabinda,” Africa News, July 3, 2009.

Intermediate Implementation

The Government of Angola delivered its human rights progress report to the 7th session of the Universal Periodical Review (UPR), a UN human rights monitoring mechanism.18 

The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) arrived in Luanda to evaluate the implementation of human rights reforms in Angola.19

  • 18. “Angola: Optimism on Results of Human Rights Report,” Africa News, February 15, 2010.
  • 19. “Angola: AU Mission in to Assess Human Rights,” Africa News, April 19, 2010.

Intermediate Implementation

Antonio Bento Bembe, Angola’s State Secretary for Human Rights, told reporters that 2011 would see the most progress in human rights conditions in Angola: "The various actions of the Angolan Government carried out throughout the year that is ending soon show that human rights are a fundamental pillar of its foreign and domestic policy."20

  • 20. “Angola: Governmentt Committed to Complying With Human Rights,” Africa News, December 26, 2011.