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Yearbook of the United Nations, 2002. Part 1, Political and security questions. Chapter 2, Africa
Conflicts in several African countries showed signs of abatement in 2002, due in part to United Nations involvement in the peace processes and mediation efforts. While the most remarkable progress was seen in Angola and Sierra Leone, improvements were also reported in Burundi, in the dispute between Eritrea and Ethiopia, and in the Sudan. Although the fighting in most countries was at reduced levels in 2002, Africa continued to be plagued by other woes, such as poverty and economic stagnation, the spread of HIV/ AIDS and other diseases, massive movements of refugees and displaced persons, natural disasters, the flow of illegal arms, and the illegal trade in raw diamonds, which perpetuated war. During the year, the Security Council and the General Assembly examined the causes of conflict and ways to promote sustainable peace in Africa. At a series of open meetings on the issue, Council members proposed a number of measures to prevent conflict on the continent and to promote peace, highlighting the importance of cooperation with the Organization of African Unity (OAU) (which became the African Union (AU) later in the year) and African subregional organizations in implementing them. Those proposals were summarized in a document issued by the Council President, which included ideas expressed by members on lessons learned in planning peacekeeping operations and the transition from peacekeeping to peace-building. On the same subject, the Secretary-General submitted to the Council a July report following up on his 1998 proposals on causes of conflict and the promotion of sustainable development in Africa. He reviewed recent UN activities in peacemaking, peacekeeping and post-conflict peace-building. After 27 years of war, the political and military situation in Angola entered a new phase in 2002, with rapid changes that brought an end to the fighting and an agreement between the Government and the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA). The February death of Jonas Savimbi, the UNITA military leader, was followed by the signing in April of a memorandum of understanding. Under its terms, the responsibilities of the Angolan armed forces and those of UNITA were defined with regard to observing a ceasefire, quartering UNITA soldiers and collecting weapons. At Angola's request, the United Nations increased its involvement in the peace process and transformed the United Nations Office in Angola into a peacebuilding mission, renamed the United Nations Mission in Angola. The Monitoring Mechanism on Sanctions against UNITA concluded that the sanctions had greatly contributed to the downfall of UNITA. After the Government and UNITA continued to demonstrate their intention to fulfil the terms of the 1994 Lusaka Protocol and UNITA became a political party, the Security Council, in December, abolished the sanctions. The Great Lakes region continued to be seriously affected by fighting among armed groups and between rebel groups and Governments. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Burundi, the year opened with heavy fighting that diminished by the end of the year, possibly indicating further progress in the peace processes in both countries. Rwanda and Uganda, which had provided military support for the opposition forces in the DRC, signed individual agreements with the DRC on the removal of their forces from that country. Following the signing of the agreements, Angola, Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda and Zimbabwe began withdrawing troops from DRC territory. In December, participants from numerous internal factions gathered in Pretoria, South Africa, for the Inter-Congolese Dialogue and agreed on a two-year transitional government under a power-sharing arrangement, to be followed by national elections. In Burundi, where a Transitional Government was established in late 2001, the lack of a ceasefire and general insecurity led to increased fighting in mid-2002. However, the situation became more hopeful when the Facilitator of the peace process was able to bring three of the four rebel parties together to conclude ceasefire agreements with the Government. The Central African Republic enjoyed relative stability and social peace in early 2002, despite its desperate economic situation. Relations between the Government and the opposition improved as a result and a political dialogue was organized with UN assistance. However, a former military leader, François Bozizé, led an attempted coup in the north, and the Government accused Chad of involvement in an attack on Bangui, the capital, which Chad denied. The armed rebellion, together with the insecurity suffered by the population, was a destabilizing development, and regional plans were drawn up to send a security force to the Central African Republic to observe the border with Chad and to ensure the safety of the President. The situation improved in parts of West Africa, particularly in Sierra Leone, where the largest UN peacekeeping mission—the United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL)— continued to monitor and supervise the ceasefire signed in 2000 and to oversee the disarmament process, which was completed in January. The Security Council expanded UNAMSIL's mandate to include assisting in the national elections, which were held on 14 May. The Council welcomed the election results as a milestone in the Sierra Leone peace process. The Special Court for Sierra Leone was established after the announcement of the election results, and the Council decided in September to gradually reduce the size of UNAMSIL in order to avoid a sudden security vacuum. In Liberia, on the other hand, the conflict between government forces and armed dissidents escalated, resulting in flows of refugees and displaced persons, and elements from both sides of the conflict crossed into Sierra Leone to find food and refuge. A Panel of Experts set up by the Council to investigate violations of the arms embargo against Liberia and the ban on the export of rough diamonds from Sierra Leone issued reports in April and October. The situation in Guinea-Bissau remained fragile due to its political, economic and social difficulties, but there was no armed conflict. The country's newly established democratic system was strengthened with the National Assembly's resumption of work, preparations for local elections and the establishment of a court system. However, the political opposition and competing interests among the branches of Government brought the process to a standstill, and the President dissolved Parliament. When rebels in Côte d'Ivoire attempted to overthrow the elected Government in September, France sent troops there to prevent further fighting and monitor a ceasefire, pending the deployment of a West African peacekeeping force. The Security Council, in December, expressed support for the planned deployment of such a force by the Economic Community of West African States. The peace process between Eritrea and Ethiopia, which were involved in a border dispute, progressed steadily in the wake of the signing of a ceasefire agreement and the establishment of the Temporary Security Zone in 2000. The Boundary Commission completed its work on the delimitation of the border and, with the assistance of the United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE), began demarcation of the border. Despite some resistance by both parties, UNMEE was generally able to monitor the boundary area and the Security Council adjusted its mandate to include assisting the Boundary Commission in demarcation work, demining activities and administrative and logistical support. Somalia remained a country of warring factions, despite considerable progress in reaching agreement on the national reconciliation process. The Transitional National Government, established in 2000, continued efforts to bring together the Somali factions that had not joined earlier reconciliation attempts. Mediation efforts were led by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the United Nations. After months of delay, IGAD was successful in organizing a conference in Eldoret, Kenya, attended by many political factions and civil society representatives, which culminated in the adoption of the “Declaration on Cessation of Hostilities and the Structure and Principles of the Somalia National Reconciliation Process”, in which the participants agreed to set up governance structures and guarantee the security of humanitarian personnel and installations. Although the document provided a method to achieve national unity, Somaliland remained outside the process and there was an increase in factional as well as inter and intra-clan fighting. Somalia remained one of the most dangerous environments in which the United Nations operated. The United Nations continued to face opposition to implementation of the 1990 settlement plan for Western Sahara, by which Morocco and the Frente Popular para la Liberación de Saguía el-Hamra y de Río de Oro (POLISARIO) had agreed to hold a referendum for the self-determination of the Territory. The parties were not willing to cooperate fully on the plan or to find another political solution, as proposed by the United Nations, either by dividing power between a local administration and Morocco or by dividing the Territory. Despite the stalled negotiations, Morocco and POLISARIO agreed to some confidence-building measures such as familial visits, exchange of communications and release of prisoners. The United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara continued to monitor the ceasefire. The internal conflict in the Sudan intensified in early 2002 and casualties increased in fighting between the Government and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army. Through the mediation efforts of IGAD and the President of Kenya,the parties reached an agreement, signed in Machakos, Kenya, in July, on solving contentious issues. In the light of the 9 July transformation of OAU into the AU, the Secretary-General reported that the changes implied that the AU would assume the rights and responsibilities of OAU to participate in UN meetings as an observer, and the General Assembly concurred with that determination. The Secretary-General also reported on cooperation between the United Nations and OAU/AU. He noted that the United Nations was supporting the organization in the process of establishing new organs and structures, and in the drafting of terms of reference and rules of procedure. The Assembly, in December, welcomed the cooperation between the organizations and outlined areas for strengthening UN assistance to the AU.
Yearbook of the United Nations, 2002. v. 56; Vol. 56
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