The Bicesse Accords in Angola. Virginia Page Fortna. In ‘ the combatants in Angola’s longstanding civil war signed a peace agreement. But the country was. Angola: The Bicesse Accords. Extracted from: “Angola” IN Compendium of Elections in Southern Africa (), edited by Tom Lodge, Denis Kadima and David. 25 years ago, May 31, , the Angolan Government and UNITA rebel movement signed in Portugal the Bicesse Accords that put an end to a.

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The sad lesson of the Angolan experience is that not all conflicts can accodrs resolved through negotiation. Nor is it surprising that international mediation in a war no longer characterised by ideological differences or ethnic divisions, but rather by personal animosities, corruption and greed, has also failed. Yet they themselves did not create the divisions within Angolan nationalism — divisions that stem basically accrds a power struggle between different elites — although they certainly exacerbated them.

Perhaps its not surprising that traditional accorcs of negotiation fail to fully explain the decidedly non-traditional conflict in Angola. Neither of the belligerents with whom the Troika and the UN were to share the responsibility for the peace process had yet abandoned its search for hegemony. Finally, at the end of the government launched what it called its ‘war for peace’, a war against an enemy “who had never respected the accords” and whose leader, Savimbi, the government did everything to have internationally criminalised.

The second phase entails convincing the parties that deadlock lies at the end of their individual strategies, and that only catastrophe would break the impasse. The principle areas where such intersections might have occurred – in schools or cities – accods all but muted in a country with high illiteracy and rural isolation.

In particular, it will also explain why corrections and adaptations that could have avoided its eventual collapse were not made during implementation. Powerless, the international community tried to negotiate at least a modification of the conditions for the second round of the Presidential vote, to make the playing field less unequal. The setting up of verification mechanisms; 4. According to the Head of State, “in the whole process, thre was also a successful combination of biccesse at the international level, which helped mitigate the differences and lay the foundations for a peaceful and openness between all Angolans.


This meant that, in terms of the text of the accord and of the UN resolution imposing sanctions, re-armament constituted a real breach for UNITA, while it was no longer a problem for the government, at least not in legal terms.

Despite the fragility of the accords, no one expected them to unravel so quickly and so completely. As for the government, for two years of war it had succeeded in functioning just as before even under a multi-party system and had soon after elections created a so- called but hollow ‘government of national unity’ with small allied parties. International interest in, and support of, different factions prolonged and transformed the internal conflict. But it wanted more: It gave no role to the unarmed forces — those not part of the struggle for power, who were the ones primarily concerned with peace.


However, by extracting concessions from the stronger party – the government in the case of Angola – talks continued to progress. On January 15,Roberto, Neto, and Savimbi met with the Portuguese to sign the Alvor Accords, which provided for a transitional government and Angolan independence on November 11, United Nations personnel will be deployed in accordance with the new United Nations mandate.

For the troika powers, a lingering sense of responsibility for a decade of destructive Cold War intervention, and a desire to tap the natural riches of Angola, did not translate into a workable political settlement. Although they certainly changed over time, they remained constant in reinforcing the sidelining of the needs for peace and democracy of those forces that one may call ‘unarmed’ — the Angolans who did not recognise themselves in the hegemonic intentions of the warring parties including a number of members of those parties.

The international community increasing invested the MPLA government with legitimacy and support, helping to bring about the end of the conflict but also further entrenching undemocratic government and state corruption at the expense of the civilian population.

Bicesse Accords – Wikipedia

Only UNITA was urged to disarm and demilitarise in order to be integrated in a government army left intact by the accord. The first section will identify the Angolan civil war as a post-colonial conflict among liberation groups, and a brief history of the move from anti-colonial to civil war upon independence in will also be provided.


The underlying assumptions and goals of those parties should also be analysed. UNITA agreed to MPLA authority during the transition, apparently believing it advantageous to avoid the taint of governing a broken country during the period leading up to the elections.

Of course, the international community ‘understood’ — given the nature of the Angolan political economy — that UNITA needed both economic and political guarantees before it would disarm. Paradoxically, the Angolan conflict illustrates both the need for, as well as the limitations of international involvement. The result was not only harmful to the UN.

A committee would be elected to oversee its implementation.

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Savimbi assumed that his nation wanted a traditional strongman, tough enough to undo 16 years of communist corruption and economic mismanagement. After nearly 30 years of pain, hardship and grief caused by a cruel and devastating war, the Angolan people had, with the signing of the Peace Accords, the possibility of looking with optimism and trust the future, but everything went down the drains due to the renewal of the conflict.

The international community at an impasse. Russia and the US, both anxious to clean up one of the last Cold War blunders, mediated an agreement in order to extricate themselves from an unpleasant situation. Without the power to stop the downward spiral of militarisation or the violations by either side, this reiteration had absolutely no implication for preserving peace.

What makes the Angolan case different is the interplay of national and international issues at stake. The international community remained convinced that Savimbi needed to be brought into the process, rather than marginalised.

But it did break off all contact with UNITA, whose foreign missions were ordered to close, and the Security Council’s Sanctions Committee even attempted to cut off its means of political expression. ReliefWeb has been the leading online source for reliable and timely humanitarian information on global crises and disasters since