Angola: March 15, 2000


: More reports continue to appear regarding "economic sanctions busting" activities by African leaders, major corporations, and perhaps military officers in African nations. As FYEO previously reported, Angolan diamonds and timber products continue to make it to market and supply UNITA with needed cash. On March 12 AFP reported that South Africa has launched a major investigation. On March 15, the British government called on the UN Security Council to shut down the sanctions violators. AFP had this interesting quote from Peter Hain, British junior minister in charge of African affairs: "It is no good putting our hands up in the UN for sanctions against UNITA and then taking no action while citizens in our countries make money out of misery. That is simply hypocrisy." No kidding. Hain refered to the recent UN report that named presidents Gnassingbe Eyadema of Togo and Blaise Campaore of Burkina Faso as kingpins in the arms and fuel smuggling that supports UNITA. (A subsequent AFP report said that former Ivory Coast president Henri Konan Bedie and former Congo Republic (Brazzaville) prime minister General Joachim Yhombi Opango had also violated UN sanctions and were named in the UN report.) As to making these nations and men pay a price, that's harder. The UN report, among other things, suggests denying UN posts to nations that are sanctions busters. That's weak, but it's indicative of how little can be done short of putting economic sanctions on violators. Freezing currency accounts of violators, if those accounts can be identified, is a heavier wallop. The UN put an arms and fuel sanction on UNITA in 1993. In 1998 a sanction on UNITA diamond sales was added. By the UN's own accounting, illegal diamond exports have netted UNITA some $4 billion since 1992. The fact is, the figure could be higher.


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