Update to AGO32171.E of 5 July 1999 on human rights violations committed by members of the UNITA [AGO34565.E]

The following information on human rights violations committed by the UNITA is a brief chronology of events since July 1999. It is in addition to that already found in Country Reports 1999, Amnesty International Report 2000, Human Rights Watch Report 2000 and Section VI of Human Rights Watch (HRW) September 1999 report entitled Angola Unravels: The Rise and Fall of the Lusaka Peace Process.

The Angola Peace Monitor (AMP), a monthly report on peace and security, reported in July 1999 that the Angolan authorities blamed UNITA for the killing of up to a hundred people in the town of Chipeta, near the city of Cuito; an allegation denied by the armed group (28 July 1999). The murder of 50 civilians on 12 July 1999 in a village south of Humabo city was also attributed to UNITA (ibid.).

In September 1999, according to a spokesperson for UNHCR, over 100 Angolan refugees, mostly from Moxico province, an area controlled at that time by UNITA, had fled to Zambia to avoid forced conscription by UNITA; the UNHCR spokesperson stated that the exercise of conscription had targeted a wide cross section of society (ibid. 29 Sept. 1999).

In January 2000, AMP reported that over 300 persons, including 16 traditional leaders called Sobas, were allegedly murdered by UNITA when it occupied the town of Camacupa, Bie province; the Armed Forces took control of that town in December 1999 (18 Jan. 2000). The report also claims that UNITA was involved in many hit and run attacks during the month of January. In mid-January 2000, 150 civilians of the village of Chicandula were allegedly murdered by UNITA; 26 individuals were also reportedly killed at the hands of UNITA on 6 February 2000 in the town of Santa Clara, Cuena province (AMP 23 Feb. 2000). Another 40 people were reportedly killed by UNITA in Tchinguvo, near the city of Dundo in Lunda Norte province, in March 2000 (ANGOP 6 Mar. 2000). UNITA is also accused of ambushing a civilian convoy that was travelling from Dundo to Lucapa, the capital of Lunda Norte province, killing 19 people and wounding several others (AMO 19 Apr. 2000).

Namibians have also been the targets of UNITA in cross-border raids (AFP 31 May 2000). According to AFP, UNITA rebels were blamed for the deaths of some 50 Namibians along the Kavango river on the border between Angola and Namibia (ibid.). UNITA has allegedly been raiding homes and laying landmines along the river in retaliation for the Namibian government's logistical support to the Angolan army (ibid).

In June 2000, Angolan authorities discovered 17 mass graves in territories previously under the control of UNITA in the province of Bie (IRIN 8 June 2000). According to the report, the remains of about 1,700 are believed to be found in these graves, which are located in the towns of Chivango, Pesso and Capiti, and around the airfield of Camacupa (ibid.).

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum.


Agence France Press (AFP). 31 May 2000. "Namibia Introduces Curfew on Angolan Border." (NEXIS)

Angola Peace Monitor (AMP). 23 February 2000. "Regional Concerns as UNITA Regroups." http://www.anc.org.za/angola/apm0606.html [Accessed 22 June 2000]

_____. 18 January 2000. "Jamba Falls to FAA Following Heavy Fighting in Border Region." http://www.anc.org.za/angola/apm0605.html [Accessed 22 June 2000]

_____. 29 September 1999. "Reports of Hardships in UNITA Territory." http://www.anc.org.za/angola/apm0601.html [Accessed 22 June 2000]

_____. 28 July 1999. "UNITA Denies Mass Killings." http://www.anc.org.za/angola/apm0606.html [Accessed 22 June 2000]

Angolan Mission Observer (AMO) [New York]. 19 April 2000. "Angolan Army Adjusts Strategy to Counter UNITA Guerrilla Attacks." (Africa News 19 Apr. 2000/NEXIS)

Angolan Press Agency (ANGOP). 6 March 2000. "UNITA Reportedly Kills Over 40 Civilians in Lunda Norte Province." (BBC Summary 10 Mar. 2000/NEXIS)

UN Integrated Regional Information Network (IRIN). 8 June 2000. "Southern Africa." (Africa News 8 June 2000/NEXIS)