Peace pact on Angola accepted by all sides; formal treaty signing planned for next week
Brazzaville, Congo — South Africa signed a peace pact with Angola and Cuba yesterday calling for the withdrawal of an estimated 50,000 Cuban troops from Angola and for independence for Namibia. Officials for the three countries signed the accord at a ceremony here in the Congolese capital. A final treaty signing is planned for Dec. 22 in New York.
The pact ended months of intermittent talks between Angola, Cuba, and South Africa, which at last is bowing to a 1966 United Nations order for it to pull out of Namibia.
South Africa's minister of foreign affairs, Roelof Botha, said the UN-supervised independence process for Namibia will begin April 1, and elections will be held seven months later.
The phased withdrawal of Cuban troops will be monitored by the UN Security Council.
Half the troops will leave Angola before Namibian elections scheduled for Nov. 1, 1989, Mr. Botha told reporters. Another 8,000 will leave by April 1, 1990, and 5,000 more by Oct. 1 of that year. The remainder must exit within 27 months of the start of the independence process.
The agreement will not settle the civil war in Angola, but the withdrawal of foreign forces should scale down the conflict.
South Africa has controlled Namibia for 73 years, first under a League of Nations mandate and later in defiance of the UN.