The Angolan government, under military pressure from UNITA rebels, asked the international community yesterday not to abandon the country to civil war.
National radio said fighting continued unabated yesterday between government forces and UNITA, the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola, which rejected the results of elections last September. The elections were part of a peace process, but UNITA claimed the voting had been rigged.
Fighting broke out before a second round of polling to decide between the two leading presidential candidates - incumbent President Jose Eduardo dos Santos and Jonas Savimbi of UNITA.
The UN Security Council has extended until April 30 the mandate of a now reduced UN mission monitoring the peace agreement. But it will cut its presence further if the security situation continues to deteriorate.
Peace talks in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, last weekend failed to produce a cease-fire and many diplomats say there is little hope of concrete results in another round scheduled for Feb. 10.