Fighting Clouds Angolan Accord

ANGOLA reported fighting across the country yesterday, overshadowing efforts by negotiators in Zambia to seal an elusive peace accord. The flare-up was reported only two days after UN mediators said the Angolan government and rebel National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) had reached an agreement in principle to end 19 years of civil war.

Residents in the capital of Luanda were also reported to be responding warily to news that a peace agreement to end the fighting in Angola could be signed soon.

Diplomatic sources said they expected the agreement to be initialed by the end of this month, followed by two weeks of talks between government and UNITA military chiefs, and a formal signing by mid-November.

More than 11 months of negotiations produced an agreement in principle, United Nations mediator Alioune Blondin Beye said in Lusaka on Monday.

But a senior aide in Luanda said he expected a flurry of fighting before any cease-fire was signed. ``I think we will see some heavy fighting over the next 10 days. They will be jockeying for position on the ground before the cease-fire stops them,'' he said.

Angola's civil war erupted upon independence from Portugal in 1975. A short peace following 1991 accords ended when UNITA rejected defeat in UN-sponsored elections in 1992.

Bosnian Serbs shoot UN driver

OSNIAN Serbs fired on a UN-escorted aid convoy, killing a driver, while a Bosnian government refusal to pull troops out of the demilitarized zone added to the dangers mounting against the UN mission.

The United Nations relief operation in Bosnia has stumbled in the face of growing belligerence by separatist Serbs cut off by their war-weary patron, Yugoslavia, since August and enraged by a Sept. 22 NATO airstrike.

They have stymied UN aid deliveries to mostly Muslim government enclaves for much of the past month by blockading convoys and shooting at relief planes, and even hijacking five truckloads of medical supplies Monday. On Tuesday, a relief convoy ran into a hail of Bosnian Serb gunfire inside the UN's loosely enforced 12.5- mile weapons-exclustion zone around the Muslim enclave of Gorazde.

of 5 stories this month > Get unlimited stories
You've read 5 of 5 free stories

Only $1 for your first month.

Get unlimited Monitor journalism.