The New Humanitarian Annual Report 2021

  1. Home
  2. Africa
  3. Southern Africa
  4. Zambia

Government protests Angolan allegations

The Zambian government has protested to the UN Security Council at “persistent accusations” by Angola in the past three weeks that it has helped transport arms to the UNITA rebel movement.

A senior government official told IRIN on Tuesday that Lusaka was still awaiting clarification from Angola on the claims first raised in a letter to the Zambian government on 14 January. The government has denied the allegations.

In a letter to the Security Council last week, the Zambian government said it had twice summoned the Angolan Charge d’Affaires to explain Luanda’s accusation that it had “credible information” on “substantial involvement of the Zambian authorities in the logistic and military support” for the UNITA leader Jonas Savimbi.

The Zambian government told the Security Council Luanda had repeated the allegations in a press release naming Zambia, Uganda, Rwanda, Togo, Burkina Faso and “some individuals of South Africa’s former regime” as supporting Savimbi: “The government of Angola has further threatened ‘to wage a war without truce against Dr Savimbi and his co-religionists’.”
It recalled that similar allegations last year had been checked by a joint UN and OAU verification mission and that they had cleared Zambia of any wrongdoing, as had various joint Angola/Zambia Joint Inspection Team verification missions. It called on the UN to send a new team of independent monitors to investigate the latest allegations.

Meanwhile, Zambian newspapers on Tuesday said the government had revealed that the national carrier, Aero Zambia, had been operating illegal flights into Angola through a subsidiary airline called Crego Air. The reports quoted government officials as saying there was no evidence that the arms had been airlifted.

Zambia’s Director of Civil Aviation, Eustern Mambwe, told a news conference in Lusaka that Crego Air was operating flights in and out of Zambia using Aero Zambia colours, but was not registered as an airline in Zambia: “This is an abrogation of the civil aviation laws and my department is working in conjunction with the Zambia Airforce to investigate reports about the presence of these aircraft in the country.”

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information:

Share this article
Join the discussion

Right now, we’re working with contributors on the ground in Ukraine and in neighbouring countries to tell the stories of people enduring and responding to a rapidly evolving humanitarian crisis.

We’re documenting the threats to humanitarian response in the country and providing a platform for those bearing the brunt of the invasion. Our goal is to bring you the truth at a time when disinformation is rampant. 

But while much of the world’s focus may be on Ukraine, we are continuing our reporting on myriad other humanitarian disasters – from Haiti to the Sahel to Afghanistan to Myanmar. We’ve been covering humanitarian crises for more than 25 years, and our journalism has always been free, accessible for all, and – most importantly – balanced. 

You can support our journalism from just $5 a month, and every contribution will go towards our mission. 

Support The New Humanitarian today.

Become a member of The New Humanitarian

Support our journalism and become more involved in our community. Help us deliver informative, accessible, independent journalism that you can trust and provides accountability to the millions of people affected by crises worldwide.