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

New fears for UN observers

Western diplomats in the Angolan capital, Luanda, said on Thursday that they were growing increasingly concerned for a group of 13 members of the UN Observer Mission in Angola (MONUA) in territory held by UNITA rebels for the past month.

The MONUA men are predominantly Indian nationals. Two are based in the town of Bailundo, and 11 in the town of Andulo, both within 100 km north of the city of Kuito in central Angola. The diplomats said they were concerned for safety because they had received reports that government forces were preparing “an imminent attack” on Andulo.

The announcement coincides with a draft resolution presented to the UN Security Council earlier on Thursday in which the troika of observer countries in Angola - Russia, the United States and Portugal - said, “the international community will hold UNITA responsible for their safety and security”.

MONUA officials in Angola, have said, however, that their team members had not been detained or held hostage, but that their departure had been delayed because of poor weather conditions.
The UN Special Representative in Angola, Issa Diallo, raised the plight of the men on Wednesday in talks with the Angolan government and ambassadors of the three observer countries, a UN official told IRIN. Radio Angola quoted government spokesman General Higini Carneiro as saying after the meeting: “It is up to the Security Council to take a firm stand.”

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: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

Share this article
Join the discussion

It was The New Humanitarian’s investigation with the Thomson Reuters Foundation that uncovered sexual abuse by aid workers during the Ebola response in the Democratic Republic of Congo and led the World Health Organization to launch an independent review and reform its practices.

This demonstrates the important impact that our journalism can have. 

But this won’t be the last case of aid worker sex abuse. This also won’t be the last time the aid sector has to ask itself difficult questions about why justice for victims of sexual abuse and exploitation has been sorely lacking. 

We’re already working on our next investigation, but reporting like this takes months, sometimes years, and can’t be done alone.

The support of our readers and donors helps keep our journalism free and accessible for all. Donations mean we can keep holding power in the aid sector accountable, and shine a light on similar abuses. 

Become a member today and support independent journalism

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.