The leader of the National Union for the Total Liberation of Angola (UNITA) accused the Soviet Union of using Cuban mercenaries as "cannon fodder" in the Angolan Civil war.
The leader of the National Union for the Total Liberation of Angola (UNITA) accused the Soviet Union of using Cuban mercenaries as "cannon fodder" in the Angolan Civil war. Dr. Jonas Savimbi was speaking at a news conference in Lusaka, Zambia, on Thursday (11 December) when he made the allegations.
He said he was ready to take captured Cuban and Katangese mercenaries to the proposed summit meeting of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), and if necessary to the United Nations, to expose the Soviet role in Angola.
Dr. Savimbi said that the Cubans had not been invited to fight in Angola by Dr. Agostinho Neto, the leader of the rival Soviet-backed Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA). It was Russia alone who had brought them into the fighting.
He claimed that one group of 450 Cuban soldiers had arrived in Angola before 5 August, the date fighting began between the MPLA and UNITA. It had shown, he said, that the MPLA - together with the Soviet Union and Cuba - had planned the "invasion" of Cuba.
The planned OAU summit meeting in Addis Ababa this month, said Dr. Savimbi, would be the most important in the Organisation's history. The face that Russia was showing in Angola, he said, should be a warning to the continent of Africa.
He also denied that South African troops were fighting alongside UNITA forces in Angola. He described such reports as a "smoke screen" and "mere propaganda" designed to tarnish the image of his organisation.
SYNOPSIS: (MUTE) In an office in the Intercontinental Hotel in Lusaka, Zambia, on Thursday, a news conference was given by the leader of the National Union for the Total Liberation of Angola, Dr. Jonas Savimbi. Once again he denied that UNITA forces were being helped by South African troops.