• Short Summary

    The Foreign Affairs spokesman for the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), Dr.

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    The Foreign Affairs spokesman for the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), Dr. Jorge Sangumba, declared on Tuesday (2 March) that the UNITA forces will launch a guerrilla war against the Soviet and Cuban backed Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA).

    Dr. Sangumba made the statement in an interview with Visnews African Editor, William L. Ward, in London. His declaration of guerrilla war, followed closely on the peace talks between Zairian President, General Mobutu Sese Seko, and MPLA Angolan President, Dr. Agostinho Neto in the Congo People's Republic on Saturday ( 28 February ). Zaire formerly backed UNITA and the National Front for the Liberation of Angola (FNLA) against the MPLA.

    At their meeting President Mobutu and President Neto agreed they would ban all military activity against one another from their respective territories. Another critical decision was that both UNITA and the FNLA must leave Zaire immediately.

    However, Dr. Sangumba said that UNITA understood and sympathised with the position of President Mobutu. He alleged that a key factor in Zaire seeking an understanding with the MPLA was the presence of a large force of Katangese secessionist gendarmes in their army. Dr. Sangumba claimed they were trained and financed by the MPLA to fight against Zaire because of its support for the FNLA.

    Dr. Sangumba said that UNITA was confident of sustaining a guerrilla war for at least 18 months without re-supply. He claimed that UNITA had 25,000 soldiers with plans to create a guerrilla army of 15,000. He said that it would be war a against the towns -- not the villages or countryside.

    Dr. Sangumba claimed that there were at least 12,000 Cubans and 1,500 men from the Soviet Union in Angola -- "plus hundreds of Czechoslovaks and East Germans". Dr. Sangumba said that the UNITA forces would harass what he called, the occupying forces, in Angola.

    However, the Czechoslovak Communist Party newspaper, Rude Pravo has called the claims that Czechoslovak soldiers are fighting in Angola dubious -- although there has been no official denial. Meanwhile, East Germany has announced it will meet requests from the MPLA to send more aid to Angola, including medicines and textiles. There has been no confirmation that East German troops are fighting on Angolan soil.

    Turning to the MPLA again, Dr. Sangumba said that Dr. Neto faced a dilemma. if the Soviet Union and Cuba withdrew from Angola, the MPLA would fall. While they stayed, the world regarded them as an army of occupation.

    Indeed, some African leaders have expressed concern - despite assurances -- about the Soviet and Cuban presence in Angola and questioned whether they pose a threat, not only to South Africa and Rhodesia, but also other states as well.

    This film is an interview by VISNEWS African Editor, William L. Ward with Dr. Jorge Sangumba, Foreign Affairs spokesman of the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), a transcript of which follows:

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    Reuters - Including Visnews
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    Available on request
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