The Foreign Affairs spokesman for the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), Dr.
CU: Visnews reporter William Ward (back to camera) seated with UNITA Foreign Minister Dr. Sangumba. (MUTE)
English Speech Starts: "Doctor Sangumba....
English Speech Ends:..... President Mobutu"
WARD: "Dr. Sangumba, UNITA appears to have lost the conventional military war, what now?"
SANGUMBA: "Well, we lost not really the war, we lost the first stage of the war in terms that we lost the major towns -- like the capital, Huambo, Lobito, Bandira. But now, we decided after the fall of Huambo, to go back to the war that we know best which is guerrilla warfare. Now we are going to re-group all our soldiers. There are around 25,000 young men. We are going to create a guerrilla army of 15,000 men. Now we are going to harass the Russians, the Cubans, the Czechs, the East Germans through guerrilla warfare with much precision. I mean that the target for operations are going to be on the towns, not on the villages, not in the countryside."
WARD: "Before we go any further, you mentioned Czechs and East Germans. Are hey there?"
SANGUMBA: "There are hundreds of Czechs and East Germans. They are the people who are controlling the organisation of the army. They are the people involved in the security of the army. In the policing of the capital, like Luanda and the major information network of the MPLA."
WARD: "But now then as you say, now that we have Russians, Cubans, Czechs and East Germans there, do you see this as an escalation of the entire communist bloc involvement in Angola?"
SANGUMBA: "There are 12,000 Cubans and seven Cuban generals, 1,500 Russians, hundreds of East Germans and Czechs. So really -- literally -- they are occupying Angola. Therefore, Dr. Neto has a dilemma. The Dilemma is that either the Cubans and Russians will leave Angola -- and then the regime in Luanda will fall, or the Cubans and Russians will remain in Angola and then they will be known to the world as the army of occupation".
WARD "But, nevertheless from a strategic point of view, how are you going to channel aid to your guerrilla war?"
SANGUMBA: "So far we have enough equipment."
WARD "Where does it come through?"
SANGUMBA: "The equipment we succeeded to accumulate in the past two years, during the civil war after the 11th of November, is enough really for us to fight comfortably for the next 18 months."
WARD "How do you see Zaire's new peace treaty with MPLA?"
SANGUMBA: "President Mobutu has a problem. Dr. Neto was trying to use and is trying to use the Katangese -- to arm them, to finance them -- in order to fight President Mobutu's regime in the context that the FNLA has been supported by President Mobutu. So, therefore President Mobutu has to be realistic, has to understand what raal-politik means for him to talk with Dr. Neto and to find an accommodation".
WARD: "You are saying you don't blame him?"
SANGUMBA: "Because the first thing that President Mobutu has to do is defend the interests of Zaire and the Zaire people".
WARD: "So you understand his move?"
SANGUMBA: "We understand completely the move of President Mobutu".
Initials RH/2025 RH/2045
WILLIAM K. WARD
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: 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: