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Friday, 17 May, 2002, 21:26 GMT 22:26 UK
UN lifts Unita travel curbs
Unita soldiers
Unita: Embargoes on arms, diamonds and oil remain
test hello test
By Jon Leyne
BBC correspondent at UN headquarters
The UN Security Council has suspended a travel ban that was preventing members of Unita, the former rebel movement in Angola, from travelling abroad.

This travel ban was imposed on members of the Unita rebel movement while Angola's violent civil war was still raging five years ago.

Angola timeline
1975: Angola gains independence from Portugal
Power struggle ensues between Cuba-backed MPLA and the FNLA plus Unita, backed by S Africa and the US
1992: Dos Santos wins presidential poll - Savimbi rejects results
1995: First UN peacekeepers arrive
1998: Full-scale fighting resumes
Feb 2002: Savimbi killed
April 2002: Ceasefire signed

But following the death of the Unita leader Jonas Savimbi earlier this year, there is now a ceasefire, so the Security Council has decided to suspend the restriction for 90 days.

The Security Council said it recognised the need for Unita leaders to be able to travel to help promote the peace process and national reconciliation.

The UN said the suspension could be extended depending on the pace of progress towards national reconciliation.

The vote does not affect embargoes on arms, oil and diamond sales, and financial restrictions, all imposed on Unita over the past decade.

UN officials had recommended the move in order to facilitate peace talks, but it is bound to be seen as well as a reward to Unita for its cooperation in the peace process.

See also:

02 Apr 02 | Africa
Angola rebels granted amnesty
31 Mar 02 | Africa
Angola moves closer to peace
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