Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education

Front Page



UK Politics







Talking Point

In Depth

On Air

Low Graphics

Tuesday, November 16, 1999 Published at 12:30 GMT

World: Africa

'End of war in sight' - Angolan general

Angola's army has achieved a series of recent victories

By Lara Pawson in Luanda

The head of the Angolan army has said the end of the country's 24-year civil war is in sight.

The announcement by General Joao de Matos comes four weeks after Angola's armed forces took control of the central highland headquarters of the rebel group, Unita.

It was only the second time that the chief of staff had spoken since the capture of Andulo and Bailundo last month.

But this week's edition of the Monday evening programme, "Angola: Courageous Nation," left viewers with more than simply a heavy dose of optimism.

During a lengthy and surprisingly bold interview, Angola's chief of staff, General Joao de Matos, said that although the war against Unita rebels is not complete, the end is in sight.

Boosting previously reported figures, he said the army has destroyed 80% of Unita's conventional war capacity.

'Savimbi in Angola'

[ image: Jonas Savimbi: Earlier reports said he was outside Angola]
Jonas Savimbi: Earlier reports said he was outside Angola
Contrary to certain reports and rumours in the central African region, General de Matos also said that rebel leader, Jonas Savimbi, is currently in Angola.

"We know where he is," the general declared. "We're going to continue to thrash him until we capture him or annihilate him."

The head of the armed forces insisted that morale within the army is at an all-time high thanks to successive victories against the rebels.

Nevertheless, the exuberant nature of his interview has been received with mixed reactions in the Angolan capital.

One Western diplomat said he was surprised the government was daring to be so upbeat. He said the fact that the central highland city of Kuito is still being sporadically shelled by Unita is proof that the rebels are still strong.

However, other independent analysts argue that General De Matos is never optimistic unless he has good reason. According to one, he is not the type of man who would willingly made a fool of himself.

Advanced options | Search tips

Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©

Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia

Relevant Stories

15 Nov 99 | Africa
Mass grave found in Angola

03 Nov 99 | Africa
'Son' hits out at Savimbi

03 Nov 99 | Africa
Cautious 'yes' for UN Angola mission

20 Oct 99 | Africa
Angolan Government confirms Bailundo victory

25 Aug 99 | Angola
Special report: The Angolan conflict

24 Aug 99 | Africa
Security Council blasted over Angola

Internet Links

UN mission in Angola

Angola Peace Monitor

UN News for Africa

Angolan Embassy, Washington

Kwacha Unita Press

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

In this section

Dam builders charged in bribery scandal

Burundi camps 'too dire' to help

Sudan power struggle denied

Animal airlift planned for Congo

Spy allegations bug South Africa

Senate leader's dismissal 'a good omen'

Tatchell calls for rights probe into Mugabe

Zimbabwe constitution: Just a bit of paper?

South African gays take centre stage

Nigeria's ruling party's convention

UN to return to Burundi

Bissau military hold fire

Nile basin agreement on water cooperation

Congo Brazzaville defends peace initiative

African Media Watch

Liberia names new army chief