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Thursday, 1 June, 2000, 12:07 GMT 13:07 UK
Angola warns Zambia

Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos has again accused neighbouring Zambia of helping Unita rebels fighting his government.

Sampa, who is my friend, lied

Angolan Defence Minister Kundi Paihama on his Zambian equal
"Some Zambian entities are interested in maintaining a climate of tension between Angola and Zambia with various statements and actions," Mr dos Santos told a press conference in Luanda.

Correspondents say that this is a clear reference to Zambian President Frederick Chiluba, and his defence minister, Chitalu Sampa.

Earlier the Angolan Defence Minister Kundi Paihama accused his Zambian counterpart of lying about alleged cross-border raids by Angolan government forces.

President dos Santos
President dos Santos says some key Zambians are helping Unita
"Chitalu Sampa made declarations that in my opinion are rash," he said.

"First, we have a commission where we should debate these situations. We have a channel and he lied. I did not want to say that, but Sampa, who is my friend, lied." Mr Paihama said.

Good neighbourliness

President dos Santos has called for a meeting of the two defence ministers to resolve any lingering differences between the two countries.

President Chiluba
Mr Chiluba: 'We want to live in peace with our neighbours'
" Angola doesn't want to attack Zambia," he said.

"We would like maximum co-operation from Zambian authorities so that there is no friction or military action on our common border," the Angolan leader added.

At the same time, Mr dos Santos warned the Zambian authorities not to give any more aid to Unita.

Accusations and denials

Zambia has, over recent days, accused Angolan forces of carrying out cross border raids in pursuit of Angolan rebels from the Unita movement.

Unita soldier
Unita rebels have recently suffered loses at the hands of government troops
The authorities in Lusaka said that one its soldiers had been killed and that civilians living in border villages have been intimidated by Angolan troops.

The Angolan Government has denied the Zambian accusations.

Angola says Unita forces had fled from their captured stronghold in the central highlands and moved across the border into Zambia from where they could mount more attacks on Angola.

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See also:

26 May 00 | Africa
Zambian leader warns Angola
26 Apr 00 | Africa
UN: Angola is on the brink
21 Apr 00 | Africa
Unita dissidents reject the war
05 May 00 | Africa
Angola: War without end
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