The deteriorating security situation led MONUA to withdraw from many of its more remote outposts in mid-1998, disrupting plans for its Division of Political Affairs to have operated at mandated strength with officers stationed in all provinces to verify the normalization of state administration, participate in local conflict-resolution initiatives and provide good offices.
The mandate of MONUA was initially extended to June 30. Although the Security Council expressed its intention to take a final decision by June 30 on MONUAs mandate, size, and organizational structure, the deteriorating security situation forced an extension of the existing mandate to first September 15 and then a further thirty days. On October 15 the mandate was extended for a further six weeks. In mid-September MONUAs military contingent stood at 724 personnel and its civilian police component (CIVPOL) stood at 401 observers.
Having done very little since it was established in 1995, the U.N.s human rights unit became more active in May 1998 when a new director, Nicholas Howen, was hired. The unit only then opened an investigations office unit and under difficult circumstances attempted to document and investigate reports of human rights abuses. The units renaissance due not only to a new director but also a change of U.N. policy following the death of Special Representative Blondin Beye, who was opposed to robust human rights reporting by the U.N., fearing that it would have undermined his efforts to mediate.
European Union, Norway, and Canada
The European Union invested approximately $100 million in emergency and economic and social development projects in 1998, making it Angolas major development aid partner. Several E.U. members took a special interest in rights issues. The Swedish embassy worked closely with a number of NGOs and individuals on human rights issues and pushed for these issues to be raised at the U.N. Security Council. The Netherlands and Norwegian embassies and Canadian government also supported workshops on rights issues. The British government decided to cut its aid to Angola in 1998 because the country failed to fit its criteria for aid on governance and human rights grounds. In February the E.U. commissioner for ACP countries, João de Deus Pinheiro, visited Luanda for three days but focused his attention only on development aid.
On July 8 the E.U. announced in Brussels that it had formally adopted the U.N. sanctions freezing UNITA bank accounts and banning trade in diamonds from UNITA zones; E.U. regulations to this effect were established by the E.U. Council of Minister on July 28.
On May 19, the U.S. celebrated the fifth anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations with Angola. When U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright visited Angola in December 1997, she said that Angola supplied the U.S. with up to 7 per cent of its oil imports, representing three times what Kuwait supplied just before the Iraqi invasion. Angola was also the U.S.s third largest trading partner and the second largest area of U.S. investment in Africa. Support for the Lusaka Protocol and its role as a member of the Troika (with Russia and Portugal) which acted in support of the U.N.s peace efforts remained the U.S. political focus. Although the U.S. Agency for International Development provided U.S. $10 million in support of governance and rights programs. in 1998, U.S. Special Envoy to Angola Paul Hare undercut this effort when he argued in December 1997 that human rights were a subtext to be balanced against the potential costs of renewed large-scale violence. Hare retired in July to become the head of theUnited States-Angola Chamber of Commerce. At time of writing Ambassador Donald Steinberg planned to leave his Angola position to become the U.S. landmine envoy. His successor-designate Joseph Sullivan failed to make any reference to human rights during his Senate confirmation hearing on July 23.