Dr. Jonas Savimbi, leader of UNITA, one of three movements fighting for control of Angola,?
SCU Savimbi showing map to newsmen and speaking (2 shots)
SV Savimbi speaking to newsmen in French
Initials CL/0130 CL/0147
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Background: Dr. Jonas Savimbi, leader of UNITA, one of three movements fighting for control of Angola, appealed for more arms at a news conference in Kinshasa, Zaire on Thursday (18 December).
He said it would be a pity if the United States did not help his cause.
"We do not need soldiers or military advisers, but arms, because we do not have enough weapons for half our military force," he said.
UNITA and the National Front for the Liberation of Angola (FNLA) have combined to fight the Soviet-backed Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA).
Dr. Savimbi said if the parties failed to reach a peaceful settlement of the conflict, the FNLA and UNITA would take the capital, Luanda, by force.
"The only thing that stops us is the fear of causing civilian deaths," he said.
He said Angola could only be administered from the capital, which is in MPLA hands.
Dr. Savimbi denied any split between the FNLA and UNITA.
He said South African troops had been in southern Angola before the Portuguese revolution of 25 May, 1974.
"The same troops were also stationed in Mozambique where they were protecting the Cabora M'Bassa dam."
Dr. Savimbi told reporters UNITA was helping the South West African Peoples Organisation (SWAPO) in the struggle for Namibia.
The day after the press conference, the U.S. Senate voted to stop further funds for anti-Soviet movements in Angola.
SYNOPSIS: At a news conference in Kinshasa, Zaire, on Thursday, Doctor Jonas Savimbi, leader of UNITA, one of three movements fighting for control of Angola, appealed for more arms. UNITA -- the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola -- fighting alongside the National Front for the Liberation of Angola (FNLA) against the Soviet backed Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA).
Doctor Savimbi said he was hoping for a reconciliation with the MPLA. But if the parties failed to reach a peaceful settlement of the conflict, the FNLA and UNITA would take the Angolan capital, Luanda, by force. Angola could only be administered from Luanda, which is in MPLA hands, he said. His forces were being stopped only because of an issue of humanity. "We don't want to cause civilian deaths," he told reporters. Doctor Savimbi denied there was a split between the FNLA and UNITA. He blamed "foreign press speculation" for the reports. He also denied that troops from Zaire were fighting in Angola. Doctor Savimbi also touched on the issue of South African troops in southern Angola. He said the troops had been there since before the Portuguese revolution in May nineteen seventy four. "They have been doing the same as the South African troops guarding the Cabora M'Bassa dam in Mozambique," he said. But Doctor Savimbi stressed mainly the need for more arms for his troops. The FNLA and UNITA had no need for United States men or advisers but they needed the arms because the two movements could arm effectively only half their troops.
"We know that the United States is demoralised by its defeat in Vietnam. It would be a pity to let this go. If there are interests to defend in Angola, they are those of the West, not the Soviet Union," he said. The day after the news conference, the U.S. Senate voted to stop further aid for anti-Soviet forces in Angola.