Lusaka — The state and the people of Angola are forever grateful for Zambia's support in the process that culminated in the signing of the Lusaka Peace Protocol between the Government and UNITA, the Angolan ambassador to this neighbouring country said Thursday.
Azevedo Francisco stressed this feeling during an audience with the Zambian Foreign minister, Joseph Malanji, in the ambit of the 25th Anniversary of the Lusaka Protocol, which was marked on the 20th of November.
"Although its implementation was poor, the Lusaka negotiations were one of the main references to Luena's understanding in 2002," said the diplomat.
For this reason, the ambassador thanked Zambians for their hospitality and patience in supporting a rather long and complex negotiation process.
On his part, the head of Zambian diplomacy, Joseph Malanji, thanked Angola for its gesture and recalled that, as neighboring countries and sharing the same border and culture, therefore Zambia only fulfilled its role.
He stressed that his country, throughout its historical trajectory, has always supported the efforts of political emancipation of the African peoples, with emphasis on the fight against colonial oppression, therefore, said the governor, "Zambia is proud to have been able to help a brother country."
The Lusaka Peace Protocol was signed on 20 November 1994 in the capital of Zambia after several years of complex negotiations between the Government of Angola and UNITA.
The document was initialed by the government, then Foreign Minister Venâncio de Moura and UNITA's secretary-general, who at the time was Eugénio Manovakola. The failure to comply with the agreements would lead to a new escalation of violence, which would end on April 4, 2002, with the signing of the Luena Protocol, which definitively ended the Angolan armed conflict. On the occasion, the Angolan Diplomatic Mission in Zambia organized a celebration ceremony with entities from the Zambian side that witnessed and contributed to the negotiation process.