Angola: Takes Two to Make Peace

Superpower meddling continues to make peace more difficult to negotiate in Angola.

In recent days, the United States was criticizing the role of Soviet military advisers in a new offensive mounted by the Angolan government against the UNITA guerrillas. The official indignation in Washington masked the fact that the United States is now the principal sponsor of the guerrillas with a flow of not-very-clandestine assistance officially sanctioned by Congress.

The peace agreement negotiated last June by President Mobutu Sese Seko of Zaire and endorsed at a summit of 22 African leaders has collapsed. One reason probably is that Mobutu did not pay enough attention to the details. But the United States has not helped matters by appearing to shift its demands. At one time, the only American condition was agreement on the withdrawal of Cuban troops from Angola. This is proceeding on schedule. Now the United States is hardening its support of UNITA's Jonas Savimbi, demanding a political role for him as part of the price of ending U.S. aid to the guerrillas. Meanwhile, the Soviets have continued military aid to the government.

The sum of all that is more, many more, deaths for the people of Angola at a moment when the nation is wracked with hunger and spreading famine.

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