Apr 14, 2004

Cabinda: Cabinda statement at the United Nations Commission on Human Rights 60th session

Statement on the human right's situation of the Cabinda
Untitled Document

Statement on Cabinda

Distinguished President,

Our delegation would like to send a warm tribute to the memory of Sergio Vieira de Mello, strong defender of the human rights and servant of the United Nations, who found death in an odious and criminal attack by enemies of freedom against the UN seat in Baghdad.

We would like to express our congratulations and encouragements to the new High commissioner of the United Nations for human rights and to yourself for the election to the Presidency of the sixtieth session of the UN Commission on human rights.

Distinguished President, Members of the Commission,

Last January, during his visit to Luanda in Angola, Sérgio Vieira de Mello expressed his concern to the Angolan authorities concerning the violations of the human rights in the territory of Cabinda.

Likewise the Portuguese member of the European Parliament, José Ribeiro E Castro, recently questioned the European Commission on the recent documents issued by the NGO Open Society, reporting on serious human rights violation by the Angolan armed forces against the civil populations of the territory in Cabinda.

During a previous visit to Luanda, Paul Nielson, European Commissioner, recognized that after the evolution of the peace process in Angola, the situation in Cabinda is one of the issues without a solution. He argued that the European Commission had a perfect knowledge of the difficult situation in which the Cabindan people finds itself and that all means should be applied to find a peaceful solution to solve the Angola-Cabinda conflict.

In the annual report published on February 25, 2004, the State Department of the Government of the United States of America gives a broad and clear report on the violations of the human rights in the territory of the Cabinda people.

Since 1975 the people of Cabinda find themselves in a dramatic and tragic situation, starting from the illegal annexing of its territory to the Angola operated by Portugal.
The Government of the Republic of Angola brought heavily armed soldiers to the territory of Cabinda: more than thirty thousand soldiers, in all impunity, commit any kind of crime against civil populations, a people without any means to defend themselves.

The people of the territory of Cabinda, the old protectorate of Portugal, and identified by the African Unity Organization as the 39th territory to be decolonized, simply claims the recognition of its right to self-determination such as defined in the United Nations Charter in the Article 73, Chapter 11.

Distinguished President, Members of the commission,

We sincerely hope that the Commission on Human Rights will finally acknowledge the Cabinda case whereas the population is humiliated, dehumanized and dispossessed.

Sérgio Vieira de Mello declared that the importance of a Commission on Human Rights is to be questioned, if it does not acknowledge the struggle against violations of Human Rights in the world and promises not to admit or fight such violations everywhere they would occur.

However, it is important that the United Nations would handle with solicitude the problem of this old Portuguese colony and more particularly the situation of the population of Cabinda which claims freedom and the right of respect for the people and life.

Thank you