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World IN BRIEF / ANGOLA

New Defense Chief Picked to Press War

January 31, 1999|From Times Wire Reports

Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos replaced his defense minister with a tough-talking general in a Cabinet reshuffle designed to bolster the battle against UNITA rebels, but the rebels responded defiantly. "It does not make sense for him to say he can eliminate UNITA. Who can eliminate 33 years of fighting, 33 years of history and 33 years of experience? It is impossible," UNITA Secretary-General Paulo Lukamba Gato said by phone from rebel headquarters in Andulo. The move was seen by observers as a clear sign that Dos Santos wants to adopt a "total onslaught" approach in the latest battle with UNITA, the Portuguese acronym for the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola. Dos Santos named Gen. Kundy Payama to replace Gen. Pedro Sebastiao.

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