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Angola / Peace - 2002-04-11

The Angolan government has set up a new office to create jobs after signing a cease-fire agreement last week with UNITA rebels.

The Special National Reconstruction Service is to find jobs for tens of thousands of demobilized rebels and soldiers. The office will also work to rebuild infrastructure, oversee humanitarian programs, and remove landmines.

Some 50-thousand rebel troops are to be disarmed -or integrated into the national army- in a program overseen by the United Nations.

On Wednesday, both sides said the cease-fire was holding. The cease-fire was signed little more than a month after government troops killed longtime rebel leader, Jonas Savimbi.

UNITA has fought the government almost non-stop since Angola's independence from Portugal in 1975. The most recent peace accord collapsed in 1998. It's estimated the war has claimed at least 500-thousand lives.

(AFP, Port. to Africa Service, file)