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The JMC is born

The Joint Monitoring Commission (JMC)The SA withdrawal was barely underway when intelligence indicated large scale Swapo infiltration through southern Angola into SWA. The situation was deemed sufficiently grave to warrant halting the disengagement until this problem could be resolved.

It had now become clear to South Africa that something more than the word of the Angolan Government would be needed before there could be enough confidence to allow the disengagement to proceed. Accordingly, Prime Minister Botha on 6 February 1984 proposed military discussions between South Africa, Angola and the USA to "establish a proper framework for the disengagement of South African forces".

The Nkomati Accord had gone a long way to create the right climate for such a proposal. Within days, aides from all three countries were making the necessary arrangements. The South African Government had meanwhile ordered the disengagement to proceed and to be complete by 15 February, except for some 300 men who were to remain behind to monitor Swapo movements. Angola's suggestion of the Mulungushi conference centre in Lusaka was accepted and the format of the talks was agreed on. There were to be two meetings, an initial one over 13/14 February to find sufficient common ground between Angola and South Africa to draw up general principles to govern the disengagement process, and a follow-up conference a few days later at which the details could be worked out.

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