Sixty Angolan children abducted by UNITA forces earlier this month were freed on Friday, but an unknown number of juveniles remain captives within the rebel movement's ranks, humanitarian officials told IRIN. The children, along with two adults, were released at Camabatela in the northern province of Kwanza Norte. They had been abducted from an orphanage more than 300 km south run by the development agency ADPP, during an attack on the town of Caxito on 5 May.

UNITA has promised to search for and return about 60 children kidnapped by its soldiers during an attack on a children's home in Caxito, about 55 km outside the capital Luanda. Without accepting responsibility for the kidnappings, the rebel movement said in a communiqué released on Tuesday that "the UNITA General Staff has ordered a strict inquiry aimed at identifying children who might have been forced to accompany the Armed Forces for the Liberation of Angola (FALA) in the wake of the 5 more

WFP has distributed 15 days' worth of emergency rations to about 3,000 people who fled Caxito in Bengo province after a UNITA attack on 5 May. The Cacuaco municipal authority, just outside the capital Luanda, resettled about 2,500 internally displaced persons (IDPs) from Caxito on four hectares of land in Bairro Caop Velho, Funda, WFP said in its latest situation report.

More than five children are dying each day from malnutrition in the city of Camapuca in Angola's central Bie province. "We are really shocked by the level of malnutrition that we are discovering in Camacupa. We are doing as much as we can to reduce mortality through our feeding centres, but this is not enough. People need urgently a general food distribution," Erwin Van der Borght, Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) head of mission in Angola, said in a statement on Wednesday.

Encouraging signs are beginning to emerge that the Angolan government and UNITA rebels are inching towards dialogue to end nearly three decades of civil war, analysts and politicians told IRIN. "One or two years back the reaction from the government to the idea of peace through dialogue was very aggressive," said John Rocha of the reconciliation lobby group Angola-2000. "Today it has changed dramatically. The government has realised that a military victory is impossible, especially as UNITA more