Policy issues from South Africa and its neighbours. Reports every two weeks.

v19/03 6 Feb 04

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CONTENTS


Angola
Unified army will go on peace missions

Congo
A long way to go for the demobilisation of the ex-RAF


Aid offered as integration of army hits delicate phase


Massacre in the east

International
Sexwale involved in UN Iraq oil for food deals

Mozambique
Prime minister announces resignation plan

Region
Congo raises obstacles to Great Lakes conference

SA politics
Apprehension over ANC-IFP tensions ahead of election


De Klerk endorses alliance


Government dismisses Tutu's reparations support


Mercenary law may be used against Iraq security business

Zimbabwe
Government seeks to close down Econet


Mbeki presses for formal talks before June


Nearly two-thirds of rural population need food aid


Zanu retains seat in low poll


SA politics:

Mercenary law may be used against Iraq security business

SouthScan v19/03 6 Feb 04] The South African government, apparently caught offside by news that many former security force officers are now working in Iraq, has suddenly activated its long-dormant anti-mercenarism laws. But its first targets have been two security personnel who worked for the Cote d'Ivoire government.

The presence of South Africans in Iraq seems to have come forcibly to the attention of the government after a South African security worker was killed on January 28 in a bomb blast in Baghdad. This week Pretoria responded by saying that Iraq was a theatre of war and that South African security companies operating there without permission would be handed over for prosecution....

Well-connected...

Expatriate management...

Defining 'mercenary '...

African conflicts...

Politically potent issue...


International:

Sexwale involved in UN Iraq oil for food deals

SouthScan v19/03 6 Feb 04] Reports had emerged in the Iraqi press that individuals and organisations linked to the African National Congress were among 270 individuals, organisations and companies that received allocations or vouchers of crude oil from Saddam Hussein's regime....


SA politics:

Apprehension over ANC-IFP tensions ahead of election

SouthScan v19/03 6 Feb 04] President Thabo Mbeki was last week on a three-day trip through the Inkatha Freedom Party heartland of KwaZulu-Natal. Despite apprehension about a revival of the tensions and violence that marked earlier campaigns there were few incidents.

However, concern remains that the IFP, increasingly marginalised and a shadow of its former self in the early '90s when it could claim national support, may feel it has nothing to lose in the upcoming election. Pollsters say the African National Congress has a good chance of winning the province, where the IFP's support remains strong among traditional chiefdoms. According to analyst Professor Laurence Piper at the University of Natal, "If the IFP lose this election they are finished politically as the province is the only power base for the party."...

Rising star...


SA politics:

De Klerk endorses alliance

SouthScan v19/03 6 Feb 04] Former president Nelson Mandela has welcomed the last apartheid-era president FW de Klerk's endorsement of the co-operation pact between the ANC and the New National Party. He said De Klerk had always been broad-minded and progressive, but at the same time careful not to antagonise his followers....


SA politics:

Government dismisses Tutu's reparations support

SouthScan v19/03 6 Feb 04] Government has dismissed Archbishop Desmond Tutu's support for cases brought before US courts by apartheid victims. But the issue remains a hot potato.

Presidential spokesman Bheki Khumalo referred media queries to government chief spokesman Joel Netshitenzhe, who said Tutu should first have discussed his concerns with the state....


Zimbabwe:

Mbeki presses for formal talks before June

SouthScan v19/03 6 Feb 04] SA's President Thabo Mbeki has pressed the two opposing parties in Zimbabwe for formal talks by June this year, after the stage of talks about talks, senior foreign affairs official said last week. This had been the purpose of Mbeki's visit to Zimbabwe in December, Victor Mditshwa, who heads the Zimbabwean desk in the South African department of foreign affairs to the UN agency IRIN.

Despite their denials Mditshwa maintained that "informal talks" between Zanu-PF and the MDC (the Movement for Democratic Change) were ongoing. "Both parties will deny it, because they do not have their constituency's mandate to hold talks. We have told them to do that now," he said....

Power cuts...

'More democratic'...


Zimbabwe:

Zanu retains seat in low poll

SouthScan v19/03 6 Feb 04] The ruling Zanu-PF party has retained the parliamentary constituency seat held by former vice president Simon Muzenda who died last year. Retired air marshal Josiah Tungamirai of polled 20,699 votes against 7,291 for the MDC's Crispa Musoni. The MDC alleged electoral fraud, and only 30,000 of the around 59,390 people eligible to vote in the Gutu by-election voted by the end of polling on Tuesday....


Zimbabwe:

Nearly two-thirds of rural population need food aid

SouthScan v19/03 6 Feb 04] Nearly two-thirds of Zimbabwe's rural population, around five million people, will need food aid in the coming two months, the UN said in its bi-monthly humanitarian situation report. According to the Famine Early Warning System, maize supplies in rural areas continue to be "erratic and inadequate".

At the same time Zimbabwe's state-owned Grain Marketing Board (GMB) has said it was distributing some of its 240,000 mt maize reserves acquired from local farmers, but wanted to avoid flooding the market and exhausting its stocks....


Zimbabwe:

Government seeks to close down Econet

SouthScan v19/03 6 Feb 04] The Zimbabwe government tried on Tuesday to shut down Econet, the country's main independent mobile phone operator, on the ground that it was "subversive". A court order prevented the closure....


Congo:

Aid offered as integration of army hits delicate phase

SouthScan v19/03 6 Feb 04] President Joseph Kabila was this week urging investors during his European tour of Paris, Berlin, London and Brussels, to come to the Congo, but the main concern among the donors remains security.

On January 19 a Belgian parliamentary delegation visiting Kinshasa made clear that the physical integrity of foreign investors in the DRC needed to be guaranteed in order to allow the resumption of economic activities in the country. "Otherwise, they will not come in large numbers," warned the head of this delegation, Annemie Neyts....

Poisoned atmosphere...

Parliamentary bickering...


Congo:

Massacre in the east

SouthScan v19/03 6 Feb 04] The situation remains volatile in the DR Congo's sastern district of Ituri. In early February the UN peace mission Monuc announced it was sending a team to investigate a massacre of more than 100 civilians by Lendu militias on January 15 at Mokambo, in the territory of the Alur tribe....


Region:

Congo raises obstacles to Great Lakes conference

SouthScan v19/03 6 Feb 04] Major obstacles are appearing to the important Great Lakes conference, planned for June (SouthScan v19/02). There is a dispute in the DR Congo's transitional government in Kinshasa over whether the conference should take on clarification of citizenship issues, affecting the Banyamulenge, a potentially explosive issue involving Rwanda. Transitional government ministers also want new countries to be included in the conference....


Congo:

A long way to go for the demobilisation of the ex-RAF

SouthScan v19/03 6 Feb 04] The demobilisation of ex-Rwandan Armed Forces (RAF) and other Hutu rebels who fled into the Democratic Republic of Congo after the 1993 genocide has a long way to go and may still obstruct the operations of the transitional government in Kinshasa.

So far 30,000 troops of the Rwandan Defence Force (RDF)- including ex-Rwandan Armed Forces and separately Hutu rebels returning to Rwanda from the DR Congo and other countries - have been demobilised, out an estimated 100,000 troops, according to Jean Sayinzoga, the chairman of the Rwanda Demobilisation and Reintegration Commission (RDRC)....

A SouthScan correspondent saw 700 at the Mutobo demobilisation camp...

Mai-Mai group...


Angola:

Unified army will go on peace missions

SouthScan v19/03 5 Feb 04] Ahead of the announcement of an African peacekeeping force for the continent Angola has said it will provide troops for UN peacekeeping in the next four months. Angola is already training soldiers for the purpose, and the government is expected to make an announcement in June/July this year, the country's ambassador to South Africa, Isaac Maria dos Anjos, told the UN agency IRIN on Wednesday....

Current UN peacekeeping operations...


Mozambique:

Prime minister announces resignation plan

SouthScan v19/03 6 Feb 04] Prime Minister Pascoal Mocumbi on January 20 confirmed that he was resigning from his government post, though he did not give a date when he would leave....