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

v19/23 12 Nov04

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Mbeki's visit to Brussels P.1

New push for market access P.2


SA to send troops to Sudan P.2

Great Lakes conference P.3

Burundi president sacks deputy P.4


Election delay warning P.5


Angolan diamond arrests P.5


Sharp rise in emigrants P.6

Mugabe turns to minerals and East P.6


EU still barred from count P.7

SA politics:

Zimbabwe and BEE spark new disputes P.7

Anti-terrorism law P.8


Congo and Cote d'Ivoire are key topics for Mbeki's visit to Brussels

[(c) SouthScan v19/23 12 Nov 04] The situation in Central Africa and the Côte d'Ivoire crisis will be high on the agenda of President Thabo Mbeki's three-day visit to Belgium and the European Union, from November 15 to 17.

The programme includes indeed a meeting between the two defence ministers Andre Flahaut and Mosiuoa Lekota, during which the co-operation with the DR Congolese army will be discussed. Flahaut is likely to report on his exchange at the end of last month with his Congolese colleague, Jean-Pierre Ondekane during a visit to Kinshasa....

Mediation not working...

Wider talks agenda...

EU discussions... >>>Full report


New push for market access

[(c) SouthScan v19/23 12 Nov 04] SA President Thabo Mbeki's visit to Europe coincides with a new push on African trade, amid demands that African imports be allowed to enter the EU and other OECD destinations free of tariffs, and with no reciprocity.

One of the UK Blair Commission's members, UN Economic Commission for Africa head KY Amoako, has made an urgent call for unrestricted access for African products to OECD markets. In particular he said that current EPA (Economic Partnership Agreements) negotiations between the EU and with ACP countries would benefit the EU economically and have significant costs for Africa....>>>Full report


SA to send troops to Sudan

[(c) SouthScan v19/23 12 Nov 04] With the possibility of further demands on its military for peace keeping, the South African defence department said last week it was "favourably considering" an African Union request to send more troops to the conflict-ridden western Darfur region of the Sudan.

Analysts believe the dispatch of an infantry company of around 200 soldiers will add another burden to a military force depleted by its operations in Burundi and the DR Congo, and weakened by HIV....

US planning...

Military appointments...>>>Full report


UN warns against optimism for Great Lakes conference

[(c) SouthScan v19/23 12 Nov 04] Ten days before the official opening of the Great Lakes International Conference - due to take place in Dar es Salaam - the UN secretary general's special representative for the region, Ibrahima Fall, told the press in Kampala that it was unrealistic to expect that this summit would solve immediately all the problems.

Fall, speaking at a preparatory meeting in the Ugandan capital, said the Dar es Salaam conference, long in the making, was only "a milestone in a long process"....

Unable to agree...

UN mission to the region...>>>Full report


Peaceful switch as Burundi president sacks deputy

[(c) SouthScan v19/23 12 Nov 04] President Domitien Ndayizeye on Wednesday sacked his Tutsi Vice-President Alphonse-Marie Kadege because he was "sabotaging" the head of state's action, according to the president's spokesman, Pancrace Cimpaye.

Kadege was openly opposed to the constitution drafted by the Hutu parties that was reluctantly approved by his party, UPRONA on October 31.

Until then, UPRONA was united in criticizing the constitution as failing to respect the spirit of the Arusha peace agreement because in its view the political representation of the Tutsi parties was not sufficiently guaranteed in the future post-transition institutions.....


UN visit ahead...>>>Full report


More aid sought for Burundi and DRC

[(c) SouthScan v19/23 12 Nov 04] Over $100 million is being sought for continuing humanitarian aid operations in Burundi and the DR Congo.

The appeal this week for $102.32 million to fund activities in 2005 came from the region's Consolidated Appeals Process (CAP), an inter-organisational mechanism for UN agencies, the Red Cross movement and NGOs....>>>Full report


Uranium mine poses ongoing risk, UN reports

[(c) SouthScan v19/23 12 Nov 04] The Shinkolobwe uranium mine in Katanga Province, in the south-west of the DR Congo, must remain closed, according to a statement issued on Tuesday following an assessment of the site by a joint UN team.

"Risks of mine collapse and potential chronic exposure to ionising radiation" were the two reasons for the recommendation, according to the team of experts from the UN Environmental Programme (UNEP), the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the UN Mission in the DRC, the UN agency IRIN reports....>>>Full report


SA minister warns on election delay

[(c) SouthScan v19/23 12 Nov 04] The government of the DR Congo could face a rebellion if it indefinitely postponed next year's elections, SA's Foreign Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said on Wednesday.

"The transitional government, we think, will have great difficulty in containing the population if they postpone the elections in a kind of indefinite way....>>>Full report


MLC leader announces $27.5 million for North Kivu

[(c) SouthScan v19/23 12 Nov 04] The former leader of a Movement for the Liberationof Congo, Jean-Pierre Bemba, who controlled the giant Equator province, announced on Monday the clearance of a $27.5 million allotment for North Kivu Province.

Some local politicians called Bemba's visit to the region to announce the grant a political ploy. Bemba, one of the country's vice-presidents, was on a "campaign for the presidential elections before the campaign has officially started," said Alphonse Kabamba, the local representative of President Joseph Kabila's party, the Parti du peuple pour le rénouveau et le developpement, the UN agency IRIN reported....>>>Full report


SA trains Congolese police

[(c) SouthScan v19/23 12 Nov 04] Over 100 police from the DR Congo have so far been trained by the SA Police Service (SAPS), according to a statement this week.

Funding is being provided by the SAPS, but more donor funding is being sought, SAPS programme manager Jaap Burger said....>>>Full report


Angolan diamond arrests may lead high up in Zambia

[(c) SouthScan v19/23 12 Nov 04] Barely a month after Angola and Zambia met on a Joint Permanent Commission (JPC) on defence and security, the Angolan security have arrested and detained 14 Zambians without informing their Zambian counterparts.

They are being detained in Angola for alleged diamond smuggling and suspicions are mounting that prominent Zambians may be involved....>>>Full report


Sharp rise in number of 'illegals' moving into SA

[(c) SouthScan v19/23 12 Nov 04] There has been a nine percent rise in the number of illegal Zimbabwean immigrants repatriated across the border at the main crossing point to South Africa.

In the first 10 months of this year the SA government deported 41,069 Zimbabwean citizens from Limpopo province, compared to 37,796 deportations in 2003, Home Affairs officials in Limpopo provincial capital, Polokwane, said....>>>Full report


Mugabe turns to minerals and Eastern contacts

[(c) SouthScan v19/23 12 Nov 04] Zimbabwe is turning to its traditional mineral resources and to new market in the East to rescue its economy from collapse.

Zimbabwe Platinum Mines (Zimplats), one of the country's five platinum mining companies will invest at least US$109 million on an expansion programme at one of its mines, Ngezi in the northern parts of the country....

Airline looks East...

Chinese trade optimism...>>>Full report


EU still barred from count

[(c) SouthScan v19/23 12 Nov 04] The dispute with between the European Union and the Mozambican election authorities was still not resolved this week.

EU observers have yet to gain full access to the final vote count. Election monitors may be present at counting stations at the local level, but the National Election Commission (CNE) has said they would be excluded from the final provincial and national stages of the tally. They have been offered the chance to view the final stages of the count through a window, but not to be present....>>>Full report

SA politics:

Zimbabwe and BEE spark new disputes inside ANC alliance

[(c) SouthScan v19/23 12 Nov 04] A Tripartite Alliance meeting scheduled for this week has been abandoned amid speculation that current relations are just too bad between the Congress of SA Trade Unions and the SA Communist Party on the one side, and on the other the rump of the African National Congress clustered around President Thabo Mbeki. A meeting is now scheduled for some time next year.

A re-opening of the differences between the two wings of the ANC was anticipated, once the elections were over. The first occasion was a massive public servants strike in September (SouthScan v19/19; 20). But now two simmering issues have broken into the open. The one concerns government policy on Zimbabwe, and the other concerns the operation of the policy of Black Economic Empowerment - BEE.

Cosatu reprimanded...

Two views of BEE...

Zimbabwe issue...>>>Full report

SA politics:

Anti-terrorism law leaves out focus on strikers

[(c) SouthScan v19/23 12 Nov 04] The SA parliament was this week due to pass a new anti-terrorism law, with sections limiting industrial action removed. The revised document was welcomed by the trade union federation Cosatu, but it added that the practical implications of the law were not yet fully understood.

The 'Protection of Constitutional Democracy against Terrorist and Related Activities Bill' includes amendments introduced as a direct result of consultations with the unions. These remove the possibility that unprotected strikes and more broadly unprocedural or unlawful industrial and protest action may be prosecuted as terrorist activities....>>>Full report