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

v20/05 25 March 05

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CONTENTS
[Page numbers as in PDF file]

Congo:

Belgian-SA rivalries loom despite DRC military pact P.1

Congo:

Demonstrations add pressure for speedy agreement P.2 Claims by new SA intelligence chief fail to convince P.2 UN fosters its hard line against militias P.3 Kabila seeks Japanese investment P.3

Region:

Call for military aid, but poll doubt stays P.3 SA troops’ behaviour comes under spotlight P.4 Ugandan leader takes route to indispensability P.5 EU backs Mbeki’s mediation in Cote d’Ivoire P.6

Zambia:

Mumba seeks to oust Mwanawasa at MMD convention P.6

Swaziland:

Anti-corruption action to counter massive fraud P.6 Opposition parties fail in court plea to lift ban P.7

International:

India makes a play for African business P.7

SA politics:

Tutu’s criticism still rankles, ANC prepares counter-attack P.7

Killing of ANC official spotlights local tensions P.8



Congo:


Belgian-SA rivalries loom despite DRC military pact


[(c) SouthScan v20/06 25 Mar 05] Amid claims that South Africa has edged Belgium out of a contract to run a census of the DR Congo's civil service, doubts are being expressed about the quality of the 'entente cordiale' between both countries.

A pact was signed last November to jointly train the Congolese army and more generally to coordinate policies on the DRC (SouthScan v19/24). .
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Different spin

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Congo:

Demonstrations add pressure for speedy agreement


[(c) SouthScan v20/06 25 Mar 05] With demonstrations this week in Kinshasa about delays in the election schedule the 'International Committee of Support to the Transition' is pushing hard to get the Congolese parliament to speed up approval of its draft constitution.

The text should be submitted to a national referendum to open the way for elections between end 2005 and early 2006.
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French inspiration
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Region:


Claims by new SA intelligence chief fail to convince


[(c) SouthScan v20/06 25 Mar 05] Claims by the new head of SA's intelligence agency about nuclear enrichment in the DR Congo and missing Stinger SAMs in Angola are being greeted with some incredulity.

Instead, Central African experts are bemused about why Billy Masetlha, who was before his current promotion to director-general of the National Intelligence Agency, deeply engaged in the Congo, should make what appear to be sensationalist claims on issues where he should be well-informed.
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Enrichment programme?
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Missing Stinger?
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Congo:


UN fosters its hard line against militias


[(c) SouthScan v20/06 25 Mar 05] The UN is continuing with its harder line against the militias in the east after the UN force's head William Swing gave militia armies in Ituri until April 1 to disarm. There has been significant international criticism of the force for failing to stabilize the region, and for the undisciplined behaviour of its forces.

Six militia armies are active in Ituri while a voluntary disarmament scheme launched in September last year has so far won over fewer than 4,000 of an estimated 15,000 fighters.
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Congo:


Kabila seeks Japanese investment


[(c) SouthScan v20/06 25 Mar 05] DR Congo President Joseph Kabila last week invited Japanese businesses to invest in his country, telling them that peace has taken root and the private sector was welcome.

But Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said that security concerns posed difficulties for investors.

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Region:


Call for military aid, but poll doubt stays


[(c) SouthScan v20/06 25 March 05] Burundi's President Domitien Ndayizeye has called for more European Union financial support for the army and the police as a bulwark against disorder before elections there.

But during his visit to Belgium, the Netherlands and to the EU institutions this week (March 21-23) he was unable to pin down a firm election date.
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Holding on
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Preventing unrest
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Region:


SA troops' behaviour comes under spotlight


[(c) SouthScan v20/06 25 March 05] South Africa's deputy defence minister George Muluteli was this week on an inspection tour of peacekeeping troops in the UN force in Burundi.

The visit came a week after reports in the SA and international media that South African peacekeepers in Burundi were becoming increasingly unpopular with the local population because of drunkenness and the abuse of prostitutes.
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Region:


Ugandan leader finds route to indispensability


[(c) SouthScan v20/06 25 Mar 05] As the advocates of the Blair Commission start the process of garnering support in the European Union and the other G-8 countries they are faced with a growing embarrassment. The leader of one of their key African models, Uganda, is resisting giving up power.

In the view of local analysts President Yoweri Museveni is getting Uganda deeply involved in peace missions in Africa as one way of projecting his political image and to justify the extension of his rule after his constitutional term ends. This is a major concern for South Africa's President Thabo Mbeki, not just because he is a prime mover in the Blair Commission and other reforming initiatives and urgently needs active African participation in peace forces, but because Uganda is a key partner in Great Lakes stabilization initiatives where SA is engaged.
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2006 deadline
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Troops for Somalia
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Diplomatic offensive
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Region:


EU backs Mbeki's mediation in Cote d'Ivoire


[(c) SouthScan v20/06 25 Mar 05] The European Union has thrown its support behind efforts by South African President Thabo Mbeki to mediate in the conflict in the Ivory Coast.

Backing came from the EU cooperation and development commissioner, Louis Michel, this week after French President Jacques Chirac last month suggested SA's efforts had yielded little and that Mbeki should "immerse himself in West Africa so as to understand its psychology and soul".
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Zambia:


Mumba seeks to oust Mwanawasa at MMD convention


[(c) SouthScan v20/06 25 Mar 05] After being dumped as vice president for issuing a statement deemed as straining Zambia's relationship with neighbouring DR Congo five months ago (SouthScan v19/20; 21), Nevers Mumba is seeking to oust President Levy Mwanawasa as the president of the ruling Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) at its upcoming convention.

However, Mumba is being linked to former president Frederick Chiluba's sponsored party and the ruling party's cadres are prepared to prevent him from attending the convention, scheduled for May. Mumba's supporters have promised to fight back.
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Inner-party corruption
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Swaziland:


Anti-corruption action to counter massive fraud


[(c) SouthScan v20/06 25 Mar 05] After admitting that corruption costs the country more than its national health budget the government this week promised to revive a moribund anti-corruption unit. But local analysts are skeptical of significant change.

Swaziland is heavily dependant on international aid, which is increasingly tied to good governance, free of corruption, and many believe ministers' complaints and confessions are a smokescreen to impress the donors.
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Swaziland:


Opposition parties fail in court plea to lift ban


[(c) SouthScan v20/06 25 Mar 05] Swaziland's High Court has upheld a ban on opposition political parties.

The court ruled in a case brought by Swaziland's two largest political organisations, the People's United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO) and the Ngwane National Liberatory Congress (NNLC), which together with labour unions sought to challenge a new royal-approved draft constitution, according to the UN agency IRIN.
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International:


India makes a play for African business


[(c) SouthScan v20/06 25 Mar 05] With China boosting investment and trade with Africa the other new Asian giant, India has decided to extend its more modest economic relationship.

Some 300 Indian businessmen and delegations from South Africa, Botswana, Chad, Mauritius, Guinea-Bissau, the DR Congo, Gambia, Ghana, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Senegal, Uganda Zimbabwe and Zambia attended a three-day India-Africa conference in New Delhi from March 3 to the 5, organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry.
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IBSA meeting
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SA politics:


Tutu's criticism still rankles, ANC prepares counter-attack


[(c) SouthScan v20/06 25 Mar 05] Criticism in December from former archbishop Desmond Tutu, claiming an absence of democratic discussion in the ruling African National Congress, seems to have provoked the ANC to go on the ideological attack. A National Executive Committee meeting last week focused on preparations for this.

Tutu had complained that the democratic discourse inside the ANC has been stilled and a culture of sycophancy had developed around SA President Thabo Mbeki, a view widely held in political and media circles in SA but never aired by an independent African leader of equivalent status to Mbeki.
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'Fundamental change'
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SA politics:


Killing of ANC official spotlights local tensions


[(c) SouthScan v20/06 25 Mar 05] Concerns are being voiced in South Africa that the apparent assassination of a top figure in the Free State provincial government may herald a wider turn to political violence.

Noby Ngombane, the power behind Free State premier Beatrice Marshoff, was shot outside his home on Tuesday, just ahead of a provincial cabinet reshuffle.
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Fractious province
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