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

v20/24 2 December 05

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CONTENTS

ZIMBABWE:

Security pact positions SA for transition

REGION:

Risk report shows SA and Angola up, DRC 'dangerous'

CONGO:

Foreign partners provoke governance row

CONGO:

Crisis between former rebels over amnesty law

CONGO:

SA checks on projects     P.4

REGION:

SA navy sees role in peace forces

REGION:

Rwanda, Burundi leaders to form joint military force

REGION:

Opposition seeks SA support to free Besigye

INTERNATIONAL:

Canada to buy more SA armoured vehicles

REGION:

Only Botswana is on target for HIV treatment

SA POLITICS:

Rape charge drains support from Zuma

 


Zimbabwe:

Security pact positions SA for transition

[ SouthScan v20/24 2 Dec 05] The military and intelligence deal between SA and Zimbabwe, announced amid public ceremony last month, may signify less a cementing of ties than an insurance policy for South Africa. Zimbabwean official expectations for intelligence exchanges have been strenuously denied by the SA side, and the ostensible military justification for the pact is now being viewed as tenuous, say local analysts.

Instead they believe that this is part of a closer South African engagement in the transition from the Robert Mugabe presidency. It seems likely that military dissidence in Zimbabwe will mount in the months to come, and that SA is banking on its ties with the Central Intelligence Organisation and the Zimbabwean top brass to guarantee it will be kept in the loop and maintain or develop its security services allies. ...

Intelligence deal ...

Senate vote low ...

Another IMF payment ... >>> Full report

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Region:

Risk report shows SA and Angola up, DRC 'dangerous'

[ SouthScan v20/24 2 Dec 05] Significant movements have been signaled in the annual ranking of Southern African Development Community country risks published at the end of November by the Paris-based 'Risques Internationaux' consultants [ RI] . Botswana remains rated as the best African risk and the worst is the DR Congo, categorized as C2 "dangerous".

Botswana achieves an A1 mark [ very low risk] , with 54/70 pts for short-term risk [ ST] . Worldwide, it wins a bronze medal, being only overtaken on other continents by Singapore and the United Arab Emirates in the ST list, and ahead of good performers such as Chile, South Korea and Hong Kong. ...

Large contrast ...>>> Full report

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Congo:

Foreign partners provoke governance row

[ SouthScan v20/24 2 Dec 05] African, UN and key Western ambassadors have joined together to criticize the Kinshasa government for corruption and hidden political agendas amid mounting concern about the impending referendum and election.

The criticism from the 'International Committee of Support to the Transition' [ ICST] immediately sparked a row with the DR Congo's transitional government, which rejected its "interference". ...

Government army looting ...>>> Full report

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Congo:

Crisis between former rebels over amnesty law

[ SouthScan v20/24 2 Dec 05] A serious crisis has developed within the transitional institutions over the issue of amnesty for the alleged murderers of President Joseph Kabila's father, Laurent.

Last weekend [ November 27] members of Kabila's People's Party for Reconstruction and Democracy [ PPRD] walked out of the national assembly after a vote in favour of an amnesty law that covers political assassination but not war crimes. With Laurent Kabila's assassination considered as political and not an ordinary crime, the amnesty should cover those sentenced by the now dissolved Court of Military Order. ...>>> Full report

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Congo:

SA checks on projects

[ SouthScan v20/24 2 Dec 05] Foreign Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma was visiting the DR Congo this week to review and assess bilateral co-operation projects ahead of the constitutional referendum there.

These include the reform of the DRC's foreign affairs ministry, election management and preparation, and compiling a population register, but also security issues. ...>>> Full report

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Region:

SA navy sees role in peace forces

[ SouthScan v20/24 2 Dec 05] The SA Navy is to set up a naval rapid deployment force [ NRDF] to boost its role in peace operations in Africa. The first contingent is scheduled to be in place by early 2007, Vice Admiral Refiloe Mudimu said in Durban last week.

Operations up the East African littoral are being considered, including anti-piracy operations off the Somali coast.This planned naval force would be able to operate alongside SA land forces in the African Standby Force [ ASF] . Other areas where a naval role could be key was combating piracy off Somalia, human and drug trafficking, as well as poaching in coastal waters....>>> Full report

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Region:

Rwanda, Burundi leaders to form joint military force

[ SouthScan v20/24 2 Dec 05] The leaders of Rwanda and Burundi are seeking to form a regional military unit to combat Burundi's last active rebel group, the National Liberation Forces [ FNL] , and the Hutu-based Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda [ FDLR] , which operate in the eastern DR Congo.

An African Union delegation headed by a South African general was meeting in Bujumbura on Tuesday with Burundi military officials to discuss creation of the joint force. ...>>> Full report

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Region:

Opposition seeks SA support to free Besigye

[ SouthScan v20/24 2 Dec 05] The opposition Forum for Democratic Change [ FDC] whose leader, Col. Kiiza Besigye, was arrested last month by the Ugandan authorities, is now looking to South Africa and Tanzania to rescue its jailed leader. It has also taken its protest to the Pan African Parliament, currently in session in South Africa.

The FDC wants them to put pressure on President Yoweri Museveni to release Besigye and avert a looming crisis. Kiiza is regarded as the most serious contender for the presidential throne. ...

Challenge to PAPOnce the FDC memorandum had been considered a report would be made to the protesters, the forum, and the Ugandan embassy in South Africa, PAP officials said....>>> Full report

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International:

Canada to buy more SA armoured vehicles

[ SouthScan v20/24 2 Dec 05] Canada announced this week it is to spend C$60.3 million [ about R333 million] to buy South African armoured vehicles for its troops in Afghanistan.

General Dynamics Land Systems-Canada [ GDLS-C] has been awarded a contract to provide 50 RG-31 Mine Protected Vehicles with an option for 25 additional vehicles, together with engineering and logistics support while BAE Land Systems OMC of South Africa will manufacture the vehicles.

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Region:

Only Botswana is on target for HIV treatment

[ SouthScan v20/24 2 Dec 05] World AIDS Day on Thursday was an opportunity for activists and health officials to take stock of the pandemic in the region, the worst affected in the world. But they found only Botswana among Southern African Development Community countries was on top of its roll-out of anti-retrovirals.

In the most developed economy on the continent, South Africa, the Treatment Action Group [ TAC] is once more mobilizing for a fight it believed two years ago it had won. More than 80 percent of those in need of ARVs in South Africa were still failing to receive them by the middle of this year, according to UNAIDS and the World Health Organisation this week. ...

Minister sued ...

Child mortality ...

Hitting the economy ...

Stigma overcome ...

Zimbabwe misses target ...

Malawi business to provide ARVsThe country's sole power utility company ESCOM last year became one of the first to offer free ARVs to its staff amid mounting concerns that it would lose its qualified field workers, engineers and other skilled workers such as drivers to the pandemic....

Swaziland cancels AIDS Day event ...

Angola fears aids explosion ...

Zambia promises faster roll-out ...>>> Full report

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SA politics:

Rape charge drains support from Zuma

[ SouthScan v20/24 2 Dec 05] Support appears to be draining away from former deputy president Jacob Zuma after the rape allegations against him. But the consequences of the Left pinning their colours to his mast as his ship goes down are still being worked through.

The fresh shift in the saga comes on the 20th anniversary of the trade union federation Cosatu and with the announcement of the amalgamation of three rival unions into a federation that will match it in strength and has none of its 'struggle credentials'. Some analysts believe the Zuma debacle and the new federation may generate a major shift in the political balance in the African National Congress' Tripartite Alliance and leave President Thabo Mbeki in a position of strength from which to dictate future policy. ...

Little point scoring ... >>> Full report