Analysis and reporting on key policy issues from Southern and Central Africa

v21/01 13 January 06

For subscription details ...

 


CONTENTS

CONGO:
After the referendum 'Yes' vote the real battle begins

Reports warns of Katangan tensions

Survey reveals extent of war mortality

REGION:
Burundi clears decks for radical changes
ANGOLA:
Chinese company secures Benguela railway contract

ZIMBABWE:
Parties on both sides prepare for power transfer

US leaves Mugabe out of talks with SA

SWAZILAND:
SA under fire for silence over arrests

REGION:
Malawi, Mozambique sign trade agreement

INTERNATIONAL:
SA stays tight-lipped on Iran crisis

SA DEVELOPMENT:
Security specialists take their last legal chance to leave

INTERNATIONAL:
WTO reveals rifts in SA's Brazil and India pact


Congo:

After the referendum 'Yes' vote the real battle begins
[© SouthScan v21/01 13 Jan 06] The approval by a large majority of the post-transition constitution in the December 18 and 19 referendum has cleared the way for elections and given a boost to international and regional proponents of the democratic transition in the DR Congo.
But it also signals a shift into a period of heightened social tension. Already plans are being formulated for European Union troops to be placed in reserve in case of a threat to order.
...
Tshisekedi's role
...
Arrest of 'No' leader
...
UN calls for EU troops
...

Campaigning begins
... >>Full report
__________
Congo:

Reports warns of Katangan tensions
[© SouthScan v21/01 13 Jan 06] Tensions in Katanga province could lead to violence in the March elections unless domestic and international actors move now to reform the army, rein in militias and eradicate impunity and corruption, according to a new report from the International Crisis Group.
It warns that the transitional government needs to act to integrate Mai-Mai militias into the national army, eliminate parallel chains of command, and eradicate corruption, particularly in the mining sector....>>Full report

__________
Congo:

Survey reveals extent of war mortality
[© SouthScan v21/01 13 Jan 06] Conflict in the DR Congo is killing 38,000 people each month, according to a new survey published in the Lancet medical journal.
Most of the deaths are not caused by violence but by malnutrition and preventable diseases after the collapse of health services. Since the war began in 1998, some 4 million people have died, making it the world's most deadly war since 1945, the report said.
...>>Full report

__________
Region:

Burundi clears decks for radical changes
[© SouthScan v21/01 13 Jan 06] In a signal to donors and a warning against widespread corruption the chairman of the ruling National Council for the Defence of Democracy-Forces of Defence of Democracy (CNDD-FDD) has announced an imminent purge in the country's administration. The announcement came ahead of a number of donor meetings and amidst plans for the drastic restructuring of the economy, intended to move the country onto a development path and to represent a clean break with its conflict-ridden past. Burundi is joining other countries in the region, such as Malawi and Zambia, that have declared war on corruption under pressure from donors, with varying results.
...
$85m embezzled
...
Bank chief appointed
...>>Full report

__________
Angola:

Chinese company secures Benguela railway contract
[© SouthScan v21/01 13 Jan 06] China will this month begin the rehabilitation of the Benguela railway, according to a statement from the Angolan Ministry of Transport. The work by the China International Fund Ltd should take 30 months and cost a total of US$300m.
The choice of a Chinese company for this prime reconstruction contract is not a surprise since the financing will come from the US$2 billion credit line from China's Eximbank made in 2004 (SouthScan v20/23), and lent on condition 70 percent of the contracts go to Chinese companies and the remaining 30 percent to Angolan companies.
...
Questions over timing and cost
...>>Full report

__________
Zimbabwe:

Parties on both sides prepare for power transfer
[© SouthScan v21/01 13 Jan 06] A new period of upheavals among politicians in both the ruling Zanu-PF party and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change appears to have begun. The opposition has openly split with the formation of a 'pro democracy' faction while the ruling party is about to engage in a purge in its most fractious provinces.
Analysts see the moves as the beginnings of an explosive succession contest, pointing to the end of the Robert Mugabe era. Already South Africa is positioning itself to ensure stability in its northern neighbour (SouthScan v20/24), while international actors are refraining from public engagement.
...

'International support'
...
Zanu-PF purge
...>>Full report

__________
Zimbabwe:

US leaves Mugabe out of talks with SA
[© SouthScan v21/01 13 Jan 06] The Zimbabwe crisis did not make it onto the agenda when US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and SA Foreign Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma sat down to talk in Washington earlier this week. This was as the Zimbabwean opposition finally split and as President Robert Mugabe rejected again the African Union's human rights strictures.
The diplomatic silence seemed to show the extent to which the US and the rest of the outside world has now decided to see Zimbabwe as an African, and specifically South African problem.
Asked about their talks, Dlamini Zuma, who has in the past been accused of defending Zimbabwe from fellow African criticism at African Union summits, responded "Zimbabwe as an issue did not arise ... we didn't discuss it. No, no ... we discussed Iran, Sudan, UN reforms ... we didn't discuss Zimbabwe."
I...
Refugee centre
...

Park population removal
...>>Full report

__________
Swaziland:

SA under fire for silence over arrests
[© SouthScan v21/01 13 Jan 06] South Africa's long-held official silence over the lack of democracy in neighbouring Swaziland is likely to be tested in coming months.
Protests from SA and Swazi organizations are mounting after leading members of Swaziland's banned opposition party were arrested last week and this week in connection with a series of petrol bomb attacks on government structures (SouthScan v20/02;20). They face the death penalty if convicted of high treason.
...
Violence condemned
...>>Full report

__________
Region:

Malawi, Mozambique sign trade agreement
[© SouthScan v21/01 13 Jan 06] Malawi has signed a preferential trade agreement with Mozambique that will see Malawi able to export products to its neighbour duty free.
The agreement, signed this week, replaces a 1959 trade agreement between Portugal and the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland (Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi).
...>>Full report

__________
International:

SA stays tight-lipped on Iran crisis
[© SouthScan v21/01 13 Jan 06] As Iran's nuclear ambitions moved it higher up the international crisis table South Africa was remaining tight-lipped on its role as unofficial interlocutor. Iran has unilaterally breached seals on its enrichment installation and has as a result brought UN Security Council sanctions closer.
But SA - pulled by the US into mediation talks with Tehran because of its good relations with the regime and because of its nuclear disarmament record - has revealed little of its diplomatic position.
...

N-power backed
...>>Full report
__________
SA development:

Security specialists take their last legal chance to leave
[© SouthScan v21/01 13 Jan 06] Security specialists have a short time left in which they can legally move to Iraq to exchange their current wages for massive danger money. The country's tightened legislation preventing mercenarism is soon to come into force and will stop them taking an active role in foreign conflicts (SouthScan v20/23).The new 'Prohibition of Mercenary Activities and Prohibition and Regulation of Certain Activities in an Area of Armed Conflict Bill' will make it illegal for South Africans to provide any services in a warring country, be they medical, humanitarian or military, without the permission of the government.
While the legislation has been sold, especially after the Equatorial Guinea fiasco last year, as SA dealing with its history of exporting mercenarism into Africa, the material basis for the legislation lies closer to home and in the loss of skills in key sectors, particularly of instructors in specialized areas such as dog handling. Handlers can earn up to US$10,000 a month working in Iraq.
...>>Full report

__________

International:

WTO reveals rifts in SA's Brazil and India pact
[© SouthScan v21/01 13 Jan 06] As the dust settles on the Hong Kong meeting of the World Trade Organisation last month some observers were left pondering how long South African policymakers' vaunted pact with Brazil and India can last.
The WTO meeting, ending December 18, resulted by common consent in a deal that moved these two countries into the big league of the Northern industrialized states, leaving South Africa leading a rump of undeveloped economies.
...>>Full report

__________