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

v21/10 19 May 06

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CONTENTS

Congo:

Kabila seeks Angolan allies to counter EU military force

Congo:

Freelance disarmament in Katanga linked to Kabila

Congo:

No signs of deal to accommodate Tshisekedi

 

Region:

Uganda watches with anxiety upcoming Congo election

 

Angola:

Cholera epidemic spotlights poverty and enrichment of MPLA elite

Angola:

Despite peace talk tensions remain high in Cabinda

 

Zimbabwe:

Mass police turnout keeps lid on protest

Zimbabwe:

Plan suggested for post-Mugabe revival

 

Swaziland:

Donor pressure grows as elite 'alliances' emerge

 

Mozambique:

Nyimpine Chissano charged over Cardoso murder

 

Region:

Kenya invites SA to start parallel undersea cable


Congo:

Kabila seeks Angolan allies to counter EU military force

[© SouthScan v21/10 19 May 06] The DR Congo President Joseph Kabila is making sure that Angolan troops are present to guard the upcoming election.

According to diplomats in Kinshasa he wants his former allies during the war, Namibia and Angola, to have a strong presence in a Southern African Development Community force, especially in the capital, to balance the UN and European Union presence. ...

Neutrality assurances ...

An army in the making ...

Ethnic focus raises concerns ... >>> Full report

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Congo:

Freelance disarmament in Katanga linked to Kabila

[© SouthScan v21/10 19 May 06] In the Katanga province of the DR Congo the Mai-Mai warlord Kyungu Mutanga, aka 'Gedeon', has surrendered to UN troops in Mitwaba with 150 of his mostly child soldiers and has asked to be integrated into the disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration process. Their surrender, announced on May 12) brings to 350 the total number of Gedeon's fighters under government control. MONUC's spokesman, Lt-Col. Frederic Medard said that the security situation in the Mitwaba area had "stabilized".

But the disarmament operations have sparked a controversy between Kabila's supporters and the UN, because of a parallel initiative launched by an NGO called the 'Ecumenical peace, conflict transformation and reconciliation programme' (Parec), led by a Rev. Ngoy Mulanda, known for this close links with the president's faction. ...>>> Full report

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Congo:

No signs of deal to accommodate Tshisekedi

[© SouthScan v21/10 19 May 06] There are no signs of any last minute accommodation with the main political party left out of the upcoming elections, Etienne Tshisekedi's Union for Democracy and Social Progress.

Speaking in Pretoria on Thursday the DR Congo ambassador to South Africa, Bene M'Poko, stressed that delays in the election date had been due only to logistics and commented, "Some people have been trying to come forward and have negotiations at this late stage. Negotiate what?" ...

Electoral fraud cases ...>>> Full report

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Region:

Uganda watches with anxiety upcoming Congo election

[© SouthScan v21/10 19 May 06] Uganda is watching the upcoming elections in the DR Congo with some anxiety, concerned that it will lose its political influence there since the groups it has supported and who are now in the interim administration could quickly become nonentities.

It is especially worried about the economic implications. Already Uganda has seen a marked decline in its export of minerals - from $100m to $60m - and further decline is likely, given that much of the wealth originates in the DRC and is smuggled over before being re-exported. ...

Military expansion ...>>> Full report

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Angola:

Cholera epidemic spotlights poverty and enrichment of MPLA elite

[© SouthScan v21/10 19 May 06] The Angolan government has been slammed for neglecting its people as the country's worst ever cholera epidemic spreads. Calls for foreign humanitarian aid have come at the same time as announcements of spectacular oil-backed growth, further perks for the governing elite to boost their "dignity", and allegations of extensive corruption. Donor response has been weak.

By midweek the official number of cholera cases was 35,000, with 1,300 deaths, and Medecins sans Frontieres - MSF head Richard Veerman said that millions of people were at risk. The water-borne disease broke out in the capital's northern favela of Boa Vista in February and rapidly spread throughout Luanda and to other parts of the country. MSF, at a press briefing in Johannesburg, said it has had little support so far in fighting the disease and called on government and other organisations to intensify their efforts. The government had drawn up plans in 2003 but since then "practically nothing has happened," Veerman said. ...

Donors' conference ...

Private fortunes ...

Corruption scandal ...

Diseases spread ...>>> Full report

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Angola:

Despite peace talk tensions remain high in Cabinda

[© SouthScan v21/10 19 May 06] The situation remains tense in the Cabinda enclave with both sides in the low level conflict still calling for negotiations. A meeting in March petered out and last month the US State Department issued a security alert to its citizens, advising caution.

The influential Catholic Church in the enclave, which has been involved in seeking a solution, is deeply divided, and this month the Vatican stepped in. Meanwhile the main rebel group has called on neighbouring DR Congo's President Joseph Kabila to intervene. ...

6-8 million landmines ...

Political violence ...>>> Full report

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Zimbabwe:

Mass police turnout keeps lid on protest

[© SouthScan v21/10 19 May 06] The Zimbabwe government poured thousands of police onto the streets in major cities and towns around the country on Thursday as civic groups marked the first anniversary of the government's disastrous demolition campaign, Operation Murambatsvina.

The deployment was a show of force as labour unions also met in the capital to consider mass protests over the worsening economic meltdown. They later agreed in principle on strike action. ...

Three's a crowd ...

Unity difficult to achieve ...>>> Full report

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Zimbabwe:

Plan suggested for post-Mugabe revival

[© SouthScan v21/10 19 May 06] Economists in the US are already considering a post-Mugabe plan of action to revive Zimbabwe, which they say needs to be regarded as a post-conflict country.

Todd Moss and Stewart Patrick from the Center for Global Development, an independent research institute in Washington, suggest that South Africa and the West should now be making preparations. Their paper has just been published by the Harvard University John F Kennedy School of Government...

They make the following suggestions ... >>> Full report

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Swaziland:

Donor pressure grows as elite 'alliances' emerge

[© SouthScan v21/10 19 May 06] The European Union has announced the suspension of direct funding to in a move to pressure the Swazi government to improve its accountability. The EU is one of the kingdom's major donors, supporting the country with over 4.1 million Euros (US$5m) in annual aid, about 3 percent of all grants.

An International Monetary Fund report in February had criticized the poor accounting and data coming from the local authorities and warned that without a reform programme the economy would continue a downward slide. ...

Civil service cutsPart of the solution, the report said, was the privatisation of a large number of public enterprises, as well as reforms to strengthen  governance. The government in this year's budget has committed itself to the deregulation and commercialization of industries in the communications, insurance, water and electricity sectors. If they go ahead these may, in the way of other privatisations, provide avenues for enrichment and potential political influence for those among the elite who can mobilize investment capital.... >>> Full report

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Mozambique:

Nyimpine Chissano charged over Cardoso murder

[© SouthScan v21/10 19 May 06] Businessman Nyimpine Chissano, oldest son of former president Joaquim Chissano, has been charged with the murder in November 2000 of the country's top investigative journalist, Carlos Cardoso (SouthScan v17/23).

Chissano is accused of "joint moral authorship" of the murder and of "various economic crimes", according to the official news agency AIM. ...>>> Full report

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Region:

Kenya invites SA to start parallel undersea cable

[© SouthScan v21/10 19 May 06] Kenya has asked the South African government to join it in a parallel undersea fibre optic cable project for East Africa because of the long delays in implementing the existing regional one. The fibre optic project, which would dramatically improve African telecommunications access, had been stuck in the planning stage for the last three years.

Kenya's permanent secretary in the ministry of information and communications, Bitange Ndemo criticized the delay in implementing the project at at the Information Communication Technologies conference in Nairobi this week.* Zimbabwe's Econet Wireless has acquired a 65 percent stake in ST Cellular of Burundi, one of four licensed operators in the central African country, officials said on Thursday....>>> Full report

 

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