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

v21/11 2 June 06

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CONTENTS

Congo:

Wary EU force to use remote controlled drones to check Kinshasa's security

Congo:

UDSP lists complaints and warns of chaos ahead   

Region:

Mediation may remove Uganda's LRA excuse for moving into DRC   

Angola:

State media monopoly to end   

Zambia:

Uncertainty hangs over presidential election after opposition leader dies

Zimbabwe:

Mugabe strikes deal with foreign miners   

Zimbabwe:

Asylum denied to MDC leader   

SA politics:

Zuma's acquittal opens way for barrage against Mbeki    

International:

SA seeks to revive arms producer on back of gunship sales to Turkey   

SA development:

SA seeks spin-offs from military technology   


Congo:

Wary EU force to use remote controlled drones to check Kinshasa’s security

[© SouthScan v21/11 2 June 06] The deployment of European Union troops in Kinshasa will begin on July 9 with about 500 troops stationed at the Ndolo airport in the capital, according to EU military sources in Brussels. They will be equipped with armoured personnel carriers, helicopters and four Israeli-made unmanned aerial drones to monitor from the skies the situation in the Congolese capital 24 hours a day.

The last political hurdles to deployment were removed with the approval on Thursday (June 1) by the German Bundestag of the plan to send German troops to the DRC; it had a comfortable majority of 440 votes in favour, 135 against and eight abstentions. However, opinion polls show that a 57 percent majority of Germans disapprove. ....

First establish security ...

‘Mercenary coup plot’ derided ...

Demobilisation concerns ... >>> Full report

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Congo:

UDSP lists complaints and warns of chaos ahead

[© SouthScan v21/11 2 June 06] The Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDSP), the main opposition party that is not taking part in the upcoming elections, has warned of an “explosive situation” developing in the Congo.

A seven-strong delegation from the leadership delivered the message during a recent European tour of Sweden, Germany, Belgium, France and Italy, on which they also met members of the Socialist International, to which the UDSP belongs. ...

Michel and Ajello ‘public enemies’ ...

Election date unreal ...

‘Sold out’ ... >>> Full report

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Region:

Mediation may remove Uganda’s LRA excuse for moving into DRC

[© SouthScan v21/11 2 June 06] Moves are afoot to bring about a peace deal between the Ugandan government and the rebel Lord’s Resistance Army. This would remove another potential source of conflict inside the eastern DR Congo, and take a future Ugandan invasion off the cards. But the Ugandan government is not keen to move in this direction and instead wants support for direct military action against the rebels.

The mediation effort, the first by regional states, is being organized by the former rebels of the Sudanese People’s Liberation Front, now constituted as the Southern Sudan government, who are seeking a meeting before June 15. The SPLA says both sides are willing to talk. ... >>> Full report

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Angola:

State media monopoly to end

[© SouthScan v21/11 2 June 06] Angola has replaced a 15-year-old media law to end its current state monopoly. It will allow private ownership of television stations and end the monopoly on agency news.

The new press law was published on May 26 after being adopted by the National Assembly in February. It also sets out principles on censorship, freedom of the press, and access to information and defines the National Council of Social Communication as a media regulator.The new law also eliminates an earlier provision that prevented journalists from defending themselves in court when accused of defamation by the president. It also favours fines in lieu of jail where journalists are sentenced.... >>> Full report

 

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Zambia:

Uncertainty hangs over presidential election after opposition leader dies

[© SouthScan v21/11 2 June 06] A dark cloud is hanging over the opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) and the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) following the death of Anderson Mazoka in South Africa last week. Mazoka was the president of UPND, the largest opposition political party in Zambia. He was instrumental in the formation on the UDA a few months ago to challenge the incumbent President Levy Mwanawasa in this year’s tripartite election.

Although Mazoka was not formally adopted as the president of UDA, an alliance of three opposition political parties, he had been selected to head the grouping by the presidents of the other political parties that make up the alliance. The idea behind the formation of UDA was to field one strong presidential candidate to challenge Mwanawasa and avoid vote splitting. ...

Presidential candidate ... >>> Full report

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Zimbabwe:

Mugabe strikes deal with foreign miners

[© SouthScan v21/11 2 June 06] Platinum miner Zimplats said on Thursday it had signed an agreement with the Zimbabwe government to release some mining rights in return for cash and empowerment credits. Zimplats is a subsidiary of South Africa’s Implats, the world’s second largest platinum producer.

President Robert Mugabe suggested while touring Zimplats that mining companies could buy their way out of the proposal giving the government up to 51 percent ownership of foreign-owned mines. ....

Gold production plummetsMeanwhile the World Bank has said Zimbabwe has the capacity to reclaim its position as the breadbasket of Southern Africa, according to its country manager, Sudhir Chitale. But for this to happen the country would have to revitalise its road, railway and water infrastructure, he said..... >>> Full report

 

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Zimbabwe:

Asylum denied to MDC leader

[© SouthScan v21/11 2 June 06] SA’s main opposition Democratic Alliance and its Lawyers for Human Rights NGO have taken up the case of Roy Bennett, the senior Movement for Democratic Change leader who has been denied asylum in SA (SouthScan v21/09).

South Africa’s decision last week by the home affairs department to decline Bennett’s application was shocking, the DA said. He plans to appeal. .... >>> Full report

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SA politics:

Zuma’s acquittal opens way for barrage against Mbeki

[© SouthScan v21/11 2 June 06] The dismissal of rape charges against former deputy president and presidential hopeful Jacob Zuma has opened the way for sharp attacks from the Left of the African National Congress on a weakened President Thabo Mbeki and his vulnerable allies (SouthScan v21/07).

It also presages a long period of introspection by the ANC and a diversion from domestic and regional goals that could have a significant impact on the rest of Africa, given Mbeki’s pivotal role in regional policy, say analysts. ....

Cosatu charges ....

Expanding presidency .... >>> Full report

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International:

SA seeks to revive arms producer on back of gunship sales to Turkey

[© SouthScan v21/11 2 June 06] South Africa’s urgent bid to sell its attack helicopters to Turkey has demonstrated two things - how far the country has traveled from its ‘ethical foreign policy’ as set out by Nelson Mandela in 1993, and how urgently it wants to maintain a cutting edge arms industry.

To get the US$1.5 billion deal for 91 attack helicopters off the ground it is offering the Turks the entire technology for the manufacture of the Rooivalk, the gunship it has singularly failed to sell except to its own forces (12 bought in 1999) in the face of US and European global competition. The same terms apply for any other arms deals with Turkey.Apart from Denel, Turkey has also taken bids from the European Eurocopter consortium of France and Germany, Italy’s Agusta and Russia’s Kamov. A decision is expected in July.....

Rights based policy ....

Denel's survival ....

Sub-supplierBut in the end the Turkish Rooivalk deal may fall through - Turkey is still keen to prove it is a worthy EU entrant, while the French parliament postponed on May 18 a decision on a controversial bill banning denial of the Armenian genocide by the Turks, a sensitive issue in Istanbul - though no mention was made of helicopters in the French parliament. The Franco-German Eurocopter may thus win, but SA’s strategic decision to make Turkey an arms manufacturing partner may remain..... >>> Full report

 

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SA development:

SA seeks spin-offs from military technology

[© SouthScan v21/11 2 June 06] The hoped for Rooivalk gunship deal with Turkey may demonstrate that SA arms maker Denel is worth saving for the profits it brings. But a weightier reason may be the long-term benefits that accrue from a core node of military technology with numerous high-tech industrial spin-offs.

The ANC government has been keen not to lose the skills base developed during the conflict-ridden last decades of the apartheid era and has sought to deter top military technicians from going abroad. .... >>> Full report

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