Analysis and reporting on key policy issues from Southern and Central Africa
v21/14 14 July 06
EU troops fly into election marred by violence, intolerance and distrust P.1
Mafia climate in media casts doubt on fairness of election P.2
Oil on Uganda-Congo border adds to minerals concerns P.3
Nuclear and coal to help prevent a power crunch P.3
EU prepares election monitors to avoid re-run of fraudulent poll P.4
Annan gives up in favour of new mediator P.4
Controversy over autonomy deal for Cabinda P.5
Food aid money dries up P.5
New diamonds investment P.6
German probe into arms bribes puts cat among ANC pigeons P.6
G8 summit boosts SA's international credibility P.7
SA objects to US sanctions against N Korea P.7
EU announces surge in aid and investment P.7
EU announces Euros5.6 billion for infrastructure P.8
EU troops fly into election marred by violence, intolerance and distrust
[© SouthScan v21/14 14 July 06] Two weeks ahead of the July 30 election international observers in Kinshasa are now confident that the first round of the presidential election and the elections for the National Assembly will take place as scheduled. But at the same time concern is mounting because the campaign is being marred with violence, intolerance and distrust.
In this atmosphere the main groups around the transitional president Joseph Kabila and vice-president Jean-Pierre Bemba has been allowed to keep their armed supporters intact until the end of the transition period after the National Commission for the Disarmament, Demobilization and Reinsertion (Conader) announced last week that it would stop the demobilization process. ...
UDSP postponement fails ...
Widespread insecurity ... >>> Full report
Mafia climate in media casts doubt on fairness of election
[© SouthScan v21/14 14 July 06] An outside investigation by journalists of the intimidation and murder of their colleagues in the DR Congo and the political manipulation of the media there is casting more doubt on the fairness of the upcoming elections.
Newspapers and television are funded either by the government or by opposing parties and generally serve their funders instead of the public. As a result, opposing parties may attack each other through journalists.But for the DRC and its people there seems to be a very long road ahead. Maybe that is why the UN’s Secretary General Kofi Annan has asked the European security advisers, troops and police reinforcements, to still stay on in the country for a while....
Oil on Uganda-Congo border adds to minerals concerns
[© SouthScan v21/14 14 July 06] Oil discoveries on the border with the DR Congo have increased international and regional scrutiny of Uganda’s minerals sector because of concerns about the use of its revenues and the potential for regional conflict.
According to government statistics Uganda earns $100 million annually from minerals, making it creditworthy and offsetting the financial setbacks suffered when it entered the East African Customs Union. Yet domestic production of mineral wealthy is tiny and does not account for five percent of the earnings, according to Central Bank records - instead most comes from minerals exploitation in neighbouring Sudan and DR Congo where there is either a Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) presence or a local militia backed by Uganda. ...
Financing armsBut Aliker cites the regional Nile Basin initiative as an example of collaboration to ensure equitable use of a shared resource. The Nile Basin initiative has 11 member countries in East, Central and North Africa....
Nuclear and coal to help prevent a power crunch
[© SouthScan v21/14 14 July 06] Plans to prevent a power crunch in Southern Africa were the core issue at the recent Africa Energy Forum organised in Lille, France at the end of June.
During the conference, the CEO of the Johannesburg-based Sad-Elec company, Tore Horvei stressed that Southern Africa is running out of capacity with the annual demand much higher than expected. In South Africa, the powerhouse of the continent, the capacity gap could reach 10,000 MW by 2020, in a scenario of moderate growth of 3 percent. ...
EU prepares election monitors to avoid re-run of fraudulent poll
[© SouthScan v21/14 14 July 06] The European Union is sending an exploratory election monitoring mission to Zambia this week amid fears of malpractice during this year’s tripartite elections, as has been the case in the past.
The EU’s head of delegation in Zambia, Henry Sprietsma, said the EU was confident that the malpractices would not take place but memories are fresh of the 2001 presidential and general election which the EU criticised heavily. That EU observer mission, led by Michael Meadowcroft, announced that the late Anderson Mazoka from the United party for National Development (UPND), Zambia’s largest political party, had won the elections. They were stunned when the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) announced the election was won by the incumbent, President Levy Mwanawasa.It has not yet become clear why the minister insists on government printers and why Mambilima has broken with a usual practice, but suspicions are running high....
Annan gives up in favour of new mediator
[© SouthScan v21/14 14 July 06] The UN secretary general’s meeting with Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe at the African Union summit in Banjul, Gambia (SouthScan v21/13) ended after 40 minutes with Kofi Annan suggesting another regional mediator. No mention was made of a mooted trip to Zimbabwe.
Now Benjamin Mkapa, a former Tanzanian head of state, will follow in the footsteps of former Mozambican president Joaquim Chissano and Nigerian leader Olusegun Obasanjo, among others, in seeking to bridge the divide between Mugabe and the opposition and other regional leaders. Analysts and politicians told the UN agency IRIN there was little hope of success. ...
Controversy over autonomy deal for Cabinda
[© SouthScan v21/14 14 July 06] Attempts to reach a negotiated solution for the autonomy of the oil-rich Cabinda province have sparked controversy between rival groups in the enclave, with each declaring support or opposition to the reportedly successful bilateral negotiations with the government in Luanda.
Separatists, including the historic leader of the Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda (FLEC), Henrique N’Zita Tiago, argue that Cabinda was a 19th century Portuguese crown protectorate and should have gained independence in 1975 along with, but apart from Angola. Portugal used its 1885 protectorate agreement with Cabinda’s rulers to defend its rights over the territory, which had been sought by France, Belgium and the UK at the Berlin Conference. ...
Food aid money dries up
[© SouthScan v21/14 14 July 06] The World Food Programme’s efforts to assist more than 700,000 Angolans may come to an end unless new donations are received by the end of July, the UN agency said on Tuesday.
Donor support for the WFP’s relief programme has diminished alarmingly since last year, officials said. The UN agency needs at least US$12.6 million to distribute 7,700 tonnes of food aid to targeted Angolan beneficiaries for the remainder of 2006. The total appeal for the three-year programme, which was launched in April this year, is for US$90 million. ...
New diamonds investment
[© SouthScan v21/14 14 July 06] The multinational British-controlled Branch Energy Ltd (BEL) is to invest nearly $30 million in the Kimberlitos diamond mines in Lunda Norte province. The project in the Luo locality is a new joint venture between the national diamond company Endiama and Tricorp, an Angolan corporation associated with BEL. ...
German probe into arms bribes puts cat among ANC pigeons
[© SouthScan v21/14 14 July 06] A corruption probe in Germany related to SA’s massive arms procurements deal is likely to damage the African National Congress political establishment. In just the aspect involving the sale of frigates over US$18 million could have gone on bribes.
The German probe comes just ahead of the trial of former deputy president Jacob Zuma in connection with an alleged corrupt relationship with the French arms maker Thales (and its SA subsidiary Thint). As such it could add to a perception of wider corruption in the ANC that could spill over and create fresh internal divisions (SouthScan v19/02 et.seq). ...
German law changeAt the very least this report is now under challenge, while some of the material presented by opponents of the deals will be taken more seriously and the parliamentary opposition will be able to renew its calls for an independent probe. It will also strengthen the hand of those in the SA National Defence Force who believe that the procurement contracts have bled resources from a sector that needs to re-make itself as a peace force....
G8 summit boosts SA’s international credibility
[© SouthScan v21/14 14 July 06] Last-minute attempts to convince the G8 summiteers that Africa remains a live issue grew increasingly urgent ahead of the gathering this weekend, July 15. But there was one incontrovertible gain - South Africa has become a firm member of the G8 side-table, occupying important middle ground between the industrial giants and the rest of the world, and taking a range of issues out of the diplomatic ghetto reserved for Africa.
Thus this week SA’s deputy foreign minister Aziz Pahad was meeting with his North Korean counterpart in what seemed the beginning of a mediation exercise, while the SA foreign minister was in Iran to talk about that country’s nuclear programme and SA’s initiatives there, from its high moral ground as the world’s only de-nuclearized state. ...
SA objects to US sanctions against N Korea
[© SouthScan v21/14 14 July 06] US sanctions were the only obstacle between North Korea and its return to renewed talks on its nuclear programme, South African deputy foreign minister, Aziz Pahad said on Tuesday.
“The Vice Minister has categorically stated that once the financial sanctions imposed after the last talks were dropped they would seriously consider going back to the talks,” Pahad said after meeting with his North Korean counterpart in Pretoria. North Korea last week test fired seven missiles in what was seen as a gesture of defiance at the US, which is seeking to prevent it acquiring a nuclear weapon.Shortly afterward the US imposed economic sanctions against North Korea calling it “defensive measures” to protect the US financial system and to pressure the country to halt activities such as counterfeiting US currency....
EU announces surge in aid and investment
[© SouthScan v21/14 14 July 06] In the run-up to the G8 summit this weekend Europe has announced a massive surge in African aid and investment - for good governance and for infrastructure projects, both key issues in Nepad, the New Partnership for Africa’s Development.
The G8 summit brings together France, the US, the UK, Russia, Germany, Japan, Italy and Canada, but the European Commission president participates as a full G8 Member.The new aid announcements show that in contrast to Russia and some of the other G8 countries the EU remains organically tied to the fate of the continent. Thus Portugal, which is to take over the rotating six-month European Union presidency in July 2007, emphasized this week that it would focus on improving relations with Africa as well as on EU economic reform....
US aid ...
EU announces €5.6 billion for infrastructure
[© SouthScan v21/14 14 July 06] The European Commission approved on Thursday (July 13) a proposal for a Euro 5.6 billion package to support infrastructure projects in Africa in the 2008-2013 period. The funds would come from the Euro 21.9 bn 10th European Development Fund and the aim is to support regional development in the priority areas of transport, energy, water, information technology and telecommunication networks.
The proposal has yet to be ratified by the European Council of Ministers and the announcement seemed timed just ahead of the g8 summit to drive home the message that Europe at least was serious about development pledges made at earlier summits....