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

v21/24 1 December 06

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CONTENTS

Congo:

Deep security and financial challenges face Kabila as he takes on presidency      

Congo:

Coffers emptied for election land new government with cash crunch

Congo:

Kabila seeks to bring rebel Tutsi general back into the fold     

Congo:

Light goes out for rhinos as game parks become new battleground   

Region:

Eastern Congo is one key to Uganda's developing regional military role    

Region:

SA troops to concentrate on Burundi's FNL demobilisation

Lesotho:

Assassination bid raises concerns for upcoming election           

Zimbabwe:

More optimism announced in budget ahead of IMF visit    

SA development:

Economic gain from AIDS treatment plan may have swayed government     

Botswana:

AIDS costs six percent of budget


Congo:

Deep security and financial challenges face Kabila as he takes on presidency

[© SouthScan v21/24 1 Dec 06] As President Joseph Kabila prepares to be sworn in on December 6 he is facing two major challenges. One is the deterioration of the security situation on the eastern Congo front, and the other is the threat of a shortfall in foreign financing, particularly to ensure his national army becomes credible.

On Monday (November 27) the Supreme Court officially proclaimed Kabila the winner of the presidential election with 58.05 percent of the votes. The announcement was made immediately after the Court rejected the lawsuit filed by his challenger, Jean-Pierre Bemba, seeking the annulment of the election because of alleged fraud. ...

Hardline pressure ...

Provincial polls ... >>> Full report


Congo:

Coffers emptied for election land new government with cash crunch

[© SouthScan v21/24 1 Dec 06] Next to the ongoing unrest in the eastern Congo president elect Joseph Kabila's biggest challenge will be the economy. Since the transitional government did not meet the targets agreed with the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, the post-election government is unlikely to benefit from budgetary support from the Bretton Woods institutions.

A GDP growth rate of 5.7 percent is expected for 2006, but the other main indicators are not positive. The electoral campaign has emptied the state treasury. ...

Damning IMF report ...

Competitive bidding? ...

>>> Full report


Congo:

Kabila seeks to bring rebel Tutsi general back into the fold

[© SouthScan v21/24 1 Dec 06] Late this week President Joseph Kabila and the dissident general Laurent Nkunda went into talks in North Kivu after a major clash between Nkunda's militia and the UN force MONUC.

This was the first indication that, with the presidential election decided, there would be an attempt to bring Nkunda, who has taken up the cause of the Congolese Tutsis, back onto the government side. ...

Kabila flies in ...

Integration crisis ...

>>> Full report


Congo:

Light goes out for rhinos as game parks become new battleground

[© SouthScan v21/24 1 Dec 06] While attention has been focused on the fighting between Gen. Laurent Nkunda's dissident militia and the UN force MONUC near Goma, other rebel militias groups have been holed up deep inside the massive game parks near the eastern Congo's borders.

Mai-Mai fighters in the nearby Virunga National Park took advantage of Nkunda's offensive to slaughter another 50 hippos in three days. According the National Congolese Conservation Institute (ICCN), a real annihilation of the wildlife has taken place there. Since 1970, the number of hippos in the park decreased from 30,000 to just 600. ...

Portfolio of game parks ...

'Not populated' ...

>>> Full report


Region:

Eastern Congo is one key to Uganda's developing regional military role

[© SouthScan v21/24 1 Dec 06] Uganda has rallied Belgian support in a bid to ensure that the Lord's Resistance Army rebels are expelled from the Garamba game park in north-east Congo. It is also seeking Belgian backing for its wider regional security objectives and to support a military intervention in Somalia.

President Yoweri Museveni visited Brussels from November 15 and called on Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt to use his influence in Kinshasa to expel Joseph Kony's LRA from Garamba. ...

Somalia role ...

Roping Tanzania in ...

>>> Full report


Region:

SA troops to concentrate on Burundi's FNL demobilisation

[© SouthScan v21/24 1 Dec 06] South African troops serving in the UN Operation in Burundi, ONUB, will be redeployed to a special African Union task force set up to oversee the incorporation and guarantee the safety of the last rebel movement into the peace process, the National Liberation Front, FNL. SA has some 1,500 troops in the 5,000-strong ONUB force.

Announcing the move last week SA's deputy foreign minister Aziz Pahad said also that "the time has come for the FNL to start seriously implementing the agreement they signed." ...

Post-conflict reconstruction ...

>>> Full report


Lesotho:

Assassination bid raises concerns for upcoming election

[© SouthScan v21/24 1 Dec 06] The Lesotho government has called general elections for February 17 in response to a breakaway group from the ruling party which is threatening the government's majority. But the short notice has been attacked by the opposition as giving it too little time to prepare.

There is already growing tension in the capital, Maseru, after an apparent assassination attempt on the Trade and Industry Minister Mpho Malie last weekend. ...

Instability the rule ...

>>> Full report


Zimbabwe:

More optimism announced in budget ahead of IMF visit

[© SouthScan v21/24 1 Dec 06] Zimbabwe's budget, announced this week, was described by the Zimbabwe Independent as 'a soap opera', and anticipated by independent economist John Robertson as 'hot air'. The Financial Times' Tony Hawkins noted that the 2006 budget deficit was now 43 percent of GDP, more than double the estimate in mid-year.

Zimbabwe's Finance Minister Herbert Murerwa insisted that the economy was beginning to recover, just ahead of a visit by an International Monetary Fund team that will again assess whether the country can make its debt repayments. ...

Energy shortfall ...

>>> Full report


SA development:

Economic gain from AIDS treatment plan may have swayed government

[© SouthScan v21/24 1 Dec 06] South Africa on Friday, World AIDS Day, announced a five-year plan intended to revitalise a massive treatment outreach programme to combat the HIV/AIDS pandemic. The announcement of "continuity of the current strategies" but with significant new elements added came after worldwide condemnation of the government's failure to prioritise the fight against AIDS in a country with one of the highest prevalence rates in the world.

It was perhaps most stung by the outgoing UN AIDS envoy to Africa, Stephen Lewis when he told the International AIDS Conference in Toronto in August that SA was "the only country in Africa whose government is still obtuse, dilatory and negligent about rolling out treatment". ...

Economic losses ...

Treatment goal ...

>>> Full report


Botswana:

AIDS costs six percent of budget

[© SouthScan v21/24 1 Dec 06] Botswana is currently spending six percent of its national budget to fight HIV/AIDS and international donors contribute the equivalent of a further one percent.

These are the first detailed figures of the financial cost to Botswana of the epidemic and were the findings of a National AIDS Spending Assessment. ...

AIDS orphans in Zimbabwe ...

>>> Full report