Status on Government commitment to an interdepartmental approach to bring peace and stability to the African Continent.
FOR WRITTEN REPLY
QUESTION NO: 353
PUBLISHED IN INTERNAL QUESTION PAPER NO 8 OF 07 MARCH 2008
DR. G W KOORNHOF (DA) TO ASK THE MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS:
(1) Given the fact that Government is committed to an interdepartmental approach to bring peace and stability to the African Continent and that the SANDF has been deployed in Peace Support Operations in various countries for the past number of years:
a. What contributions to political and economic stability have been made in such countries by other government departments? And if so, what successes have been achieved; and if not, why not
b. What form of interdepartmental planning, orchestration, control and regular feedback to Parliament exists to ensure the optimal use of resources? If so, what are the details; if not, why not?
(2) What are the responsibilities of other government departments to create political and economical stability in African countries during and after SANDF Peace Support Operations to prevent conflict from flaring up again?
(3) How are such activities coordinated, integrated and controlled between government departments, non-government organizations and private volunteer’s organizations?
(4) How are such activities communicated to all stakeholders including the SANDF?
(1) A. The South African Government has adopted an interdepartmental approach towards Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development (PCRD). The International Relations, Peace and Security Cluster (IRPS) directs the coordination of SA’s efforts in the promotion of political and economic stability in Africa.
In the DRC, the PCRD is guided by the DRC government programme’s priorities which include: infrastructure, employment, education, water, electricity and health which involve SA’s departments of Minerals and Energy, Public Enterprises, Education, Water Resources and Health. In this regard, the following SA Government Departments are involved: Departments of Foreign Affairs, Public Service and Administration, Defence, Home Affairs, the South African Police Service, Provincial and Local Government, Transport, SAMDI and the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC). Priority was given to areas critical to supporting governance structures, electoral support, and security sector reform. The DRC programmes are implemented within the framework of the Binational Commission (BNC) which meets twice a year and plan the implementation of programmes.
In Burundi, the SA Police (SAPS) focus is on areas identified by the Burundian Police which include transformation of the police into a coherent unit; training of trainers/instructors; transformation of a police force into a police service and the provision of core equipment such as computers, communication systems and police vehicles. This also applies to Sudan where a MoU on Development Assistance for Policing was signed in May 2007. The South African Police Services (SAPS) and the Department of Foreign Affairs have finalised a project proposal for the R50 million for Sudan that will be provided by the Government of Norway.
In Sudan, South Africa has developed a capacity building programme with the South Sudan known as the DFA-GOSS-UNISA Capacity and Institution Building Project for Southern Sudan. So far fourteen training programmes have been implemented and over 700 individuals have been trained. The Department of Foreign Affairs and UNISA undertook an assessment mission to Southern Sudan in September 2007 to align the Project with new priorities since the Project was conceptualized before the formation of the Government of Southern Sudan. In its efforts to promote peace in Sudan, the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) has deployed 750 troops and the SA Police (SAPS) has deployed 125 policemen to the United Nations/African Union Mission (UNAMID) in Darfur.
B. COORDINATION MECHANISM
An Intergovernmental Joint Task Team (JTT) has been established with its focal point at the DFA’s Directorate: National Office for the Coordination of Peace Missions (NOCPM) which is mandated to support SA’s role in the management of peace, security and post-conflict reconstruction in Africa. The Task team consists of the Department of Defence, South African Police Service (SAPS), Department of Correctional Services (DCS), SASS and NICOC and they meet monthly to discuss issues of deployment, management of peace missions and the early warning system for conflict prevention. Cabinet takes final decisions with respect to the deployment of peace missions. Feedback to Parliament is provided through portfolio committee meetings and as requested by relevant committees.
(2) Government departments play a key role in the promotion of stability and the prevention of conflict by engaging in the following manner:
1. Institutional and capacity building in the public and private sectors;
2. Strengthen mechanism for conflict prevention, peace building and post-conflict reconstruction and development;
3. Building capacity in the military, police sector and assist with security sector reform;
4. Contribute to efforts to restore macro-economic and fiscal stability;
5. Assist in instituting legal and regulatory frameworks for trade and investment, financial markets, companies and the private sector;
6. Support and assist in establishing equity in all institutions of governance and within civil society;
7. Build capacity in education, training, health services and programmes to contain malaria, HIV/AIDS and other communicable diseases;
8. Support for the development of infrastructure to facilitate intra-African trade and investment;
9. Forge partnerships to improve agricultural production for local consumption and for export;
10. Co-operate in scientific and technological research;
11. Assist in the development of tourism and encourage cultural exchanges;
12. Co-operate in the beneficiation of mineral resources and improve capacity in the energy sector;
13. Support the development of organised civil society, youth and other formations.
(3) As indicated above in 1B, intergovernmental mechanism exists for the coordination of government activities with respect to conflict situations in the continent. NGOs involved in developmental work as well as those who deal with the promotion of dialogue and reconciliation, are also engaged with the parties to a conflict e.g. ACCORD played a supportive role during the inter-Congolese dialogue.
(4) Interdepartmental planning and regular feedback is done through the established JTT which provides monthly reports to principals of all relevant departments. The Ministry in the DFA is updated through MEMORANDA issued by the SANDF for approval of deployment to peacekeeping missions. These MEMORANDA are scrutinised and supported where appropriate by DFA and the Ministry advised accordingly in order to update parliament on such deployment. Recently there were two projects jointly planned by the interdepartmental task team (JTT) which involved the ‘Review of the White Paper on Peacekeeping’ and Gender Mainstream in Peacekeeping’. Once these projects are completed and necessary approval given at Executive level, they will be presented to parliament for discussion and debate.