Input by Deputy Minister Aziz Pahad to the Department of Foreign Affairs Budget Vote, 15 April 2005, Cape Town

Deputy Speaker,
Honourable Members,
Ministers and Deputy Ministers,
Members of the Diplomatic Corps,
Distinguished Guests,

The ANC in its January 2004 Election Manifesto stated that we will strive to;

1. Improve co-operation among countries of the South to ensure peace and equitable global relations.
2. We will dedicate more resources to ensure that we contribute more effectively to the efforts on our continent to prevent and urgently resolve conflict.

We are therefore happy to note that

The UN Secretary General's Panel Report " A more secure world our shared responsibility" concluded that

"Development and security are inextricably linked. A more secure world is only possible if poor countries are given a chance to develop. Extreme poverty and infectious diseases threaten many people directly, but they also provide a fertile breeding ground for other threats, including civil conflict. Even people in rich countries will be more secure if their government help poor countries to defeat poverty and diseases by meeting the MDGs."

Sadly as the Minister has indicated the continent most effected by underdevelopment is Africa.

It is on the African continent that we most clearly see the connection between underdevelopment and conflict.

An examination of Sub Saharan African countries engaged in conflict or recently emerged from armed conflict reveals a startling pattern of low per capita income, absolute poverty low life expectancy, low levels of FDI, low levels of ODA and high levels of indebtedness.

Deputy Chairperson

It is important to note that most of the countries in Africa that have had conflicts are rich in resources and strategically situated.

What happens or does not happen in these countries has negative effects, interalia, economic collapse, destruction of infrastructure, impoverishment of the people, the creation of millions of refugees, environmental degradation and instability, not only in the countries in conflict but also on the neighbours and the whole of Africa.

This explains why we concentrate so much effort on conflict resolution and peace keeping. Let me deal with some of our efforts.

Democratic Republic of Congo

  • Sun City Talks
  • Pretoria Agreement
  • End of the conflicts and the establishment of a Transitional Government

Today preparations for the July 2005 elections continue to be a priority. However the elections might be postponed to December 2005 due to logistical and financial problems.

For many years peace and stability continued to be threatened by the activities of the Rwandan ex-Far and Interhamwe elements in the DRC. All attempts to deal with these negative forces peacefully failed.

The African Union therefore decided to deploy 6,000 to 7,000 troops to forcefully disarm the ex-FAR/Interahamwe in the Eastern DRC.

On 25 February 2005 serious clashes took place between the UN peacekeepers and armed militias in the eastern part of the DRC resulting in the death of many of the militias. After the militias killed nine members of the UN peace keeping force, at last the decision was taken to take a more aggressive posture against the militias.

South African peacekeeping troops in the DRC have been involved in an offensive against local militias in the Ituri region, and a South African battalion of 850 soldiers has also joined around 3000 UN troops in one of the most risky parts of the country.

All South Africans must be proud of the efforts of our military personnel in the DRC.

The new aggressive posture of the UN forces and the threat by the AU to forcibly disarm the negative forces had very positive consequences.

South Africa's role re the re-integration of the army

Key departments namely, DHA, DPSA, DPLG, DFA, DOD, SAPS and the IEC are engaging their DRC counterparts on a series of issues, including governance and administration. These departments deployed personnel in the DRC.

We remain confident that we are on course.

Burundi

  • Since the signing of the Arusha Accord in 1998, initially under the facilitation of former President Nyerere and subsequently under former President Mandela and currently under deputy President Jacob Zuma the political situation has stabilised.
  • A number of cease-fire agreements are holding
  • The Transitional government that was ushered in on 1 November 2001 has managed to hold the country and institutions together.

In terms of the new constitution, for the next five years, the Legislative Assembly will be made up of 60% Hutus and 40 percent Tutsis. This compromise ethnic balance is both enshrined in the interim constitution as well as the Arusha agreement.

Thirty percent of the seats will be reserved for women and 3% for the minority known as the Twa.

  • The elections was to be held on the 1st of October 2004, and a six months extension was granted to the transitional structures to carry on the necessary preparations. We expect that a date for the elections will be announced soon.

Sudan

The signing of the Comprehensive Peace Accord ended a 27 year war and marks the start of the six-month Pre-Interim Period (January - July 2005) during which the SPLM has to assemble and constitute a government for South Sudan and nominate members to form part of central government in Khartoum. This is to be followed by an Interim Period (July 2005 - July 2011) in which the SPLM has to govern in South Sudan, with a high degree of autonomy; and participate in central government in Khartoum in a comprehensive and effective manner.

  • Civil war in Darfur
  • South African troops' role
  • South Africa is the Chair of the AU Committee on Reconstruction of Sudan

The Department of Foreign Affairs, together with the University of South Africa (UNISA) are co-hosting the training programme for the SPLM cadres.

Western Sahara

The UN has been seized with this issue for many years.

On 24 September 2004, Morocco rejected the argument that the conflict was a
dimension of decolonisation, and presents it as a dispute between Algeria and
Morocco. It rejected the Baker Plan and the motion of self-determination for
the Sahrawi people, reneged on the agreements signed with the Polisario Front
and relentlessly pointed to "the responsibility of Algeria" in the genesis of the
conflict and its persistence, in order to demonstrate the "direct implication" of
its and their "custodianship" over the Polisario.

Once Morocco rejected the UN efforts to a solution South Africa proceeded to recognise the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR). In this respect, South Africa has officially established diplomatic relations at ambassadorial level.

South Africa's decision to recognise the SADR, is in recognition of the right of the Sahrawis to self determination, an inalienable right that is contained in the Charter of the UN. South Africa has now taken the decision "in the light of Morocco not accepting the settlement Plan to which it had agreed to for many years", and that "it also now does not accept the essential elements of the Peace Plan. The decision to grant recognition to the SADR should be seen within this context.

Cote d' Ivoire

The current crisis in Cote d'lvoire began a decade ago.

There was an attempted coup d'etat in September 2002, which resulted in the division of the country into two parts, with the South controlled by the Government and the North by the rebel forces, the Forces Nouvelles. In January 2003, the various political forces including the Government, concluded an agreement at Linas Marcoussis, France.

Before this, the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, had also been involved in sustained efforts to help resolve the problems of Cote d'lvoire. The UN subsequently joined ECOWAS. The UN Secretary General, acting in co-operation with the then Chairperson of ECOWAS convened a meeting in Accra, Ghana at the end of July 2004. This meeting set deadlines for the implementation of various measures to expedite the peace process in Cote d'lvoire.

Two-and-a-half months after Accra III, the UN SG expressed serious concern at the failure of the Ivorian parties to meet the deadlines contained in the Accra III Agreement.

Following the November 2004 government attacks against the Forces Nouvelles the situation in Cote d'lvoire seemed to move even further away from a resolution of the crisis, as the crisis deepened the Chairperson of the African Union, H.E. President Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria, asked H.E. President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa to act as the Mediator of the AU to expedite the Ivorian peace process.

President Mbeki accordingly visited Abidjan on November 9, 2004, even as this city was in the grip of a serious security crisis.

President Mbeki had to provide his own security.

That sense of urgency continues to inform the activities of the AU Mediation.

As is normal in any situation of protracted conflict, as in Cote d'lvoire, deep-seated mistrust among the Ivorian leaders continues to bedevil the advance towards the resolution of the Ivorian crisis.

We operate on the basis of the principle and practice of inclusion rather than exclusion.

This is especially important given that the ideology and practice of exclusion lie at the heart of the Ivorian crisis.

A significant proportion of this population, of different generations, originates from the neighbouring countries. As has happened in many other countries everywhere else in the world, in conditions of relative socio-economic hardship, xenophobic tensions arise.

The fundamental and long-term solution of the Ivorian crisis requires that Cote d'lvoire should successfully address a whole range of matters, including issues that bear on nationality, political rights, the land question, and co­existence in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic and multi-religious society.

In the few months that President Mbeki was asked to break the deadlock, substantial progress was made.

To resolve the outstanding challenges with regard to the implementation of the Road Map, and ensure further movement towards a lasting peace in Cote d'lvoire, a critical meeting between President Mbeki and the principal political leaders of Cote d'lvoire took place in South Africa from the 4 - 6th of April 2005.

  • Skeptics' views
  • Experts' views

PRETORIA AGREEMENT AND TASKS ARISING

1. Immediate and final cessation of hostilities
Monitor progress

2. Disarmament and disarming of militias

  • President will provide the Prime Minister with some special units
  • SANDF's role
  • Monitor progress and if necessary intervene

3. DDR

  • 14th April meeting of two Chiefs of Staff [should be the beginning of the DDR process]
  • SANDF's role
  • ONUCI's role

4. Security in the North

  • 600 FAFN personnel to be trained by ONUCI
  • Will assist ONUCI
  • After unification they will receive training and be incorporated into the police and gendarmerie

5. Security of F-N forces

  • South African VIP protection plan

6. Delegation of powers to the Prime Minister

  • Monitor progress and if necessary intervene
  • Agreed that Forces Nouvelles ministers will return to GNR
  • Ensure that this happens

7. A.Independent Electoral Commission

  • Amendments to the composition, organisation and functioning of the IEC
  • Central Committee of the IEC
  • Two representatives from each signatory of Linas Marcoussis only [6 from Forces Nouvelles]
  • Signatories, representatives of the President and President of the National Assembly have voting rights
  • Law to be amended
  • Ensure that this happens

B.Bureau of Central Commission

  • Elected by the Central Commission
  • Consists of 12 members
  • One representative of the signatories of Linas-Marcoussis Agreement [10]
  • One representative of the President
  • One representative of the President of the National Assembly
  • Term expires at the end of the general elections
  • Monitor and if necessary intervene

8. Organisation of elections

  • Role of the UN

9. Board of Director of the Ivorian Radio and TV [RTI]

  • Programmes must cover the whole national territory
  • Restore status to situation in December 2004
  • Decrees 2004-678, 2005-01 will be revoked
  • Soro in consultation with the Prime Minister will prevent a draft decree on the appointment of members of the Board of Directors
  • Ensure that this happens

10. Re-tabling of laws before the National Assembly [i.e. laws not in the letter and spirit of Linas Marcoussis]

  • Prime Minister to ensure that relevant ministers prepare texts to be adopted by the end of April
  • Ensure that this happens

11. Funding of political parties

  • Parties not in parliament will also be funded
  • Ensure that this happens

12. Eligibility to the Presidency [Article 35]

  • No consensus
  • Mediator will determine after consultations with the AU and UN
  • Done

13. Ongoing consultations

  • Rapprochement of political leaders important
  • They will keep in regular contact
  • Ensure that this happens
  • Need for national reconciliation after the elections
  • Work out options

14. Interpretation of Agreement

If any differences of interpretation the Mediator will be consulted.
Monitor all aspects re interpretation.

Sanctions

On 4 April 2005, the UN Security Council extended the mandate of the UNOCI/Licorne for a period of one month in order to determine the outcome of the Pretoria negotiations. We have to report to the Security Council on the 26th April 2005.

Africa's new challenges

Structures


¨ AU
¨ PAP
¨ Peace and Security Council
¨ African Standby Force
¨ Committee of the Wise
¨ Early Warning System
¨ SADC Organ dealing with politics and security
¨ South Africa is chairing

CONCLUSION

The new world order that is emerging is unsustainable. In the interests of humanity we must urgently strive to build an international movement to fight for a world of peace, democracy, freedom from poverty, non-racism and non-sexism.

We must address the concerns of the billions of people in the world who are marginalised.
We must seek the path of hope and solidarity, pursuing effective and constructive dialogue amongst peoples of the world based on mutual interests, benefits and a shared responsibility to the common issues that confronts humanity. This movement must indicate respect for international law and promote multilateralism as means to seeking consensus in the affairs of the world."


Issued by Ronnie Mamoepa on 082 990 4853.
Department of Foreign Affairs
Private Bag X152
Pretoria
0001


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