Notes following Briefing by Deputy Minister Aziz Pahad, Media
Centre Union Buildings, Pretoria, Tuesday, 21 November 2006
of cheque from SA government to UNHRC
Comments by Deputy Minister
· I am very happy to today hand over a cheque from the
South African government to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
(UNHCR) for their Return and Reintegration Programme for Sudan.
UNHCR is one of the UN agencies that is actively involved in conflict and post
· Since 2006, the UNHCR has focused its efforts
on facilitating the voluntary repatriation of refugees to Southern Sudan.
Over 12 000 Sudanese refugees have returned home through the UNHCR's organised
movements and about 100 000 have returned by their own means shortly before and
after the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement.
· South Sudan,
an area the size of western Europe, was gutted - its roads, schools, and hospitals
destroyed and much of its human talent killed or uprooted. Since the 2005 peace
agreement, the UNHCR has opened offices and actively promoted community-based
projects in areas of origin. But needs are enormous.
· The Sudanese
Minister of State for the Interior, Brig Aleu Ayieny Aleu, indicated that more
than 500 000 refugees would wish to return to Sudan. He stated that life was difficult
after 20 years in exile and the assistance provided to refugees was not enough.
This was causing many repatriated refugees to end up being internally displaced
(IDPs) in Juba or to make their way to Khartoum to inflate the more than 3 million
IDPs in Northern Sudan.
· Given South Africa's strategic bilateral
relations and extensive involvement in Sudan, as well as the fact that the Minister
is the Chairperson of the AU Post Conflict Reconstruction and Development Committee
on Sudan, it was decided that an amount of R1,5 million will be contributed to
the UNHCR for its Return and Reintegration Programme for Sudan. South Africa's
contribution to the Programme will help ensure the successful return and reintegration
of Sudanese refugees during the remainder of 2006.
Comments by UNHCR
Regional Representative Ebrima O Camara
· This is a very generous
and timely gesture.
· This is a programme involving major operations
and not one that has not faced difficulties.
· Of the overall projected
budget, only 50% has been raised.
· Meanwhile in the DRC, Central African
Republic, Kenya and Ethiopia, refugees have requested to be repatriated to Sudan.
The UNHRC really appreciates this gesture and the additional funding that will
assist us return some of the refugees to Sudan.
South Africa - Guinea
Conakry Joint Bilateral Commission
· South African Foreign Minister
Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma will co-chair, together with her counterpart from the
Republic of Guinea, Foreign Minister Mamady Conde, the inaugural session of the
South Africa - Guinea Joint Commission of Cooperation (JCC) at the Sheraton Hotel
in Pretoria scheduled from Thursday - Friday 23-24 November 2006.
It is quite clear that many parts of Africa that were previously not open to us
are becoming increasingly open to us.
· The South Africa - Guinea JCC
is expected to discuss and evaluate:
· The status of bilateral political
and economic relations between both countries;
· Opportunities for
co-operation with in the communications, transport, education, minerals and energy
and trade and industry sectors; and
· Other opportunities for the consolidation
of bilateral political and economic relations between both countries.
Significant opportunity exists for South Africa
to promote co-operation with Guinea in the agricultural and mining sectors. There
is a heavy concentration of mining activity in the Guinea. The country possesses
over 30% of the world's bauxite reserves and is the second-largest bauxite producer
Other forms of co-operation that may be explored would
focus on science and technology with the aim of assisting Guinea to improve its
agricultural and mining methods. At least 80% of Guinea's labour work force are
engaged in agriculture, mostly subsistence.
Some major companies involved
in Guinea Conakry include South African mining companies such as Randgold, De
Beers, Billiton and Anglo-Gold Ashanti
South African exports to Guinea
Values (R million)
2003 : R333 million
2004 : R282 million
: R236 million
South African imports from Guinea
Values (R million)
2003 : R5 million
2004 : R10 million
Deputy Minister Pahad to hold discussions with Venezuelan
· I will hold bilateral political and economic discussions
with myVenezuelan counterpart Vice Foreign Minister Professor Reinaldo Bolivar
at the Union Buildings on Thursday 23 November 2006.
· As you know,
Venezuela has been very prominent in the headlines especially since it was discovered
that it has one of the world's biggest oil reserves and that it would like to
use these reserves to benefit the African agenda.
· Issues on the agenda
of discussions between Deputy Minister Pahad and Vice Minister Bolivar are expected
to include, among others:
· The status of bilateral political and
economic relations between both countries;
· Developments within Latin
America - Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua - we will seek a better understanding of
how developments in this region contribute to African dynamics. This will also
have a bearing on a very important Summit that will be hosted in Abuja next week
- the Africa - Latin America Summit.
· I will also brief my counterpart
on African issues
· As you also know, after 47 votes Venezuela was
not elected to the UN Security Council Non-Permanent Seat. We will therefore discuss
the position that South Africa will assume on 1 January 2007 and how we can co-operate
better in the forum.
· We will also discuss greater private sector
involvement in the respective countries.
Africa - South America Summit
South African President Thabo Mbeki, will attend the inaugural Africa - South
America Summit in Abuja, Nigeria on Thursday 30 November 2006.
Summit will be preceded by a Ministerial meeting to which I will lead the South
· The Summit will provide an excellent opportunity
for discussion seeing that both continents are at very crucial stages of their
· Accordingly, the Summit provides a good opportunity for
both continents to reach a clear understanding of areas of common interest and
prospects for co-operation and enhanced collaboration to foster a stronger strategic
partnership on a South-South axis that would provide the context for consolidating
and invigorating relations.
· South America is also making a great effort
to move away from the legacy of poverty and underdevelopment.
to the Summit will therefore discuss political, economic, social, people-to-people
and cultural co-operation.
· The decision to convene this Summit was
adopted at the African Union Summit held in Khartoum, Sudan in January 2006 on
the Africa-Diaspora process and reiterated at the Summit in Banjul, the Gambia
in July 2006.
· The agenda for discussions is expected to be very wide
· Peace and security;
· Democracy, governance,
human rights and other political issues;
· Agriculture and agribusiness,
water resources and the environment;
· Trade and investment between
both continents including market access, investment projects and financial resources;
· The fight against poverty and underdevelopment;
· Energy and social materials;
· Social and
cultural co-operation, tourism and sports;
· Health and education;
· Science, technology and ICT; and
· Co-operation in multilateral
· We will also discuss how to expand the SADC-Mercosaur agreement
to the rest of South America.
· South America is extensively engaged
in the fight against poverty and underdevelopment and will have lessons to be
shared with Africa.
· The issue of the diaspora is also very important
- many Africans now live in South America.
· Many South American countries
also have expertise in Science and Technology and can again share their experiences
· South Africa is also in a very unique position in that
it is part of the India-Brazil-South Africa (IBSA) Forum that is working at consolidating
South South co-operation. In this regard, we can now, through this Summit work
harder at making South South co-operation a reality.
· South African President Thabo Mbeki will host the
Canadian Governor-General Michaëlle Jean on her first State Visit to South
Africa in scheduled from Friday - Friday, 1-8 December 2006. While in South Africa
the Governor-General will visit Pretoria, Johannesburg and Cape Town.
The Governor-General's visit to South Africa will follow visits to Algeria, Mali,
Ghana and the last leg of her African tour will be a visit to Morocco.
Issues on the agenda for discussion at the Union Buildings on Tuesday, 5 December
2006, are expected to include, among others:
· The status of bilateral
political and economic relations between both countries;
· The operationalisation
of the institutions of the African Union and the implementation of NEPAD seeing
that Canada has strongly supported that both these issues be included on the agenda
of the G-8;
· Conflict resolution and peacekeeping in Africa; and
Other issues of multilateral importance including the need to restore the centrality
of multilateralism and the comprehensive reform of the United Nations and South
Africa's objectives during its tenure as an elected member of the United Nations
Security Council 2007-2008.
· South Africa-Canada relations have
grown exponentially since President Mbeki's State Visit in 2003, during which
a Declaration of Intent aimed at closer political and developmental co-operation
was signed. Canada's development co-operation programme in South Africa and Africa
is facilitated through the Canada International Development Agency (CIDA), and
investments in South Africa and the continent are heavily tilted towards the mining
· In the area of ODA, three Declarations of Intent were signed
in the fields of Health, Rural Development and Good Governance. Other areas which
show potential for growth include tourism, air services and agriculture.
The Canada Fund for Africa was established as a direct response to the NEPAD,
while the Canada International Development Agency (CIDA) continues to provide
technical and financial support for a variety of projects in Africa aimed at social
upliftment, capacity building and rural development. Canada has contributed towards
peacekeeping, reconstruction and development in various conflict areas in Africa,
including the Sudan, Ivory Coast, Uganda, Sierra Leone, and also in Haiti and
· South Africa is Canada's leading trading partner in
Africa, although there is scope to grow bilateral trade. Canadian investments
in South Africa are mainly geared toward the mining sector, with 17 Canadian exploration
and mining companies active in South Africa, representing capital assets of Can$1.4
· Bilateral trade is largely linked to the mining sector,
with the bulk of South Africa's exports to Canada comprising mineral products,
base metals, prepared foodstuffs and vegetable products. Major imports comprise
of machinery and mechanical appliances, vehicles, aircraft, dairy and vegetable
products, vessels and associated component and mineral products. Bilateral trade
amounts to around R4 billion per annum. Base metals and mineral products constitute
about 57.60% of South Africa's total exports to Canada. The Department of Trade
and Industry has identified food and beverage, ICT, the film and mining industries
as sectors to be earmarked for diversification of trade with Canada.
Trade (R'000 current prices)
bbbb2001 hhh h2002
1,531,845 1,527,419 1,809,541 1,596,343 2,345,792 2,238,315
1,734,297 1,515,062 2,423,047 2,060,431 2,021,875 2,454,038
202,452 12,357 -613,506 -464,088 323,917 -215,723
Customs & Excise
· The visit is very welcome and comes at a very
appropriate time where we will be able to begin preparing to the 2007 G-8 Summit.
· Since the adoption of UN Resolution 1721 (2006) on
the situation in Côte d'Ivoire there have been certain developments in Côte
d'Ivoire - tensions are not running very high but there are differences in interpretations.
In terms of article 25 of the UNSC Resolution 1721, the International Working
Group was identified as the guarantor and impartial arbitrator of the peace process
in Côte d'Ivoire.
· The IWG is therefore tasked to:
Establish as soon as possible, in liaison with the Prime Minister, a precise timetable
for the implementation of the main components of the roadmap
monitor and follow up closely the progress achieved in implementing the road map
on a monthly basis, report to the United Nations Security council, through the
Secretary-General, on is assessment of the progress achieved and on any obstacles
encountered by the Prime Minister in carrying out his mandate given to him in
terms of paragraph 7 of the resolution.
· Submit, as appropriate, to
all the Ivorian parties concerned and to the Council, any recommendations it deems
· As you know, South Africa is no longer the mediator but
we will continue to participate in the International Working Group and will attempt
to make a positive contribution where necessary.
Progress since the signing of the Comprehensive Ceasefire Agreement between the
Government of Sudan and the Paliphehutu-FNL remains stalled.
· The government
is finalizing the immunity decree which will make it possible for the FNL to participate
in the established Joint Verification and Monitoring Mechanism (JVMM).
The government has also agreed to release the leaders of the Paliphehutu-FNL who
are listed as the party's representatives to the JVMM.
· In addition,
the government has agreed to the establishment immediately of a committee that
will oversee the release of all political prisoners.
· This should now
make it possible for the Paliphehutu-FNL to return to Burundi.
the 9th November 2006 Ambassador Kingsley Mamabolog addressed the AU Peace and
Security Council to seek the deployment of an AU protection force.
The Council, at its 65th meeting adopted the following decision regarding the
implementation of the Comprehensive Ceasefire Agreement of 7 September 2006:
Welcomes the progress made in the peace process in Burundi, particularly the signing
of the Comprehensive Ceasefire Agreement between the Government of Burundi and
the Paliphehutu-FNL of Agathon Rwasa on 7 September 2006 in Dar-es-Salaam
Welcomes the measures already taken by the Chairperson of the Commission with
a view to facilitating the implementation of the Comprehensive Ceasefire Agreement,
particularly the designation of military officers to represent the AU in the Joint
Verification and Monitoring Mechanism (JVMM), and requests him to speed up the
deployment of AU military observers to work in the Joint Liaison Teams provided
for by the Comprehensive Ceasefire Agreement
· Takes note of the provisions
of the Comprehensive Ceasefire Agreement requesting the African Union to establish
a Special Task Force for the protection of the leaders and combatants of the Paliphehutu-FN:
of Agathon Rwasa, as well as their movement to the assembly areas and of the request
by the Government of Burundi for the AU to take the necessary measures to ensure
the security of leaders of the Paliphehutu-FNL as well as the safety of the corridors
through which they will pass.
· Approves the establishment of the Special
Task Force as provided for in the Comprehensive Ceasefire Agreement. Council welcomes
the willingness expressed by South Africa to contribute to the establishment of
the Special Task Force and requests the Chairperson of the Commission, to submit
as soon as possible, proposals on the modalities for the establishment of the
Special Task Force. In the meantime Council requests the Chairperson of the Commission
and the Facilitator, in consultation with the parties to take appropriate measures
to consolidate the progress made with the signing of the Comprehensive Ceasefire
Agreement, including the immediate deployment by South Africa, of forces that
shall assist in the implementation of the Comprehensive Ceasefire Agreement as
part of the envisaged Special Task Force.
· Appeals to the United Nations,
the European Union and other partners of the African Union to provide the necessary
support and assistance for the implementation of the Agreement.
South Africa will make troops available in this regard. A visit was undertaken
by the SANDF on 23 October 2006 to determine the needs of Burundi, as well as
to establish a time frame within which assistance may be rendered. During the
visit Brigadier-General ME Phako was appointed to oversee the Office of the Facilitator
in Burundi, assisted by additional officers to direct logistical arrangements
for the arrival of the Paliphehutu-FNL in Burundi. These arrangements also include
safe passage of Paliphehutu-FNL combatants to assembly points and cantonment areas.
The combatants require static and mobile VIP protection and in this regard, the
South African contingent of the UNOB force will be dehatted and officially resort
under the AU. The AU Peace and Security Commission for Addis Ababa will finalise
legal instruments required for the establishment of the AU Protection Force, in
consultation with the Facilitator.
· The Facilitator has met with the
governments of Burundi and Tanzania to discuss areas of cantonment and assembly
points, registration of combatants and their food provision.
· The Facilitator
was joined by representatives of the United Nations, African Union and other donor
organizations that will assist with providing food, healthcare and securing the
welfare of the combatants.
· The United Nations
Emergency Relief Co-ordinator has indicated that the number of people in need
of aid to survive in Darfur has surged by hundreds of thousands to 4 million in
just the past six months.
· Fighting has killed more than 200 000 and
uprooted over 2 million more in the last three years.
· Those depending
on humanitarian aid for survival amounts to over 3 million.
· Jan Egeland,
Under-Secretary-General for humanitarian affairs, has noted that there was enough
guilt on all sides for him to not single out any one party. He called on all parties
to end the hostilities and seize the opportunity offered by last week's agreement
between Sudan's government, the UN and the African Union for a hybrid UN-AU operation
· The UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) on 20th November 2006 reported
several instances of forcible seizure and looting of UN and non-governmental organisation
vehicles and equipment.
· The UN has decided to investigate these killings
and we hope it will be done soonest.
· On the 10th November 2006 the
Secretary-General of the United Nations and the Chairperson of the African Union
Commission co-chaired a meeting of the five permanent members of the Security
Council and a number of African countries.
· The group considered three
· The requirement to reenergise the peace process
Establishing a strengthened ceasefire
· The way forward for the peacekeeping
· The group concluded the following:
The DPA is the only basis for this process and should not be re-negotiated
The political process should be all-inclusive
· The AU remains the lead
actor in the process of implementing the DPA
· Concerns regarding
the DPA and its implementation
· The DPA is not sufficiently
inclusive. A number of parties remain outside its framework
· The DPA
has not been sufficiently popularised in Darfur and that has led to opposition
to the Agreement amongst Darfurians.
· Fragmentation of the non-signatories
has led to fighting between them
· Regional dimension of conflict has
sometimes complicated the search for a solution
· The slow pace of implementation
of the DPA remains a serious concern
· Proposals to address the
· The various initiatives must be brought under one
umbrella and the AU and UN are best-placed to lead a credible process
The Parties, including the non-signatories in particular, must engage in the process
with the necessary commitment and willingness to compromise. The international
community must do all it can do to ensure this.
· The next step is for
the UN and AU to call a meeting for the non-signatories
· A strengthened
· The Ceasefire Working Group welcomes the Government
of Sudan's renewed commitment to the political process.
· It is imperative
that the African Union have a forum through which it can hold all parties accountable
for ceasefire violations in Darfur.
· With the public declaration to
cease all hostilities from all parties, the AU will be able to go one step further
and facilitate direct talks between the Government of Sudan and non-signatories
to ensure that there is no impunity for violence in Darfur.
to the DPA does not give non-signatories the right to continue fighting.
The international community stands ready to take measures against any of the parties
who remain outside the political process and breach their ceasefire obligations.
· The way forward in peacekeeping
· All participants
agreed on the need to enhance the AMIS capacity urgently
· UN Support
· The aim of the support package is to assist AMIS in the
implementation of the DPA
· The Light Support Package (phase 1) is currently
being implemented in full co-operation with the government of Sudan. It also agreed
that the Heavy Support Package (Phase 2) will be taken forward and that the existing
tri-partite (UN-AU-Government of Sudan) mechanism established would facilitate
implementation of the Heavy Package for phase 2. A hybrid operation (phase 3)
is also agreed in principle, pending clarification of the size of the force.
Requirements of the peacekeeping force
· It must be logistically
and financially sustainable. This support must come from the UN. The UN Should
provide funding for the peacekeeping operation in Darfur, pending clarification
of the force size.
· The peacekeeping force will have a predominantly
African character. The troops should, as far as possible, be sourced from African
countries. Backstopping and command and control structures will be provided by
· The strength of the peacekeeping force should be 17000 and
3000 police. However, the Government of Sudan representative indicated that he
would need to consult with his government on this figure.
It is within this
context that President Mbeki will hold discussions with Vice President of the
Sudan and President of Southern Sudan Salva Kiir Mayardit in his capacity as the
President of the GOSS for political and economic discussions at the Union Buildings
President Kirr will be accompanied by the Minister of Regional
Co-operation Dr Barnaba Marial Benjamin, Minister of Labour, Public Service and
Human Resource Development David Deng Athorbei, Minister of Information and Broadcasting
Dr Samson Lukare Kwaje, Minister of Education Dr Michael Milli Hussein, Minister
of Trade and Commerce Anthony Lino Makana, Minister of Telecommunications and
Postal Services Gier Chuang Aluong, Minister of Industry and Mining Albino Akol
Akol and other senior officials.
President Mbeki's discussions with Lt Gen
Salva Kiir Mayardit come within the context of South Africa's commitment to consolidate
the African agenda through, among others, the promotion of post-conflict reconstruction
and development initiatives. In this regard, South Africa is chair of the African
Union Post Conflict and Reconstruction Committee on the Sudan.
on the agenda of President's Mbeki and Kiir are expected to include, among others:
The implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement;
· Post conflict
reconstruction and development initiatives within the context of the April 2005
Oslo Pledging conference and Capacity and Institution Building Project for Southern
· The situation in Darfur; and
· The situation with
regard to the expiration of the mandate of the African Union Mission in Sudan
(AMIS) on 31 December 2006.
Democratic Republic of Congo
by the leader of the Mission, Mr MLULEKI GEORGE, Deputy Minister of Defence, on
the Democratic Republic of Congo's 29 October 2006 2ND round presidential elections
and provincial elections
PRETORIA, 21 NOVEMBER 2006
It is my pleasure, as the leader of the South African Observer Mission (SAOM),
to release the Mission's final statement on the 29 October 2006 Democratic Republic
of Congo's presidential runoff and provincial elections. This statement covers
the period from 13 October until the official announcement of the provisional
presidential election results, 15 November 2006. We do note though that the final
presidential results have yet to be verified by the country's Supreme Court. We
further note that the capturing of the provincial election results is still to
At the invitation of the Independent Electoral Commission
(CEI) of the DRC, and considering the importance of these elections and South
Africa's heavy involvement in the peace and transitional process in the DRC, South
Africa decided to deploy a 108-member observer mission to observe the second round
of the presidential runoff and provincial elections. This Mission is, by far,
the largest electoral observer team ever deployed by South Africa. In these elections,
the SAOM was the largest observer mission from an individual country.
SAOM was multi-sectoral in its composition, consisting of Members of Parliament,
government officials and civil society organisations. South Africa's deployment
of the Observer Mission comes within the context of her principled commitment
to the African renewal, peace, security and development on the continent.
main contingent of the SAOM arrived in the DRC on 22 October 2006 while a few
observers had arrived on 11 October 2006. The South African observers were deployed
in all eleven provinces of the DRC with an average of three teams in each province.
The deployment in all the eleven provinces provided the Mission with a general
sense of what was taking place in the country and thus enabled the Mission to
comment confidently on these elections. The last group of the South African observers
returned to South Africa on 10 November having observed the last stages of the
The SAOM conducted its observation according to the
Principles for Election Management, Monitoring and Observation in the Southern
African Development Community (SADC) together with other internationally accepted
election observation guidelines.
The Mission was weary of the security situation
in the country after the violent clashes that followed the announcement of the
first round presidential results. However, the agreements signed between the two
presidential candidates, President Kabila and Vice-President Bemba helped to diffuse
the tense situation following the August clashes.
Under very difficult conditions,
logistical challenges and limited resources, the DRC has, once again, managed
to organise successful elections.
The SAOM notes the official release of
the provisional presidential election results showing President Joseph Kabila
winning the elections by 58, 05% against Vice President Bemba's 41, 95%.
SAOM concludes that 29 October 2006 presidential runoff and provincial elections
were conducted in a climate conducive for a democratic expression of the will
of the people of the DRC and therefore calls on all Congolese to accept the outcome
of the elections. The Mission notes that Vice President Bemba has made a submission
to the Supreme Court challenging the results. The Mission would then expect Vice
President Bemba and his supporters to abide by the decision of the Supreme Court
as and when such a decision is made on the results.
The SAOM notes with
great appreciation the calm manner in which the ordinary Congolese seem to have
welcomed the release of the provisional presidential election results. The SAOM
believes that the people of Congo have suffered enough over the years and deserve
peace and stability in their motherland.
2. ELECTION PROCESS
second round of the presidential elections in the DRC was organised as per Article
71 of the country's new constitution and Article 114 of the electoral law which
stipulate that should there be no clear winner with 51% of the votes on the 1st
round of presidential elections, a second round should be organised between the
top two presidential candidates.
The election campaign process proceeded
in a relatively peaceful environment. Political parties were able to conduct their
election campaigns without interference and intimidation. Political rallies were
well attended and in most cases went without incident. However, the SAOM noted
with regret that lives were lost during isolated incidents of violence. While
this was tragic, the election campaigns, in general, proceeded peacefully.
African observers noted that the voters' roll was made available at the polling
centres for inspection. Before the Election Day, many voters took advantage of
this and went to check their names on the roll. The SAOM noted that voters whose
names did not appear on the roll were assisted by the CEI. Those who lost their
voting cards were issued with duplicate cards.
Under very difficult conditions,
logistical challenges and limited resources, the CEI staff members displayed a
high degree of professionalism, independence and impartiality. The CEI remarkably
managed to deliver the election material at all polling stations in this vast
country, almost the size of Western Europe.
The SAOM noted the important
contribution of the international community in assisting the CEI organise and
prepare for these elections.
Freedom of expression remains one of the
critical tools used as a yardstick to measure a country's adherence to principles
of good governance. The election process in the DRC received extensive coverage
in the country's media. The High Media Authority, in consultation with the CEI,
was to a greater extent able to ensure that the media adhered to the code of conduct.
Civic and voter education form a critical part in creating an environment
conducive to holding credible and democratic elections. According to the Electoral
Law, the CEI is responsible for the implementation and coordination of voter and
civic education campaigns.
The SAOM noted evidence of an effective voter
education campaign conducted in a multi-faceted fashion which drew in governmental,
non-governmental and political parties' resources and networks. The SAOM noted
the important role played by radio in the education programmes. This helped many
people who do not have access to televisions and newspapers. The Mission noted
that the electorate was reasonably informed and had a good sense of where their
polling stations would be located and how to vote.
The SAOM commends CEI,
political parties, civil society and non-governmental organisations that conducted
voter education. Civic education plays an important role in raising public awareness,
confidence and legitimacy of the electoral process.
3. Election Day
the Election Day, voting took place in all eleven provinces in about 50 000 polling
stations. The majority of the voting stations opened on time with a few exceptions
where they could not open due to a number of problems including heavy rains, lack
of electricity and late delivery of election material. In general, voting proceeded
smoothly in the presence of party agents and observers both national and international.
Even where the polling stations did not open on time, the voting process, as required
by the electoral law, was allowed to continue beyond the stipulated time to make
up for the late start.
The SAOM did not observe any major incidents of irregularities
with the voting process, except a few minor incidents. On the contrary, Election
Day was marked by a general atmosphere of calm. Voters patiently stood in queues
waiting to cast their votes.
The SAOM, however, noted a few incidents of
violence in Bumba in the Equateur Province where two people were reported to have
died following clashes between supporters of two political parties. This resulted
in the suspension of voting in the area. Voting in this area was successfully
conducted on 31 October 2006. The SAOM noted that appropriate security measures
were put in place to ensure that voting in the affected area took place in a conducive
environment. The Mission further noted that the political parties involved had
called on their supporters to behave and to remain calm.
The Mission also
noted with great concern an incident at Fataki in Ituri District where two CEI
staff members were reported to have been killed and eight people injured. A re-vote
had to be organised in the area and was conducted on 2 November. The Mission noted
that action was immediately taken against those involved.
The SAOM views
these incidents in a serious light and regrets the loss of life. These isolated
incidents, regrettable as they were, did not have material effect on the conduct
of the elections.
The Mission commends CEI for the professional and impartial
manner in which it conducted and managed these elections, thereby creating space
for voters to express their choices freely and without fear of intimidation. The
SAOM noted that electoral officers seemed better prepared and mastered the voting
and counting procedures obviously benefited from the experience of the 1st round
The results compilation and verification process was remarkably
transparent. Party agents representing political parties and independent candidates
were present all the time. National and international observers were allowed to
observe and monitor the process. Journalists were given unrestricted access to
the compilation centres. Some used media-recording devices such as video cameras
to record the process.
It is the view of the Mission that the unrestricted
access and openness of the process at the results centres indicated a high level
The Mission is of the view that this unrestricted access
by the media, party agents and observers assisted in improving the confidence
and legitimacy in the process.
The SAOM commends the South African Independent
Electoral Commission for deploying its experts throughout the country to assist
its DRC sister Commission to organise these historic elections.
notes the important contribution of the international community, particularly
MONUC, in assisting CEI conduct these elections.
The Mission further commends
the national police (PNC) for securing the elections and promptly intervened when
The SAOM commends the two presidential candidates for signing
a Joint Appeal and Declaration committing themselves to peaceful electoral process
and accepting the results of the elections.
SAOM wishes to thank CEI and the people of the DRC for the opportunity afforded
to South Africa to observe these historic elections.
The SAOM observed
that during these elections the people of the DRC were provided with a platform
to freely elect representatives of their choice. Voting took place in a reasonably
peaceful environment and electoral officers performed their tasks impartially
The SAOM applauds the people of Congo for turning up
in large numbers to democratically elect their leaders thus demonstrating their
quest for peace, national independence, national unity and reconciliation, democracy,
human rights and development.
The SAOM commends the candidates in the presidential
runoff for observing the electoral code of conduct and encouraging their supporters
and coalition partners to adhere to this code.
The SAOM is optimistic that
the two candidates and their supporters will honour the recent agreements entered
into in the interest of taking the country forward to sustainable peace, stability
and economic development. By these agreements, the two candidates committed themselves
to a peaceful electoral process and most importantly to accepting the outcome
of the elections.
The SAOM further calls on the international community
to continue to support the people of Congo as they embark on post election reconstruction
The SAOM concludes that the DRC's presidential and provincial
elections were democratic, peaceful, credible and remarkably transparent. The
Mission is of the view that space was created for the people of the DRC to freely
choose their representative leaders.
The SAOM thus calls on the people
of Congo to accept the outcome of the elections. The Mission notes that Vice President
Bemba has made a submission to the Supreme Court challenging the results. The
Mission would then expect Vice President Bemba and his supporters to abide by
the decision of the Supreme Court as and when such a decision is made on the results.
The Mission further calls on the Congolese political leadership to work together
as they begin to deal with huge challenges that face the country.
believes that through these elections, the DRC has opened a new chapter in its
history and it has been a privilege to have been part of this new beginning. South
Africa, for about ten years, has had the opportunity to work in solidarity with
the people of Congo to restore peace, national unity and democracy to this great
country. Guided by her commitment to the African renewal, peace, security and
development, South Africa will continue to travel with the people of Congo as
they embark on a new road, a road to peace, economic development and prosperity.
May this great nation of Congo experience peace and prosperity.
you very much.
· This is one situation that
doesn't seem to get any better.
· The Security Council considered the
Arab draft resolution on 11 November 2006, however the draft was not adopted as
the United States vetoed its adoption.
· The Arab Group decided to request
the President of the General Assembly to reconvene the Tenth Emergency Special
Session of the General Assembly to consider this issue.
· The Uniting
for Peace resolution states that in the event that the UN Security Council, "because
of lack of unanimity of the permanent members, fails to exercise its primary responsibility
for the maintenance of international peace and security in any case where there
appears to be a threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression,
the General Assembly shall consider the matter immediately with a view to making
appropriate recommendations to Members for collective measures, including in the
case of a breach of the peace or act of aggression the use of armed force when
necessary, to maintain or restore international peace and security.
The President of the General Assembly decided to hold the Emergency Special Session
on Friday 17 November 2006. The Arab Group presented a resolution for the GA to
consider the resolution based on the resolution that was vetoed in the Security
Council. The Arab Group had negotiated with the European Union on the draft resolution.
The Agreement was reached with the EU on the text and all EU members agreed to
vote for the text.
Expressed grave concern at
the continued deterioration of the situation on the ground in the Palestinian
Territory occupied by Israel since 1967 during the recent period, particularly
as a result of the use of force by Israel, the occupying Power, which has caused
extensive loss of civilian Palestinian life and injuries including among children
Deeply deploring also the firing of rockets from Gaza into
Emphasizing the importance of the safety and well-being of all
civilians and condemning all attacks against civilians on both sides and stressing
that the parties must respect their obligations, including by putting an end to
Calls upon Israel, the occupying Power, to immediately cease its
military operations that endanger the Palestinian civilian population in the Occupied
Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and to immediately withdraw its
forces from within the Gaza Strip to positions held prior to 28 June 2006.
for the immediate cessation of military operations and all acts of violence, terror,
provocation, incitement and destruction between the Israeli and Palestinian sides,
including extrajudicial executions, bombardment against Palestinian civilian areas,
air raids and firing of rockets, as was agreed in Sharm-el-Sheikh understandings
of 8 February 2005
Requests the Secretary-General to establish a fact-finding
mission on the attack that took place in Beit Hanoun on 8 November 2006 and to
report thereon to the General Assembly within 30 days
Calls upon Israel,
the occupying Power, to scrupulously abide by its obligations and responsibilities
under the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in
Time of War, of 12 August 1949, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including
Calls upon the Quartet together with the international community,
to take immediate steps to stabilise the situation and restart the peace process,
including through the possible establishment of an international mechanism for
the protection of civilian populations
The General Assembly thereafter voted
on the resolution tabled by Qatar: 156 countries voted for the resolution, including
all members of the EU, while 7 countries opposed it (United States, Israel, Australia,
the Marshall Island, Micronesia, Nauru and Palau), 6 member states abstained (Canada,
Cote d'Ivoire, Papua New Guinea, Tuvalu, Tonga, Vanatu)
and Italy agreed on Thursday 16 November 2006 to join Spain in launching a new
initiative to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict based on a proposal that
is due to presented to the European Union leaders by Spanish Prime Minister.
The Spanish Prime Minister said that peace in the Middle East, "by large
measure means peace internationally, stability and security for the world."
The Spanish Prime Minister indicated that there needs to be an immediate end to
all violence, including terrorism, and for a new government of national unity
to be formed in Palestine that is recognised by the international community.
Question Deputy Minister Pahad, regarding Sudan - the
United States has set up a deadline for Sudan to accept the UN-AU Force by January
2007, without which it will adopt plan B - what is the position on the South African
government on this matter?
Answer This is a process that must
be driven by a partnership. The African Union is currently supported by the UN
and the EU. There is no way that UN troops will be allowed in Darfur without an
agreement from the host country. If not, a very dangerous precedent will be set.
However, I also do not know of any plan B.
Question Deputy Minister,
what is South Africa's position with regard to the technical assistance requested
from Iran in response to the IAEA yesterday?
Answer This matter
must be discussed holistically. I will deal with it in my next briefing.
Deputy Minister Pahad, what is the number of South African troops in Burundi that
will join the Protection Force?
Answer I am not sure of the exact
number at this stage - this will be determined by the military personnel currently
in Burundi who have been deployed to facilitate the establishment of this force.
Clearly, if all our troops are needed, it should not in principle be a problem
for them to join the Force since they would have been withdrawn from Burundi anyway.
Deputy Minister Pahad, what is your comment to the suggestion from a French judge
that President Kagame stand trial for war crimes?
Answer I have
not seen such a statement - however, President Kagame accuses the French of being
complicant in the genocide, the French are now calling for him to face the International
Criminal Court. There is a book that is now detailing the evidence that Western
governments knew of the genocide yet did nothing to prevent it.
be wary of how we deal with such matters since the area is now being stabilized.
But I also need to have more information in this regard.
Minister Pahad, what is the position of the South African government on the weekend
elections in Mauritania?
Answer It seems that everything went
smoothly. And again it is evidence of a growing mood on the continent of multiparty,
We will make some mistakes but we are moving towards
a new reality of free and fair elections.
Question Deputy Minister Pahad,
do you have any comments on the scheduled elections in Madagascar considering
events of the weekend?
Answer We were concerned but have been
informed by our Embassy that things are calm and that preparations towards elections
are proceeding smoothly.
We have been asked to provide some assist - the
Defence Force helicopters were dispatched today to provide assistance with the
distribution of ballot papers. We will still have to decide whether to deploy
an observer mission.
Issued by Department of Foreign Affairs
21 November 2006