14 October, 2013

Armoured Vehicles for Sale

by Virgil Hawkins

The SACCPS was recently contacted (via Facebook message) by an armoured vehicle manufacturer. The corporation offered us (at “very competitive” prices) a large selection of armoured vehicles from which to choose, ranging from fortified sedans with bulletproof glass, to the more heavy-duty military and tactical vehicles, including armoured personnel carriers complete with turrets for machine guns and rocket launchers.

According to their message, the manufacturer has supplied thousands of such vehicles to governments and their armed forces, as well as to security consultants and contractors, among other entities. They offered to arrange a visit to their office and armouring facility to see first hand their product line, capabilities and services.

Some of the products on offer

We can only assume that this was a rather clumsy attempt at targeted advertising. The word 'Security' from the Southern African Centre for Collaboration on Peace and Security (SACCPS) must have been picked up in their searches for potential clients – those who are involved in a direct way in the hands-on 'security' sector, the one that requires actual offensive and defensive capabilities.

Admittedly, the corporation was not offering to sell us guns or explosives, and the majority of the vehicles on offer could be considered to be primarily defensive in nature – their ability to resist small arms fire and explosions and move at speed away from dangerous situations being their greatest sales point. It should also be noted that such vehicles are also used by peacekeeping forces to deter and prevent violence and the threat thereof.

By the same token, one can easily imagine other, less positive, potential uses for their military and tactical vehicles – particularly those equipped with turrets to attach machine guns and rocket launchers. Such vehicles have, in many instances, served national security forces and private military companies, for example, in the violent suppression of peaceful protest, and other forms of human rights violations.

Unfortunately for the armoured vehicle manufacturer, we are in fact a network of researchers and practitioners collaborating, primarily through analysis and the use of the spoken and written word, to promote peace. As such, we will not be placing any orders for their products, or 'liking' them on Facebook. But being directly contacted by such a corporation was a reminder of just how close and active the arms industry is.

12 October, 2013

The SADC Holds a Peaceful Solution to the Malawi-Tanzania Boundary Dispute

by Ackson M. Kanduza

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) has at least two approaches to re-enforce assertions of Malawi and Tanzania that there will be no war between them in resolving injustice of a boundary established by the Anglo-German Treaty of July 1890. The first of these approaches is that contained in a document from research of Professor Jon Martin Trondalen and SADC published in 2011. The document advocates promoting peace in the SADC region through cooperation in managing transboundary water resources. That model applies to management of other resources, besides water. It should be acknowledged that this is a contentious point in the light of the fact that the northern part of Lake Malawi is entirely in Malawi. This is despite Tanzania’s long history of rejecting this fact by sustaining the name Lake Nyasa. SADC began to develop the second approach in 1995, and became a formal policy for integration and building peace in 2006 and developing regional integration. This is the Corridor Development strategy. This approach facilitates cooperation among neighbouring states in developing and utilising resources along territorial boundaries. While Tanzania does not own any part of Lake Malawi according to the Anglo-Germany Treaty of 1890, Tanzania is a riparian state that deserves to benefit from the resources of Lake Malawi. Jakaya Kikwete, President of Tanzania, argued strongly at the end of August 2012 that on grounds and traditions of equity, Tanzanians living east of the shoreline boundary of the two countries deserved to benefit from resources and future developments on Lake Malawi. The livelihoods of Tanzanians along Lake Malawi are intricately connected to the Lake. In recognition of this, and with all what SADC and pan-Africanism have achieved in post-colonial Africa, the Malawian President, Joyce Banda, echoed the assertion of her Tanzanian counterpart that no single bullet would be fired in making peace and promoting equitable use of resources in the northern part of Lake Malawi. This seeming rapprochement would be easy to understand from a brief historical account of the sources of divergent and conflicting views on the boundary between Malawi and Tanzania.

Photo by Oil in Uganda

The boundary dispute between Malawi and Tanzania resurfaced in July 2012 after a lull since 1968. In October 1969 the British Prime Minister, Harold Wilson, settled the dispute in a reply to President Julius Nyerere. Using documented evidence from The British National Archives, Wilson informed Nyerere that the Anglo-Germany Treaty of 1st July 1890 determined the boundary between Germany East Africa (Tanzania since April 1964) and the British Central African Protectorate (Malawi since July 1964).The mandate given to Britain by the League of Nations following the defeat of Germany at the end of the First World War consolidated the legal boundary and pragmatic experiences because, as a single colonial power in Malawi and Tanzania, it was easy for Britain to administer the shoreline on the eastern side of Lake Malawi as the boundary. Yet, Britain blundered in 1953 when creating the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland by putting a boundary between the Nyasaland Protectorate and Tanganyika on the Lake Malawi Thlaweg as shown in the map above. The error was corrected in 1959; the eastern shoreline was affirmed again as the boundary between colonial Malawi and colonial Tanzania. The protocol establishing the Organisation for African Union (that became African Union in 2004) in May 1963, declared that boundaries African countries inherited at the end of colonial rule would be accepted and respected by all independent African countries. When Julius Nyerere understood and accepted these historical changes, he informed the Tanzanian Parliament that not a single drop of water in Lake Malawi (officially Lake Nyasa in Tanzania) belonged to Tanzania.

These historical developments constitute the basis of the assertion of President Kikwete that only consideration of equitable use of boundary resources gives Tanzania moral claims to resources in Lake Malawi. The justification through equity includes oil that is anticipated to be found by the British firm, Surestream. Kikwete was a voice of thousands, if not millions, of ordinary Tanzanians who have depended on Lake Malawi for a long time. Yet, Tanzania can neither defend the current socio-economic interests nor secure future ambitions of ordinary Tanzanians along the lake. What is required is good leadership in Malawi, Tanzania and beyond. SADC has an opportunity to show collective leadership through implementation of values of cooperation on transboundary resources. There is no doubt that private-public partnerships and key players such as China and the European Union will not miss opportunities of globalisation. SADC has the experience and means to build peace that will benefit ordinary Malawians and Tanzanians.

Ackson M. Kanduza is a professor at Zambian Open University, Lusaka, Zambia. Email makanduza@yahoo.com

09 October, 2013

South Africa and Global Terrorism

by Hussein Solomon

Whilst Kenya reels in the aftermath of the Al Shabab terrorist attack on Nairobi’s Westgate Shopping Mall which left almost 70 people there, thousands of miles away South Africa is in an introspective mood and well should it be. After all, one of the alleged masterminds of the Nairobi terror attack was British-born Samantha Lewthwaite who spent time in South Africa between 2008 and 2011.

Her fraudulently acquired South African passport was found in a raid on her residence in Mombasa, Kenya. She was dubbed as the “White Widow” by the local media since she is the widow of Jermaine Lindsay - one of the London 7 July 2005 bombers. It should be noted that Lewthwaite occupies a pivotal role within both Al Qaeda and Somalia’s Al Shabab terror groups. Whilst South African authorities focused much of their attention on Lewthwaite herself, more disturbing according to British media reports is that whilst she lived in Johannesburg, she set up a terror network which spanned the United Kingdom, South Africa and Pakistan. Far from merely focusing on the individual who has since left the country, South Africa’s security forces should be spending more time on the network itself. Is it operational? Who are its members? What are its targets? What kind of training are members of the network exposed to? How are they funded?

Also of concern is the complete lack of focus on the part of the South African Department of Home Affairs. Statements issued from the Department state that with South Africa’s new identity card system, it is much harder to forge South African identity documents. This, I believe, misses the point. Her South African identity document and passport were not forgeries but legitimate documents fraudulently acquired. As long as corruption exists within the department, irrespective of the number of security features on the new identity card system, a loophole exists for undesirables to obtain such documents.

Neither is this an isolated case. In October 1999, Khalfan Khamis Mohamed, part of the Al Qaeda cell that attacked the US embassies in East Africa was arrested in Cape Town. Like Lewthwaite he lived in South Africa undetected until his presence was picked up by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Since at least the 1990s various undesirables from Hamas and Hezbollah to the Taliban have made South Africa their home.

Such a situation is intolerable in the fight against global terrorism. Whilst on South African soil many of these solicit funds and plan their attacks against foreign targets. If South Africa is to be perceived as a credible partner against the scourge of terrorism, it will need to do more to keep these undesirables from securing refuge from international justice in this country.

05 October, 2013

SOS : Ré-ré-réintégration des rebelles en RDC

by Philippe Tunamsifu Shirambere

L’intégration des rebelles est un processus qui permet d’incorporer les rebelles au sein des forces gouvernementales comme la résultante d’un accord de paix entre les belligérants. Toutefois, parler de « ré-ré-réintégration » paraît être un concept étrange, mais si vous ne l’avez pas encore trouvé, prière m’en accorder la paternité.

En effet, la ré-ré-réintégration est un processus qui permet d’intégrer, de réintégrer, de ré-réintégrer et de ré-ré-réintégrer les combattants des groupes armés au sein des forces gouvernementales à la suite d’une succession des rebellions. Ce processus est la résultante des accords de paix qui n’ont pas été soit appliqués de bonne foi, soit appliqués en partie, soit appliqués mais que suite à un agenda caché, certains signataires ont décidé de reprendre les armes pour se rebeller contre le régime dont ils étaient membres.

Photo: ENOUGH Project
Depuis la vague de mouvements rebelles en 1996, la ré-ré-réintégration est une réalité effective en République Démocratique du Congo (RDC) où les rebelles, soit anciens militaires ou nouvelles recrues, ont été intégrés au sein des Forces Armées de la RDC (FADRC) quatre fois. De ce fait, il n’est pas étonnant de constater que certains combattants ont été intégrés pour la première fois immédiatement après la chute du régime du Président Mobutu et l’avènement au pouvoir du Président autoproclamé Laurent Désiré Kabila en Mai 1997 ; en 2003 à la suite de l’Accord Global et inclusif pour la transition en RDC ; en 2009 à la suite l’Acte d’Engagement et de l’Accord de Goma.

Au moment où nous présentons cette réflexion, des pourparlers ont lieu à Kampala/Ouganda entre la délégation du gouvernement de la RDC et celle du groupe rebelle du Mouvement du 23 Mars (M23), sous la médiation ougandaise. Il sied de préciser que les combattants du M23 sont en majorité constitués d’anciens rebelles qui ont été intégrés d’abord en 1997 ; certains avaient repris les armes en août 1998, et d’autres en 1999. A la suite de l’Accord Global et inclusif, les forces combattantes du RCD, du MLC, du RCD/ML, du RCD/N, et des Mai-Mai avaient été réintégrés au sein des FARDC en 2003. En 2004, les anciens combattants du RDC qui avaient été intégrés en 1997 et réintégrés en 2003 s’étaient rebellés en formant le CNDP. L’Accord de Goma du 23 Mars 2009 permit leur ré-réintégration au sein des FARDC. En avril 2012, une mutinerie avait été lancée à l’Est de la RDC par une bonne partie d’ex-CNDP suite à la tentative d’arrêter le Général Bosco Ntaganda qui faisait l’objet d’un mandat d’arrêt international délivré par la CPI.

A ce stade, il est certain qu’un accord sera conclu entre le Gouvernement de la RDC et le M23. Logiquement, une disposition permettra aux rebelles du M23, dont certains avaient été ré-réintégrés au sein des FARDC, soient une fois de plus ré-ré-réintégrés. La question dont le régime actuel se préoccupe le moins est l’intégration des ex-FAZ qui avaient fui le pays après la chute de Mobutu en 1997.

De ces différentes intégrations au sein des FARDC, il est à noter qu’avant la signature des accords, les groupes rebelles procèdent à la nomination de leurs combattants aux grades supérieurs comme gratification de leur participation à la lutte que le Gouvernement congolais n’avait d’autre choix que de reconnaître. En plus, l’intégration des anciens combattants du RCD et du CNDP avaient été accompagnée des fonds d’installations qui leur permettaient d’avoir un logement décent et même avec des moyens de transport. Ce qui parait étrange, est que l’intégration est devenue un moyen facile de naturalisation aucune sans formalité.

Le SOS que nous lançons, fait un état des lieux des différentes intégrations et le risque qui pourrait surgir à la suite de la ré-ré-réintégration des combattants du M23 aux modèles des précédentes pratiques.

D’abord, les militaires congolais restés fidèles au sein des FARDC s’insurgent contre ceux qui argumentent qu’ils ont été incapables de faire échec aux groupes rebelles oubliant qu’ils obéissaient aux ordres de la hiérarchie militaire en RDC les instruisant de faire des replis stratégiques alors qu’ils souhaitaient neutraliser les groupes rebelles.
Ensuite, les différentes intégrations créaient des frustrations que les militaires congolais ne savaient pas exprimer. En guise d’exemple, ces intégrations ont connu certaines inégalités en ce sens que non seulement la rébellion permet aux rebelles d’accéder aux grades supérieurs sans aucune formalité mais aussi à un statut social de loin différent à celui des militaires congolais resté fidèles au sein des FARDC.

Les veuves des militaires des FARDC tombés sur les champs de bataille, les militaires blessés, les infirmes ne reçoivent pas un traitement approprié proportionnel à leur sacrifice suprême pour la défense de la patrie. En conséquence, les veuves et orphelins des militaires, les militaires blessés et les infirmes sont devenus de mendiants alors que les auteurs des actes de leurs souffrances ont été élevés aux grades supérieurs et occupent des postes importants dans les institutions publiques et dans les services de sécurité. Ceci devrait interpeller le Gouvernement congolais qui a initié un programme de recrutement au sein des FARDC qui n’a pas répondu aux attentes souhaitées.
Enfin, aux regards de ces frustrations, les militaires congolais restés fidèles au sein des FARDC qui ont vu leurs compagnons d’armes mourir sur les champs de bataille risqueront de dire NON, car réintégration des rebelles sur réintégration ne vaut. En toute conséquence, si des mesures appropriées ne sont pas prises, une mutinerie générale pourrait se déclencher de nulle part en signe de mécontentement dont les effets ne seront pas redressés.

Georges Orwell disait que « Celui qui maîtrise le passé maîtrise le futur. Celui qui maîtrise le présent maîtrise le passé ».