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Posts Tagged ‘Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma’

The imperative of the restoration of public order and the protection of the civilian populations in the Central African Republic

Posted by African Press International on December 8, 2013

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, December 6, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ – The Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union (AU), Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, continues to closely monitor, with utmost concern, the evolution of the situation in the Central African Republic (CAR). She reiterates the strong condemnation by the AU of the abuses and other massive violations of human rights that continue to be committed against the civilian populations. She stresses the urgent need to do everything necessary to bring this unacceptable situation to an end.

The Chairperson of the Commission encourages the Peace Consolidation Mission of the Economic Community of Central African States in the CAR (MICOPAX), which will transition into the African-led International Support Mission in the CAR (MISCA), on 19 December 2013, to intensify its efforts, in order to contribute to the speedy restoration of public order and the effective protection of the civilian populations, and to take all necessary steps to this end.

She welcomes the initiatives taken by her Special Representative in the CAR, Hawa Ahmed Youssouf, including the sustained and continued consultations with the transitional authorities, the military command of MICOPAX, the religious leaders and key representatives of the international community in Bangui, in order to address the prevailing situation on the ground. She appeals to the French forces deployed in the CAR to extend all the necessary support to MICOPAX.



African Union Commission (AUC)



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Posted by African Press International on November 15, 2013

NEW YORK, November 13, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon arrived in Niamey, from Mali early in the morning of Wednesday, 6 November. This was the second leg of a four-country joint visit to the Sahel region with the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma; the President of the World Bank, Jim Yong Kim; the Commissioner for Development of the European Union, Andris Piebalgs; and the President of the African Development Bank, Donald Kaberuka.

That morning, the delegation had a meeting with the President of Niger, Mahamadou Issoufou, and inspected the Guard of Honour. They then held a larger meeting with the President, the Prime Minister, Brigi Raffini, as well as members of the Cabinet. Speaking at the meeting, the Secretary-General said that the delegation was in Niger and the region to show its solidarity and to coordinate its actions with the countries of the Sahel. The Secretary-General also underlined Niger’s contribution to peacekeeping, including in Mali, and noted the assistance given by the country to the thousands of Malian refugees in Niger during the presidential elections. S

After briefly speaking to reporters in a joint press briefing, the Secretary-General and the President of the World Bank answered a “Call for Action” for improvements in women’s reproductive health and girls’ education by President Issoufou. The Secretary-General said that throughout his visit to the Sahel, he was calling on leaders to listen to girls and women, to hear their needs and concerns and give women a voice in decision-making. He also asked men to speak out for gender equality. (See Press Release SG/SM/15445.)


After attending a State lunch hosted by the Government, the Secretary-General met in the afternoon with the Speaker of the National Assembly, Hama Amadou, and then addressed a plenary session of the National Assembly. He told the Parliamentarians that the United Nations was in the country to help Niger in its efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals and underlined Niger’s role in addressing the challenges of the Sahel. He also offered his condolences to the families of the migrants who died in the Sahara a few days before, saying we must bring their traffickers to justice and address the problems that pushed them to leave.

The Secretary-General left Niamey, Niger, for Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, the third leg of his trip to the Sahel, in the early evening of 6 November.





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MISA welcomes Pan-African Parliament campaign on media freedom

Posted by African Press International on June 5, 2013

  • By  Dickens Wasonga.

The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) congratulates the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) on the successful launch of a media freedom campaign across the continent. The campaign was launched in Midrand, South Africa on Wednesday, 15 May 2013.

MISA welcomes this long-overdue intervention and pledges unwavering support towards the full realisation of all campaign objectives.
Aptly titled ‘Press Freedom for Development and Governance: Need for Reform’, this campaign is a fulfillment of a PAP Resolution – No PAP/P(3)/RES/08(1) – and it comes against the backdrop of the parliamentary body taking full cognizance of the benefits of a free press in society.
Reads part of the PAP rationale for a media freedom campaign: “The right to freedom of the press is one of the most important human rights. It is indeed an integral part of the right to freedom of expression.
It is also seen as one of the cornerstones of democracy. Unfortunately, Africa does not fair very well when it comes to press freedom. In many African countries, authorities have little or no tolerance for press freedom.
The media legislation which is in place in many African countries is either inherited from the colonial times, or was instituted by former military and civilian dictatorships to clamp down on criticism and dissenting voices.”
In light of the above, PAP is seeking to establish a PAP award on Media Freedom in Africa and also establish a PAP Index on Media Freedom in Africa.
Secondly, the body has called upon the African Union (AU) member states to use the African Commission for Human and People’s Rights’ (ACHPR) Model Law on Access to Information.
Thirdly, PAP has requested development partners to support the implementation of the related Resolutions with assistance and support.
All these objectives are captured in the ‘Midrand Declaration on Press Freedom in Africa’. MISA sincerely hopes that this declaration, informed by other declarations, principles and protocols, will carry its rightful weight and will be respected as a key instrument in advancing media freedom and freedom of expression across Africa.
In this regard, MISA strongly supports the call made by the African Union Commission Chairperson, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, for the PAP to have greater powers. We echo her voice: “PAP must be stronger, offering a greater voice to the people of Africa through universal suffrage, capable of promoting the enactment of relevant policies and laws necessary for growth and development both at national and continental levels…”
MISA reiterates that it is very committed to working closely with the PAP and specifically the Committee on Justice and Human Rights to realise the goals of the media freedom campaign.


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AU ready for rapid deployment of soldiers in the continent when required

Posted by African Press International on June 3, 2013

The African Union wants to urgently establish a quick reaction force to deal with the continent’s crises


  • AU spurred into action by French intervention
  • 1,500 soldiers for rapid deployment at any time
  • Troop contributions to new force will be voluntary
  • More heavy air lift aircraft needed

JOHANNESBURG,  – A newly sanctioned African Union (AU) force for quick deployment in conflicts such as in Mali is being promoted as a stop-gap measure ahead of the planned formation of the “rapid deployment capability” (RDC) African Standby Force (ASF).

Unlike the ASF, which will also have policing and civilian duties, the African Immediate Crisis Response Capacity (AICRC) force will have “a strictly military capacity with high reactivity to respond swiftly to emergency situations upon political decisions to intervene in conflict situations within the continent,” Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, chairperson of the AU Commission, said in her recent report to the AU summit in Addis Ababa.

While the AU’s failure to resolve crises in countries like Côte d’Ivoire, Libya and Mali has been a source of embarrassment to the continent-wide body, the AU Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) is widely regarded as a success, with the annual US$500 million running costs bankrolled by international partners.

AMISOM provides “pride” for the AU, according to analysts, as African forces at the cost of significant lives (some estimates say thousands), were able to achieve what a far better equipped US force failed to do in Somalia – bring about an opportunity for peace.

Spurred into action

Dlamini-Zuma said in her report Mali was a spur for the AICRC’s formation and it was “obvious” an African military force with an RDC would have meant the French military intervention would not have been “the only recourse”.

“[The French intervention in Mali] left a bad taste in the mouths of many people here and led to discussions at the highest level of the AU”

Solomon Dersso, a senior researcher at the Addis Ababa office of the Institute for Security Studies (ISS), a Pretoria-based think tank, told IRIN Mali interim president Dioncounda Traoré’s reaching out to former colonial power France for military assistance to counter the Islamist rebels “left a bad taste in the mouths of many people here [Addis Ababa and AU headquarters] and led to discussions at the highest level of the AU.”

According to Dlamini-Zuma, the AICRC will be drawn from a “reservoir of 5,000 troops, with operational modules in the form of tactical battle groups of 1,500 personnel that can be deployed rapidly… which must have a minimum initial self-sustainment period of 30 days”.

The report said the AICRC would have three tactical battle groups, comprised of three infantry battalions of 850 troops each, an artillery support group and light armour elements, as well as an air wing of 400 troops, which would include strike aircraft and helicopters and logistical support, including strategic airlift capabilities. The unit would have a “10-day notice of movement”.

The force headquarters will have a nucleus of 50 staff and AICRC duties would range from “stabilization, peace enforcement and intervention missions; neutralization of terrorist groups, other cross-border criminal entities, armed rebellions; and emergency assistance to Member States within the framework of the principle of non-indifference for protection of civilians,” Dlamini-Zuma’s report said.

Lamamra Ramtane, AU commissioner for peace and security, said in astatement that troop contributions to the AICRC would be on a voluntary basis by member states and those countries participating would finance the AICRC so it could “act independently”.

The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) is seen as Africa’s greatest conflict resolution success

On the face of it, the AICRC looks like a prototype of the ASF, except there appear to be slight differences in the way the two forces can be deployed. Lamamra said: “Command and control [of the AICRC] will be ensured by the AU Peace and Security Council upon request of a Member State for intervention.”

The ASF mandate under the Constitutive Act of the AU adopted in 2000, is a complete break from its predecessor, the Organisation of African Unity, which adopted a philosophy of non-interference in member states. The Act gave the AU both the right to intervene in a crisis, and an obligation to do so “in respect of grave circumstances, namely: war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity”.

Clayson Monyela, spokesperson for the South Africa foreign affairs department, told IRIN the AU remained committed to the ASF, and although any AICRC deployment was conditional on a government’s invitation, “there may be exceptional circumstances” where the force could intervene in the absence of such a request.

Ad hoc forces

Outside of AU and UN missions, African military operations have favoured ad hoc forces, such as the four-country force ranged against Joseph Kony’sLord Resistance Army (LRA).

The advantage of ad hoc forces, Sivuyile Bam, the AU Commission head of the Peace and Support Operations Division, told IRIN last year, was that it used the lead nation concept and was more direct, rather than dealing in the political intricacies of the ASF. “A country can go to the AU [with the ad hoc system] and say I have got a battalion. I will deploy it tomorrow.”

Bam envisaged a “combined system for the next 5-10 years. The ASF system is maturing and taking time to develop and still relying on the lead nation [ad hoc] concept. So when there is a need for an operation – send out a note to the (AU) member states saying `I need soldiers, please help me out’.”

“Once it [the AICRC] gets a life it may take a different course altogether, depending on its success”

The AICRC is framed as a “temporary arrangement”, the ISS’s Dersso said, but “once it gets a life it may take a different course altogether, depending on its success,” and may evolve from an ad hoc force into a “fully fledged unit” at the disposal of the AU.

Some analysts have argued that a functioning, efficient and well equipped ASF may still lack the capacity to simultaneously operate in places like South Sudan, the Sahel and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

If and when the ASF eventually materializes, troop contributions to the five stand-by brigades will be based on Africa’s five regional economic blocs with each supplying about 5,000 troops, 720 police officers and 60 civilian members (e.g. human rights advisers, political affairs and public information officers) – and each regional bloc’s brigade will be placed on a six month rotational standby every two years to be available for rapid deployments.

The ASF will fulfil a range of functions, for example, supplying troops for attachment to a regional military, political or UN mission; or it may deploy a regional peacekeeping force within a 30-day timeframe, or 14 days in “grave circumstances”, such as genocide.

Question marks over military capacity

An urgent need for quick reaction forces was highlighted in a recent ISS report that said “the risk of instability and violence [in Africa] is likely to persist and even increase in some instances.”

Drivers of conflict cited by the report included: the fact that “many states were trapped somewhere in between autocracy and democracy;” the “bad-neighbourhood” syndrome resulting in the effects of conflict spilling across borders; and post-conflict states lapsing back into “repeat violence”.

The imminent deployment of a 3,000-strong “robust, highly mobile”intervention force – comprising troops from Malawi, South Africa and Tanzania – under the masthead of SADCBrig (Southern African Development Community Brigade) to “neutralize” armed groups in the eastern DRC under UN Resolution 2098 has a stronger resemblance to the AICRC’s mandate rather than to the ASF’s, as it will comprise a combat force without any civilian or policing appendages.

However, deployment of the intervention force in DRC is being delayed by a combination of factors, including an increasing scarcity of available heavy air lift aircraft, and a paucity of landing strips capable of handling them, Helmoed-Romer Heitman, a senior correspondent for Jane’s Defence Weekly, told IRIN.

“How do you deploy quickly if you don’t have heavy airlift?”

“How do you deploy quickly if you don’t have heavy airlift?” he asked. African militaries were chartering aircraft “as usual”, but relied on former Soviet logistical aircraft, such as Antonovs, which were becoming obsolete, he said.

South Africa ordered eight Airbus military A400m transport aircraft in 2005 at a cost of about US$1 billion, but later cancelled the order citing financial constraints and associated cost increases, and was reimbursed the $407 million down-payment in December 2011 by the European aircraft manufacturer. The transport aircraft were expected to enter service in 2013.

Heitman also questioned how the AU defined the concept of “quick reaction”, alluding to recent events in Bangui, the capital of the Central Africa Republic (CAR), that saw the botched deployment of South African troops in support of CAR President Francois Bozizé. Thirteen South African troops were killed and two others died from wounds on their return.

“A lot can happen in 48 hours. Putting a paratroop battalion on the ground in 24 hours is a quick reaction,” he said.

go/cb  source

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