Built And Broken By Revolution – The Rise And Fall Of Mugabe

Author and Published By: AllAfrica
Publication Date: 27 November 2018.

For some, he will always remain a hero who brought independence and an end to white-minority rule. Even those who forced him out blamed his wife and “criminals” around him. But to his growing number of critics, this highly educated, wily politician became the caricature of an African dictator, who destroyed an entire country in order to keep his job.

Communique of the 868th meeting of the PSC on the state of foreign military presence in Africa, held on 14 August 2019

Communique of the 868th meeting of the PSC on the state of foreign military presence in Africa, held on 14 August 2019

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Adopted by the Peace and Security Council during its 868th meeting held on 14 August 2019 on state of foreign military presence in Africa: Implications on the implementation of the Common African Defence and Security Policy:

The Peace and Security Council,

Taking note of the statement made by H.E. Albert Ranganai Chimbindi, Ambassador of the Republic of Zimbabwe to the AU and Chairperson of the PSC for the month of August 2019, and the presentations made by Dr. Admore Kambudzi, Director of Peace and Security Department on behalf of the Commissioner for Peace and Security, Ambassador Smail Chergui; also taking note of the presentation by Ambassador Kio Amieyeofori, on behalf of the Chairperson of the Committee of Intelligence and Security Services of Africa (CISSA), Ambassador Ahmed Rufai Abubakar; Further taking note of the statements made by the representatives of China, France, Russia, United Kingdom and the United States of America, as well as by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO);

Recalling its previous pronouncements on the issue of foreign military presence and external interference in Africa’s affairs, particularly communique PSC/PR/COMM(DCI) adopted at its 601st meeting held on 30 May 2016; communique PSC/PR/COMM(DCCLXXVI) adopted at its 776th meeting held on 24 May 2018; communique PSC/PR/COMM(DCCCXXIV) adopted at its 824th meeting held on 5 February 2019; and most recently, communique PSC/PR/COMM(DCCCLVII) adopted at its 857th meeting held on 5 July 2019, and communique PSC/PR/COMM(DCCCLXV) adopted at its 865th meeting held on 7 August 2019; In the above-mentioned communiques, the PSC strongly condemned the external interference, by whomsoever, into African peace and security issues, and warned that it will proceed to naming and shaming those involved in order to address this problem;

Underling the need for full implementation of Article 7(l) of the PSC Protocol emphasizing that external initiatives in the field of peace and security on the Continent take place within the framework of the Union’s objective and priorities as outlined in the AU relevant instruments;

Taking note of the fact that some AU Member States, within their sovereign status, have entered into bilateral and multilateral arrangements with non-African partners with a view to addressing and containing threats to peace and security on their respective territories.

Acting under Article 7 of its Protocol, the Peace and Security Council:

  1. Notes with concern over the increase in the establishment of foreign military presence and military bases in Africa; emphasizes that the defence and security of one country in Africa is directly linked to that of others as provided for in the Common African Defence and Security Policy and also in the AU Non-Aggression Pact; in this regard, underlines that these AU instruments constitute the bedrock of Africa’s collective defence and security; further expresses deep concern that albeit this increase of foreign military presence and military bases in different parts of the continent, the threats which they are supposedly expected to neutralize, continue to increase an intensity and geographic expansion in different parts of the Continent; also expresses concern that foreign military presence and military bases are contributing to the risk of rivalry and competition among foreign powers within Africa and undermining national sovereignty and peace efforts;
  2. Strongly condemns any external interference into the Africa’s peace and security affairs and urges that all external support to peace and security in Africa should be well coordinated and directed towards achieving AU’s objectives and priorities and should be provided within the framework of the relevant AU instruments;
  3. While appreciating the support of partners in the promotion of peace, security and stability in Africa, emphasizes that AU Member States and the AU Commission should enhance their efforts in popularizing and providing effective support towards the implementation of the Common African Defence and Security Policy and African States should guarantee that any external support, either bilateral or multilateral, is in conformity with this Policy;
  4. Underscores that collective defence and security in Africa is of high importance, taking into consideration the rapid increase of foreign military presence in the Continent; in this regard, appeals to all AU Member States that decide to host foreign military entities/bases in their countries to deploy necessary efforts to inform their neighbours, their respective Regional Economic Communities and Regional Mechanism (RECs/RMs) and the African Union and ensure that the signed Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) are in conformity with the provisions of the Common African Defence and Security Policy and other relevant AU policies on defence and security and that they contribute towards the objectives and priorities of the AU;
  5. Emphasizes the need for the AU Commission and the RECs/RMs to redouble their efforts to ensure the operationalization of the African Standby Force (ASF), which is the primary home-grown model in the Continent, to enable Africa to enhance its defence and security arrangements for AU Member States and their people; such a capability would provide Africa with the means to timeously respond to threats to peace and security; furthermore, stresses the importance for African countries to put more focus on capacitating their national forces, as well as promote intelligence sharing among themselves;
  6. Emphasizes the primary role of the African countries in managing their internal affairs and reaffirms its commitment to respect the sovereignty, national unity and territorial integrity of each African state; therefore, encourages to all AU Member States which need support in capacitating their national defence and security forces and institutions to explore available avenues in the United Nations (UN) system and those in the RECs/RMs to provide such support, with a view to continue building mutual trust, confidence and collective capabilities and strength among African countries;
  7. Encourages AU Member States to enter into bilateral agreements in the matters of common interests on peace and security, in order to enhance coordination and share expertise and experience; further encourages Member States to emulate best practices on military operations among African states and RECs/RMs in addressing threats to peace and security and sustaining stability;
  8. Underscores the important role played by information, experience and intelligence sharing platforms, such as the Nouakchott and Djibouti Processes and calls for their further strengthening at higher political level; further stresses the need for promoting similar processes in other regions of the Continent;
  9. Requests the Chairperson of the Commission to regularly brief the Council on the status of the implementation of the Common African Defence and Security Policy and other relevant AU instruments on defence and security in the continent, in line with Article 14 of the Preamble of the Solemn Declaration of the Common African Defence and Security Policy, with a view to providing the opportunity to Council to review implementation and address any challenges that may be identified; In this regard, agrees to receive such briefing at least twice a year with the participation of CISSA;
  10. Requests the PSC Military Staff Committee to undertake a comprehensive study on foreign military presence and military bases in Africa, its advantages and disadvantages and submit proposals on the way forward for consideration by the PSC; in this context, agrees to provide a special report, within the spirit of the efforts to silence the guns in Africa, and to do so simultaneously with the report of the PSC on its Activities and the State of Peace and Security in Africa to the ordinary session of the Assembly of the AU to take place in January/February 2020;
  11. Decides to remain seized of the matter.

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Ethiopia’s visa-on-arrival for all Africans starts November 9

Ethiopia’s visa-on-arrival for all Africans starts November 9

Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban

A hint from the Prime Minister in May 2018, then a confirmation of implementation by erstwhile president. In between both, the country began issuing visas online to tourists.

Finally, Ethiopia has announced a date for the start of a visa-on-arrival regime for all Africans. Africa’s second most populous nation will start visa-on arrival regime from November 9, 2018, PM Abiy Ahmed’s chief of staff confirmed on Friday.

According to Fitsum Aregaa, the current move is: “Consistent with PM Abiy Ahmed’s vision of a closer and full regional integration in Africa — where minds are open to ideas and markets are open to trade.”

Abiy had earlier this year disclosed that following Rwanda’s lead, Ethiopia was going to allow a visa-free regime for all Africans. At the time, he was speaking at a state banquet held for his visiting Rwandan counterpart, Paul Kagame.

Abiy said: “The President (Kagame) invited all Africans to travel to Rwanda without visas, we will follow you very soon.” On June 1 the issuance of visas online for all tourists kick started.

Ethiopia boasts the continent’s best national carrier, Ethiopian Airlines, which has made the Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa, not just a regional but global aviation hub.

The most recent time the issue was came up was when ex-president Mulatu Teshome at the opening of parliament said the visa-on-arrival regime was to be implemented in this year.

Mozambique opposition says peace talks on hold

Mozambique opposition says peace talks on hold

Mozambique’s main opposition party, Renamo, said on Wednesday that peace talks with the government were on hold due to its allegations of fraud in this month’s local elections.

Renamo said the election authorities had falsified results and robbed it of victory in five of the 53 municipalities.

The October 10 polls were seen as a key test of the peace process between the ruling Frelimo party and Renamo, which maintains an armed wing.

The two movements fought a civil war until 1992, and new peace talks started in 2016 after another outbreak of fighting between the government and Renamo rebels.

“Now the peace negotiation is on hold,” Renamo spokesperson Andre Magibire told reporters shortly after the electoral commission confirmed the results.

Among the disputed municipalities is Matole, the country’s largest city, which borders on the capital Maputo.

“Our priority is to manage the electoral conflict,” he said. “We are struggling to recover the five cities which were stolen.”

The party has gone to court to challenge the results.

“The resumption of peace talk depends on what the Constitutional Court will say,” Magibire said.

“To negotiate you need to be happy. We’re frustrated with the fraud.”

President Filipe Nyusi and Renamo’s new leader Ossufo Momade had recently made progress on a key sticking point in the talks – the disarmament and integration of former Renamo rebels into the police and army.

But analysts cast doubt on future progress of the peace process.

“There is no trust between the parties. With the state apparatus being used for the victory of Frelimo, Renamo will not hand over the weapons,” Domingos do Rosario, a political scientist at Mondlane University in Maputo, told AFP.

Renamo fought a brutal 16-year civil war against the Frelimo government that left one million people dead before the fighting stopped in 1992.

Fresh violence erupted from 2013 to 2016 between Renamo rebels and government troops before peace talks began.

The electoral commission on Wednesday released complete results, handing Frelimo 44 municipalities, leaving Renamo with eight and a small opposition party with one.

Frelimo has ruled Mozambique since its independence from Portugal in 1975.

The AU’s role in peace and security goes beyond norm-setting

The AU’s role in peace and security goes beyond norm-setting

Institute for Security Studies

Clarifying the roles of the African Union (AU) and subregional organisations is a central element of the AU reforms. It is key in terms of managing expectations about what the AU can or cannot do, as well as coordinating Africa’s responses to avoid duplication of efforts. But this issue is also divisive, and it is unclear whether AU member states will reach a concrete decision on a division of labour at the upcoming extraordinary summit on reforms in Addis Ababa on 17 November.

The AU Constitutive Act and other legal documents, including the Peace and Security Council (PSC) protocol, envisage the AU as playing a leadership role in addressing challenges on the continent. Article 3(l) of the Constitutive Act mandates the AU to ‘coordinate and harmonize the policies between the existing and future Regional Economic Communities for the gradual attainment of the objectives of the Union’.

However, none of the core documents of the various regional economic communities and mechanisms (RECs/RMs), which emerged through different processes, refers to the primacy of the AU. In the area of peace and security, for instance, RECs/RMs claim parallel responsibilities in terms of leading peace processes.

An analysis of the major security concerns on the continent shows that subregional organisations are increasingly at the forefront of addressing security threats.

A diminishing role in peace and security?

Out of 10 major security situations mentioned in the January 2018 decisions of the AU Assembly, the AU is only taking a clear leading role in two: the military intervention in Somalia and the mediation to end the ongoing border dispute between Sudan and South Sudan.

On the other hand, subregional organisations and ad-hoc regional groupings are leading mediations in South Sudan, Burundi and Guinea-Bissau, as well as military interventions against terrorist groups in the Sahel, the Lake Chad Basin and Central Africa. The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) also leads the political mediation in Somalia, alongside the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), while the Southern African Development Community (SADC) has taken the lead in the situations in Lesotho and Madagascar.

Yet, in some instances there is strong cooperation between subregions and the AU and United Nations (UN). One such example is the attempt to address the situation in the Central African Republic (CAR).

Finding solutions at the subregional level is in line with the 2008 memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the AU and subregional organisations and mechanisms. However, the memorandum is not clear on what role the AU should play in conflict situations.

Should the AU be restricted to norm-setting?

In July 2018 the reform team led by President Paul Kagame produced a draft paper on the division of labour between the AU and RECs – a paper seen by the PSC Report.

The paper suggests that ‘the AU should set the strategic direction, develop harmonized continental agendas, policies, texts, standards, coordination, lead resource mobilization for continental actions and be responsible for monitoring, evaluation and accountability’.

RECs/RMs are expected to be responsible for the actual implementation of AU decisions, including enforcing member states’ compliance with AU norms. This resonates with a 2010 assessment of APSA that notes that ‘some RECs/RMs are of the view that the AU Commission should not view itself as an implementing agency; it should rather play more of a coordination role’.

This would entail that the AU would act as a norm-setter, which in itself is not an easy task, given the security challenges and the diversity of governance standards on the continent. To be successful in setting norms, the AU will have to make sure these norms and policies are respected.

Therefore, while implementation at the subregional level is important, the AU should be empowered to provide checks and balances, especially when peace processes led by subregional organisations are compromised.

AU’s role when subregional peace processes fail

The CAR, South Sudan and DRC conflict situations show the deep involvement of neighbouring states in such crises. They are often accused of taking sides and arming or harbouring parties to the conflict. This raises concerns about the role of neighbouring countries in crises.

For instance, while IGAD’s mediation in South Sudan has recently seen some progress, South Sudan’s neighbours have been caught up in the conflict itself. Uganda supports President Salva Kiir’s government and sent troops in support of Kiir’s forces from 2013 to 2015, when the peace deal was signed. Sudan is accused of supporting South Sudan’s rebel groups.

Such concerns led UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to warn IGAD and neighbouring states against taking sides in South Sudan’s conflict.

It took a lot of international pressure for South Sudan’s neighbours to commit to the peace process, particularly after the resurgence of violence in July 2016. At the same time, these neighbours also blocked efforts to impose punitive measures on South Sudan elites.

An IGAD communiqué on 30 July 2018, for instance, argued that, ‘given the latest developments in the peace process and the need to implement the permanent ceasefire and achieve an inclusive peace agreement, it is not helpful to pursue punitive measures at this stage’. The meeting and communiqué came prior to a meeting by the AU Ad Hoc Committee on South Sudan on 30 July as well as a PSC meeting on 31 July, thereby discouraging any considerations of punitive measures.

Even though a new deal has been reached with the support of Sudan and Uganda, the lack of an international enforcement plan in the agreement raises doubts about its sustainability. South Sudan’s warring parties have violated several other agreements in the past. What stops parties to the conflict from violating the current deal? Indeed, violence is ongoing in several parts of the country despite the peace deal.

As such, AU reformers have to explore options to enable the AU to take over peace initiatives led by subregional organisations when the latter’s efforts are compromised.

When subregional actors are unwilling or unable to address security threats

In some conflict situations, such as those in Libya and Cameroon, subregional organisations tend to be unwilling and/or unable to address the security threats.

In Cameroon, for instance, the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) is unwilling to put the issue either on its agenda or on the agenda of the AU. Most member states of ECCAS are led by like-minded elites who want to stay in power. This situation is complicated by the fact that ECCAS is a relatively weak REC when compared to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and SADC, and its member states are facing internal issues of their own.

Given that the AU often takes its cue from subregions before intervening, the AU Assembly and the PSC have not been proactive in considering solutions to the crisis in the anglophone part of Cameroon. The issue continues to be viewed as an internal affair, despite the fact that over 400 people have died.

Such situations present instances where the AU should step up and lead the peace process while co-opting subregional actors and the international community.

Indeed, for the AU to be relevant to the lives of ordinary citizens and its member states, the continental body has to do more than set norms and evaluate implementation. This includes taking proactive steps in situations where member states are unwilling or unable to respond to security threats.

Such a proactive role requires a substantive review of the MoU between the AU and subregional organisations and mechanisms to clarify responsibilities and highlight situations that require AU intervention.

Source – Reliefweb

Comoros: Civilians flee strife-torn city on Anjouan island

Comoros: Civilians flee strife-torn city on Anjouan island

Government sends in more troops and cuts power and water in Mutsamudu to quell unrest against constitutional changes.

Security forces in Comoros have intensified their crackdown against anti-government protesters on the island of Anjouan, with witnesses reporting heavy gunfire and residents fleeing amid a wave of unrest against constitutional changes.

President Azali Assoumani on Thursday sent in reinforcements to quell a nascent uprising in the opposition stronghold as clashes continued for a fourth day between security forces and armed protesters.

Residents of the island are angry at Assoumani’s plans to extend term limits and end rotation of the presidency between the country’s three main islands after one term, a move disadvantaging Anjouan, which was next in line.

An official at Anjouan’s airport told the AFP news agency a significant contingent of security forces arrived on the island to quell unrest there.

Residents said the old medina quarter of Anjouan’s capital Mutsamudu, with its narrow, intersecting alleyways, has become the epicentre of the fighting.

“Those who were able to fled the old town to seek refuge in the outer suburbs… which are a safe haven,” said one witness who declined to be named.

French expatriate Anais Greusard told AFP that there were “big explosions” late on Wednesday and “a lot of shooting” in the early hours of Thursday.

Authorities also cut off water and power supplies in Mutsamudu, residents said.

“They have cut water and electricity. [But] the hooded protesters are not the ones suffering, it is the population which have been taken like hostages,” a resident of Mutsamudu told Reuters.

“If this continues, we risk starving to death. We are praying that it ends quickly,” added the woman, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

‘People are revolting’

Interior Minister Mohamed Daoudou said on Wednesday that the situation was back to normal in Anjouan after three people were killed in the violence. Witnesses claimed that many more people had been injured in the clashes

He blamed “terrorists, as well as drug addicts and alcoholics” for the unrest.

“The people are revolting… they won’t stop shooting,” said Ahmed Samir, an exiled leader of the opposition Union for the Development of the Comoros (UPDC) party who added that the people wanted to overthrow Assoumani.

Samir claimed that around 40 armed men were leading an armed insurrection against government forces while witnesses described masked men with automatic weapons roaming the medina.

A night-time curfew remained in place on the island.

The United Nations and African Union have called for stalled talks between rival parties to resume.

In August, Assoumani – who comes from the largest island, Grande Comore – said a July referendum had approved the extension of presidential term limits and an end to the rotating presidency. The opposition called the referendum illegal.

Assoumani plans to compete in presidential polls in early 2019. That would deny Anjouan its turn to occupy the presidency from 2021, as would have happened under the previous system that rotated the post among the country’s three main islands.

Assoumani has been in power since 2016 and would have had to step down in 2021 under the old term limits.

The former military official joins a string of leaders in African countries such as Rwanda, Uganda and Cameroon who have extended presidential term limits or otherwise amended the constitution to remain in power.

SOURCE: News agencies