«Editor Ruchita Beri Associate Editor Princy George Editorial Team Babjee Pothuraju Keerthi S Kumar Saurabh Mishra Africa Trends Volume 1, Number 2, ...»
SEYCHELLESAccord opens new avenues of ties with Korea Seychelles Principal Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Maurice Loustau-Lalanne signed a memorandum of understanding with Tae-In Chung, the Deputy Director General of the South Korean Foreign Ministry’s Africa and Middle Eastern Bureau, after day-long talks which will see follow-up discussions in June in Korea. Both the sides said that the agreement will open new avenues of cooperation and trade.172
SOMALIASomali president, US extends emergency for Somalia; President Sharif outlines ministerial committee to hold talks with Somaliland; Somalia’s presidential palace comes under mortar attack; Puntland state constitution adopted; Somali Islamists strike at departing Ethiopians, 3 killed; Turkish Foreign Minister pushes for talks with Al Shabaab; Puntland link compels Somaliland to abandon talks with TFG US President Barack Obama said Tuesday the security situation in Somalia posed an “unusual and extraordinary threat” to the United States. Obama, in an executive order, declared that a national emergency with respect to Somalia was extended for another year.173 Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed, the president of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) of Somalia, formed a ministerial committee to hold talks with the Somaliland administration. The committee which consists of seven TFG ministers is chaired by the Minister of Interior and National Security Affairs, Abdisamad Mo’allin Mohamud.174 Armed groups once again launched mortar rounds at Somalia’s presidential palace in Mogadishu.
Local residents near the palace told Shabelle Media by phone on condition of anonymity that they could hear mortars being fired on the night of April 14 at the heavily protected Somali presidential compound, the fourth attempt to strike at the heart of the government in a fortnight.175 A four-day Puntland Constitutional Convention was held at the newly constructed parliament hall in its capital Garowe. The convention came to a close on April 18 with a finalised Puntland constitution, Radio Garowe reports. An overwhelming majority of 472 representatives voted to adopt the Puntland constitution.176 “Accord opens new avenues of ties with Korea”, Seychelles e News, March 3, 2012, at http:// www.seychellesweekly.com/March%205,%202012/pol3_accord_opens.html “U.S. extends emergency for Somalia”, Shabelle News, April 11, 2012, at http://shabelle.net/2012/04/11/u-s-extendsemergency-for-somalia/ “Mistrial Committee to Hold Talks With Somaliland”, AllAfrica, April 14, 2012, at http://allafrica.com/stories/ 201204160199.html “Somalia’s presidential palace came under mortar attack”, Shabelle News, April 15, 2012, at http://shabelle.net/ 2012/04/15/somalias-presidential-palace-came-under-mortar-attack/ “Somalia’s presidential palace came under mortar attack; Puntland state constitution adopted”, Garowe Online, April 18, 2012, at http://www.garoweonline.com/artman2/publish/Somalia_27/Somalia_Puntland_ state_constitution_adopted.shtml Africa Trends Volume 1, Number 2, March-April 2012 Heavily armed militants from the Al Shabaab insurgent group ambushed, on April 19, an Ethiopian convoy alongside Ahlu Sunna fighters, a government-allied Sunni Islamist group that is in control of central Somalia, reports said. Locals said at least three Ethiopian soldiers were confirmed to have been killed in a landmine blast that ripped through an army convoy traveling on a road between Wabho and Daac, two small villages in the Galgadud region of central Somalia.177 Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said that Turkey has not given up on pushing for talks between the Al Shabaab and the TFG.178 Authorities in Somalia’s separatist region of Somaliland have abruptly pulled out of a proposed dialogue with the TFG after President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed included two Puntland ministers in the dialogue committee he appointed last week.179
Government bans acquisition of land titles in oil rich areas; Mitigating and eliminating the threat to civilians posed by the Lord’s Resistance Army The United Nations has intensified military patrols in the areas affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebels in a bid to arrest leader Joseph Kony and his indicted commanders. The UN, through its peacekeeping missions in the region is working with the African Union (AU), UPDF, and the armies of DRC, Central Africa Republic (CAR), Sudan and several other agencies to mount pressure on the rebels who have committed various atrocities.180 Muslims, in Uganda, have asked the government to enact a law that protects their right to wear veils both at work and in public institutions like schools. “We need a law to protect our sisters’ right to wearing veils,” Kassim Matovu, an official representing the Muslim Students’ Association of Uganda said. He was speaking at the third annual Muslim sisters’ conference organized by Uganda Muslim Youth Development Forum (UMYDF) at Makerere University. The conference that was aimed at mentoring young women in control of challenges and identifying opportunities was attended by young Muslim women from the different universities across the country. 181 Legislators, on April 18, refused to approve the ninth poverty reduction support credit loan request of sh 245 billion despite government threats that if not approved, the World Bank would cancel “Somali Islamists strike at departing Ethiopians, 3 killed”, Shabelle News, April 19, 2012, at http://shabelle.net/ 2012/04/19/somali-islamists-strike-at-departing-ethiopians-3-killed/ “Turkey foreign minister pushes for talks with Al Shabaab”, Garowe Online, April 19, 2012, at http:// www.garoweonline.com/artman2/publish/Somalia_27/Somalia_Turkey_foreign_ minister_pushes_for_talks_with_Al_shabaab.shtml “Puntland link compels Somaliland to abandon talks with TFG”, Garowe Online, April 21, 2012, at http:// www.garoweonline.com/artman2/publish/Somalia_27/Somalia_Puntland_link_compels_ Somaliland_to_abandon_talks_with_TFG.shtml “UN mounts pressure on LRA rebels”, New Vision, April 12, 2012, at http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/630289un-mounts-pressure-on-lra-rebels.html “Muslims ask for protection law on veils”, New Vision, April 13, 2012, at http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/ 630310-Muslims-ask-for-protection-law-on-veils.html Africa Trends Volume 1, Number 2, March-April 2012 the offer. The legislators said they could not pass a loan that was not going to address priority issues that affect Ugandans.182 Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi yesterday indicated that the ruling party was likely to fight a private members’ bill seeking the restoration of term limits. But we understand that the fate of the bill may depend on how it deals with Museveni’s stay in power.183 The Ministry of Land Housing and Urban Development has put a moratorium on the issuance of land titles in the Albertine Graben oil exploration area until a physical planning process is completed to regulate land acquisition and use.184 President Obama announced that the United States will continue the deployment of a small number of US military advisors to assist Uganda and other regional forces pursuing the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and seeking to protect local populations.185
TANZANIATanzania intensifies friendship with China; Nation set to host UNWTO convocation;
Mexico ready to offer border security skills; Tanzania has largest number of staff at EAC The Chinese government is cooperating with the Tanzania government in the drilling of wells in rural areas, so that more people have access to safe and clean drinking water. This promise was made by Chinese Ambassador to Tanzania, Mr Lu Youqing on March 20, when President Jakaya Kikwete officially launched the International Cooperative Year in Dar es Salaam.186 Preparations are underway for Tanzania to host the First Pan-African Conference on Sustainable Tourism Management in National Parks and Protected Areas: Challenges and Opportunities, slated for October this year.187 Tanzania can take a leaf from Mexico’s experience in border protection and patrol where porous border areas have been a problem. Mexican Honorary Consul, Mohammed Reza Saboor said in Dar es Salaam on April 16, that the issue came up during a recent discussion with Tanzania’s Chief of Defence Forces, Davis Mwamunyange.188 “MPs angered by sh 245 b World Bank loan request”, New Vision, April 20, 2012, at http://www.newvision.co.ug/ news/630464-630464-mps-angered-by-sh245b-world-bank-loan-request.html “What term limits bill means for Museveni”, The Observer, April 19, 2012, at http://www.observer.ug/ index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=18325:what-term-limits-bill-means-formuseveni&catid=78:topstories&Itemid=116 “Gov’t bans acquisition of land titles in oil rich areas”, New Vision, April 20, 2012, at http://www.newvision.co.ug/ news/630466-630466-gov-t-bans-acquisition-of-land-titles-in-oil-rich-areas.html “Mitigating and Eliminating the Threat to Civilians Posed by the Lord’s Resistance Army”, The White House, April 23, 2012, at http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/04/23/fact-sheet-mitigating-and-eliminatingthreat-civilians-posed-lord-s-resi “Tanzania Intensifies Friendship With China”, Daily News, March 23, 2012, at http://dailynews.co.tz/index.php/ features/popular-features/3223-tanzania-intensifies-friendship-with-china “Nation Set to Host UNWTO Convocation”, Daily News, March 24, 2012, at http://dailynews.co.tz/index.php/ local-news/3274-tanzania-set-to-host-unwto-convocation “Mexico Ready to Offer Border Security Skills”, Daily News, April 17, 2012, at http://dailynews.co.tz/index.php/ local-news/4170-mexico-ready-to-offer-border-security-skills Africa Trends Volume 1, Number 2, March-April 2012 Tanzania has the largest number of employees in the East African Community (EAC). Deputy Minister for East African Cooperation, Abdulla Juma Abdulla told the National Assembly that 65 per cent of all staff at the EAC Secretariat was Tanzanians. He said there were 35 Tanzanians who hold senior positions.189
ZAMBIAMCC Board approves Zambia Compact, suspends Compact with Malawi; Zambia, Namibia agree to fight cross-border crime; Sata back from India; Indian Investors to set up ICT institutions; World’s largest transfrontier park becomes reality The US Government’s Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Board of Directors, chaired by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, held its quarterly meeting yesterday. During the meeting the Board approved a new compact with Zambia, authorized Threshold Program assistance of US$ 2 million for Niger, and voted to suspend the Malawi Compact due to a pattern of actions by the Government of Malawi that is inconsistent with the democratic governance criteria that MCC uses to select its compact partners.190 Zambia and Namibia have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and an agreement for the Transfer of Sentenced Persons which seeks to, among others, enable the two countries to cooperate in combating cross-border crime and improve the standards of services at prisons as well as immigration departments.191 President Michael Sata arrived back home in Lusaka on March 30 from India where he held several investment promotion meetings. President Sata was in India on a private visit which he, however, used to attract investors to the country. While in India, Mr Sata met with among other investors, Apollo International Limited, a multi-million dollar group of companies, which is interested in constructing a specialist hospital and grain silos in the country.192 Talentedge, a consortium of Indian investors, is to establish training institutions to provide a wide range of courses in Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) in Lusaka and three other provinces with an initial investment of about US$ 300,000 in each centre.193 The world’s largest transfrontier park became a reality in March when the Kavango-Zambezi was launched by five southern African countries. Environment ministers from Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe launched the Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA TFCA) at a ceremony in Katima Mulilo, Namibia.194 “Tanzania Has Largest Number of Staff At EAC”, Daily News, April 18, 2012, at http://dailynews.co.tz/index.php/ parliament-news/4197-tanzania-has-largest-number-of-staff-at-eac “MCC Board Approves Zambia Compact, Suspends Compact with Malawi”, Millennium Challenge Corporation, March 23, 2012, at http://www.mcc.gov/pages/press/release/release-032312-Boardrelease “Zambia, Namibia agree to fight cross-border crime”, Times of Zambia, March 31, 2012, at http://www.times.co.zm/ ?p=2823 “Sata back from India”, Times of Zambia, March 31, 2012, at http://www.times.co.zm/?p=2759 “Indian Investors to Set Up ICT Institutions”, Times of Zambia, April 9, 2012, at http://www.times.co.zm/?p=3891 “The world’s largest transfrontier park”, SANF, April 12, 2012, at http://www.sardc.net/editorial/NewsFeature/
ZIMBABWE‘Government has no treaty record’, says Justice Minister; Information Minister says no to media reforms; Zanu-PF under threat; US$ 750 million Essar deal frozen; Constitution stalemate persists Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa told parliament yesterday that government did not have an up-to-date record of which international human rights treaties and conventions it had signed and ratified since independence. Chinamasa made the remarks when he appeared before the Misheck Marava-chaired Senate Thematic Committee on Human Rights while apprising senators on Zimbabwe’s compliance with domesticating international treaties.195 Information Minister Webster Shamu has broken his silence to snub calls for media reforms, allegedly ordered by the principal leaders in the coalition government.196 Zimbabwe’s proposed new constitution threatens to wreck President Robert Mugabe’s factionriddled ZANU PF, which has thrived on tribal and regional shenanigans to preserve the Unity Accord signed with the late vice-president Joshua Nkomo’s PF ZAPU in 1987.197 The US$ 750 million deal between the government and Essar Africa Holdings of India aimed at reviving the defunct steelmaking giant Ziscosteel is frozen. As it emerged, the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development is still scrutinising the agreement, infuriating the Ministry of Industry and Commerce which facilitated it.198 The stalemate around the constitution-making process is persisting amid revelations there is still a log-jam over contentious issues ZANU-PF want removed from the draft, top among them the devolution of power. There are also serious concerns around the scrapping of two vice presidents, homosexuality, citizenship and the appointment of services chiefs.199
Defence Ministry A K Antony: ‘Challenge of piracy yet to efficiently quarantined’; India proposes norms to combat piracy; India and China begin dialogue on maritime “Govt has no treaty record”, Zimbabwe Independent, March 23, 2012, at http://www.theindependent.co.zw/local/ 34739-govt-has-no-treaty-record.html “Information Minister says no to media reforms”, SW Radio Africa, April 23, 2012, at http://www.swradioafrica.com/ 2012/03/23/information-minister-says-no-to-media-reforms/ “Zanu-PF Under Threat”, The Financial Gazette, April 12, 2012, at http://www.financialgazette.co.zw/top-stories/ 12263-zanu-pf-under-threat.html “US$750m Essar deal frozen”, Zimbabwe Independent, April 20, 2012, at http://www.theindependent.co.zw/local/ 35091-us750m-essar-deal-frozen.html “Constitution stalemate persists”, The Financial Gazette, April 20, 2012, at http://www.financialgazette.co.zw/topstories/12353-constitution-stalemate-persists.html
cooperation; India joins elite group with INS Chakra; Iranian forces free ship hijacked by pirates India stressed the need for an international cooperative effort to contain the rising incidents of piracy in the Indian Ocean Region. At an event organized in Delhi, Indian Defence Minister, A K Antony pointed out that the challenge of piracy is yet to ‘efficiently quarantined’. The minister also added that though global efforts are directed towards creating an international naval force, there is also a consensus that the real solution lies in addressing the root causes which are complex and located on land.200 India is spearheading an effort to create a naval standard operating procedure (SOP) for the 32 littoral nations of the Indian Ocean Region to jointly fight the menace of Somali piracy. In order to reduce the probability of repetition of the incident where innocent fishermen were shot off Kochi, India highlight the need to clearly demarcate ‘piracy-affected waters based on ground realities’.201 India and China have agreed to begin a dialogue on maritime cooperation which could include joint operations to combat piracy and sharing of technological know-how on seabed research.
The first proposal is to involve the Coast Guards, the navies and the air forces in fighting piracy.
The sharing of know-how on seabed research is aimed to douse India’s apprehensions after China was permitted by the International Seabed Authority to explore south-west Indian Ocean.202 With the induction of the nuclear submarine, INS Chakra, India joined an elite league of nations which was so far occupied by the P5 members. This new platform would serve various roles such as surveillance, sea-denial, supporting amphibious programmes and covert operations.203 Iranian forces were successful in freeing a ship carrying tons of goods to Iran that was attacked and hijacked in the Indian Ocean by Somali pirates.204 Mauritius ranks 53rd in WEF report; Seychelles has agreed to accept 15 Somali pirate suspects from the United States Armed Forces for prosecution in Seychelles; Germany expands military mission against Somali pirates; Tsunami watch issued for Indian Ocean Indonesia earthquake; World sea piracy falls 28 percent in first quarter as attacks drop off Somali coast; Deposed Maldives president says coup has fueled radical Islam According to the 11th edition of the Global Information Technology Report 2012 released by the World Economic Forum (WEF) in New York, Mauritius is ranked 53rd among 142 economies in “Fight against piracy needs global effort: India”, Twocircles.net, February 27, 2012 at http://twocircles.net/2012feb27/ fight_against_piracy_needs_global_effort_india.html “India proposes norms for Indian Ocean anti-piracy patrols”, The Economic Times, April 13, 2012 at http:// articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2012-04-13/news/31337622_1_navy-chiefs-admiral-nirmal-verma-indiannavy “India, China move to maritime cooperation”, The Hindu, March 1, 2012 at http://www.thehindu.com/news/ national/article2951373.ece “India inducts INS Chakra”, Deccan Herald, April 4, 2012 at http://www.deccanherald.com/content/239476/ india-commissions-nuclear-submarine-ins.html “Iran frees vessel hijacked in Indian Ocean – report”, Reuters.com, April 4, 2012 at http://in.reuters.com/article/ 2012/04/04/iran-vessel-hijack-idINDEE83301F20120404
the Networked Readiness Index. Mauritius is also described as the best performing sub-Saharan African nation. The WEF has featured Mauritius as a case study in the successful development of ICT in its prestigious report. 205 The acceptance of suspected pirates from the US Armed Forces follows the entente between President James Michel and the US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton that the United States would endeavour to continue reinforcing Seychelles’ capacity in the fight against piracy and collaborate with Seychelles in common actions against piracy in a proactive manner. Seychelles has today the highest percentage of Somali pirates in detention anywhere, amounting to 20% of its total prison capacity, which represents a huge burden on the prison system and restricts Seychelles’ capacity, in terms of being able to incarcerate further Somali pirates.206 The German cabinet has agreed on new rights for the Bundeswehr in the fight against piracy off the coast of Somalia. If parliament approves, the mission – previously restricted to the sea – will be taken inland.207 Indonesia issued a tsunami warning after an 8.7 magnitude earthquake hit waters off westernmost Aceh province, followed by an 8.2 magnitude aftershock. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii said a tsunami watch was in effect for Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka, Australia, Myanmar, Thailand, the Maldives and other Indian Ocean islands, Malaysia, Pakistan, Somalia, Oman, Iran, Bangladesh, Kenya, South Africa and Singapore.208 Sea piracy worldwide dropped 28 per cent in the first quarter of the year as attacks fell sharply in Somalia’s waters thanks to international naval patrols, an international maritime watchdog said Monday.209 Saying he was saddened and shocked by the speed with which his friends in Washington had abandoned him, the former president of Maldives, Mohamed Nasheed, warned that radical Islam has gained ground across the sprawling Indian Ocean archipelago since he was deposed in February.210 “Island ranks 53rd in WEF report”, The Independent, April 6, 2012, at http://theindependent.mu/2012/04/06/ island-ranks-53rd-in-wef-report/ “Seychelles has agreed to accept 15 Somali pirate suspects from the United States Armed Forces for prosecution in Seychelles”, Seychelles e News, March 7, 2012, at http://www.seychellesweekly.com/March%205,%202012/ pol2_15%20somali_pirates.html “Germany expands military mission against Somali pirates”, Shabelle News, April 18, 2012, at http://shabelle.net/ 2012/04/18/germany-expands-military-mission-against-somali-pirates/ “Tsunami Watch Issued For Indian Ocean Indonesia Earthquake”, The Telegraph, April 11, 2012, at http:// www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/indonesia/9197229/Tsunami-watch-issued-for-Indian-OceanIndonesia-earthquake.html “World sea piracy falls 28 percent in first quarter as attacks drop off Somali coast”, The Washington Post, April 23, 2012, at http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/world-sea-piracy-falls-28-percent-in-first-quarteras-attacks-drop-off-somali-coast/2012/04/23/gIQAbGBLbT_story.html “Deposed Maldives president says coup has fueled radical Islam”, The Washington Post, April 19, 2012, at http:// www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/deposed-maldives-president-says-coup-has-fueled-radical-islam/ 2012/04/19/gIQAW0qcTT_story.html
About the IDSAAfrica, Latin America, Caribbean & UN Centre
The Centre's research focus includes understanding developments in the African region and analysing various hotspots like Egypt, Libya, Nigeria, Somalia, Sudan, and the Indian Ocean Region. It also focuses on bilateral, regional as well as multilateral engagements between India and the countries of Africa. The Centre also endeavours to analyse India's engagement with Latin American countries, particularly in forums such as the IBSA and BRICS.
In addition, the Centre carries out research on the broader theme of India and the United Nations. It deals with important topics that come up in the Security Council and those that hold relevance and significance to India's foreign policy.
The news reports have been abridged to provide clarity. IDSA is not responsible for the accuracy and authenticity of the news items.