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«Editor Ruchita Beri Associate Editor Princy George Editorial Team Babjee Pothuraju Keerthi S Kumar Saurabh Mishra Africa Trends Volume 1, Number 2, ...»

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Nearly 200 die in South Sudan tribal feud; India proposes investment in South Sudan’s oil infrastructure; South Sudan rebels kill SPLA General and two Colonels; Indian Special Envoy in South Sudan on oil mission; Israel considers sending police force to South Sudan; US urges Sudan and South to settle conflict According to Kuol Manyang, governor of Jonglei state, more than 200 people have been killed in South Sudan in a spree of cattle-rustling attacks. Members of the Murle tribe attacked several groups of ethnic Lou Nuer who were in temporary camps where they had brought their herds for grazing. The Murle crossed from Pibor County, in Jonglei, into neighbouring Ethiopia, then traveled north before re-entering South Sudan to carry out the attacks. Security forces were unable to be deployed to the remote region of Nasir County in the state of Upper Nile, as it is inaccessible by road. The UN peacekeeping mission said it is investigating the attacks, but could not confirm Manyang’s report of 200 dead and more injured.30 Reinforcing India’s efforts to secure energy resources overseas, state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp. Ltd (ONGC) is in talks with South Sudan to help it build oil pipelines, crude oil stores and refineries in the newly formed African nation. The proposed investment by ONGC assumes significance as South Sudan stopped and capped crude oil production from all its 900 wells in January 2012. However, with other countries also eyeing the opportunity, India might face stiff competition.31 The South Sudan Liberation Army (SSLA) forces attacked Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) positions and inflicted lot of casualties on the enemy. The SSLA forces conducted reconnaissance after the end of the battle and found the body of Brig. Gen. Gatwech Gai Marial and two other colonels from the Dinka tribe. After the operation, SSLA operational commanders marched towards Bentiu town.32 Responding to the ongoing conflict between Sudan and South Sudan, India appointed a special envoy to broker peace between the two countries; this holds the key to India’s pursuit of oil and other hydrocarbon resources in Africa. MEA additional secretary Amarendra Khatua (who handles “Morocco: US Marines’ African Lion 12", Morocco Board, April 6, 2012, at http://www.moroccoboard.com/ viewpoint/60-ahmed-tb/5596-morocco-us-marines-african-lion-12 “More than 200 die in South Sudan tribal feud, official says”, CNN, March 12, 2012, at http://articles.cnn.com/ 2012-03-12/africa/world_africa_south-sudan-violence_1_south-sudanese-peacekeeping-missionattacks?_s=PM:AFRICA “India, South Sudan in oil infra talks”, Live Mint, March 27, 2012, at http://www.livemint.com/2012/03/27000444/ India-South-Sudan-in-oil-infr.html “South Sudan rebels kill SPLA general and two colonels”, Sudan Tribune, April 1, 2012, at http:// www.sudantribune.com/South-Sudan-rebels-kill-SPLA,42106

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the passport division) is on a visit to both Juba and Khartoum as India’s special envoy to help promote peace and protect India’s interests in other African nations as well.33 Israel has considered sending a police force to South Sudan to assist the UN. In this regard, Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon met Robert Orr, a top aide of UN Secretary-General Ban-Ki-moon, and told him that Israel was considering the possibility of sending 14 police officers to the African country. However, Israel’s final decision is being delayed due to the war that broke out between Sudan and South Sudan recently. At the same time, Foreign Ministry officials said Israel would not send the officers if there is any chance that their lives would be in danger.34 US President Barack Obama urged Sudan and South Sudan to end their fighting and begin negotiations to settle the intensifying conflict between the newly separated countries. Obama put part of the onus on the government of Sudan, which he said “must stop its military actions, including aerial bombardments.” He said the heated words between the countries had raised the risk of war at a time when neither side can afford continued conflict. Further, he said, “Likewise, the government of South Sudan must end its support for armed groups inside Sudan, and it must cease its military actions across the border”.35 SUDAN ICC issues war crimes warrant for Sudan minister; China cancels funding for agricultural project in Sudan; Sudan and South agree on basic freedoms for citizens The International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for Abdelrahim Mohamed Hussein, the Sudanese defence minister, as part of investigations into crimes committed in Sudan’s western region of Darfur. The court said that there were sufficient grounds to hold Hussein responsible for 20 counts of crimes against humanity, including persecution and rape, and 21 counts of war crimes, including murder and attacks on civilians. Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir is also wanted by the ICC for alleged war crimes in Darfur. However, Sudan dismissed the ICC move.36 President Omar al-Bashir revealed that an agricultural project in Sudan’s Nile River state has been put on hold because China cancelled a loan that was needed to extend electricity in the area.

Bashir said that his government gave Qatar 250,000 acres of land in the state to encourage investments from the rich Arab Gulf state. The Chinese loan was in return for oil shipments which stopped after the secession of the South. Qatar has decided to step in and provide the loan.37 “Indian envoy in South Sudan on oil mission”, The Times of India, April 2, 2012, at http:// articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2012-04-02/india/31274931_1_south-sudan-juba-khartoum “Israel considers sending police force to S. Sudan”, Y Net News, April 19, 2012, at http://www.ynetnews.com/ articles/0,7340,L-4218328,00.html “Obama Urges South Sudan and Sudan to End Strife”, The New York Times, April 21, 2012, at http:// www.nytimes.com/2012/04/22/world/africa/obama-urges-sudan-and-south-sudan-to-end-fighting.html “War crimes warrant for Sudan minister”, Al Jazeera, March 2, 2012, at http://www.aljazeera.com/news/africa/ 2012/03/20123263020568112.html “China refused to fund agricultural project in Sudan for lack of oil collateral: Bashir”, Sudan Tribune, March 10, 2012, at http://www.sudantribune.com/China-refused-to-fund-agricultural,41864 Africa Trends Volume 1, Number 2, March-April 2012 African Union mediators have said that Sudan and South Sudan have agreed on a framework agreement to give their citizens basic freedoms in both nations. They have agreed to allow citizens of the other state to live, work and own property on either side of the border, and travel between the two nations. However, bitter disagreements over disputed land and oil remain unresolved.38

TUNISIA





UK Foreign Office Minister visits Tunisia; Differences emerge in Tunisia over religion in state affairs; US announces US$ 100 million to boost Tunisian finances In his third visit to Tunisia since the revolution, UK Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt underlined the UK’s support for Tunisia’s transition process. He also traveled to the city of Sfax to meet local business leaders and British investors. Burt underlined the UK’s strong bilateral relationship with Tunisia, which would be further strengthened by the UK’s support for the democratic transition. The ministers also discussed regional issues, including in North Africa, and Burt welcomed the efforts Tunisia was making to bring together the countries of the Maghreb region.39 Thousands of Tunisian Islamists took to the streets to step up their demands for the creation of an Islamic state in one of the most secular Arab nations. About 8,000 conservative Salafi Islamists filled the capital’s Habib Bourguiba Avenue, a focal point of the 2011 revolution that sparked uprisings across the Arab world. Waving black flags, they shouted slogans demanding that Islamic law, or Sharia, be defined as the main source of legislation in Tunisia’s new constitution.40 In response, Tunisia’s governing Islamist party said it will not support making Sharia, or Islamic law, the main source of legislation in a new constitution and will maintain the secular nature of the state. Ennahda, which emerged as the biggest party in Tunisia’s first democratic elections in 2011, said it would keep the first article of the 1956 constitution in the new basic law now being drafted. The article enshrines the separation of religion and state.41 Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that the United States would give Tunisia US$ 100 million to buttress short-term government finances as the country negotiates a democratic transition.

Pending congressional notification and approval, the US money would go directly to debt that Tunisia owes the World Bank and the African Development Bank, freeing Tunis to concentrate on its own priority programmes and job creation.42 “Sudan and South Sudan leaders agree basic freedoms”, BBC News, March 13, 2012, at http://www.bbc.co.uk/ news/world-africa-17361311 “Foreign Office Minister visited Tunisia”, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, March 15, 2012, at http:// www.fco.gov.uk/en/news/latest-news/?view=PressR&id=742357182 “Tunisian Islamists step up demand for Islamic state”, Reuters, March 25, 2012, at http://www.reuters.com/ article/2012/03/25/us-tunisia-salafis-protest-idUSBRE82O0D120120325 “Tunisia constitution will not be based on Islamic law: party”, The Daily Star, March 27, 2012, at http:// www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2012/Mar-27/168167-tunisia-constitution-will-not-be-based-onislamic-law-party.ashx#axzz1t3FCESRo “U.S. to give $100 million to boost Tunisia finances: Clinton”, Reuters, March 29, 2012, at http://www.reuters.com/ article/2012/03/29/us-tunisia-usa-aid-idUSBRE82S0PB20120329

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WESTERN SAHARA

UN Western Sahara envoy embarks on regional tour; UN suspects Moroccan spying over its Western Sahara mission; UN renews Western Sahara mission Following informal talks with the parties, the United Nations envoy for Western Sahara, Christopher Ross, announced that he would embark on a regional tour starting in mid-May 2012, including an extensive visit to the disputed territory. Morocco presented a plan for autonomy while the position of the Frente Polisario was that the territory’s final status should be decided in a referendum on self-determination that includes independence as an option. They also deepened their discussion on demining, natural resources and environment, without prejudice to the definitive status of the territory, and welcomed the progress accomplished on these topics. In addition, the next round of informal meetings will take place in Europe in June 2012.43 UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon suggested that Morocco may have been spying on the world body’s monitoring force in the disputed territory of Western Sahara and hampering its ability to function. This assessment came after the latest round of UN-mediated talks between Morocco, the Polisario Front independence movement, Algeria and Mauritania on the future of Western Sahara failed to make any real progress. In his report to the UN Security Council, Ban complained that the UN force in Western Sahara, known as MINURSO, is “unable to exercise fully its peacekeeping monitoring, observation and reporting functions, or avail of the authority to reverse the erosion” of its ability to function. Among the difficulties the force has been facing, Ban wrote, is Moroccan spying on the UN force.44 The United Nations Security Council renewed the mandate of a peacekeeping force in the disputed territory of Western Sahara, but South Africa expressed disappointment that the 15-nation body did not ask UN troops to monitor alleged rights abuses. After the council unanimously voted to approve the force for another year, South Africa’s UN Ambassador Baso Sangqu accused the council of ignoring the rights of the Western Saharan people.45

SOUTHERN AFRICA

BOTSWANA

Kazungula Project runs into financial shortfalls; Botswana seeks joint tourism ventures with Zambia; Botswana invites Chinese investment in textile sector Kazungula Bridge Project runs into financial shortfalls as Zambia and Botswana have a shortfall “UN Western Sahara envoy to embark on regional visit in May”, UN News Centre, March 13, 2012, at http:// www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=41534&Cr=western+sahara&Cr1= “Morocco may have spied on Western Sahara mission: UN”, Yahoo News, April 13, 2012, at http://news.yahoo.com/ morocco-may-spied-western-sahara-mission-un-052010603.html “UN renews Western Sahara mission”, IOL News, April 25, 2012, at http://www.iol.co.za/news/africa/un-renewswestern-sahara-mission-1.1283132

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of over US$ 130 million for the construction of the bridge project. Both the governments are working out modalities to source funds to build the bridge.46 Botswana has called for joint marketing ventures with Zambia aimed at developing and boosting tourist arrivals in both countries. It is important for the two countries to work together so that tourists visiting both countries would enjoy the peace.47 During a ceremony to sign Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) with China, Botswana’s Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Kenneth Matambo, has invited Chinese textile investors to set up their manufacturing plants in the country. He mentioned that it would benefit both countries if Chinese textile and other investors set up their production units in Botswana.

Further, there exists lot of untapped opportunities for investment, particularly in textile and other manufacturing sectors.48

LESOTHO



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