African Security Review - Volume 17, Issue 1, 2008
Volume 17, Issue 1, 2008
Author Deane-Peter BakerSource: African Security Review 17, pp 1 –3 (2008)More Less
Africa's history, perhaps more than any other continent, has been beset by interventions from the outside world in general and by the reigning 'great powers' in particular. Indeed, it is only half a lifetime since African nations began to emerge from under the yoke of colonialism.
United States relations with South Africa : why now is a critical time to strengthen them : featuresAuthor Thaddeus L. UnderwoodSource: African Security Review 17, pp 6 –19 (2008)More Less
Now, more than ever, the United States needs to strengthen its relationship with the Republic of South Africa (RSA). A renewed focus on the African continent by global powers is putting Africa at the centre of a struggle for influence and resources. The US provides aid for numerous countries throughout Africa, but South Africa undeniably receives the major share with over US$221 million for Aids relief alone in 2006. Yet, diplomatic relations between the US and South Africa remain somewhat strained and prevent the US from collaborating effectively with South Africa to bring peace and security to the African continent. Working through those differences sooner, rather than later, will yield enormous returns for the African continent as a whole, as well as for US national security concerns in the future.
The RSA is the strongest economic power on the African continent, with a gross domestic product (GDP) in 2006 of US$587,5 billion (more than 67 per cent of which came from the services sector) and a GDP growth rate of 5 per cent. Unfortunately, even the current economic growth has not been sufficient to lower the unemployment rate, since the country is still plagued by many problems from the apartheid era, specifically poverty and a lack of economic empowerment among previously disadvantaged groups. These problems spill over into the wider economy and prevent South Africa from being the leader on the continent that the world expects it to be.
The US is involved in multiple programmes to alleviate many of South Africa's problems - by means of military assistance, health services, economic aid and other projects from numerous agencies. The existing programmes, combined with stronger diplomatic and military relationships between the two countries, are critical in ensuring that South Africa becomes a beacon of leadership for other countries. In addition, with South Africa being the hegemon of Africa, better relations with South Africa are vital to US interests in Africa: South Africa will be able to act as a committed US partner once relations have been strengthened.
The recent announcement that the US is preparing to establish a unified, designated Africa Command (AFRICOM), which will be responsible for the entire African continent except Egypt, presents a new set of opportunities for the US and South Africa to strengthen military and diplomatic relations. This will inevitably lead to a more prosperous South Africa and Africa since a stronger South Africa can play a larger role in the humanitarian crises that plague the continent.
This paper focuses on why it is imperative that the US, in addition to focusing its attention on northern Africa (due to national interests such as oil, terrorism and potential rogue states), should also devote extensive attention to South Africa. Working through the present challenges and maintaining sound diplomatic relations will benefit not only the US and South Africa, but the African continent as a whole.
The United States Africa Command : enhancing American security or fostering African development? : featuresSource: African Security Review 17, pp 20 –38 (2008)More Less
This paper scrutinises the United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) by raising a number of questions to unravel its true purpose; either as an instrument to enhance American security interests in Africa or to foster African development as claimed by the US.
It contends that Western strategic / security needs in Africa would be best assured not by using military means to check China or terrorism in Africa, but rather by looking to meaningfully address the continent's human security needs that are amplified both by unfair trade relations between it and the West, and by the benign neglect and scrounging relationship that has historically enabled, cuddled and protected corrupt and self-centred leaders to do their bidding throughout the continent.
The paper concludes that Africa is perhaps witnessing the beginnings of a new era in global relations - post-modern neo-colonialism - as its growing global strategic importance is setting it up for competition among Europe, America and China; implying that the potential exists for a second scramble that will lead to Africa's repartitioning into docile political entities that lack any genuine capacity for autonomous action.
Source: African Security Review 17, pp 39 –50 (2008)More Less
Relations between the People's Republic of China and Africa have a long history and have seen several changes over the course of time. The current relationship between China and Africa is new and dynamic in the sense that it is transforming itself all the time. Initially, there were rumours that China was only interested in Africa for the sake of energy security. In this paper we argue that, in fact, the relationship has been transformed into a longer-term, deeper economic engagement. Africa has also seen the beginning of a security partnership with for example Chinese troops in Darfur. However, at present it is impossible to know what the long-term impact of China's new engagement with Africa will be. Only time will tell whether China is indeed a better partner for Africa than the West and if Western concerns are justified.
Author Monika ThakurSource: African Security Review 17, pp 52 –67 (2008)More Less
The process of post-conflict reconstruction in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) faces a number of key challenges, the most significant being the rise of dissident armed groups after the official end of the conflict in 2003, especially in North and South Kivu. These groups have continually resisted the demilitarisation process, thereby undermining the efforts of the Congolese government and the international community. The purpose of this paper is to critically analyse the character of these groups by focusing on their motivations, organisational structure and the local context in which they operate. An examination of demilitarisation activities in the eastern DRC will be provided. Finally, an examination of policy recommendations (which include an effective security sector reform strategy, providing financial support to the integrated army, improving the reintegration element of the demilitarisation programme, and involving the overall socio-economic conditions of the region) will also be provided.
The African Union's evolving role in peace operations : the African Union Mission in Burundi, the African Union Mission in Sudan and the African Union Mission in Somalia : essaysAuthor Tim MurithiSource: African Security Review 17, pp 70 –82 (2008)More Less
The African Union has been operational for close to five years now and it is appropriate to reflect on whether its peace and security architecture will achieve its objectives. In 2002, the AU adopted the Protocol on Peace and Security, which launched the creation of the Peace and Security Council, the African Standby Force, the Continental Early Warning Mechanism and the Panel of the Wise. This architecture is designed to oversee the successful implementation of the AU's peacemaking, peacekeeping and peacebuilding initiatives. This article assesses the evolving role of the AU in peace operations. It argues that given the youthfulness of its institutions, the AU has made a significant effort to conduct peace operations, notably in Burundi. However, the limitations of its fledgling institutions have been exposed in the complex humanitarian situation in the Darfur region of Sudan and in Somalia. Ultimately, it is too early to pass a definitive judgment on the AU's peace operations since the paradigm shift in attitudes that the AU is attempting to bring about, and the institutions that it has developed to do so, have to be given the opportunity to work.
Author Richard GueliSource: African Security Review 17, pp 83 –96 (2008)More Less
Because the key to ending Africa's wars is generally thought to lie in development (and not in defence), this paper proposes that post-conflict reconstruction be recognised, and treated, as a high priority in South African foreign policy. Although South Africa has not lacked the political will to promote development abroad, there has been no credible, well-researched plan to back this commitment. This paper is about developing such a plan and highlights several possible areas of future research.
Considerations on the concept of a regional commercial satellite imagery interpretation centre in support of African peace operations : commentariesAuthor Geoffrey QuickSource: African Security Review 17, pp 98 –113 (2008)More Less
The development of military reconnaissance satellite programmes, and their exploitation by the superpowers, was a significant feature of the Cold War, albeit one shrouded in heavy security. Initially of considerably lower overall performance, commercial imaging satellites have demonstrated increasing technical capability over the last 35 years, resulting in significant additional military potential becoming freely available, especially over the last decade. Historically, however, commercial satellite imagery (CSI) was largely exploited, and indeed managed, by the scientific remote sensing (RS) community as distinct from the military imagery interpretation (II) community.
The collapse of the former Soviet Union in 1990 brought about a radical evolution in the recognition of a series of evolving societal threats, many of which were played out in the developing world, especially in Africa. Many of the elements of information required in support of peace operations can be openly ascertained from the analysis of CSI by combining RS and II disciplines. Although shared international capability currently exists in the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and the European Union, the growing impetus is for the African Union to conduct peace operations from within the continent. This approach arguably favours the establishment and subordination of an indigenous, multidisciplinary regional satellite imagery centre to support AU interests and operations. It is suggested that the guidelines for establishing and operating such a centre may well favour its inclusion within the AU Peace and Security Directorate.
Author Berouk MesfinSource: African Security Review 17, pp 114 –118 (2008)More Less
In France's Fifth Republic, foreign affairs constitute the paramount concern in all policymaking and the horizon réservé (reserved domain) of the president. This monopoly was facilitated by the 'hyper-president' allowed for by the 1958 constitution, constitutional and customary limitations on other actors, and the omnipotence of inter-cabinet channels. Despite pronouncements that France has neither the capability nor the desire to continue playing the role of Africa's gendarme (policeman), successive French governments have maintained a policy of co-opting and supporting a host of corrupt and unsavory dictators who show willingness to support France's interests. More recently French policymakers have begun proclaiming that they provide the best possible alternative to China, which is steadily making inroads into Africa. France's latest 'altruistic' endeavours are really designed to maximise France's interests in Africa, which it shamelessly considers as its chasse gardée (exclusive sphere of influence or, literally, private hunting-ground).
Author Chris AldenSource: African Security Review 17, pp 120 –123 (2008)More Less
Nowhere in the world is China's rapid rise to power more evident than in Africa. From multi-billion dollar investments in oil and minerals to the influx of tens of thousands of merchants, labourers and cheap consumer goods, China's economic and political reach is redefining Africa's traditional ties with the international community.
Author Mingjiang LiSource: African Security Review 17, pp 124 –130 (2008)More Less
A rising power is understandably always the focus of world attention and consequently China now finds itself in the spotlight. Every major international move by Beijing is closely scrutinised by foreign leaders, scholars and pundits. China's Africa policy and the rapid expansion of Beijing's influence on the continent receive particular attention.