SADC silent on growing regional unrest

2011-08-17 14:59
Luanda - Southern African leaders opened a summit in Angola on Wednesday, but were largely silent on growing unrest in the region and ongoing leadership battles in Zimbabwe and Madagascar.

The two-day summit of the 15-nation Southern African Development Community (SADC) comes on the heels of recent crackdowns on anti-government protests in Malawi and Swaziland, which join the other crises on the list of regional leaders' headaches.

The SADC is under pressure to show its commitment to democracy in the region at the meeting in the Angolan capital, Luanda, but Wednesday's opening ceremony made no direct references to the spreading political turmoil.

Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos said in a written welcome message that the summit would allow regional leaders to "harmonise our positions regarding key current affairs issues that may affect the peace and stability necessary to ensure sustainable development and the consolidation of democracy."

But dos Santos, the SADC's incoming chair, did not mention what a group of southern African civil society leaders described last week as the region's growing list of "problem cases".

Namibian President Hifikepunye Pohamba, the organisation's outgoing chair, said "progress" had been made by SADC mediation teams trying to resolve the protracted stand-offs in Zimbabwe and Madagascar, but did not elaborate except to say that "all these issues were dealt with" at an SADC meeting in June.

The SADC has been criticised for dragging its feet in the Zimbabwe and Madagascar crises, which its mediators have so far failed to definitively resolve.

In Zimbabwe, long-time President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai are deadlocked over when to hold new elections.

Solution


The two leaders share power in a tense "unity government" formed to halt the country's economic and political tailspin after a bloody and contested election in 2008.

Mugabe insists new polls go ahead this year, with or without the new constitution agreed to in the power-sharing deal. Tsvangirai wants reforms to be implemented first.

Madagascar was suspended from the SADC in March 2009 after elected president Marc Ravalomanana was ousted by Andry Rajoelina, then mayor of the capital Antananarivo.

Regional mediators have yet to find a solution to the impasse, and there was no chair for Madagascar at the summit's opening ceremony.

In Malawi, 19 people were killed last month when security forces used live ammunition to put down demonstrations against President Bingu wa Mutharika, accused of becoming increasingly autocratic amid an economic downward spiral.

After the deadly unrest, the SADC sent an observer mission to the country that is expected to report back to the summit.

Swaziland's King Mswati III, Africa's last absolute monarch, also faces growing anti-government sentiment. The tiny kingdom erupted in protest in April over proposals to slash government workers' salaries amid a financial crisis that has seen Mbabane beg South Africa for money.

Read more on:    sadc  |  king mswati iii  |  marc ravalomanana  |  robert mugabe  |  hifikepunye pohamba  |  andry rajoelina  |  namibia  |  angola  |  swaziland  |  madagascar  |  malawi  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
16 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Wednesday Montague Gardens - 10:52 AM
    Road name: Montague Drive Southbound
    DELAYS towards Bosmansdam Road due to roadworks
  • Wednesday Kuils River - 10:21 AM
    Road name: Polkadraai Road Eastbound
    ROADWORKS between the R102 Van Riebeeck Road and the R310 Baden Powell Drive exit - DELAYS
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2 TV Series for R250

Get 2 TV Series box sets for R250 and save up to R148! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Pre-order the Xbox One

Get this all-in-one entertainment system with live TV, movies, social networking and gaming. Pre-order now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on electronics!

Save up to 35% on electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Samsung Galaxy S III 16GB

There are no straight lines in nature. The Samsung  GALAXY...

From R3795.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

The ingredients for today are communicating your original ideas in a creative and unique way that can make the right people look...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.