ANC discusses Somalia and east Africa instability

2013-09-29 14:00

The ANC is concerned about the situation in east Africa, and believes that peace in Somalia is key to security in the region.

Obed Bapela, the ANC’s head of international relations, yesterday confirmed that the party’s national executive committee discussed the situation in east Africa at its meeting this weekend in Tshwane, following the Westgate shopping centre massacre in Nairobi, Kenya.

Although he did not elaborate on discussions in the closed meeting, Bapela said the sooner a solution to the instability in Somalia was found, the better, because the crisis in that country makes the entire region and the eastern shore volatile.

He said the ANC stood behind the decision of the Kenyan government to send troops to stabilise Somalia as problems such as piracy in the Indian Ocean were beginning to affect South Africa.

Bapela said South Africa faced no threat from any of the “groups running amok” as none of them had threatened it, but said the country was ready to deal with any eventuality, since it has passed antiterrorism laws.

“That does not mean South Africa is not alert and studying the situation and preparing ourselves for if it (were to) happen,” he said.

A source who attended the meeting said participants also discussed the party’s progress in preparing for elections, and how far the party is in implementing its policies.

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