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DEFENCE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
3 February 2004
COMM0N AFRICAN DEFENCE AND SECURITY POLICY; SUPPORT TOWARDS THE CREATION OF THE AFRICA STANDBY FORCE; SADC MUTUAL DEFENCE PACT RATIFICATION: BRIEFINGS
Chairperson: Ms T Modise
Documents handed out:
Parliamentary briefing on the Common African Defence and Security Policy (CADSP)
SANDF/DOD support towards the creation of the Africa Standby Force
African Union Draft Framework for a common African Defence and Security Policy (Awaited)
African Union Draft on the African Non- Aggression and Common Defence Pact (Awaited)
The Committee was briefed on the Common African Defence and Security Policy as well as on the creation of an African Standby Force. The Department provided an overview of each of the initiatives, setting out its aims, goals and the benefits for Africa as a whole. The Committee was also informed on the process of ratifying the SADC Mutual Defence Pact.
Common African Defence and Security Policy (CADSP)
Mr Motumi conducted the briefing, assisted by Mr Motumi, Mr Naidoo, General De Lange, General Rademan, Mr Rakate, Mr Mkulu and Colonel Jene. Motumi explained that the need for a CADSP first emerged at the African Union Summit held in Durban in July 2002. Subsequent meetings had taken place in March, May and July 2003 which had ultimately culminated in the drafting of the CADSP. The draft policy was generally accepted by all delegates although some concerns had been raised over the definition of an "unprovoked" attack. The policy wasscheduled for adoption on the 28 February 2004 at an African Union (AU) meeting in Libya.
Mr Motumi outlined some of the goals of the policy, namely to enhance a common vision of defence and security; the integration of various security agreements; to ensure a collective response to threats in Africa; and to promote mutual trust and confidence among African states. The core principle of the policy was the sovereign equality and interdependence of AU member states. Conflict resolution should be undertaken by peaceful means and a military response should be used as a last resort.
The building blocks of CADSP comprised both continental and regional instruments and mechanisms, such as through Regional Economic Groups (REG). The AU Assembly would be the supreme organ in implementing the CADSP. The Assembly would in turn delegate its powers to the Peace and Security Council (PSC). At regional level, the REGs would have mechanisms in place for conflict prevention, management and resolution. A great deal of co-ordination would therefore need to take place between the PSC and relevant continental and regional mechanisms. The PSC would have to co-operate and work closely with the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). CADSP was merely a framework that was intended to facilitate the adoption of a more binding instrument.
Mr R Mohlala (ANC) asked if any AfrIcan countries would be excluded from CADSP.
Mr Motumi said that the issue of exclusions was directly related to the concerns raised over the definition of an "unprovoked" attack. Countries felt that an attack was an attack irrespective whether it was provoked or not. It was therefore decided to omit the provision relating to an unprovoked attack.
Mr N Fihla (ANC) asked how unprovoked aggression by a country outside of Africa towards an African country be dealt with, and also about war crimes.
Mr Motumi said that reactions to attacks on African countries were spelled out in various provisions of the CADSP. Mr Rakate (Department) said that war crimes would be dealt with by the International Criminal Court (ICC).
The Chair felt that war crimes were better spelt out in the Rome Statute. She noted that rape was regarded as a war crime in this. She was disappointed that the CADSP did not contain a similar provision.
The Chair asked why there was a delay in countries signing the CADSP. The policy became useless if countries refused to be signatories. She lastly asked whether a signatory to the CADSP automatically becomes acceded to the treaties mentioned in the CADSP.
Mr Motumi said that countries often had their own reasons to delay. Even though CADSP took other treaties into consideration, it did not mean that being a signatory to CADSP bound countries to the other treaties.
Mr Ntuli (UDM) asked if the funding for the implementation of CADSP would be taken out of SA's defence budget.
Mr Motumi answered that CADSP member states would be required to make financial contributions towards the implementation of the CADSP.
Adv H Schmidt (DA) asked about the long-term role of the AU regional structures. He also asked for time frames to make a decision on action was to be taken in the event that an African country was attacked.
Mr Motumi answered that the regional structures were part of the building blocks of the AU. General De Lange added that regional bodies havd the power to take decision on actions and only thereafter to seek an AU mandate. Thereafter the AU would seek a United Nations mandate. Mr Motumi clarified that it was difficult to give specific time frames. He pointed out that provisions were included in protocols to facilitate decision-making processes.
Mr Blaas (ACDP) asked if mechanisms were in place to police the contributions made by member states for the implementation of the CADSP.
Mr Motumi stated that penalties were in place for member states that did not contribute.
The Chair was concerned over the penalties as certain countries were able to financially contribute more than others.
Mr Mohlala was concerned about the possibility of a signatory of CADSP having clashes with other treaties they had signed.
Mr Motumi said that countries would have to harmonise treaties. He agreed that it could become complex.
Mr N Ngcobo (ANC) said that large countries like the USA often have bilateral agreements with smaller countries. He asked what precautionary measures had been taken to address this issue.
Mr Motumi said he was aware of such problems associated. Countries sometimes entered into bilateral agreements, even though it was to their detriment in the long term. The USA had refused to become a member of the ICC and had even persuaded other countries not to join.
The Chair said that she was involved in the process of counter-lobbying the stance of the USA. Stronger measures were needed to police the CADSP.
African Standby Force (ASF)
Generals De Lange and Rademan conducted the briefing. General De Lange said that the establishment of the AU emphasised the importance of Africa acting in a multi-lateral manner. The continent needed to show the world that it was able to take responsibility for itself.
The ASF would be developed in two phases: the first phase to be completed by 30 June 2003 and the second phase by 30 June 2010. The ASF would allow for rapid deployment and early entry capability of troops to prevent killings and genocide while also having the mandate to continue with peace keeping initiatives when needed. Some support operations would include peacekeeping, peace enforcement and peace building. The headquarters of the ASF would be situated in Addis Ababa. An ASF brigade would be deployed in each of the five regions ie North, South, East, West and Central.
General De Lange said that SA's Chief of Joint Operations had led the process to develop broad options for the SANDF's contribution to the ASF. An assessment had been done on possible posts that would need to be filled by Department staff. The establishment of an ASF did not mean that Africa divorced itself from the UN.
Mr Blaas asked whether the ASF brigades stationed in the various regions would be standardised.
General De Lange said there would be flexibility for each brigade. This would allow each region to utilise resources at their disposal. Brigades would not be identical in all respects.
The Chair said she expected SA to make a major financial contribution to the ASF. This burden would weigh heavily on SA.
Ratification of SADC Pact
Mr Motumi noted that the ratification process was almost complete. The State Law Advisers had given their approval on the constitutionality of the Pact. Mr Motumi stated that the Department, together with the Department of Foreign Affairs, was spearheading the process. Once the process was complete, the Pact would be referred to Parliament for ratification.
The Chair noted that the Committee had no real concerns over the Pact and would wait for the formal process of ratification to begin.
The meeting was adjourned.
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