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South Africa's President Thabo Mbeki will press for the adoption of a defence pact by the 14-strong Southern African Development Community. It will be presented as a 'reform package': ministers will be asked to sign a 'political, defence and security agreement' that will bolster stability and attract investment. Investors will know, according to South African Defence Minister Patrick Lekota, that they're protected by 'the collective might of SADC'. This pact will follow regional trade and economic protocols due to be ratified soon. It will also provide a framework for a multinational peacekeeping force in the region and even outside it. It may help to forestall conflicts between SADC states.

(This article contains approximately 1542 words)

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South Africa, Thabo Mbeki, Patrick Lekota, Angolan, Namibia, Sam Nujoma, Zambia, Lesotho, Mishake Muyongo, Congo-Kinshasa, Zimbabwe, Laurent-Désiré Kabila, Botswana, Rwanda, Uganda, Robert Mugabe, Joaquim Chissano, Mangosuthu Buthelezi, Billy Masethla, Membathisi Mdladlana, Controversial constitution, Morgan Tsvangirai, John Nkomo, Simba Makoni, Emmerson Mnangagwa, Investors v. activists in Luanda, Jonas Savimbi, José Eduardo dos Santos, United States, France, Britain, João Lourenço, Paulo Lukamba 'Gato', Marcial Dachala, Helder Boris Mundombe, Karisa Dachala, Kalias Malungo, Neto, Abilio Kamalata 'Numa', António Dembo, Abel Chivukuvuku, União Nacional para a Independência Total de Angola, Resistência Nacional Moçambicana, Frente Nacional de Libertação de Moçambique, Movimento Popular de Libertação de Angola, Renovada