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Vol 41 No 1

Published 7th January 2000

Decision time

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.

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