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Vol 39 No 15

Published 24th July 1998

Crane blues

South Africa's reluctance to join the United States-backed African Crisis Response Initiative raises new questions about the future of peacekeeping in Africa as the security situation worsens sharply in Angola and Congo- Kinshasa. Both countries are members of the Southern African Development Community, which holds joint peacekeeping exercises to promote security cooperation between the region's military officers, troops and politicians. This year, the SADC exercises are called 'Blue Crane' and are to be held in November in South Africa, whose military officers are keen to upstage last year's 'Blue Hungwe' exercise in Zimbabwe. President Robert Mugabe heads SADC's military/security apparatus which, he has argued, should have more ad hoc powers and the right to call summit meetings. Pretoria disagrees and insists SADC's security apparatus must be directly answerable to the political leadership (at head of state level) of the regional grouping.

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