Come clean about South African involvement in the Democratic Republic of the Congo statement by UDM President (31 August 1998)

The ANC government's approach in the conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo leaves much to be desired. The ANC government cannot be considered a credible mediator for peace in the Congo while many questions remain unanswered about South Africa's involvement in the sales of arms to the war torn Rwanda. If SA is to be considered to be a trustworthy mediator and broker for peace it should not be seen to take sides. It was evident on TV footage used during the weekend that weapons of South African origin are used in the Congo conflict.

The old apartheid government of South Africa was accused of destabilising its neighbours and the ANC's assistance to Rebels against the Congo is merely pursuing the same agenda. The ANC led government must come out clear in this regard. Are they assisting the rebels and what does this assistance entail? Did they or did they not sell guns and ammunition to Rwanda? Already the ANC's approach in foreign relations, specifically on the African continent is resulting in serious tension between South Africa and its neighbours. The arrogance and "big brother knows better" approach of the ANC led government is insulting to sovereign countries on the African continent.

The UDM believes that there is a need to revisit the mandate of SADC. It was established to fight the old Apartheid South Africa. The attempt of South Africa to take over the responsibility of Security in SADC from Zimbabwe needs to be resolved. It seems as if a free and democratic South Africa with al the resources available to it, is undermined when it comes to the allocation of tasks in SADC.

The UDM suggest an urgent two-country summit between South Africa and Zimbabwe to normalise the current tension experienced in relationships between the two countries. The conflict between Mandela and Mugabe is difficult to understand since it was a combined effort between Mugabe, Mandela and Musuveni that assisted Kabila to come into power in the first place. The region and its people can not be hold at ransom because of personal interests and egos.

The United Democratic Movement calls for a peaceful solution to the current conflict. The United Nations can and should play a leading role in resolving the situation. There can be no idealistic talks about a so-called African Renaissance unless conflict of this nature can be put to an end through peaceful means. It is only then, that Africa will earn the respect it deserves and become the great continent it can be. The ANC's current approach will not assist in this becoming a reality.

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