Zuma Attends CAR Summit

EWN's Africa Correspondent, Jean-Jacques Cornish, reports on the day's top African news

President Jacob Zuma. Picture: GCIS

PRETORIA - South African President Jacob Zuma will attend the N'Djamena Summit to look at responses to March's rebel takeover in the Central African Republic (CAR).

On Wednesday, Zuma joined the summit hosted by Chadian President, Idriss Déby, wherein 10 central African states will discuss the way forward post-CAR rebel takeover.

Zuma will seek to diffuse the growing storm over South Africa's ill-fated CAR mission.

Déby, formerly one of ousted CAR president François Bozizé's backers, did not invite the exiled leader, who reportedly expected to attend the summit.

Déby had backed Bozizé when the latter sought to overthrow the CAR's previous president -from 1993 until 2003 - Ange-Félix Patassé, but has since abandoned Bozizé.

Thus, a hugely bitter Bozizé sought to stir matters when stating that Chadian soldiers had joined forces with the Seleka rebels who had killed 13 South African soldiers in March.

However, Déby and Zuma met after the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) Summit in March, and it is highly probable that the two leaders discussed the N'Djamena summit.

PREPARING FOR BATTLE?

South Africa is approaching this summit with a heavy armed hand, having sent Gripen fighters, RX Helicopters, and Rooivalks, all from the South African contingent in the Democratic Republic of Congo - within striking range of the CAR.

Furthermore, at Tuesday's memorial service for the 13 slain South African paratroopers, military sources stated that the military thinking is that South Africa should go in guns blazing as opposed to retreating once more.

The sentiment was clear: "Never again are we going to be caught unprepared."

UNITED NATIONS PASSES TREATY

On Tuesday, the United Nations (UN) General Assembly passed the first-ever treaty regulating the global conventional weapons trade in an attempt to bring transparency and protection of human rights to the often murky industry.

This is a particularly impactful treaty for the African continent as Africa has had control of nuclear weapons for some time now.

The first conventional arms control treaty received overwhelming support by the United Nations General Assembly.

Only Syria, North Korea and Iran - which had blocked the treaty last week - voted against. Russia, one of the world's most prolific exporters of conventional weapons, was among the 23 countries abstaining.

The treaty will cover everything from warships to AK-47's.

Certainly a bad day for the opposing nations, warlords, pirates, terrorists and criminals in Africa.

EU REBUILDING MALI ARMY

In a 15-month operation, costing approximately $15 million, the European Union (EU) has begun rebuilding the Mali army.

Although there will be no combat, the EU Training Mission plans to train Mali's fractured army so it can defend against fresh attacks by Islamists when French forces begin withdrawing in coming weeks.

Islamist fighters seized control of northern Mali in 2012.