Arms control and disarmament in Southern Africa: An assessment of civil society and state responses in Mozambique 1995 – 2003

Henda, Mongi Stanley (Stellenbosch : University of Stellenbosch, 2010-03)


ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This thesis aims to ascertain the level of success which civil society and state actors have had in dealing with issues of arms control and disarmament in the SADC region during the post- Cold War era. The main research question shall be divided into two key questions, the first being: How successful have states been in managing arms control and disarmament in the SADC region? The second question being: How successful has civil society been in managing arms control and disarmament in the SADC region? The study is therefore an evaluative study and shall be focused on the case study of Mozambique. Two arms control processes shall be evaluated in this regard. First is the “Transforming weapons into Ploughshares” or TAE project which is a civil society campaign aimed at minimizing the harsh impacts that Small Arms and Light Weapons have on Mozambican society. The demarcated time period for this project shall be 1995-2003. Second is state driven operation between South African and Mozambican police aimed at locating and destroying arms caches responsible for fuelling the illicit trade in light arms between the two countries. This project was known as Operation Rachel and shall be evaluated from the period of 1995-2001. Through evaluating these two projects, the study shall seek to make the point that in terms of arms control in post-conflict developing states, there is a role for both state and civil societies. The role of civil society organizations can be seen as one of identifying security threats, raising public awareness and democratizing security issues such as arms control so that society at large becomes active in negating the problem. The role of the state on the other hand is to live up to its duties as the chief provider of security for the designated population within the state’s territorial boundary. Arms control in Mozambique and in the SADC region in general has been mediocre at best since as shall be demonstrated, states are far too weak to offer any meaningful protection to citizens and secondly civil society organizations which have taken it upon themselves to offer this kind of protection are just not well resourced enough to undertake state responsibilities. Thus the key recommendation of this study is that Southern African states invariably need to build up their capacities. Light weapons have spread uncontrollably throughout the region because weak and fractured states could not contain the problem and continue struggling to manage a multitude of security threats. It is therefore up to civil society organizations to build strong societies which can demand stronger state action.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie tesis se doel is om vas te stel tot watter mate die burgerlike samelewing en Staat akteurs sukses behaal het in terme van wapenbeheer en ontwapening in die Suider-Afrikaanse Ontwikkelings Gemeenskap (SAOG) streek na die koue oorlog. Die hoof navorsings vraag sal in twee kern vrae verdeel word, Die eerste vraag is: Hoeveel sukses het die burgerlike samelewing in die SAOG streek gehad met die bestuur van wapenbeheer en ontwapening? Die tweede vraag is: hoeveel sukses het Staat akteurs in die SAOG streek gehad met die bestuur van wapenbeheer en ontwapening? Hierdie studie is dus ʼn evaluerende studie en sal op Mosambiek fokus as gevalle-studie. Twee wapenbeheer prosesse sal in hierdie tesis evalueer word. Eerste, is die “Transforming Weapons into Ploughshares” of “TAE” projek wat ʼn burgerlike samelewings veldtog is, wat hom ten doel gestel het om die negatiewe impak van ligte-wapens op Mosambiekse samelewing te verminder. Die afgebakende tydperk vir hierdie studie sal 1995-2003 wees. Die tweede proses is die staat-gedrewe operasie tussen die Suid-Afrikaanse en Mosambiekse polisie. Die doel van hierdie projek was om die wapen-opslagplekke wat verantwoordelik is vir die onwettige handel in wapens tussen die twee lande te identifiseer en dienooreenkomstig te verwoes. Hierdie was bekend as “Operation Rachel” en sal tussen 1995-2001 evalueer word. Duur die evaluering van hierdie twee projekte sal die studie probeer om die punt te maak dat daar ʼn rol is vir beide die burgerlike samelewing en die staat in terme van wapenbeheer in post-konflik, ontwikkelende lande. Die rol van burgerlike samelewing organisasies kan beskou word as die identifisering van bedreigings wat veiligheid en sekuriteit kan raak, om bewustheid te kweek en die demokratisering van veiligheid en sekuriteit kwessies soos wapenbeheer. Die rol van die staat is om hulle plig te vervul as die ‘hoof verskaffer’ van sekuriteit vir die bevolking binne die staat se territoriale grense. Wapenbeheer in Mosambiek en in die SAOG streek in die algemeen was totdusver minder suksesvol gewees, aangesien state heeltemal te swak is om enige betekenisvolle beskerming aan hulle burgers te verleen. Tweedens, het burgerlike samelewings organisasies wat die verantwoordelikheid aangeneem het om beskerming te verleen net nie genoeg hulpbronne om die staat se verantwoordelikhede te vervul nie. Dus, is die kern aanbeveling van hierdie tesis dat Suider-Afrikaanse state hulle bekwaamheid en kapasiteit sal moet versterk. Ligte wapens het onbeheersd dwarsdeur die streek versprei omdat swak state nie oor die kapasiteit beskik om veelvuldige veiligheids en sekuriteits-bedreigings te kan hanteer nie. Dit hang dus van burgerlike samelewingsv organisasies af om sterk samelewings te bou wat op hul beurt kan aandring op sterker staatsoptrede om hierdie kwessies meer daadwerklik aan te spreek.

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