Bridges to the Future: Prospects for Peace and Security in Southern Africa

Bridges to the Future: Prospects for Peace and Security in Southern Africa

Bridges to the Future: Prospects for Peace and Security in Southern Africa

Bridges to the Future: Prospects for Peace and Security in Southern Africa

Synopsis

"With the ending of white minority rule in South Africa, the democratic elections in Mozambique, and the renewed efforts at a negotiated settlement of civil war in Angola, Southern Africa has entered a new era. Much more is required, however, to ensure lasting peace and security. The states on the subcontinent are confronted with the twofold task of creating a sound multilateral framework for conducting mutual relations and of accommodating the dominant power - the new democratic South Africa. This book examines the potential for - and the obstacles to - regional cooperation and the process of regional institution-building, emphasizing the need to develop a genuine and indigenous capability for managing and resolving conflict. Throughout, contributors explore ideas about common norms, principles, and concrete measures that lend support for building confidence and security. Finally, the specific experiences in organizing collective security in other parts of the African continent are carefully analyzed." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Excerpt

For half a century, Southern Africa has represented the very worst of exploitation of people by fellow human beings. Colonialism, racism, apartheid -- these were the terms which people all over the world used to explain the seemingly endless series of conflicts which marked the region's post-World War II history. But as this century ends, Southern Africa has come to be associated with the terms which suggest the very epitome of humanity's epic stuggle to create a better world. Compromise, reconciliation, multiculturalism -- these terms are increasingly used to understand and explain the course, and the cause, of Southern African affairs.

The long years of struggle have produced something which is worth preserving, but -- as with most things in life -- it was not without its price. Physically, Southern Africa has been badly damaged; political structures have been tried and found wanting; the region's economy is crippled; and -- most important of all -- the dignity of its people has been terribly assaulted. While the current mood promises a new beginning, the region's past has left an indelible mark on its future prospects.

The task before the region is all the greater, because the 1990s have witnessed an increased marginalization of our continent. It is as if the world no longer cares. As Southern Africans take control of their own destiny, they will have to draw on the promising beginnings, but build with a great sense of urgency and focus. They will not succeed if they are not prepared to be open and honest -- this means that citizens and leaders alike should have the courage to criticise and to take criticism.

South Africa's role in regional affairs has been watched with interest. As the strongest state in Southern Africa, it will need to marry its own interests to the region's. This will not be easy, because each of the states of the region, like individuals themselves, have expectations of, and from, South Africa. Managing these promises will be the single most important challenge to those who make the country's foreign policy.

This collection of essays grapples with the manifold problems which Southern Africa faces as one millenium ends and another opens. the authors erect theoretical and practical signposts which point the way to peace and security in the region, but -- again, like life itself -- only socalled ordinary people can make a difference.

Desmond M. Tutu, D.D., K.F.C. Archbishop of Cape Town Chancellor, University of the Western Cape . . .

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