Newly-elected President Thabo Mbeki on Friday promised a more dynamic role for South Africa in the region, telling parliament that Pretoria will “contribute whatever we can towards the resolution of conflicts on our continent”.
“We cannot accept that war, violent conflict and rapine are a permanent condition of existence for us as Africans,” Mbeki said in his maiden state-of-the-nation address to parliament. “As part of the world community of nations, we will make our due contribution to the construction of a new world order that will be responsive to the needs of especially the poor of the world.”
Mbeki is due to attend a heads of state summit in Lusaka on proposals for a ceasefire in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on Saturday. Reports in the South African media have said that Mbeki is ready to commit South African troops as part of a peacekeeping force in the DRC, should a ceasefire be agreed.
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