The Courier: - N°153 - Sept- Oct 1995 Dossier Southern Africa - Country Reports Namibia; Djibouti
AFRICA-CARIBBEAN-PACIFIC - EUROPEAN UNION
Judge Richard Goldstone
Judge Richard Goldstone is a man who could hardly be accused of shirking a challenge. Appointed to head a Commission of Inquiry into the behaviour of the security fore" in his native South Africa, during the nun up to the first democratic elections, he gained international prominence with a hard-hitting report which revealed widespread abuses. Now a judge in the South African Supreme Court, he is currently on secondment having taken on the job of United Nations Prosecutor for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda. His task is to bring to justice the perpetrators of genocide in these two countries. In an exclusive interview with the Courier during a recent visit to Brussels, he explained how he was going about this. From a legal standpoint, Judge Goldstone is operating in almost virgin territory and in this wide ranging interview, he tells us more about the principles which underpin his work and about some of the practical hurdles which he faces.
After three years of civil war, peace has finally returned-to Djibouti. This country, in more than one sense, is one of the hot spots of the planet: a lunar 'cauldron' of uncommon beauty, where ethnic checks and balances are of prime importance. Today it is having to pay the price of peace. Its service economy is in dire straits and urgently in need of radical reform. Formally a democracy-although the opposition is not represented in parliament Djibouti recently saw the leaders of the former FRUD rebel movement joining the government and, in the process, putting the seal on the pacification process. In order to examine how to restore financial equilibrium and reduce state control of the economy, a Round Table with the principal donors is foreseen for this autumn. President Hassan Gouled Aptidon, who has held office since independence in 1977, comments on his country's recent political and economic evolution.
Five years ago Namibia gained its independence after a long and bitter struggle against the apartheid regime in South Africa. The mood at the time was characterised by a remarkable spirit of reconciliation but few underestimated the challenges that lay ahead. In economic terms, Namibia was effectively two separate countries with great extremes of poverty and wealth. Among the majority black population, there were high expectations that the government they had elected would deliver improved living standards and a more secure future. The Courier recently visited Namibia to 'take the temperature' and assess how far the country has progressed in its efforts to meet these expectations.
Southern Africa will have to grapple with many challenges over the coming years, but at least hope seems finally to have been restored after decades of division, civil war and racial strife. Although the ending of apartheid and the flowering of democracy may only be the first steps on the road to renewal, the region appears better equipped than ever before to face the uncertainties of the new millenium. We examine some of the key political, economic and social issues facing Southern Africa at the end of a turbulent 20th century.
Issue 151 Front Cover On the front cover of issue 151 of The Courier, we published a photograph featuring a man holding an infant child to illustrate our Dossier on Social Development. The caption on the inside referred to 'the battle against poverty, unemployment and social disintegration' es key objectives for the Copenhagen Summit. We should like to make clear that there was no intention of suggesting that those featured in the photograph were victims of 'poverty, unemployment and social disintegration.' Indeed, the choke of picture was determined by a desire to portray the subject in a positive manner. The Courier regrets any offence which may have been caused.