SA sends 2 900 troops to the DRC

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SA sends 2 900 troops to the DRC

President Cyril Ramaphosa has called for the deployment of 2,900 South African National Defence Force (SANDF) members to aassist in the fight against illegal armed groups in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The budgeted expenditure for the deployment amounts to just over R2 billion.

The deployment is in line with fulfilling South Africa’s international obligation towards the Southern African Development Community (SADC) mission to support the Democratic Republic of Congo. 

The forces are also to assist in the fight against illegal armed groups in the (DRC). 

The deployment comes as the DRC battles Tutsi-led M23 rebels whose attacks and advances in recent days, is threatening the North Kivu provincial capital, Goma.

Decades of conflicts in eastern Congo between myriad rival armed groups over land and resources have killed hundreds of thousands of people and displaced more than seven million, according to media reports. 

The SADC Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (SAMIDRC) was deployed on 15 December 2023 to support the government of the DRC to restore peace and security in the eastern DRC, which has witnessed an increase in conflicts and instability caused by the resurgence of armed groups.

“The employment will cover the period from 15 December 2023 to 15 December 2024 and it was authorised in accordance with the provisions of section 201(2) (c) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa. 

“The budgeted expenditure to be incurred for the employment amounts to just over R2 billion. This expenditure will not impact provisions for the defence force’s regular maintenance and emergency repairs,” the Presidency said in a statement on Monday.  The obligation to contribute troops to the SADC mission in the DRC is borne by all SADC Member States. SADC is a 16-member group of countries, including the Congo.

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