President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the deployment of 2,900 soldiers to the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo as part of the Southern African Democratic Community mission.
PRESIDENT Cyril Ramaphosa announced the deployment of 2,900 soldiers to the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) as part of the Southern African Democratic Community (SADC) mission.
The United Nations (UN) peacekeeping mission will withdraw from the DRC by the end of the year.
The UN Organisation Mission in the DRC (Monusco) has been in the eastern part of that country battling the M23 and other rebel groups for many years.
The withdrawal of Monusco follows a vote at the UN Security Council last year to agree to the early withdrawal of the peacekeeping mission.
This was after the government of the DRC asked for the withdrawal of Monusco.
The peacekeeping mission has been in that country for more than 20 years.
Ramaphosa said South Africa will send 2,900 South African National Defence Force (SANDF) soldiers to join the SADC mission in the DRC.
This will come at a cost of R2 billion.
“In fulfilling South Africa’s international obligation towards the SADC mission to support the DRC, President Cyril Ramaphosa ordered the employment of 2,900 members of the South African National Defence Force to assist in the fight against illegal armed groups in the eastern DRC,” said Ramaphosa’s spokesperson Vincent Magwenya.
“The budgeted expenditure to be incurred for the employment amounts to just over R2bn. This expenditure will not impact provisions for the defence force’s regular maintenance and emergency repairs.
“The obligation to contribute troops to the SADC mission in the DRC is borne by all SADC member states.”
South Africa has also deployed hundreds of soldiers in northern Mozambique as part of the regional mission to fight the insurgency.
SADC member states decided to deploy soldiers to Cabo Delgado in 2021 following the rise insurgency in Mozambique.