Home South African SANDF says soldiers not in DRC over commercial interests

SANDF says soldiers not in DRC over commercial interests

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The mission to the Democratic Republic of the Congo has been heavily criticised and shortly after deployment two South African soldiers were killed in an attack in the DRC.

Earlier this month, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the deployment of 2,900 SANDF members to help the country fight rebel attacks that are driving one of Africa’s most serious humanitarian crises. File picture

THE SANDF says its mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is about peace and sustainability, and not commercially motivated.

Earlier this month, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the deployment of 2,900 SANDF members to help the country fight rebel attacks that are driving one of Africa’s most serious humanitarian crises.

The mission has been heavily criticised and shortly after the deployment two South African soldiers were killed after an attack in the DRC.

Siphiwe Dlamini, head of communication for the SANDF, said it was “shocked and dismayed” at claims contained on X (formerly Twitter) “alleging that the deployment of the SANDF soldiers to the DRC is commercially motivated and related to the minerals of that country, in particular the eastern DRC”.

“The SANDF wishes to state categorically that the claims on X are far from the truth and a thumb suck by those who are bent on besmirching the good name of the SANDF … We reject the article in its entirety as hogwash with the contempt it deserves,” Dlamini said.

“It is common knowledge that the SANDF is in the DRC as part of the SADC Mission in the DRC (SAMIDRC), after a decision taken at the 43rd SADC Summit in Angola in 2023.

“Any information related to the summit decision is available to any honest and interested party.

“The mission is being undertaken by the SADC troop-contributing countries together with the DRC military to help bring about sustainable peace and stability in the eastern DRC.

“South Africa remains a significant actor and a major contributor to peace missions on the continent and elsewhere in the world,” said Dlamini.

Dlamini said the SANDF views these allegations in the most serious light, “and we can state clearly without any ambiguity that the Defence Force is deployed in the DRC under the SAMIDRC”.

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