SA Troops deployed to DRC

Johannesburg - The United Nations has praised South Africa's peacekeeping record on the African continent.

As part of the UN's first ever combat mission in its history, South African soldiers are expected to be deployed to the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

Two teams would be stationed in the DRC, with South Africa forming part of a 3000-strong intervention brigade. The mission would likely be to disarm rebels and repatriate those who don't belong in that country.

Agostinho Zacarias, head of the UN in South Africa, said the defence force had done well on previous missions, including in the Central African Republic where 13 soldiers were recently killed.

He said he felt confident that troops to be deployed to the DRC would do a good job.

“It's unprecedented in the sense that you are given a mandate by the Security Council that... go in there and stop them from harassing the population."

In the CAR, the South African government was accused of using the country's military to protect private business interests.

Similar allegations were have been made about President Jacob Zuma's nephew, Khulubuse, in the DRC.

Zacarias commented on the allegations, saying: "President Zuma, I didn't think that he was dreaming those days, that one day he's to be a president. That he will have a nephew who'll be rich in South Africa or will have business interests in the Congo. I don't think that the argument is substantiated if you look at it from that view point."

The intervention brigade has one year to root out the rebels in the DRC.

 

- eNCA

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