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South Africa Extends Military Deployment in Mozambique and Congo Amid Ongoing Conflicts.

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louis Buyisiwe

Apr 24, 2024

Continued Peacekeeping in Eastern Congo

Pretoria, South Africa — In a significant announcement made on Wednesday, President Cyril Ramaphosa confirmed that South Africa will extend its military presence in the conflict-affected regions of Mozambique and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The decision underscores South Africa's ongoing commitment to regional stability and peacekeeping efforts.

Continued Peacekeeping in Eastern Congo

The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) will maintain its deployment of 1,198 personnel in eastern Congo. These troops are an integral part of the United Nations peacekeeping force, which plays a crucial role in assisting the DRC government's efforts to combat rebel factions and maintain regional security. This extension, though for an unspecified duration, highlights the challenging security dynamics in the Great Lakes region and the crucial role of international peacekeeping missions.

Support Against Extremism in Mozambique

Similarly, the SANDF will continue its operations in northern Mozambique with 1,495 military personnel. Since 2021, South African forces have been instrumental in supporting the Mozambican government's battle against violent extremism. The region has witnessed significant disturbances due to extremist activities that threaten the stability and security of Southern Africa.

Domestic Scrutiny of Overseas Deployments

This announcement comes at a time when South Africa's overseas military engagements have drawn increasing attention and criticism domestically. Earlier this year, the tragic loss of two SANDF soldiers and injuries to three others due to a mortar bomb attack in Congo raised serious concerns about the preparedness and safety of South African troops abroad.

The main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, has openly criticized President Ramaphosa’s strategy, accusing the administration of sending troops into hazardous war zones without adequate preparation.

The extension of SANDF's deployment in Mozambique and the DRC reflects South Africa’s pivotal role in peacekeeping within the African continent. As these military personnel continue their vital missions, the debate over their preparedness and the broader implications of such deployments on national security remains a key issue within South African political discourse.

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