Amy Fraser14 February 2024 | 9:44

SA commits 2900 SANDF personnel in R2bn DRC peacekeeping mission

This deployment began on December 15th and is slated to last for a year, concluding on the same date this year.

SA commits 2900 SANDF personnel in R2bn DRC peacekeeping mission

South African National Defence Force Soldiers / Wikimedia Commons: Cpl. Jad Sleiman, U.S. Marine Corps

John Perlman interviews Thomas Mandrup, Associate Professor at the Faculty for Military Science at Stellenbosch University.

Listen below.

President Cyril Ramaphosa, as Commander-in-Chief of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF), confirmed South Africa's commitment to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on Monday.

The mission is anticipated to cost "just over R2 billion."

A statement from The Presidency outlined that Ramaphosa has authorised the deployment of 2900 SANDF members to aid in combating illegal armed groups in the Eastern DRC.

This deployment began on December 15th and is slated to last for a year, concluding on the same date this year.

The Presidency's statement underscores that South Africa's participation aligns with the Constitution, highlighting that the obligation to contribute troops to the SADC mission in the DRC is shared by all SADC member states.

The SADC mission in the DRC, abbreviated as SAMIDRC, is anticipated to succeed the East African Community Regional Force and bolster national security forces in combating groups like the M23 rebels, reportedly supported by Rwanda.

On the other hand, the SANDF will spearhead the SADC intervention force.

Nevertheless, Mandrup highlights concerns that the SANDF is strained and lacks adequate funding.

Ramaphosa's commitment of just over R2 billion to finance this mission is welcomed news, addressing a long-standing request for support, he adds.

"It's good news that the government is putting up to a billion rand to actually finance the operation."
Thomas Mandrup, Associate Professor at the Faculty for Military Science – Stellenbosch University

Scroll up to listen to the full interview.