African peacekeeping deployments show what the SANDF can do
Written by Staff Writer, Tuesday, 01 April 2014
The focus of her address in Cape Town was on the missions and deployments undertaken by the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) in support of government’s foreign policy goal of “creating a better South Africa and contributing to a better and safer Africa in a better world” since democracy in 1994.
The briefing comes six weeks after Jacob Zuma, the Commander-in-Chief of the SA National Defence Force, delivered the Presidential State of the Nation address to Parliament on February 13.
Nowhere in her prepared statement, a copy of which has been posted by the Government Communications and Information System on its website, does Mapisa-Nqakula mention either the Defence Review or its recent approval by Cabinet or the new Armscor chairman and board of directors appointed by her.
“Africa remains at the centre of South African foreign policy and the growth and success of the South African economy is dependent on enduring peace, stability, economic development and deepened democracy on the continent. We believe, as an integral part of the African continent, we must develop together with our neighbours on the continent. As a beneficiary of many acts of selfless solidarity in the past, we strongly believe what we wish for our people should be what we wish for the citizens of our continent and the world,” she said.
READ MOREAnother year of operations authorised for UN Force Intervention Brigade
SANDF continental deployments extended
Jungle training for SANDF personnel headed to DRC
South Africa has been and remains a “major contributor” to peacekeeping operations in Africa.
“Since 1994 South Africa has played a leading role in regional and continental efforts to maintaining and upholding of the rule of law, to assist rebuilding efforts in countries previously in conflict, by providing training, peacekeeping and integration of statutory and non-statutory forces,” Mapisa-Nqakula said.
The first South African involvement in continental peacekeeping efforts saw an SANDF colonel deployed as a liaison officer in the DRC in September 1999. He was tasked with assisting the then UN Mission in the DRC, MONUC, now known as MONUSCO, in efforts to stop conflict in the still strife-torn country.
“Today the SANDF’s presence in the DRC in support of the UN mission (Operation Mistral) consists of three military observers, 25 staff officers and a contingent of 1 345 personnel including the Force Intervention Brigade (FIB). The formation of the FIB by the UN Resolution 2098 is to neutralise, disarm and prevent expansion all armed groups in the eastern parts of the Congo. This has tilted the balance of power in the Eastern DRC towards MONUSCO and FARDC - as result M23 was dislodged and defeated. The Rooivalk combat support helicopter was deployed for the first time and played a pivotal role in the demise of [the] M23 rebel armed group in the Eastern DRC.”
South Africa’s second African mission was Operation Espresso. This started in December 2000 after the former organisation for African Unity (OAU), now the AU, brokered a cessation of hostilities between Eritrea and Ethiopia.
Other missions in Africa the SANDF has been tasked with by government include Operation Fibre (Burundi), Operation Triton (five times in the Comoros), Operation Amphibian (Rwanda), Operation Montego (Liberia), Operation Cordite (Sudan), Operation Teutonic and Operation Bulisa (both DRC), Operation Pristine (Ivory Coast), Operation Vimbezela (CAR) and Operation Bongane (Uganda).
Mapisa-Nqakula warned the SANDF will “increasingly” become involved in peacekeeping missions as South Africa “continues to deploy in conflict-ridden countries on our continent”.
“We do so with the conviction that Africa will one day enjoy peace and stability.”
Top stories this week
- Defence Minister scores 60% on Cabinet Report Card
- Minister maintains military veterans are a good story in spite of challenges
- Department of Defence receives qualified audit
- Less than 20 international visits in 2013/14 for Defence Minister and Deputy
- SANDF contributed to making South Africa a better place - Minister
- Minister at Parliament defence committees’ strategic planning session
- Defence Standing Committee set to elect co-chairmen
- Military aircraft acquisitions – multi-mission must be the motivation
- Department of Military Veterans annual report will be late
- Mapisa-Nqakula on New York Presidential charter flight
South Tyrolean Tetra network for civil protection organisations to be expanded
by AIRBUS Defence & Space, 22 January 2015
The Tetra network in South Tyrol, Italy, will replace over 40 analogue communications systems currently used by the civil protection organisations.
Driving change, diversity in the maritime world
by Nautic Africa, 22 January 2015
The perception of the maritime industry as a male-dominated industry is set to change, says Nautic Africa.
Airbus Defence and Space to build Tetra radio system for Lebanese security forces
by AIRBUS Defence & Space, 21 January 2015
The company was awarded a contract by the Ministry of Interior of Lebanon for a Terrestrial Trunked Radio communication system.
Saab, Damen team up for Walrus future submarine replacement programme
by Saab, 20 January 2015
The companies will work together in pursuit of the potential Walrus-class submarine replacement programme for the Netherlands.
EUNAVFOR, CMF, NATO confirmed to speak at African Maritime Security Summit
by IQPC, 19 January 2015
The EU Naval Force's Operation, NATO's Ocean Shield and the Combined Maritime Forces' representatives will attend the summit next month.
Operator of Finnish nationwide Tetra network VIRVE once again relies on Airbus Defence and Space
by AIRBUS Defence & Space, 15 December 2014
Finland continues to invest in Tetra technology to guarantee users uninterrupted network performance and quality of service.