Peace missions extended


Parliament has received a series of letters from the Presidency extending the duration of a number of South African deployments in support of the United Nations (UN) and African Union (AU).

The letters extended South African National Defence Force deployments to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Uganda, Sudan and Nepal to March 31 next year.   

“This employment is authorised in accordance with the provisions of section 201(2)(c) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996, read with section 93 of the Defence Act, 2002 (Act 42 of 2002),” the letters say.

The authorizations extend the employment of 11 SANDF personnel to assist with capacity building of the DRC Defence Force as well as a further 28 soldiers to assist the DRC with the integration and training of its armed forces following years of disorder.

In addition, the President extended the deployment of up to 1248 personnel in support of the UN mission in the DRC, generally known by its French acronym MONUC.

Up to 850 troops may also be deployed in Sudan in support of the UN/AU Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID).

The letters also noted that five SANDF officers are employed to participate in the AU Observer Mission in northern Uganda while one officer remains deployed as an observer with the UN Political Mission in Nepal.

A letter submitted in early June also further extended the deployment of 1137 personnel ion Burundi to the end of that month. Defence minister Lindiwe Sisulu has since announced that this mission will withdraw from that country by August 8, wrapping up a deployment that commenced in 2001.