SA extends African peace missions

23 March 2006

South Africa is to inject more resources into its African peace missions, extending the stay of its peacekeeping troops in four countries and sending a new detachment of peacekeepers to the Comoros ahead of presidential elections in that country.

Government spokesperson Joel Netshitenzhe told reporters in Cape Town on Wednesday that South Africa was closely monitoring developments in politically unstable areas on the continent.

Netshitenzhe said the Cabinet had decided to extend the deployment of members of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) in four African countries – Burundi, Cote d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Sudan – until 31 March 2007.

South Africa has 950 SANDF members in Burundi as part of a UN operation; 46 SANDF members supporting the disarmament, demobilisation, reintegration and mediation process in Cote d’Ivoire; 339 SANDF members in Sudan as part of an African Union mission; and 110 SANDF members in the DRC.

Netshitenzhe said an additional 14 SANDF members would be sent to the DRC to lend support with the integration and training of DRC soldiers.

Netshitenzhe said South Africa would also deploy 371 SANDF members in the Comoros as part of an African Union force that will help to ensure an environment conducive to free and fair presidential elections.

He added that South Africa had recently donated 10 tons of DDT to Mozambique to assist that country in its campaign to control malaria.

“South Africa will also assist with training in the safe handling, application and monitoring of the use of insecticides in keeping with guideline of the World Health Organisation,” he said.

Source: BuaNews