ActionSA Seeks Clarity from the Minister of Defence Regarding SANDF Deployment in the DRC SAMIDRC Peacekeeping Mission

ActionSA seeks clarity from the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Ms. Thandi Modise MP, regarding the deployment of South African National Defence Force (SANDF) soldiers in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), as part of the Southern African Mission in the DRC (SAMIDRC).

The DRC, for decades, has been embroiled in deadly conflict. Ongoing violent clashes involving militant groups for control over territory and natural resources have characterised the region over the years.

The SANDF deployment in the DRC raises some critical questions of serious concern. As a matter of fact, the SANDF is overstretched and underfunded, which has been the case for decades. They are expected to fulfil multiple deployments including peacekeeping roles in the continent in places such as the DRC and Mozambique, while also protecting the territorial integrity of the Republic, including land, air and sea as well as assisting the South African Police Service (SAPS) in crime prevention and other internal situations.

It has become quite clear that the SANDF does not have the sufficient manpower capacity and the necessary prime mission equipment, as the recent news reports that are highlighting the appalling living and working conditions, let alone the lack of necessary mission equipment including land and air support element, they are failing to provide simple and hygienic living and working conditions as reported in the news recently.

ActionSA is of the view that the President and the Minister of Defence have deployed our men and women in uniform to an extremely volatile area without the necessary tools to render their mission a success. We call upon them to take the nation into confidence by assuring that they have plans to fully capacitate this mission to mitigate against any risk associated with this mission.