NewsSouthern AfricaSouth Africa: Politicians applaud troop withdrawal from CAR, DA wants inquiry


Posted on Thursday, 04 April 2013 15:34

South Africa: Politicians applaud troop withdrawal from CAR, DA wants inquiry

By Crystal van Vyk

The ANC said the of the deployment of SA troops was based on the bilateral agreement with the government of CAR in 2007/Photo©ReutersPolitical parties in South Africa have welcomed the withdrawal of troops in the Central African Republic.


The decision was made at the Extra-ordinary summit of the Economic Community of East African States in Chad, which upheld the decision of the African Union (AU) not to recognize the government following the removal of President François Bozize through unconstitutional means.

The ANC said they "applaud the decision of the extraordinary summit that a Committee of organisations in CAR be established to run the country and prepare for democratic elections within 18 months".

Obed Bapela, the Chairperson of International Relations of the ANC said the party welcomed the government decision to withdraw the South African troops.

Bapela said they are also concerned about the attempts by some "opposition elements to ridicule the country's foreign policy and reduce it to advancing personal interest despite the fact that the matter to deploy our military in CAR".

The ANC said the deployment was based on the bilateral agreement with the government of CAR in 2007.

The DA has demanded an urgent Parliamentary debate and a full inquiry into the military deployment in the CAR.

Earlier this week the DA said it would table an urgent parliamentary motion to force Zuma to withdraw all South African troops from the CAR.

But some opposition parties are not happy and want President Zuma to establish a Commission of Enquiry.

"President Zuma must come home and institute an independent commission of inquiry to get to the bottom of this debacle," UDM leader Bantu Holomisa said in a statement.

"Serious allegations have been made that South African National Defence Force (SANDF) troops were sent to the CAR to protect his party's interests and provide security for [removed CAR president Francois] Mr Bozizé."

Meanwhile the Minister of International Relations, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane has said "South African troops would never serve in any unconstitutional government"

She said the government does not have an agreement with whoever is in the CAR's leadership at the moment.

"There was no bolting away. South Africa will always be there when called upon to serve our continent, informed by what our foreign policy says we should be doing," said Nkoana-Mashabane.

Nkoane-Mashabane said government would also investigate international reports querying the death toll of South African soldiers in Bangui.

A French news agency reported that the rebels claim the number of South African soldiers killed in the Bangui battle was between 36 and 50. The South African government put the death toll at 13.

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