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R2bn price tag for SANDF in DRC, but costs will be shared by Sadc

The DRC government is fighting rebel groups in the east, in particular the M23 rebels.
The DRC government is fighting rebel groups in the east, in particular the M23 rebels.
Image: Freddy Mavunda

President Cyril Ramaphosa authorised the deployment of 2,900 members of the South African National Defence Force to assist in the fight against illegal armed groups in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The deployment covers the period from December 15 last year to December 15 this year in fulfilment of South Africa’s international obligation towards the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) mission to support the army in the DRC.

“The budgeted expenditure to be incurred for the employment amounts to just over R2bn,” the presidency said in a statement.

“This expenditure will not impact provisions for the defence force’s regular maintenance and emergency repairs [as] the obligation to contribute troops to the Sadc mission in the DRC is borne by all Sadc member states,” said presidential spokesperson Vincent Magwenya.

The Sadc deployment comes as the UN peacekeeping mission in the DRC ends after two decades.

The DRC government is fighting rebel groups in the east, in particular M23 rebels.

Reuters reports that since 2022, the M23 offensive there has worsened the region's decades-long security and humanitarian crisis, forcing about 1-million people to flee their homes.

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