SA sends more troops to CAR - report

2013-04-03 08:43
Gripen fighter jet. (File, AFP)

Gripen fighter jet. (File, AFP)

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Memorial service for fallen soldiers

2013-04-03 08:14

Family members of the South African soldiers who were killed in the Central African Republic attended a memorial service at Swartkop Air Force Base in Pretoria on Tuesday. Watch.WATCH

kalahari.com

Pretoria - While government has come under fire for the way in which troops were deployed to the Central African Republic, it has emerged that South Africa has sent even more troops, fighter planes and transport planes to the region.

Beeld reported on Wednesday that the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) had denied being involved in a troop build-up.

But it is understood that Gripen fighter planes left the country on Tuesday, possibly heading for Entebbe in Uganda.

Three chartered aircraft - two Iluyshin 76s and one giant Antonov 124 cargo plane - are believed to have made several flights over the weekend to Entebbe and the DRC, taking off from Bloemfontein and the Waterkloof air force base near Pretoria.

Rooivalk and Oryx helicopters are also believed to have been deployed.

Chad talks

Meanwhile, discussions will take place in Chad on Wednesday where military intervention by South Africa in the CAR will be discussed at an extraordinary meeting of the Economic Community of Central African States.

More SA troops have also been positioned in the DRC, about 180km from the CAR capital Bangui to join the handful of SANDF soldiers who remained behind after a deadly battle in which 13 SA soldiers were killed.

Experts believe the military’s latest actions point to aircraft and weaponry being strategically positioned in anticipation of instructions that may arise from the meetings.

President Jacob Zuma arrived in Chad on Wednesday to attend the meeting.

 
Read more on:    sandf  |  chad  |  central african republic  |  car uprisings  |  military  |  central africa
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