SANDF will not be deployed to CAR - minister

2014-03-31 22:13
(Picture: AFP)

(Picture: AFP)

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Cape Town - South Africa will not deploy troops in the strife-torn Central African Republic (CAR), Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said on Monday.

Briefing journalists in Cape Town, she said there were sufficient troops from the region, the European Union, and France.

"I can certainly say without any fear of contradiction for now there is absolutely no intention [to deploy troops in the CAR]," she said.

Over the past 15 months more than 1 000 people had been killed and a million displaced in sectarian violence in the country.

"Indeed there is a crisis in that country right now but the issue is not about the shortage of boots on the ground. The issue is about how best do you utilise the forces that you have at hand," Mapisa-Nqakula said.

The use of troops deployed in the CAR had to be properly co-ordinated, to ensure an organised approach to ending the crisis.

"Taking from South Africa a few soldiers and sending them to the Central African Republic and maybe get more from other countries will not resolve the problem if there is no proper command and control or if there is no proper co-ordination of the few that you have currently on the ground.

"You can have thousands of forces and they can be as disorganised and will not serve the purpose you want them for."

South African troops were deployed in the CAR last year, but withdrew after a bloody battle on 23 March left 13 soldiers dead and another 27 wounded.

- SAPA
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