SA troops leaving CAR – union

2013-04-02 17:22

South Africa’s troops are being withdrawn from the Central African Republic (CAR), the SA National Defence Union has said.

“What we know now is that only 18 soldiers still remain in [the] CAR; at least 200 of them have been withdrawn and dropped off [at] the border,” spokesperson Pikkie Greeff said today.

The CAR airport in Bangui was under the control of the French army, which was safeguarding South Africa’s equipment until it could be transported back to the country.

Comment from the SA National Defence Force could not be immediately obtained.

Thirteen South African soldiers were killed in a clash with rebel fighters outside Bangui on March 23. Another 27 were wounded and had been flown back to South Africa. They were admitted to 1 Military Hospital in Pretoria.

South Africa sent soldiers to the CAR in line with an agreement signed in 2007 in which South Africa was to train the CAR army.

An additional 200 soldiers were sent to the CAR when security deteriorated late in 2012, to protect trainers and South African military assets already in the CAR.

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