SA: No plans to send troops to Mali

2013-01-13 17:32

Johannesburg - South Africa was not planning to send soldiers to help Mali's government battle Islamist rebels that have occupied the north of the country, the foreign affairs spokesperson said on Sunday.

"I'm not aware of such plans. If there's such a decision there will be an announcement," the foreign ministry's Clayson Monyela told AFP.

President Jacob Zuma said last September his country could send troops to the embattled West African nation if the UN approved a West African military mission.

Senior officers from the 15-nation Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) were expected in Bamako on Sunday to prepare for the arrival of the first troops to help the Mali government reclaim control of the north.

The UN Security Council in December approved a 3 300-strong African force to help Mali defeat the rebels, but it had not been expected to deploy before September.

Burkina Faso, Niger, Senegal and Togo all pledged around 500 troops this weekend while Benin has said it will send 300 soldiers.

Backed by French air power, Malian troops on Friday unleashed an offensive against Islamist rebels who they said were threatening to push south.

French forces on Sunday carried out airstrikes for a third straight day and extended their bombing campaign to the northern strongholds of the Islamists.

Tuareg rebels, other separatists and al-Qaeda linked groups took advantage of a coup in Mali in March last year to seize a vast chunk of territory where the militants have imposed a brutal form of Islamic law.

South Africa, a major continental military power, sent 200 troops to the Central African Republic early January as rebels advanced on the capital Bangui.

Pretoria insisted the deployment followed the renewal of a 2007 capacity-building agreement with the government.

  • sello.maponya.1 - 2013-01-13 18:47

    They want to over stretch the already under budgeted, under staffed and under-resoursed Army all over this continent. Politicians can be clueless and useless sometimes.

      Nathan Lombard - 2013-01-13 19:51

      Under staffed? I think it's not so much a numbers issue, but more a BEE issue. There are far more members on the payroll now than in the 80's, yet back then the SADF was a force on the continent to be reckoned with. Now they are a fat joke and mercenaries would piss themselves laughing if they were to meet in open warfare.

  • barry.pointeer - 2013-01-13 19:23

    do we still have a military?

      squeegee.pilot - 2013-01-13 19:57

      Yes, but they are at 1 Mil.

  • Nathan Lombard - 2013-01-13 19:48

    Sa military? Whahahahaha. If Zimbabwe invaded tomorrow Sa would be stuffed. Army my ass!

  • Sammy Willow - 2013-01-13 20:00

    come on sa army are a bunch of clowns , i think leave it to the foreign legion, sa has enough embarrassment called the anc

  • gert_swart - 2013-01-13 20:10

    So, we rather depend on Europe to sort out our shyte?

  • chani.schoeman - 2013-01-13 20:24

    SA still has an army??

  • Trevor Moller - 2013-01-13 22:14

    hey where my posts

  • Trevor Moller - 2013-01-13 22:16

    Well whatever country in africa gets SA troops will be sorry first they will rape their woman then they will steal them blind and when trouble comes they will blame apartheid

  • Trevor Moller - 2013-01-13 22:19

    Secondly let africa sort africa out we have enough cr@p here to sort out

  • Thokozani Mvulane - 2013-01-13 23:32

    South Africa has many internal problems than to go and solve another nation's problems

  • kenneth.fisher.750 - 2013-01-14 00:38

    Mali doesn't want our troops, they know what happened in Lesotho. They're safer without our troops.

  • simphiwe.charlie.5 - 2013-01-14 06:50

    The last thing we need is to get involved in the "war on terror". War is terror FFS, and this whole Mali thing is just an extension of that. They are now using Africa as the stage to wage war against Islam, we should condemn this in the strogest possible terms. Nelson Manedla's legasy is about reconcilliation and finding solutions not bombing!!

  • orapeleng.mike - 2013-01-14 08:09

    @ Simphiwe. You are well awake my brother. People don't have andy idea what's happening around the world, US,Europe and NATO is trying to distabilize the world. This has been planned by the elites (US,Israel, Nato, UK and other European countries. So the ANC is well aware of this & that is why they holding back. SA has 1 powerful army in African at the moment @ Sage.wiseman.7 (u not wise enough) the ANC defeated the old government - it was assault rifles vs Stones & home made petrol bombs. I don't favor Pres Zuma but militarily is wise!!!!!!!!!!

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