Naledi Pandor backs Ramaphosa’s decision to send troops to DRC

African National Congress (ANC) national executive committee (NEC) member Naledi Pandor has backed President Cyril Ramaphosa’s decision to deploy hundreds of South African troops to the troubled Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Pandor – who is also the Minister of International Relations – made the comments during an ANC media briefing on its election priorities on Friday.

She said the mission in the DRC was part of the ANC-led government’s attempt to lead peace talks on the continent.

Almost two months ago, SA deployed some of its soldiers to the DRC to stave off attacks by the M23 rebel group.

The military intervention was part of a response by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) in a desperate bid to bring stability to the region as a humanitarian crisis persists.

The South African government was previously chastised for the move.

The criticism was made worse by reports in the City Press this week that South African troops are living in deplorable conditions in the DRC.

The ANC’s Naledi Pandor said South Africa could not afford to be left behind on this mission.

“It would have been extremely wrong of President Ramaphosa, in a SADC meeting, to say to the other SADC members: ‘You can have a SADC mission to DRC but South Africa the largest economy, largest military force won’t be part of it’. It just couldn’t happen.”

Pandor adds that peace efforts by South Africa are not and should not be limited to the continent.


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