Jacob Zuma Statement On Killing Of SA Troops In CAR

decease geneva;”>The report from that mission recommended an intervention. On the 2nd of January 2013 in my capacity as the Commander in Chief of the armed forces, thumb I authorised the employment of up to 400 South African National Defence Force (SANDF) soldiers to the Central African Republic (CAR), but had sent just above 200 thus far.

The employment was authorised in accordance with the provisions of section 201 (2) (c) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996. This was in fulfilment of a bilateral cooperation agreement. South Africa and the Central African Republic signed a military cooperation agreement in 2007, which was renewed for a further five years in December 2012.

That agreement was to provide the Central African Republic’s army with an array of military training, from infantry, artillery and Special Forces training to logistics and driving courses, as well as “refurbishment” of military infrastructure in Bouar and Bangui.

South Africa’s military has also supported the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) programmes, and it assisted in Central African Republic’s 2011 elections.


The employment was also part of our efforts to contribute towards peace and stability in the region. We said then that the SANDF will assist with capacity building of the CAR Defence Force and help CAR with the planning and implementation of the disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration processes.

We went further to urge all parties to immediately cease hostilities, withdraw from the captured cities and cease any further advances towards Bangui. As a member of the African Union, South Africa rejects any attempt to seize power by force, and therefore would support sanctions and other measures against the perpetrators of any unconstitutional change of government.

Wherever our troops are deployed they have the duty to defend themselves is their positions fall under attack. Accordingly, we are deeply saddened by the events and developments in that country over the past 72 hours which saw violence escalating and many innocent lives lost. We have confirmed that 13 of our brave soldiers, who were committed to fighting for peace and stability in Africa, fell in Bangui.

One soldier is still not accounted for and they are still looking for him. Twenty seven were wounded. We wish them a speedy recovery. The Chief of the SANDF, General Shoke, will provide further details later today on operational matters.

On behalf of the Government and the people of South Africa I would like to convey our sincere condolences to the bereaved families. It is a sad moment for our country during a period when we should be celebrating our hosting of the BRICS summit for the first time. But we are truly proud of our soldiers. Just over 200 of them fought bandits numbering more than a 1000 people.

They fought a high tempo battle for nine hours defending the South African military base, until the bandits raised a white flag and asked for a ceasefire. Our soldiers inflicted heavy casualties among the attacking bandit forces. Our soldiers paid the ultimate price in the service of their country and Africa. We honour them for their bravery and commitment to peace.

The actions of these bandits will not deter from us our responsibility of working for peace and stability in Africa and of supporting the prevention of the military overthrow of constitutionally elected governments and thus subverting democracy.

We will announce further details in due course regarding how the nation will mourn and honour these brave South Africans.

Back to top button
Translate »

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker