Clarification on SANDF Deployment to the Democratic Republic of the Congo

The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) addressed allegations circulating on social media platforms, previously known as Twitter, concerning its deployment in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). These reports suggested that the SANDF’s presence in the DRC, particularly in the eastern regions, was motivated by commercial interests related to the country’s mineral resources.

The SANDF vehemently refutes these claims, describing them as entirely baseless and an attempt to tarnish the reputable image of both the SANDF and the South African government. The defense force emphasizes that such allegations are not only unfounded but also a disservice to the integrity of their mission in the DRC.

It is important to note that the SANDF’s deployment is part of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Mission in the DRC (SAMIDRC), following a resolution made at the 43rd SADC Summit held in Angola in 2023. This mission, which involves troops from several SADC member countries in collaboration with the DRC military, aims to foster sustainable peace and stability in the eastern parts of the DRC.

South Africa plays a pivotal role in peacekeeping efforts on the continent and beyond, contributing significantly to missions aimed at safeguarding civilians and restoring stability in conflict-affected areas. The SANDF asserts that the allegations made against its deployment in the DRC are not only misleading but also insulting to the personnel dedicated to protecting civilians in the region.

The SANDF takes these accusations seriously and unequivocally states that its forces are in the DRC as an integral part of the SAMIDRC, committed to the mission’s objectives of peace and stability. The defense force encourages all parties to seek accurate information regarding the summit’s decisions and the objectives of the SADC mission, highlighting its transparency and commitment to international peacekeeping standards.

The SANDF seeks to reassure the public and international community of its steadfast dedication to peacekeeping efforts in the DRC. It condemns the spread of unfounded allegations that not only undermine its mission but also disrespect the efforts of all those deployed in the region to assist the DRC’s citizens. The SANDF remains committed to its role within the SAMIDRC, contributing to the broader goals of peace and stability in the DRC and the African continent at large.