DR Congo:SA troops off to Goma

Johannesburg – At least 1 300 heavily armed South African soldiers fly into Goma this weekend in a bid to pacify rebel groups terrorising the eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), reported the Sunday Independent newspaper.

Military sources told the newspaper that this time the soldiers were going into battle better prepared and better armed than the SANDF forces who lost 13 soldiers in the Central African Republic in March.

The soldiers are being transported in chartered aircraft from Bloemspruit Air Force Base in Bloemfontein after undergoing tough training at the combat school there.

The Goma force is a full battalion with its support company, a paratroop company and other support elements such as Special Forces and engineers. They are armed with heavy machine guns and mortars, military sources were quoted as saying.

At least two Rooivalk attack helicopters were also being used, the said.