South Africa to send 2,900 troops under SADC to Eastern DR Congo

Tuesday February 13 2024

Soldiers are seen on a vehicle in Sake, Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) on February 11, 2024. PHOTO | XINHUA


South Africa will send 2,900 troops as part of its contribution to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) force deployed to tackle armed groups in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the president's office said in a statement on Monday.

The one-year deployment will cover the period between December 15, 2023 and December 15, 2024, and will cost around 2 billion rand ($105.75 million), the statement said.

The 16-member state SADC approved the Eastern Congo mission in May last year to help DRC, the world's top supplier of cobalt and Africa's top copper producer, address instability and deteriorating security in its restive eastern region.

Read: Thousands flee as conflict intensifies in East DRC

Decades of conflicts in Eastern Congo between myriad rival armed groups over land and resources has killed hundreds of thousands of people and displaced more than 7 million.

The SADC force has an offensive mandate to support Congo's army fight armed groups. It will include troops from Malawi, South Africa and Tanzania.


The deployment comes as Congo battles M23 rebels whose attacks and advances in recent days, is threatening the North Kivu provincial capital, Goma.