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2013-04-09

AFRICA/CONGO DR - The South African troops have withdrawn from Bangui in the north of the Congo. Ready for revenge?

Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) - Not only IDPs and refugees (mostly women and children) from Central African Republic have found reception in the province of Equator (in the north of the Democratic Republic of Congo), but also Central African and South African soldiers. And it is precisely the presence of the soldiers of the contingent sent by President Jacob Zuma in aid to the deposed Central African Republic Head of State, François Bozizé, to worry about the Congolese.
The South Africans withdrew after officially losing 13 men (but other sources say that there are many more, even seventy) in a vain attempt to prevent the conquest of Bangui by the rebels of the coalition Seleka (see Fides 25/03/2013 ). According to the Congolese newspaper "Le Potentiel" the contingent of Pretoria in South Africa did not come back but established themselves in the town of Zongo and Gemena, in the district of North-Oubangui. Unlike the Central African soldiers, also those South Africans were not disarmed, but rather received new supplies of weapons and ammunition from the motherland.
These soldiers could be integrated into the Special Intervention Brigade under the agreements in Addis Ababa (25/02/2013), unless that this unit should be deployed in North Kivu and not in Equator.
One wonders if the military of Pretoria are preparing to return to Central Africa to fight the rebels Seleka and defend the interests of mining and oil in that Country of some political and business sectors in South Africa.
It is true that in the South African President Zuma is facing a wave of criticism for the management of the Central African crisis. In particular, Zuma is accused of having sent the South African military in Bangui without having informed in a clear and precise manner Parliament, violating the Constitution. Similar criticisms have been made in connection with the sending of men and means (including aircraft and fighter helicopters) in the DRC in relation to the participation to the newly established South African Brigade intervention. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 09/04/2013)

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