Jacob Zuma to send 1000 SANDF Troops to DRC to Protect His family oil concessions

It is clear, SNDF Deployement in DRC has nothing to do with the welfare of the Congolese protecting Zuma's Nephew imvestments.  Khulubuse Zuma

It is clear, SANDF Deployement in DRC has nothing to do with the welfare of the Congolese but protecting Zuma’s Nephew imvestments. Khulubuse Zuma

SA military plans to protect Zuma family’s oil interests: sending 1,000 troops against heavily-armed M23-rebels in Democratic Republic of Congo, warns Rapport newspaper. The SA military is also getting threats of ‘revenge-attacks’ by the powerful central-African M23-rebel leader Bertrand Bisimwa –
April 7 2013 – Afrikaans weekly Rapport warns that the SANDF is badly underestimating the strength of the M23-rebels after their distrastrous battle in Bangui, Central African Republic this month – and the latest plans for a massive 1000-troop assault planned for this month to attack the M23-rebels in their stronghold in the oil-rich part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Rapport also noted another worrisome fact: namely the poor leadership in the SANDF 46th Brigade being trained in Johannesburg for the Democratic Republic of Congo mission. They noted that the commander training them, brig.genl Sithabiso Mahlobo, was found guilty of exam-fraud and was demoted temporarily from general to major in 2002 after he cheated on military exams. In 2008 he was promoted back to brig-general.
Why are the South Africans to keen to participate in this new military adventure?
Journalist Adriaan Basson noted that President Jacob Zuma’s nephew Khulubuse has extensive business-interests in the Democratic Republic of the Congo – which government granted two valuable oil-concenssions in 2010. The oil-source was discovered at Lake Albert.
The rebel-leaders are threatening a ‘catastrophic revenge’ if the SA troops would dare to attack them. M23-leader Bertrand Bisimwa said this to Rapport journalists in a telephone interview from the Congo. “We don’t want to kill our brothers from South Africa. But if they attack us, we will use all our power to defend our positions,’ he said. Bisimwa makes widespread use of the social media on the internet and warned this past week on Twitter that “M23 ‘s revenge against South Africa will be catastrophic and apocalyptic’: “We say Welcome Zuma: M23 is not Seleka’, he tweeted, referring to the recently killed CAR-rebel-leader. The M23-rebels are so well-equipped – with grenade-launchers and dubbel-barrelled anti-aircraft cannon – that they are viewed as Africa’s most fearsome feral group. The United Nations security council authorised an ‘intervention brigade’ on 28 March to allow ‘neutralisation of armed groups in the east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo’, notes Rapport. This decision was in ‘sharp deviation of the UN’s historic peace mandate in the Congo, who in the past only had a mandate to ‘protect’ the area.
South Africa is expected to send at least a thousand soldiers to the Congo – and reportedly hundreds of tons of weaponry were dispatched over the past ten days from Bloemfontein, Pretoria and Makhado to Entebbe airport in Uganda near the Congolese border. Hired Russian Antonov transport planes were used to transport the weapons, which reportedly also include Rooivalk-attack helicopters.
A Congo-specialist with ‘close ties to the rebel leaders’ told Rapport that South Africa ‘underestimates M23. ‘If the South Africans believe they can just get into these hills and wipe out these guys they are crazy. Any defence force which goes in without advance intelligence of the terrain and its politics and which is not equipped for such an operation will get its nose bloodied. If the South African forces could not even stop a small rebel-group such as Seleka’s – who wasn’t nearly as coherent a target as M23 represents, how do they think they can tangle with M23 in its own backyard? ‘
He believes that without an exit plan this mission is ‘doomed to failure, just like so many similar American missions in Iraq and Afghanistan’.
He points out that Sultani Makenga, the M-23 supreme commander, has already helped overthrow two governments in this region: Rwanda’s in 1994 and Zaire’s regime under Mobutu SeseSeko in 1996.
What makes this planned attack by the SANDF even more dangerous is the fact that M23 rebels robbed grenade-launchers and a 37mm doublebarrelled aircraft defence cannon from the Congolese defence force, military expert Helmut Heitman was quoted as saying. A source inside the SANDF admitted that there could be ‘loss of lives’ amongs the South Africans because the rebels ‘know the area better”. However he added that ‘we have the advantage of aerial support.” He’s talking about two Rooival attack helicopters, dispatched to Entebbe together with hundreds of tons of South African military hardware. The cost of transporting them on 20 rental flights with Russian Antonov An124 and IlyushinII-76TD freight planes cost more than R270million according to an earlier report in the Afrikaans daily Beeld.
Dr David Zounmenou, conflict-researcher at the Institute for Security Studies, pins his hope on the fact that M23 recently lost one of its top leaders Bosco Ntaganda and also lost military support from Rwanda. “This might mean that M23 is less dangerous than we believe it to be’, he was quoted as saying. Moreover, he added, ‘the rebels are very aware of the strong message the United Nations is sending them’. He expects the next South African military adventure to start ‘towards the end of April’.
The SANDF is keeping mum: its spokesman Siphiwe Dlamini did not respond to requests for comment from Rapport.


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