South African Minister Ebrahim agreed with SA MPs that the military intervention in DRC is not going to help

South African troops like these will soon be in the dense forests of eastern DRC fighting on the side of Joseph Kabila one of the most corrupt president in the world

South African troops like these will soon be in the dense forests of eastern DRC on the side of Joseph Kabila one of the corrupts president in The world

fighting M23 Revolutionary Groupe

Deputy Minister of International Relations Ebrahim Ebrahim agreed with a number of MPs who sit in the committee that a political solution was needed in the DRC as the military intervention is not going to help in the long run.

Edward Xolisa Makaya, chief director for Southern Africa at the international relations and cooperation department told the parliamentary oversight committee on Wednesday that over the years, South Africa has been “very present” in the military training of the DRC’s troops. The South African National Defence Force trained three military battalions over the years and that police trained several officers in the DRC.

In recent weeks, the M23 rebels have repeatedly threatened to meet the United Nations intervention brigade that will be deployed in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) from next month – made up of troops from South Africa, Malawi and Tanzania – with lethal force.

On Twitter, the rebel group has consistently insulted the South African army saying it was old and weak.

But Makaya added that there was a challenge due to bad governance in the the DRC where the army was not properly paid.

“Months would go by without soldiers getting their salaries. That is a source of concern; it’s one of the reasons the M23 is talking about reintegration, which will address those issues,” said Makaya.

He said the framework agreement signed earlier this year urges the government of the DRC to ensure it begins to focus solely on what is referred as security sector reform.

“We can train as many soldiers as we could, but if the systems of the DRC government are not up to speed, then it becomes a problem,” said Makaya.

Makaya added: “It’s of concern to us that reports from some of the battalions we trained are that some of the soldiers [previously trained by the SANDF] are part of the M23.

“There’s nothing we can do. We train as requested and now we are going to be training another 4 000 new recruits within the provision of our bilateral provision with that country,” he said to gasps around the committee room.

Makaya said the South African government has realised that it was dealing with an exceptional case in the DRC and has decided to adopt a long term view and “have that kind of patience”.

Makaya said they believed that the intervention force [of 3 069 troops] will deal effectively with the rebels. “The noise from M23 is because they are now seeing a credible challenge to their existence … they are panicking and want to play on the emotions of this country following the CAR instead,” he said.

Deputy Minister of International Relations Ebrahim Ebrahim agreed with a number of MPs who sit in the committee that a political solution was needed in the DRC as the military intervention is not going to help in the long run.

South Africa will start sending troops to the DRC next month as part of the United Nations intervention brigade.

‘Kampala talks’
One of the regional initiatives, under the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region involves the “Kampala talks” which are facilitated by the Ugandan government between the DRC government and the M23 militia group who invaded Goma, the capital city of the North Kivu province in November 2012.

M23 has since withdrawn, as a precondition of the talks but continues to present security threat, said Ebrahim. He said the essence of the rebels’ demands was reintegration into the army and political participation.

Ebrahim said the framework agreement signed in February this year articulates a set of commitments by the DRC, the region and the international community.

For the DRC government, the agreement called for renewed commitment to continue and deepen security sector reform particularly with the army and police; consolidation of state authority particularly in the eastern DRC to prevent armed groups; make progress with regard to decentralisation; further economic development expanding infrastructure and delivery of social services.

For the region, it calls for commitment not to interfere in internal affairs of neighbouring countries, not to provide support of any kind to armed groups; respect sovereignty and territorial integrity of neighbouring countries; respect legitimate concerns of neighbours and promote economic cooperation.

The UN did indicate that Rwanda and Uganda interfered in the affairs of the DRC and somehow supported the rebel forces in that area.

For the international community, the United Nations Security Council would remain seized with the importance of supporting long-term stability of the DRC and the region.

Intervention brigade
In April, when the Monusco [United Nations Organisation Stabilisation Mission in the DRC] mandate was extended for a year, it was announced that a UN intervention brigade comprising of 3 069 troops shall be established.

It would consist inter alia of three infantry battalions, one artillery and one special force and reconnaissance company with headquarters in Goma, under direct command of the Monusco force commander.

Ebrahim said the main responsibility of the intervention brigade is to neutralise armed groups with the objective of reducing the threat posed by armed groups to state authority and civilian security in the eastern DRC.

The Monusco and the intervention brigade will take all necessary measures to protect civilians, neutralise armed groups, and monitor implementation of arms embargo established through various resolutions, said Ebrahim.

He revealed that only Tanzania, Malawi and South Africa have pledged troops to the intervention brigade, adding that they were hoping that other SADC countries would contribute their troops to the brigade.

South Africa and the DRC signed a General Cooperation Agreement signed in January 2004, the main objective of which was to promote political, economic and social co-operation between the two countries. This agreement made provision for the establishment of a bi-national commission at presidential level.

The focus of thecommission had been on post conflict reconstruction and development, essentially assisting the DRC with security sector reform, institution capacity building – which includes the training of diplomats and civil servants – public servants and economic development.

Among the South African departments involved are defence, which is training troops in the DRC, South African police training the police there, trade and industry department assisting in the development of viable economic projects and the Public Administration, Leadership and Management Academy, which is assisting in the establishment of a national school of public administration and the training of senior public servants.



2 thoughts on “South African Minister Ebrahim agreed with SA MPs that the military intervention in DRC is not going to help

  1. What we need ominous DRC is to stop corruption, tribalism and let be realistic.un will not gonna help, military intervention will just be temporary but if we can stand to our foundemental and unite we will build a new and bright Congo …not matter the origins omf the individual , Rwanda, Uganda , Angola , Asia, Europe or American only if he got something to add in the development of our great and rich land…

  2. when you talk of asserting state authority in d r congo, what do you actually mean? “state authority” is fiction here, just like “state” is flimsy fiction. m23 rebellion is about creating a worthy congolese state on the ruins of what used to be known and referred to as “belgian congo”: a vast territory comprising hundreds of nationalities, wth different history covering centuries. multitudes of peoples that were brought together by colonial force bordering on enslavement. these peoples have never had a genuine chance to create a viable unified polity through the wasted years of “national independence” and “international sovereignty”. independence and sovereignty have remained elusive words todate. these peoples have been coerced to live togetherin a sort of vast prison for hundreds of years, with state authorities taking turns to disenfranchise them, prey on them, ensuring all the time that they are totally de-politicised, right from the colonial times. the congolese adventure started in 1876 when leopold II the king of belgians allotted himself the immensely vast territory carved in the center of africa, which he named “the independent Kongo state”.the calamitous history of that independent state is known to those who care to have an idea of congolese affairs.

    to all intents and purposes, we must say out loud for all and sundry to hear that “the congolese state ” and “the congolese citizen” are mere words signifying nothing today. the d r congo is a dangerous fiction: it has never been a real state in the sense of the word. the time to create a viable congo is now. large sections of that huge territory, 2 400 000 square kms, are jungles where people still live like in antediluvian times: the highest human antiquity!

    “the only way to help congo is to stop pretending that it exists”. This is the title of a remarkable and insightful media article recently by a very sensble man going by the name JEFFREY HERBST. reference the link below:

    ntarugera deo koya
    Communication, political & diplomatic affairs consultant

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