SA helps DRC with military strategy

Pretoria - South Africa will soon send a team to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to implement a military strategy for that country.

The team will be led by Chief of Military Operations Major General Barney Hlatshwayo.

This emerged on Tuesday during a meeting between South Africa’s Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, who met her DRC counterpart, Crispen Atama Tabe Mogodi, in Cape Town.

Both Ministers agreed that the implementation team must be in place by April 2016.

“It is very critical that the implementation of this strategy begins in earnest as this is long overdue and our members are waiting and ready to be deployed in the DRC Defence Force to assist and support with the implementation of the military strategy.

“We implore you to make sure that this is done as quickly as possible so that we can report in the next Bi-National Commission,” Minister Mapisa-Nqakula said.

The strategy, which was developed with the assistance of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF), will help empower the DRC army on how to employ efficient military combat tactics to fight and repel remnants of rebel forces in the country's northeast region.

The military strategy was presented to the Bi-National Commission, which was held in the DRC in 2015, before the Presidents of the two countries and approved for implementation.

Minister Mogodi said the DRC was ready to receive Major General Hlatshwayo and his team in the DRC to start with the implementation.

“After we presented that military strategy to our Presidents during the Bi-National Commission, which was held in my country, I asked myself when are we going to start with the implementation of the strategy. I am glad today that we have agreed that this should be done with immediate effect,” said Minister Mogodi.

The two sides also discussed the help that was required by the DRC in preparation for the elections, which are due to be held this year.

The DRC delegation said preparing for elections in that country is very difficult and expensive due to the infrastructure and vastness of that country. The delegation said it appreciates the gesture by South Africa to assist with whatever support they have at their disposal.

Pretoria impressed upon the DRC delegation that they should make sure that their requirements for assistance are made on time so that preparations for such support can be done timeously. –