JOHANNESBURG: South Africa has said it will deploy 2,900 troops to tackle armed groups in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as part of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) force.
According to a statement sent by the president’s office 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 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.
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.
Reporting by Agencies