The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) troops who will be serving in the United Nations peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) say they are ready for the mission.

They have undergone training for a year. The troops will be deployed for a year in the DRC while another battalion rotates back home.

The SANDF members say they are confident. “It feels very good to go and command the soldiers in the battle field and represent my country and the region as well,” says one of the soldiers.

The Major General Office Commanding of joint SANDF operational headquarters Thabiso Mokhosi says South African soldiers receive intensive training before they are deployed to foreign countries.

SANDF troops have in the past been accused of sexual exploitation of the civilian population in the DRC.

“There’s enough training that is given to soldiers not only given by the South Africans, we also invite United Nations’ conduct team to come and make presentations. We also have a special directorate which is the directory transformation management which specifically deals with these issues. I would like to say that the conduct and behaviour of the South African National Defence Force has improved over the past two to three years,” says Major General Mokhosi.