SADC motivating for a rapid force in the DRC

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Southern African Development Community and the Great Lakes region are expected to lobby against cutting down the UN Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (Monusco) and to motivate for the deployment of a Rapid Force.

As the United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley travels to Ethiopia, South Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) this week, Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula says the region is concerned that the Security Council has already withdrawn Tanzania and planning to cut down the budget of Monusco.

More than 20% of contributions to the United Nations come from the United States of America.

A visit by Ambassador Haley is key to how the UN will approach Africa’s hot spots, including the DRC and even its Foreign Policy.

Nikki Haley, U.S Ambassador to the U.N elaborates, “What happens is when that conflict hits it also creates a breeding ground for extremist groups and that’s what we don’t want. We have partnered with the AU and we have partnered with our African friends in terms of defeating terrorism and going against Boko Haram and doing some things to make a difference, what we don’t want to see is further breeding grounds for that to happen.”

South Africa as chair of SADC, has deployed Rapid Force troops to the DRC.

Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, Defence Minister says, “One of the observations which we made as some of the ministers as we were talking to the heads of state was that the sad thing is that everybody is calling for the strengthening of the force intervention brigade, in view of the nature of the negative forces we’re engaging.

“But on the other side United Nations security council is talking about cutting down the budget of MONUSCO, not only cutting down the numbers, two, three weeks ago we lost Tanzania and the issue at hand is the calibre of soldiers you need now to engage in that battle in that jungle and the quality of weaponry you need.”

Ambassador Haley is expected to witness UN operations addressing conflict and devastation, visit peacekeeping missions and other agencies providing life-saving humanitarian aid, and to meet the people who benefit from it.

“It does not mean that it’s only those three countries who are part of the troop contributing countries, South Africa, Tanzania and Malawi who have that responsibility, it’s agreed that the entire Southern African region ICGRL and SADC, now have the responsibility of coming together and agree on how best to deal with that situation.”

The US is one of five permanent members of the UN Security Council, others being the United Kingdom, France, China and Russia, which hold the power to impose a veto on the council’s resolutions.

– By Nthakoana Ngatane