Source: BuaNews online
The South African Defence Review Committee (SADRC) has lauded the sterling work of more than 1 000 South African National Defence Force (SANDF) members deployed in the DRC under Operation MISTRAL.
Addressing members of the SANDF deployed in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) under the auspices of the United Nations in the North Kivu Province, Chairperson of the SADRC Roelf Meyer said the committee was visiting all the units in South Africa and those deployed outside the country, such as DRC and Sudan, in order to get the current status of « our soldiers deployed in the country and abroad. »
« As the Defence Review Committee we are only here in order to observe, and learn what you are doing on the ground which will inform our plan for the future of the Defence Force based on the current experience, » Meyer said.
The SADRC is currently on a sequential trip to DRC, Sudan, Uganda and Ethiopia to gather information, which will be analysed and inform recommendations to be made to the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Lindiwe Sisulu.
The Committee has been hard at work over the last two months visiting units in South Africa as well as consulting relevant stakeholders of the Defence Force.
The SANDF members in the DRC have managed to make a difference in the lives of Congolese people in the form of stability and development.
Thanking SANDF members, Tony Yengeni, SADRC member said: « It’s an honour to be here to visit you to hear your views as members of the Defence Force. »
« We convey our sincere gratitude to you, men and women of our country for sacrificing everything to come to this foreign land, leaving behind your friends, your loved ones and your people in order to serve the people of … the continent. We are proud of you, » he said.
In the morning, the Committee had received briefings from the Indian Officer Commanding, General Mohany and Acting Head of Office for Political Affairs for MONUSCO in North Kivu, Mr Axel Queval.
« I have never seen such a professional, efficient and proactive military (SANDF), » said Queval. « We are thankful for helicopters from South Africa… »
When the Committee arrived in Kinshasa on Sunday, 25 September 2011, they met H E Mr Mashimbye, the South African Ambassador to the DRC. He also praised SANDF members for their « huge contribution in stabilising the country. »
Mashimbye recently handed over three DRC Battalions to the DRC Defence Force Minister. The latter were trained by the SANDF. – BuaNews