media statement 2008

STATEMENT BY DEPARTMENT OF DEFENCE HEADQUARTERS

STATEMENT BY THE MINISTRY OF DEFENCE ON THE VISIT TO THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO BY THE DEFENCE MINISTER, MR CHARLES NQAKULA

Date of Release: 01 October 2008
Embargo : None

The Minister of Defence, Mr Charles Nqakula will on Friday, 3 October preside over a handover ceremony of the inaugural Rapid Reaction Battalion to the DRC Minister of Defence and War Veterans, Chikez Diemu.

The handover ceremony at Mura Base, Likasi (DRC) marks the first milestone of the three Battalions that the SANDF must train.

Once the brigade is in place, it will contribute to the security, peace and stability when MONUC is withdrawn from the DRC.

The successful launch of this battalion is the part of many diplomatic engagements by South Africa alongside other role players to assist with the reform of the DRC following its democratically elected government in 2006.

This official visit by the Minister of Defence is also in the context of consolidating existing friendly ties between the two governments.

In 2004, the two governments signed an agreement on Defence Cooperation, paving the way for the two ministries to further sign an agreement on Practical Assistance to the Government of the Republic of Congo, among many other agreements.

Ends

Released by: The Ministry of Defence
Private Bag X 161
Pretoria
0001

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