South African military assistance to the Central African Republic

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The South African Government has assisted the government of François Bozizé in the Central African Republic militarily.[1] After 13 paratroopers were killed in the March 2013 battle for Bangui, the Zuma government came under heavy criticism and questioning for this support.[2][3][4]

Operation Morero[edit]

A South African National Defence Force Special Forces unit has provided personal protection for Bozizé since 2007.[1]

Operation Vimbezela[edit]

CAR Army Base "Vimbezela" in Bangui

In 2007 Bozizé requested assistance from South Africa for training the FACA and refurbishment of military facilities. The two nations signed a Memorandum of Understanding on 11 February 2007. In March the SANDF training and engineering personnel under the command of Col George Sibanyon.[clarification needed] By September 2009, 123 FACA members had received leadership training, including 23 who attended courses in RSA.[5]

Anti-Séléka deployment[edit]

In January 2013 the SANDF deployed an additional 200 troops to the CAR, without either air or armour support. Thirteen soldiers from the 1 Parachute Battalion were killed. [4]

David Maynier, the Democratic Alliance shadow minister of defence, Pieter Groenewald from the Freedom Front Plus and Pikkie Greeff from the South African National Defence Union, are seeking an official parliamentary inquest into the SANDF's role in Bangui.[4]

The SANDF has since awarded Battle Honours to the three units involved in the battle in recognition their performance.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b DIRCO 2011.
  2. ^ Torchia 2013.
  3. ^ AFP 2013-03-28.
  4. ^ a b c DefenceWeb 2013-03-27.
  5. ^ Lufuno 2009.
  6. ^ "South Africa: Armed Forces Day: Air Force Base Bloemspruit". African Armed Forces Online. Bloemfontein: African Armed Forces Journal. 24 February 2014. Retrieved 14 February 2015. On Thursday, 20 February, the Chief of the SANDF, General Solly Shoke, awarded Battle Honours to the units that were involved in The Battle of Bangui. The Battle Honours were conferred to 1 Parachute Battalion, 5 Reconnaissance Regiment and 7 Medical Battalion in a ceremony prior to the Armed Forces Day. These units were allowed to march with their Battle Honours for the first time on the Armed Forces Day parade.