President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa has sanctioned the deployment of nearly 3,000 soldiers to the Democratic Republic of Congo as part of efforts to restore sanity in the eastern part of the resource- rich country.
The South African troops will be stationed as part of the Southern African Mission in DR Congo (SAMIDRC), which was approved by the regional grouping in May of last year.
The governments of Malawi and Tanzania have also sanctioned similar moves for the peacekeeping operation.
The mission succeeds the East African regional force, which left DR Congo in December after the government said it failed to bring the raging insecurity under control.
A presidential statement confirmed that South Africa’s deployment will cost 2 billion Rand, representing about $105 million, and will last until December of this year.
The Eastern DRC has been plagued by unrest for many years, but conflict and violence have worsened drastically since 2022.
Over 6 million people are estimated to be displaced in the eastern DRC, making this the worst displacement crisis in Africa and among the top three globally, according to the United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF.