Follow us on:   

Congo sends troops to Central African Republic
May 31, 2013, 2:34 pm

There are already soldiers in the Central African Republic [Getty Images]

There are already 150 Congolese soldiers in the Central African Republic [Getty Images]

The Republic of Congo has sent a platoon of soldiers to Bangui, the capital of Central African Republic, as part of the international peace mission.

The 30 Congolese soldiers left Congolese capital Brazzaville on Thursday under the auspices of the Mission for Peace Consolidation in Central Africa (MICOPAX), an official source said.

Congolese President Denis Sassou Nguesso had previously promised to reinforce the Congolese contingent to maintain order in Bangui.

The Congolese president vowed to send 200 additional soldiers next week to the 150 soldiers already deployed in Bangui.

The head of the delegation, Francois Ossele, affirmed that another platoon of 150 security personnel, mostly police officers and gendarmes, will be heading to Bangui in a week.

The Congolese president returned to Brazzaville on Monday evening from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where he had taken part in the African Union’s Golden Jubilee celebrations. He said  Congo’s decision to send additional soldiers is part of the commitment by the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) to have 2, 000 officers for rapid intervention.

In March Seleka rebels in the Central African Republic killed 14 South African soldiers while advancing on the capital Bangui to depose then President Francois Bozize.

The African Union have been criticised for not moving quickly enough during recent conflicts in Mali, Central African Republic, and Democratic Republic of Congo.

South African President Jacob Zuma has been a strident proponent of greater military might for Africa.

“The need for an intervention brigade has become more crucial in light of the situations of instability in the Central African Republic, the eastern Congo and Mali, where decisive intervention is needed,” he recently said.

Earlier this week, the African Union summit in Ethiopia adopted a decision to establish the African Capacity for Immediate Response to Crises (ACIR), at the initiative of South Africa.