South Africa’s military presence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) influenced the Government’s diplomatic, political and policy direction in its international relations with the people of the DRC

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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

FOR ORAL REPLY

QUESTION NO: 219 (NO2405E)

PUBLISHED IN QUESTION PAPER NO: 7-2013 OF 21 AUGUST 2013
MP, LS NGONYAMA OF COPE TO ASK THE MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION:

(1) Whether South Africa’s military presence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has influenced the Government’s (a) diplomatic, (b) political and (c) policy direction in its international relations with the people of the DRC; if not, what are the relevant details of the Government’s role in a negotiated outcome in the DRC; if so, what are the relevant details;

(2) whether South Africa’s record in successful diplomatic negotiations in other parts of the world cannot be pursued in the DRC as well?   
 
REPLY:

(1) South Africa is part of the United Nations multilateral peacekeeping force, MONUSCO, in the DRC. It also forms part of the Intervention Brigade which is likewise mandated by the United Nations. South Africa participates in numerous United Nations peacekeeping deployments, including, for example in Sudan. Participation in peacekeeping operations of the United Nations is in line with South Africa’s political, diplomatic and policy direction regarding a multilateral sanctioned intervention in situations where innocent civilian populations need to be protected and where it is necessary to create space for dialogue to take place between key players.  The DRC has welcomed the intervention by the United Nations.

(2) Diplomatic consultations in the DRC are continuing, and is part of the UN/AU Peace and Security Framework for the DRC and the Great Lakes Region which was signed on 24 February 2013 and is an appropriate and significant development towards assisting the DRC and the Great Lakes Region to deal with persistent security challenges. The Framework aims to address the situation in the DRC more comprehensively and seeks to secure the commitment of the DRC as well as that of its neighbours to various measures that would address some of the underlying causes of instability not only in the DRC, but in the wider region. The Framework Agreement not only demands political and diplomatic consultations between all protagonists, but also paved the way for the deployment of the Intervention Brigade under the mandate and command of MONUSCO. South Africa is one of the Guarantors of the Framework Agreement.

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