Zuma officially announces end of S. Africa mission in CAR

South African President Jacob Zuma has officially announced the end of mission in Central African Republic (CAR).

South African President Jacob Zuma has officially announced the end of mission in Central African Republic (CAR).

The announcement was made as Zuma informed Parliament of the withdrawal of South African soldiers from CAR, presidential spokesman Mac Maharaj said.

 

"The president has informed Parliament that the termination has been undertaken due to the fact that the security situation in the CAR has deteriorated and there is no longer a legitimate government," Maharaj said.Zuma terminated the mission on Wednesday in line with the South African Constitution, the spokesman said.

 

The president has been under fire from the opposition for "misleading" Parliament and the public about the deployment of troops in CAR. But Zuma maintains that he ordered the deployment of troops in CAR in line with a military agreement signed in 2007 with the CAR government.

 

The agreement was to provide local army with an array of military training, from infantry, artillery and Special Forces training to logistics and driving courses, as well as the refurbishment of military infrastructure in Bouar and Bangui.

Last month, 13 South African soldiers were killed and 27 others injured in a clash with Seleka rebel fighters outside the capital Bangui, prompting calls for an immediate withdrawal from CAR.

Amid mounting pressure, Zuma ordered the withdrawal of troops last week. On Tuesday, the South African National Defense Force (SANDF) announced that all the troops were withdrawn and back home safe.

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