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Central African Republic (4)

When the bodies of United States army rangers were dragged through the streets of Mogadishu in 1993, American public opinion could not comprehend why their compatriots had to die for Somalia. Somalia was seen to be far from the ‘American national interest’. In the wake of domestic pressure and the debate about the national interest, Somalia marked a turning point for American involvement in African conflicts. Similarly, the death of 13 South African soldiers on 23 March 2013 in battle between Damara and Bangui in the Central African Republic (CAR) left South African public opinion in a state of incomprehension.
The South African deployment in the Central African Republic (CAR) which created a political firestorm at home, came to a precipitous end when President Zuma announced the forces’ withdrawal on 3 April. Beyond the official explanation which centred on a bilateral military cooperation agreement, unpacking the real rationale behind South Africa’s involvement requires a closer reading of a new African geopolitical script of which Pretoria is very much a part. Such a reading must consider the economic (largely resource) interests that forced the long unstable central African country back into the global media spotlight this past month.
Tuesday, 09 April 2013

South Africa's mission in CAR

South Africa has decided to withdraw its troops from the hapless mission in the Central African Republic (CAR), where 13 troops were killed by rebel forces. At the same time, South African Minister of Defence Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula appeared before the Joint Standing Committee on Defence to answer Parliament’s questions on our involvement in the CAR. On 5 April 2013 Tjiurimo Hengari, head of SAIIA's South African Foreign Policy and African Drivers Programme, talked to Summit TV about the latest developments. Click here to watch the video [Duration: 8min 19sec] This video is coutesy of ABN digital/ CNBC Africa.
The Central African Republic’s former president may face prosecution at the International Criminal Court. After years of being overshadowed by its neighbours, the Central African Republic, ravaged by decades of civil strife, and among the world’s poorest nations, looks set to win much-needed attention as the focus of a high-profile prosecution at the International Criminal Court, ICC.