It is essential that South Africa, in collaboration with its neighbours, does whatever it can to assist the plight of other SADC nations in particular, such as the troubled eastern DRC.
The SADC force will play a significant role in the region as they are not only tasked with peace-keeping, but have also been permitted to enforce peace when necessary.
While the deployment, which will involve about 4 000 troops, is welcomed, there are questions that need to be clarified:
• Is there an exit strategy in place that takes into consideration the nature of the mission and the relatively volatile climate and terrain in the DRC?
• Do our troops have the capacity and resources to fulfill this proactive role?
• For what period of time will the troops be deployed to the DRC?
• What is the financial cost of deploying South African troops to engage in this operation?
While South Africa should be looking to assist other African countries, we need to ensure that the safety of our troops and the efficient use of state funds are a priority.