- The Pretoria administration has announced that its troops who were part of the peacekeeping mission in Birundi will formally be withdrawn next Saturday.
The International Relations and Cooperation Director General, Ayanda Ntsaluba said today that South Africa will be formally withdrawing its troops and lowering its flag with effect from 8 August. She also added that the withdrawal will be completed by the end of September.
The South African troops were deployed as part of the African Union Special Task Force in Burundi, mainly providing protection to the returning leaders of the Burundi transitional government.
"The withdrawal signifies a proud moment in South Africa's and Africa's history as we move towards resolution of this long-standing and violent conflict," he told the media.
South Africa deployed some 700 troops in Burundi in 2001 to help the peace process between the government and rebel movements, following a 15-year civil war which claimed an estimated 300 000 lives.
The deployment was finalised soon after the 2000 mediation process that was led by former president, Nelson Mandela.
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