Have you ever wondered what does the 75 000 men and women who are members of South African Defence Forces do throughout the year? Well, Chief Lieutenant General Siphiwe Sangweni revealed this through his end-of-year report to parliament last week.
In his report, Chief Lieutenant General Siphiwe Sangweni said that the SANDF has conducted seven operations in total throughout 2021. Four operations which are Arabella, Chariot, Corona, and Prosper are internal operations and three external operations are Copper, Mistral, and Vikela which are also intercontinental.
Operation Copper is a joint operation between SA Navy platforms and SA Air Force assets deployed in and above the Mozambique high seas as the major components of a regional block anti-piracy tasking. Operation Mistral is the longest and still ongoing, it started as a UN mission in DRC for peacekeeping mission. It involves elements from the SA Air Force (SAAF), SA Army, and SA Military Health Service.
The South African deployment in DRC will be added to early next year when a quick reaction force is established to protect civilian Congolese from rebel groups. Vikela, the codename for South Africa’s involvement in the Southern African Development Community Mission in Mozambique will end in January 2022 with a possible follow-up deployment in terms of a multi-dimensional peacekeeping framework.
Chief Lieutenant General Siphiwe Sangweni said SAMIM forces made a positive difference to the security situation in the northern parts of Mozambique. The civilian lifestyle has returned to normal and Islamic terrorists were dislodged from bases and strongholds in Mocimboa da Praia and Palma are now under the control of government forces.
Internally, operations Chariot for humanitarian assistance and disaster management and Prosper, co-operating and assisting police in executing the primary duty of crime combatting, and Arabella for aeronautical and maritime search and rescue is ongoing.
Operation Notlela, the SANDF contribution to the national anti-COVID-19 effort, is not mentioned in the three-star general’s presentation. Operation Vimba is the SA Military Health Service effort to prevent the spread of coronavirus in the country. The final internal operation is the border protection tasking Corona handed back to the SANDF 10 years ago when the SA Police Service complain that the task was too big for them.
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