Pretoria: The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) has dismissed claims that their members, who were deployed at the Democratic Republic of the Congo as part of the United Nations Stabilisation Mission in the Congo (MONUSCO), are stranded.
The reports had indicated that they are currently at the SANDF staging post at Entebbe, in Uganda.
“The SANDF members referred to are due to be transported back home as soon as all administration and logistic arrangements for their transportation has been finalised by the relevant entities,” spokesperson Brigadier General Xolani Mabanga said.
Mabanga said the staging area, in military terms, is an area where troops or forces assemble before or after deployment into the mission area, and that is applicable to most of the militaries around the world.
“A staging area or holding area is a predetermined, prepared, dedicated and designated place that is to accommodate the force before or after active operational activities. It is grossly misleading for both the media and military union officials to imply that the SANDF members are left stranded with only sleeping bags.”
The department has assured families of the SANDF members’ concerned, as well as all South Africans, that these members are safe and secured and that their welfare is not at risk.
SOURCE: SOUTH AFRICAN OFFICIAL NEWS