Statement by President Jacob Zuma on the eve of the hosting of the 5th BricsSummitSefako Makgatho Presidential Guest House, Pretoria25 March 2013Ministers and Deputy Ministers,Members of the Media, Thank you for attending this media briefing ahead of the historic 5
BRICS Summitwhich is being held on South African soil for the first time. But before we discussthat important matter, allow me to give a short briefing on the tragedy that hasbefallen our nation, the death of our soldiers in the Central African Republic.On 31 December 2012, I sent Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula to theCentral African Republic to assess the security environment and general situation,which was tense after the Seleka Rebel Coalition launched an armed campaign on10 December. The report from that mission recommended an intervention.On the 2
of January 2013 in my capacity as the Commander in Chief of the armedforces, I authorised the employment of up to 400 South African National DefenceForce (SANDF) soldiers to the Central African Republic (CAR), but had sent justabove 200 thus far. The employment was authorised in accordance with theprovisions of section 201 (2) (c) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa,1996. This was in fulfilment of a bilateral cooperation agreement.South Africa and the Central African Republic signed a military cooperationagreement in 2007, which was renewed for a further five years in December 2012.