Zuma to attend CAR solution summit

The president and several ministers will attend the conference to bring stability to CAR.

SANDF soldiers carry the bodies of their colleagues killed in the Central African Republic on 24 March 2013. Picture: Alex Eliseev/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - President Jacob Zuma will on Wednesday be attending an extraordinary summit of the Economic Community of Central African States to find a solution to bring stability to the troubled Central African Republic (CAR).

The president and several ministers, including International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana Mashabane and Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula will attend the conference.

13 South African soldiers recently died at the hands of rebels in CAR, sparking concern about the country's involvement in the strife-torn republic.

"President Zuma will attend the extraordinary summit of the Economic Community of the Central African States to discuss developments in the Central African Republic," said presidential spokesperson Mac Maharaj.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) believes parliament and the defence force will have to carefully evaluate the possible deployment of troops to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in light of recent events in the Central African Republic (CAR).

The United Nations (UN) approved a 3,000 strong peacekeeping force to fight rebels in east DRC.

It has been reported that South Africa will send soldiers, but the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) said it has not yet received any requests for that to happen.

"I think that it's fair to say, that what has happened in the Central African Republic is going to have an effect, causing not only the Department of Defence, but also parliament, I think, to have to very carefully evaluate South Africa's deployment of troops," said the DA's David Maynier.