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SA troops get ready for DRC

SANDF says SA troops are undergoing preparations ahead of their deployment to the DRC.

"M23 rebel soldiers keep guard during the inauguration of newly elected M23 Rebel political wing President, Bertrand Bisimwa in Bunagana on March 7, 2013. Picture: AFP/ISAAC KASAMANI"

JOHANNESBURG - The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) said on Tuesday it's getting its troops combat ready ahead of their deployment to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Hundreds of soldiers are being mobilised for the United Nations (UN) sanctioned mission to the Eastern-Congo just days after 13 SANDF members were killed in the Central African Republic (CAR) were buried.

The DRC deployment is seen as a more dangerous one with well-armed rebels in the volatile region threatening to fight back if attacked.

The M23 rebel group appealed to the South African government not to send in soldiers.

The SANDF said it would not be deterred by threats from rebels in the volatile country.

Defence force's Xolani Mabanga said he cannot reveal at this stage when the troops will depart.

"The staff of the defence force is made of men and women who have volunteered to give their lives to defend the Republic of South Africa and to carry out any government responsibilities."

It was confirmed on Tuesday all South African soldiers are now out of the CAR and are receiving trauma counselling and other support.

However opposition parties continue to point out what appears to be contradictions in the motives behind the CAR mission.

President Jacob Zuma has also recommitted around 200 troops to help fight piracy on the South African coast along the Indian Ocean.