SOUTH AFRICA ‘DOWNPLAYED’ CASUALTIES IN C.A.R FIGHTING…EYEWITNESS TO EVACUATION CLAIMS ‘COUNTED OVER 50 BODYBAGS WITH MORE BEING BROUGHT IN’ ; TROOPS WERE DEPLOYED TO SAFEGUARD MINING INTERESTS – FRANCE24 REPORT

FRANCE24
4/4/2013

Many more South African troops died
during a rebel offensive in the Central
African Republic than Pretoria has
admitted, local sources have told RFI.The same sources said the soldiers were fighting to protect South African mining and oil contracts.

Doubts have been raised over the number of South African soldiers killed during a coup d’état in the Central African Republic (CAR) in late March.
Officially, South Africa says that 13 of
its soldiers died fighting rebels from
the Seleka alliance that toppled deposed CAR president François Bozizé’s regime.

But according to the rebels, as many as
36 South Africans were killed, raising
questions over why the soldiers were
stationed there and why the South African government would want to cover up the number of deaths.

Cyril Bensimon, correspondent for
FRANCE 24’s sister broadcaster Radio
France Internationale (RFI), said on
Thursday: “General Arda Hakouma, the
chief of staff for the Seleka forces, told me categorically that on March 23,in fighting between the town of Damara and the capital Bangui, not 13 but 36 South Africans were killed.” The South African force, Bensimon said, was caught between two separate rebel units, one heading for Bangui and the other moving north in a “flanking manoeuvre”.“From our information, François Bozizé was with the South Africans but managed to escape,” said Bensimon.

“And according to another source the
death toll could be even higher,” the
RFI reporter added. “The source, who
wants to remain anonymous, was at the French military base on Monday March 25,the day after Bangui fell to the rebels. He said he counted at least 50 body bags about to be loaded onto a Hercules transport plane heading for Pretoria. All the while, other dead bodies of South African soldiers kept arriving.”

Bensimon said that other military and
diplomatic sources had confirmed to him that the number of South Africans
killed was “more than 40”. Aside from why South Africa appears to have downplayed the number of soldiers killed in the fighting, the question remains as to why the country’s troops were so keen to defend CAR’s ousted president at such a high cost.

RFI, on its website, points to a large
number of mining and oil exploitation
contracts agreed between South African companies and Bozizé.“Senior members of the [CAR’s Seleka-dominated] government and security sources tell me that Pretoria was fighting to save these contracts,” Bensimon said.

“One minister singled out South African company Dig Oil which was prospecting in CAR, saying it was a ‘cash cow’ for [South Africa’s ruling] African National Congress. One of the company’s major shareholders is the nephew of South African President Jacob Zuma.”

Bensimon concluded: “If these accounts are confirmed, a major political crisis in South Africa seems inevitable.”

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About beegeagle

BEEG EAGLE -perspectives of an opinionated Nigerian male with a keen interest in Geopolitics, Defence and Strategic Studies
This entry was posted in AFRICAN ARMED FORCES, COUNTERINSURGENCY OPERATIONS, GLOBAL DEFENCE NEWS, MILITARY PHOTOS, SECURITY ISSUES AND CONCERNS and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to SOUTH AFRICA ‘DOWNPLAYED’ CASUALTIES IN C.A.R FIGHTING…EYEWITNESS TO EVACUATION CLAIMS ‘COUNTED OVER 50 BODYBAGS WITH MORE BEING BROUGHT IN’ ; TROOPS WERE DEPLOYED TO SAFEGUARD MINING INTERESTS – FRANCE24 REPORT

  1. camouflage1984 says:

    Oga beeg what du u think about this report by France24…..i just want to see the report as sneering of the South Africans by the French. A lot has been said about the casualties sustained by the SANDF that one does not know what is the truth anymore!

  2. beegeagle says:

    I am thinking as well that France might be looking to “write off” South Africa for daring to interfere in her ‘sphere of influence’. France are no doubt an interested party. They maintain a troop presence in the C.A.R and I am not too sure that they would have taken kindly to the ‘encroachment’ by South African firms into the potentially lucrative mining and oil prospecting spheres of interest.

    France24 and RFI are after all, defacto mouthpieces of French diplomacy and “there is no altruism in diplomacy”

    Somehow, nobody has bothered to find out how many SELEKA scalps were claimed by the SANDF troops or was it a one-way massacre? That was what actually got me thinking.

    FLIPSIDE

    I would not know if this figure is also not exageerated. You cannot wipe out a battalion-sized contingent of rebels in battle and the world shuts out so a remarkable dent.

    SANDF CLAIM DEATHS OF HUNDREDS OF REBELS IN THE C.A.R

    http://politicsweb.co.za/politicsweb/view/politicsweb/en/page71654?oid=368674&sn=Detail&pid=71654

  3. Number one says:

    Not good for SA .Clashing with France in C.I.V,Libya and now C.A.R .

  4. K'yall Kelvins says:

    I think I said this in the earlier SANDF archive. A week before the French ‘models’ got their hand on this. Very true, No doubts.

  5. MAKANAKY says:

    A war or Battle can be fought for many reasons Economic,Political,National Pride etc.
    I see nothing wrong in what South Afica did but my problem is how they left.
    The report is sensational and one-sided one can deduce that the french are happy about the turn of event, they might have engineered the process and provided support to seleka via back door but the truth will come out one day.
    Typical of a colonial master using divide and rule to reap from Africa.

  6. eyimola says:

    The South African Govt only announced military casualties. Is it not possible that alongside the 400 (alleged) troops were dozens of (more capable) civilian contractors? I’ve always felt that the 13 killed was relatively low, considering the fact that their mission failed.

  7. Anas says:

    Hmm somebody on this blog said that d true casualties r close to 50 I guess that person is rite ,those soldiers died tryin to protect the interests of corrupt ANC officials wat a pity .

  8. freeegulf says:

    sustaining such a high casualty rate is not the main issue.
    SA govt decision to send such a small contingent without prior assessment of the overall geopolitical and strategic implications of their deployment was alarmingly naive. and their subsequent decision to withdraw without significantly changing the outcome in bangui to their advantage was unfortunate.
    they don’t have stomach for war, they might as well stay at home and model the SANDF into a Ghanaian like army; UN PKO

  9. jimmy says:

    OGA FREEGULF, OGA MAKANAKY . You both have said everything that i i wanted to say so I say to you both thank you very much.

  10. beegeagle says:

    ANDREW from SOUTH AFRICA wrote:

    People fail to understand. You cannot
    hide deaths in the SANDF. It is not
    possible. There are too many people who would know. And nothing will happen if they reveal the truth. Actually some would gain since they could use it to discredit the goverment.

    SA had 13 dead 27 wounded of whom
    less than 10 are still in hospital. And
    killed anywhere from 400 to 1000 rebels. One rebel Captain admitted that he lost half of his 400 strong group alone. Not bad for less than 300 SA solders.

    The fact is the SANDF was never overrun, held the base and fought more than 3000 rebels to a standstill with zero support.

    • jimmy says:

      OGA ANDREW (TRANSLATES TO BOSS/ BIG MAN ANDREW)
      Very few of on this blog will ever believe the nonsense the french “peddle” on their TVs.This is not the issue of whether THE SANDF KILLED 400 REBELS OR 4000 ,The issue is three fold, 1) They were for better for worst depending on who you believe entrusted in safeguarding the life of the president ( he had to take to his heels and run to Cameroon).2. The speed / hasty panicked withdrawal after one bloody brawl makes us the bloggers question S/ Africa’s stomach for Casualties.This will only encourage South AFRICA’S ENEMIES 3. The preparation and the type of equipment that was left at home no air cover no harassing gunships that were left sitting on the tarmac in Pretoria while S/ African were left to fend of waves of rebel soldiers shows the naivete that we on this blog are upset about . ‘

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