Friday, September 11, 2009

SA troops to leave Burundi

Thursday, 30 July 2009

South Africa will start withdrawing its troops from Burundi on August 8 after an eight-year peacekeeping mission, the government said on Thursday.

Cabinet said in a statement the withdrawal, which would be completed in September, was a "proud moment" for South Africa in helping resolve a long-running conflict in the central African state.

Pretoria deployed 700 soldiers in Burundi in 2001, mainly to protect Hutu leaders returning to the country after a 15-year-civil war to take part in a transitional government.

The formation of the government flowed from the 2000 Arusha peace accord which was signed by 19 Burundian parties and brokered by former South African president Nelson Mandela.