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Small peacekeeping role

South Africa does not intend to play a leading role in any planned peacekeeping mission to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), regional security analysts told IRIN.

"South Africa wants to play a role but a low profile one," said a security source. He had attended a meeting this week between civil society groups and officials from the ministry of defence, foreign affairs and the police called to discuss the DRC situation.

Until the details of the ceasefire agreement are ironed out, "South Africa can't plan or make any decision over what its peacekeeping contribution could involve," the security analyst said. A political decision to participate in a DRC mission would have to be endorsed by parliament, he added.

The analyst stressed that South Africa "certainly would not" be involved in operations to disarm Rwandan and Ugandan rebels not party to the ceasefire agreement.

Defence ministry spokesman Puso Tladi said on Wednesday that any military involvement depended on receiving a request for assistance from the UN, Organisation of African Unity or the Southern African Development Community, the daily 'Business Day' reported.

"It has been agreed that there will be a joint monitoring commission and we have definitely agreed to participate in that. The monitoring of the ceasefire doesn't necessarily mean the sending of (units of) soldiers," he added.

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

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