Politics, Africa

South Africa’s president begins working state visit in Uganda

Visit comes months after South Africa sent troops under SADC to eastern Democratic Republic of Congo to fight M23 rebels

Hamza Kyeyune  | 16.04.2024 - Update : 16.04.2024
South Africa’s president begins working state visit in Uganda


South African President Cyril Ramaphosa arrived in Uganda on Monday for a two-day working visit.

He was invited by his Ugandan counterpart Yoweri Museveni.

The purpose of Ramaphosa’s visit is to strengthen the excellent bilateral relations between their two countries and discuss regional security and stability, including the situation in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

South Africa is one of the fastest-growing sources of foreign direct investment for Uganda and also a destination for many Ugandan-trained doctors.

In February last year, President Museveni visited South Africa on a trip that was dominated by discussions on investment and stability in the DRC.

During his visit, Museveni said they would work together with South Africa to solve the security problem in eastern DRC involving the M23 rebel and Allied Democratic Forces groups.

He also said that DRC President Felix Tshisekedi should not work with foreigners (Western countries) and their backers, whom he called traitors. He has also been against the deployment of UN forces in eastern DRC.

Two separate military missions have attempted to support the Congolese forces without success.

Last year, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (SAMIDRC), of which the DRC is a member, approved a military mission for eastern Congo to help the country address instability and tackle the M23 rebel group, which has grown more formidable, commanding a great deal of firepower and skill, and other armed groups.

The troops from SAMIDRC, who include forces from South Africa, Malawi and Tanzania, have an offensive mandate to support Congo's army fight rebel groups.

The South African government, which forms the core of the mission, has deployed 2,900 soldiers in a push to support the DRC’s forces against the armed groups.

The South African military already said that two of its soldiers had been killed and three wounded by a mortar bomb that landed inside a military base.

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