Central African Republic: Former General Calls for Thorough Investigation Into Battle of Bangui, in Which 15 South African Soldiers Died

analysis

A retired top South African military general has called for a thorough and independent public inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the 2013 Battle of Bangui, in which 15 South African soldiers died and many were injured during a firefight with Seleka rebels in the Central African Republic (CAR).

Retired Major General Ashton Mlindeni Sibango, who was director of joint operations in the SA National Defence Force at the time of the Battle of Bangui, has accused the government and Parliament of failing to investigate the incident properly, or to provide adequate compensation to the wives and children of the soldiers who died or were injured.

In an open letter to Parliament's joint standing committee on defence, Sibango called for a full multidisciplinary investigation of several different government departments and parliamentary oversight committees, headed by a state advocate or judge, to re-examine the incident.

This would hold accountable the political and military leaders responsible and bring national closure to what he calls the "unfinished business" of "a mission too far".

Sibango said South Africa needed to know why its troops were in CAR in the first place and why they had not been properly reinforced before they came under attack outside...

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