News and Information

UK to help peacekeepers achieve their goals
August 2, 2000
Britain and South Africa on Monday signed two defence agreements on training South African peacekeepers and organising joint exercises to boost Pretoria's capacity to keep the peace on the continent.

"This development reflects the commitment of both parties to take responsibility to solve regional security issues by the role the United Kingdom is prepared to play in augmenting our capacity to prepare our forces for peacekeeping operations in the region and the continent," Defence Minister Mosiuoa Lekota said.

Lekota said the agreement would "formalise the presence of the British Peace Support Training Team in South Africa" which would help prepare South African forces "earmarked for deployments during peace support operations".

South Africa currently has peacekeepers in four African countries. There are two small contingents in Liberia and Sudan and about 1 500 men each under United Nations command in Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi.

Lekota said since the end of apartheid in 1994, military co-operation between South Africa and Britain had "developed to a level where it can be described as very close".

Speaking at the ceremony, British High Commissioner Ann Grant said: "Nothing is more important than peacekeeping if Africa wishes to achieve all the goals it has set."


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