South Africans take a pasting in the CAR

#1
Looks like the SA contingent in the CAR has been well and truly trashed by....the Seleka, the Central African Republic rebels....the rebels now have taken the presidential palace in Bangui and Bozize, the local president, has fled.

The heroic story told by the SA Gvt seems to be a far cry from what really happened on the ground. They have lost at least 13 KIA and there are rumours that a number of POWs were taken by the rag tag Seleka.

This is a major blow for the standing of SA in the region and it now leaves Chad as the only credible regional military power.

France currently has 500 soldiers in Bangui, the capital. They are holding the airport and protecting expatriates; they were attacked yesterday by some Seleka elements that quickly retreated after taking some casualties.


BBC News - Jacob Zuma - 13 South African soldiers killed in CAR

South Africa troops killed in CAR fighting - Africa - Al Jazeera English

SANDF confirms SA casualties in Central African Republic | News | National | Mail & Guardian
 
#3
So what's going on globally then? Is this real Jihad in action across the Middle East and Africa? Or just loads of small skirmishes relating to power?
No, for the moment at least, no jihad in the CAR, only he "normal" power struggle which has seen one coup after another in that poor country since its independence.

Different news article are confirming the rout of the SA contingent; the surviving SA soldiers are apparently now protected by the French in the Bangui airport and they are waiting for the return trip to South Africa....


http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/SA-soldiers-in-CAR-retreat-to-barracks-want-out-2013032

In this article, they say that SA is to remove its troops but at the same time it mentions possible reinforcements...

Eyewitness News: CAR descends into chaos; SA soldiers want out
 
#4
So what's going on globally then? Is this real Jihad in action across the Middle East and Africa? Or just loads of small skirmishes relating to power?
Cheers for asking my question.

I've often wondered whether they referred to Great War or The Second World War by the names we use today whilst the battles were still being fought or whether the phrase came afterwards.

There is certainly a lot going on in the world.


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#6
From this are we to assume that the SA army is not the respected professional well led and motivated organisation it once was? Or are we looking at a lack of political will and commitment a la our own experience in Basra?


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Yeah the SA Army and SANDF as a whole have got some serious problems. Regarding what the contingent of 200 or so Parabats in CAR was doing there see here:

Daily Maverick - SA troops killed in Central African Republic: Why, Mr President?

http://www.dailymaverick.co.za/opin...nt-prop-up-a-nasty-dictatorship/#.UVBSZRdkPoI

Certainly much controversy about it.

SANDF deployments in Africa at large:

http://www.defenceweb.co.za/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=28707&Itemid=242
 
#7
Thank you for those interesting articles.

One of them mentions the fact that SA had "assets to protect" in the CAR; any idea what they are suppose to be ?
 
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#8
Jesus H Christ - they were Bats? RSM Klippies Stone must be spinning in his grave....
 
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#10
Should have hired Executive Outcomes - they only needed about 150 men to take over a country...
 
#12
Please tell me that i'm not the only one whose first thought when reading the BBC headline was "Jesus, that's a big ****ing car!"
nah, just a regular minibus taxi. Always seats one more.
I remember watching an SABC documentary on SANDF forces deployed to Darfur a couple of years ago. I thought they look more like a bunch of homesick kids getting used to boarding school. At first I found it amusing to think that the once impressive South Africans now managed to make the Irish contingent look like a serious first-world military force.
Then I was suddenly struck by the thought that if anyone fired in their direction with intent, a lot of those poor buggers were going to die.
Sad to see the inevitable finally happen.
 
#14
But more seriously, RIP. I would be interested to know the circumstances in which they died - given a large or well organised enough enemy their deaths might not be down to their own levels of competence - think Brits taken hostage in Sierra Leone. (Not that I think that the SANDF is anywhere near the competence of its previous incarnation.)
 
#15
In the aftermath of an extended fire fight that saw South African soldiers take on overwhelming odds in the Central African Republic (CAR), SANDF Chief General Solly Shoke summarily dismissed rumours this continental SANDF deployment will be cut short.

“It is not for the SANDF to decide when to come home or not and we do not run away. Our soldiers are still in the operational area waiting for the next call,” he said at a media briefing in Thaba Tshwane following heavy fighting in and around the CAR capital of Bangui at the weekend.

About 200 of the South African protection contingent engaged more than 3 000 rebels, armed with assault rifles, mortars and heavy machine guns, in a prolonged 19 hour fire fight, interrupted by two truce appeals. The fire fight had its origins near Bangui Base where the South African soldiers had set up an ambush. Overwhelmed by the sheer number of opponents they withdrew and regrouped in readiness “for the long haul” Shoke said.

“Sadly we lost 13 soldiers, with one still missing in action and 27 were wounded. But we as South Africans must be proud of them all. They performed outstandingly, doing the work they trained long and hard for and all are a credit to both the country and the national defence force.”

He said a good indication of the way the South African soldiers stood up against a massively superior force in number terms was that the rebels came seeking truce under a white flag.

Asked what lay ahead for the SANDF contingent in the troubled country Shoke said they would stay and do the job they had been tasked to do - protect South Africans and South African assets – until orders to the contrary were issued.

“We do not run away,” he declared.

All the wounded personnel have already been safely evacuated to 1 Military hospital in Thaba Tshwane while others, with light injuries, were treated in theatre and are ready to take up arms again, if needed, Shoke said.

He would not be drawn on the logistic trail to keep the South African soldiers properly supplied with ammunition and other essentials, including medical supplies, other than to say: “We have done it so far and will continue doing it”.

“Protection of our people is our top priority and it will be done,” the tall and authoritative four star general told media representatives.

“I personally highly commend both the discipline and calibre of the SANDF members deployed in the CAR. They are true South African heroes and I praise them for conducting themselves valiantly in the face of overwhelming opposition,” he said.

http://www.defenceweb.co.za/index.p...-fight--sandf-chief&catid=55:SANDF&Itemid=108
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#16
^^ Nice piece of creative writing....

I have a book on my table as I type called "The South African War Machine" published in 1985...somehow, I don't think the then 44 Para Bde would have encountered any kind of problem disposing of the Seleka....to see what the SADF was and to see what it has been turned into really is gut-wrenching.


BTW, I did not know the SANDF used AKs and PKMs....exceptional or the norm now instead of SS77 and R4/5s ?
 

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#17
Nice piece of creative writing....

I have a book on my table as I type called "The South African War Machine" published in 1985...somehow, I don't think the then 44 Para Bde would have encountered any kind of problem disposing of the Seleka....to see what the SADF was and to see what it has been turned into really is gut-wrenching.


BTW, I did not know the SANDF used AKs and PKMs....exceptional or the norm now instead of SS77 and R4/5s ?
"The South African War Machine" was also a Nice piece of creative writing....

Anyway...

The name wasn't changed from SADF to SANDF for no reason, you know. Just because they originated in the same part of the world, doesn't mean one has to be fooled into thinking they are the same thing. :wink:
 
#18
It wasn't quite the kicking it sounded was it?
I heard earlier that it was 3,000 rebels against 200 SADF with 13 killed, but managed to fight them off. The articles here say 1,000 rebels, whatever I don't imagined they were armed with sharpened mango fruit.
 
#20

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