South Africa withdraws troops from Sudan’s Darfur region

South Africa withdraws its troops from peacekeeping operations in Sudan's Darfur region

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

South Africa's President Jacob Zuma delivers his State of the Nation address at the opening session of Parliament in Cape Town, February 11, 2016.

South Africa declared withdrawal of its troops from peacekeeping operations in Sudan's Darfur region on Wednesday.

The troops had joined the peacekeeping forces five years after the conflict in Darfur began.

Western powers alleged South African troops have not done enough to protect civilians and withheld information on the scale of violence. 

"Members of the South African National Defence Force were employed in Darfur in 2008 as part of the AU/UN Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID). The termination will take effect from 01 April 2016," the president's office said in a statement.

Zuma's office also announced on Wednesday that elected officials will receive salary increases of 4.4 percent, compared with inflation of more than 6 percent in Africa's most industrialised economy.

Although the government finances are under strain, the presidency claimed that the withdrawal has no relation with belt tightening policies.

“The troops withdrawal had more to do with the completion of the mission than with belt tightening by South Africa,” presidential spokesperson Bongani Majola said.

TRTWorld and agencies