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South Africa Pulling Troops from Central African Republic

  • VOA News

Members of the South Africa National Defence Force (SANDF) carry the mortal remains of 13 members that were killed in Central African Republic (CAR) during the handing over to the respective families at the Waterkloof Air Force Base, in Pretoria, March 28

Members of the South Africa National Defence Force (SANDF) carry the mortal remains of 13 members that were killed in Central African Republic (CAR) during the handing over to the respective families at the Waterkloof Air Force Base, in Pretoria, March 28

South Africa says it will pull its troops from the Central African Republic, where 13 of its soldiers died in a battle with rebels late last month.

Government officials confirmed the decision Thursday, after President Jacob Zuma announced it at a summit of African leaders in Chad.

Opposition parties are asking why Zuma sent a force of about 200 troops to the CAR in the first place. The government says it had an agreement with the now-ousted CAR. government. Opposition leaders have suggested the ruling African National Congress wanted to protect business interests in the country.

The 13 soldiers died fighting Seleka rebels who swept into the CAR capital, Bangui, and overthrew President Francois Bozize.

The Chad summit, called to discuss the situation in the CAR, ended with a decision not to recognize the new Seleka government, led by Michel Djotodia.

Leaders called for a transitional administration and new elections in 18 months.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.
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