Deployment of South African police service members to Darfur, Sudan

from Government of South Africa
Published on 24 Jan 2005
The South African Police Service (SAPS) is to deploy SAPS members as part of a peace-keeping operation in Sudan.
After careful consideration of a request from the Commission of the African Union (AU), and with the approval of Cabinet on Friday, 21 January 2005, it was decided that a contingent of 100 police officials will be deployed in phases in Darfur, Sudan.

The police members will mostly be made up of non-commissioned officers and will be under the command of a SAPS Director - Director Anand Pillay from the Western Cape - who will assume the position of Commissioner of the Civilian Police Component of the African Union Mission in Sudan.

The role of the SAPS CIVPOL members in Darfur will be to:

  • Monitor the service delivery of the police of the Government of Sudan to the community;
  • Facilitate the building of good relations between the community and the police;
  • Give technical advice; and
  • Export their knowledge on the successful adoption and implementation of community policing.

The advance team, made up of five members including Director Pillay, is expected to begin establishing a CIVPOL headquarters during late January to early February 2005. Once accommodation and logistical arrangements are finalised, teams of ten SAPS members at a time will be deployed.

The SAPS is honoured to be part of this historical event. This will be the first ever deployment of police from this country on a peace-keeping operation in another country.

We have no doubt that this operation will be of great benefit to both the SAPS and our country. Not only will our members be sharing their knowledge and expertise with police of other African countries, but we will also be able to learn from our counterparts and build sound relations with the other law enforcement agencies. This will obviously stand us in good stead in our on-going fight against trans-national and international organized crime.

In his dual role as President of Interpol and National Commissioner of the SAPS, Commissioner Jackie Selebi said that he is proud to be part of this mission. "It is a privilege to be a South African at a time when we as a country are taking a stand to ensure peace and stability for the people of an African country, many of them displaced, homeless and orphaned, recovering from a crisis situation," said Commissioner Selebi.

"We wish our members, who will be deployed on six-month rotations after having completed certain training courses, well on their ground-breaking mission and I am sure that they will represent the SAPS and their country with dignity," added Commissioner Selebi.

Director Sally de Beer
Cell: 082 779 8658