South Africa's Minister of Finance allocated around $165 million for the country's peacekeeping missions on the African continent over the next three years. Almost the entire amount would go towards South Africa's deployment in Burundi, which had yet to find foreign donors.
The South African Defense Force (SANDF) has more than 2,000 troops deployed in peacekeeping missions in the Congo and Burundi. The entire allocation would be spent on maintaining the troops in these countries over the next three years. South Africa was reimbursed for the cost of troop deployment in the Congo by the UN, but had been shouldering the $121 million-per-year expense of the Burundi mission since 2001.
The South African peacekeeping effort in Burundi became an African Union (AU) mission only at the end of 2002, but the AU does not have the financial resources to maintain the mission. At the end of 2003, the United Kingdom and the United States agreed to fund the deployment of Mozambican and Ethiopian troops to Burundi for a period of 60 days (that period is now over).
South Africa's Deputy President had appealed to the UN to take over the AU mission last year, but remained un-optimistic because the UN was also considering the deployment of peacekeepers to the Ivory Coast, Sudan and Somalia. - Adam Geibel