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South Africa details military deployment in Congo

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August 23, 2013 08:28 AM EST | AP


JOHANNESBURG — South Africa says it is contributing 1,345 troops to a United Nations military mission with a mandate to fight rebel groups in eastern Congo in an effort to bring peace to the country.

The office of South African President Jacob Zuma said Friday that the $40 million deployment started on June 13 and ends March 31, 2014.

South Africa's role in the U.N.'s "intervention brigade" in eastern Congo had previously been announced, but Zuma's statement offered new details. The South Africans comprise about half of the troops in the new unit.

South African forces have been involved in previous peace efforts in Congo. Military spokesman Siphiwe Dlamini says the new deployment is "more robust."