SA soldier killed in 'friendly fire' incident in DRC

Details around the incident are “still sketchy”, the SANDF said, and an inquiry has been convened to investigate what happened.

03 June 2021 - 22:24
An SANDF soldier was killed by friendly fire in the DRC.
An SANDF soldier was killed by friendly fire in the DRC.
Image: Dmitry Kalinovsky/123rf.com

A South African soldier involved in a peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has been shot dead in what is believed to be crossfire from his own camp.

On Thursday, the South African National Defence Force confirmed that one of its soldiers deployed in the DRC has been killed “in friendly fire” while in operation in Kilia, in the eastern DRC, on Thursday morning.

“Details of this unfortunate incident are still sketchy and a board of inquiry has been convened to investigate.  The identity of the deceased will be confirmed once the SANDF has formally informed the family and the next of kin,” said SANDF spokesperson Brig-Gen Mafi Mgobozi.

“The minister of defence and military veterans, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, the deputy minister of defence and military veterans, Thabang Makwetla, the secretary for defence, Sonto Kudjoe, and the chief of the South African National Defence Force, Gen Rudzani Maphwanya, extend their heartfelt condolences to the family, friends and loved ones of the deceased,” Mgobozi said.

Early in 2020 President Cyril Ramaphosa told parliament that the 1,165 SANDF soldiers that are in the DRC will be deployed for another year as part of the UN Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO).

They form part of the multi-country peacekeeping mission and its Force Intervention Brigade (FIB). The FIB is staffed by three Southern African countries — Malawi, SA and Tanzania — and is the only UN peacekeeping component with an offensive mandate in executing its civilian protection tasking.

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