SA soldier killed after ambush in Sudan

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Members of the UN-African Union mission in Darfur (UNAMID) drive past children inside the Zam Zam camp for Internally Displaced People (IDP), North Darfur, on April 9, 2015.

Members of the UN-African Union mission in Darfur (UNAMID) drive past children inside the Zam Zam camp for Internally Displaced People (IDP), North Darfur, on April 9, 2015.

JOHANNESBURG -- A South African soldier has been killed and another was injured when their military convoy came under attack in northern Darfur.

The tragedy comes just less than two weeks after President Jacob Zuma announced that South Africa will withdraw its troops from peacekeeping operations in the Darfur region.

Soldiers were deployed in Darfur in 2008 as part of the African Union/ United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID).

The termination of their deployment will take effect from 01 April, 2016.

According to the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) the ambush happened on Wednesday at about 8pm.

The convoy was offering security to World Food Programme (WFP) trucks as they moved to deliver humanitarian aid in the war-ravaged area.

The battalion was attacked en-route to “an exchange point between SANDF and Rwandese Battalions.”

Just 25 kilometres from the exchange point they were ambushed. According to the SANDF, although one soldier was killed, “they were able to protect the WFP trucks.”

“The Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Me Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, the Chief of the South African National Defence, General Solly Shoke and the Chief of Joint Operations, Lieutenant General Duma Mdutyana have expressed their heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of the deceased member and wished the injured member a speedy and comprehensive recovery from his wounds,” said the SANDF in a statement.