2 SANDF soldiers killed, 3 injured in 'indirect fire' in DRC

The SANDF confirmed this on Thursday, saying the incident happened through indirect fire.

Feb 15, 2024 - 17:53
2 SANDF soldiers killed, 3 injured in 'indirect fire' in DRC
FILE: People gather next to some vehicles from the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) as part of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Mission as they flee the Masisi territory following clashes between M23 rebels and government forces, at a road near Sake on 7 February 2024. South Africa said on 15 February 2024 that two of its soldiers had been killed by mortar fire in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, the first fatalities since it deploying there. Picture: Aubin

JOHANNESBURG - Two South African National Defence Force (SANDF) members deployed on a peace mission in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have been killed.

It's understood that a mortar bomb landed inside one of the South African contingent's military bases, killing two members and injuring three others on Wednesday.

A mortar is an artillery weapon that fires explosives at targets at close range.

SANDF spokesperson, Siphiwe Dlamini: "The SANDF contingent is part of the SADC mission in the DRC that is deployed to support and assist the government of the DRC in its efforts to bring peace, security and stability in that region. As a result of this indirect fire, the SANDF suffered two fatalities and three members were injured. Details of the incident are still sketchy at the moment and further investigation is ongoing."

Earlier this week, the Presidency announced the deployment of 2,900 troops to the DRC.


This move has faced criticism, with the deployment coming at a cost of R2 billion while installations at home are in dire financial straits.

The SANDF's Dlamini said that they were aware of the issues and the concerns.

"We are busy and are developing and have developed plans to mitigate all these issues we are raising and these are presently being shared with government at large. And government has an appetite to deal with these issues."

Regardless of these issues, Dlamini said that they were confident in their capabilities.

"And indeed, we will be in a position to deal with the issues of deployment in a sense that you might know that we’re already in the DRC under MONUSCO and we are also in Mozambique under SAMIM. So, all these issues we are alive to are being dealt with at the highest level."

The SA National DefenceForce Media Statement || Thursday, 15 February 2024 || The SA National DefenceForce soldiers deployed in the SADC Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo were injured during an indirect fire.#SANDF#JointOperationsDivision#RIPSASoldiers#DRC pic.twitter.com/cIoxX2E5sw

— SA National Defence Force (@SANDF_ZA) February 15, 2024