Two South African Soldiers Killed, 3 Others Injured In DR Congo Attack


South African troops in the Democratic Republic of Congo have suffered their first fatalities since their recent deployment to quell a rebellion.

Two soldiers were killed and three were injured after a mortar bomb landed in their base on Wednesday.

The attack has led to South African opposition politicians calling for the withdrawal of troops from DR Congo.

The troops are part of a regional force helping DR Congo’s military as it confronts a series of armed groups.

The most prominent group is the M23, which has taken up positions on the major routes leading into Goma, the main city in the east of DR Congo.

Th M23’s advance has resulted in tens of thousands being forced from their homes – adding to the nearly seven million who have fled because of multiple conflicts in the east.

But the South African army has not linked Wednesday’s attack to the M23.

In a statement, it said the “details of this incident are still sketchy”.

South Africa began deploying troops to eastern DR Congo in December under the banner of the 16-member regional bloc, the Southern African Development Community (Sadc).

They are taking over from the Kenyan-led East African Force (EAF), which left in December – about a year after it was welcomed by President Félix Tshisekedi.

He was re-elected in December for a second term in office – and one of his key campaign promises was to tackle the insecurity that has wrecked the east of the country for three decades.