Two South African Soldiers die in DRC mission, several injured

DR Congo
Two South African Soldiers die in DRC mission, several injured
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Two South African soldiers were killed and three injured in a mortar attack on their base in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on February 14th, marking the first casualties for the South African contingent deployed in the regional peacekeeping mission. This incident has sent shockwaves through the nation and raised critical questions about the safety and resources available to these troops.

Experts point to several issues that could have contributed to the attack and raise concerns for the future of the mission. One major concern is the lack of air support. With no attack helicopters available, South African soldiers are left vulnerable to ground and aerial attacks. "You cannot rely on air support of other countries, particularly when urgent/under fire," warns aviation expert Dean Wingrin.

Adding to the pressure, South Africa's military resources are already stretched thin. Thousands of troops are currently deployed in Mozambique and engaged in domestic security operations, leaving fewer available for the DRC mission. This deployment adds to the burden, highlighting the logistical and financial challenges faced by the South African military.

Furthermore, reports indicate that rebel groups in the DRC have acquired increasingly sophisticated weaponry, including missiles. This escalation in firepower poses a significant threat to both the peacekeeping mission and the stability of the region.

The adequacy of the mission's resources and personnel has also come under scrutiny. African Defence Review Director Darren Olivier believes the mission is "under-sized and under-resourced," potentially leading to "more casualties."

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