Members of the SANDF’s UNAMID Darfur peacekeeping contingent were involved in an ambush by local rebels. According to a press release by the Department of Defence, one soldier was killed and another wounded during the action.

There is as yet little further information on the nature of the ambush, nor of the location and enemy casualties. The SANDF UNAMID contingent was recently involved in a tense standoff with Darfur rebels, and have been attacked previously on other routine patrols. It is likely that the SANDF were in armoured vehicles and lightly armed, given the nature of UN deployments in Darfur.

Due to the escort nature of many of UNAMID’s patrols, SANDF forces are often moving along predetermined routes guarding aid and humanitarian convoys. In doing so, rebel groups face little challenge in dictating the initiative in planning an ambush.

NOTE: The DoD press release is headlined as a Darfur-based attack, but states SANDF personnel as part of the UNMIS mission. However, according to the United Nations’ UNMIS website, no South African military personnel are assigned to this operation, as opposed to the soldiers allocated to UNAMID.