South Africa has informed the United Nations that it will withdraw its South African National Defence Force (SANDF) infantry battalion from the UN peacekeeping mission in Sudan (UNAMID) within the next few months.
This was contained in a note, seen by ADR, sent on the 2nd of February from South Africa’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations to the UN departments of Peacekeeping Operations and Field Support, and confirmed today by ENCA. The note, numbered 036/2016, states:
The Permanent Mission of the Republic of South Africa to the United Nations presents its compliments to the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations and Department of Field Support (UN DPKO and DFS) and has the honour to refer to the Republic of South Africa’s deployed Infantry Battalion to the United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID).
After careful consideration, the Permanent Mission of the Republic of South Africa wishes to inform the UN DPKO and DFS of the Republic of South Africa’s decision to withdraw her Infantry Battalion from UNAMID. The planned movement shall be executed in lieu of the Infantry Battalion’s forthcoming scheduled rotation.
The Permanent Mission of the Republic of South Africa to the United Nations avails itself of this opportunity to renew to the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations the assurances of its highest consideration.
The SANDF battalion in Sudan is usually rotated between March and May. The reasons for the withdrawal are not yet known, nor whether other, non-infantry participation in the UNAMID mission will be affected.