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S/African peacekeeper killed in DRC shooting incident

An accidental shooting has claimed the life of a South African soldier serving with the UN peacekeeping mission in the…

An accidental shooting has claimed the life of a South African soldier serving with the UN peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), a senior South African National Defence Force (SANDF) official confirmed on Friday.SANDF spokesperson Mafi Mgobozi said the unnamed soldier “was shot dead in a friendly fire incident on Thursday morning and that a board of inquiry would be convened to investigate the matter.”

The deceased soldier’s identity would be released once the family and next of kin have been informed, Mgobozi said. 

The soldier was killed while taking part in an operation in the town of Kilya in the DRC’s eastern North Kivu province, the UN Mission said, adding that “he was killed in an incident caused by the incorrect handling of his weapon by another UN soldier.”

South Africa has an infantry battalion of over 1,000 soldiers deployed to the peacekeeping mission as part of UN’s offensive Force Intervention Brigade.

Last month Malawi, another member of the UN peacekeeping mission, lost a female soldier when her post was attacked in the same area of the DRC.

Tanzania makes up the third country in the UN peacekeeping mission formally known as UN Organisation Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO).

MONUSCO was deployed in the DRC region to protect civilians from armed rebels of the Congolese Rally for Democracy, who frequently attack the people in a war to control the mineral-rich area. 

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