The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) has confirmed that it has lost a soldier deployed in Mozambique as part of Operation Vikela.
According to a statement, on 20 December 2021, soldiers came under attack from the insurgents during an ambush around east of Chai Village.
“The members managed to fight through the ambush. However, while at the rendezvous awaiting the chopper, they got attacked by the insurgents again,” the statement read on Tuesday.
“During this incident, an SANDF member was shot and declared dead on the scene.”
This comes after the SANDF was deployed in Cabo Delgabo province as part of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Mission in Mozambique (SAMIM), also known as Operation Vikela.
The remains of the member have since been flown back to the SAMIM Chai Tactical Base.
“Further investigation is being conducted to determine the extent to inquiries of personnel and loss of equipment during this unfortunate incident,” the SANDF said.
The Extraordinary SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government approved the deployment of SAMIM on 15 July 2021 as a regional response to support Mozambique to combat terrorism and acts of violent extremism.
The country has been plagued by continued acts of terrorism perpetrated on innocent civilians, women and children in some districts of the Cabo Delgado.
SAMIM comprises troops deployed from eight personnel contributing countries from SADC, namely Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Malawi, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia, working in collaboration with the Forças Armadas de Defesa de Moçambique (FADM) and other troops deployed to Cabo Delgado to combat acts of terrorism and violent extremism.
Defence and Military Veterans Minister, Thandi Modise, and her office have extended their condolences to the family, colleagues and friends of the deceased.
“May the departed soul rest in peace,” the department said.
Source: South African Government News Agency