South Africa to withdraw from UNAMID at the end of March
A day after a Cabinet briefing this week had expressed its satisfaction with the SA National Defence Force’s (SANDF) continental peace support operations, President Jacob Zuma announced the summary termination of the country’s involvement with the hybrid AU/UN mission in Darfur, Sudan. A short statement issued by the Presidency noted that members of the SANDF were employed in Darfur in 2008 as part of the AU/UN hybrid operation in Darfur (UNAMID). “The termination will take effect from April 1, 2016,” the statement said. A day earlier, Telecommunications and Post Services Minister Siyabonga Cwele, speaking on behalf of Cabinet’s International Co-operation, Trade and Security Cluster, told a media briefing the national defence force continues to participate in the UN peace support operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo (Operation Mistral), and the UN/AU hybrid peace support operation in Sudan (Operation Cordite) with over 2 000 soldiers deployed. Ahead of the Presidential announcement the South African permanent mission to the UN apparently informed the UN departments of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) and Field Support (DFS) via a note the country would be withdrawing its deployed infantry battalion “in lieu of” the scheduled forthcoming rotation.