Sudan government forced South African withdrawal from UNAMID
South Africa’s withdrawal from the hybrid AU/UN peace support mission in Sudan last month was because the Sudanese government had made it “increasingly difficult” for proper logistic support to be provided to deployed soldiers. This is according to Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, who told MPs during her budget vote in Parliament this week that this contributed to “making it impossible for our forces to protect the women and children of that country”. “As a result a decision was taken to withdraw from UNAMID with effect from April 1. The force will not be replaced. A team of logistic experts will manage the withdrawal of remaining SANDF assets and equipment over a six month period.” The approxiimately 800 South African soldiers who were the final South African National Defence Force (SANDF) deployment in Sudan flew back to South Africa aboard UN chartered aircraft on April 23, 25 and 27. They landed at AFB Bloemspruit before being debriefed at the nearby De Brug mobilisation centre and then returned to their home unit – 8 SA Infantry Battalion. The South African troops have been replaced by Pakistani and Sudanese elements to ensure continuity of operations in Darfur. South Africa has been part of UNAMID since its establishment at the beginning of 2008 as a successor to the AMIS, the then African Union mission in Sudan.