Soldiers from Tanzania Fatally Struck in Missile Attack in DRC

A mortar assault in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s eastern region resulted in the deaths of three soldiers from a military force representing southern Africa. The victims were all from Tanzania, and three additional soldiers were injured. The Southern African Development Community (SADC) reported that the soldiers were struck by “hostile” missile fire near their encampment on Monday. The identities of the soldiers and the precise location or timing of the attack remain undisclosed. SADC has yet to attribute responsibility for the assault on its personnel.

The regional force, deployed at the request of the Congolese government last year, aims to address the escalating insecurity fueled by various rebel factions contesting for control over territories and valuable mineral resources in eastern DR Congo. The M23 rebel group, notably accused by UN experts and others of receiving support from Rwanda—a claim Rwanda staunchly denies—has been a significant concern. Rwanda counters by accusing the Congolese army of collaborating with the FDLR, a group linked to perpetrators of the 1994 Rwandan genocide, an allegation Kinshasa denies.

The M23 group, after a period of diminished activity, surged again in 2021 and has since seized extensive areas of North Kivu province. The violence has forced thousands to flee, many seeking refuge in Goma, a major city under threat of M23 capture, reminiscent of its fall in 2012.

Amid increasing pressure, the DR Congo government has directed the substantial UN peacekeeping force to exit by the end of 2024. In response, SADC dispatched 2,900 soldiers to North Kivu in December to confront the M23 rebels. SADC also reported the recent death of a South African soldier in hospital due to health issues, following the deaths of two South African soldiers in a mortar attack in North Kivu in February.

About Geraldine Boechat 2711 Articles
Senior Editor for Medafrica Times and former journalist for Swiss National Television. former NGO team leader in Burundi and Somalia