A mortar bomb struck a South African Contingent military base in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) on February 14, 2024, around 13:30, causing casualties among the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) soldiers, according to spokesperson Siphiwe Dlamini.

The RSA Contingent, part of the SADC Mission in the DRC (SAMIDRC), aims to assist the DRC government in establishing peace, security, and stability in the region.

Dlamini confirmed that the indirect fire incident resulted in the loss of two SANDF soldiers’ lives, with three others sustaining injuries. The injured soldiers received immediate medical treatment at the nearest hospital in Goma.

“While details surrounding the incident remain limited, Dlamini stated that further investigations will be conducted to determine the circumstances leading to the attack,” Dlamini said.

South Africa has deployed nearly 3,000 soldiers to the eastern DRC, where M23 rebels have displaced thousands of people by capturing key towns in the region. Concerns of a wider regional conflict have surfaced amid allegations of Rwanda’s support for the rebels.

In response to the insurgency, the SANDF will collaborate with DRC security forces as part of the Southern African Development Community’s (SADC) military intervention in the country. The operation is estimated to cost over R2 billion, as stated by the Presidency.