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Tragedy Strikes: South African Soldier Kills Colleague Before Committing Suicide in DRC

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In a shocking turn of events, the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) has announced the tragic deaths of two of its soldiers deployed as part of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO). The incident, which occurred on Friday night, has left authorities grappling with the grim reality of yet another loss within their ranks.

According to a statement released by SANDF, the fatal encounter transpired when one soldier fatally shot their colleague using their service weapon before turning it on themselves. The motive behind this harrowing act remains under investigation, plunging both SANDF and MONUSCO command into a state of shock and introspection.

This devastating event marks the fourth instance of South African soldiers losing their lives since their deployment in the war-torn region on December 15, 2023. The toll includes the recent deaths of Captain Simon Bobe and Lance Corporal Irven Semono, who tragically fell victim to a mortar bomb attack within their military base in February 2024.

The South African contingent, part of the Southern Africa Defence Cooperation force alongside troops from Tanzania, Malawi, and Burundi, has been instrumental in supporting the efforts of DRC forces against the persistent threat posed by the M23 rebel insurgency.

In response to the tragedy, SANDF has swiftly initiated a Board of Inquiry in collaboration with MONUSCO command to comprehensively investigate the circumstances surrounding the incident. The Minister of Defense and Military Veterans, Hon. Thandi Modise, expressed her profound shock and condolences to the families of the deceased.

Plans are underway to repatriate the remains of the fallen soldiers to South Africa, as SANDF and government officials endeavor to provide support and solace to grieving families during this difficult time.

As the investigation unfolds, questions linger regarding the underlying factors contributing to such a distressing episode within the ranks of the SANDF. Amidst expressions of sorrow and solidarity, authorities are determined to glean insights from this tragedy to prevent future occurrences and uphold the integrity of their mission in the DRC.

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