Female SANDF Commander Leads Combat Engagement in Sudan

January 24, 2019

January 24, 2019: A female South African National Defence Force (SANDF) commander taking part in the withdrawal of equipment from the peacekeeping mission in Sudan has led an engagement with local militia.

The SANDF deployed a battalion of soldiers (comprising some eight hundred troops) to the UNAMID mission in Darfur under Operation Cordite between January 2008 and April 2016. After the withdrawal of the SANDF contingent from Sudan, two platoons were left to safeguard the equipment and assets awaiting return to the SANDF. A platoon under command of Lt Pulane Sekgapane was tasked to provide a reaction force in search of two stolen Land Cruisers belonging to the World Food Programme.

In the area where the vehicles were spotted, first platoon engaged in a battle with Arab militia, who were heavily armed with 12.7 mm Dushka machine guns and AK-47 assault rifles. Sekgapane ordered her platoon to maintain an effective rate of fire till the opposing force was overpowered.

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