South Africa’s president Jacob Zuma has ordered the withdrawal of the country’s peacekeeping troops from Sudan’s Darfur region.
Zuma confirmed in a statement on Wednesday that the South African National Defense Force that has been operating under the United Nations and African Union mission in Darfur will end on April 1. South African troops have been there since 2008.
“Members of the South African National Defence Force were employed in Darfur in 2008 as part of the AU/UN Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID). The termination will take effect from 01 April 2016,” the president’s office said in a statement.
President Jacob Zuma has terminated the employment of South African National Defence Force members in Darfur, Sudan https://t.co/0bYoQIxffv— PresidencyZA (@PresidencyZA) February 24, 2016
The United Nations said the hybrid operation in Darfur is the largest peacekeeping operation in the world. Last year, it had 14,413 troops and more than 3,100 police officers.
It is not immediately clear how many South African troops are estimated to be currently serving.