Johannesburg - One South African soldier was killed in Sudan's war-torn Darfur region and another was wounded in an ambush on a military convoy escorting humanitarian aid trucks, Pretoria said on Thursday.

In a statement the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) said at about 20.00pm on Wednesday a military convoy providing security escort for humanitarian aid trucks was ambushed enroute to an exchange point between SANDF and Rwandese Battalions.

“This was a routine security escort to protect the movement of World Food Programme (WFP) trucks to a pre-determined destination,” said the SANDF.

“In this instance, the SANDF battalion were to escort the convoy to a point where it was to be taken over by the Rwandese battalion.”

The convoy came under fire 25km away from the exchange point and was able to hold ground and protect the WFP trucks.

“During the exchange of fire, unfortunately one member of the SANDF was fatally wounded whilst another was wounded,” said the SANDF.

“The wounded member was medically evacuated to EL Fashir to receive medical treatment. He is in a stable condition.”

The name of the deceased member will be released on completion of all due processes.

The Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, the Chief of the South African National Defence, General Solly Shoke and the Chief of Joint Operations, Lieutenant General Duma Mdutyana have expressed their heartfelt condolences to the family and friends
of the deceased member and wished the injured member a speedy and comprehensive recovery from his wounds.

South Africa's government said last month it planned to withdraw its contingent of troops from Darfur, where they have been serving as part of a large United Nations peacekeeping force trying to quell more than a decade of conflict.

Reuters and African News Agency