OPERATION CORDITE– SUDAN

The current force deployment under Operation Cordite in Sudan is 809 South African
National Defence Force (SANDF) members including eight military observers and seven staff officers. This operation began in July 2004 with the deployment of staff officers and observers to Darfur, Sudan, in support of the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS) It was an African Union (AU) peacekeeping force operating primarily in the country's western region of Darfur with the aim of performing peacekeeping operations related to the conflict in Darfur.

The AU mission was terminated in December 2007 when it was integrated into the United Nations mission to form the UN African Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) in January 2008. it was the first African Union-United Nations hybrid mission. An Infantry Protection Company and an Explosive Ordinance Disposal Unit were added to the deployment, which was increased further in February 2005. It was during the deployment of Operation AMIS that the government of Sudan and the two leading rebel groups, the Justice and Equality Movement and the Sudanese Liberation Army, signed two short-term peace agreements with an objective of fast-tracking the end of the conflict.

The mandate for AMIS was extended repeatedly in 2006 while the United Nations' Security Council was grappling with details of the deployment of a UN mission. In 2010 Operation Cordite committed a 611-strong infantry battalion, 12 staff officers and 13 military observers to assist with confidence building in the Sudanese military. It was on 1his deployment that four South African peacekeepers were kidnapped in April 2011 but later released without a ransom.

Operation Cordite made an immense contribution to the successful referendum on the future of Sudan, which resulted in the peaceful division of the country into two: Sudan and South Sudan. Additional South African soldiers were sent to Juba, the capital of the new country, South Sudan, to assist with security for the independence celebrations in July 2011. In addition to this, South Africa also helped secure the air space for the duration of the celebrations. South Africa also trained police, prison officials and air traffic controllers: currently stationed at Juba International Airport

South Africa maintains its presence in Sudan despite the successful cessation because the security situation in Darfur is yet to be stabilised and Sudan and South Sudan are yet to reach In agreement on several issues pertaining to land and assets. South African Ambassador to the United Nations, Baso Sangqu said: “every effort must be employed to ensure that peace and stability is advanced and to help the people of Darfur "move rapidly toward peace”

A message from the department:
"We have always aspired to witness the dawn of peace, security and stability prevailing in the whole of the Sudan. The government of South Africa would like to emphasise that both north and south should create an atmosphere of cooperation. South Africa stands ready to serve as a bridge between the neighbours to ensure that mutual trust and peace prevail. We will continue to play a role in supporting peace in the two Sudan states and assist the two countries with development, including institution and capacity building".