JOHANNESBURG: South Africa’s president has ordered the withdrawal of the country’s peacekeeping troops from Sudan’s troubled Darfur region.
In a statement Wednesday, President Jacob Zuma said the deployment of the South African National Defense Force to the joint United Nations and African Union mission in Darfur will end on April 1. South African troops have been there since 2008.
The U.N. says 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 was not immediately clear how many South African troops are there.
The 2006 Darfur Peace Agreement came into effect after three years of conflict that led to an estimated 1.8 million displaced people. More than 300,000 people have been killed in the conflict.