Last year a South African Special Forces operator chalked up the 6th longest range kill in history against M23 rebels in the Congo, but with the South African National Defense Force (SANDF) remaining quiet, the story has not been told until now.
Taking their name from the failed peace agreement signed with the government on March 23, 2009, the M23 rebels have committed war crimes throughout the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Citing poor conditions and lack of pay from the government after the peace treaty was signed, M23 also shared an ethnic identity (Tutsi) with those across the border in Rwanda, a country which has helped M23 stir up trouble.
With M23 going on a rampage that included murders, rapes, and the use of child soldiers, the United Nations Security Council authorized an international force in the DRC to go on the offensive. Secretary Ban-Ki Moon said at the time that the UN was taking part in a, “comprehensive approach aimed at addressing the root causes of instability in the eastern DRC and the Great Lakes region.” To that end, a Force Intervention Brigade (FIB) consisting of troops from South Africa, Tanzania, and Malawi was deployed to the DRC to participate in combat operations.
While South Africa has not sought to publicize the fact, they deployed Special Forces soldiers as part of a reconnaissance team attached to 6 South African Infantry. Amongst them was a Special Forces sniper whose name SOFREP has been asked to withhold, so we will simply refer to him by his rank, The Captain.