SUDAN WATCH: Nigerian peacekeeper killed following ambush by 40 to 60 unknown attackers wearing civilian clothes nr Menawashei, S. Darfur, UN says

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Nigerian peacekeeper killed following ambush by 40 to 60 unknown attackers wearing civilian clothes nr Menawashei, S. Darfur, UN says

+ + + So sad another peacekeeper was murdered yesterday in Darfur + + + One of the 60 attackers was captured and turned over to Sudanese forces which means his identity will be made public. Let's hope that any attack on a peacekeeper is treated as a war crime and a crime against humanity with a punishment of life in prison.

Tuesday October 7, 2008 report for Bloomberg by Karl Maier in Rome - Nigerian Peacekeeper Killed in Sudan's Darfur Region, UN Says:
A Nigerian soldier serving with the United Nations-backed peacekeeping contingent in Sudan's western region of Darfur was killed when his patrol was ambushed by as many as 60 gunmen, a spokesman for the force said.

The gunmen opened fire yesterday on a convoy of UN-African Union peacekeepers, known as Unamid, spokesman Kemal Saiki said today in a telephone interview from El Fasher in northern Darfur. The identity of the attackers is unknown, he said.

"By the time the medivac helicopter arrived, the sergeant died of his wounds,'' Saiki said. "One of the attackers was wounded and captured, and has been handed over to the Sudanese authorities.''

At least nine Unamid soldiers have been killed in Darfur since July. Unamid has deployed about a third of the 26,000 soldiers and police officers planned for the operation to help halt a five-year conflict that has killed as many as 300,000 people and forced 2.5 million more to flee their homes.

The Darfur conflict started in February 2003 when insurgents demanding a greater share of Sudan's political power and wealth attacked forces loyal to the government of President Umar al- Bashir.

To contact the reporter on this story: Karl Maier in Rome at kmaier2@bloomberg.net.
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There has been a rise in attacks on peacekeepers in Darfur

Tuesday 7 October 2008 report for BBC by Amber Henshaw in Khartoum, Sudan - Darfur ambush kills peacekeeper - excerpt:
A peacekeeper has been killed in an ambush by dozens of armed bandits in the Sudanese region of Darfur, a UN official has said.

The Nigerian peacekeeper died on Monday during an exchange of fire between a Unamid patrol and 40-60 bandits north of Nyala, the official said.

The BBC's Amber Henshaw in the capital, Khartoum, said it was not immediately clear who had launched the attack.

An estimated 300,000 people have died in five years of conflict in Darfur.

Some 2.7 million people have been displaced, according to the UN.

The killing of the peacekeeper comes amid a recent rise in the number of attacks against the joint UN-African Union (Unamid) peacekeeping force in Darfur, our correspondent says.

The situation on the ground in Darfur has become increasingly complicated and anarchic as more and more groups take advantage of the lawless situation there, she reports.
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UN Peacekeeper killed in Darfur as the new head of the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations, Alain Le Roy, is visiting the country
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Tuesday 7 October 2008 report by Derek Kilner from VOA's East Africa bureau in Nairobi - UN Peacekeeper Killed in Darfur - excerpt:
A Nigerian soldier serving with the U.N. peacekeeping mission in the Darfur region of western Sudan has died after gunmen ambushed the convoy he was traveling in.

As many as 60 gunmen ambushed U.N. peacekeeping vehicles late Monday north of Nyala, the capital of South Darfur.

A spokesman for the mission, Daniel Adekera, spoke to VOA from Darfur. He said, "One of our convoys in South Darfur was ambushed. One of the soldiers was critically wounded and it resulted in his death. From preliminary reports it appears to be a banditry attack."

Another U.N. spokesman said one of the attackers was wounded in the gunfight and was captured and handed over to Sudanese authorities, but the attackers have not been identified.

Nine peacekeepers from the U.N.-African Union mission, known as UNAMID, have been killed since July.

Meanwhile, the new head of the U.N. Department of Peacekeeping Operations, Alain Le Roy, is visiting Sudan. After arriving Monday in Khartoum, he is scheduled to visit the capitals of Darfur's three states, beginning with El Fasher, on Wednesday.

The United Nations also deployed a 10,000 member peacekeeping mission following a peace agreement that ended a north-south civil war in 2005, and Le Roy will also visit a number of sites in southern Sudan.

Le Roy took over his position in June this year, succeeding Jean-Marie Guehenno, who had cautioned against deploying a mission to Darfur without a viable peace agreement and commitments for troops and equipment.
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Ninth UN officer to die in action in three months

Tuesday, 7 October 2008 report for Reuters by Andrew Heavens in Khartoum, Sudan - Nigerian peacekeeper killed in Darfur ambush - excerpt:
A Nigerian peacekeeper was killed after up to 60 armed bandits ambushed his convoy in Sudan's Darfur region, the ninth officer to die in action in three months, his force said on Tuesday.

The sergeant was shot when the attackers opened fire on the UN/African Union UNAMID patrol around 5 p.m. (1400 GMT) on Monday and died of his wounds before he could be evacuated to hospital, said force spokesman Kemal Saiki.

Saiki said the convoy was attacked on patrol about 75km (50 miles) north of Nyala, the capital of South Darfur.

He said it was not immediately clear who the attackers were.

Seven members of the under-manned UNAMID force were shot and killed, and another 22 injured, in an ambush by militia fighters in North Darfur in early July.

Just a week later, another Nigerian officer was killed in a car-jacking in west Darfur.

UNAMID is responsible for keeping the peace in a war-torn region about the size of Spain.
+ + + Rest In Peace Nigerian soldier + + +
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Another Ugandan police officer dies in Darfur

Sunday 5 October 2008 New Vision report by Herbert Ssempogo in Kampala - Sudan: Another Ugandan Police Officer Dies in Darfur - excerpt:
ANOTHER Ugandan Police officer has died in Sudan. Assistant Inspector John Okwir was on a UN peacekeeping mission in the troubled region of Darfur.

His death brings the toll among the Ugandan peace keepers to three since the year began.

Okwir, who left for Darfur early this year, died last Thursday, according to Police commissioner Benson Nyeko.

Nyeko said Okwir developed "stomach complications", which resulted into diarrhoea to which he succumbed in a Darfur clinic.

Attached to the Menawashi community policing centre, an ailing Okwir had been evacuated from Khor-Abeche.

"He died of natural causes. Death can occur regardless of where a person is," Nyeko said, adding that a postmortem check would be done. Arrangements to fly in the body are underway,

Inspector John Kennedy Oketcha was the first to die in May when he was ambushed and shot on the way back to his base at the airport in El Fasher.

A month later, Julius Osega, a lawyer by profession, suffered the same fate when his convoy was ambushed and sprayed with bullets by a militia.

He died alongside six other peacekeepers.

Last week, a South Africa soldier died after being stung by a scorpion.

In May, a Rwandan peace-keeper died of diabetes. There are about 70 Ugandan policemen in Sudan.
+ + + Rest In Peace + + + John Okwir + + + John Kennedy Oketcha + + + Julius Osega + + +
God bless all the peace workers and their families.
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UPDATE WEDNESDAY 08 OCTOBER 2008:

Excerpt from UN News Centre report dated Tuesday 07 October 2008 - Darfur: Ban outlines timetable towards full deployment of peacekeeping force:
Yesterday a Nigerian soldier serving with UNAMID was killed following an ambush of a routine mission patrol in South Darfur state by 40 to 60 unknown attackers wearing civilian clothes. He was the ninth UN soldier to die in Darfur in the past three months.

The blue helmet, who was taking part in a nine-vehicle, 50-strong patrol between Nyala and Khor Abeche when the ambush occurred near Menawashei, died during his medical evacuation to Nyala.

The mission reported that UNAMID forces later captured one of the attackers and handed him to Sudanese Government police in Nyala, which is the South Darfur state capital.

UNAMID said it would investigate the cause and circumstances of the attack, adding it was stepping up its patrols in the area near Menawashei.

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