SUDAN WATCH: Cold-blooded murder of UNAMID peacekeeper in S. Darfur

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Cold-blooded murder of UNAMID peacekeeper in S. Darfur

UNAMID peacekeeper killed in South Darfur
Source: United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID)
Date: 17 Mar 2009
Today, at about 13:20 hours, six UNAMID Peacekeepers were ambushed by approximately eight unknown gunmen, who opened fire on them, while they were returning to their base in Nyala, South Darfur after conducting an escort patrol.

The Peacekeepers returned fire in self-defense and one peacekeeper was injured during the ensuing firefight. The wounded soldier was immediately taken for medical treatment at the Mission's hospital in Nyala and later died while being evacuated by helicopter to El Fasher for further medical treatment.

UNAMID strongly condemns these cowardly acts of violence against its Peacekeepers, and calls on all parties, including the Government of Sudan, to ensure the safety of UN personnel in the region.

"These ongoing attacks against UNAMID Peacekeepers will not dissuade us from pursuing our Mandate in Darfur," said the Joint Special Representative, Mr. Rodolphe Adada. "I strongly condemn these unprovoked attacks against Peacekeepers who are here to help the people of Darfur," he added.

This is the second time this month that UNAMID Peacekeepers have been ambushed by unknown armed men while conducting their duties in Darfur. Since the deployment of UNAMID in Darfur at the beginning of 2008, 14 peacekeepers (11 military personnel and 3 police officers) have died as a result of hostile actions.
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Darfur peacekeeper killed in ambush: force spokesman
Tue Mar 17, 2009 11:18am EDT
KHARTOUM (Reuters) - A United Nations/African Union peacekeeper was killed in an ambush in Sudan's Darfur on Tuesday, a spokesman for the UNAMID peacekeeping force said.

"UNAMID peacekeepers coming back from a patrol in Nyala were ambushed by eight unidentified gunmen," UNAMID spokesman Kemal Saiki said, adding that one peacekeeper was killed. "This was not a carjacking gone wrong. This was a cold-blooded ambush. They were waiting for us."

(Reporting by Andrew Heavens in Khartoum; Writing by Cynthia Johnston)
Such an attack on peacekeepers is classed as a war crime.
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Update on Wed Mar 18, 2009:

Report from ADDIS ABABA, March 18 (AFP) - excerpt:
AU condemns killing of Darfur peacekeeper
The African Union on Wednesday condemned the killing of a Nigerian peacekeeper with the joint UN-African Union force in Sudan's Darfur region (UNAMID).

AU Commission Chairman Jean Ping condemned "in the strongest terms, the cowardly and deliberate attack on UNAMID personnel on 17 March 2009, which left a Nigerian peacekeeper dead in Nyala."

Ping urged all stakeholders in Sudan to cooperate with UNAMID's efforts to stabilise war-torn Darfur and facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance.

Tuesday's ambush brought to 14 the number of peacekeepers killed in Darfur since the hybrid mission took over from a beleaguered AU force in January 2008.

On Tuesday, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon also condemned the attack and expressed deep concern over "increased security threats faced by UNAMID in Darfur."


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