Darfur security worsens after Rwanda troops' killings

Khartoum- Sudan (PANA) -- The security situation in Darfur has notably deteriorat ed, following Saturday's attacks which led to the killing of five UN/African Uni o n (UNAMID) peacekeepers, the force said on Sunday.
UNAMID military forces conducted 52 patrols, including routine, short range, lon g range, night and humanitarian escort patrols, covering 50 villages and Internally Displaced Persons' (IDP) camps during the period being r eported, it explained.
On 4 December, a UNAMID platoon of 20 Rwandan peacekeepers on board three Land C ruiser pick-up vans, escorting one water tanker was attacked by a group of unkno w n armed men in Saraf Umra, North Darfur, 2 km from UNAMID Company location and 3 0 0 meters from a Government of Sudan (GoS) checkpoint.
Two Rwandan soldiers were shot dead at the scene and a third died soon after.
Two soldiers were seriously wounded and air-evacuated to El Fasher, according to UNAMID.
The UNAMID Rwandan team, which had arrived in the area less than two weeks ago, returned fire with restraint due to the presence of civilians who were moving in the incident area, UNAMID explained in a statement.
â?The attackers fled after they were confronted with UNAMID armed response.
â? UNAMID condemned in â?the strongest termsâ? the â?cowardly criminal attackâ? against its forces and called on the Government of Sudan to identify the perpet r ators, arrest them and bring them to justice.
The attack brought to 20, the number of UNAMID personnel killed in violence sinc e the mission assumed its tasks in Darfur in January 2008.
Several leaders, including tribal elders in Darfur, have condemned th attack aga inst the Darfur peacekeepers.
In a letter to UNAMID, the Nazir (Tribal Chief) of the people of Sireaf Bani Hus sein, Mohammed Adam Hamid (Jedai), expressed sorrow over the death of UNAMID pea c ekeepers in the region of Saraf Umra.
â?The Nazir conveyed his condolences to the entire mission and the families of those who â?selflessly paid with their lives for the cause of peace in Darfur an d the Sudan,â? UNAMID said in a statement.
He pledged to take every possible effort to apprehend the criminals.
The Nazir plans to soon visit the UNAMID military base at Saraf Umrah to persona lly offer his support, UNAMID said.
Meanwhile, UNAMID police advisers conducted 114 patrols in villages and Internal ly Displaced Peoples' (IDP) camps in Darfur.

06 december 2009 16:08:00

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