Fifth UNAMID peacekeeper killed in Darfur

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (PANA) - An African Union/UN Hybrid Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) peacekeeper has been killed during a firefight and three others wounded while returning from a verification mission, the force said Wednesday.

The incident occurred while a UNAMID convoy on its way from Kutum to Hashaba North, 56 kilometres northeast of Kutum, North Darfur, came under heavy fire from automatic weapons and mortar fire. The force returned fire.

The incident occurred exactly a fortnight after the killing of four Nigerian peacekeepers during an attack that also left eight other peacekeepers wounded about 2 km from the El Geneina base.

“I condemn, in the strongest possible terms, the second criminal attack on our brave peacekeepers in the course of this month, during which we have lost five peacekeepers," UNAMID's acting chief, Aichatou Mindaoudou, said in a statement.

The mission consisted of military, police and civilian personnel. Their assessment followed an initial UNAMID assessment mission on 3 October, the date of the previous attack. 

Wednesday's killing highlights the complexity of the crisis in Darfur, which remains volatile nearly a decade since it erupted.

"These attacks will not shake our resolve to fulfill our mandate and help the people of Darfur," said Mindaoudou. “I call on the Government of Sudan to investigate the incident and bring the perpetrators to justice,” she added.

Since the initial deployment of UNAMID on 31 December, 2007, 43 peacekeepers have been killed as a result of hostile actions.

The Doha peace accord, signed by a section of the Darfurian rebel groups, remains largely ineffective as a framework for resolving the civil crisis in the Sudanese western region.

International efforts to seek the arrest of Sudanese President Omer El-Bashir have largely failed to earn the trust of African leaders, who insist that a return to peace in Darfur must supersede any international action.
-0- PANA AO/VAO 17Oct2012

17 october 2012 19:08:00

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