Two peacekeepers wounded in Darfur ambush

El Fasher, Sudan (PANA) - Two peacekeepers are in critical condition after an ambush by unknown gunmen as they returned to camp in West Darfur, the African Union/UN Joint Mission (UNAMID) said on Tuesday.

They suffered multiple gunshot wounds during the ambush, which occurred as the uniformed personnel returned to camp, UNAMID said in a statement.

The unknown attackers opened fire on the 4x4 vehicle, wounding the driver and one peacekeeper, who remained in critical condition after sustaining serious wounds.

The attack occurred in Masteri, a village 45 kilometres South of El Geneina.

UNAMID Joint Special Representative Ibrahim Gambari was outraged at what he termed “a cowardly attack” against UNAMID peacekeepers, who are in Darfur to help restore peace and stability.

“UNAMID remains undaunted and unwavering in its commitment to carrying out its mandate in the service of peace,” Gambari said.

The UNAMID chief urged the Sudanese authorities to track down the attackers and bring them to face charges for the crimes.

Attacks against peacekeepers involved in an operation are treated as a war crime or crime against humanity.

Meanwhile, talks on enhancing cooperation between Darfur’s main rebel factions and UNAMID have been held in the Ugandan capital, Kampala.

Gambari met the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA) Abdul Wahid faction commanders to discuss cooperation and coordination.

The talks were aimed at enabling the mission to accomplish its core target of protecting civilians in Darfur. The talks centred on the need to create a humanitarian security corridor in eastern Jabel Marra, the mountainous region in Darfur.

Jabel Marra mountains have been the theatre of war in Darfur, with the Sudan Armed Force (SAF) continually bombarding rebel held positions in the region.

The humanitarian security corridor would enable the movement of aid to the local communities in the area, who have been appealing for international relief.
-0- PANA AO/MA 22March2011

22 march 2011 21:54:42

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