UN peacekeepers under renewed attacks in Darfur

Nairobi- Kenya (PANA) -- The joint United Nations/African Union peacekeeping force for Darfur (UNAMID) has come under renewed attacks over the past few days since the issuance of an arrest warrant against Sudanese President Omar Bashir with reports of at least four seriously wounded, force commanders said on Tuesday.
UN team's force commanders said the force has been under attacks since Monday, when several troopers were attacked, leaving four killed, a statement made available to PANA said.
"A UNAMID escort patrol returning to its base in El Geneina, West Darfur, was attacked by unknown armed men, who fired at their vehicle with small arms.
Four peacekeepers were wounded during the attack, one of them seriously," UNAMID said.
UNAMID said the injured personnel were evacuated by helicopter for medical treatment to the Mission’s level II hospital in El Fasher, North Darfur, where their conditions were listed as stable and non-life threatening.
"UNAMID is investigating the incident," the statement said.
"UNAMID strongly condemns this cowardly and unprovoked act of violence against its peacekeepers, who are in Darfur to help bring peace and stability to the region and for the benefit of its population.
" UN force commanders were gearing for the escalation of military tension in Darfur if an arrest warrant was issued against the Sudanese President.
The arrest warrant was issued and the Sudanese government has indicated that it would not comply with the arrest it.
On Monday, in El Fasher, a UNAMID vehicle was carjacked by three unknown armed men.
No injuries were incurred and the incident was reported to the Government of Sudan (GoS) Police.
On Tuesday, a UNAMID Military Observer on his way to the team site in El Daein, approximately 160 kms southeast of Nyala, South Darfur, was shot at by two unknown armed men.
No injuries were reported.
The incident has been reported to the GoS Police, the UN force said.
The force said that it had stepped up its patrols in the region of Darfur.
During the past 24 hours, UNAMID Force conducted 31 confidence building patrols, seven escort patrols and nine night patrols covering 41 villages/IDP camps.
Similarly, UNAMID Police conducted a total of 96 patrols in and around the villages and IDP Camps.

11 march 2009 00:05:00

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