June 6, 2007 (KHARTOUM) — The African Union envoy to Sudan has urged the Darfur former rebel group to release AU peacekeepers vehicles seized by its troops after clashes last month in South Darfur.
In a meeting held on Monday 4 June with the senior presidential assistant, the Acting special representative of the chairperson of the AU commission, Mrs Monique Mularuliza, urged Minni Minawi “to prevail on his field commanders” to release the vehicles, and other AMIS properties.”
“They should also allow the instituted official investigation to take its course, including by making available those who shot at and wounded three of AMIS troops at the scene of the accident.” Mrs Mularuliza said.
She told “Minawi that the seizure of the vehicles and their continued detention not only constitute a serious violation and a manifestation of bad faith to the DPA, but has also paralysed AMIS activities in the area.”
The African Union mission said one of its patrols had a “road accident” with a convoy of former rebels from the SLM-Minawi near Labado in South Darfur. The road accident led to the death of one former rebel and the wounding of nine, four of whom were in critical condition, the A.U. said.
Former rebels who clashed with African Union peacekeepers in Darfur, captured 13 A.U. vehicles and wounding three soldiers.
Minawi troops are source of violence and insecurity in Darfur.
On March 6, they killed two AU peacekeepers from Nigeria in Graida, in South Darfur, and a third soldier was critically injured. They also clashed with the Sudanese police in many occasions the last was on 4 March when they exchanged fire with the police in AlFasher.
In Gereida last year one aid worker was raped during a coordinated attack on humanitarian agencies in the town which is controlled by Minawi forces.