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UN condemns attacks against peacekeepers in Sudan


August 8, 2011 (NEW YORK) – The UN Security Council (UNSC) has strongly condemned attacks against peacekeepers in Sudan and urged the country’s government to end “the impunity” enjoyed by those who perpetrate such crimes.

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On Friday, a patrol vehicle carrying five peacekeepers of the Joint UN-AU Peacekeeping Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) in the village of Duma, northeast Nyala, the provincial capital of South Darfur State, was ambushed by unknown gunmen. One peacekeeper from Sierra Leone was killed in the attack.

The incident occurred little more than a month since another UNAMID peacekeeper was shot dead in West Darfur State.

In a press statement on Tuesday, UNSC’s members said they condemn “in the strongest terms” Friday’s attack and noted that UNAMID was working with the Sudanese find the perpetrators.

They further urged the Sudanese government to ensure that the perpetrators “are swiftly brought to justice, and stressed that there must be an end to impunity for those that attack peacekeepers.”

UNSC expressed condolences to the Sierra Leonean Government, and called on all parties in Darfur to cooperate fully with UNAMID which was established to help contain the conflict in the western region which erupted in 2003 between the government and ethnic rebels accusing it of marginalizing the region.

With Friday’s incident, the number of UNAMID peacekeepers who died from hostile actions in the region has risen to thirty since the 23,000-strong force took charge in 2008.

Three peacekeepers serving with the newly established UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA), on Thursday died from injuries they sustained after their patrol vehicle hit a landmine in Sudan’s contested region.

Their death, which occurred while awaiting medical evacuation delayed for three hours by the Sudanese authorities, sparked a row between the UN and Sudan.

Sudan’s relations with the world body frayed recently as the former criticized UNSC’s resolution to extend UNMAID’s mandate, saying it aims to manipulate the mission’s jurisdictions.


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