Sudan: Murderous attack against UNAMID peacekeepers

News and Press Release
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El Fasher, 30 October 2008 - On Wednesday 29 October, at approximately 1800 hours, South African soldiers serving with the African Union - United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) came under attack from unidentified men who arrived in several heavily armed vehicles.

At the time of the incident, the contingent was securing a water point near the Kassab Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) Camp, in the vicinity of Kutum, 103 kilometers north-west of El Fasher, North Darfur. One peacekeeper was killed and another wounded as a result of the attack. The injured female soldier and the body of the peacekeeper who died were evacuated to El Fasher.

The Mission has sent troops to reinforce the attacked location, search for the assailants and conduct an investigation.

UNAMID strongly condemns this cowardly act of violence targeting United Nations personnel who work tirelessly to alleviate the dire suffering of Darfurians.

UNAMID peacekeepers are serving in Darfur in an effort to bring back and maintain peace in this beleaguered part of the Sudan and all parties are, once again, reminded that, under international law, any attack against peacekeepers constitutes a war crime.

United Nations Security Council Resolution 1769 (2007) authorized the deployment of up to 19,555 military personnel, including 360 military observers and liaison officers and up to 3,772 police personnel and 19 formed police units. There are currently 9,073 military personnel serving with UNAMID.