Sudan

Sudan: UNAMID conducts firing exercises at Derwat, east El Fasher, North Darfur

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El Fasher, 14 November 2008 - Further to our announcement denying carrying out any Live Fire Exercises in Derwat Fashar, east of El Fasher, between 10 and 14 November 2008, the African Union -United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) would like to confirm that it had actually conducted such exercise for a police unit.

The Sudanese Western Advance Command had earlier announced through the Radio of North Darfur that UNAMID forces would conduct the firing exercise with live ammunition during the above time frame and warned citizens "to stay away from that area to preserve their lives and property." This announcement was a result of the information UNAMID Police had provided.

The police unit that conducted this exercise was not military forces but part of the police component of UNAMID that conduct such regular exercises as part of their training and deployment in Darfur and within a very limited shooting range. The information UNAMID had earlier on given denying any exercise of that nature was inadvertently issued and the error is regretted.