UNAMID reiterates its peacekeepers responded proportionally to attacks in Kass

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El Fasher, 25 April 2015 – The African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) reiterates that its peacekeepers responded to two attacks against them by armed men in Kass, South Darfur, on 23 and 24 April 2015, denying recent media misreporting on the incident.

“In both incidents, UNAMID troops returned fire but did not initiate any shooting; they only acted to protect themselves,” said African Union-United Nations Acting Joint Special Representative for Darfur, Abiodun Bashua.

The Acting Head of UNAMID lamented the loss of life, but added that the peacekeepers’ response was appropriate and proportional as the Mission has evidence that the attackers, who were riding on horses and camels, were armed with AK-47 assault rifles with which they shot at the peacekeepers. He regretted that an erroneous version of the events is being put out to misinform the public and the Government.

The Mission’s leadership is continuing to engage with the Government of Sudan, the African Union and the United Nations to defuse the tension and restore normalcy in Kass.

The first attack took place on 23 April 2015 around 18:00 hours when about 40 gunmen on horses and camels opened fire on Nigerian troops protecting a water point in Kass, 85 kilometres north-west of Nyala, South Darfur . The attackers made off with one of the Mission’s vehicles after shooting the driver. The peacekeepers pursued and recovered the vehicle.

Four attackers were killed and two peacekeepers and one assailant injured during the exchange of gunfire. The Mission handed over the corpses of the four attackers and the injured person to the Government of Sudan Police. The wounded peacekeepers were evacuated to Nyala for medical treatment.

On the morning of 24 April, a UNAMID patrol travelling from Nyala was attacked near the Mission’s base in Kass. Four peacekeepers were injured during the exchange of fire.

Since the inception of the Mission in December 2007, 61 peacekeepers have lost their lives in hostile action in Darfur.