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Sudan: Peacekeeper Killed in Darfur Ambush

Radio Netherlands Worldwide (Hilversum)

21 January 2012

One peacekeeper was killed and three wounded on Saturday in an ambush in Sudan’s troubled Darfur region, the joint African Union-United Nations Mission to the region (UNAMID) said.

The attack on a UNAMID patrol happened at around midday some 60 kilometres (35 miles) northwest of El Daein in South Darfur state, UNAMID said.

“We don’t know who was behind it,” Christopher Cycmanick, a spokesman for the mission, told AFP.

“One of our peacekeepers was killed” and one of the three wounded was in serious condition, he said.

He could not release the nationalities of the victims.

Nigerian, Tanzanian and Egyptian troops operate in that area.

It was the first fatal attack on UNAMID peacekeepers this year, but more than 30 have died since the mission’s establishment in 2007.

The head of UNAMID, Ibrahim Gambari, has called such attacks a war crime and said the government in Khartoum should do “much more” to address the impunity of the perpetrators.

Darfur’s African rebel groups rose up against the Arab-dominated Khartoum government in 2003.

The UN estimates that at least 300,000 people have died because of the conflict since then, with about 300 killed in armed clashes last year. The government puts the total number of dead at 10,000.

An estimated 1.9 million people are living in camps for those displaced by the conflict, the UN says.

The government last year signed in Doha a peace deal with an alliance of rebel splinter factions, but key rebel groups refused to sign.

Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir is wanted by The Hague-based International Criminal Court for alleged crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide in Darfur, in Sudan’s west. – ANP/AFP

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