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Security Council condemns deadly attack on Unamid

March 11 - 2016 NEW YORK
A Unamid peacekeeper in Darfur (Inline)
A Unamid peacekeeper in Darfur (Inline)

The members of the United Nations Security Council strongly condemned the attack on UN-African Union peacekeepers in North Darfur on Wednesday. A South African peacekeeper was killed while accompanying a humanitarian convoy travelling from Kutum to Djarido, by a group of unidentified armed men, and another was wounded.

The members of the Security Council expressed their deep sympathy and condolences to the families of the victims, as well as to the people and South African government, of and to the hybrid mission Unamid. In a press statement on Thursday they wished a speedy recovery to the injured peacekeeper.

The council called on the government of Sudan to swiftly conduct a full investigation into the attack and bring the perpetrators to justice. They underlined that attacks targeting peacekeepers may constitute war crimes under international law.

Finally, the members reiterated their full support for Unamid and called on all parties in Darfur to cooperate fully with the mission.

The South African soldiers were providing security for a joint convoy made up of 17 vehicles of the World Food Programme, one UNHCR vehicle, and six vehicles belonging to the Darfur Regional Authority, a Unamid spokesman told Radio Dabanga yesterday. The South Africans were escorting the convoy to a specific point from where the Rwanda battalion, also part of Unamid, would take over the duty.

He reported that unknown gunmen in five Land Cruisers opened fire on the relief convoy en route from Kutum to Kabkabiya on Wednesday evening. In the ensuing firefight, one South African peacekeeper was killed and another was wounded. One of the attackers was killed while the others managed to escape.

South Africa decided to pull out of the joint UN-AU mission last month. The 850 troops will end their operations on 15 April. The Operation Cordite of the South Africa National Defence Force (SANDF) started in July 2004 with the deployment of staff officers and observers to Darfur in Sudan in support of the AU Mission in Sudan (Amis).  

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