A Sudanese army force of 200 soldiers on 40 vehicles surrounded the exit of the Unamid military base in Shangil Tobaya yesterday.
A senior officer heading the force then threatened to torch the base and the adjoining camp for the displaced. The threat came at about 6:00 pm, after the UN forces unsuccessfuly tried to prevent the army from threatening and detaining residents at the neighboring camp. The army detained three people in the camp.
“The SAF commander at the scene stated that they were carrying out their duties and intended to persuade the displaced to return to their original camps. He then threatened to burn down the makeshift camp and Unamid team site, if the peacekeepers continued to interfere,” Unamid reported in an e-mailed statement yesterday.
The makeshift camp next to the Unamid base sheltered thousands of people who had fled during the events of December 2010.
Unamid also reported that it was unable to complete a “verification mission” from its Shangil Tobaya base to Tabit, where fighting broke out Monday, owing to the “resumption of aerial bombardments in the area”.