Home | News    Tuesday 3 April 2007

Gunmen kill five African peacekeepers in Darfur


April 2, 2007 (KHARTOUM) — Unidentified gunmen killed five African Union peacekeepers in the Darfur region of western Sudan, the deadliest single attack against the force since late 2004, the AU said on Monday.

The five were guarding a water point near the Sudanese border with Chad when they came under fire on Sunday, an AU spokesman said. Four soldiers were killed in the shooting and the fifth died of his wounds on Monday morning.

Three gunmen were also killed, he said.

The chairman of the African Union Commission, Alpha Oumar Konare, warned in a statement that continued violence raised the possibility "for a catastrophic and tragic breakdown of the security and humanitarian situation in Darfur".

"If this trend continues, the peacekeeping operation in Darfur will be in serious jeopardy," the statement quoted him as saying.

An AU spokesman said the attack had brought the biggest number of casualties for the force in one day since the operation started.

The AU operates an overstretched 7,000-strong force in Darfur. Sudan has rejected the deployment of a larger U.N. force in the region, where violence has persisted despite a 2006 peace agreement between the government and one rebel faction.

The pact has failed to ease violence plaguing the world’s biggest humanitarian effort involving around 13,000 people.

The five dead peacekeepers were Senegalese soldiers, part of a national military contingent numbering 538 serving with the AU force, a spokesman for Senegal’s army said in Dakar.

Senegal’s army said in a statement sent to Reuters in Dakar the attack was carried out by members of the Sudanese Liberation Army (SLA), which had signed the May 2006 peace deal.

But the group’s spokesman Al-Tayeb Khamis vehemently denied any involvement.

"We are part of the unity government and we have absolutely no interest in killing members of the African Union who are in Darfur to help. There is no truth to this," he said.

The killings bring to 15 the number of AU personnel killed in Darfur since troops were deployed in late 2004. A senior Nigerian officer working with the mission has been missing since he was kidnapped in December.


The AU statement said it was imperative that U.N. forces were deployed to help the African Union, a proposal the Khartoum government has rejected, saying it amounted to colonialism.

Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir reiterated on Monday his position that the AU had the main security responsibility for Darfur but said a "dialogue" was under way on other issues.

Sudanese officials recently said they were willing to review U.N. proposals for easing the violence in Darfur, where AU forces have failed to tackle the bloodshed.

Bashir told parliament however that the key to ending the conflict in Darfur rested with the Sudanese.

Experts estimate that around 200,000 people have been killed and 2.5 million have fled their homes since the conflict flared in 2003, when rebels took up arms against Khartoum, charging it with neglect. The government says only 9,000 people have died.

Darfuris say government-backed militias known as Janjaweed have stormed through their villages, killing, raping and burning down their huts. The government says it has no ties to the Janjaweed, which it calls outlaws.

The attack on AU forces came a day after a helicopter carrying the AU deputy force commander came under fire.

The AU statement noted that the attack that killed five AU troops was carried out in SLA-held territory while the shooting of the helicopter took place in a stronghold of a SLA faction led by Abdelwahid al-Nur.


Comments on the Sudan Tribune website must abide by the following rules. Contravention of these rules will lead to the user losing their Sudan Tribune account with immediate effect.

- No inciting violence
- No inappropriate or offensive language
- No racism, tribalism or sectarianism
- No inappropriate or derogatory remarks
- No deviation from the topic of the article
- No advertising, spamming or links
- No incomprehensible comments

Due to the unprecedented amount of racist and offensive language on the site, Sudan Tribune tries to vet all comments on the site.

There is now also a limit of 400 words per comment. If you want to express yourself in more detail than this allows, please e-mail your comment as an article to comment@sudantribune.com

Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

Comment on this article

The following ads are provided by Google. SudanTribune has no authority on it.

Sudan Tribune

Promote your Page too

Latest Comments & Analysis

Salva Kiir’s cunning strategy 2018-05-19 07:40:06 By Duop Chak Wuol Salva Kiir likes to preach democracy to confuse people, looks for ways to legitimize his atrocious regime, uses deception to promote his despotism, and calculatingly waits for (...)

Lessons for South Sudan and IGAD-Led peace forum 2018-05-16 23:28:16 James Okuk, PhD “The polis exists to assure the good life” – Aristotle. “For however strong a ruler may be, he will always have need of the goodwill of the inhabitants if he wishes to remain in (...)

Clarity on Malong’s SSUF status also crucial for peace and accountability 2018-05-14 22:59:18 By Roger Alfred Yoron Modi While declaring the formation of his armed movement in the name of SSUF early last month, the former SPLA chief of general staff, Gen. Paul Malong Awan announced the (...)


Latest Press Releases

The Suspension of Hurriyat Online Newspaper 2018-04-29 07:04:37 Sudan Democracy First Group 28 April 2018 The Sudanese civil and political circles and those concerned with Sudan were shocked by the news that the management of Hurriyat online newspaper has (...)

Petition on the Deteriorating Human Rights and Humanitarian Situation in Sudan 2018-04-22 10:01:20 UN Secretary-General, New York African Union Commission, Addis Ababa UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Geneva Petition on the Deteriorating Human Rights and Humanitarian Situation in Sudan (...)

Abyei celebrates Mine Awareness Day 2018-04-05 08:52:03 4 April 2018 | Abyei - The United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) and the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) commemorated the International Day for Mine Awareness and (...)


Copyright © 2003-2018 SudanTribune - All rights reserved.