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UNAMID clears itself of responsibility for S. Darfur carjacking

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June 4, 2015 (KHARTOUM) - The hybrid peacekeeping mission in Darfur cleared itself of any responsibility for the attack on its convoy by an armed gang on Tuesday 2 June saying the local contractor didn’t notify them its departure to escort UNAMID Contingent-Owned Equipment (COE).

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UNAMID peacekeepers provide protection to WFP trucks during a 100km road trip from El Fasher to Shangil Tobaya in North Darfur (Photo: UNAMID/Albert González Farran),

The Sudanese government militia, Rapid Support Forces (RSF) Wednesday said they recovered eight vehicles stolen from the UNAMID by unidentified gunmen. The unescorted goods convoy was attacked in Doma area, South Darfur, while en-route from Nyala to Port Sudan.

In a statement issued on Thursday, UNAMID admitted the recovery of the hijacked vehicles thanks to the efforts of the "South Darfur security authorities".

"UNAMID would like to clarify that the local contractor acted against repeated instructions from the Mission not to move the COE without UNAMID armed escort. Furthermore, the contractor had misinformed the Mission that its convoy will be escorted by an appropriate force from Sudanese Customs Police," said the joint mission.

commenting the recovery of the stolen vehicles, the deputy governor of South Darfur state, Omer Mohamed al-Bashir, said the perpetrators do not belong to rebel groups but disclosed that they all worked for the UNAMID in the past.

Al-Bashir further urged the UNAMID to reconsider some of its contractors, stressing the perpetrators serve agenda of the rebel groups.

The hybrid mission in its statement said grateful for the Sudanese authorities for the recovery of its vehicles and the arrest of the perpetrators.

However the UNAMID regretted that the incident "created the opportunity for misreporting and misrepresentation of the facts of the incident (...)".

South Darfur state is known for criminal activities and robbery committed by armed gangs. Since July 2014 the state authorities have declared an indefinite emergency situation in South Darfur state, including a curfew from 7pm to 7am (local time) in the capital Nyala.

(ST)

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