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South African soldier killed in North Darfur

March 10, 2016 (KHARTOUM) - Unidentified gunmen killed a South African soldier in an ambush on a patrol of the hybrid peacekeeping mission in North Darfur (UNAMID), said a joint statement released by the United Nations and African Union on Thursday.

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A Nigerian peacekeeper based in El Geneina, West Darfur, inspects a car, with remnants of blood, transporting Senegalese soldiers ambushed by unknown assailants. Three soldiers were killed on 13 October 2013 (Photo: Albert Gonzalez Farran/UNAMID)

“The attack took place 40 km southwest of Kutum, North Darfur (on Wednesday) , while the peacekeepers, on patrol, were travelling from Kutum to Djarido,” said the statement.

Another South African soldier was wounded during the assault.

The deadly ambush was condemned by Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon and the UN Security Council.

“The Chairperson and the Secretary-General express their sincere condolences to the family of the fallen peacekeeper and to the Government of the Republic of South Africa. They wish the wounded a full and speedy recovery,” said the statement.

The two leaders called on the warring parties in Darfur to respect the integrity of the peacekeeping mission. Also they urged the Sudanese government to probe the attack and bring the culprits to book.

In a similar statement, "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 Government of South Africa and to UNAMID. They wished a speedy recovery to the injured peacekeeper".

On 24 February, the South African presidency announced the withdrawal of its troops from Darfur in next April.

There are some 850 South African deployed in Darfur with the UNAMID since 2008. The South African troops are in Darfur since 2004 as they were also part of the African Union forces in western Sudan.

The South African National Defence Force lost several soldiers in Darfur in the past years