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239 Indonesian peacekeepers survive plane engine failure in West Darfur

Indonesian peacekeepers on El-Fasher - Zalingei road on 12 February 2010 (UNAMID - Olivier Chassot Photo)
December 15, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - Police director in West Darfur State Omer Mohamed al-Tayeb said an Indonesian contingent belonging to the hybrid peacekeeping mission in Darfur (UNAMID) has survived a jet engine failure at El-Geneina Airport.

An aeroplane carrying 239 Indonesian blue helmets was heading to Indonesia via Addis Ababa when its north engine failed as it was preparing to take off at El-Geneina Airport.

Al-Tayeb pointed out that firefighters have rushed to the runway and were able to control the situation, saying they managed to prevent the engine from bursting into flames.

He added the aircraft was returned to the hangar after taking the necessary precautions, saying the plane crew and the passengers were evacuated safely.

Last July, the UNSC unanimously decided to extend for one year the mandate of the UNAMID and also to reduce the number of its troops in line with an exit strategy aiming to close the hybrid operation in two years.

The hybrid mission has been deployed in Darfur since December 2007 with a mandate to stem violence against civilians in western Sudan’s region.

It is the world’s second-largest international peacekeeping force with an annual budget of $1.35 billion and almost 20,000 troops. UN agencies estimate that over 300,000 people were killed in the Darfur conflict since 2003, and over 2.5 million are displaced.

(ST)