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Two wounded in a fresh attack against Darfur peacekeepers

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February 25, 2012 (KHARTOUM) – In a new attack against the joint African Union and United Nations peacekeeping operation in Darfur - known as (UNAMID) - on Saturday, two police officers were wounded in East Darfur state by unknown gunmen.

The assailants ambushed the peacekeepers on Friday night at around 10:00pm when they were on a UNAMID bus, one kilometre from the Mission’s base near El-Daein the capital of East Darfur state, the joint mission said in a statement.

The two peacekeepers, who received leg wounds, were transferred to a UNAMID hospital in Nyala, South Darfur for treatment.

The largest UN peacekeeping operation is involved in the implementation of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur signed in July 2011 with the support of the African Union and international community.

But the DDPD remains rejected by three rebel groups who fear marginalisation with the growing fatigue among advocacy groups and main international actors. Further, the head of the UNAMID who is also the ad interim mediator for peace in Darfur is conducting a regional campaign to press rebel groups to join the peace framework agreement.

Several armed groups, frustrated by the repeated reports about the end of military confrontations, took a hostile position towards Ibrahim Gambari, UNAMID chief, who is no longer seen as neutral player in the region. The three main Darfur rebel groups have joined forces with another rebel group - the SPLM-N - in South Kordofan and Blue Nile, formed an alliance to topple the government in Khartoum.

One UNAMID peacekeeper has been killed and five others wounded since the beginning of 2012. The Mission lost 35 of its members since the take over from the African Union Mission in Sudan by the end of 2007.

Last week, JEM rebels held a long-range UNAMID patrol for entering a territory they control. The group, in a show of force retained the two Sudanese interpreters and a Yemeni police adviser for additional 24 hours before the return of the 55 peacekeepers to their base.

On 21 January, an unidentified group killed a Nigerian peacekeeper a location called Saleah on the road from El Daein to Nyala, 60 km north west of El Daein, UNAMID was not able to identify the attackers but the Sudanese army accused rebel groups.

(ST)

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