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UNAMID peacekeeper killed, three injured in North Darfur ambush

October 17, 2012 (JUBA) - A South African peacekeeper of the United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) was killed on Wednesday and three others were injured in an ambush by unknown gunmen, which that took place in North Darfur.

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Members of the South African peacekeeping battalion in Darfur on 9 March 2008 (Photo: UN)

The morning incident occurred approximately 10KM from Hashaba North, North Darfur, while a UNAMID convoy was on its way from Kutum to assess the situation in the area, following recent reports of violence.

The investigation mission, which consisted of military, police and civilian personnel, followed an initial UNAMID assessment mission carried out on 3 October.

UNAMID personnel, who reportedly came under a combination of automatic and mortar fire by unidentified assailants, had returned fire, the statement notes.

Wednesday’s attack brings the number of peacekeepers killed in Darfur to 43 soldiers from different nationalities. The mission took over on 31 December 2007 from an African Union forces .

UN CONDEMNS ATTACK

Ban Ki-Moon, the UN Secretary General has condemned the attack and called for immediate investigations into the incident.

Aichatou S. Mindaoudou, the Acting Joint Special Representative and Joint Chief Mediator also condemned in the “strongest possible terms the second criminal attack on our brave peacekeepers in the course of this month, during which we have lost five peacekeepers.

These attacks will not shake our resolve to fulfill our mandate and help the people of Darfur.” “I call on the Government of Sudan to investigate the incident and bring the perpetrators to justice,” she added.

The UN Security Council (UNSC), in a statement issued on Thursday, says it condemns “in the strongest term” the 17 October attack on the UNAMID peacekeepers, and expressed their condolences to the family of the peacekeeper killed in the attack, as well as to the Government of South Africa and to UNAMID.

They too called on the Government of Sudan to swiftly investigate the incident and bring the perpetrators to justice, while reiterating their full support for UNAMID and called on all parties in Darfur to cooperate with the mission.

JEM ACCUSES SUDAN GOVERNMENT

The rebel Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), in separate statements released on Wednesday, accused the “militiamen of the National Congress Party” of perpetrating the attack on the South African peacekeepers.

JEM spokesman, Gibril Adam Bilal, said the attack occurred as UNAMID troops were escorting members of a fact-finding committee to investigate recent attacks in Hashaba.

The incident, he added in a statement released on Wednesday evening, occurred at Quba, located three kilometres from Hashaba, when the gunmen reportedly started firing on the convoy preventing them from reaching their destination.

Following the attack on Hashada civilians, Bilal stressed they had been contacted by the human rights monitors, who have to probe it, stressing that they took the necessary measures to ensure the passage of the convoy through the areas they control.

(ST)