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Posted by admin on 2019-01-12 in 上海性息 with No Comments


Suspected Janjaweed militiamen have ambushed a UN convoy in Sudan's war-torn Darfur, killing seven peacekeepers and wounding more than 20 – the deadliest attack on the six-month-old mission.

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Armed with heavy weaponry and travelling in 40 vehicles, officials said gunmen ambushed the police and army convoy on Tuesday at Um Hakibah in North Darfur State, southwest of the peacekeeping headquarters in El Fasher.

Seven peacekeepers were killed and 22 were wounded, seven critically, UN spokeswoman Michele Montas told reporters in New York.

The peacekeeping force known as UNAMID, which is severely under-equipped and under-manned, has suffered a string of attacks since it assumed control from an African Union force in Darfur, gripped by escalating insecurity and banditry.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who was flying back from the G8 summit in Japan, “condemns in the strongest possible terms this unacceptable act of extreme violence against AU-UN peacekeepers in Darfur,” she said.

'Criminal' attack condemned

The African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa also condemned the “criminal” attack” but vowed that the ambush would not deter either AU or UN commitment to bringing peace and alleviating civilian suffering in Darfur.

Kampala identified one of the dead as a Ugandan police officer.

UN officials in Sudan said a Ghanaian was among the dead, and that 17 Rwandan peacekeepers, and others from Ghana, Senegal and South Africa, were among the wounded. Some of the victims are in intensive care.

The peacekeepers were attacked while returning from following up allegations by the Minni Minnawi faction of the Sudan Liberation Army, which signed a 2006 Darfur peace deal with the government, that two former rebels had been killed.

Two UN officials in Sudan said Janjaweed – state-backed Arab militia – were suspected of carrying out the attack.

Last month, Arab militiamen briefly abducted and assaulted a UN official and three colleagues held at gunpoint during a standoff near the main UNAMID military base in El Geneina, the capital of West Darfur.

Weapons seized

In late May, dozens of heavily armed men on horseback ambushed a UNAMID patrol in Darfur and seized weapons from Nigerian troops near El Geneina, and in a separate incident a Ugandan policeman was found murdered in North Darfur.

Last September, 10 AU peacekeepers were killed in a well organised attack on their camp at Haskanita in southern Darfur.

Details of the latest attack emerged as visiting British Foreign Minister David Miliband said it was difficult to see future optimism in Darfur, which has been riven by conflict for more than five years.

Until security is provided and a political process underway, it would be wrong to be anything other than “extremely cautious about the prospects, because of the scale of devastation that has already happened,” he said.

“I think it's very difficult for those of us who live in wealthy countries and lead comfortable lives to talk about optimism when there is such a humanitarian crisis that exists in Darfur,” he told reporters.

The World Food Program, the largest UN humanitarian agency, has cut rations by half because banditry has made the roads increasingly dangerous.

Famine and disease

Since UNAMID took over from a small African Union force on December 31, only 7,600 troops and 1,500 police have been deployed – barely a third of the projected total of 19,500 soldiers and 6,500 policemen.

The force lacks the air transport and cover desperately needed to support troops across terrain with limited roads, as well as transport vehicles.

The United Nations says up to 300,000 people have died from the combined effects of war, famine and disease and more than 2.2 million fled their homes since the conflict broke out in February 2003.

Sudan says 10,000 have been killed.

The conflict broke out when ethnic minority rebels took up arms against Khartoum and state-backed Arab militias often called Janjaweed, fighting for resources and power in one of the most remote and deprived places on earth.

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