Unamid Darfur gunships sent home

2012-11-21 15:21
File, AFP

File, AFP

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Khartoum - Peacekeepers in Sudan's Darfur, where surging violence killed five Blue Helmets last month, sent back their fleet of helicopter gunships to Ethiopia several weeks ago, the UN sources said on Wednesday.

The African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (Unamid) announced in February 2010 that it had received five Mi-35 tactical helicopters from Ethiopia.

They would be largely used for troop deployment and "monitoring the security situation", a mission statement said at the time.

"We don't have those anymore," one UN source told AFP, requesting anonymity. "They were returned back to the [Ethiopian] government I think over the summer."

The Mi-35 is a gunship capable of firing rockets and heavy machinegun rounds.

"Sometimes they were not given clearance by the government to fly," the UN source said.

The UN Security Council on July 31 expressed "deep concern at increased restrictions and bureaucratic impediments placed by the government of Sudan upon Unamid movement and operations, particularly to areas of recent conflict".

Darfur's top official, Eltigani Seisi, has agreed "there are some issues with access" but said the government was trying to address them.

Unamid has a separate fleet of helicopters for logistical and medical missions.


The Mi-35 gunships had already gone back to Ethiopia when a Unamid convoy on its way to the flashpoint region of Hashaba, in North Darfur state, was ambushed by unidentified attackers on 17 October. One peacekeeper was killed and three were wounded.

The assailants used anti-tank guns and other high-calibre weapons in what may have been an attempt to prevent peacekeepers from reaching Hashaba, Unamid said.

Unamid was trying to conduct an assessment after the United States said more than 70 civilians died in September from fighting and aerial bombardments between rebels and Sudanese government forces.

Without mentioning the ambush on the peacekeepers, Sudan's army on Tuesday denied any connection with unrest in the Hashaba region and offered the military's "full cooperation" with Unamid.

On 2 October, four Nigerian members of the mission died in an ambush near El-Geneina in West Darfur.

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, the UN said its its helicopters fired cannons and rockets on Sunday as a peacekeeping mission there backed the army to protect civilians against an advance by M23 rebels, who nonetheless on Tuesday seized a key city.

Though violence is down from its peak, various overlapping conflicts persist in Sudan's far-west Darfur region nine years after ethnic rebels rose against the Arab-dominated Khartoum government.

Read more on:    unamid  |  ethiopia  |  sudan  |  east africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Makeover saves dog’s life

Lucky Charlie got a complete make-over that helped him get adopted.



For the love of Corgis!
Can we communicate with our pets?
8 great natural remedies for your pet
Buying a puppy? Don’t get scammed!
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.